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by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Evening, January 17, 2010

I spoke this morning on “Blood for Blood – America in the Hands of an Angry God.” I quoted Dr. John Gill who said,

The shedding of innocent blood defiles a nation, and the inhabitants of it, bringing guilt thereon; and subjects [it] to punishment (John Gill, D.D., An Exposition of the Old Testament, The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1989 reprint, volume I, p. 870; note on Numbers 35:33).

I quoted President Reagan who said,

We cannot survive as a free nation when some men decide that others are not fit to live and should be abandoned to abortion… (President Ronald Reagan, Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1984, page 38).

Abortion is the national sin of America. 51 million of our children have been murdered in the womb, bringing the wrath of God upon our nation. I referred to the prophetic words of Leonard Ravenhill, who said,

Never has this great nation been so humiliated in the eyes of the world…The greatest threat to America today is not Communism, nor the Arab [terrorists], nor the severe ecological crisis. The greatest single threat to America is GOD (Leonard Ravenhill, America is Too Young to Die, Bethany Fellowship, 1979, pp. 50, 52).

As I said this morning, I regret leading an imprecatory prayer against pro-abortion Supreme Court Justice William Brennan in 1986.  I would never do that again.  But I still feel that God will judge America for the abortion of 51 million children.  

Upon receiving the Congressional Gold Medal from the President and the U.S. Congress, Billy Graham said,

We are a society poised on the brink of self destruction. Our culture is plagued with crime, violence, drug abuse, racial and ethnic tension, broken families and corruption (Los Angeles Times, May 3, 1996, p. A-10).

In one of his prayer letters, Billy Graham said,

When I read the papers or watch television news, it seems like the moral dam of the Western world is breaking wide open. The things on television and in the movies, and the literature people read, would make Sodom and Gomorrah feel ashamed. How long can God tolerate [it]? (Billy Graham, prayer letter, January 1998, The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, pages 1-2).

On this point, Billy Graham was right. Therefore I must quote Leonard Ravenhill again,

The greatest single threat to America is GOD.

America is falling into ruin! Our nation is under the Judgment of Almighty God! Soon there will be no place to hide from His wrath and Judgment! As the great preacher Jonathan Edwards put it, we are literally “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” Which brings us to the question given in our text. Please turn to Hebrews 2:3. Stand and read the first half of the verse aloud.

“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?”
       (Hebrews 2:3).

You may be seated. Let us break down the text, and examine the words carefully. And may you apply each point to yourself!

I. First, you must escape!

The text says, “How shall we escape?” Escape from what?  The answer is given in the previous verse,

“…every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward” (Hebrews 2:2).

That was true when Israel “received the law [on Mount Sinai] by the disposition of angels” (Acts 7:53). And it is equally true today. “Every transgression and disobedience” will be judged by Almighty God.

The text says, “How shall we escape?” How can you escape from God’s judgment for your sin? God knows “the thoughts and intents of [your] heart” (Hebrews 4:12). He sees every vile, sinful and rebellious thought. You may have kept your thoughts to yourself. You may think that no one knows about them. But you are wrong! God knows all about your inner life and your inward wickedness. He is “a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” All the sinfulness of your heart and mind will be brought forth by God at the Last Judgment,

“For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing” (Ecclesiastes 12:14).

Furthermore, God will judge your depraved heart itself,

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings” (Jeremiah 17:9-10).

“I the Lord search the heart…even to give every man according to his ways.” Your sin-cursed heart itself will be judged by God.

“But,” someone may say, “God doesn’t know about all my sins.” You are wrong! The Bible says,

“The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil…”
       (Proverbs 15:3).

“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5).

Every sinful thought, word and deed is recorded in God’s Judgment Books, for the Bible says,

“The books were opened…and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works” (Revelation 20:12).

And every sin on your record, in those books, will condemn you, and you will be “cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15). You may not be afraid of Judgment now, but soon you will be terrified.

“Fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?” (Isaiah 33:14).

“How shall we escape?” That question from our text should melt your heart like candle wax! You should be saying, “How shall I escape the fearful judgment of Almighty God? How shall I escape the ‘just recompence’ for my sins?”

“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?”
       (Hebrews 2:3).

You must escape Judgment for your sin by God, who hates sin and judges it with flaming vengeance! You must escape from the anger of a righteous God!

