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by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Morning, January 18, 2015

“Then said the Lord unto me, The end is come upon my people of Israel; I will not again pass by them any more. And the songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, saith the Lord God: there shall be many dead bodies in every place; they shall cast them forth with silence” (Amos 8:2-3).

“I will not again pass by them any more.” Dr. C. F. Keil said it means, “to pass by any one without taking notice of him, without looking upon his guilt or punishing him; hence to spare” (Keil and Delitzsch). But Dr. John Gill brought out a more judgmental meaning, “now making an utter end of them” (John Gill). Dr. Charles John Ellicott added, “There will come a time when prayer will be of no avail. All intercessions, however passionate or eager, will be too late. The door of mercy is shut” (Ellicott’s Commentary on the Whole Bible). And Matthew Henry gave this application of the text, “God’s patience, which has long been sinned against, sinned away; and the time will come when those that had been spared often shall no longer be spared. My spirit shall not always strive. After frequent reprieves, yet a day of execution will come” (Matthew Henry’s Commentary).

Amos said that King Jeroboam would die by the sword, and the people of Israel would go into captivity, as slaves in Assyria. Amos said that God told him, “I will not again pass by them any more.” That was it! They were finished! It was too late to repent! It was too late to pray! It was too late for Israel to be saved! God’s judgment was final –

“Then said the Lord unto me, The end is come upon my people...I will not again pass by them any more” (Amos 8:2).

The text has two applications. First, it applies to a nation. To the nation of Israel, God said,

“I will not again pass by them any more.”

Second, it applies to an individual. To Amaziah, the false priest who opposed Amos, God said, “Thou shalt die in a polluted land, and Israel shall surely go into captivity” (Amos 7:17). There was judgment for the nation – and judgment for the individual as well.

“I will not again pass by them any more.”

I. First, the text applies to America and the Western world.

“I will not again pass by them any more” (Amos 8:2).

Someone says, “Dr. Hymers, are you sure?” Yes, I am sure! We have sinned away the day of grace, and God will not pass by us any more. I feel sure that has happened to America!

I’ve been reading a blog written by an independent Baptist. He is a smart guy. He is right about many things. Sometimes he has interesting and helpful thoughts. But he was dead wrong when he compared America and the West to England before the First Great Awakening. I am answering him because he gave a false hope which I have heard other people give – and it should be answered. The false hope is this – that sinful conditions in England did not stop the First Great Awakening (the Wesley/Whitefield revival).  So (he reasons) the sin of America and the West will not stop God from sending a revival to our nation and our allies. The Baptist blogger ends his article by saying, “Let us pray and work to that end, and implore God to bring it [revival] about.”

This sounds to me like just more fatuous drivel. I have heard that all my life. I don’t think he is serious. He says to pray. Is he willing to have all-night prayer meetings, like the early Methodists? Will his church do that? Does he know any church that will do that? Will they fast and pray as Whitefield’s and Wesley’s people did? Will his church call for a fast? Does he know any church, anywhere, that will hold a fast? Will he preach against “Decisionism,” and plainly say that most independent Baptists are lost, have never been converted, are not born again – as Whitefield and Wesley did with their church people? Will his pastor do that? Does he know of any independent Baptist, or Southern Baptist pastor, who will do that? Does he know of any pastors who would be willing to be shut out of all churches, as Wesley and Whitefield were? Does he know of even one pastor who would go through that? Would he himself go through that? That’s the only kind of preaching that could be used in real revival today. Does he know any preachers who would do that? Don’t tell me about Paul Washer! His preaching isn’t half of what’s needed!

Then our blogger friend says, “Let us pray and work to that end” [revival]. What work does he have in mind? One thing Jerry Falwell said was absolutely true. Jerry Falwell said, “Abortion is the national sin of America.” Oh, yes, Jerry Falwell was absolutely right about that! Surely, Mr. Blogger, “work to that end” would have to include working to stop the slaughter of the unborn! Have you done any “work to that end,” Mr. Blogger? Do you know any Baptist pastors who have done “work to that end?” Do you know any Baptist churches that are closing down abortion clinics? Do you know any that are “working to that end”? I don’t. Our own church closed two abortion clinics in Los Angeles. We closed both of them completely just by legally picketing them! If half of the Baptist churches in America closed down two abortion clinics, abortion would have ended long ago. Our associate pastor, Dr. Cagan, and I sat down with hundreds of Catholics while policemen on horseback threatened us, and marched their horses around us with batons in their hands, while we protested abortion. Where were the Baptists, Mr. Blogger? I didn’t see any! I only saw elderly nuns and young people from some Catholic schools. Where were the Baptist preachers? Where were the Baptist ladies that teach Sunday School? The prim, middle-aged Baptist women that run our churches and boss our preachers, where were they? I didn’t see any of them! Don’t they care? No, I don’t think they do! They are not at all like Wesley’s women, in the great revival the blogger spoke of.

