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by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Fundamentalist Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord's Day Morning, January 13, 2002

"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition" (II Thessalonians 2:3).

The "falling away," spoken of prophetically in this verse, can be translated "the apostasy." It points to a period of time toward the end of history when mankind would experience the apostasy, a specific time when large masses of people would "fall away" from the faith presented to us in the Bible.

Young people, you were born and have lived in this time of apostasy. You live in a time when the great Protestant denominations of the past have mostly turned away from believing in the reliability of the Bible. You live in a time when "science falsely so called" (I Timothy 6:20) has dethroned God, mocked the Bible, and trampled under foot the claims of Jesus Christ. There are few learned men to defend the Bible in our day, and even fewer who understand how the great apostasy in the churches themselves can be reversed. These are, therefore, dark days for Biblical Christianity.

In this sermon, I will show you that your young generation has been fed a pack of lies. The older generation has given you a mess of pottage instead of a good spiritually satisfying meal. Two old men of the long-dead Victorian era are largely responsible for poisoning you. They have been helped by the Hippies. The old dead men are Charles G. Finney and Charles Darwin. The Hippies who have pushed their doctrines down your throats and poisoned you are your parents' generation. And I am saying, as strongly as possible, that you should throw off the false ideas of Finney and Darwin. Throw them out! Throw them out! Throw them out - onto the rubbish heap of history.

And I am saying to you, as strongly as possible, that you should throw out the hackneyed ideas of these two men that have been pushed down your throats by your parents and their Hippie generation. Throw them out! Throw them out! Throw them out! They have ruined America - and they have ruined the world for you. Their ideas are as deadly as strychnine - poison! Throw their poison out! Throw it out! Throw it out! It will kill you and send you to Hell!

"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first…"

(II Thessalonians 2:3).

I. First, consider the deadly poison put out by Charles G. Finney.

Finney was born in 1792 and died in 1875. He was a contemporary of Charles Darwin, living at the same time, as the darkness of apostasy began its evil spread across the world.

It was Charles G. Finney who attacked viciously the beliefs and theological doctrines of our Protestant forefathers. You can read this in detail in our book Today's Apostasy (Hearthstone, 1999).

It was Finney who changed Protestant and Baptist conversion into mere "decisionism." He said that you did not need to go through self-examination. He said that you did not need to feel the depravity of your own heart, that you did not need to be awakened to your helpless and hopeless state before real conversion could occur. It was Finney who brought in the new and deadly idea that you could just "come forward," raise your hand, learn a couple of Bible verses, and say a "sinner's prayer," and thus be saved. It was Finney who taught that you did not need to go through any preparation by the Holy Spirit showing you that you were lost, corrupted, ruined, and totally unable to save yourself. It was he who said, "Just come forward and say a prayer." And it was him, more than anyone else - and the men who followed him and promoted his ideas - who ruined our churches and filled them with people who had only made a superficial "decision" without a thorough, inward, and radical conversion to Jesus Christ.

As a result of Finney's poisonous so-called evangelism, the great periods of revival stopped, and never again came to the churches of America, or the world at large.

Today most preachers know little or nothing about getting people converted. Dr. Tom Nettles of Southern Seminary correctly pointed this out. Our preachers know nothing about conversion! One man thinks that the doctrines of Calvinism are the answer, but his church is all full of lost people, because he has only turned from one form of decisionism to another. His form of decisionism is called "doctrinal belief." Another man says, "Get rid of easy prayerism." He thinks the whole problem is saying a quick "sinner's prayer." But he, himself, offers "doctrinal belief" and "lordship salvation" - two other deadly forms of decisionism. A writer in England says, "Just get rid of the invitation." But his answer is more of the decisionist "doctrinal belief." These men see that something is wrong, but they merely turn from one form of decisionism to another! They don't know what else to do after 150 years of Finney's decisionism ruining the churches! These preachers refuse to sit down with seekers and ask questions - and listen to the answers. If they would do that, they would teach themselves how to go back to the old ways of evangelism.

One young man phoned me the other day to raise support for a short-term "missionary trip." I asked him, "Are you a decisionist or do you believe in conversion?" "Oh, I believe in conversion. None of this one-two-three stuff for me," he said confidently. "Well," I said, "how many days does it usually take you to get a person converted?" "One or - usually - an hour or so." I replied, "Really? Does it ever take you two or three days?" "No, we get them saved in one day," he answered. I then told him, "I'm sorry I can't support you - because you are a decisionist. That's what I mean by decisionism."

