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by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Morning, May 31, 2015

“And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself” (Colossians 1:20).

When I was a little boy we were constantly afraid of nuclear war. I can remember lying in bed in my grandmother’s house listening to airplanes flying overhead. I would lie there and sweat under the covers. I thought one of those planes was going to drop an atomic bomb on us. I laid there twisting and turning until my stomach was in knots.

You young people today don’t have those fears. But you’re afraid of many other things. You’re afraid people won’t like you. You’re afraid of making bad grades in school. You’re afraid you will fail in life. Most young people have many fears today.

An increasing number of young people take drugs trying to find inner peace. Sociologists are alarmed by the fact that thousands of little children are on prescription medications. They cannot control themselves. They have no peace – even in childhood. Teenagers turn to alcohol and drugs seeking inner peace. Suicide is the number-two cause of deaths among college-age young people. Depression and loneliness are common traits among young people today. But with all our technology, science, drugs, iPhones, and computer games, inner peace seems impossible for many. The Bible says, “They shall seek peace, and there shall be none” (Ezekiel 7:25).

Young people are afraid of failing in life. They are afraid they can’t make it. They’re afraid they’ll never find the right person to marry. They are afraid they’ll never be truly happy. They are lonely. And many young people are afraid of death. And nothing they do seems to help them find inner peace.

You can get drunk or stoned – but the fear is still there, underneath. You can go to a night club and dance for hours. You can have sex, but the fear is still there, underneath. You can play video games for hours. You can text and twitter and play with a cell phone for hours. But the fear is still there – underneath. You are still afraid that you’ll never find real happiness. Isn’t it true that you don’t have the peace in your heart that you know you should have?

Now it may seem strange to you that I am preaching about peace from the account of Christ’s crucifixion. There seems to be nothing peaceful about the bloody scene of Christ’s death on the Cross. But this passage of Scripture is about peace. It tells us a great deal about having real peace. Our text says,

“And, having made peace through the blood of his cross”
       (Colossians 1:20).

The crucifixion of Christ tells us several things about finding peace.

I. First, there is no peace to the wicked.

The Bible says, “There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked” (Isaiah 57:21). We see that in the account of Christ’s death on the Cross. The people who gazed on Christ as He hung on that cross were full of anger, bitterness and unbelief. They did not know “the way of peace” (Romans 3:17). That crowd had no peace in their hearts.

There were the soldiers, the Roman centurions. They nailed Jesus to the Cross and then they knelt down and threw dice, gambling for the cloak that Christ had worn. They were hard, calloused men. Crucifixion was their business. They nailed people to crosses nearly every day. It was the Roman method of execution, and they were the executioners. Their hearts were so hardened and their consciences were so hard that they laughed when Jesus cried out in pain as the nails tore through the flesh of His hands and feet. The Bible says, “The soldiers also mocked him” (Luke 23:36).

There are people like that today. Hardened, cold, wicked, angry people – all around us. Maybe you’re like that. The whole idea of religion is one big joke to you. “What a laugh!” you may say. You think Christianity is for old ladies and little kids, not for a smart person like you. Like those Roman soldiers, your heart is so hardened that you can sin without feeling guilty. Your conscience never bothers you – no matter what sin you commit.

But somehow you have not found peace. Outwardly, everyone thinks you feel OK. But inside you are empty and lonely and afraid.

“There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked” (Isaiah 57:21).

Then, there were “two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand and another on the left” (Matthew 27:38). The Bible tells us that they mocked Jesus and yelled at Him. The Bible says, “They that were crucified with him reviled (or insulted) him” (Mark 15:32). They, too, had found no peace, and they took their anger out on the crucified Saviour.

You may say, “Why would those thieves do that? Weren’t they dying too? Why would a dying man insult Jesus?” That’s a good question. But people do it all the time. You see, we are all going to die. If you live seventy more years, it will go by more quickly than you ever imagined. All of us are going to die fairly soon. And yet some of you mock. You insult Christ just like those thieves did.

And you will leave this service and go back and talk bad about everything you heard here today. And your lost friends and relatives will agree with you. They’ll say, “Don’t go back there to that Baptist church. Don’t become a fanatic. Don’t let that old preacher brainwash you. Don’t believe everything he says. Don’t go back there!” That’s what your lost friends and your lost parents and relatives often say. And many of you will laugh and joke with them about what you heard in this sermon. And you’ll be just like those two thieves who insulted Christ. Later that day one of them was converted and became a Christian, but the other one died mocking Christ. “There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked” (Isaiah 57:21).

