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by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Evening, December 23, 2018

This evening I will give you a verse that has meant a lot to me. It is in the first chapter of II Timothy. It’s on page 1279 of the Scofield Study Bible. It is II Timothy 1:7. Please stand as I read it.

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind”
        (II Timothy 1:7).

You may be seated.

It is true that the Apostle Paul is speaking to a young preacher. But what he said to young Timothy in our text can be applied to all of us.

I. First, God has not given us the spirit of fear.

The Greek word for “fear” means timidity. It is used here in a bad sense. It is listed as the main reason people go to Hell in Revelation 21:8.

“But the fearful...shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone”
        (Revelation 21:8).

The word “fearful” there is from the same root as “fear” in our text. It means timid, fearful. It is placed number one in the causes of people going to Hell! Timid, fearful people are placed before murderers, whoremongers, sorcerers, idolaters and liars. I have worked with young people for many years. I can tell you without a doubt that very few young people are murderers, or whoremongers. But large numbers of them are timid and fearful. I would say that timidity is the number one reason they don’t trust Jesus. They are scared to trust Him. They think, “Oh, oh, what if He doesn’t save me!” “Oh, oh, I have to have proof before I can trust Him.” “I have to have a feeling to prove I have trusted Him.” So millions of them will burn in Hell for all eternity because they are too timid to trust Christ.

Listen to what one person said, “I prayed and fasted many times. I read all the sermons every day, but they did not help because I was still waiting for more feeling and more faith. Then I thought if I die while I am waiting for that feeling I will go straight to Hell. Then I thought my feelings and experiences are never reliable, therefore I can never truly trust them anyway. Even though I had doubts and fears that I might not be saved, I had to trust Jesus. I knew there was no other way. Jesus delivered me from Satan.”

“God hath not given us the spirit of fear.” The timid fear that demands a “feeling” is not from God. “God has not given us the spirit of fear.” Your fears are from Satan. He holds onto you through fear. Push past your fears and come to Jesus. He alone can give you peace.

Another young person said, “I thought I must figure out how to be saved by experiencing some type of assurance. I was striving for something that would verify my salvation. Jesus was waiting to save me but I never once looked to Christ. Christ was waiting to save me from my sins, yet I refused to risk myself on Him. I knew I needed Jesus then and there. I must not wait. To wait was to stay in bondage to Satan. So I went to Jesus. Now I remember hymns like ‘Jesus, Lover of My Soul’ and I remember that I have a friend in Jesus.”

“God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power...”

II. Second, God has given us power.

John Cagan didn’t want to be a sissy. He wanted to be a tough kid, not a weak, sissy Christian. Then he said, “I began to hate myself, to hate my sin and how it made me feel.” John wanted to come to Jesus as a hero. He said, “I could feel my sin pushing me down into Hell, yet I could feel my stubbornness forcing my tears away. I was stuck in this conflict.” Then John remembered the words of a sermon, “Yield to Christ! Yield to Christ!” He said, “The thought that I would have to give up to Jesus so distressed me that for what seemed like a forever I simply would not. I was His enemy. I would not yield to Him.” If he trusted Jesus he wouldn’t be a tough guy. He would be a weak sissy! “I would not yield to Him. I had to let it all go. I just could not hold onto myself any longer. I yielded to Him and came to Jesus by faith. I did not need a feeling. I had Christ.”

I have practically memorized John Cagan’s testimony because I knew that God would call him to be a preacher. He was afraid of being a preacher too. It was a sissy’s job. He wanted to be a cop or an attorney that locked the bad guys up. But I heard him pray and I knew he was a preacher! He had to struggle and yield to Christ again. He had to fast and pray and argue. But somehow I knew he would yield, that he would surrender to preach. One night John growled at me and said, “I will never do it!” But I knew he would, for John had said, “Serving Jesus is my joy! Christ came to me, and for this I will not leave Him.”

“God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power...”

Whenever John Cagan comes to the pulpit to preach, I am filled with joy. He was afraid to be a sissy, but God broke that fear and gave him great power as a soldier of the cross. Young men and women follow John, not because he is rebellious, but because they sense that his power comes from God! It’s the same power my wife has. They follow her because she has authority, power and agape love, that makes her a Christian leader!

Give of your best to the Master;
Give of the strength of your youth;
Clad in salvation’s full armour,
Join in the battle for truth!
   (“Give of Your Best to the Master” by Howard B. Grose, 1851-1939).

