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IS GOD JUDGING AMERICA?
A REVIEW OF “THE HARD THINGS OF GOD”
BY DR. ROY BRANSON, JR.

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

A lesson taught at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Afternoon, March 21, 2021

Hymn Sung Before the Lesson: “Just As I Am”
     (by Charlotte Elliott, 1789-1871; stanzas 1, 2 and 3).


I read Pastor Wurmbrand’s book (“Tortured for Christ”) from cover to cover at least once a year. I read it every night before I go to bed. Here is what Wurmbrand said about the Bible:

Two very dirty villagers came to me to buy a Bible. They had come to shovel frozen earth all winter in the slight hope that they might be able to buy an old, torn Bible and take it back to their village. Because I had received Bibles from America, I was able to hand them a new Bible, not an old, torn one… I refused their money. They rushed back to their village with the Bible. A few days later I received a letter of great joy, thanking me for our Scriptures… It was signed by thirty villagers! They had carefully cut the Bible into thirty parts and exchanged the parts with one another!
I heard a Russian begging for one page of the Bible to feed his soul…One man traded his wedding ring for a battered New Testament (“Tortured for Christ,” pp. 155-156).

When I first read that I burst into tears. The professors at my seminary rejected the Bible in every classroom. But these people in Communist lands were willing to work all winter just to have a few pages of the Bible to feed their souls.

Yet well-fed young people in our American churches do not even read the Bible every day!

Thank God that I had a pastor from China who taught the Bible every Sunday. I owe my very life to his Bible teaching and Bible sermons.

The people in restricted nations risk their lives every day because Muslims and Communists will hate them if they read a page or two from the Word of God.

Please turn to Matthew 24:37-39 (p. 1034 Scofield). Stand as I read it.

“But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matthew 24:37-39).

You may be seated.

The first time I heard that passage was in a sermon given by Billy Graham. But I looked it up and studied it carefully. Having grown up in homes that were filled with drunkenness and debauchery, I knew they were living like the people in Noah’s day. I read this passage to them and they laughed at me. I went to a Baptist church and read these verses to the young people there. They also laughed at me.

They were doing exactly what the people in Noah’s day did, but they laughed at me too!

Then I read Surprised by Joy, by C. S. Lewis. He said, “I have been a converted heathen living among apostate Puritans.” I thought, “That’s me!” My best friend at church laughed at me – but he went on to marry five girls, and became an apostate himself. Soon that church blew up in a horrible church split.

Then I went to a liberal seminary. They too laughed at me. The professors even said there was no such person as Noah, and there was no such flood!

Finally, I got into a church where the great pastor believed in Noah and the Flood. That was when I knew that the Bible was true, “but every church member lies,” (Romans 3:4). I never wavered from the truth of the Bible about Noah and the universal Flood!

Dr. A. W. Tozer said,

“Bible exposition without moral application raises no opposition. It is only when the hearer is made to understand that the truth is in conflict with his heart that resistance sets in” (“Exposition Must Have Application” by Dr. A. W. Tozer).

Now that I am almost 80 years old, I am not too surprised at the praise I get from leading preachers and educators. One great educator said that my autobiography

“…reveals [Dr. Hymers] to be more like an Old Testament prophet in manner and spirit than a 21st century predictable, respectable, run-of-the-mill preacher.”

Also, one of our missionaries to Indonesia said,

“Dr. Hymers is a hero who has survived many deadly wars.”

And Dr. Robert L. Sumner said,

“I appreciate and admire a man who is willing to take a stand for the truth…even when all the odds are against him. Robert Leslie Hymers, Jr. is that kind of a Christian.” (From Dr. Sumner’s book, The Honor Was All Mine: Giants of the Faith Whose Paths Crossed Mine).

President Theodore Roosevelt said,

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly...who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumphs of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” (President Theodore Roosevelt, “Citizenship in a Republic,” speech given at the Sorbonne in Paris, France, April 23, 1910).

Now turn again to Matthew 24:37-42 (p. 1034). Stand as I read it.

“But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come” (Matthew 24:37-42).

You may be seated.

Verse 37 says that “the days of Noah” are a picture of what it will be like at the time of Christ’s second coming.

