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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, June 3, 2001

"And they gave him audience (they listened) unto this word, and then lifted up their voices, and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live"
(Acts 22:22).

Last Sunday morning two visitors that I had never even met stood up and stormed out of our church here in central Los Angeles. They were screaming and yelling. They didn't like what I was saying from this pulpit. They brought the police back with them after the service and said we were trying to kidnap them. Ridiculous! They came in freely and they left freely. The police did not believe their story.

But I say that such outbursts should be a fairly normal part of our services if we are preaching correctly to a pagan world. Somebody ought to get mad if we are preaching like the Apostle Paul, or George Whitefield, or John Wesley. People threw dead cats and garbage at Whitefield while he preached in the open fields. John Wesley was once carried away over the heads of a mob of people and thrown into a river. He narrowly escaped with his life – but he went right back to preaching. We need men in our pulpits like Whitefield and Wesley today! They screamed out while the Apostle Paul was preaching, "Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live" (Acts 22:22). We need preachers like Paul today – more than ever!

Now why did those young visitors get mad, storm out of our church, and call the police? I am going to give you the answer from the Bible this morning. If you come back tonight, I'm going to preach the same sermon I gave last Sunday morning – the sermon that infuriated those young people so much that they called the police on us. Don't miss the sermon tonight whatever you do. I have retitled it, "The Sermon That Shook the Powers of Darkness." It is an old-fashioned sermon like J. Frank Norris and "Fighting Bob" Shuler used to preach. It is exactly the kind of sermon pagans in Los Angeles need to hear. Don't you dare miss this exciting sermon, repeated tonight right here, at 6:30 PM. There's no telling what might happen tonight! The Devil hates that sermon. But I'm going to give it again – word for word!

Why did that sermon cause such an uproar last Sunday? I am going to give you the answer right now.

I.   First, because they did not like what I preached.

That's exactly what the reaction was when Paul preached about his conversion in Jerusalem, recorded in Acts, chapter 22. The pagans cried out, "Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live" (Acts 22:22).

The Bible says:

“Reprove, rebuke, exhort…For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears"

(II Timothy 4:2-3).

All the modern translations designate "didaskalia" as "doctrine." I wonder if this isn't done deliberately to make the modern reader think that the verse is speaking about correct theology. In the context "didaskalia" is not talking about correct theology (i.e. Christian doctrine). For modern usage, it should be translated "teaching," as Lenski does in translating it, "they will not stand for healthy teaching." Listen to Lenski's comments:

"they will not stand for healthy teaching." "Healthy" is used repeatedly in these letters; it is the opposite of diseased and is here combined with "teaching" (not "doctrine," v. 2), which means both the act and the product of teaching…Paul is not speaking of a change in the temper of the world in general but of a condition that will appear in the churches…So they heap up for themselves teachers who will furnish them "teaching in accord with the desires of their own," who will satisfy their tastes (II Timothy 4:3) (R. C. H. Lenski, Commentary on II Timothy, Augsburg, 1961, p. 854).

Poole puts it:

"will not endure sound doctrine," will not endure that preaching which hath any soundness in it, or is of any tendency, life, power, or efficacy, to recover their souls from the diseases of sin and lusts…for their ears itch, and they must have those that will scratch them…they will have a mind to hear only such as will by scratching please them (Matthew Poole, A Commentary on the New Testament, AD 1685, comment on II Timothy 4:3).

Poole comes right to the point, instead of beating around the bush like modern new-evangelicals. This verse is talking about "preaching" not "theology." The kind of preaching people will reject in the last days is preaching with reproving, rebuking and exhorting in it! Those young men got mad and made an uproar in the church because they had never heard real preaching.

“They (shall) heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears"

(II Timothy 4:3).

A. T. Robertson gives this comment:

Clement of Alexandria tells of speakers tickling the ears of those who want to be tickled. This is the temptation of the merely "popular" preacher, to furnish the latest tickle ( Word Pictures in the New Testament, Broadman, 1931, vol. IV, pp. 29-30).

Last Sunday morning's sermon angered and blew them away because it was a sermon full of reproving, rebuking, and exhorting. It was not a sermon designed for "those who want to be tickled." Come back tonight to hear me preach it again! If you are a sinner, I promise you that it will blow you away!

II.   The second reason my sermon caused an uproar and got the police
   called in is because the world is growing worse and worse in our day.

I read two stories in the newspapers this morning. The first one said the ACLU has once again gotten the Supreme Court to ban the Ten Commandments. The city of Elkhart, Indiana must remove a monument outside the City Hall which has the Commandments on it.

Here is a news story that I believe relates to that. "Mother's Day Banned at Politically Correct School with Same Sex View" ( New York Post, May 8, 2001, quoted in Christian News, May 21, 2001, p. 1). The school said they would also ban Father's Day. In a statement explaining their ban, the school said:

These holidays are not needed to enhance our programs. Second, families in our society are now diverse and varied. These holidays in a social setting may not be a positive experience for all children (ibid., pp. 1, 18).

The New York Post front-page headline read:

School Kills Mother's Day. Gay Parents Force Principal to Ban Cards (ibid., p. 19).

This is very likely a cutting edge issue. I would not be surprised at all if Mother's and Father's Day cards were banned from sale in drug stores and markets in the next few years.

First you ban the Ten Commandments, which say "Honor thy Father and thy Mother" and then you ban Mother's Day as a result!

The pagans are giving Christians one knockout punch after the other, but no one seems to care enough to do anything about it! This is because,

"The whole world lieth in wickedness" (I John 5:19).

And the Bible teaches that the world, in the last days, will slide back to the ancient paganism of Rome:

"Evil men and seducers shall wax (grow) worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived" (II Timothy 3:13).

The Bible gives this prediction concerning our time:

"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away" (II Timothy 3:1-5).

God tells us to turn away from those who say they are Christians, but behave like this!

III.  The third reason my sermon caused an uproar and got the police
   called in is because the world hates the light of Christ.

Jesus said:

"This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light…" (John 3:19-20).

People today who don't want Jesus Christ and His truth hate the light of Christ. You must see that if you have any desire to become a real Christian.

You must see that the people around you do not want Jesus Christ, and are against the local church where the gospel of Christ is preached.

You must make up your mind to leave this sinful world behind and search for a real knowledge of Jesus Christ. The Bible says:

"Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord…And (I) will be a father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty" (II Corinthians 6:17-18).

Will you decide, here and now, that you are through with this pagan world? Will you come out of paganism into Jesus Christ? Will you leave your sinful friends behind and come to Christ? The Bible says:

"Every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light…but he that doeth truth cometh to the light…" (John 3:20-21).

As the old song puts it,

The whole world was lost in the darkness of sin;
The Light of the world is Jesus;
Like sunshine at noonday His glory shone in,
The Light of the world is Jesus.
Come to the Light, 'tis shining for thee;
Sweetly the Light has dawned upon me;
Once I was blind, but now I can see;
The Light of the world is Jesus.

("The Light of the World is Jesus" by Philip P. Bliss, 1838-1876).

Scripture Read Before Sermon: Acts 22:17-24.
Solo by Benjamin Kincaid Griffith: "The Light of the World is Jesus"

By Philip P. Bliss (1838-1876).

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



by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

"And they gave him audience (they listened) unto this word, and then lifted up their voices, and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live"
(Acts 22:22).

I.   Because the world did not like what I preached, II Timothy 4:2-3.

II.  Because the world is growing worse and worse in our day,
I John 5:19; II Timothy 3:13; II Timothy 3:1-5.

III. Because the world hates the light of Christ, John 3:19-20;
II Corinthians 6:17-18; John 3:20-21.