III. Third, God has given us agape love.

I have spoken of John Cagan and my wife, Ileana, because they are examples of what I pray you will become, what you can become, what you must become if our church is to conquer the evil of this city, overcome the Devil – and become a lighthouse for Christ throughout the world. We can and we will do it! Because “God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind,” that’s why!

Every one of the people that was baptized last month was led to Christ by me – every one of them! Don’t forget that. C. or G. did not lead even one of them to Christ. Don’t forget that!

And one more thing. Do not forget Mrs. Hymers. She works night and day to bring young women into the church and into conversion. C. and G. wait for the machinery of the church to bring in converts. They don’t seem to notice that it never works! While they depend on the machinery, Mrs. Hymers is doing the work! And she is almost the only woman who is able to actually bring a soul in and win them to Jesus and to our church. Almost the only woman! Why? Because she thinks about them every day. Because she prays for them every day. Because she texts them over and over, and gets to know them. One guy said, “Boys don’t like to be texted that way.” He did not say that because he had tested his theory. He said that because he is a little bit lazy. It doesn’t take intuition. It takes perspiration! It doesn’t take a special talent. It takes love. Not intuition, but perspiration! Not talent, but love! Agape love!

That is my challenge to you! “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in” (Luke 14:23). And when they do come in – for God’s sake get to know and love them. And text them! Text them until the cell phone melts in your hands! And love them in. John Cagan said to me, “Mr. Matsusaka loved me, and won my soul.” It took him months to do that! Is there anyone here who could say that about you? If not, make that your goal. Remember, C. T. Studd was right.

Only one life,
   ‘Twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ
   Will last.
(C. T. Studd, 1860-1931).

I thought that the horrible church split led by Mr. Olivas would teach our leaders not to lead another church split, but I was wrong. I took my family for a short vacation in Hawaii. I got sick while we were there and spent most of the time in bed, trying to stave off pneumonia. That’s when the C. – G. split began.

C. the leader of the new “split” copied what Mr. Olivas did in every way. Olivas was his inspiration. Just like Mr. Olivas, these men held “secret meetings” in which they attacked me and our method of evangelism. G. wanted to change our method and use “lifestyle evangelism.” He had been thinking about “lifestyle evangelism” for months. He would sit on a bench at Valley College and wait for people to come to him for salvation. His method did not bring in one visitor – not one! But his eyes glazed over as he listened to the Devil. Even though his method did not produce even one convert, he continued. A small group of people began to hold “secret meetings” with him to undermine and criticize my method of evangelism, which is based on Luke 14:23. The backbiting of me and my method of evangelism emboldened G. and he became furious. He tried to start a fist-fight with me. When I refused to fight with him, he left our church. This terrible event was witnessed in person by Mr. Aaron Yancy, Mr. John Cagan, Dr. Christopher Cagan and others, as G. left our church for good. G. did not leave in the Olivas split, but later he did exactly what Olivas did. One thing was different with this church split. Instead of trying to make peace with G. the true leaders of our church decided to confront the culture of rebellion.

This was an heroic decision, but we decided to take a strong stand.

M. and the B. family were the first to leave our church and follow those causing the church split. They were soon followed by K. – all emotion-driven people.

As my family and I were leaving the airport, on our return from Hawaii, I received an e-mail from C. saying that he and his family were leaving our church. Like the Olivas people, C. would not return my phone calls. Then I heard that C. had attended G.’s “secret meetings,” in which this church split started.

I arranged for a meeting of our church leaders at my house to replace C. on the church board of directors with John Cagan. There were a series of three business meetings in my house, in compliance with our church by-laws. This had to be done to follow the by-laws of our church and the law of the State of California, which requires that there be three directors for a corporation. We had an attorney and a security guard present. We proposed that John Cagan should replace C. on the board of directors of our church. Only one person voted “no.”

This was on November 15 and 16. Later that day T. sent an e-mail saying that she had left our church to go with C. On that same evening of November 17, we baptized seven new converts. I was quite sick, so Dr. Cagan baptized these seven people, at my request.

Then N. left and went with C. and would not return phone calls.

On Sunday, November 18 we held our annual Thanksgiving banquet at our church. I preached “A Thanksgiving Battle,” with material included on the church split caused by G. and C. The church was packed with many guests. I was able to preach the entire sermon standing up. I was given a standing ovation at the end of this sermon.

