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by C. L. Cagan, Ph.D., M.Div., Ph.D., Deacon

A sermon preached at the Fundamentalist Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord's Day Morning, July 21, 2002

"It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man" (Psalm 118:8).

In secular college classrooms, on television, and all around you, people will laugh at the Bible and serious Christianity. They will laugh at you if you let them know that you are a Christian and that you go to a Bible-believing church every Sunday. They will say that being a New Testament Christian is something stupid and dumb for stupid and dumb people that have never moved into the twentieth century, much less the twenty-first. But can you trust them? Should you believe what they say?

My teachers all believed in the theory of evolution, that people had somehow evolved from a lower form of animal and were on our way upwards to something better. The people around me said that the Bible was an ancient book that had nothing important to say to us today. Everyone said that the Bible had many factual, historical, and scientific errors, and this had all been proved long ago. And I followed along with them. I believed in evolution. I believed that the Bible was full of mistakes.

But I had never studied the Bible. I had never read books on the Bible and science such as The Genesis Flood by Dr. Henry M. Morris and Dr. John C. Whitcomb. I had never studied the so-called errors in the Bible to see if the Bible really did have errors in it. Instead, I simply trusted what other people had been saying, and believed it myself, and said the same things to others. In the words of our text today, I "put confidence in man." That was a terrible mistake.

Later, when I became awakened to the reality of God, I did read the Bible. I saw that it was historically accurate, and that it did not teach scientific error. Most important, I saw that I had been living a life of sin, disobeying God's commandments, and that Jesus Christ had died on the Cross to pay for my sins. One evening, while I was a student in mathematics at UCLA, I came to Jesus Christ in a definite way and trusted Him. He forgave my sins. And today I stand before you as a forgiven man with a life redeemed from ruin and death. Today, I want to tell you, "It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man" (Psalm 118:8).

This morning I'd like to give you three points about who you can't trust, and who you can trust.

1. You can't trust your secular teachers, because what they teach you is constantly changing, and is very often wrong.

2. You can't trust the people at your job, or your boyfriend or girlfriend, because they can drop you.

3. You can trust Jesus Christ and receive the eternal life He offers, because He never changes and His promises never fail.

"It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man" (Psalm 118:8).

I. First, you can't trust your secular teachers or what they teach you.

You may think that the things they taught you in high school or college classes have been carefully proved, and you'll be safe and sound when you throw out the Bible, when you don't go to church, when you have sex before you're married, and when you go to a dance or to Las Vegas. You may think you're on solid ground when you throw out the Bible and the church, and take off along your own road - which is just the same old road of sin and ruin that endless millions of other people have followed before you!

In fact, a great deal of the "solid" and "proven" science they taught you is very different from what they taught me just a few years ago! And much of the "solid" science they are teaching you now will be thrown out in a few years more. The Apostle Paul warned the young man Timothy,

"O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:Which some professing have erred concerning the faith" (I Timothy 6:20-21).

The "experts" are very often wrong! Did you know that doctors and nurses used not to wash their hands when they were working in a hospital - and got very angry at people who asked them to wash their hands? Listen to what happened to a doctor named Ignaz Semmelweiss (1818-1865) when he suggested that doctors wash their hands.

Semmelweis was hired to run a maternity ward in a Vienna hospital. Semmelweiss noticed that the death rate among mothers in the doctor's ward ran as high as 18% from blood infection. When he suggested that the doctors might contribute to this he was fired.

Subsequently rehired…Semmelweis instituted sanitary measures which included having the doctors wash their hands in disinfectant and change from lab coats dripping with pus and blood from the autopsy room to clean lab coats before examining patients or assisting in a birth. The death rate of the mothers dropped by 2/3 in his ward. However, the other doctors objected so strongly…that Semmelweis was again fired and left [town].

He took other hospital jobs where he instituted the same standards of cleanliness which resulted in the same decline in deaths and a revolt of his fellow physicians. Semmelweis [was finally put into] an insane asylum [and died there].
   (       pages/Chap1.html)

Those doctors wouldn't wash their hands, and their patients died. They were wrong. Today, doctors and teachers will tell you that it's fine to have sex before you're married, and to have an abortion if the girl gets pregnant. And they are wrong too!

Did you know that doctors used to take quart after quart of blood out of people when they caught a cold? Listen to how our first President, George Washington, died after he caught a cold:

[Washington] did not go out as usual for he had taken cold and complained of a severe sore throat…His physicians had ordered that he be bled a number of times in the course of his illness and about five pints of blood were removed from him... He died between ten and eleven p.m. December 14th, 1799.

George Washington's doctors were wrong. Should you believe what people are teaching you now?

What they are teaching you now is not the same as what they taught me just a few years ago. They used to teach that we should eat a lot of red meat - steaks and hamburgers.

The United States Department of Agriculture…in 1956 recommended its Basic Four Food Groups. The government's Basic Four involved

(1) meats, poultry, fish, dry beans and peas, eggs, and nuts;

(2) dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt;

(3) grains; and

(4) fruits and vegetables.

