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by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles Lord’s Day Evening, September 24, 2017

Please turn to Galatians 2:4. It’s on page 1242 of the Scofield Study Bible. I am just lifting out one phrase, “false brethren unawares brought in.” You may be seated.

“False brethren unawares brought in.” These false brethren seemed to be Christians, but their hearts had never been changed. They had never been converted. They seemed to be saved. They acted like they were saved at first. But they were only acting. They were only pretending to be Christians. They were “false brethren.” And these false Christians were brought into the church in Galatia “unawares.” They sneaked in. They learned the words a Christian should say, and they repeated them. They fooled the leaders of the church and were baptized into the membership of the church. But after a while it became clear that their hearts were not changed in a real conversion. But they brought bondage, confusion and sin into the church. Why? Because they were “false brethren unawares brought in.”

When they were tested it then became clear that they were “false brethren.” The Apostle Jude said, “certain men [have] crept in unnoticed....ungodly men” (Jude 4). They passed the test of words. They fooled the pastors by their words – but they could not fool them by their ungodly lives. They will “secretly bring in destructive [errors], even denying the Lord that bought them” (II Peter 2:1). They will speak lies which lead to divisions and ultimately to church splits! In the name of “love” they will lead members of the church into worldliness and sinful practices.

A certain church experienced revival and many people were saved. But a short time, a very short time, after the revival a girl who came in from the world had a very worldly wedding shower in that church. The couple showed a secular and worldly video in that shower. The pastor of that church spoke of the absence of God’s presence in that shower. He warned that the church would slide quickly into dead new-evangelicalism. Several Christians were so confused that they were angry at the pastor for saying that they had forgotten God so quickly after the revival. The assistant pastor said he felt like a lonely old-timer, calling for the old ways of that church, while a large group of younger people was “itching” to go into carnal new ways.

Some time later one of the young preachers preached a sermon which one of the lost people in the church thought was too hard. He said to the pastor, “It sounded like one of your sermons.” The pastor told him that the sermon was actually written by the assistant pastor, who followed the old way of hard preaching against sin. The lost man had come into the church, but he did not like the old way, even privately. If he is not converted, in the future he and others will encourage the younger preachers to speak more softly, and the church will sink quickly into weak new-evangelicalism. That is exactly what happened to my church after the old pastor was gone!

Still later, when I started preaching revival sermons, one man in the church attacked me like a roaring lion in front of nearly everyone in the church. The man was so angry over what I said that he pulled out his whole family and left our church.

Even more alarming was the reaction of our people after I preached a revival sermon last night. Only about 10 people said they would confess. All of them had already confessed. No newer person responded. And our people sat in their seats with no intention of coming. One man gave a so-called testimony in front of our church about some small unimportant thing. Then he said he did not like the revival emphasis. He did not like my revival preaching. What was it in my revival sermons he didn’t like? It was my insistence that God would not be present in the services if the people were not serious. He was powerfully agitated also when I told about Baiyang Zhang and Minh Vu missing their parents’ Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival to be in church. They both had come to church against the anger of their parents. Yet Jesus said, “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:37). The old standard of our church was once, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). The new standard that was brought in was that adult children had to miss church if their parents wanted them to work or be with them for a party. It should be remembered that Mr. Olivas, who split our church, hated the words of Jesus, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness.” People who followed Mr. Olivas quickly became weak new-evangelicals who refused to put Christ first in their lives!

Dr. John R. Rice said, “Jesus demands absolute surrender and unqualified obedience…Jesus Chris demands absolute surrender of everything that comes into [your] life if [you] would be His disciple…That means that the dear Lord Jesus demands first place, absolutely first place in the life of every Christian…To follow Jesus [you must be] a soul winner. He says to every Christian in the world – ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’” Dr. Chan said of Mrs. Hymers, “As a young woman she threw her life into the ministry of the church and held nothing back…Young people, you are the future of our church. Let Mrs. Hymers be a model to you. If you follow her example, our church has a bright and glorious future” (A Tribute to Mrs. Ileana Hymers).

What about the men in our church? Dr. A. W. Tozer said, “If evangelical Christianity is to stay alive she must have men again, the right kind of men. She must repudiate the weaklings who dare not speak out, and she must seek…men of the stuff prophets and martyrs are made of…They will be men of God and men of courage…Such men will be baptized with the Spirit, and through their labors He will baptize others and send the long delayed revival” (We Need Men of God Again). Stand and sing the last song on your song sheet, “Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken.”