Today you live in the burned out aftermath of Finney's false methods. Your evangelical friends think they are "saved" because they have prayed a prayer, or come forward, or because they have been baptized, or because they have made a superficial outward change in some areas of their lives. But those so-called new-evangelical friends of yours are nearly all lost. They have been poisoned to death by the deadly false teachings of Finneyism - the poison of decisionism!

I say to you with all the energy and power I can muster - do not be destroyed by the decisionism of Charles G. Finney! You young people need real conversion - old-time conversion - Puritan conversion - life and eternity-changing conversion! You young people need to come under deep inward conviction of sin. And you need to come directly to Jesus Christ, the Son of God - for Christ is the only one who can cleanse your sins and save you from eternal Hell!

Do not be tricked by an evangelical who tells you that there is no need to be so serious. Seriousness is exactly what you need in your Christianity, and in your commitment to the local church. Come fully and seriously to Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Come fully into this serious church. Become a real Christian - not a foolish, and lost decisionist!

Throw out Finney and his decisionism! Throw out the beliefs of your new-evangelical friends or parents. Throw out decisionism! Throw it out! Throw it out! Throw it out!

Instead of a false decision, seek for a real inward conversion to Christ. Do not be satisfied with anything but Christ! You must have Christ! You must have Christ! You must have Christ!

Away with Finney and his supporters! Up with Christ! Hold up Christ! Hold up Christ! Hold up Christ! Christ alone is your only hope.

"Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:38).

"Neither is there salvation in any other [than Christ]: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).

"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first…"

(II Thessalonians 2:3).

We are living deep in the apostasy. The churches are closing their doors. Others are going into wild Pentecostalism and theological error. Millions of young people like you don't know where to go to find Christ in reality. That's why this Baptist church is here - for you. We are here to point you to Christ for full salvation. Why be lonely? Come home to church! Come home to Christ! Be saved by Jesus Christ!

II. But, consider secondly the deadly poison put out by another man -
a contemporary of Finney named Charles Darwin.

Darwin lived from 1809 to 1882. He lived at the same time as Charles Finney. I assure you that Darwin's poison is every bit as deadly as Finney's. If you are tricked by the utterly false dogma put out by this man you will drown in the flames of Hell - along with Darwin, who has been there now so long, tormented in the flames (cf. Luke 16:24).

Charles Darwin taught "natural selection," or the survival of the fittest. He argued that over long period of time small changes in species added up to large ones. These large changes account for the origin of new species without the direct intervention of a supernatural God.

Boiled down to an easy-to-understand statement, Darwin taught that human beings "evolved" from lower life forms. Man is merely the product of a billion years of organic evolution. Man was not a special creation of God, as the Bible tells us.

In his book, The Biblical Basis for Modern Science, Dr. Henry M. Morris says:

One of the myths fostered by evolutionary thinking is that some tribes and "races" are more "primitive" than others, less advanced from the "brutes" along the evolutionary ladder. Conversely, certain races or nations are claimed to be more highly evolved and thus justified in subjugating those who are still "stone-age" peoples, or "aborigines." This type of thinking was especially pronounced among the white nations of Europe and America during the decades immediately following Darwin.

In fact, this idea was a strong motivator of Darwin himself. On the famous voyage of the Beagle, his attitude toward the natives of Tierra del Fuego was indicative. "[Darwin's] aim was 'to show that there is no fundamental difference between man and the higher mammals [monkeys] in their mental faculties.'" This evaluation was taken from his Voyage of the Beagle, describing what Darwin called "the miserable inhabitants of Tierra del Fuego," whom he portrayed as benighted [profoundly ignorant] cannibals, still almost as much beasts as men. Darwin's biased account of these South American Indians had a profound and baleful [ruinous] effect on the Europeans of his day, conditioning them to think in terms of human evolution and the "descent of man" (as Darwin would entitle his later book) from some ape-like ancestor. However, as the British Catholic scholar, Paul Kildare points out: "Darwin hardly saw an Indian at all, and could not speak one word of their language, yet his description of the Fuegians is still quoted as authoritative over a century later in countless so-called scientific works."

