Print Sermon

The purpose of this website is to provide free sermon manuscripts and sermon videos to pastors and missionaries throughout the world, especially the Third World, where there are few if any theological seminaries or Bible schools.

These sermon manuscripts and videos now go out to about 1,500,000 computers in over 221 countries every year at Hundreds of others watch the videos on YouTube, but they soon leave YouTube and come to our website. YouTube feeds people to our website. The sermon manuscripts are given in 46 languages to about 120,000 computers each month. The sermon manuscripts are not copyrighted, so preachers can use them without our permission. Please click here to learn how you can make a monthly donation to help us in this great work of preaching the Gospel to the whole world.

Whenever you write to Dr. Hymers always tell him what country you live in, or he cannot answer you. Dr. Hymers’ e-mail is



by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Morning, September 30, 2018

“I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength” (Revelation 3:8).

Concerning this verse, Dr. J. Vernon McGee said,

In a day when the deity of Christ is blatantly denied by seminary and pulpit, here is a group of believers who remained true to Him by proclaiming the God-man and His substitutionary death for sinners. This church in Philadelphia has been labeled many things. Some call it the missionary church; some call it the serving church; some call it a live church – all of these are accurate. I personally like to call it the revived church (J. Vernon McGee, Th.D., Thru the Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1983, volume 5, p. 918; comment on Revelation 3:8).

That is a tremendous comment on the church at Philadelphia. Christ said, “Thou hast a little strength.” The Greek word translated “strength” is “dunamin,” a form of “dunamis.” We get our English word “dynamite” from that Greek word. Christ doesn’t say they had no strength. He says they had a little dunamis, a little strength, a little of God’s power. And a little dunamis goes a long way! A little dynamite can blow up a big building. And a little of God’s power can blow up the walls and obstacles man puts in the way, to stop revival and the spread of the Gospel.

When God’s dunamis, His power, comes down, He opens doors that man could never open. In fact, that’s exactly what Christ said in the previous verse. He describes the power of God as,

“He that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth” (Revelation 3:7).

He opens doors that man could never open, and He shuts doors as well. And when He shuts them, man cannot open them, no matter how hard he tries.

I think we see an exact picture of this today when we look at the spiritual condition of America and compare it to China. We have twenty-four-hours-a-day “Christian” TV in America. We have some large mega-churches. We seem to have it all! But there is an alarming shallowness in much of American Christianity. As Dr. McGee said, many churches here in America and the West even deny “the deity of Christ.”

And it is interesting to watch all the different schemes that American pastors try to use to get people to come to their churches. But none of them seem to be working very well. And the reason is given in verse seven,

“He…openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth” (Revelation 3:7).

You see, God seems to have shut the door in most churches in America – “and no man openeth”! No human being can open the door to the outpouring of revival and conversions. Only God Himself can do that! No “man” can open the door to revival in America for a very simple reason – God has shut the door! That is a plain statement of fact. And we can see, “no man openeth.” That is, no human being can figure out how to “get” God to send revival. God is sovereign. He opens. He closes. Man cannot make God do what he wants! God does what He wants, and God, at this present time, does not want to open the door of revival in America’s churches. And no human being can force God to do what He has decided not to do – because He is sovereign! I wish more American preachers understood that! God is sovereign. That means you cannot get Him to do what you want Him to do – unless He decides to do it by Himself. You don’t enter into the picture at all – because God is sovereign. But it seems to me that most of our preachers here don’t understand that. They still think some new “method” or “gimmick” will “work.” My friend, nothing really “works” but the Spirit of God – and He decides whether we experience revival or not! You don’t decide that! God decides it! Sing the first stanza of “Revive Thy Work.” It’s number 1 on your song sheet.

Revive Thy work, O Lord! Thy mighty arm make bare;
   Speak with the voice that wakes the dead, And make Thy people hear.
Revive! Revive! And give refreshing showers;
   The glory shall be all Thine own; The blessing shall be ours.
(“Revive Thy Work” by Albert Midlane, 1825-1909).

But now we see the exact opposite happening in the People’s Republic of China! Here in America we are seeing before our eyes the apostasy of many churches. But in China we are seeing the exact opposite! It’s being reported everywhere. I don’t agree with Billy Graham on some important issues. But his son, Franklin Graham, was right when he said that the churches in China have “grown enormously in recent decades. Virtually banned under Mao’s Cultural Revolution, Christians now number 40 million or more [some say as many as 160 million] – and they are multiplying.” [I’m still quoting Franklin Graham.] “At the heart of the growth is the commitment by ordinary Christians to ‘do the work of an evangelist’ (II Timothy 4:5)…[Christians in China have] pressed forward because followers of Christ [there] have been bold in their faith, at times risking even their lives for the sake of Christ” (Franklin Graham, Decision Magazine, July/August 2008, p. 40).

