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by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord's Day Morning, March 23, 2003

"I have lost my children, and am desolate, a captive, and removing to and fro? and who hath brought up these? Behold, I was left alone; these, where had they been?" (Isaiah 49:21).

I went to my gym at 9:15 Tuesday morning to swim. As I was putting on my swim trunks in the locker room I heard a Romanian and an Armenian talking. The Romanian said that there are so many good things in America, lots of good food, lots of places to go, lots of money. "Yes," the other man replied, "but it's so lonely here. In my country you have cousins, and nieces and nephews and aunts and uncles, and friends, and neighbors - and everybody is with you all the time. But in America everybody is alone. Yes, you have a lot of money and a lot of food here, but you are alone. Everybody is alone."

Young people feel that loneliness. I think loneliness is responsible for the sharp rise in teenage suicide in the last few years. And loneliness seems to be the main reason so many young people turn to drugs and alcohol. Video games numb the mind - so you forget your loneliness for a few hours. But when the video game finally ends - there you are - all alone again.

Dr. Leonard Cammer was a leading psychiatrist who specialized in treating depression for more than thirty years. Dr. Cammer said, "The human being is the only species that cannot survive alone. The human being needs other human beings - otherwise he's dead." The aching pain of loneliness makes the teenage and young adult years a time of horror and anxiety for many young people today. A few years ago there was a popular song that said, "Alone again, naturally." But there is nothing natural about the painful loneliness you feel. I call it the horror of loneliness. Young people often feel what Israel feels in the time of her desolation

"I have lost my children, and am desolate, a captive, and removing to and fro" (Isaiah 49:21).

Although this verse describes what the regathered Israel will remember concerning their desolation, it also describes what has happened to young people in America during this time of spiritual desolation and loneliness.

I. First, loneliness comes because there are fewer children.

"I have lost my children, and am desolate" (Isaiah 49:21).

Your generation has been slaughtered by the millions. That's one of the reasons you are lonely. There are far less young people today than when I was a teenager. Abortion has killed off 42 million American teenagers.

I read in the newspaper that young people across America are wearing T-shirts that say, "Stop killing my generation!" The "witch doctors" of the abortion industry don't want you to think about it, but they would have killed you, too, if they could have.

We live in a culture of death. Blood drips from our hands and hearts. 42 million kids have been murdered by abortion, their arms and legs pulled out of their sockets, their skulls crushed, their bodies boiled alive in salt water. Horrible! 42 million of your generation died in this Holocaust. Another 60 million were never born in the first place because of the overuse of contraceptives. That's a very conservative estimate.

What does that mean? It means that over 100 million American young people are not here! That's one third of the country! One third of the country is gone! And it's the younger third - your third! Everywhere you go there are more and more old people. Why? Because they killed off your generation, that's why! Selfish, greedy old white people sterilized themselves, and then murdered any baby that made it through.

They call that a woman's "choice." But what about the baby's choice? Did you have a choice? One young man told me, "They tried to get my mother to abort me." Thank God she didn't. He's a wonderful leader in our church. But they did get 142 million of your generation. That's why there are far fewer kids today. That's why you feel lonely and desolate. They didn't want you. They killed most of you. They neglected the rest of you. They stuck you in front of a TV and left you all alone. No wonder you're so messed up! "Alone again - naturally."

And many churches did little to help. They excused themselves from doing anything to stop the Holocaust. They said, "Our only responsibility is to save souls." By their reasoning, the next door neighbor's house could burn down and you would have no responsibility because you had given him a tract. So the house burned down; 42 million of you were slaughtered. And these preachers excused themselves. You see, tiny babies don't put money in the collection plate. That's the real reason they excused themselves! That's the real reason they said you were a "liberal" if you tried to stop it. If you helped your neighbor put out the fire, you were a liberal in their eyes! God, deliver us from the Pharisees!

"And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him" (Luke 16:14).

A young man looked at our web site and called me on the phone. I have spoken to him twice on the phone, and I sent him some books. I was able to lead him to Christ over the telephone. He said, "The Baptists I know never told me how to be saved. All they said was, 'Do you believe the King James Bible?' They snarled that question at me. They didn't care whether I was saved or not." He lives way over in Minnesota. But it's just about the same in many places. They may go door to door, but they overlook the kids. They overlook the colleges. I think they ought to do a little less door to door - and go to the colleges! Stop witnessing the KJV and start witnessing Christ crucified and resurrected! I believe that the KJV is the only reliable translation in English, but we are called to witness for Christ to the lost. They will tell you that Christians don't have any business saving babies, or college kids. They will say that college evangelism isn't important. They will tell you that they don't have any responsibility to stop abortion. They think that kids don't matter much. Here is my answer:

"What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? How much then is a man better than a sheep?" (Matthew 12:11-12).

"How much better is a man than a sheep?" That's my answer! Tell them I said it - and put it on the Internet! Those are the words of Jesus Christ! "How much then is a man better than a sheep?"

We have let 100 million kids go down the drain. God help us! We haven't said a word or lifted a finger!

We have let the colleges go. We don't give a diddle dad gummed about college kids - because they don't have money! We want nice families - out in the suburbs. Let those college kids go to Hell! God help us!

Let me tell you one thing! Let me make it loud and clear! This church is out to win young people! This is a church for high school and college-age kids! That's who we're after! That's who we want! Nobody else may want you - but we want you! We want young people! We want you!

