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by Mr. John Samuel Cagan

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Evening, January 15, 2017

“Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled” (Luke 14:23).

The world is changing. An entire generation is passing off the scene. The United States is divided. The world is in a state of anxiety and fear. The values of the average person are changing. When people once believed in ideas of heroism and sacrifice, they now reject them in favor of self-preservation. The world is changing. The role of the church is becoming less and less important. As one denomination after another dies, others begin the slow descent into disaster. The church has lost its impact on our culture. The churches are now powerless. One of the main reasons why churches are no longer powerful in our culture is that they do not evangelize young people from non-Christian backgrounds.

Very few churches go out and try to bring people in from the world. Pastors do not emphasize evangelizing the lost. Instead many pastors concentrate their efforts on stealing people from other churches. That is called sheep-stealing. That is not the case in our church. Our pastor, Dr. Hymers, has always made an all-out effort to inspire this church to win the lost! Dr. Hymers started this church without anyone to help him in his apartment in Westwood, California. Over many years, by the grace of God, he built our church a person at a time into what it is today. How did Dr. Hymers build a church that can support a ministry that affects the entire world? Dr. Hymers built this church with evangelism! Why is evangelizing non-Christians so important? I will give you three reasons tonight.

I. First, our church must evangelize the lost in order to live.

“Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled” (Luke 14:23).

Going out to evangelism is not a suggestion that Jesus gave to some of his disciples. When Christ said, “Go out” He was not speaking just to a specific person. Christ was giving this command to all of His followers. Some people have said that the church does not need to go out to evangelism. Some people believe that the church does not need to win the lost. They believe that God will draw in His elect without the efforts of the church. But there are others who are even worse, they just do not care! But this is not what Jesus taught!

Jesus did not say that we should sit in His house and wait for them to be drawn in! In the original Greek, the word “compel” carries with it a strength of action. The Greek word for “compel” means to “compel by force or persuasion” (Strong). Therefore the church must take action to evangelize the lost! The church must not allow the lost to pass through their life without ever having the chance to be in church and hear the Gospel!

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:19-20).

Neglecting to go out and evangelize the lost contradicts the Great Commission of Christ! Remember our great church split? It began when Mr. Olivas said that Dr. Hymers was wrong. He said that Matthew 28:19-20 applied only to the Apostles and not to every person in church. Despite the fact that only some will actually stay and be saved, it is the duty of the church to go out and evangelize the lost. A church that does not evangelize the lost is in disobedience to Christ. As long as the church is in disobedience to Christ by not evangelizing the lost, it cannot have the blessing of God.

Furthermore, without a constant presence of new people, the church will become stale and old. When a church has new people coming in, it brings an excitement along with it. When the Gospel is preached, one of those people might be saved! Christians in the church have the opportunity to see someone who they brought in transformed by the power of Christ into a new creature who loves to be in church! Christians have the chance to see someone that they prayed for and cared for, turned away from the world and into the kingdom of God through faith in Jesus! This keeps the church exciting! When new people are coming in, the church is alive and active for the cause of Christ!

“Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled” (Luke 14:23).

II. Second, evangelism causes a Christian to grow.

Some of you have been recently converted. What is the best thing to do upon being recently saved by the Blood of Christ? Should you sit at home and meditate on the details of your life? Should you read commentaries and Christian literature? Should you watch lectures on how to be a better Christian? The best thing you can do as a new Christian is to go out on evangelism!

The Bible tells of a man who could not walk and wanted to be healed. He had not been able to walk for thirty-eight years! Jesus met him and had compassion on him. Jesus told him,

“Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked” (John 5:8-9).

Jesus told the man to rise up and walk, and the man did so immediately! He did not sit there moving his toes or checking his legs to make sure that he could actually walk. He believed Jesus. He immediately got up, and took his bed, and walked!

If you have been recently converted, rise up, and walk! Do not sit there, waiting to become a mature Christian! Rise up, and walk! Get up, and go out to evangelism! Go out and bring names in at every opportunity! Stretch your spiritual muscles and make a difference in the life of someone else! Our pastor, Dr. Hymers, has said that nothing will make a Christian mature more quickly than evangelism and soul winning! He is absolutely right! Put your mind on other people! Go out on evangelism! Invest yourself in other people! Obey the command of Christ! Nothing will help you more in your Christian growth! Evangelism is critical for the growth of a Christian!

Others have been Christians for a longer period of time. These more experienced Christians have seen many people come in and out of the doors of the church. The zeal for evangelism has begun to weaken as if weakness was a part of the natural aging process of the Christian life. However, they would also admit after careful thought, that they were happier when they were first converted. They were happier when their lives were centered on pleasing Christ by doing more evangelism. However, the responsibilities of life have crowded out the time that they once dedicated to evangelism. Not being zealous to evangelize the lost, they lose the love they once had as Christians. Their weak efforts prove to be unfruitful. Over time, they lose faith in evangelism. But Jesus can make all things new.