And then there were the religious leaders. The Bible says,

“The chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others, himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him” (Matthew 27:41-42).

Those priests and Bible teachers thought they knew everything. You’ll find college professors, or Catholic priests and Protestant preachers just like them in this city. They may pay lip service to Christ, but they will tell you that you don’t need to be converted. They’ll say, “Don’t listen to that crazy preacher. You’re OK just as you are.”

But they are as wrong as the priests and Bible teachers that stood near the Cross mocking Christ. You do need Christ. You do need to be converted. Nothing but a thoroughgoing conversion can give you peace with God.

“There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked” (Isaiah 57:21).

II. Second, there is peace for those who put their trust in Jesus Christ.

Our text says:

“And, having made peace through the blood of his cross…” (Colossians 1:20).

Notice how many people found peace that day when Christ died on the Cross.

There was Christ’s mother, Mary. She had never fully understood the mission of her Son. Oh yes, she remembered the angel. She remembered His strange birth. She knew He was different, that God had called Him. But the Bible shows that she did not fully understand Christ’s mission and destiny. The Bible says that Christ’s own half-brothers did not believe in Him until after He rose from the dead (John 7:5). In the third chapter of Mark we are told that His relatives tried to stop Him from preaching and called Him insane. Then His half-brothers and His mother came to stop Him or get Him to “cool down” His message. But Christ said, “Whosoever will do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother” (Mark 3:35).

Dr. J. Vernon McGee said,

The Lord is saying that the strongest relationship today is the relationship between Christ and a believer. Friend, if you are a child of God and you have unsaved family members, you are closer to Jesus Christ than you are to your own kin, including the mother that bore you. You are more closely related to other believers than you are to unsaved members of your [own] family (Thru the Bible, volume IV, p. 70, notes on Matthew 12:46-49).

The mother of Christ was there the day they crucified Him. She was standing there, looking up at her Son hanging on the Cross. And Jesus looked down at her, and then He looked at the Apostle John. And he told John to take care of His mother (John 19:26).

Christ’s mother and brothers experienced Him fully after His resurrection from the dead. And His mother found tremendous peace by believing in her Son, Jesus. And you can have that same peace and forgiveness when you trust in Jesus Christ, like she did.

The second thief, hanging on the cross next to Christ, also found peace by trusting Jesus. He had mocked Christ all morning just like the other thief. But as the day wore on, he began to listen to Christ. He heard Christ’s seven words from the Cross. He listened to Jesus as He preached a sermon from the Cross.

Early in the afternoon, this second thief was converted. He experienced faith in Jesus Christ and was born again. That thief looked over to Jesus hanging on His Cross of Blood. And that thief said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy Kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:42-43). He had peace with God by trusting Jesus.

And we can learn a great deal about becoming a Christian from that thief. He did not become a Christian by changing his life or by being baptized. He was dying, nailed to a cross. He had no time to change his life or get baptized. It was too late. He only had time to trust Jesus. He threw himself on the Son of God by faith. He trusted Jesus with all his heart. And his simple trust in Christ was enough. Jesus saved him, and he experienced peace with God.

And Jesus can save you also, when you trust Him. It’s not just believing things about Christ. It isn’t enough to believe that He died for your sins or that He rose from the dead. Those are doctrines, and doctrines alone cannot save you. The Bible says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31). And you can believe on Jesus Himself, as this thief did. And when you put your complete faith in Christ, he will save you also. He will wash your sins away in His Blood and you will be saved from the torments of sin.

III. Third, there is peace with God through Christ.

That’s what the Bible is talking about here in our text. It’s talking about reconciliation with God – peace with God.

“And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself” (Colossians 1:20).

The Bible teaches that mankind rebelled against God. Adam rebelled. His sin ruined human nature. The Bible teaches that we are sinners by nature. We inherited our sinful nature from Adam.

And sin has cut you off from God. That’s why God doesn’t seem real to you. You are cut off from God by your sin. The Bible says:

“Your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you” (Isaiah 59:2).

There’s a separation between you and God. You are separated, cut off from God, by your sin.

