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Sunday Evening Sermon February 15, 1970
By Dr. Jack Hyles
"Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and
doeth it not, to him it is sin." James 4:17
The Bible has a great deal to say about "doing." For
example, James says, "But to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not,
to him it is sin." Now when we think about sin, we think about drunkenness
or adultery, lying or stealing or cheating. But when God thinks about sin,
certainly He thinks about those things the Bible says, "To him that knoweth
to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin."
One of the problems of Ezekiel's day was that the
people liked to hear him preach. This is very interesting. There came a day
in Ezekiel's life when the people liked to hear him preach. It wasn't always
that way. In fact, when the Lord called Ezekiel to preach, he said that
their words will be like briars and like scorpions and that they shall hiss
and wag their heads. But there came a brief period when the people really
enjoyed Ezekiel's preaching. They said, "We like that fellow, he hits hard.
We like that stand he takes." The people were in bondage.
Ezekiel preached to the people while they were in
Babylonian captivity. Here is what the people said about him, at least a
portion of the time. Starting with Ezekiel 33:30, follow very carefully now
as I read with you out loud. "Also, thou son of man, the children of they
people still are talking against thee." The word against is not right; it
should be about thee. You'll find later on in this passage they weren't
criticizing him. They were talking about him. Ezekiel was the object of the
Let's go further, "by the walls and in the doors of
the houses." Now what does it mean? You folks that were with us on our tour
to Jerusalem, know what it means "by the walls." It means "on the streets,"
doesn't it? Downtown. Around the city. Around the Damascus Gate and
Stephen's Gate and Harod's Gate. They're talking about you. Boy, the
conversation all over the county is about that preacher. They're talking
about you in the houses, too. Ladies are talking across the backyard fence.
Boy, have you heard that preacher yet? Boy, oh boy, that guy really cuts
loose and preaches.
And so the Lord said, "Ezekiel, they are talking about
you by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak to one another,
every one to his brother, saying, 'Come, I pray you, and hear what is the
word that cometh forth from the Lord.'" The Lord said, "Folks are talking
about you all over town. They're talking about you in their homes. They're
talking about you in public places. More than that, they're inviting others
to come and hear you, too. They say, 'Come and hear what this preacher is
preaching;' come and visit with me; I'd like you to come and hear this
In verse 31, "And they come unto thee as the people
cometh." The people bring their loved ones and friends, and they come to
hear the preacher: "and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy
words, but they will not do them." This is not talking about people who hate
the preacher. This is not talking about people who criticize the preacher.
This is talking about people that like the preach! People who think he's a
good preacher! People who think he stands for what's right and for what's
true! This is talking about people: deacons and Sunday school workers or
teachers and members and tithers and faithful attenders and folks that are
always there. It says, "but their heart goeth after their covetousness."
Look at verse 31. "And they come unto thee as the
people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear they
words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love,
but their heart goeth after their covetousness." What is he saying? He is
saying tat these people are fine people and that they like to hear you
preach, and they invite their neighbors. They love to hear you, but they do
not do what you say.
We have folks in this house tonight who would fight
for me in a minute. I mean, really fight; but they wouldn't teach a Sunday
school class for me in a lifetime. If somebody were to curse me, we have
folks in this service tonight that would knock their block off. Wouldn't
you? Believe it or not, there are folks here tonight that like my preaching.
Now, that may be hard for some of you to believe, but it's true. Boy,
they'll say, "You ought to come and hear my preacher!" Yet, they haven't
made a visit since Noah's Ark. They never bring anybody to church. They
never teach a Sunday school class. They never do anything for God! That's
the kind of people he's talking about here.
"Oh," they say, "Come and hear my preacher. Come and
hear Ezekiel! He lets them have it. He's not afraid of anybody. He just lets
them have it! He's against sex education in the public schools; he's against
the beatniks and the hippies."
They said of Ezekiel, "He's against hippies. He's for
haircuts." I told the class tonight, I have had the biggest time lately.
Boy, I have really been fighting it. I'm not going to do this, but I want to
do it so badly I can taste it. I have never wanted to do anything in my life
as badly as I want to do something right now. I am just itching—you know
what I'm itching to do, too, don't you—I am itching to start a campaign
across America of demonstrating for righteousness. Somebody ought to do it.