How a young "naturalist" like Charles Darwin, with no degree except in theology - and with a poor record as well as disbelief, even in that - could presume to pass such broad anthropological judgments based on such flimsy evidence, and how people could believe him if he did, remains a sad testimony to human pride and gullibility [overtrustfulness]. "But these superficial comments of a passing tourist in 1832 were entirely without foundation. They were completely demolished by the findings of two missionary priests, both highly qualified scientists…on the staffs of American and European universities…Darwin had no scientific qualifications at all." The findings of these priest-scientists included the following: "The Fuegian Indians were not cannibals; they believed in one Supreme Being, to whom they prayed with confidence; they had 'high principles of morality' and they rightly regarded the white people who exploited them as morally inferior to themselves."

During more recent years, many other missionaries, both Protestant and Catholic, have found this same characteristic to be true almost everywhere. The so-called primitive tribes of the jungles and other remote areas universally have highly developed languages and social systems, as well as complex religious practices and moral principles. When given the opportunity, many in their numbers have the ability to succeed in higher education and even in graduate schools. To the extent that they now seem to fall short of western standards, the evidence always seems to point to a "fall" from a higher state of civilization in the past, not to a rise from an ancient animal ancestry. Further, their present animalistic religious system can usually be shown to represent a deterioration from primitive monotheism and higher moral standards now only dimly preserved in their traditions.

Untold damage has been wrought, especially during the past century, by this dismal doctrine that man is merely an evolved animal. Racism, economic imperialism, communism, Nazism, sexual promiscuity and perversions, aggressive militarism, infanticide [i.e. abortion], genocide, and all sorts of evils have been vigorously promoted by one group or another on the grounds that, since they were based on evolution, they were "scientific" and, therefore, bound to prove beneficial in the long run. Even cannibalism, of all things, is beginning to receive favorable attention by certain evolutionists…

Cannibalism, though perhaps the most repugnant, is certainly not the most harmful practice that has been justified in the name of evolution. Right at the end of Darwin's epochal book, The Origin of Species by Natural Selection, appears his own summary of the ugly character of evolution (though he saw it as good!). "Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows." In Darwinism, war, famine, and death are good because they have generated the higher animals and finally man himself from lower animals. One might paraphrase this grotesque concept as: "By death, came man!"

In sharpest contrast, on the other hand, the Word of God says that "by man came death" (I Cor. 15:21). These practices that evolutionary theory considers natural, contributing to the survival of the fittest and to evolutionary progress, the Bible considers sinful, the result of man's rebellion against his Creator and estrangement from His fellowship. If men behave (or even look) like apes or other animals today, it is not because of any evolutionary throwback to an animal ancestry, but because of sin and its destructive effects on mind and body, bringing them down from the image of God in which they were created to an animalistic style of life and thought. "But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption" (II Peter 2:12). (Henry M. Morris, Ph.D., The Biblical Basis for Modern Science, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1984, pp. 401-405).

This man Darwin is responsible for Communism, Fascism, the Jewish Holocaust, the Abortion Holocaust, and many other horrors in the modern world. After all, if you are only an animal, why not act like one? Why not kill off the weak if the "survival of the fittest" is your standard?

Here's what I say: you young people have been messed over by Darwin and his ideas. Your parents believed Darwin and it ruined their lives. Darwin is poison! Poison! Poison! The Bible teaches that you are far more than an animal. You are a special creation of God. You have an eternal soul. You are not just an animal waiting to die. You are not just a piece of meat! Darwin called you a piece of dead meat! Throw him out! Throw Darwin out! Throw him out! Throw him out! Throw him out!

You are an important person to God! That's why God sent Jesus Christ to die for your sins on the Cross. That's why Christ rose literally and physically from the dead for you. That's why Christ is praying for you in Heaven, this very minute, at the right hand of God. Christ is doing those things for you because you are not just an unimportant animal. You are a very important human being in the sight of God.

That's why you need to come to Christ! Come to Him and trust Him. He will wash your sins away in His Blood and give you everlasting life!

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).


Scripture Read Before the Sermon: II Peter 2:1-3.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:

"In Times Like These" by Ruth Caye Jones (1944).

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



by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition" (II Thessalonians 2:3).

(I Timothy 6:20)

I.   The deadly poison put out by Charles G. Finney,
Acts 2:38; Acts 4:12.

II.  The deadly poison put out by Charles Darwin,
Luke 16:24; I Corinthians 15:21; II Peter 2:12;
John 3:16.