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by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord's Day Morning, July 27, 2003

Many of you are here for the first time this morning. You may never have been inside a Baptist church before, but we want you to feel at home with us. We are glad you came!

Now, before the sermon, Mr. Griffith will come to sing for us (Mr. Griffith's solo, "Come, Ye Sinners").

Let us stand together, and please open your Bible to our text in the gospel of Mark. It's Mark 9:26-27,

"And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead. But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose" (Mark 9:26-27).

The story of Jesus delivering this boy from the power of the Devil was given to us to show how Jesus can deliver a lost soul today. The four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, have many accounts in them, showing how people got saved. These stories tell us the different sides of salvation, and we can learn many things by reading them.

This boy was demon possessed. He had a demon that caused him to be deaf and dumb. He couldn't hear and he couldn't speak. That's the way everyone is before they are saved.   Before  you  are  saved  you  cannot  hear  what  God  is  saying  and  you  can't  talk  about  it.

But Christ cast the demon out of this boy. Christ is stronger than the Devil. Christ can deliver anyone - and Christ can deliver you! We learn three great truths about salvation from this passage of Scripture.

I. First, you are as one who is dead.

Verse twenty-six says,

"And he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead" (Mark 9:26).

That is a picture of every human being before he is saved. The Bible teaches that the whole human race is dead spiritually.

"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men…" (Romans 5:12).

Our first parents sinned against God - and they died spiritually. They were cut off from God, in a state of spiritual death. And that spiritual death has passed down to every member of the human race. That's why there are so many religions. In spiritual darkness and death, the human race has devised many religions - but has not found the true and living God.

Speaking to the people of Athens, the Apostle Paul said,

"For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you"
     (Acts 17:23).

They had many idols and many gods. But the true God was unknown to them. They called Him, "the unknown God."

And God is unknown to you this morning. He is "the unknown God" to you. God does not seem real to you. You are dead to the things of God - dead spiritually. You are like the boy in Mark nine,

"And he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead" (Mark 9:26).

The Bible says,

"And you, being dead in your sins" (Colossians 2:13).

The Bible says that you are

"dead in trespasses and sins" (Ephesians 2:1).

The father said of the Prodigal Son,

"My son was dead" (Luke 15:24).

He said to the Prodigal's brother,

"Thy brother was dead" (Luke 15:32).

Every person here this morning was once like that. We were all dead in sin. God was unknown to us. We were not aware of God. The Bible seemed like a fairy tale to us, because we were spiritually dead.

"Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart" (Ephesians 4:18).

That is a description of every one of us before we were born again! How about you? Are you born again?

II. Second, you are "taken by the hand" of Jesus.

Our text says,

"He was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead. But Jesus took him by the hand…" (Mark 9:26-27).

That's a wonderful verse! "But Jesus took him by the hand"! That is an illustration of awakening. It is a picture of prevenient grace. It is the story of our salvation.

"Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:2-9).

That is salvation by grace! That is salvation by Christ! That is the way to Heaven!

"He was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead. But Jesus took him by the hand…" (Mark 9:26-27).

Before Jesus comes, you are in an unconcerned and unawakened state. You couldn't care less about what happens to your soul. You are like the boy in Mark nine.

"And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit"
      (Mark 9:17).

That's the way I was. The people next door took me to a Baptist church. They brought me to church, like this man who brought his son to Jesus. But I knew nothing about God, or about Christ, or about the Bible. I had never read the Bible. I couldn't find the gospel of Matthew. I started thumbing through the Bible at the Book of Genesis, looking for it. By the time I found Matthew the sermon was nearly over! But they brought me to church, just like someone brought you this morning. God uses Christians to witness to us and bring us to Christ, as this man did, who brought his son to Jesus.

Then you begin to experience awakening. It can happen very quickly, or sometimes it takes longer. People are different. But awakening can be a terrible thing. Paul was thrown to the earth. The people at Pentecost were pricked in their heart. The thief on the cross saw his guilt. It can be a terrible thing.

"And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming" (Mark 9:20).

That's exactly what happened to many people in the First Great Awakening and in the revival on the Island of Lewis. Many of them cried out and fell on the ground under conviction of sin. That may happen again some day in America. It won't be a "laughing 'revival'"! The boy in Mark nine was not laughing! Real revival produces conviction of sin. In great revivals people sometimes fall down screaming under conviction. It happens often in China and other parts of Asia right now - in the great revivals that they are experiencing.

Not everyone experiences that. But everyone who is awakened feels guilty of sin to some degree. The Holy Spirit reveals your sin to you.

"And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me" (John 16:8-9).

Do you have any sense of sin? Do you feel remorse for sin? Does your conscience bother you at all for sin? Do you sense that you need to be forgiven by Jesus? Do not wait for more conviction! Conviction will not save you! No amount of conviction will save you! Come at once to the Son of God! Come right now!

Come, ye weary, heavy laden, Bruised and broken by the fall;
If you wait until you're better, You will never come at all.
      ("Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Wretched" by Joseph Hart, 1712-1768).

Come and believe on Jesus now, even if you think you are not properly awakened - and He will save you! "If you wait until you're better, you will never come at all." Come now! Come to Jesus, the Son of God! He will save you now!

Christ died on the Cross to pay the penalty for your sins. His Blood can wash your sins away. Christ has risen from the dead. Christ is seated at the right hand of God - up in Heaven. Come to Christ! Come to Christ! Come to Christ!

III. Third, you are raised to encounter Christ.

"But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose" (Mark 9:27).

You do not need to know how to come to Jesus - any more than this boy needed to know how to be lifted up. "Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up." If you want to come to Christ, you will be brought to Christ by the same power that lifted up this boy. Jesus said so! He said,

"All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out" (John 6:37).

Someone may say, "I'm not sure whether God has given me to Christ." That is a wasted thought. You can't know that, because only God knows it. Don't waste your time with such theological speculation. While others are arguing about theological speculation, you come to Christ! You will be saved while they are arguing!

"him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out" (John 6:37).

Christ will not cast you out. Christ will not leave you to die and go to Hell. Christ will forgive your sin and save you, just like He saved the boy in Mark nine. I plead with you. I implore you. I exhort you. I beg you. I command you. For the sake of your eternal soul, come to Christ!

Out of my bondage, sorrow and night, Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into Thy freedom, gladness, and light, Jesus, I come to Thee;
Out of my sickness into Thy health, Out of my want and into Thy wealth,
Out of my sin and into Thyself, Jesus, I come to Thee.
      ("Jesus, I Come" by William T. Sleeper, 1819-1904).

I would like to speak with you in my office about being saved. While we sing a little chorus, I'm going to ask you to leave your seat and come and stand here in front of this pulpit. After you have all come, we will go to my office and talk about your salvation through Christ. Please leave your seat and come over here as we sing.


Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Mark 9:17-27.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:

"Come, Ye Sinners" (by Joseph Hart, 1712-1768).



by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.


"And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead. But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose" (Mark 9:26-27).

I.   You are as one who is dead, Mark 9:26; Romans 5:12;
Acts 17:23; Colossians 2:13; Ephesians 2:1; Luke 15:24;
Luke 15:32; Ephesians 4:18.

II.  You are "taken by the hand" of Jesus, Mark 9:27a;
Ephesians 2:2-9; Mark 9:17, 20; John 16:8-9.

III. You are raised to encounter Christ, Mark 9:27b; John 6:37.

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