I'm not going to do it; but, boy, if I ever get out of God's will you look
for me. I'll have a placard in my hand. I'll be on television. But be that
as it may, this country is gone unless we stop the anarchy.
I was preaching down in Springfield, Missouri, (You
know, I have the hardest time lately staying on the subject. I haven't
finished a sermon in months—literally!) I was in Springfield the other day
to preach and I started off—I read my Scripture and never even got to the
title of my sermon! I saw three preachers that were criticizing me, and I
just let them have it for the whole sermon. Isn't that terrible?
Anyway, I was preaching in Springfield, and they asked
me to preach about sex education. They were having a big problem. It's such
a big deal. I guess they were going to kill the pastor there. They were
having a service there one Sunday night, and the pastor was sitting in the
front, and the undertaker drove up in the hearse and asked the usher,
"Where's the body of the pastor? Where's Reverend Victory's body?" Everybody
was shocked in the back and, finally, one of the ushers who had the presence
of mind said, "He's sitting up front."
So I preached on sex education. I got on these little
namby-pamby, pussy-foot, knit picking, back scratching, penny pinching,
nickel licking, soft soaping, pink lemonade and tea drinking preachers! I
got on them, and after I got through a delegation of five reverends came up
to me, and one of them said, "Reverend, what do you do with the Bible when
it says 'resist not evil?'" And I said, "Forgive me, you're against
resistance?" "Yes," he said, "I'm against attack." I said, "Good, then I can
punch you in the nose and you won't hit me back." (Forgive me up there!) I'm
mean, but I'm honest. He said, "Well, I've got several Scriptures." And I
said, "Don't mess with me. I haven't got time to mess with you. It's your
crowd, you pacifists, that are selling our country down the road to
destruction. Now, get out!"
In my own kind way, I kicked them out. I haven't got a
bit of patience—not one bit of patience—with people who make it so our girls
cannot walk down the street without being assaulted by some fool maniac or
with people that will make it so our homes have no protection whatsoever.
They take the guns out of our homes. They take the authority out of our
policeman's hands. They take the sting out of our courts and out of our
laws. Our country is gone if we let that motley crowd have their way!
Ezekiel was against that, too. (How I got off on that I don't know. How I
get off on what I'm going to get off on after while, I don't know that
So they came and they heard Ezekiel. Look what else it
says. Verse 32, "And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song…" (They
like your voice.) "…of one that hath a pleasant voice and can play well on
an instrument." You sound like a violin to them. You sound like a flute. You
sound like a saxophone. They love to hear you as they would a symphony.
"…For they hear thy words, but they do them not."
Listen to me. One of the great needs in America is for
Bible believers to do something. To do something! It is not enough when you
come and hear a sermon. It is not enough for you to defend the preacher. I'm
glad you do that. I'm glad you're here. But it is not enough! God wants you
to do something for Him. And so these people loved to hear the preacher, and
they loved to hear his voice. They loved his sermons.
In Verse 33, "And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it
will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them."
Now all throughout the Bible, we have a reminder and a
warning against hearing but not doing. James said, "But be doers of the
word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." James 1:33 Now
listen. What does it mean? It means you can absolutely deceive yourself into
thinking you're a good Christian and yet do nothing for God. Why? Well, you
don't smoke. You don't drink. You don't dance. You don't commit adultery.
You don't gamble. You don't go to the movies. You don't go to the
nightclubs. You don't take LSD. You don't take any other kind of dope. You
just don't do anything real bad. You don't curse. You don't even use slang.
A lot of folks would go so far as to say you're sanctified. You just don't
do a lot of stuff.
But now James said don't deceive yourselves into
thinking you are a good Christian because a lot of stuff you don't do. He
said you can deceive yourself into thinking you're a good Christian,
deceiving your own selves by not doing. Be doers, not hearers only. Don't
just come to church and hear. Do something for God. Don't just come and sit;
do something for God.
You ask the average person, "What kind of a Christian
are you?" "Well, I go to church regularly. I'm pretty faithful to church."
That doesn't make you a good Christian. I'll say this. You're not a good
Christian because you don't drink, dance, commit adultery, go to the picture
show, or play cards either. Just a lot of "don't do this" and "don't do
that"—don't misunderstand me, I am against all of those things. I am opposed
to most anything there is. Just name it, I'm against it. You can quit
everything that's wrong and still not be a good Christian. "But be ye doers
of the Word and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves."