Until 1992 this combination of foods…was a mainstay of nutrition education in the United States and was considered almost the definitive word on nutrition by the vast majority of Americans (

They taught the "four food groups" on television and in classrooms. I remember when they taught that we should eat a lot of red meat and eggs because of the protein in those foods. I thought that steak was the best of all foods. We ate meat every day, or even two or three times a day, and felt a little sorry for people who couldn't eat meat every day. We didn't know that eating too much meat can lead to heart attacks and strokes. We listened to our teachers. They were wrong then, just a few years ago. What are they wrong about today?

In secular schools they teach that life evolved slowly, first from chemicals, then to simple forms of life, and finally upward to humanity. When I went to school, everyone believed that it had taken billions of years for the first life to form. But now scientists believe that life began very soon after the earth itself began! One famous scientist said:

This brings the theory for the Origin of Life on Earth down to a very narrow range… we are now thinking, in geochemical terms, of instant life... (Cyril Ponnamperuma [Director of Chemical Evolution Branch, NASA Ames Research Center, California], Broadcast Interview, Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation, January 1980, in Hoyle F. & Wickramasinghe C., "Evolution from Space," [1981], Paladin: London, 1983, reprint, pp. 79-80;

"Instant life"! That sounds very much like the Book of Genesis to me! My teachers were wrong all the time, and the Bible was right all the time!

They taught you - and me - that life evolved slowly from one form to another. You've probably seen a picture of a "tree of life" starting from bacteria and going its way up to people. That's what they taught me, and that's what they teach you. But listen to what scientists have really found:

Instead of finding the slow, smooth and progressive changes Lyell and Darwin had expected, they saw in the fossil records rapid bursts of change, new species appearing seemingly out of nowhere and then remaining unchanged… - patterns hauntingly reminiscent of creation. (Pagel M. [Research fellow, Department of Zoology and Hertford College, Oxford University], "Happy accidents?" Review of "The Pattern of Evolution" by Niles Eldredge, W.H. Freeman 1999. Nature, Vol. 397, 25 February 1999, p.665;

"Hauntingly reminiscent of creation"? The Bible was right all the time. The major kinds of living creatures do not evolve one into another. God made each kind of animal - and they are the same as they always were! Don't throw out the Bible because of what some secular college teacher tells you! They don't know what they're talking about!

"It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man" (Psalm 118:8).

II. Second, you can't trust the people around you at work
or in your personal life.

Most people never become real Christians because they have a conflict of some sort - usually a time conflict. They say, "I'd like to come to church, but I want to give the time to my school, or my job."

You certainly shouldn't put your job as more important than the meetings of the church. In years past, a person would take a job and work there until he retired. But in these times, your job can go away in a day - or an hour! Why make your job so important that you lose your eternal soul? Let me tell you how the University of Southern California (USC) treats the people who work for it:

At-Will Employment Agreement

In consideration of my employment with the University of Southern California, I understand that my employment and compensation are at-will and therefore can be terminated, with or without cause, at any time without prior notice, at my option or the University's option.

It isn't just USC. You see, California is an "at-will" state. Every company, every employer, can do this to anyone who works there, at any time. And every day in the newspaper you can read about some company that's laying off thousands of people, throwing them away, destroying their lives. No, you can't trust in your career!

"It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man" (Psalm 118:8).

And you can't trust your non-Christian boyfriend or girlfriend! I know everyone - your friends, your teachers, the television, the music today, everyone - says it's good to have sex before you get married. "Try it out," they say. But listen to this report from USA Today (July 8, 2002, p. D-1).

Cohabiting can make marriage an iffy proposition

Researcher Scott Stanley's case is this: Women living unmarried with guys and expecting a lasting, committed marriage down the line had better review their options. His research finds that men who cohabit with the women they eventually marry are less committed to the union than men who never lived with their spouses ahead of time.

He says to women: "If you want someone to marry, choose someone who won't live with you."

As people say today, "Duh!" Somebody finally figured out that guys do want to get physical with girls, but don't want to make a marriage commitment. I'm glad that someone finally saw that! Duh!

The truth is that people are "dumping" each other all the time! Some of you young people who grew up in church haven't gone through the experience of being "dumped" by someone you love. But everyone who didn't grow up in church knows exactly what I'm talking about. The Bible says:

"For men shall be lovers of their own selves…trucebreakers [people who break their word]" (II Timothy 3:2-3).

Today, people will walk away any time, for any reason - or for no reason at all! If you don't settle down and get into a Bible-believing local church and attend every Sunday, you won't have a stable and happy life. You - just like everyone else - will go from one thing to another. You'll go from one person to another, from one job to another, from one living place to another. And other people will walk away from you. In the end you'll be unhappy and alone. It's far better to listen to what God says - while you are young. The Bible says:

"Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth" (Ecclesiastes 12:1).

Why not live right? The people you know are living the other way, but we all know how that will turn out. Why not make the right decisions about your life? First, get committed to the local church. Come back to this church every Sunday - even if you have a time conflict - especially if you have a time conflict. Listen carefully to the sermons you hear.

Make sure that you come to Jesus Christ - make sure that you get converted. Jesus said, "Except ye be converted…ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 18:3).

