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by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Evening, April 28, 2019

1. Jesus opens and shuts doors of evangelism.

And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth: (Revelation 3:7; p. 1333 Scofield)

Jesus is

“he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth.”

Jesus opened the door – in the Jesus Movement. We went through that door and established many house churches.

But Jesus closed that particular door at the time of Jim Jones – people were far less willing to meet in “house” churches.

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2. We bought this building. Paying for this building became our reason for existing. We lost our vision of outreach. I got cancer and focused on that.

However, several of the men who led the “house” churches kept the old vision of starting a “house” church and building it into a church of their own. This is what caused the main curse of the church splits. I was a sick old man and didn’t lead the church in a new direction. Also the “house” churches were built around ethnic groups, and I didn’t have the strength to hold them all together any more.

3. My pastor Dr. Timothy Lin said that God told him I should start another church. I knew it had to be a Chinese church. But a Chinese deacon thought Dr. Lin’s words applied to him. He forgot that Dr. Lin said, “Bob, I have a word from the Lord for you” – not for someone else in our church. So, this deacon took out about 2/3 of our Chinese and other Orientals and started his own church.

This threw us into chaos. Many non-Orientals were destabilized and left us.

4. I had waited too long and let this happen. I should have started a new Oriental/Chinese church myself. Thank God that you who are here tonight stayed with me during this church split. You remembered the teaching of I Corinthians 1:10 (p. 1212 Scofield).

“Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (I Corinthians 1:10; p. 1212 Scofield)

You have done that. I thank God for it!

5. Now we are in the process of selling this building and moving to a better area to start a Chinese church. There are two things I want you to remember.

(1)  Pray that we will soon find a buyer for this building.
(2)  Understand that moving to a Chinese area will not automatically make
       church growth easy. The Apostle Paul understood this.

The Apostle said something we all need to remember, in I Corinthians 16:9 (p. 1228).

“A great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries”
        (I Corinthians 16:9).

Dr. MacArthur said that “no New Testament church had such fierce opposition as [this] one in Ephesus.” My friend Dr. Elmer Towns said,

“The world does not love the church. As a matter of fact, those who reject God will reject the church planter and fight against the church he plans to build...The world hates Christian influence and will not naturally embrace a new church. Why? Because the church stands against everything the world stands for. Therefore, God must perform a miracle each time a church is planted” (Planting Reproducing Churches, p. 104).

I have planted two churches in my life. But that was over forty years ago. Because of my age (78) and infirmities, I could never do that alone again. I am very grateful to God for Dr. Christopher L. Cagan. He is an outstanding man of faith and knowledge. He holds a Master of Divinity degree from Talbot School of Theology, and two earned Ph.D.s, one from UCLA and the second one from the Claremont Graduate School. More than that, Dr. Cagan is a man of deep conviction and personal prayer. He literally prays deeply about everything.

I will remain as Pastor Emeritus, and the two of us will co-pastor the new church. I will try to preach about once every weekend in that new church. Dr. Cagan will be responsible for most of the teaching and preaching.

I wish I could go back and plant a Chinese church when Dr. Lin first gave me what God laid on his heart. But we cannot go back! We must always go forward with prayer.

When I was a virtual orphan, God became my father.

When I had no ability to study, God put me through college at night.

When I had no wife, God gave me the most wonderful pastor’s wife in the world.

When I had no one to help me, God gave me Dr. Cagan, what more can I say?

And now, at the end of my life, I believe God will finally use me as a missionary to the Chinese,
and to all the world through our website –

“I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living”
         (Psalm 27:13; p. 611).

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