Now Jesus again and again uses that word do. For
example, He says that you're foolish if you don't do something for God.
Don't you recall He said, "And everyone that hearth these sayings of mine
and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his
house upon the sand." Matthew 7:26 You always thought, didn't you, that the
foolish man who builds his house on the sand was a man who didn't get saved.
No. It's a man who didn't do anything for God. It's a man who heard the
sayings and did nothing about them. There's a man who built his house on the
rock. You know, "The wise man built his house upon the rock, the wise man
built his house upon the rock." (Isn't that pretty? How could God give one
man so many talents it is hard for me to understand.) Anyway, you always
thought that meant: here's a fellow; he got saved; here's a fellow that
didn't. No. Jesus said, "He that heareth my sayings and does not do them is
likened unto the foolish man that builds his house upon the sand." What is
he doing? He is building his life on stuff that does not last. He's not
doing anything for God. He's not doing something for God's work.
Not only is it true that wise people do things for
God, but happy people do things for God. Jesus said, "If ye know these
things, happy are ye if ye do them." John 13:17. happy are ye that do them.
Do you know who the complainers are in the church? Folks that don't do
anything. You know who the happy, contented people are in the church? Folks
that do something for God. You mark it down. A person that gripes and
complains is the person who doesn't do anything for God.
The people that say, "It's not like it used to be!"
Oh, they complain and fuss. Those are people that are not busy doing
anything for God. They belong to the Quarterback Club. They met on Monday
morning and talk about the play the quarterback should have called. He
should have kicked instead of trying for that first down with one yard to go
at midfield. If I had been the quarterback—No, if you had been the
quarterback, you would've died from emphysema on the kickoff. If I'd been
the quarterback, I'll tell you what. Oh, that stupid quarterback. It sure is
easy to watch television and tell them how to run the game, isn't it? Except
churches are full of them. Full of them. Oh, I'll tell you what, I just
don't like people not doing anything.
Doing folks are happy people. Jesus said, "If ye know
these things, happy are ye if ye do them." And not only that. Our Lord said
that to be His friend you have to do something for God. I'm not talking
about believing something. I'm not talking about standing for something. I'm
not talking about defending something. I'm talking about doing something,
such as teaching a Sunday school class and building it, knocking on doors
and winning souls, building a bus route, working a job in the church,
superintending the department, singing in the choir, witnessing on the job,
going out and knocking on doors, assisting in a bus route, driving a bus, or
working on the new high school. Be doing something for God. And our Lord
said that's the happy crowd.
But if you want to be His friend, Jesus said in John
15:14, "Ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you." He didn't say
you are My friend if you stand for Me. You know there are people in this
house, God bless you. I appreciate every letter you write. I appreciate
every kind word you speak, and so often a letter will come just about the
time I need it most. But, let m say this. I'd rather you go out and knock on
a door and bring some sinners down the aisle. That's the way to show your
appreciation for the pastor. Build a Sunday School class and double it. We
have people, God bless you, I'm not against you. I like you. You send me a
Christmas card every year and put a five dollar bill in it. You say you
don't like that. Well, I'd rather it be a ten, but I like it fine. If you
can't afford ten, go ahead, $7.50 is okay, but beat that five next year if
you can. I am glad you do.
Do you know the crowd I like the most? I like the
crowd that goes out and knocks on doors and gets people saved and builds
Sunday school classes and builds departments. "You're my friends if you do
what I command you," Jesus said. He didn't say, "If you believe what I've
taught." He didn't say, "If you memorize the Scripture." He didn't say, "If
you belong to a Bible Club." Now, I'm not against Bible Clubs. He didn't
say, "If you come to Sunday school." He didn't say, "If you haven't missed
church in ten years." He said, "You are my friends if you DO.
There are people tonight that never win a soul, never
knock on a door, never go in a Sunday school class. I am talking tonight to
some of you young people. You say, "Well, what's the youth program in our
church?" Well, I think it's okay to have some fun. But what you really mean
is how many parties and wiener roasts or hay rides do we have. But you're
not a good Christian because you come to the wiener roasts or the hay rides.
