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HE WHO HESITATES IS LOST

A sermon written by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.
and preached by Rev. John Samuel Cagan
at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Morning, September 9, 2018

“How long halt ye (will you hesitate) between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word” (I Kings 18:21).


The people of Israel were hesitating. They were halting between two opinions. They would not make up their mind whether to follow God or Baal (Satan). You are like them this morning. You are half in and half out. You are hesitating about becoming a real Christian. I say, “How long halt ye between two opinions?”

I. First, why have you hesitated so far?

Do you feel that God will ask something that you do not want to give? Have you stopped to count the cost and discovered that maybe God will ask too much of you? Do you think God requires something unreasonable from you? The Devil told you that God is going to hurt you. The Devil is a liar. The Bible says that the Devil is crafty (Genesis 3:1). The Bible says that the Devil disguises himself as an angel of light (II Corinthians 11:14). Have you been tricked by the deceitful Devil into believing that God is going to ask you to do something horrible for him? What would that even be?

Could it be that God is going to “force” you to marry someone you do not want to marry? Could it be that God is going to “force” you to quit your job or to leverage you into some kind of torturous life? Do you think of God as some malevolent figure who wants to do damage to your life? Jesus said, “Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Unless you believe that the Devil tells you the truth while the Son of God lies to you, why do you continue to hesitate believing that God will ask too much of you?

Why do you hesitate? Is it because you haven’t been told what to do? Can you really claim ignorance to the Gospel when you have heard it so many times preached here in this church? If you have not heard it, it is because you have resisted it by closing your eyes and your mind and your heart to the preaching of God’s Word. Nevertheless, even now you are being told what to do. Do not hesitate, trust Jesus the Son of God who died for you! Do not wait. You are commanded to respond to the Gospel’s call! “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).

Why do you continue to hesitate? Is your life too busy for a moment’s trust in Jesus? Do you hesitate because you haven’t had the time? But yet, you devote hours to things that do you no good in this life and will only serve to damn you in the next. You invest time into lost friends, video games, the Internet, and having a good time, but never into the salvation of your soul. You do have the time for the most important thing in the world. But why do you hesitate?

Is it because salvation is not important? You have trivialized salvation so long that it no longer holds the weight it once did in your life. At one time you may have thought about it, but now you can’t spare it a passing thought. Salvation is not subjectively important to you. What a horrible mistake. What a terrible error. You are living on the edge of Hell day after day and yet you cannot feel its heat. Your life is on fire. The embers have been stoked into flames and they begin to consume you past all reconciliation. The Rescuer calls to you to leap to Him. Jesus calls you to flee your life of sin and leap into His arms. But you do not think it is important. You sleep on as the fires creep all around you, slowly at first, until finally they are all around you. Salvation is freely offered to you. Why do you hesitate?

Have you decided to die without Christ? Have you counted the cost and decided to pay with your life? Have you admitted to yourself that Jesus really is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6) but that you will not have Him? Are you so stupidly stubborn that you choose to die endlessly for nothing but pride? Pharaoh also resisted God. Pharaoh was also proud and stubborn, and Pharaoh died and went to Hell because he would not repent, he would not obey God, and now it is all over for him. Stop hesitating. Stop waiting. Repent, and trust Jesus. Why do you hesitate?

Is it because you intend to sin? Are there sins you still want to try? Do you intend to sell your soul for a little bit of fun? Why do you hesitate? Is it because you want freedom to leave the church whenever you want? Are you thinking about leaving the church and diving headfirst into the world?

And what will happen to you after you have had your sex and your money and your drugs? “What shall it profit a man if he should gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:36-37). The attraction of sin is very strong. It has destroyed the lives of people for generations before you were ever born. Not only will it take your life, but it will also take your soul. You will have some fun for a while, but it will be empty, and soon it will grow old, and then you will have nothing but scars and debt and a looming date in which you must stand before God and give an account for what you have done. Do not hesitate in sin. Flee to Christ who paid for your sin with His Blood. Flee to Christ, or else you yourself must pay for your sin in eternity.

Why do you hesitate? Is it because you do not know what to do? Is it because you would rather go to Hell than to Heaven? Is it because you don’t care that Jesus died for you? Will indifference be the reason that you lose your soul forever? Are you so afraid to commit to being a Christian that you commit your soul to being an enemy of God? Halting between two opinions is an opinion. You are not hedging your bets, you are going “All In” on sin and Hell and God will judge you for it. He who hesitates is lost.