Then live a simple, straight-arrow life. Get yourself into college and finish it. Don't party your life away. Don't get involved romantically right away. When it is time to find the right person to marry, date slowly and carefully. Don't get physical. Don't make out. Don't have sex before marriage. Why should you do that? Don't look for a person who you can get physical with. Look for a person who won't get physical!

And put your feet down. Stay in church all your life. Don't move. Stay in one place. Stay with one man or one woman. Stay in one church. Make sure you are converted through trusting Jesus Christ - and then live for Him all your life.

Don't listen to the people around you. Don't live like they do! Don't trust them with your life decisions!

"It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man" (Psalm 118:8).

III. Third, you can trust Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ Himself does not change. He is the same today as He was two thousand years ago. He loves you today just as He loved people then. He will forgive you of your sins today just as He forgave people then. The Bible says that He is

"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever" (Hebrews 13:8).

The relationship of Christ and His true church never changes. Speaking of the church, Jesus said, "The gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18). There will be Bible-believing local churches on earth until the Rapture in spite of all that happens and all that the Devil and his demons can do.

So why not look at people who are good examples in the church, and model your life after their lives? Look at our pastor, look at our deacons, look at people who have been strong and stable Christians for years - and be like them. Talk with the pastor before you make any important decision in your life. The Bible says,

"Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation [their way of living]" (Hebrews 13:7).

Why not turn away from the life you've been living, from the life-style the people around you are living - and turn to Jesus Christ and the life He offers?

The eternal life that Jesus offers never changes. Jesus said of those who trust Him, "I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish" (John 10:28). The Bible says,

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

Why not get serious? Why not come to Jesus Christ? A few minutes ago Mr. Griffith sang these words,

In the world you've failed to find Aught of peace for troubled mind;
Come to Christ, on Him believe, Peace and joy you shall receive.
   ("Why Not Now?" by Daniel W. Whittle, 1840-1901).

In this world you've failed to find real happiness. Why not get serious about a different life? Why not come to church next Sunday - and every Sunday?

And why not get down to business about your conversion? You've fooled around long enough. You have waited long enough. Waiting is a very dangerous thing for an unconverted person to do.

You see, you really are a sinner. You really have sinned in your life. There really is a God. There really is a Heaven to seek and a Hell to avoid. And Jesus really did die on the Cross to pay for your sins. He really did shed His Blood to wash your sins away so you wouldn't have to go to Hell when you die. And He really is up in Heaven, where He went after He rose from the dead, ready to forgive you if you will only come to Him.

It is time to stop trifling, to stop fooling and fussing your time away. That is a dangerous thing to do when God is angry with your sins. The Bible says, "God is angry with the wicked every day" (Psalm 7:11). God is angry with you every day. Why go on having God angry with you every day until He finally punishes you in Hell?

To avoid Hell, and to go to Heaven, it isn't enough just to come to church and to like the people there. That's nice, but that by itself won't get you to Heaven. You've got to have Jesus wash your sins away with His Blood.

So why not seek - seriously seek - your conversion? Come to church every time the doors are open. Listen carefully to the sermons you hear. Think often about the sermons, about your sins, and about what Jesus Christ has done for you. Pray for God to awaken you so you will see the reality of your sins and the reality of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Talk personally to the pastor and the deacons about the conversion of your soul.

It is time to wake up and put some real attention to your being converted. You you can't get to Heaven by your own goodness. Our text says:

"It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man" (Psalm 118:8).

Today I ask you, "Are you not a man? Are you not a woman?" Then, will you not listen to my text today? Will you put your confidence in yourself - a mere human being? Will you keep on trusting yourself to live your life and somehow get to Heaven? God says, "It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man" (Psalm 118:8) - and it is better to trust in Jesus than in yourself.

There is nothing and there is no person, in the lost world, that you can really trust - least of all yourself. You have sinned, and you cannot pay for your own sins.

And you can't figure your way out of your problem of sin. Your mind and understanding is darkened by your sin. The Bible speaks of you, "Having the understanding darkened" (Ephesians 4:18). Oh, that you would see the evil of your sins! Oh, that you would come to the end of trusting your own self, your own mind, your own heart! Oh, that you would throw yourself upon Jesus, your only hope, and be eternally forgiven by His Blood! The Bible says:

"Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity" (Psalm 32:1-2).

Throw yourself on Jesus. His Blood will cover all your sins. God will not see your sins, because they will be covered by the Blood of Jesus. God will not impute - God will not count - your sins against you, if you come to Jesus and trust Him.

"It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man" (Psalm 118:8).


Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Psalm 32.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith: "Why Not Now?"

(by Daniel W. Whittle, 1840-1901).

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



by Dr. C. L. Cagan

"It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man" (Psalm 118:8).

I.   You can't trust your secular teachers, I Timothy 6:20-21

II.  You can't trust the people around you, II Timothy 3:2-3;
Ecclesiastes 12:1; Matthew 18:3.

III. You can trust Jesus Christ, Hebrews 13:8; Matthew 16:18;
Hebrews 13:7; John 3:16; Psalm 7:11; Ephesians 4:18;
Psalm 32:1-2; Psalm 118:8.