You're supposed to do something for God this morning. Our Munster bus went
home a bit early, so Dave and I took one of the boys home. I guess he's back
tonight. Fine boy. He was saved four weeks ago. His folks go to the
Christian Reformed Church, and he got saved here. We took him home, he was
talking, and he said, "Dave, I talked to that gal this morning, but she
wouldn't come down the aisle because she was afraid. She didn't want to make
a fool of herself." And David said as we drove off, "Dad, that boy's only
been saved four weeks, and he's already trying to win souls to Christ." Now
that's what it's all about. Doing something for God.
"Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command
you," Jesus said. Now again, he said that if you want to be surrendered,
you'll have to do something. He said, "Why call ye me, Lord, and do not the
things which I say?" Luke 6:46. I am talking tonight to some college
students. Some of you students who are visiting from Moody Bible Institute
don't do a thing for God. If they had no extension work that you had to do
to pass, you wouldn't even witness to a sinner. The truth is a lot of you
wouldn't even go to church. You wouldn't do anything for God.
Oh, someday when you get that degree or someday when
you get your diploma, you're going to go out and shake the bushes for God.
No, you'll be as sorry then as you are now. Look, Hell is as hot tonight as
it will be when you get your diploma, and the Devil is as mad tonight. If
you don't get busy, you won't even have a nation with freedom when you get
your diploma. The honest truth is everybody is supposed to do something for
When my daughter, Becky, went off to college, I had a
little talk with her. I said, "Becky, you do something for God when you go
to college. Don't you go down and just prepare yourself for the future." I
said, "You do something for the present." And my heart rejoices because she
writes back, and she says she won so and so to Christ and goes out visiting
and soul winning and so forth.
We are supposed to do something for God. Jesus said,
"Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" The Bible
says it's sin not to do something for God. You say, "Preacher, you mean
every Christian is supposed to teach a Sunday school class?" No, not
necessarily. But every Christian is supposed to do something for God. I mean
you're supposed to witness; you're supposed to work; you're supposed to have
a job for God; you're supposed to teach a class; you are supposed to be a
superintendent; you are supposed to have a bus route. Do something! Every
Christian is supposed to actively do something for God.
The Apostle Paul got converted on the road to
Damascus. He was going to Damascus to breath out threatenings against the
Jews and the Christians and to persecute the Christians. He was suddenly
cast down. He couldn't get away from the death of that deacon Stephen. He
saw that face, and he heard the words of Stephen as he said, "Lay not this
sin to their charge." Acts 7:49. He heard the words of that faithful deacon,
and he saw him as he died for the gospel of Christ.
Saul of Tarsus was there holding their cloaks, and he
couldn't get away. He tried to shake it off, and he couldn’t because
Stephen's death and words pricked his heart. He tried to get busy
persecuting Christians, but there was the preaching and the death of that
Godly deacon, Stephen. And finally, Saul of Tarsus was hurled to the ground
on that Damascus road when he said, "Who art thou Lord?" Acts 9:5 The next
question he asked was, "What wilt thou have me to do?" Acts 9:6 You see, as
soon as you get it settled who he is, the next thing is to go into the DO
You need to DO something for God.
Let me ask you a question. What are you doing for God?
What are you doing for God? I carry my Bible to school. No, what are you
doing for God? You say, "I haven't missed Sunday School in years." No, what
are you doing for God? What are you doing! Oh you say, "I believe the
Bible." No. What are you doing for God, young people? You say, "Now
preacher, I don't dance." I didn't ask you what are you "don't doing." I
said what are you DOING? I don't think you ought to dance, by the way, but
what are you doing for God?
"Oh," you say, "Preacher, I'll tell you what. I don't
smoke cigarettes. I don't smoke dope." I didn't ask you what you don't do. I
asked, what are you doing for God? What are you adults doing for God? Oh,
I'll tell you what. You say, "Preacher, at our house we never have a
cigarette inside. If we have company that smokes they have to go outside."
That's a good idea.
A fellow came to my house not too long ago—about a
year ago. He had a problem, and he came in and he said, "Would you mind if I
smoke?" I said, "Yes, I would." I don't think you ought to let anybody smoke
in your house. Now I mean that. I think you ought to kindly say to people
who smoke or drink or whatever else, "We're Christians. We don't want to
offend you; we don't want to be unkind to you." That doesn't mean you ladies
are supposed to put your husband's pillow and cover out on the porch tonight
because he comes in smoking. Sorry, you can't do that.