Since you are a sinner by nature, there is nothing you can do to save yourself. Because you are hopelessly lost in sin, you cannot do anything to escape from sin. Nothing you do or say can save you from sin and judgment. God had to take the initiative. The Bible gives the only answer to the problem of your sin.

“God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

God sent Christ down from Heaven to die on the Cross to pay for your sins – to reconcile you to God, and give you peace with God.

How can God be just – true to Himself in His holiness – and yet forgive and justify a sinner like you? The only solution was for Jesus to die on that Cross to make a payment for your sins by His death, and to wash your sins away with His Blood. His death and His Blood make it possible for you to be reconciled – to be brought back into a right relationship to God.

You can be reunited with God through the Blood of Christ. The Bible says,

“Now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh [near] by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:13).

The Bible says,

“We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”
       (Romans 5:1).

“And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself” (Colossians 1:20).

Mr. Griffith sang a hymn a few minutes ago. It was all about the Blood of Jesus cleansing people from their sins. What do you need to do to receive the peace that Christ offers through His Blood?

First, you need to keep coming to church. The longer you come here, the greater your chance of believing the Gospel and being converted. Conversion isn’t just saying a quick prayer or simply memorizing a verse, or just learning a doctrine or two. Conversion changes the whole direction of your life, right now, and for all eternity. And the longer you keep coming to church, to hear this kind of sermon preached, the greater your chances of being converted to Christ.

People will try to get you to stop coming. The Devil will use them because he doesn’t want you to be converted. The Devil wants you for himself – in Hell. So he will get your lost friends and lost relatives to try and stop you from coming back to this church.

One young man was driving without a license. His family are new-evangelicals. They were supposedly “saved” in 1998. But this young man came to our church for a few Sundays. His new-evangelical brothers tried to stop him. They wanted him to work instead. Like so many new-evangelicals and Pentecostals, they lied to him. They said, “You don’t have go to church to be a Christian.” That’s a lie! It’s one of the biggest lies the Devil tells people today. You can’t back it up with Scripture because it isn’t Scriptural. The Bible says, “And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved” (Acts 2:47). That’s the truth! It’s a lie to say you don’t have to be in church to be a Christian! If you come to this church you will repeatedly hear the Gospel and it will make it far more likely that you will be saved.

Those new-evangelicals tried their best to get this young man to stop coming. He was driving without a license, delivering things. But he stopped doing it on Sunday and did it on Saturday so he could come to church. The police stopped him on Saturday and gave him a ticket for driving without a license. Those new-evangelical brothers blew up! They shouted, “Stop going to that Baptist church. If you’d been driving on Sunday, like you were supposed to, you wouldn’t have got a ticket!”

When Dr. Cagan heard about that he said, “Don’t the police stop people and give tickets on Sunday too?” Of course they do. But these lost evangelicals wouldn’t use logic. They just used any stupid argument they could think of to keep that young man from coming back and getting saved – to keep him from becoming a real Christian. So, that’s number one. Keep coming back here to church. Don’t let anything stop you!

Then, secondly, listen carefully as I preach the Gospel of Christ. Your eternal soul depends on listening to the Gospel and obeying it. Listen to these Gospel sermons as though your life depended on it – because it does depend on it!

And then, thirdly, come to Jesus Christ. He is not dead. He has risen. He is alive in Heaven, at the right hand of God. And you can come to Jesus, the Son of God, and He will save you and forgive you and convert you. Throw yourself on Jesus by faith! His precious Blood will cleanse you from all sin!

“And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself” (Colossians 1:20). 

Heavenly Father, I pray that someone listening to this sermon will come to Thy Son and be saved. Amen!

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Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Mr. Abel Prudhomme: Luke 23:33-43.
Solo Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“Saved by the Blood of the Crucified One” (by S. J. Henderson, 1902).



by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself” (Colossians 1:20).

(Ezekiel 7:25)

I.   First, there is no peace for the wicked, Isaiah 57:21;
Romans 3:17; Matthew 27:38; Mark 15:32; Matthew 27:41-42.

II.  Second, there is peace for those who trust Jesus, Colossians 1:20;
John 7:5; Mark 3:35; Luke 23:42-43; Acts 16:31.

III. Third, there is peace with God through Jesus, Isaiah 59:2;
Romans 5:8; Ephesians 2:13; Romans 5:1; Colossians 1:20;
Acts 2:47.