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by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Morning, February 3, 2013

“Prepare to meet thy God” (Amos 4:12).

In the days of the prophet Amos God judged Israel in several ways. God held back the rain. He judged them by famine. He sent forth pestilences. He smote their fields and gardens with blasting and mildew. He judged them by the sword. He overthrew some of them as He did Sodom and Gomorrah. But they did not repent before God. They went on rebelling against Him. At last God said that He would not send any more prophets as His messengers. Instead of sending prophets, God said that He would come to judge them Himself.

God’s way of dealing with rebellious men and nations is, at first, to persuade them tenderly, with soft and gentle words. He repeats these many times. But after a time God begins to threaten them. He says to them “Why will you die? Why will you bring ruin upon yourselves?” If these words have no effect on them He begins to send harsher judgments. They will be somewhat soft at first. But gradually the judgments will become harder and harder to bear. In the end, God judges them with the blows of a cruel Master. God begins by sending prophets to warn them – and ends by fighting against them with all His majesty and power.

It seems to me that we are moving toward the later phases of God’s judgment on America. He sent prophetic voices like those of Dr. A. W. Tozer, Leonard Ravenhill, Francis Schaeffer, Jerry Falwell, and other prophetic voices. But we did not hear them. We did not repent as a nation. Now God sends monster hurricanes, unnatural tornadoes in unheard-of numbers, oil spills, a drought in the Midwest worse than any we have seen in two lifetimes, killing our corn crops that feed the nation. The Lord has sent the pestilence of a dustbowl worse than anything we have heard of since the Great Depression. As a result, food prices are poised to shoot through the roof in the next few months. We are going to see monster inflation, where the dollar will be nearly worthless. But don’t expect the liberal news media to warn you – until it is too late! In the meantime, God has judged America by loosing hordes of demons on our young people – driving them into drugs, alcohol, endless violent video games and pornography. Some become so demonized through the drugs, and through the violence on TV and in the movies, that they go into schools and theaters and shoot other children at random. Make no mistake here – these are judgments from God that we have never seen before. Mr. Obama tells us all we have to do is get rid of people’s guns. But did you hear the “slip of the tongue” that the Vice President gave last Friday? He actually said that “getting rid of high powered guns will not end the violence” – words like that! Duhhh! That’s what the National Rifle Association has been saying all the time! Getting rid of guns will not stop demon-energized kids from going nuts! They’ll use home-made pipe bombs, clubs, Molotov cocktails, knives, rocks and torches! Kids that are full of drugs and movie and TV violence don’t need guns to cause riots and burn down houses! Vice President Biden was right last Friday – getting rid of high powered guns will not stop the violence! Why? Because it is a judgment from God, that’s why! Unless this nation repents and starts going to Bible-believing churches every Sunday the violence will not end! It will grow worse and worse until there is total anarchy that can only be stopped by martial law led by a dictator. That’s where all this is going to go, you know! It may take a few years – but that’s where it’s headed! That’s where it’s going to go! William Golding! “The Lord of the Flies”! Kids without a conscience! Violence, bloodshed, and anarchy! And the coming of a police state! Oh, yes! A police state is coming – under the Antichrist. Read the Book of Revelation. A few years ago Dr. Carl F. H. Henry gave a prophetic warning when he said, “The barbarians are coming...Savages are stirring the dust of a decadent civilization and already slink in the shadows of a disabled church” (Carl F. H. Henry, Th.D., Ph.D., Twilight of a Great Civilization, Crossway Books, 1988, pp. 16, 17).

Back to the prophet Amos. If the sinner will not hear the warnings – if he goes on in rebellion, even as more judgments fall – at last God says that He will completely overthrow the sinner. They have scorned the milder judgments of God, and now He says to the sinner, “Prepare to meet me, even God Himself, in all the terror of my almighty wrath and judgment.”

“Prepare to meet thy God” (Amos 4:12).

As it stands, the text is an awful threat of the wrath and judgment of an angry God. When the Gospel is rejected, and sinners mock the mercy of God, then His mighty arm comes crashing down with fearful vengeance. Woe! woe! woe! to the proud and boastful scoffer in that terrible day!

“Prepare to meet thy God.”

I have something very serious to say to you about that if you are not converted. Before long you will have to meet your God. Listen to the words, “meet your God.” Somehow you have been living in this world without meeting Him. He is everywhere, but you have not known it. You are like Jacob when he said,

“Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not”
       (Genesis 28:16).

Somehow you have muffled the voice of God in your conscience. You have suppressed your heart-feelings so you have no awareness of sin. You have smothered your heart so you do not perceive Him. But you will meet Him soon. When the flesh falls off of your spirit, your disembodied soul will see far more clearly than it does now. You will begin to see the spiritual world, which is hidden from you now. Then you will suddenly meet your God. Now some of you say in your heart, “There is no God.” The thought of God interfering with your life and your plans is something you don’t want to deal with now. You could not commit some of the sins you do now if you thought that the all-seeing eyes of God could see you. But He does see you – at all times. And He sees the thoughts in your mind too. Now you can put away thoughts of God seeing you. But one of these days you will meet God face to face. In the hour of your death you will be forced to meet God. And it will be a very close meeting. You will not see God far away in the distance. No, you will meet Him in all of His majesty and glory – like a fire that burns everything it touches, for the Bible says,

“Our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29).

