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 42 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. Christopher L. Cagan

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Morning, August 25, 2019

“For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well” (Acts 15:28, 29; p. 1170 Scofield).

These words were spoken by the Apostle James at a council in Jerusalem. Peter was there. Paul was there. The Apostles and elders were there (v. 6; p. 1169). They had been talking about a very important question. What was that? Many Gentiles (non-Jews) had trusted Jesus and been converted, especially through the ministry of Paul. The Greek Christians were still Greeks. The Roman Christians were still Romans. They trusted Jesus and became Christians just the same as Jews who trusted Jesus. The Bible says that Paul and Barnabas

“passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren” (Acts 15:3; p. 1169).

But there were some men who caused a problem. The Bible says,

“Certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved” (Acts 15:1; p. 1169).

Those men were called Judaizers. They said it wasn’t enough to trust Jesus. If a Gentile wanted to be saved, he must become an Orthodox Jew. Trusting Jesus was not enough. He must also be circumcised and observe all the rituals of Judaism. The really important thing he had to do was become a Jew and carry on all of the rituals and practices of the Pharisees. Then he would become an orthodox Jew – who also just happened to believe in Jesus.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

The Apostles made the right decision. What they did wasn’t just an idea of men, to work out some kind of political peace in the churches. The Holy Spirit guided them to do it. The Bible says, “It seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us” (Acts 15:28). The Holy Spirit guided them, and they made the right decision. What these men did at the Council of Jerusalem changed the world for two thousand years and resulted in uncounted millions of people being saved. What did they say? Why, the Gentiles could believe in Jesus without becoming Jews! Yes, they had to stay away from sins like idols and fornication. But they didn’t have to become Pharisees! They could be saved by trusting Jesus and nothing more.

This seems obvious today. But what if it hadn’t happened? Christianity would be a small and narrow sub-group within Pharisee Judaism. Only a few would have joined. Humanly speaking, it would have died out, or at least been very small and obscure. There are only two people here today with a Jewish background – myself and Melissa. The rest of you wouldn’t be here. The rest of you wouldn’t be saved. There would be no church – not ours and not others. I’m glad the Apostles did the right thing.

What the Apostles said was no heresy. It was no error. The Apostles believed in the same God and the same Bible as they ever did. They believed the Old Testament Scriptures. They taught that Jews could still be Jewish. But Gentiles didn’t have to become Pharisees if they wanted to be saved.

What the Apostles said was revolutionary. It was new. It brought life! God showed the Apostles that in their faith they had something new. Christianity was not the same as Judaism with a little more added. Christianity wasn’t just for a very small group of Orthodox Jews. It was for the whole world!

I’m glad the Apostles did the right thing. If they didn’t, endless millions throughout the ages would not have been saved. For every Jew that trusts Jesus there are thousands of Gentile Christians. If the Apostles had not done the right thing, there would have been no Protestant Reformation and no Great Awakenings. There would be no revival in China today. And you wouldn’t be here! You would still be lost. Thank God they did the right thing. It brought life!

This brings me to the title of this sermon, “New Methods, New Life!” God doesn’t change. The Bible says, “I am the Lord, I change not” (Malachi 3:6; p. 982). Jesus doesn’t change. The Bible says, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8; p. 1304). The Word of God does not change, for we read, “For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven” (Psalm 119:89; p. 660). But why can’t we change our methods? Why can’t we change our ways? Why not?

The Pharisees made religion into a set of rules and nothing more. They added rules of their own to what the Bible said. Their rules didn’t save them, for only the Blood of Jesus can do that. But the way of sinful man is to hide from Jesus in a set of rules and rituals.

Evangelicals today say they don’t trust in rules and rituals. They pride themselves on that. But so many evangelicals have settled into a set of rules and rituals – whether they know it or not. Yes, there are rituals in evangelicalism.

One of them is the “sinner’s prayer.” Many people believe that if someone says that prayer he is automatically saved. Many preachers do just that. At the end of his sermons, Joel Osteen turns to the camera and tells people to pray a watery version of that prayer. Then he says, “We believe, if you said that prayer, you just got born again.” He doesn’t know the people. He never met them. But if they said that prayer, he says they are born again. Many Baptist churches lead people in that prayer at their door, or on the street, and say the people are saved if they pray it.

But where is the sinner’s prayer in the Bible? Many people think the sinner’s prayer is in the Bible, but it isn’t. They think they have to lead people in that prayer, but they don’t. People have said to me that a person can’t be saved without praying that prayer. But that prayer is not in the Bible! No one in the New Testament got saved by praying that prayer, because it hadn’t been invented! Yet people think they have to pray it, and if they do, they’re saved for sure.

I’m not against the sinner’s prayer absolutely. There is a time to use it. But it isn’t magic! Millions of people have prayed it, but with few conversions. That’s why many churches have given it up completely. At the same time, many conservative churches call people to go back to the “old paths.” What they mean is to keep going door to door and leading people in the sinner’s prayer. They mean to keep getting people to sign their name on a piece of paper to “be saved.” It doesn’t work, but they don’t know what else to do. They think that giving it up would betray the faith. So they do it anyway. But God never told anyone to do evangelism that way!