Why be lonely? Come home - to church!  Then come to Christ and be saved!

II. Second, loneliness comes because of captivity.

Our text says:

"I have lost my children, and am desolate, a captive…"
      (Isaiah 49:21).

The Bible teaches that Satan takes people captive. They are in

"…the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will" (II Timothy 2:26).

The words "taken captive" literally mean "having been held captive" (Wuest's Word Studies, volume II, note on II Timothy 2:26). Everyone is held captive by the Devil until God releases them.

Loneliness comes from the Devil. The Bible tells us,

"Then entered Satan into Judas" (Luke 22:3).

Then they took the Lord's Supper at the Passover. Judas took the bread, called "the sop" in the KJV:

"He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night" (John 13:30).

Satan had complete control of Judas. He drove him away from Jesus and the Disciples - out into the night - alone! The Devil wants you to be alone.

The Devil wants you to go to Hell when you die. Hell is the loneliest place in the universe. The rich man died and went to Hell. There was no one there for him to talk to. They appear to all be separated in Hell. There was no one in Hell to comfort him. He longed for someone in Heaven to come - because he was all alone in Hell (Luke 16:19-26).

When a person goes to Hell they never get out. They are trapped there alone forever.

"And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed…" (Luke 16:26).

Think of it! A great gulf will separate you from those in Heaven. You will be alone in Hell forever - if you go on listening to the Devil.

Yes, I believe in a literal Devil and literal demons. The Bible speaks over and over about their reality. I think that many of the problems in our time come from the fact that people don't think much about Satan or his demons. They are real, and they are out to destroy you, and they want you to be lonely - forever!  

God opened the prophet Zechariah's spiritual eyes and he suddenly saw the Devil in all of his horrible reality,

"And he shewed me…Satan standing at his right hand to resist him" (Zechariah 3:1).

If you could see the Devil like that it would scare you half to death. Thank God that the Devil is invisible. You can't see him - but you can see what he does. You can see how he destroys people. You can look around you and see how people live, who are captives of the Devil:

"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves…without natural affection…lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God"
      (II Timothy 3:1-4).

You cannot supremely love yourself and have room for anyone else. You cannot be "without natural affection" and have any room to love your family. You cannot be a lover of pleasures more than God, and have any room left in your life to make lasting friends at church.

God must set you free from the snare of the Devil. And that is why Christ came down to this earth from Heaven. He allowed Himself to be nailed to a cross to pay the penalty for your sins. He died and was buried in the earth for part of three days. God raised Him from the dead - and He ascended into Heaven - where He is now seated "on the right hand of the Majesty on high" (Hebrews 1:3). When you believe fully in Jesus Christ, your sins are all automatically washed away in the Blood of Christ! You are set free from the Devil. You are set free from the judgment of Hell! You will have a home in Heaven forever!  You can believe in Jesus and be saved right now, today!

There is nothing more important for you in these lonely and desperate days than to believe fully in Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

"As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name" (John 1:12).

III. Thirdly, loneliness comes from too much moving.

Israel will say,

"I have lost my children, and am desolate, a captive, and removing to and fro" (Isaiah 49:21).

It literally means that they were "wanderers" in the Hebrew language. Like Cain, in the book of Genesis, these people were "removing to and fro." That's the way it is today. It was foretold by the prophet Daniel:

"Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased" (Daniel 12:4).

People run all over the place. People run to Las Vegas and San Francisco. Kids run off half way across the world to go to college. You lose the closeness of your parents and relatives. You never have any stable friends. No wonder people are so lonely! The end of Isaiah 49:21 says, "Behold, I was left alone." Horrible!

That's why you need to put your roots down and stay in one place. You will always be lonely if you don't do that. Put your feet down and stay right here - in this local New Testament church! "Why be lonely? Come home - to church?"

Isaiah 49:21 literally predicts the Jews returning to Israel at the beginning of the Millennial Kingdom. What a time of rejoicing that will be for them - and all mankind! (cf. John F. Walvoord, The Bible Knowledge Commentary,Victor Books, 1985, pp. 1104). Then they will say in their hearts, "Who has begotten all these children for me? I was desolate and an exiled captive! I was a wanderer! I was left alone! But now I have brothers and sisters and family and friends - in the Kingdom of God." What a wonderful promise for Israel - and for you, and all who believe in Jesus.

You will have a whole new family in the Kingdom of God. You will be with us and reign on earth for a thousand years in the Kingdom of God (cf. Revelation 20:4).

Why be lonely? Come home - to church! Come home - to Christ! Jesus will wash away your sins with His Blood. Jesus said,

"Whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die"  
      (John 11:26).


Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: II Timothy 3:1-5.

Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:

"No One Ever Cared For Me Like Jesus" (by C. F. Weigle, 1932).



by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.


"I have lost my children, and am desolate, a captive, and removing to and fro? and who hath brought up these? Behold, I was left alone; these, where had they been?" (Isaiah 49:21).

I.   Loneliness comes because there are fewer children,
Luke 16:14; Matthew 12:11-12.

II.  Loneliness comes because of captivity, II Timothy 2:26;
Luke 22:3; John 13:30; Luke 16:26; Zechariah 3:1;
II Timothy 3:1-4; Hebrews 1:3.

III. Loneliness comes from too much moving, Isaiah 49:21;
Daniel 12:4; John 11:26.

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