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A SOFT AND VIOLENT SADNESS

by Mr. John Samuel Cagan

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Morning, April 30, 2017

“And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood [was stopped]” (Luke 8:43-44).


A woman had been terribly sick. She did everything she could to cure her disease. She went to doctors, but they could not cure her. She spent all the money she had in the world to cure her disease. She tried every treatment she could afford, but none could cure her. Under the care of the physicians of her time, she suffered through every solution they could offer. She was considered unclean by the Jewish people of her time. She lived in religious and social isolation. She was alone and no one could talk to her.

She had run out of options. She had run out of hope. She had no hope, until she saw Jesus. She saw Jesus in a crowd. She knew Jesus could cure her. She had to get to Jesus. She did not know if she could quite reach Jesus. He seemed so far away that it seemed impossible that she would ever be healed. But she had tried everything, and she knew the only person that could help her was Jesus. She fought through the crowd, and reached out to Jesus. She could not quite reach Jesus, but she could touch the border of His garment. The moment she touched the border of Christ’s garment, her sickness was cured, and Jesus made her whole. This story relates directly to you.

I. First, you are sick.

All of humanity is sick. Humanity has been infected with a sickness that has turned humanity on itself. As a result of this sickness, people hurt each other, take advantage of each other, and finally, destroy even themselves. The sickness is not a secret. Science and history have both encountered this sickness, although they may call it different names. This sickness is known by God as sin. Sin has infected all of humanity. Sin has infected you. The Bible says,

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

Everyone has been infected with the sickness of sin. Although sin is practiced and perfected throughout a lifetime, sin does not need to be learned. Sin naturally develops and festers within you. Sin affects everything that you do. When you are dishonest, it is evidence of the sickness of sin. When you watch pornography, it is because you are sinful. You do not become a sinner by doing things that are wrong. Your sickness of sin is inherited. You were born a sinner. You are a sinner, and it is because you are a sinner, that you do things that are wrong. Sin has infected your heart. In your silent thoughts, you want to do many terrible things that you do not do. You would be much worse than you are if you could get away with it. Your heart can imagine lies as easily as your lungs manufacture breath. Your heart allows you to desire terrible things in secret while simultaneously disguising yourself as a good person. You are infected by sin, and sin is what makes people selfish, deceitful, and ugly. The Bible says,

“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away” (Isaiah 64:6).

Sin is a sickness. Sin has symptoms as well as effects. As a result of sin, people are often deeply unhappy in their own lives. People are ashamed, depressed, and in pain as a result of sin. In moments of quiet reflection, you can sometimes sense a darkness inside you. From time to time, you can feel within you the gloom that seems to accompany the absence of innocence. Your life is choked by an empty feeling that can almost not be described. You have felt the symptoms of sin. At times, you have felt deep within yourself, the gravity of your condition, as it pulls at you with a soft and violent sadness. You have had moments in which you felt this way, but somehow you knew that you could not live feeling this way for very long. Almost as if responding to a survival instinct, you began to seek treatment. And just as the rest of the world has, you began to seek the treatments that can be found in this world.

“And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any” (Luke 8:43).

II. Second, you have searched for treatments for your sickness.

There have been many treatments that have been offered for the symptoms of sin. People have learned to drown out the symptoms of sin with the enjoyments of pleasure. All over the world, people take drugs to escape the symptoms of sin. Something about being alive is so dissatisfying, and a pill, or a needle, or a bottle, can make it all go away, if only for a little while. You may also lose yourself in pleasure, as a method of evading the symptoms of sin. Your drug of choice may not be heroin or alcohol, but whatever it may be, it is a treatment, and it is addictive.

Treatments of pleasure are presented in many disguises. People today are addicted to the pleasures of the virtual world. A recent study discussed in Business Insider found that the average person touches their smartphone 2,000 to 5,000 times every single day. People are addicted to the rush of information, communication, and exploration that technology offers them. They are constantly overwhelmed with data, so that they never have to think – to feel the symptoms of sin.

You also have a smartphone in your pocket. In every free moment, you lose yourself in your phone. In the spaces between deliberate actions, you unintentionally pull it out of your pocket. You have an escape. You have a treatment. You are treating the symptoms of sin, but you have not cured them.

“And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any” (Luke 8:43).

Technology gives you access to another world. Technology allows you to find a world that seems to be more desirable than the one you were born into. People spend hours every day on social media websites. People take ten or fifteen or twenty pictures of themselves, before they can find their perfect presentation of self to enshrine in their virtual reality. They present themselves, as something they do not believe themselves to be. They carefully craft each picture and each post, so that the world can see some ideal version of who they are.

You have a Facebook account. You have an Instagram account. You also spend time, selecting the best angles and features of yourself, so the world does not see the person you know yourself to be. If you do it just right, maybe the world can convince you that you are beautiful, that you are good, that you are not suffering from the symptoms of sin. You have found a treatment, but you have not been cured.

“And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any” (Luke 8:43).

Notice how busy your life has become. Feeling your true condition takes time. Therefore in an effort to escape your true condition, you schedule your life to be devoid of time entirely. Even your free time is not free. Your consciousness is overloaded with distraction. You spend hours each day playing video games. Your virtual world has invaded the real one. While you are sitting in class, or in traffic, or in this sermon, you are thinking about getting home, and playing video games, just a little bit more. You are too busy to feel the soft and violent sadness in your life. You are too busy to grip the reality of your own situation

.