I will tell you something though. We were talking
about Jephthah tonight. Somebody asked the question in our early class, "Why
did Jephthah make a fool promise like he did when he promised to offer to
God as a sacrifice, the first thing that walked in the door. He only had one
daughter. It looks like he would have known the daughter would walk through
Now what am I saying? I am saying that the
honest-to-goodness truth is not just what you don't do. Okay, you don't let
folks smoke. Okay, you don't drink. Okay, you don't curse. Okay, you stand
for God at school Okay. But what do you do for God? What are you doing
positively for God? Now if you know to do good and don't do it, it is sin.
If you know to do good now, I am telling you now that you're supposed to do
good. You're supposed to go out and knock on doors. You're supposed to teach
a class. You're supposed to have a little children's meeting. You're
supposed to be a superintendent of a Sunday school department. You're
supposed to have a bus route. You're supposed to drive a bus. Every
Christian is supposed to do something for God. Paul said, "What would thou
have me to do?"
Now Paul had not been saved long enough yet to get
baptized. He had not yet even gotten off his face. He was stricken on the
road to Damascus and said, "Who art thou?" Now by the way, always get the
"who" right first. Always get the "who" right. "Oh, I am Jesus whom thou
persecuteth." Oh, get the "who" right!
Be sure that you are born again. Be sure that you know
who Christ is—the virgin-born, sinless, Son of God, the pre-existent Christ
of the Garden of Eden who walked with Adam. The Christ who walked in the
garden in the cool of the day in Genesis 3:8. The Christ who walked and
wrestled with Jacob through the night. The Christ who was a ladder,
according to the last verse of the first chapter of John, on which an angel
went up and down in the story of Jacob. The Christ who walked in the fiery
furnace with Shadrach, Meshech, and Abednego. The Christ that stood beside
Joshua as the unseen captain before the battle the next day. That
pre-incarnate, that pre-existent Christ, Son of God, sinless life, vicarious
death, virgin born, Godly resurrected, sits at the right hand of God as I
stand here tonight. Know who He is! He is the Savior of the world, He is the
hope of the world, he is the answer for the world's needs and He is what the
world is crying for and doesn't know it. If that be true, you've got the who
right—do something about it.
I can't help but wonder how many of those misguided
young hippies, immoral, dirty, filthy, indecent, atheistic,
Communistic-inspired folks who are trying to sell our country down the
river, could have been saved if somebody had run a bus route in their
neighborhood when they were ten years old. I can't help but wonder how many
of those fellows who, if they'd heard the Gospel—and this is what they're
looking for and don't know it—that's why they go from one place to another.
They go to New York City to Greenwich Village for a while. They go to Canada
for a while. They go to Chicago for a while. They haven't found the answer
yet. The answer is Christ.
Who art thou? Once you find out who He is, then decide
what you're going to do. Now Paul didn't say, "Would you have me do
anything?" That was pre-supposed. Yes, you are supposed to do something for
There are some fine people sitting in this house
tonight. Lovely people. I love you, and God knows I do. And if you just want
to sit here and fill up 18 inches of lumber and keep it warm for the rest of
your life, that's your business. I don't want you to get mad and quit, and I
don't want you to go home. But I'll tell you what. When you stand before the
judgment seat of Christ and God rewards the believers for what they have
done for Him, there are going to be hundreds of people in the good ole First
Baptist Church of Hammond that will not get one single reward because they
never have done anything for God.
You've sat on your blessed assurance all of your life.
You've never knocked on a door. You've never taught a Sunday school class,
and if you do, you don't build one. You've never got anybody saved. You've
never built a bus route. You've never went out and won a soul to Christ.
There are Fundamentalists, pardon me, evangelicals—and
by the way, a Chicago Tribune reporter called me and said, "In these days of
the declining church attendance, to what do you attribute your rapid
growth?" Well, that is just sort of asking for it, you know. I said, "Well,
we believe the Bible and get excited about it and work at it." She said,
"Would you call yourselves Evangelicals?" I said, "No, I'd call myself a
Fundamentalist." And, by the way, I've been called all three parts of the
word, too. I said, "I'm fundamental." And I said, "I'm proud to be a
That means, I believe in the fundamentals of the
Scripture, and I'm not ashamed of the word "fundamentalist." I'm a
Fundamentalist, I'm a Conservative, and I'm anything else that means that
the Bible is true. I'm for decency, and I'm for verbal inspiration of the
Scripture, and I'm for a virgin birth, and I'm for a bodily resurrection,
and I'm for an imminent coming of Christ! Well, of course, I am. I am glad
you are, and I believe in that. That is not enough.
