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WHY CHURCHILL HAD NO HOPE

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

A lesson taught at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Afternoon, February 7, 2021

Hymn Sung Before the Lesson: “Just As I Am”
       (by Charlotte Elliott, 1789-1871; stanzas, 1, 2, 4, 5; 1).


The God-sent Christ said,

“And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (Matthew 24:2-14; p. 1032 Scofield).

Now turn to Matthew 24:3 (p. 1032). The Disciples asked Christ a question,

“What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”

Today many people are asking the same question: “Are we moving toward the end of the world? Are we moving toward the end of this age?”

Jesus gave them a series of “signs.” Look at Matthew 24:6-12 (p. 1033). Please stand as I read it.

“And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Matthew 24:6-12).

An old hymn says,

…Signs of His coming multiply,
Morning light breaks in eastern sky;
Watch, for the time is drawing nigh…
(“What If It Were Today?” by Lelia N. Morris, 1862-1929).

You may be seated. Look at verse seven.

“For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places” (Matthew 24:7).

Does that sound like our world today? Of course it does! “Pestilences” are rampant in our world today. AIDS is a pestilence. The coronavirus is a pestilence. My own wife became infected by the coronavirus a few weeks ago. I thought she was going to die. Jesus said, “The end is not yet” (24:6). Christ said, “All these are the beginning of sorrows” (24:8). (Literally, “All these are the beginning of birth pangs.”) My wife had “birth pangs” all night before our twin boys were born! Wars, famines, and pestilences are only the beginning of sorrows. There are more to come. No mere politician can stop them!

In 1954 a young Billy Graham led a great crusade at Harringay Stadium in London, England. At the end of these meetings, Winston Churchill invited Mr. Graham to come to his office for a half hour. Churchill said to Mr. Graham, “You know, the world may one day be taken over by the Communists.” Churchill continued, “I’ll tell you, I have no hope. I see no hope for the world.” Mr. Graham opened his Bible and explained the way of salvation. Churchill seemed receptive. Why couldn’t some British pastor lead Churchill to Christ? They were probably afraid to try – or they may not have believed the Gospel themselves. (Conversation with Churchill quoted from Billy Graham’s autobiography, Just As I Am, pp. 255-257). Look at Matthew 24:10-12 (p. 1033). Stand as I read it.

“And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Matthew 24:10-12).

You may be seated.

Why had not Churchill gone to church and asked a minister to lead him to Christ? Churchill believed the Bible was the inspired Word of God. Churchill admitted that the preachers in Great Britain had gotten away from preaching a clear Gospel. They had tried to be sophisticated and scholarly. So Churchill had stopped attending church. Later I recalled that Churchill had referred to hopelessness about nine times. Mr. Graham asked, “Are you without hope for your own salvation?” “Frankly, I think about that a great deal,” Churchill replied.

Graham said, “I immediately explained the way of salvation…he seemed receptive.”

At precisely twelve-thirty Mr. Colville knocked and said, “Sir Winston, the Duke of Windsor is here for your luncheon.”

Churchill said, “Let him wait.” Turning back to Billy Graham he said, “Go ahead.” Billy Graham went on for about another fifteen minutes, then asked Churchill if he (Graham) could pray.

“Most certainly,” Churchill said standing up, “I’d appreciate it.” The moment had passed. Churchill was not led to Christ by Billy Graham. Graham had been afraid to say, “Will you pray with me?” It would have been so easy, but Graham was too afraid to do it. So Winston Churchill lived and died without Christ! He had a state funeral, one of only two performed for a British politician. The leaders of the Free World were at his funeral. But he died without hope because Billy Graham was afraid to pray a “sinner’s” prayer with him.

Churchill had saved England from Hitler’s war machine. But Billy Graham had let his soul go to Hell, because he was afraid. My own mind quoted a verse from Christ where I read that,

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

Mr. Churchill died a few years later and his soul went down to everlasting fire, without hope, without Christ, for all eternity.

The last sign Jesus gave was this,

“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (Matthew 24:14; p. 1033).

Preacher, never be afraid to tell people they are lost without Jesus! Never be afraid to lead them to Christ! Don’t believe they are saved by the Holy Spirit. Don’t believe they are saved by speaking in tongues. Jesus plainly said, “No man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6; p. 1135). The Bible clearly says,

“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).

No one but Jesus Christ can save your soul from Hell! “The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (I John 1:7; p. 1321).

Stand and sing our hymn again!

Just as I am, without one plea, But that Thy Blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidd’st me come to Thee, O Lamb of God, I come! I come!

Just as I am, and waiting not, To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To Thee whose Blood can cleanse each spot, O Lamb of God, I come! I come!

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind; Sight, riches, healing of the mind;
Yea, all I need in thee I find, O Lamb of God, I come! I come!

Just as I am, Thou wilt receive, Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe, O Lamb of God, I come! I come!

Just as I am, without one plea, But that Thy Blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidd’st me come to Thee, O Lamb of God, I come! I come!
       (“Just As I Am” by Charlotte Elliott, 1789-1871; stanzas 1, 2, 4, 5; 1).