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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 Evening, February 3, 2019

“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he” (Proverbs 29:18).

Dr. W. A. Criswell said, “The Hebrew word translated ‘vision’ speaks of the revelation of God’s will through His messengers” (Criswell Study Bible, note on Proverbs 29:18). The Hebrew word translated “perish,” according to Dr. Criswell, has the idea of “cast off restraint” (ibid.).

Visions in the Bible were one of the ways God used to guide His people. The word translated “vision” is a form of “chazon,” which means “seer.” Visions usually came in the form of dreams, but they sometimes came when the prophets were in a partial state of slumber, in meditation (see Criswell on Daniel 4:5).

I left the Caucasian church (the First Baptist Church of Huntington Park, California) when God told me to become a missionary. Not knowing where this would take me, I joined the First Chinese Baptist Church of Los Angeles, where I learned to do college work at night while working forty hours a week in the daytime on a secular job. When I finished college, providential circumstances led me to study in a liberal Southern Baptist seminary, since I didn’t have enough money to go to a more conservative one.

Also, providence prevented me from going to the foreign mission field, sent either from the Southern Baptist Convention, or from my home church, the First Chinese Baptist Church of Los Angeles. While in this condition I had a full-blown “vision.” Late one night I was wakened out of sleep by a voice quoting Ephesians 1:6, “accepted in the beloved.” God seemed to say to me, “No one else accepts you, but you are accepted in Christ.”

With tears streaming down my cheeks, I stumbled out of my dormitory room, to a hill beside the seminary. I did not put this experience down in writing until last year, when I wrote about it in my autobiography. I knew that some of my enemies would use this story to brand me as a fanatic, so I sometimes spoke about it, but never wrote about it until now. Here is what I wrote in my autobiography, Against All Fears. To read the complete background of this event, please read chapter 4 of my autobiography (pp. 70-84). Here is what I wrote there:

       I felt like that now, far from home, at the liberal seminary, “a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth” (Genesis 4:14). It was midnight. I had been awake for days, but I drifted off to sleep for a few minutes. I woke up with a start. An inner voice said, “accepted in the beloved.” “What?” I said out loud. Wiping the sleep from my eyes, I opened a concordance and looked up the word “accepted.” There it was, in Ephesians 1:6, “he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” Even though no one else accepted me, Jesus did.
       The dormitory was quiet. Not a sound. I walked out into the night. As I stood on a hill beside the seminary I could see the lights of San Francisco in the distance across the water of the bay. The wind whipped in from the ocean and chilled me to the bone. Whipping, whipping, whipping – the wind blew through my hair and through my clothes, almost as if I were standing on that hill stark naked in the cold. And in the wind God said to me, “You will never forget this night. Now you will preach only to please me. Many years from now you will think of this night, and you will remember that I told you your main work would only begin when you are old. Now you will speak for me alone. Now you will learn not to be afraid. I will be with you. You are accepted in the beloved.”
       It wasn’t an audible voice. But the words were clear within me. Only someone who has had an experience like that will understand. My friend Moishe Rosen called it a “voice that wasn’t exactly a voice” (ibid., p. 264). The Bible calls it God’s “still small voice” (I Kings 19:12). Was that my call to preach? At first it seemed more like a prophecy than a call. The only “call” I thought I had was knowing that if I didn’t speak, it wouldn’t be said; and it desperately needed to be said – and others were afraid to say it, so if I did not say it, no one would, or at least they would not say it very well.

“Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay” (Jeremiah 20:9).

Now I know that was my call to preach. Before that I was a volunteer. Now I was a God-called preacher! I believe every fearless preacher must go through a crisis like this before God can trust him to speak the truth. There were no flashing lights, no thunder, no emotion – only this, “If you don’t say it no one will, and it desperately needs to be said – and others are afraid to say it, so if you don’t say it, no one will, or at least they will not say it very well.” I was compelled to preach. There was no longer any choice. I went back to bed with those thoughts stamped on my mind forever. Dr. A. W. Tozer said,

“He will contradict, denounce and protest in the name of God and will earn the hatred and opposition of a large segment of Christendom…But he will fear nothing that breathes with mortal breath” (“The Gift of Prophetic Insight” by Dr. A. W. Tozer).

Perhaps that is why Dr. Bob Jones III said I am “like an Old Testament prophet in manner and spirit…” But it should be remembered that the prophets often wept, as did Dr. Tozer and Dr. John R. Rice.

Please understand that I do not consider myself to be a prophet. I am only a Baptist preacher, to whom God spoke and said, “Many years from now you will think of this night, and you will remember that I told you your main work would only begin when you are old...Now you will learn not to be afraid. I will be with you. You are accepted in the beloved.”