So why do you continue to hesitate? Is it because you want to go on and on in the counseling rather than joining the church? There is a danger to staying outside the camp of God. You stay in the church that way, but you also stay under greater and ever increasing condemnation. Why do you hesitate? Is it because you don’t think you have offended a Holy God with your sins? Or maybe you do not want to be confronted with your sins by the Holy Spirit? So you will not endure the birth pangs of the new birth in Christ. You will wait and keep on waiting and then you will go to Hell.

“How long halt ye (will you hesitate) between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word” (I Kings 18:21).

II. Second, how long do you plan on hesitating?

How long do you plan on hesitating? Are you waiting for a better sermon to teach you something new? Is there some secret that you do not yet know that you think will unlock you from your hesitation? Are you waiting to learn something else? You have been told not to ask or commit, but simply to believe in Jesus. What more can we say? You have been encouraged to come to Christ. You have been exhorted to come to Christ. You are already called away from the world and into Christ in every imaginable way. What are you waiting for? THERE IS NOTHING LEFT TO LEARN OR TO HEAR! You know enough! He who hesitates is lost.

“How long halt ye (will you hesitate) between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word” (I Kings 18:21).

How long do you plan on hesitating? Are you waiting for a better heart? Are you waiting for more conviction of sin? Are you waiting to examine yourself some more? Is there some deeper, more powerful experience that you believe will ensure your conversion? Yet God calls you now to turn to Christ. The Bible says, “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (II Corinthians 6:2). The time is now! Do not wait for deeper conviction, because it is not conviction that saves you. No matter how strong your conviction, it will never save you, because only Christ can save you. But he who hesitates is lost.

How long will you wait? Are you waiting to see that maybe the world might be right? Maybe the world does have something to offer? Maybe there is some fun that you could have that you might miss out on? Are you waiting to offend God more and more? The more you wait the larger your record before God becomes. You must have the Blood of Christ applied to your record so that your sin can be covered. Do not wait any longer, or else you might wait so long that it will become too late.

If the Saviour has called you to return from your wandering,
If the Spirit has pleaded that you turn from your sin;
If the knock at your heart’s door so insistent continues,
Oh refuse Him no longer; Let him quickly come in!


[Or] 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).

“How long halt ye (will you hesitate) between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word” (I Kings 18:21).

III. Third, what will you say when you are asked the question – “How long halt ye between two opinions?”

How long will you wait? If Jesus is the Lord, believe in Him. If Satan is the Lord, believe in him. Commit to one or the other. You are holding yourself back in misery! What will you say when you are asked, “How long will you hesitate between two opinions?”

“And the people answered him not a word.”

They did not answer because they continued to hesitate. There is an old saying, “He who hesitates is lost.” If you hesitate:


1.  You will be lost if you wait until the Spirit is gone.

2.  You will be lost if you wait until the Christians are gone – in the
Rapture.

3.  You will be lost if you wait until you die.

“How long halt ye (will you hesitate) between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word” (I Kings 18:21).

You do not need to hesitate in your sin waiting to see what will happen to you. You try one thing after another waiting to find some answer but you do not get any closer to salvation. Your hesitation only brings you farther and farther away from Christ. Do not wait for the right sermon or the right feeling or to have finished sampling the tastes of sin. Do not flirt with everlasting destruction. Flee to Jesus Christ and be saved! You will continue in your hesitation until you have exhausted all of the life that you have. And someday, suddenly, it will be too late. Your sin will get worse, and will continue to get worse. Your 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 Saviour. You need the only Saviour there is. You need Jesus Christ. Jesus loves you. He bled and died on the Cross to pay the penalty for your sin. Jesus rose from the grave on the third day. He ascended into Heaven and now sits at the right hand of God. He is alive. He is ready to forgive all of your sin. All you have to do is stop waiting and hesitating and holding back and trust Him. All you have to do come to Jesus by faith, and Christ will save you. Amen.


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(END OF SERMON)
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Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“If You Linger Too Long” by Dr. John R. Rice (1895-1980).


THE OUTLINE OF

HE WHO HESITATES IS LOST

A sermon written by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.
and preached by Rev. John Samuel Cagan

“How long halt ye (will you hesitate) between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word” (I Kings 18:21).

I.    First, why have you hesitated so far? Genesis 3:1;
II Corinthians 11:14; Matthew 11:28; Acts 16:31;
John 14:6; Mark 8:36, 37;

II.   Second, how long do you plan on hesitating? II Corinthians 6:2.

III.  Third, what will you say when you are asked the question –
“How long halt ye between two opinions?” Romans 6:23.