That kind of zeal for evangelizing the lost is God-given, and we don’t have very much of it here in America. How many people in most American churches ever bring a lost person with them to hear the preaching? But the Chinese have great zeal in evangelizing the lost – and it is a God-given zeal! God Himself is inspiring the Chinese to turn China into a Christian nation before the eyes of the world!

The rapid growth of Christianity in China has made an impact even on leaders of the government there. Christianity Today reports what China’s president Hu Jintao said in a speech given in 2008, “We will…bring into play the positive role of religious personages and believers [read – “Christians”] in promoting economic and social development” (Christianity Today, May 2008, p. 31). That is a truly astonishing statement from a president of China! It shows that he sees the tide of revival sweeping hundreds of thousands of Chinese people into the Kingdom of God, and he wants their help “in promoting economic and social development.” Who would ever have thought that a president of China would say such a thing openly in a widely-publicized speech? The Christianity Today article says that many members of the government in China themselves are becoming Christians! (ibid.). The article in Christianity Today said, “The people of China are hungry to accept Jesus. The Holy Spirit has already opened their hearts. People are rushing to church” (ibid.). This is the work of God! It is not the work of man! To China, Christ is saying,

“Behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength” (Revelation 3:8).

Even at the “low” number, Franklin Graham estimated, at 40 million new converts [though it is certainly much higher than that] the number of Chinese Christians is greater by far than the large Southern Baptist Convention, and several other large American denominations combined, greater in number by far than all the Southern Baptists, Charismatics, and other American evangelicals combined! We can only say, with the Lord Jesus Christ,

“This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes” (Matthew 21:42).

Please stand and sing the Doxology, and give praise to God for the mighty revival in China – and other parts of Asia and the “Third World.” Sing the Doxology with praise to God for His power and might in this great revival!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow,
   Praise Him all creatures here below!
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host,
   Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Let us continue to pray for the revival in China and other parts of Asia and the “Third World.” Let us pray for God’s power to keep the door open in those far off lands. Let us pray to Him

“that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth” (Revelation 3:7).

Let us pray right now, each of you in your own language, for God to continue sending evangelistic, soul-winning revival throughout China and Asia! (prayer by the congregation). “Revive Thy Work.” Sing it again!

Revive Thy work, O Lord! Thy mighty arm make bare;
   Speak with the voice that wakes the dead, And make Thy people hear.
Revive! Revive! And give refreshing showers;
   The glory shall be all Thine own; The blessing shall be ours.

Now I have one other thought that is important to our own church. We have found in recent months that Chinese young people here are open to the Gospel. This is the hour for us to rise up and do all that we can to bring these Chinese young people into our church, to present them with the Gospel, to tell them that Jesus died on the Cross to pay for their sins, to tell them that He rose physically from the dead and is now seated at the right hand of God in Heaven, to tell them that His precious Blood can wash away their sins, to tell them that they can be saved by trusting Him, and point them to a real conversion in Christ Jesus. God is moving! Let us not quench the Spirit. May the Spirit of God move us to “bring them in from the fields of sin.”

There are many Chinese young people here in our church for the first time this morning. There are others who have been coming for only a few weeks. Our appeal to you is this – become part of the great Third World move of God at this critical time in history. Come all the way into our church. Don’t just come now and then on Sunday morning! Oh, no! Come back on Sunday night! Come back on Saturday night! Get into the church, and make sure you are converted to Jesus Christ! And when you are converted, get baptized, become a full member of this church. Go to work at once evangelizing others! Bring your friends to church. Bring your schoolmates to church. Help us make this church a great outreach center for young Chinese here at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles! And may God, in His sovereign grace, help us to do so for His glory! Let us stand and sing Oswald J. Smith’s poem, “Evangelize! Evangelize!” which I have slightly altered and set to the music of Charles Wesley’s hymn, “And Can It Be?” It’s number 2 on your song sheet.

Give us a watchword for the hour, A thrilling word, a word of power,
A battle cry, a flaming breath That calls to conquest or to death.
A word to rouse the church from rest, To heed the Master’s great request.
The call is given, Ye hosts, arise, Our watchword is, evangelize!

The glad evangel now proclaim, Through all the earth, in Jesus’ name;
This word is ringing through the skies: Evangelize! Evangelize!
To dying men, a fallen race, Make known the gift of Gospel grace;
The world that now in darkness lies, Evangelize! Evangelize!
   (“Evangelize! Evangelize!” by Dr. Oswald J. Smith, 1889-1986;
      to the tune of “And Can It Be?” by Charles Wesley, 1707-1788).

“Behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength” (Revelation 3:8).

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.

You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
Click on “Sermon Manuscripts.”

These sermon manuscripts are not copyrighted. You may use them without Dr. Hymers’
permission. However, all of Dr. Hymers’ video messages, and all other sermons on video
from our church, are copyrighted and can only be used by permission.

Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“Evangelize! Evangelize!” by Dr. Oswald J. Smith, 1889-1986;
to the tune of “And Can It Be?” by Charles Wesley, 1707-1788).