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WILL YOU BE LEFT BEHIND?

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Evening, September 16, 2018

“Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come” (Matthew 24:42).


Nearly every newspaper I read has something in it related to Bible prophecy, and the end of the world as we know it. These are signs God has given to show us how little time we have left before our world comes to an end.

Listen to these headlines from the Daily News here in Los Angeles.

Bridges Falling Into Ruins. More than a quarter of the nation’s bridges are too weak, dilapidated or overburdened for their current traffic according to federal records that detail an American road system that hasn’t kept pace.

America is the greatest nation on earth, but we can’t even keep our roads and bridges operating!

Drug Deficit Hits Hospitals. Hospitals nationwide are rationing adult tetanus shots…because of a huge shortage of the crucial vaccine. It’s one of the worst drug shortages facing hospitals in years – and don’t expect it to be the last. Shortages of medications that hospitals use every day are [now] occurring with more frequency, and worse, they more often involve products with few good alternatives…[it] haunts doctors and pharmacists struggling to cope…Hospitals are feeling shortages sooner than ever before because, faced with steep medical costs, most now keep only a few days’ supply in inventory.

Kilimanjaro Ice Field Melting. The white ice atop Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro [is] disappearing, the victim of a process shrinking mountain glaciers everywhere. The ice caps are melting due to “climate change” that threatens the whole world tonight!

Great Earthquakes leave most people in great fear!

Car Bomb Explodes in Jerusalem. A car bomb exploded in a strictly Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem, shaking buildings and sending chunks of metal hurtling through the air.

These may seem like random events. But those who know about Bible prophecy realize that they are signs that we are now living in the last days. The end of the world as we know it appears to be very near to those who understand the prophecies of the Bible.

Jesus said:

“Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come” (Matthew 24:42).

Jesus warned against setting dates (Matthew 24:36; Acts 1:7). But He told us to watch for general signs of the approaching end. I believe that we are now living in that time. The Bible teaches that the end is near.

The Bible teaches that Christ is coming in the air. The living and dead, who are truly converted Christians, will be raised to meet Him in the sky (ref. I Thessalonians 4:14-18). Some who don’t believe the Bible mock at this prophecy in the Bible. They laugh and say that it will never happen. But they are wrong. One day soon the rapture will occur. And you will be left behind!

Let us think briefly about three things connected with the rapture.

I. First, the conditions before the rapture.

The Bible tells us exactly what it will be like in the world right before the rapture. Jesus said:

“But as the days of Noe (Noah) were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe (Noah) entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matthew 24:37-39).

Noah was a preacher of righteousness (II Peter 2:5). He warned his generation that judgment was coming. But people laughed at him and made fun of his message. They did not listen. They went right on with their materialistic, sinful lives.

That’s the way it is today. Someone brings you to church. You hear the sermon. Then you go right back to your old way of living. You don’t repent. You don’t trust Jesus Christ. When we phone you, you don’t come back to this church.

You want to have fun. To use Dr. A. W. Tozer’s memorable phrase, you think the world is “a playground instead of a battleground.” You think of life as a sort of Disneyland. You think the whole purpose of your life is to have “fun.” You refuse to make time for God in church every Sunday. When any little thing comes up, you miss church. You are not converted. You are not a real Christian. When death comes for you, you will not be ready. When the rapture comes, you will be left behind! As Mr. Griffith sang a moment ago, “The Son has come, and you’ve been left behind.”

Jesus said:

“Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come” (Matthew 24:42).

II. Then, secondly, think of the danger of being unprepared for the rapture.

Please turn to Matthew, chapter 25. It’s on page 1035 in the Scofield Study Bible. The old preachers all said that the virgins in the passage referred to people being unprepared to meet Christ. And I am convinced they were right.

In this passage, Jesus gave a parable, a story illustrating a great spiritual truth. What is the great truth He was speaking about? Look at Matthew 25:13. Jesus said:

“Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 25:13).

So, this passage is a warning to you!

Five of these virgins are prepared. They are ready for the coming of Christ. But the other five are not ready when He comes. It is dangerous to go into too much detail in understanding a parable. The simple message of the passage is this: many people will not be ready when Jesus comes in the rapture.