If your evangelistic efforts brought in only one person that stayed in church all year, your life would be charged with new life and joy. If you go out to evangelism, looking for that one person, the person who will be the one who God used you to bring to church, and you will be once again excited to obey the command of Christ! It is possible! Because with God, all things are possible! Pray before you go to evangelism! Ask God to increase your faith before you go! Ask God to help you to reach that one person that will be the next brother or sister in our church! If you do it, you will never regret it! That will be one of the most precious and important experiences of your life. Because that will be one of the reasons why Jesus saved you! That will be one of the reasons why you were born.

“Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled” (Luke 14:23).

III. Third, evangelism saves young people from sin and Hell.

There are many students on the college campuses who will never have true meaning or purpose in life. They are struggling to find a place in this world through education. They are getting a degree to please their parents, to get a job, to make enough money to support a family – they are trying to make it. However, no matter how much they try to succeed academically, they will never find peace or meaning in their life. They will never be forgiven of their sin! They will never escape the eternal fire of Hell! They need Jesus Christ. They need forgiveness of sins. They should have brothers and sisters in Christ. They should be given a challenge to evangelize this lost world!

“Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled” (Luke 14:23).

It is up to you. Who else is reaching the lost? Who else is out on the streets, in the campuses, or in the malls trying to reach the lost? Our pastor can remember a time when you could not walk in downtown Los Angeles without receiving a Gospel tract. There was a time when every young person knew the great stories of the Bible. But that world is gone. The evangelical churches let it die. They did not evangelize young people. They did not care for the lost. They did not go out into the highways and hedges and compel them to come in. They sat where they were comfortable. They closed their evening services. They segregated their churches. They thought only of their own children, even as they lost 88% of them to the world. The churches forgot to evangelize the world, and now the world has turned its back on the church.

Today the average young person is a stranger to church. The average young person does not know the Gospel. The average young person does not think that someone out there cares for them. They think that they are for the most part alone in this world. But that is not true. The truth is that God loved each one of them so much that he sent His Son to die for their sins on the Cross! Who will go out and bring them in?

“Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled” (Luke 14:23).

It is up to you. It does not seem that the churches are going to change. The churches are committing suicide by turning their back on evangelism. But this church has an ambition to live! Therefore it is up to us to evangelize the lost! Not only is it our duty to evangelize the lost, but it is also our great opportunity.

Over many years, this church has learned how to reach out to young people. We meet them at the colleges. We meet the at the movie theaters. We meet them outside of coffee shops. We compel them to come in! We compel them to come into our church! We are going to go out on Wednesday, and on Thursday, and on Saturday, and on Sunday afternoon. We are going to go out on our personal time, when others resting and worrying about the death of American Christianity, this church is out trying to make a difference for Christ! We are out fighting the Battle for Evangelism!

We are surrounded on all sides. The threat of Islam is a specter hanging over the western world. Materialism chokes out the values of our people. Entertainment keeps us intoxicated enough to not sense our slow decline. Where can hope be found? As this age is going out in the blackness of apostasy, what must we do? Christianity in America is dying. The Devil has coaxed our churches into the sleep of death. But, “Do not go gentle, into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light” (Dylan Thomas). Churchill was surrounded on all sides. His war against Hitler’s mighty forces seemed long and hopeless. And yet, Churchill fought on, and his efforts won the war. And so also, we must fight the battle for evangelism, and we will win this war, a person at a time.

“Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled” (Luke 14:23).

We will win this war because Christ has already won us the victory! Jesus Christ won the victory when He died on the Cross for our sins and rose again on the third day! He conquered sin and death for us. He shed His Blood to pay the penalty for our sins. When you trust Christ, His Blood cleanses you from all sins! When you trust Jesus, He will save you! This is the Good News! Others need to know it! We need to share the hope that Jesus brings! Evangelize the world! Go out and bring them into church! Let them hear the Gospel of Christ! This is our Hope! This is the only Hope left in the world! This is the only Hope there ever was!

“Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled” (Luke 14:23).

“Onward, Christian Soldiers.” Stand and sing it.

Onward, Christian soldiers, Marching as to war,
   With the cross of Jesus Going on before;
Christ the royal Master Leads against the foe;
   Forward into battle, See His banners go.
Onward, Christian soldiers, Marching as to war,
   With the cross of Jesus Going on before.
(“Onward, Christian Soldiers” by Sabine Baring-Gould, 1834-1924).

WHEN YOU WRITE TO DR. HYMERS YOU MUST TELL HIM WHAT COUNTRY YOU ARE WRITING FROM OR HE CANNOT ANSWER YOUR E-MAIL. If these sermons bless you send an e-mail to Dr. Hymers and tell him, but always include what country you are writing from. Dr. Hymers’ e-mail is at (click here). You can write to Dr. Hymers in any language, but write in English if you can. If you want to write to Dr. Hymers by postal mail, his address is P.O. Box 15308, Los Angeles, CA 90015. You may telephone him at (818)352-0452.

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Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Matthew 28:18-20.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
      “Onward, Christian Soldiers” (by Sabine Baring-Gould, 1834-1924).




by Mr. John Samuel Cagan

“Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled” (Luke 14:23).

I.    First, our church must evangelize the lost in order to live,
Matthew 28:19-20.

II.   Second, evangelism causes a Christian to grow, John 5:8-9.

III.  Third, evangelism saves young people from sin and Hell, Luke 14:23.