America kills one million babies every year! We have slaughtered 57 million babies since Roe v. Wade in January, 1973. By now, blood drips from the hands of every American evangelical “Christian.” We let them murder 57 million babies while we sat in our air-conditioned churches for an hour and heard pep talks! Where were we when 57 million babies were murdered? We were so deluded and blind that we actually thought Joel Osteen’s smiling motivational talks were getting people “saved” – because he offered a sweet little so-called “sinner’s prayer” after he told a few stories and got people to laugh at his jokes. But the joke is on us! Nobody got saved! Nobody! Nobody! Nobody! Nobody! Nobody! Nobody! That kind of preaching did not convert our nation or our people! And it will not convert them now! Dr. A. W. Tozer said, “A widespread revival of the kind of Christianity we know today in America might prove to be a moral tragedy from which we would not recover in a hundred years” (A.W. Tozer, D.D., Keys to the Deeper Life, Zondervan Publishing House, 1957, p. 12).

“Then said the Lord unto me, The end is come upon my people...I will not again pass by them any more” (Amos 8:2).

Then, too, our nation is not anything like England in the early 18th century – not at all! The unsaved people in Great Britain were far more serious than we are! Even coal miners and farmers were far more literate than we are. Even people who couldn’t read could listen to the complex sermons of Whitefield and Wesley and understand them! Could our people even sit still through a complicated sermon on total depravity like they did? They stood in the snow every morning at 5:00 o’clock to hear them preach! Would our people do that? No, they would not! Our people are emotionally warped by violent video games, pornography, bloody and filthy TV programs, drugs, and a constant flow of obscene and Satanic movies. They had none of that in Wesley's England! There was no divorce at all among the common people in Wesley’s England. Homes were intact and stable, not fractured as ours are today. Then look at our government compared to theirs. Their country was governed by sane and sensible men in Parliament who, though not real Christians, were at least influenced by Christian morality. Our country is led by timid men, who are weak and have no Christian moral standards. They allowed no sexual perversion in Wesley’s England. Need I say more? And what about their religion? Yes, it was largely a deist religion in Wesley’s England. Yes, nearly all of the pastors were unconverted. But – and this is a very big “but” – they were not influenced at all by “Decisionism.” They did not think they were converted, like at least 75% of our people do. They did not think they could be saved by mumbling a few words of a so-called “sinner’s prayer.” Sinners knew they were not Christians, and they did not pretend to be saved, like we do. Also, when they thought about conversion, they thought of it like John Bunyan did - in his very popular books, "Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners" and "Pilgrim's Progress." The ideas they had of conversion were the views of the Puritans - convicting and clean - not "sloppy agape"! 

Furthermore, they all had one Bible. The King James was the only one they had. Thus they were not confused by a plethora of different translations, dozens of them, based on corrupt Greek texts, influenced by Gnostic ideas, as our Bibles are today. And there was no ban on the King James Bible in their schools and universities. Even though they were unconverted, they believed that the Bible was the Word of God. Even King George II (1727-1760) himself would have told you that the Bible was the Word of God! There was no ban on the Bible in schools. Every young person knew the stories of the Bible. And the Bible was not banned in the universities, the courts, or civil government, as it is in our country. Instead of banning the Bible, they affirmed it and approved of it, even though they were not born-again Christians. Furthermore, there were no government handouts. Everyone worked, and they all believed in the work ethic as taught in the Bible. Now, hard work is belittled and scornfully called the “Puritan work ethic,” as though it was bad. Since they all either worked or starved, no one had time to loaf around and dream up various weirdnesses like our people do. They had no time to practice meditation, Zen Buddhism, or Eastern mysticism of any sort. That’s why very few of their people were demon possessed – while it is quite clear that thousands (if not millions) of our people are under the control of demonic spirits.

No, Mr. Blogger is wrong to compare our people to those in England, before the Great Awakening under Whitefield and Wesley. It would be far closer to the truth to compare the American people to those in the days of Noah! Isn’t that exactly what Christ said about this generation? Christ said,

“But as the days of Noe [Noah] were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe [Noah] entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matthew 24:37-39).

Christ did not compare our generation to the people of England in the 18th century! He compared our generation to the people in Noah’s day,

“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. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart” (Genesis 6:5-6).

“And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth” (Genesis 6:13).

Our blogger friend said, “There is this God rescued England from impending complete spiritual and moral collapse...through the spiritual revivals of George Whitefield, John and Charles Wesley, so God can do the same thing once again in our day.” He is right when he says that God can do that again. But that isn’t the question. The question is not whether God can send a national revival. The question is will God send a national revival? And I am convinced that the answer is a resounding “no!” As we read in our text,

“Then said the Lord unto me, The end is come upon my people...I will not again pass by them any more. And the songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, saith the Lord God: there shall be many dead bodies in every place; they shall cast them forth with silence” (Amos 8:2-3).

I think there is no hope, none at all, for America and the Western world. None. Listen to the words that ISIS put on the Internet last week. Right after the slaughter of 17 people in Paris, these Muslim terrorists sent e-mails to America. Two of those e-mails said,

“We are coming for you. Watch your backs.”