II. Second, you, yourself, cannot escape!

How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?”
       (Hebrews 2:3).

You cannot escape from the judgment of God trying to “be good!” Trying to “be good” will not work for two reasons.

(1)  If you started “being good” now, and could live a perfectly sinless life until you died, you would still be judged for the sins you have already committed. When God opens those great books on Judgment Day, the sins of your past life will be recorded there. No matter how much you reform now, the sins of your past life are engraved in those books of Judgment with “an iron pen” (Job 19:24). “For thou writest bitter things against me…the iniquities of my youth” (Job 13:26).

(2)  The second reason you cannot be saved by “being good” is that you can’t do it! You cannot be good enough, no matter how hard you try! The Bible says, “For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do…I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me…O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:19, 21, 24).

You can’t “turn over a new leaf.” It just isn’t possible to “start over.” Why? Because you are a fallen creature, totally depraved by inbred sin, inherited from Adam.

“By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men” (Romans 5:12).

That is why the Bible says you are “dead in sins” (Ephesians 2:5).

A dead man cannot make himself live! Since you are “dead in sins” you cannot make yourself live no matter what you do!

“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight” (Romans 3:20).

You cannot do anything to escape God’s fearful judgment because you are “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1).

III. Third, Christ is the only means of escape!

“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?”
       (Hebrews 2:3).

There is only one way to escape from the judgment of God. Jesus said,

“I am the way” (John 14:6).

You can only escape from judgment by the salvation provided by Jesus! God Himself provided a way for you to escape from being judged for your sin. Jesus said,

“I am the way” (John 14:6).

God did not need to provide a way for anyone to be saved from judgment. But “God so loved the world” that He did provide a way (John 3:16). Why didn’t He provide many ways? Because He didn’t need to do so. In fact, justice did not demand that He provide any way at all! But by His love, He did provide a way. And Jesus said,

“I am the way” (John 14:6).

You broke the law by sin. But God sent Jesus to pay your penalty. He paid for your sin on the Cross! He satisfied God’s justice by bearing your

“sins in his own body on the tree” (I Peter 2:24).

Not only did He die on the Cross, being judged in your place, to pay for your sins – He also rose from the dead to give you life! The Bible says,

“God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him” (Romans 5:8-9).

“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?”
       (Hebrews 2:3).

At the end of his famous sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” Jonathan Edwards said, “Escape for your lives, look not behind you…lest you be consumed.” Christ is the only means of escaping the wrath of God! Escape to Christ! Come to Him! Escape God’s wrath! Escape for your life! Jesus can save you by His sacrifice in your place on the Cross! Only Jesus can save you from Judgment! Escape to Jesus! Trust Him alone! Come to Jesus and you will know the joy of that old hymn in the very depths of your soul! It’s number 8 on your song sheet. Sing it!

Free from the law, O happy condition,
   Jesus hath bled, and there is remission;
Cursed by the law and [dead] by the Fall,
   [Christ can redeem you] once for all!

[You can be free with] no condemnation,
   Jesus provides a perfect salvation;
“Come unto me,” O hear His sweet call,
   Come, and He saves you once for all!

“Children of God,” O glorious calling,
   Surely His grace will keep you from falling;
Passing from death to life at His call,
   Blessed salvation once for all!
(“Once For All” by Philip P. Bliss, 1838-1876;
   first two stanzas altered by Dr. Hymers).

You can read Dr. Hymers’ sermons each week on the Internet
at Click on “Sermon Manuscripts.”

Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Hebrews 2:1-4.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“Eternity” (by Elisha A. Hoffman, 1839-1929).




by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?”
(Hebrews 2:3).

I.   First, you must escape! Hebrews 2:2; Acts 7:53;
Hebrews 4:12; Ecclesiastes 12:14; Jeremiah 17:9-10;
Proverbs 15:3; Genesis 6:5; Revelation 20:12, 15;
Isaiah 33:14.

II.  Second, you, yourself, cannot escape! Job 19:24; 13:26;
Romans 7:19, 21, 24; 5:12; Ephesians 2:5, 1; Romans 3:20.

III. Third, Christ is the only means of escape! John 14:6; 3:16;
I Peter 2:24; Romans 5:8-9.