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by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.,
Pastor Emeritus

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Afternoon, March 29, 2020

Please turn in your Bible to John 2:23 (p. 1117). This is very important.

“Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man” (John 2:23-25).

Look up. The people spoken of here were superficial in their “faith.” They only came to see “the miracles which he did.” Therefore Jesus did not “commit himself unto them.” Why? Because “he knew all men…for he knew what was in man.” What did Jesus know was in men? He knew that,

“from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man” (Mark 7:21-23; p. 1054).

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Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew that they were totally depraved!

I have been tricked, even recently, by not realizing the depth of total depravity in people’s hearts! When Kreighton wrote an email to Dr. Cagan and said, “Our church is my home and I promise that I will never leave it,” I believed him. At the same time he wrote that to Dr. Cagan, he was holding secret meetings with John Waldrip to plan how to leave us and split our church! In other words, Kreighton lied to Dr. Cagan in that email! His deceitfulness was a result of his total depravity! Just like his “father” Adam, Kreighton lied. Just like Judas, he lied to hide his sinful nature! The power of total depravity had never been broken in his life! Dr. Cagan said that Kreighton was “totally wrong, self-seeking, and even demonic.”

Here is another one. This young man made up a testimony to trick us into trusting him. He described his rebellion and his “yielding” to Jesus like a trained orator. Then he wrote, “My love for [Jesus] seems so small compared to how He loved me. I can never do too much for Christ. Serving [Jesus] is my joy! Jesus is my ambition and direction. I do not trust myself, but put my hope in Him alone…Christ came to me, and for this I will not leave Him.”

I believed him! He was a good speaker, so good I trusted him to preach in my place when I was suffering with cancer and arthritis. But he was a totally depraved boy, who lied when he wrote his testimony. He tricked me and I put his written testimony in my autobiography. Only later did I discover that his whole “testimony” was a lie. He said “Christ came to me, and for this I will not leave Him.” But he left our church soon after that. Now he hides from me, just as Adam hid from the voice of God in the Garden of Eden. Dr. Henry C. Thiessen said, “Man since the Fall, cannot change his own heart…He cannot repent with godly sorrow. All of these consequences came upon man as a result of the Fall” (Thiessen, Lectures in Systematic Theology, Eerdmans, 1949 edition, pp. 268, 269). I treated this young man as a friend. But when we needed him most, like Demas, he forsook me, “having loved this present world” (II Timothy 4:10; p. 1281). What a tragedy his total depravity has brought to him!

Then there was a young woman who did the same thing! I was tricked by her too, and put her “testimony” at the end of my autobiography. She even copied the very words of the young man I just spoke of. She said his exact words, obviously copied from him, “I couldn’t take it any more. I had to have Christ!” “He is my hero, my Lord…Jesus gave me a new desire to live and glorify Him…Now, because of Jesus, I want to do what I can to please Him.”

Empty words! She was the church pianist. One week before Christmas she left our church – without any pianist! What madness! The Bible says,

“Madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead” (Ecclesiastes 9:3; p. 702).

It is a madness that springs out of total depravity!

That is why God sent Jesus, His only begotten Son, into the world. Jesus Christ is the last Adam. “The last Adam was made a quickening spirit” (I Corinthians 15:45; p. 1227). The first Adam brought total depravity to all of mankind. The last Adam is Jesus Christ. In modern English, “the last Adam became a life-giving spirit” (ESV).

Jesus Christ “came into the world to save sinners” (I Timothy 1:15; p. 1274). The 53rd chapter of Isaiah gives us a prophetic picture of Christ’s death, His scourging, His death in our place. It is through the death and resurrection of Jesus that our total depravity can be healed and we can be saved from the total depravity that came from the first Adam’s sin. Christ shed His Blood to atone for our sin and cleanse us from all sin. The Bible says, “The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (I John 1:7; p. 1321). It is through the torture and death of Jesus in our place that we can be saved from the curse of sin, and have peace with God! The Bible says,

“Now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:13; p. 1251).

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12; p. 1153).

In closing, remember these wise words from Dr. Tozer,

“It is doubtful whether any man can be saved who comes to Christ for His help but with no intention to obey Him” (“The Root of the Righteous,” p. 85).

The Lord Jesus Christ said, “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you” (John 15:14; p. 1137).

Again the Lord Jesus Christ said, “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able” (Luke 13:24; p. 1095).

And Christ also said, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:5; p. 1094).