Baptists can get trapped into using a method that doesn’t work. And so can we. We think we have to do things a certain way because we did it in the past. We may think if we don’t do it that way, we might be unfaithful or liberal. Some of our own methods were like that.

We meant well. We went out to get names and telephone numbers. We telephoned them. We arranged rides for them to come to church. Some of them came. But only a few people trusted Jesus. Chan the Apostate and his followers still do it, without God’s blessing. But they do it because they don’t know anything else to do. Why not change?

We meant well. We tried hard to work with inner-city people from a bad culture. But they didn’t stay. They didn’t have it in their culture to stay. We kept on doing it even though it didn’t work. But Jesus said, “Shake the dust off of your feet” and go to someone else (Matthew 10:14; p. 1009). Why not do that?

We need to use new methods and have new life. We can do this without throwing away the truths of the faith. We don’t have to break a single commandment in the Bible. The Bible doesn’t give the details of methods. Why not change them?

Our founder, Dr. Hymers, is very good at thinking of new things. He is always looking for new ideas and new things to do. You may think that what he does is common. I know better. What he does is exceptional, and almost nobody is like him. Very few pastors – and very few people at all – think of new things, especially when they’re old. Dr. Hymers does this not once in his life, but constantly. It’s a part of him. Listen to what I say about him:

Dr. Hymers has been a man of vision all his life. We think of creativity as something a few young people do, while older men only repeat the past. But not Dr. Hymers! He built our website ministry to the whole world, now in 42 languages, in his sixties and seventies. And at the age of 78, recovering from cancer, he is building new ministries with new methods to reach the Oriental people in the San Gabriel Valley. While most men would retire and give up, Dr. Hymers rises afresh to meet new challenges with new solutions in new vigor, in a way that young men can only envy. I know. I saw him do it. I can easily imagine him reaching out in new ways at the age of ninety. That will be no surprise to me, for I know him well. Dr. Hymers is a man who is forever young.

Why did I say that? The Bible tells me to render “honour to whom honour” is due (Romans 13:7; p. 1207), and so I have. In the person of Dr. Hymers, God has given us a remarkable gift!

Because of that vision, our church has a future ahead of us. We are going to a new place, the San Gabriel Valley. We are going to a new building there. When it is fixed up, that building will look great and be great!

We are going to focus on a different group of people. Instead of working in the inner city, we’re going to win the Orientals – Chinese, Japanese and Koreans. They are people who have good character and can build a good church.

We’re not going to change the Bible. We’re going to preach the Gospel, that Jesus died and shed His Blood to pay for our sin and wash it away forever. We’re going to speak to each one personally, doing our best to lead them to become disciples and to trust Jesus. We’re going to preach and teach the truth, for the old faith has not changed.

But we can and will use new methods. Why not use new methods? Isn’t it time we had new results? The old results weren’t good. Where does it say in the Bible that we have to get pages of names and then telephone them? Can’t we win souls another way? Can’t we do it a better way? So we ask each person – we ask you – to bring someone yourself. Talk to him. Be friends with him. Bring him yourself. Sit with him. Take care of him. If you can bring one person in, you’ll do more than almost every Christian in the world.

In the new church, we’re going to have seminars. Why not? Where does the Bible say we can’t? I’m going to give teachings on apologetics – defending the Bible and the Christian faith. I will be answering people’s questions. We’ll have seminars on other subjects too. Dr. Hymers will be preaching the Gospel and teaching the Bible. There is no other church in California that has pastors as educated as we are. Why not use our education? These seminars will be interesting to young Orientals, between 16 and 25 years old. They will attract college students, people who are wondering what life is all about. Where does the Bible say we have to do everything exactly the same as another church – or exactly the same as what we did before? It doesn’t! Let’s use new methods, and may God give us new life!

We’re going to have a great opening of our new church. We’re going to let everyone know. We’ll pass out flyers – literature – telling people about the seminars and the new church. Why not? If people call us or send us an email, we’ll invite them before the opening service. Why not? Where does the Bible say we can’t do that? Let’s use new methods, and may God give us new life!

Brothers and sisters, it’s time for a new start! It won’t happen by doing everything the same as we did before. But there is hope – with a new church and new methods, and the same God!

Some of you don’t have hope. You have not trusted Jesus. Your sin is not forgiven. Your sin has not been cleansed by the Blood Christ shed for you on the Cross. The payment Christ made by dying for you has not been applied to you. You are still in your sin. You’ve gotten used to being lost. You don’t really like it, but you’ve gotten used to it. But I say, “Why stay that way? Why not do something different?” Yes, why not listen to the sermons? Why not get down to business about your sin? Why not strive and search for Jesus Christ? If you would like to speak with us about trusting Jesus, please come and stand at the front of the room now. Amen.