His fiery wrath will come straight at you, not far away. His fire will come upon you and will burn you in His wrath. And this will be a meeting that you cannot avoid, from which you will not be able to escape. When someone comes to your house that you don’t want to see, you can hide from him in your bedroom. But you will not be able to hide from God in that day. You will not be able to hide from Him in the deepest ocean. The darkness of midnight will not hide you from Him. You must meet God face to face in that awful day! You must meet your God face to face, and it will be a personal meeting – God alone with you alone. You must meet your God alone – you! You! For an unsaved person like you there is no escape! No matter how you scoff and put these things out of your mind now – in that day there will be nowhere to hide! Nowhere to hide! Nowhere to hide! Nowhere to hide from God in that day. And I can assure you that you will be terrified when you meet God on that day. It will not be a pleasant meeting. Oh, no! It will be a horrible meeting when you meet the God you have sinned against face to face! Jonathan Edwards spoke of this in his landmark sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.”

You will meet face to face with the God you have offended, whose laws you have broken, whose name you have joked about, whose church you have failed to attend. That is the God you will meet – the God you have sinned against – that is the true God – the God you will meet face to face – the God of the Bible.

You will meet face to face with your God – the God who knows your every secret sin, and your every secret thought – the God who knows your evil thoughts and your sinful heart. That is the God you will meet face to face on the day of your judgment. You will then know that He is a God of judgment – a God who judges sin. But it will be too late then. When you meet God in the day of your death your destiny will already have been determined. There is no way for a dead man to go back and repent. After you are dead it is everlastingly too late to be saved! If you are not converted now, when you meet God then it will be too late forever in Hell. The Bible says,

“The fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame” (Isaiah 47:14).

“And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night” (Revelation 14:11).

“Prepare to meet thy God” (Amos 4:12).

How can you be prepared to meet God? What can you do to prepare? The only way to prepare to meet Him is to admit you are a sinner now. There is no use of trying to hide your sins from Him. The Bible says,

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

He knows all about your sin right now. There’s no use to try to hide it or make excuses for it. He sees what you do at night. He sees what you look at on the computer. He sees the ugly jealousy and evil thoughts in your heart. You must confess your sin to Him now, while there is still time to have your sins cleansed by Jesus’ Blood.

Yes, cleansed by Jesus – the Son of God. That is why Jesus came down from Heaven and died on the Cross – to pay the penalty for your sins. That is why Jesus shed His Blood on the Cross – so your sins could be washed clean!

John Sung came to the United States from China to study medicine and theology. At least that’s what he told his father, who was a pastor. But he got sidetracked. He got his Ph.D. in chemistry instead. He was the first Chinese boy to earn a Ph.D. in the United States. But his heart got farther and farther away from God. He started chanting Buddhist prayers and reading the Tao Te Ching of Taoism. He lost all contact with God while he was in New York City. Then one night he went to the First Baptist Church of New York. A teenage girl gave her testimony of how Jesus saved her, and cleansed her sin with His Blood. John Sung went back to his dormitory. Late that night he confessed his sins in detail to God. Then he envisioned Jesus hanging on the Cross. He got as close as he could, and was showered by the Blood of Jesus. He came out of that experience a new man. He was cleansed from sin by the Blood of Jesus Christ. He had trusted Jesus. He was born again. “Prepare to meet thy God.” Yes, Dr. John Sung prepared to meet God that night when he trusted Jesus and was cleansed and pardoned by the Saviour’s Blood.

Mr. Griffith is going to sing that lovely old song again, “When I See the Blood.” When God looks at you now, He sees your sin. But after you trust Jesus, when God looks at you, all He sees is Jesus’ Blood. God’s judgment passes over you because the Blood of Jesus has cleansed every sin, and God cannot see your sin once you repent and trust the Saviour. I like the third stanza of that old hymn,

Judgment is coming, all will be there,
   Each one receiving justly his due;
Hide in the saving, sin-cleansing blood,
   And I will pass, will pass over you.
When I see the blood, When I see the blood,
   When I see the blood, I will pass, I will pass over you.
(“When I See the Blood” by John Foote, 19th century).

Come and sing that stanza, Mr. Griffith. Now, he’s going to sing it again. While he sings it this time, if you are not yet saved, I want you to get out of your seat and go to the back of this auditorium. Dr. Cagan will take you to a quiet place where we can pray with you, and explain more about becoming a real Christian. Go now while he sings.

Judgment is coming, all will be there,
   Each one receiving justly his due;
Hide in the saving, sin-cleansing blood,
   And I will pass, will pass over you.
When I see the blood, When I see the blood,
   When I see the blood, I will pass, I will pass over you.

Dr. Chan, please come and pray for those who have responded. Amen.

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Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Mr. Abel Prudhomme: Amos 4:4-12.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“When I See the Blood” (by John Foote, 19th century).