Jesus, I my cross have taken, All to leave and follow Thee;
   Destitute, despised, forsaken, Thou, from hence, my all shalt be:
Perish every fond ambition, All I’ve sought, and hoped, and known;
   Yet how rich is my condition, God and Heaven are still my own.

Let the world despise and leave me, They have left my Saviour, too;
   Human hearts and looks deceive me; Thou art not, like man, untrue;
And, while Thou shalt smile upon me, God of wisdom, love, and might,
   Foes may hate, and friends may shun me; Show Thy face, and all is bright.

Man may trouble and distress me, ‘Twill but drive me to Thy breast;
   Life with trials hard may press me, Heaven will bring me sweeter rest.
O ‘tis not in grief to harm me, While Thy love is left to me;
   O ‘twere not in joy to charm me, Were that joy unmixed with Thee.

Haste thee on from grace to glory, Armed by faith and winged by prayer;
   Heaven’s eternal day’s before thee, God’s own hand shall guide thee there.
Soon shall close thy earthly mission, Swift shall pass thy pilgrim days,
   Hope shall change to glad fruition, Faith to sight, and prayer to praise.
(“Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken” by Henry F. Lyte, 1793-1847).

Now sing hymn number 24, “Bring Them In.” Sing the first and last stanzas.

Hark! ’tis the Shepherd’s voice I hear,
   Out in the desert dark and drear,
Calling the sheep who’ve gone astray
   Far from the Shepherd’s fold away.
Bring them in, bring them in,
   Bring them in from the fields of sin;
Bring them in, bring them in,
   Bring the wandering ones to Jesus.

Out in the desert hear their cry,
   Out on the mountains wild and high;
Hark! ’tis the Master speaks to thee,
   “Go find My sheep where’er they be.”
Bring them in, bring them in,
   Bring them in from the fields of sin;
Bring them in, bring them in,
   Bring the wandering ones to Jesus.
(“Bring Them In” by Alexcenah Thomas, 19th century).

Now think about the revival God sent us. Someone said they don’t like revival! That is a terrible thing to say! It is a blasphemy! Revival is God coming down to us. If you don’t like revival, it means you don’t like God, and you don’t want Him in your church or in your life!

Our church will die without a revival! The “touch” of revival will not save us. We must have more! We must have a “gullywasher” of revival. Isaiah quoted God Himself, who said,

“I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed…” (Isaiah 44:3)

That is what we desperately need if we want our church to live and to succeed. We must have a great outpouring of God’s Spirit in revival! How can we have such a revival?

1.   We must confess our sins.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us” (I John 1:9, 10).

2.  We must confess our faults to one another and pray for one another.

“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed” (James 5:16).

Sing hymn number 19, “Here is Love.”

Here is love, vast as the ocean, Lovingkindness as the flood,
   When the Prince of Life, our Ransom, Shed for us His precious Blood.
Who His love will not remember? Who can cease to sing His praise?
   He can never be forgotten, Throughout Heaven’s eternal days.

On the mount of crucifixion, Fountains opened deep and wide;
   Through the floodgates of God’s mercy Flowed a vast and gracious tide.
Grace and love, like mighty rivers, Poured incessant from above,
   And Heaven’s peace and perfect justice Kissed a guilty world in love.

Let me all Thy love accepting, Love Thee, ever all my days;    Let me seek Thy kingdom only And my life be to Thy praise;
Thou alone shalt be my glory, Nothing in the world I see.
   Thou hast cleansed and sanctified me, Thou Thyself hast set me free.

In Thy truth Thou dost direct me By Thy Spirit through Thy Word;
   And Thy grace my need is meeting, As I trust in Thee, my Lord.
Of Thy fullness Thou art pouring Thy great love and power on me,
   Without measure, full and boundless, Drawing out my heart to Thee.
(“Here is Love, Vast as the Ocean” by William Rees, 1802-1883).

While Miss Zabalaga plays that revival hymn, I want you to go two by two or three. Now pray for the person whose hands you are holding. Pray that God in a moment will help them to confess their faults one to another and give good testimonies of the revival. Our church is not clean enough! We must confess and pray for one another. Go ahead and pray as Miss Zabalaga plays that hymn (they pray). You may be seated.

Sing the first and last stanzas again. Now while she plays that hymn come up here, one by one, and give a confession or a testimony of the revival.

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Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“I'd Rather Have Jesus” (by George Beverly Shea, 1909-2013).