This tells us that mankind will descend into sinfulness as people did before the Flood.

Verse 38: These things seem harmless to us, but not to God. But they expose the worldliness of the people in Noah’s day. This verse reminds me of the church at Laodicea in Revelation 3:14-19, especially verses 17 and 18. Please turn there (p. 1334). I’ll start reading at verse 15.

“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:15-17).

Now look again at Matthew 24:38 (p. 1034).

“For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark” (Matthew 24:38).

Dr. Scofield labels the Laodiceans as “the final state of apostasy” – and he was right. The people in Noah’s day were focused on banquets and marriages, not on God.

The final state of apostasy before the Flood was characterized by lighthearted lusting and playing, just as the final state of the church of the last days is today!

Verse 39 – They “knew not until the flood came, and took them all away.” Why didn’t the people know that the Flood was coming? Noah was a “preacher of righteousness” (II Peter 2:5; p. 1318). He told them that the Flood was coming, but they were having so much fun that they didn’t listen to his preaching. Furthermore, Noah didn’t just warn them once or twice. He preached the coming judgment for 120 years (see Genesis 6:3). Yet he won no point. Thus the people knew not in spite of Noah’s preaching. But there was a name of warning that the people did not pay attention to – the name of Methuselah. Alexander MacLaren tells us that the name of Methuselah meant “when he is dead, then it (the Flood) will come.” The Flood came on the very day that Methuselah died!

God is never in a hurry. But judgment comes when He says it will come. Look at Matthew 24:39-42 (p. 1034). Stand while I read the words of Christ,

“And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come” (Matthew 24:39-42).

You may be seated.

Notice how suddenly God’s judgment began to fall on America. In 1948 the Bible was outlawed in the public schools of America. Dr. Roy Branson said, “It was outlawed by an evil Supreme Court that had no authority to do that.” Dr. Branson also said, “What right does this nation have to ask why God would allow 9/11?” God has been told He is unwelcome in America, and He left, starting in 1948. Korea ended in a disgraceful stalemate. Vietnam was a war that could have been won in a few weeks, but instead timid factions in this country brought about a disgraceful surrender and abandonment of those we had promised never to forsake. Here is a list of sins America has committed since 1948.

1. Wholesale abortion.

2. Stealing.

3. Sodomy.

4. Lying (all of the major news channels now give out what most of us know is “fake news”).

5. Cheating (most of us know that the election was stolen from President Trump).

6. Outlawing the Bible.

7. Meanness toward good men like President Trump.

8. Closing our churches.

9. Dirty preachers like Jerry Falwell, Jr. and Jack Hyles.

10. Weak preachers like David Jeremiah.

11. Open promotion of homosexuality and lesbianism.

12. Filthy music (like 2 Live Crew’s “Me So Horny”).

13. Church splits (a particular sin of Baptist churches of all stripes).

14. Drugs and alcohol.

15. Lukewarm antinomianism in our churches.

16. Blaming God for “climate change.”

17. A deep freeze in Texas. Why? Because Texas is the home of thousands of Baptists. They split their churches over trivial things. So God froze out that state.

I do not agree with every point in The Hard Things of God. But I do agree with the main points of Dr. Branson’s book.


REMEMBER THE PROBLEM


The problem is the heart of man.
    It is not a problem of God;
It is man’s problem with God.


This lesson is largely based on The Hard Things of God by Dr. Roy L. Branson, Jr., Th.D., Ph.D. To order Dr. Branson’s book and his great book, Church Split, phone him at (423)366-3536 or e-mail him at drroybranson@chartertn.net.

Dr. W. A. Criswell said,

“If you miss any other book this year, do not miss Church Split. It is one that every pastor needs to read.”

Dr. Paige Patterson said,

“Dr. Roy Branson’s book Church Split speaks of an epidemic sweeping our land… Whether you agree with every sentence or not, you will benefit profoundly from this amazing book.”

Stand and sing our hymn!

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 [sin’s] dark blot,
To Thee whose Blood can cleanse each spot, O Lamb of God, I come! I come!

Just as I am, though tossed about With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings and fears within, without, O Lamb of God, I come! I come!
     (“Just As I Am” by Charlotte Elliott, 1789-1871; stanzas 1, 2 and 3).