God wants you to DO something. What are you doing for
God? Deacons, what are you doing for God? Men, what are you doing for God?
Ladies, what are you doing for God? Young people, what are you doing for
I suppose that you'll say to that girl that you are
trying to win (and how you are going to do it, I don't know. You ugly
pusses. How you can get a pretty little girl to like you beats me), "I'm
going to quit going with everybody else." She says "Okay, any questions you
want to ask me?" You say, "No." She says, "Don't you want to take me out?"
You say, "No, I don't want to do anything with you, I just want to quit
everybody else." Suppose that Jim said to Pam, "I'm not going to go with
anybody else as long as I live." She said, "Where are we going to go?" And
he said: "No place." He'll say, "I'll tell you what, Pam, I'm not going to
buy anybody else a box of candy as long as I live." She'd say: "What kind
are you going to buy me?" "Not any." "Well, Pam, I'm not going to buy
anybody else a corsage as long as I live." I'm afraid that wouldn't satisfy
Pam, and I'm afraid that it doesn't satisfy God either. (I recall when I had
my first date. They sent word and asked me if I was going to buy a corsage.
I didn't know what one was. I sent word back that she could have anything on
the menu that she wanted.) God says, "What are you going to do?" You say,
"I'm not going to serve any other god." "What are you going to do for me?"
"I'm going to read the Bible." "What are you going to do?" "Well, I'm going
to come to hear the preacher. I like my preacher; he's a good guy. He takes
a stand. I like him. Boy, his voice is the kind I like, and he beats the
pulpit, and he beats and stomps."
I'm glad you do. I want you to keep coming. But, if
you are right with God, you are going to have to do something for God. DO
something for God! Now, why is it that people don't serve the Lord? Why is
it that Christianity consists of just not doing this and not going here? In
the first place, there is over-emphasis on the negative, and I've already
stressed that enough tonight. In the second place, there is a
misunderstanding of the purpose of the Word of God. All across Chicago,
(Boy, this area is the worst in America for it) people are gathered around
the "Word". Well, the Word is called "water." The Bible is supposed to
cleanse us like water. Brother Terry, you and I need a bath something
terrible. And I say, "Brother Terry, we are both really dirty. Let's gather
around the water. Brother Terry, look at that pretty water. Isn't that
something? That's the bluest water I have ever seen. You know what it's made
out of? H2O." Yes sir, and that H2—that's a type of Heaven, a second Heaven.
Gather around the water. And that "O" that stands for oxygen, and you know
what that typifies—it typifies that Jesus is our breath. That's right. (In
the Hebrew language, the word is oshcumukus and in Greek it is univy. I
learned that from a psychologist who flopped at a church he pastored and had
to teach in school.)
Let's gather around the water. Hey, are you feeling
cleaner? You still stink. Just gather around the water.
All over Chicago tonight, there are churches with
forty or fifty—no fire, no zeal, no breath of God, no anointing. Let's just
gather around the Word. God pity them; they think they are Fundamentalists,
and they laugh at people like us who try to Do something for God. They'll
say, "I just can't stand Jack Hyles. Their buses go right by our church."
Well, it is a good thing somebody is working your field, Oscar. If you would
get excited enough to do something about it, we could run them by somebody
else's church for a while. The honest truth is you ought to jump down and
say "Well, thank God, somebody cares about my field." It is time you did
something for God.
Listen, there are seven million people in Chicago,
twelve million people in greater Chicago, perishing in Hell without God. It
is time somebody did something for God. Some of you folks who go to churches
in Chicago, Fundamental churches, gather around the Word. You stink as much
as Brother Terry and I would if we hadn't gathered around the water. Get
your hands in that water. Make some soap out of it. Wash yourselves.
Brother Streeter, did you know that somebody was trying to break into our house? No joke, boy. Look there. Look Brother, do you see him? He's got a gun, too. Run, nothing, boy, go get the gun. Let's gather around the gun. There's a
guy breaking in but we don't want to get excited about
it. That is sensationalism; that is spectacularism. We just want to gather
around the gun. Look at that gun. It's loaded, too, but we don't want to
shoot it because it would mess up our sanctuary. Gather around the gun.
