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A DAY OF DISASTER!

 

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

 

A sermon preached at the Fundamentalist Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles

Lord’s Day Morning, November 19, 2000

 

"And there was a day" (Job 1:13).

 

What a terrible day it was! Job’s seven sons and three daughters were killed that day. The boys that had been such a comfort to him - they were gone - forever in this life. The girls that had made him so very happy and so very proud - they were dead. If you have ever experienced the death of someone close, you know how indescribably painful it is when they say, "He’s gone." "She died." No words can describe the empty feeling, the utter helplessness you feel at such a time.
But, that day, a fire broke out and burned up everything he had. And a wind came and broke down his house. Everything he had worked for and saved for was gone. All in one day! His family, his house, his savings, his property - all were gone that day.
"And there was a day" (Job 1:13). My friend, you are going to have a day like that. I don’t know when it will come, but it will come for you. You’ll remember that day for the rest of your life.
It may not come exactly as it did for Job. It may not be your children that are taken in death in the day of your disaster. But there will be a day when someone close to you is dead. You may not have your savings burned and your house blown down by the wind, but there will be a day when you lose everything. It may not come until your own day of death, but there will be a day when everything you own on earth will be lost.
How do I know that? Because it happens to everyone. You may laugh and make fun of what I’m saying, but that day of disaster will come to you anyway, because the day of disaster is inevitable for every son of Adam, for every man and woman and every young person and every child listening to me this morning.
The rich fool thought that the day of disaster would never come to him. But he was wrong. One night God said to that man, "Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee" (Luke 12:20). That night he lost everything. He had laughed about the thought of death. He had thought that those who went to church every Sunday and prayed were fools. He had thought that life was all fun and games. He had thought that having fun was the only "smart" way to live. He had refused to prepare for eternity. But when the day of disaster came to him, he was unprepared. He died like a dog that runs out into the street and is struck dead by a car. He was not prepared for the day of disaster that comes for everyone. And God called him a fool for not being ready when the day of disaster struck.
How about you? Are you ready for your day of disaster? We will consider this under three headings:

       

    1. A day of disaster awaits everyone.
    2. A life of despair does not prepare you for your day of disaster.
    3. A change of thinking will satisfy you now and prepare you for
      your day of disaster.

 I. A day of disaster will come to you.

 
There can be no question about that. Even for Christians, a terrible day is coming. The Bible says, "Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day" (Ephesians 6:13). You have to prepare now so that you can stand your ground and resist despair "in the evil day." This verse of Scripture calls the day of disaster "the evil day." I have had such an evil day, such a day of disaster.
The phone rang and I heard my mother’s voice say, "Bill is dead." My beloved step-father was gone - forever! He was lost. I loved him with all my heart, but he was gone forever and ever! The keys I was holding in my hand slipped through my fingers and fell through a grate. After I hung up the phone, I got down on my hands and knees. Blinded by tears, I fumbled for the keys. "Bill is dead." The words rang out again and again through my brain.
"Why, how could he be dead? I saw him just last night! He held my boys in his arms and walked with me to the car outside his house. How could he be dead?"
But he was dead. I looked down into the coffin at his face - a tough old Marine who fought in open combat in a foxhole in the Pacific in World War II. A kind and gentle man inside. "Bill is dead." He was unsaved. I would never see him again!
I have heard those words on many evil days, on days of disaster. "Mom McDonell is dead." "Johnny’s dead" - only forty-eight years old! "Johnny’s dead!" "Mom is dead." "Lloyd died last night, Robert." "Myrtle died yesterday." "Mrs. Lin is dead." "Frank died." "Archie died." "Leola died." "Porter died." "Emerson died." "Oscar passed away yesterday." "Fook Kong was shot yesterday.  He's dead." "Your uncle Cliff died." "Mike is dead.  He killed himself." "Joyce is dead." "Your Dad just died." "I’m sorry, Dr. Hymers, your mother passed away a few minutes ago." Oh! a day of disaster! An evil day!
What will you do when disaster strikes you? What will you do when you pick up the phone and hear - "She’s dead."
I remember hearing it before it struck - a long, rattling sound. I can’t describe it. It rattled closer and closer and closer. I heard it coming in my sleep. I awoke with a start. It rattled closer and closer. Then the bed started shaking. Now the whole house was rolling - like it was on wheels! It rolled and rolled and rolled. I could hear things crashing throughout the house. Then it was quiet. Deadly quiet. The earthquake was over. I ran through the house. The phone was ringing. The lights were out. I tripped over a fallen table. The blood ran down my legs as I picked up the phone with trembling hands.
 Earthquake! It will come again! Will the next one be as small as the Northridge quake? Or will it be a day of disaster - for you?
Are you ready to withstand in the evil day, your day of disaster? What will you do on your day of disaster?
I was reading a comic book. Suddenly there was a thump on the right side of the car. My face hit the dashboard. My mouth was full of teeth and blood, like a mouth-full of ground glass. My front teeth were gone - forever. I was thirteen. It could have been worse. My head could have gone through the windshield. They would have buried me forty-seven years ago! What will you do when disaster strikes? What will you do in the evil day?
"It’s too late now," the doctor said. She went home to die - her body riddled with cancer. My boys play her piano every day in our house.
"There’s nothing we can do," the doctors said. He was tied down to a bed, needles and wires all over his body, blood coming out of open sores. He was twelve years old! What will you do when disaster strikes? What will you do in the evil day?
Make no mistake about it, a day of disaster is coming for you . What will you do that day? What will you do on that evil day? You do not know Christ. You are not saved. What will you do? Who will you turn to? You don’t know Jesus Christ - so what will you do when evil comes to you?