There were no flashing lights, no thunder – only this: “If you don’t say it, no one will, and it desperately needs to be said – and others are afraid to say it, so if you don’t say it, no one will, or at least they will not say it very well.” I went back to bed with those thoughts stamped on my mind forever.

I do not think of myself as a Pentecostal or Charismatic. I do not have daily messages from God. The main thing I remember from that encounter with God is this – “You will remember that I told you your main work [will] only begin when you are old.” I have felt like Amos when he said, “I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son... And the Lord took me...and the Lord said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people...” (Amos 7:14-15).

I had no idea what to do next. God had told me I would not begin my “main work until [I was] old.” So I stumbled through the next forty-three years without a clear understanding of what to do.

So I took the basic plan I had learned with the “Jesus people” up north, near San Francisco, and tried to start many “house churches” in the Los Angeles area. These “house churches” ultimately failed. This went on for over forty years, until now.

I will be 78 years old in a few more weeks. Now, as I near the age of 80, God has given me a new vision – instead of creating more “house churches” I am now to create a strong Baptist church in Los Angeles, strong enough to support an international ministry to indigenous pastors in the developing world. These men are already on the mission field. They already know the languages of their people. But they have not had seminary training. They don’t know how to do effective evangelism. They do not know how to prepare evangelistic sermons. What they have learned from the Americans is a sloppy form of charismatism. For close to twenty years I have had my sermons translated into their languages. The sermons now go out in over forty languages, to 211 nations. The e-mails I receive on a daily basis from these national pastors show that they are hungry for solid sermons and Bible studies.

But this work is expensive. We have to pay our translators to do this work for us. It now amounts to over seven thousand dollars a month. I have tried to enlist other evangelicals to help us. But they have not responded well.

Now, at last, I see that we have to do this work, and pay for this work, ourselves! That requires a new vision! The new vision came to me as I preached a sermon on Mark 8:22-26. At first the blind man saw people unclearly, “as trees walking.” Jesus then put His hands on the man’s eyes again, “and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.” At first, I preached this in an evangelistic sermon to the lost. At last I saw that the blind man was ME! God would not reveal His plan though another epiphany, but gradually, over time!

Dear brothers and sisters, please forgive me for being a slow learner. The “house church” plan did not work. But I did not prepare you well for this new vision. Please forgive me, and please stay with me in this new vision.

The “new” vision is an extension of the “old” vision. But instead of creating “house churches” – let us instead create, by God’s grace, one strong Baptist church here in Los Angeles, strong enough that the Lord Jesus Christ can say of us,

“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid... Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14, 16).

That’s what we need! A strong local church in Los Angeles, to send helps to faithful national preachers out in the jungles, in Muslim lands, in China and Africa, and India – at the very edge of Hell!!! Send the light for them to preach in our stead, and work like soldiers to make those missionaries stronger for our God and for His Christ!

Here are a few of the e-mails I receive every day from the nations of the world. This is an e-mail from a pastor in Laos, a Communist country in Southeast Asia where Christians are persecuted:

From: ********
To: rlhymersjr@sbcglobalnet

Dear Dr. Hymers:

Thank you very much for these wonderful messages.

The story of Dr. John Sung is really wonderful. One day we will meet him in Heaven.

God bless you.

K*******, pastor in Laos

I read and answer every e-mail that I receive. Here is what I wrote to him,

Dear Brother K********:

I am very glad that my Chinese sermons on Dr. Sung are a blessing to you. Dr. John Sung is an often neglected hero in the Chinese church. I knew one of his Chinese translators very well at the Chinese church I worked in at Los Angeles. Again, thank you for your encouraging email.

With Love and Respect,

Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.
Philippians 4:13

The next e-mail is from a woman in Liberia, West Africa.

From: ********

Dear Dr. Hymers,

Greeting in Jesus’ Name.

My name is Myrtle from Liberia, West Africa.

I came across a website and found a sermon that I was really seeking and wanted to know what it meant by the kingdom of God suffer violence, “the violent take it by force.”

I am seeking and leaning to know about God and His holiness and live it day by day by God’s grace. Whenever I have a question I will write to you.


Myrtle, Liberia

This is what I wrote back to her:

Dear Myrtle,

My maternal grandmother [my mother’s mother] was named Myrtle. She was my friend. I am glad that that my sermon on “the violent take it by force” was a help to you. And yes, I will be glad to answer any of your questions to the best of my ability.

With Love and Respect,

Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.
Philippians 4:13

Here is an e-mail from a missionary in Germany.

From: ********

Hello Dr. Hymers,

I thank the Lord for His grace and goodness.

Currently, I am at a Baptist church in Hamburg. Germany.

I appreciate and want to share your messages here especially because I don’t speak German well enough to preach in that language.

Thank you for having them in so many languages.

God bless you there.