“We won’t stop. We know everything about you, your wives and children.”

Will they terrorize us into submission? That’s what the word “Islam” means! It means “submission.” Will we submit to them? Will they take over America and the West? Only God knows for sure, but it doesn’t look good! This much is certain. God says,

“I will not again pass by them any more” (Amos 8:2).

There will be no national revival in America or in Europe. It will not happen. It is too late forever. Dr. W. A. Criswell, the greatest preacher America produced in the 20th century, said, “Our people live in constant dread and foreboding for tomorrow because we are a wicked every way America is becoming increasingly anti-God and pro-secular. There is a judgment day coming and we feel it.” Dr. Criswell was the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas for more than fifty years. He was Billy Graham's pastor (W. A. Criswell, Ph.D., Great Doctrines of the Bible – Bibliology, Zondervan Publishing House, 1982, p. 43).

We are facing judgment as a nation and a people. That is why America is not in Bible prophecy. We will no longer be a great nation. We will not be worthy of comment in the end-time prophecies of Scripture! But I told you that there is a second application of the text.

II. Second, the text applies to every person who commits sin unto death.

There will come a time, if it hasn’t already come, when God will say this about you,

“I will not again pass by them any more” (Amos 8:2).

When God says that about you, it means that you are forever doomed. You may live on for many years. But you are already doomed to the eternal flames of Hell when God says, “I will not again pass by them any more.” Why will that happen? Because you have committed the unpardonable sin! Many great preachers of the past spoke of the unpardonable sin. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones spoke of “the sin against the Holy Ghost” (The Sons of God, p. 230). Jonathan Edwards, Asahel Nettleton, Moody, Torrey, George W. Truett, and all the old-time preachers spoke on "The Unpardonable Sin." Dr. John R. Rice said,

There is a sin “that shall not be forgiven unto men.” There is a sin which, if a man commits it, “it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” There is an unpardonable sin…The unpardonable sin [is] that one may cross the deadline while still alive, may pass into the realm of the damned while still alive, may pass into the realm of the damned, may pass forever beyond mercy while yet alive in this world!...Yes, the unpardonable sin can be committed now. Any sinner who has heard the Gospel, who has been deeply convicted, who has been enlightened as to his sin and his need of the Saviour, is in deadly danger of committing the sin that has no forgiveness (Dr. John R. Rice, Crossing the Deadline, Sword of the Lord, 1953, pp. 3-4).

If God can pass by a nation, He can pass by you! If a nation can commit sin unto death, so can you! I John 5:16 says, “There is a sin unto death” (I John 5:16). Cain committed that sin, and God gave up on him forever. Though he lived on for years, he could no longer be saved. Pharaoh, in the time of Moses, committed that sin, and God gave up on him. Though he lived on for years, he could no longer be saved. Judas committed that sin and God gave up on him – he lived on for a few hours, but it was too late for him to be saved! If you resist the Holy Spirit and refuse to trust Jesus, there will come a day and an hour when God will give up on you as well! Then it will be said by the Lord,

“I will not again pass by them any more” (Amos 8:2).

Listen carefully to the words of this song by Dr. John R. Rice,

You have waited and lingered Still refusing the Saviour;
All His warnings so patient, All His pleading so kind;
Thus you ate fruit forbidden, You believed Satan’s promise;
Thus your heart has been hardened; Sin has darkened your mind.
Then how sad facing judgment You’ll recall with no mercy
That you tarried and lingered Till the Spirit was gone;
What reproaches and mourning, If when death finds you hopeless,
You have tarried and lingered And have waited too long!
   (“If You Linger Too Long” by Dr. John R. Rice, 1895-1980).

I plead with you this morning – turn from your sin and trust Jesus now, while there is still time. Trust Jesus Christ now – before God gives up on you – like He gave up on Israel! like He gave up on Amaziah in the days of Amos! like He gave up on Cain! like He gave up on Pharaoh! like He gave up on Judas! He will give up on you!!! Come to Christ. Trust Christ now, before it is too late! The Bible says,

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5).

Trust Jesus. His Blood will cover all your sins, and wash them away. His death on the Cross will atone for all your sins, and save you from eternal wrath. His resurrection from the dead will give you life and hope! Trust Jesus now and He will pardon your sin forever! Dr. Chan, please lead us in prayer. Amen.

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Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Mr. Abel Prudhomme: Amos 7:14-8:3.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“If You Linger Too Long” (by Dr. John R. Rice, 1895-1980).




by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“Then said the Lord unto me, The end is come upon my people of Israel; I will not again pass by them any more. And the songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, saith the Lord God: there shall be many dead bodies in every place; they shall cast them forth with silence” (Amos 8:2-3).

(Amos 7:17)

I.   First, the text applies to America and the Western world,
Matthew 24:37-39; Genesis 6:5-6, 13; Amos 8:2-3.

II.  Second, the text applies to every person who commits sin unto
death, I John 5:16; Proverbs 3:5.