Now look at verse ten:

“And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came: and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut” (Matthew 25:10).

After the true Christians are raptured, the door will be shut, just as the door of Noah’s Ark was shut. No more people will get in. “And the door was shut.”

Look at verse 11,

“Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not” (Matthew 25:11-12).

And then, in verse 13, Jesus makes this application to you:

“Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 25:13).

We know the general period of time, but not the day or the hour.

And when that day and hour comes, it will be too late for you. As Mr. Griffith sang before this sermon, “The Son has come, and you’ve been left behind.”

III. Then, thirdly, those who are left behind at the rapture will be given up
by God. They will be reprobate, not able to be saved.

Listen to Revelation, chapter sixteen. In this passage we learn of the wrath of God, which will be poured out on the Christ-rejecting world after the rapture. Verse two tells us they will have painful sores. Verse four tells us the world’s water supply will be poisoned. Verse eight tells us that mankind will be scorched with fire. Verse ten tells us that there will be great darkness and that people will gnaw on their tongues for pain. Verse eighteen tells us there will be great earthquakes. Verse twenty-one tells us that there will be “great hail,” meteorites falling from the sky.

Will the people turn to Christ when all this happens? NO! Listen to the end of verse nine:

“They repented not to give him glory” (Revelation 16:9).

And verse eleven:

“And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds” (Revelation 16:11).

And the end of verse twenty-one:

“[They] blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great” (Revelation 16:21).

You see, they will have been given up by God. It will be too late for them to get saved. They will have committed the unpardonable sin.

“God also gave them up” (Romans 1:24).

“God gave them up” (Romans 1:26).

“God gave them over to a reprobate mind” (Romans 1:28).

As Mr. Griffith sang, “The Son has come, and you’ve been left behind.”

If you want to be raptured, if you want to be saved, you must get saved now, while God is still speaking to you. If you wait too long, it will be too late.

Hurricane Florence hit North Carolina and South Carolina last weekend. The people were warned to get out. The President warned them. The Governor warned them. The police and firemen drove through the streets with loudspeakers and warned them to leave. The people were warned over and over. But some foolish people stayed – and they were drowned in the flood waters. You have been warned that Christ is coming. If you do not listen, you will be left behind at the rapture. If you wait too long, it will be too late.

Christ died to pay for your sins. He rose from the dead and is seated in Heaven at the right hand of God. Believe on Him now and His Blood will wash your sins away, and you’ll be ready for the rapture. If you wait, it will be said of you, “The Son has come, and you’ve been left behind.” As Mr. Griffith sang, “The Son has come, and you’ve been left behind.” It’s number 3 on your song sheet. Stand and sing it. Not too fast. Think about the words!

Life was filled with guns and war,
   And everyone got trampled on the floor,
I wish we’d all been ready.
   Children died, the days grew cold,
A piece of bread would buy a bag of gold,
   I wish we’d all been ready.
There’s no time to change your mind,
   How could you have been so blind?
The Saviour called, but you declined,
   The Son has come and you’ve been left behind,
You’ve been left behind,
   You’ve been left behind.

Man and wife asleep in bed,
   She hears a noise and turns her head – he’s gone.
I wish we’d all been ready.
   Two men walking up a hill,
One disappears and one’s left standing still,
   I wish we’d all been ready.
There’s no time to change your mind,
   How could you have been so blind?
The Saviour called, but you declined,
   The Son has come and you’ve been left behind,
You’ve been left behind,
   You’ve been left behind.
(“I Wish We’d All Been Ready” by Larry Norman, 1947-2008;
       chorus altered by the Pastor).

Don’t be left behind. Trust Jesus and be saved now, tonight!


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: Matthew 24:37-42.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“I Wish We’d All Been Ready” (by Larry Norman, 1947-2008).


THE OUTLINE OF

WILL YOU BE LEFT BEHIND?

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

"Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord
doth come” (Matthew 24:42).

I.    First, the conditions before the rapture, Matthew 24:37-41.

II.   Second, the danger of not being prepared for the rapture,
Matthew 25:1-13.

III.  Third, the reprobation of most who are left behind at
the rapture, Revelation 16:9, 11, 21.