 

 II. A life of despair does not prepare you for your day of disaster.

 

Your life doesn’t really satisfy you even now. You will certainly not be able to resist despair "in the evil day" (Ephesians 6:13). That’s why suicide is the number two killer of college-age young people. Most young people have thought about suicide according to recent polls. You have probably wondered if there’s any meaning to life.
Young person, haven’t you thought, "I wonder what life is all about?" Haven’t you thought, "There’s nothing for me in life." Most young people have had those thoughts. One young man who was a close friend of mine said, "Robert, there’s nothing." That was his way of saying that there was no real reason to live. But he never repented. He never started coming to church. He never found Christ. I loved him with all my heart. His name was Johnny Hymers. He was my double-cousin. He was like my brother. Now he’s dead. He was so young. He came home, drank a beer, and dropped dead. The last thing he ever did was put a Christmas card in the mail to me. I got that Christmas card the day of his funeral - which I had to conduct because he was not a Christian and had no pastor to do it.
I will never forget him saying to me, "Robert, there’s nothing." He lived and died without hope, without God, without a church home. That’s what the old Baptists called it. They’d say, "Where is your church home?" They were right because the local church is a home - your second home. If you aren’t part of a church you have no spiritual home! That’s why we say, "Come home - to church!"
If you don’t have a church like this one, you don’t have a spiritual home. You don’t have Christian brothers and sisters. You don’t have a pastor. You don’t have Jesus. You don’t have any hope! What will you do in your day of disaster?
The king tried wine. He drank and partied. He had hundreds of women. He had a good education. He had lots of money. He had it all. He had everything possible to make someone happy. But he had no inner peace. He said, "There’s nothing." He couldn’t find peace. He said:
"Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labour which I took under the sun" (Ecclesiastes 2:20).

He said:

"I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit" (Ecclesiastes 1:14).

He said:

"The heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead" (Ecclesiastes 9:3).
"Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished" (Ecclesiastes 9:6).

For him, all was vanity. Everything was meaningless. Life had no hope. "Robert, there’s nothing."

If you live like that, you will not be prepared for your coming day of disaster. You will live a life of despair. Nothing in life will make you really happy. And then disaster will strike you - "and after that (you) go to the dead" (Ecclesiastes 9:3).
You can laugh it off. You can say I’m too gloomy and negative. You can say that, but deep down in your heart you know I’m right.
Did you ever read Dickens’ A Christmas Carol? Did you ever see the old movie on TV? Scrooge! A dried up old man, shivering in his nightgown - afraid of disaster! He wasn’t always a shriveled old man. Once he was young. He laughed and played and partied. But he never found God. He had no church. He didn’t know Christ. Now he shivers in the cold thinking about death. His whole life was a disaster! So is yours. Young person, you don’t have any more hope than Ebenezer Scrooge! Oh, you’re younger than him - but you don’t have any more hope than he did - because you don’t have Jesus Christ.
Come home to church! Come home to Jesus Christ! Be washed from your sins by His Blood!
"And there was a day" (Job 1:13). The Bible calls it "the evil day" (Ephesians 6:13). You will not be able to stand your ground and resist despair unless you are converted.

 

 III. A change of thinking will satisfy you now and prepare you for your day of disaster.

 
The word "repentance" comes from the Greek word "metanoia." It literally means "a change of mind." Some people say that it’s more than that. I do not agree with them. I think it is a tremendous, life-changing thing to have a "change of mind" about sin and church and Jesus Christ.
And I am saying to you this morning: "Change your mind or you will never have any hope." Change your mind and change it now! Stop wasting your life and be in church every Sunday - no matter what happens. Change your mind and break off your sins. Turn away from your sins - and turn to Jesus Christ!
Jesus is not angry with you. He loves you. He died on the Cross to pay the penalty for your sins. He rose from the dead literally and physically. He is alive right now, seated at the right hand of God, in Heaven.
Jesus loves you. He wants to forgive your sins. He wants to give you hope and meaning in your life. Jesus said:
"I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (John 10:10).

He wants to give you life - the abundant life - the peaceful life - the hope-filled life - of a real Christian!

What must you do to receive new life from Christ?
    1. First, you must come back to this church every time the door is open. And you must not miss. Nothing - zero - nothing - is more important than being here. Why be lonely? Come home - to church! And do it every Sunday.
    2. Acknowledge your sins and come to Jesus Christ. His Blood will wash your sins away and you’ll have the hope of Heaven!
Now, young person, there was a time - for the first twenty years of my life - that I was not a Christian. I had no hope! None! I was afraid and depressed and lonely. But I kept coming to church. I never missed. And then, one day, I trusted Jesus Christ. He washed my sins away and saved me. He can do that for you also!
Why be lonely? Come home - to church! Why be filled with guilt over your sins - come to Jesus Christ! Why stay like you are until you die? Why stay like you are until disaster strikes you on "the evil day"?
Don’t delay! Come back tonight. Come - find Christ! Come - find friends! Come - find forgiveness. Come - find meaning! Come - find God!
 

Scripture Read Before Sermon: Jeremiah 29:13; Isaiah 55:6; Job 1:1-2:10.

Solo by Benjamin Kincaid Griffith: "Only Jesus Can Satisfy Your Soul"

You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
at www.rlhymersjr.com . Click on "Sermon Manuscripts."

 

THE OUTLINE OF

A DAY OF DISASTER!

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

 

"And there was a day" (Job 1:13).

          

  1. A day of disaster awaits everyone, Ephesians 6:13.
  2. A life of despair does not prepare you for your day of disaster, Ecclesiastes 2:10; 1:14; 9:3,6.
  3. A change of thinking will satisfy you now and prepare you for
    your day of disaster, John 10:10.