You have lost entire days in front of a computer screen. You did not like what it felt like to sit alone with your own mind, and so you keep the constant company of the Internet. You cannot stop for even a moment because you are always plugged in. You are plugged into music, into video games, into the Internet, into pleasurable experiences, into anything but the reality of life. You tell yourself, that you are not really afraid of the symptoms of sin. You do all of the things that you do because of boredom. You do these things, because they are fun, not because you need to. And yet, if you stopped to notice how hard you were chasing fun, you might notice that you are running for your life. There is no time to worry or care, because you have designed your life to be too busy. The Bible says,

“Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind.” (Ecclesiastes 4:6).

You tell yourself that you cannot help but be so busy. You have a midterm, and then a project, and then a job. This will not someday change. You will always stay this busy. You need your life to be this way. You believe that somewhere out there in your future, you will be different. You believe you will graduate, and start to make money, and you will finally be someone who you are proud to be. But no matter where you graduate from, no matter how much money you make, you will not be satisfied, and it will never be enough. The Bible says,

“As he came forth of his mother's womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his hand” (Ecclesiastes 5:15).

Your hopes will amount to nothing for you. No amount of money, and no perfect job will suddenly award you with the purest experience of living that your soul hungers for. Your life will never satisfy you. You are not happy. You are suffering from the symptoms of sin, and you are treating it. You are treating the symptoms of sin, but you will never find the cure.

“And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any” (Luke 8:43).

No treatments will ever amount to a cure for sin. All of the pleasure in the world will never cure your disease of sin. All of the money in the world put together would never buy a cure. An old song puts it like this,

Acres of diamonds, mountains of gold,
   Rivers of silver, jewels untold,
All these together couldn't buy you or me
   Peace when we're sleeping, or a conscience that's free.
(“Acres of Diamonds” by Arthur Smith, 1959).

You do not need more treatments for your sickness of sin. The treatments you try one after the other only manage your symptoms. The treatments manage the symptoms, but do not address the sickness. You will continue in your treatments until you have exhausted all of the life that you have. And someday, suddenly, it will be too late. Your disease of sin has gotten worse, and will continue to get worse. Your sickness is chronic, and malignant, and terminal. This sickness of sin will destroy you. The Bible says,

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

You need a cure for your sickness. You need the only cure there is. You need Jesus Christ.

III. Third, the cure for your sickness of sin is Jesus.

The cure for your sickness of sin must go deeper than superficial treatments. Just as the woman in our text did, you must turn away from the treatments, and turn to Jesus.

“And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood [was stopped]” (Luke 8:43-44).

This woman had tried everything that she could, and nothing cured her sickness, until she turned to Jesus. Though many tried, nobody else could cure her. She turned to Jesus with her last desperate hope, and Jesus cured her. Jesus is the only cure for the sickness of sin. Only Jesus can cure the sickness of your sin, because only Jesus died for your sin. Jesus is perfect in every way. Jesus is the spotless, sinless Lamb who carried the weight of your sin on His body to the Cross. He was nailed to a Cross to atone for your sin. Jesus shed His Blood as the antidote for your sin. The Bible says,

“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:4-5).

Jesus did all of this because He loves you. Jesus died for your sins so that your sickness of sin could be cured. You are a sinner. You have tried the treatments. The treatments have not cured your sin. No dosage of any treatment will cure you. You are suffering from the deadly disease of sin. You must be convinced that you are sick. Unless you know you are sick, you will be persuaded that the absence of symptoms proves that you do not need a cure. But you do need a cure. Jesus said,

“They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Mark 2:17).

You must see and feel the realities of your sickness of sin. And once you have felt them, do not turn to any treatment, turn to the cure. Turn away from masking the symptoms of sin, and turn to Jesus. Only Jesus can save you from sin. The salvation that Jesus offers is not earned. The woman was healed, pardoned from sin, and saved by Jesus. She did not pay for her cure. She did not persuade Jesus to cure her. It seemed like she could not reach Jesus, but she reached toward Him all the same. She reached toward Jesus, and touched the border of His garment, and was saved by faith! Though you cannot reach Jesus, reach out toward Him! Though you feel you cannot quite get to Jesus, reach out in faith to Christ, and He will save you! Trust Jesus by faith, and He will save you! Trust Jesus, and be cured from the sickness of sin. Amen.


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 rlhymersjr@sbcglobal.net (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.

(END OF SERMON)
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Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Mr. Noah Song: Luke 8:43-48.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” (by Helen H. Lemmel, 1863-1961).


THE OUTLINE OF

A SOFT AND VIOLENT SADNESS

by Mr. John Samuel Cagan

“And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood [was cured]” (Luke 8:43-44).

I.    First, you are sick, Romans 3:23; Isaiah 64:6.

II.   Second, you have searched for treatments for your sickness,
Ecclesiastes 4:6; 5:15; Romans 6:23.

III.  Third, the cure for your sickness of sin is Jesus, Isaiah 53:4-5;
Mark 2:17.