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ILEANA’S THANKSGIVING LIST

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

A lesson taught at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Afternoon, November 29, 2020

Hymn Sung Before the Lesson:
“Count Your Blessings” (by Johnson Oatman, Jr., 1856-1926).


A few nights ago I was thinking about Thanksgiving. I found a card my wife wrote a few months ago. In that card my wife gave thanks to God for 17 things. Some of those things show my wife’s deep spiritual understanding. For instance, she wrote,

(1) “Thank Thee, O God, for the sacrifice of Christians in the past.”

Few people do that today. When I read Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, I realize how much we owe to them. From the first martyr Stephen to the martyrs of today, they show us what it means to be faithful unto death. I read Pastor Wurmbrand’s book, Tortured for Christ, every night. Tears run down my face and I thank God for this man of God, who went through unspeakable tortures in Communist prisons for 14 years, but kept faithful to Jesus! He encourages me to keep going for God!

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(2) Ileana wrote, “Thank Thee, O God, for our trials and afflictions.”

What an insight! Please turn to Romans 5:3-5 (p. 1197 Scofield). Stand as I read it,

“We glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Romans 5:3-5).

    All the great Christians of the past learned this secret. And my wife learned it too. Thank God for it! She said, “Thank Thee, O God, for our trials and afflictions.”

(3) Then Ileana wrote, “Thank Thee, O God, for protecting our church from the coronavirus.”

We never stopped meeting together. Yet not one person got Covid-19! Not one! But what if one of us does get Covid-19? The patriarch Job gave the answer,

“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 13:15; p. 577).

    The Apostate Chan spoke of my wife’s loyalty when he said, “She is an inspiration to me in my Christian life.” That is a lie! She never did what you did, Chan! When dozens of her close friends left with Rigoberto, she stayed. But the Apostate Chan was like Rigo, not Ileana. She stayed. You left. Ileana was not an inspiration to you. Now you whine in your sermons because the people you took out do not trust you. They know on some level that you destroyed them. The Bible says,

“The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead” (Proverbs 21:16; p. 687).

    The Apostate Chan confessed his sin of rebellion twice to Dr. Cagan, but it did not help him.

“He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13; p. 692).

Please turn to Psalm 27:12-14 (p. 611).

“Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty. I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord” (Psalm 27:12-14).