A few days later Z. and his family went with C. They had one of our young people staying at their house, an orphan girl. They actually put her out of their house at midnight. It was very cold that night so my wife and I took the girl to our house to spend the night with us. I was shocked that the Z.s would put this poor girl out in the cold at midnight so they could join C. and G. in their rebellion.

I am writing this at 5:30 in the morning. You see, there are two people in our church that will not leave no matter what happens – those two people are Mrs. Hymers and me. I pray that many of you will follow our example and stay where you were saved and baptized – in this church!

In the coming weeks and months we will take further measures to ensure that the culture of rebellion and church splits is eradicated and ended in our church forever!

What was wrong with C. and G.? Both of them had a “spirit of fear.” Both of them though you could win souls without loving them with “agape” love. Both of them thought that the “machinery” of the church would convert people. All they had to do was get someone to attend our church and the machinery of the church would convert them. That’s why neither G. or C. ever won one person to Christ! Not one! Every person was won by myself, Dr. Cagan, or John Cagan. All C. could do was bring in names for us to follow up on. G. couldn’t even do that! Neither man ever brought anyone “over the hump” – to trust Christ in a real conversion. They were both nothing but Pharisees, who were too introverted and timid to get involved in lost people’s lives. And so, every person that was baptized in the last baptism was led to Christ by me! C. and G. were too timid to get involved with people, and lead them to Christ. Neither one of them could even lead their own children to Christ! How could they ever be expected to lead a church? They cannot, and they will not! They will fail exactly as Olivas failed – because they have no real “agape” love for the lost. Why didn’t either one of these men ever come at the end of a sermon to learn how Dr. Cagan and I lead people to Christ? I asked C. to do that many times, but he never did. Not once! Why? Because he has no love in his heart for the lost! That’s why! One of C.’s professors said he “was too shy and introverted to be a medical doctor” (“Against All Fears,” page 167). Yes! And that is why he cannot ever really win souls to Christ. “Too shy and introverted” to learn from me or Dr. Cagan, or John. All he can do is get names and drop them into the “machinery” of the church! Jesus says to C. and his people,

“Ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves” (Matthew 23:15).

Brothers and sisters, we can do better than that! And we will do better than that! Why? Because

“God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love [agape], and of a sound mind”
        (II Timothy 1:7).

IV. Fourth, God has given us a sound mind.

The Greek word translated “sound mind” means “self-disciplined,” “self-controlled,” “sober-minded” (Strong). R. C. H. Lenski says, “the exercise of a balanced mind...This is needed in dangerous times.”

I admire that quality in a person. Dr. Cagan has that quality. That’s why I counsel with him on a daily basis. It is no wonder then that John Cagan also has this quality of mind. He goes from one project to the other with great discipline and self-control.

This is not a quality that G. has. That’s why he flew into a rage and tried to fight me. If he had a “sound mind” he would have discussed the matter, instead of holding “secret meetings” and splitting the church.

Unfortunately, C. also lacks this quality. If he had a more “self-controlled” mind he would have discussed things with me instead of trashing the lives of the people who followed him.

I myself really shouldn’t have this quality. Being raised by wildly emotional people, I knew I needed this quality of self-control. And that is why I prayed for II Timothy 1:7 so often as a young man. And that is why I forced myself to stay true to the Chinese church for twenty-four years.

Dear friends, a “self-controlled” mind will tell us not to worry at all. This building is paid for. We don’t need to worry at all about that. We have retained the best people. Only the emotional people are gone. My own “sound mind” tells me that all we have to do is go on with our regular schedule – prayers, Gospel preaching, and Bible teaching. We cannot lose. God is with us. There is no chance at all that we will lose. Merry Christmas! God bless you! Thank the Lord for this precious promise:

“God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of [agape] love, and of a sound mind”
        (II Timothy 1:7).


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Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Jack Ngann:
“In Christ Alone” (by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend, 2001).



by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (II Timothy 1:7).

I.    First, God has not given us the spirit of fear, Revelation 21:8;
II Timothy 1:7a.

II.   Second, God has given us power, II Timothy 1:7b.

III.  Third, God has given us agape love, Luke 14:23; Matthew 23:15;
II Timothy 1:7c.

IV.  Fourth, God has given us a sound mind, II Timothy 1:7d.