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

A lesson taught at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Afternoon, January 17, 2021

Hymn Sung Before the Sermon: “Blest Be the Tie”
       (by John Fawcett, 1740-1817; stanzas 1, 2, and 4).

I learned much of what I know as an apprentice to my godly pastor, Dr. Timothy Lin. One of the things I learned from him was to stay in one place. Please turn to I Corinthians 15:58 (p. 1228 Scofield).

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (I Corinthians 15:58).

I obeyed that verse for over 45 years in the inner city of Los Angeles. Many good things came to me because I obeyed that verse. If I had left I would not have found my wife, the best pastor’s wife in the whole wide world.

But there were bad things as well. Our church experienced four major church splits. I always blamed myself. I tried in many ways to be a better pastor. But the divisions and splits continued. Finally God showed me that the people of the inner city were culturally unable to support a strong church. The proof was shown to me by the fact that after literally hundreds of years there was only one strong Hispanic church in downtown Los Angeles – and only one decent black church in the inner city.

I was nearly 80 years old before the Lord definitely showed me that it was time for me to move our church to where there was a better culture. The catalyst came when I became a cancer patient. Three young men who were deacon candidates came to pray with me in my home office for an hour each week. One was a black man. One was Hispanic, and one was Chinese. Soon the Hispanic man and the black man left. Only the Chinese man stayed.

Then I remembered a verse in the Book of Amos, “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7; p. 936).

Here is what God showed me. Turn to Mark 6:11 (p. 1052).

“And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city” (Mark 6:11).

Later Paul and Barnabas did the same thing,

“But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium” (Acts 13:51; p. 1168).

Remember, I did not do this out of emotion, nor did I do it quickly. It took me 45 years to do this. The catalyst came when Kreighton Chan became, just as it happened to Judas Iscariot, “Satan entered into” Kreighton, and he went out and consulted with the chief priests (Luke 22:3; p. 1107). So, Satan entered into Kreighton and he went to John Waldrip to betray me.

Why did Kreighton hate me so much that he became demonized? Jesus said, “They hated me without a cause” (John 15:25; p. 1137). Again, Jesus said, “If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:20; p. 1137).

My darling wife Ileana was stricken with the coronavirus a couple of weeks ago. She was in the hospital for several days. Now she is quarantined in our guest bedroom. My wonderful son Wesley is acting in our name.

The other night I phoned Kreighton and Waldrip to pray for her healing. Kreighton hung up the phone on me. Waldrip refused to call her. I broke down and cried all night in loneliness and pain. My only comfort was the Bible.

The only BBFI preacher that phoned my darling wife was Dr. Russell Gordon. The only other preachers who called her were Assembly of God and Southern Baptists. One was a Roman Catholic. All the fundamentalist preachers were cold and distant. May God have mercy on them. Jesus said,

“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35; p. 1135).

I have known Russell Gordon for 65 years, since we were in junior high school together. My wife was delighted when he phoned her and prayed for her. It made me feel sad when Kreighton and Waldrip were cold to her. Someone told me it was because she is Hispanic. I hope they were wrong. God forgive them, for they know not what they do! My wife’s name is Ileana. Her cell phone is (818)645-7356. Please phone her in the afternoon between 1:00 and 5:00.

Waldrip counseled Kreighton to attend John MacArthur’s seminary. If he does, will he learn to pray for a sick woman in need? Jesus said,

“Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Matthew 24:12; p. 1033).

Are we already in the Great Tribulation, that this should be true? Maybe Rosenthal was right after all! Maybe we are already in the Tribulation period! Maybe these cold-hearted preachers have already received the “mark of the beast” in their hearts!

You cannot learn to love other Christians in seminary. Dr. A. W. Tozer said,

“A man need not be godly to learn theology. Indeed I wonder whether there is anything taught in any seminary on earth that could not be learned by a pirate or a swindler as well as by a consecrated Christian” (Man: The Dwelling Place of God, p. 56).

Thank you, Dr. Tozer!

I am the founding pastor of our church. My wife and I have stayed with our church for nearly fifty years in the inner city of Los Angeles. My wife and our children have been my greatest support through this time.

During the last two years the associate pastor of our church, Kreighton Chan, has held secret meetings with John S. Waldrip, who encouraged him to split our church.

The strain on my wife became so great that her health broke down and she became infected by the coronavirus (COVID).

Chan and Waldrip had added to her pain by causing 50 of our people to leave with Chan. Trying to avoid the split, I resigned as pastor and turned the pastorate over to Rev. Christopher L. Cagan, Ph.D., M.Div., Ph.D. – and I was appointed as “pastor emeritus.”

My wife was confined to the hospital soon after the split took out 50% of our people. I phoned a Southern Baptist friend and he wept on the phone and prayed for my wife. I was in so much inner distress that I phoned Chan and asked him to pray for my wife’s healing. He snapped at me and hung up the phone. I was so overcome that I spent the night in tears.

Please turn to I Corinthians 13:1 (p. 1223). Please stand as I read it.

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity” (I Corinthians 13:1-13).