P********, missionary in Germany

And I wrote this e-mail back to him:

Dear Brother P*******,

Thank you so much for the kind words you said about our website. Yes, we are now up worldwide in 41 languages. The last languages we put up were Punjabi, a language of Pakistan, and a tribal language in Africa. Please pray for us that God will bring in many Chinese people to our church.

With Love and Respect,

Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.
Philippians 4:13

The next e-mail came from Brazil:

From: ********

Dear Dr. Hymers,

Grace and peace.

I like the way you write.

I hope one day to write something like it, profound and relevant.

God bless your life.

G********, Brazil

Here is my response,

Dear G********:

Thank you for the encouraging email. May the Lord bless you.

Yours in Jesus’ Name,

Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.
Philippians 4:13

This is an e-mail from the dean of a seminary in Guatemala.

From: ********@******.edu

Appreciated Dr. Hymers,

I am Luis from Guatemala. Currently I serve as the Dean of the Central American Theological Seminary. I have read your sermons and they have challenged me. A thousand thanks.

Luis, Guatemala

I sent this e-mail back to him:

Dear Brother Luis,

I am very glad that my sermons were a blessing to you. My sweet wife was born and raised in Guatemala. Please let me know your mailing address and I will send you my autobiography in English. It is being translated into Spanish, but that won’t be ready for a few months. Again, thank you for writing to me.

With Love and Respect,

Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.
Philippians 4:13

The next e-mail came from a pastor in India.

From: ********

Dear Dr. Hymers,

Pastor, praise the Lord. Your message very good. I am Pastor P*******, Church of God. Place Coimbatore, Tamilnadu. In India.

Pastor P********, India

And I wrote this back to him,

Dear Brother P********:

Thank you so much for the compliment. I am so glad that the sermons are a blessing to you. We will soon be on an app so everybody with a cell phone can watch the sermons on their cell phone. This will give us a potential audience of 2 billion people! We already have a million and a half people reading the sermons every year, but this will raise it to 2 billion people! Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!!!

With Love and Respect,

Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.
Philippians 4:13

The next e-mail came from Canada:

From: *********@***.org

Dear Dr. Hymers,

I want to take a moment to thank you for your sermons and Biblical teachings. I am a fundamental Baptist, who was raised spiritually on the teachings of John R. Rice and Oliver Greene, etc. I seldom send emails to other pastors but your site was such a blessing to me that I knew that I had to say thank you.

I live in Canada, and am with the Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry.

Thank you again,

Daniel, Canada

And I wrote this back to him,

Dear Daniel:

Your e-mail came at the right time. It lifted my spirits in a time of need. My father was born in Listowel, Ontario, on a small farm. Are you living anywhere near Listowel? I am definitely a friend of Israel!

Yours in Jesus’ Name,

Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.
Philippians 4:13

The last e-mail I will read tonight is from our Urdu translator in Pakistan, a Muslim country.

From: ********

Dear Dr. Hymers,

       God bless you! I am grateful to you for leading me on the path of Jesus. It is not easy. The only shield of my survival is my faith. The more I read your sermons, the more I become a strong Christian. My family and I were baptized by your Church under your teachings in Christ. We all are struggling very hard to keep us all on the path of salvation that we see through your sermons. They are a blessing for us. I have started preaching your sermons door to door among the Christian families during the weekends.
       Dear Dr. Hymers, I thank you from the depth of my heart for supporting me and my family and becoming a source of provision for us by God. You and your sermons are a blessing for thousands of people in the world as they are a blessing for me too.
       I thank you once again for not forgetting me and I thank Dr. Christopher Cagan also, who has been a great guide and a very patience person in the past years. I along with my family pray for all of you in our daily prayers that God please keep the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles and all its members safe, and a blessing for everyone in the world. That they may become the biggest source for the people especially the youth for believing in Christ and experiencing Christ alone. Amen.

Yours in Christ,
A****** , Urdu translator, Pakistan

Here is my reply to him,

Dear A******:

Thank you for the e-mail you sent to me recently. I am going to read part of it at the end of my sermon titled, “The Blind Man Was Me!” If you click that on later in the week, you’ll be able to read what you sent to me, as one of a series of e-mails sent to me by people all over the world. Please pray hard for more Chinese people to come in and become the backbone of our church.

With Great Love and Respect,

Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.
Philippians 4:13

From India to Pakistan, from Hamburg, Germany to Canada, from Laos to Liberia, from Brazil to Guatemala they write, telling me they need our sermons – as our Urdu translator prayed, “That our church may become the biggest source of sermons for young people throughout the world, to experience Christ alone.” May it be so! May God use the sermons on our app and on our website to reach out to billions of people in every nation of the world with the Gospel of Christ! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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
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These sermon manuscripts are not copyrighted. You may use them without Dr. Hymers’
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Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Jack Ngann:
“Open My Eyes, That I May See” (by Clara H. Scott, 1841-1897).