You say, "Preacher, I don't like that kind of
preaching," and the Lord doesn't like your kind of behavior either. God
doesn't like lazy people. The whole country is going to the devil. Listen,
when those men over there have been tried and are waiting for their
sentences; when those heathen reprobates can get more excited about a
Communist revolution than we can about the Gospel of Grace, there is
something wrong with us. What a sad commentary on American Christians—let
the world go to Hell.
God said to Ezekiel, "They love to hear you preach,
they love to hear your voice. It is like a musical instrument to them." They
say to their neighbors, "Come and hear him," and yet they do not do what you
It is not enough for you to come to First Baptist
Church. It is not enough for you to like my preaching. It is not enough for
you to like this choir. It is not enough for you to like the church. It is
not enough for you to like my stand. DO something for God. The world is
perishing. "Why call ye me, Lord, and do not the things which I say?"
Gather around the water; gather around the sword. Al
Gomez, the carpenter back there—do you suppose that when the Bible calls the
Word a "hammer"—Jeremiah said, "Is not the Word like a hammer?" and so he
says to these thirty men, "There is a school out there that needs repairing,
so let's just gather around the hammer." That's what the Bible is called, a
Gathering around the hammer won't build a school;
gathering around the water won't bathe you; gathering around a sword or gun
won't keep the fellow from coming in from the street and robbing your house
and raping your daughters and wife; and I'll tell you something else,
gathering around the Word and examining the Word like it is an algebra book
or a mathematics book or a museum piece is not going to save this untoward
generation. We are going to have to do something.
Ezekiel said, "It is not enough to just like my
preaching, but do something for God. I'm glad you bring guests, but do
something for God."
There is another reason why we don't do anything—it is
because we misunderstand the purpose of the church. We have the idea that
the church is a quiet, dark building on a corner where a bunch of people
walk in and have some sort of a quiet experience. They call it in seminary
or college "a worship experience." Nothing in the Bible about it, nothing at
all. And, they walk in and for one hour they sooth their consciences and get
some ashes on their head. God pity, and that is the purpose of the church. A
worship place. Not on your life. A church is no more than a service station
where you go by and get fuel so you can go out and serve God all week long!
You say you don't agree with that. Okay, here's the
Bible, show me anywhere in the New Testament your pattern for so-called
ritualistic worship service. Show me. It is not in the Bible. A church is a
place where God's people come to get strength and to get food and to get fed
and to get encouragement so they can go out on the job tomorrow and witness
for Christ and go out in the field tomorrow and get folks saved and go out
and work where the people need to hear the Gospel.
I got a call the other day from a dear lady. She said,
"Reverend Hyles, I know you will be disappointed when you hear what
happened." I said, "What now?" She said, "Two of your people came by our
house and told us that if we didn't get born again, we were going to Hell."
She said, "I knew you would be just mortified." I said, "Oh, is that right?"
She said, "That’s right." I didn't laugh out loud for joy, but I'm not
worried about you folks who are doing a little too much. I'm worried about
you folks who don't DO at all.
You know what happens? The average pastor will spend
his time criticizing the fellow who is too zealous so he can rise and defend
the fellow who does nothing for God. Not me, Brother, not me. I'm like that
colored preacher down in Mansfield, Arkansas, that you've heard me tell
about. He stood on the street corner and he said, "If you is white, you
gotta get born again. If you is black, you gotta get born again." Then he
lifted his voice and said, "I don't care if you is maroon; you still gotta
get born again." Now, I'm not going to quiet this fellow down. You can if
you want to. I'm just going to bless God that he is doing something for God.
It is you people who never witness to anybody that concern me.
They love to hear you preach but do nothing about it.
If misunderstanding that the purpose of the church is not a place of
service, but the place to get fuel; not a place just to worship, but it is a
place to get strength to go out and serve God. Why, because of
misunderstanding about doctrine?
I know a preacher who preaches in another state a long
way from here. He is one of the most congenial fellows I know. He knows
every liberal by name and what the liberal has said. He also knows everybody
that has talked about liberals and what he said to him. He has in his files
what every preacher has said about the sex education program and about the
Communist tendency and about the National Council of Churches. He is a
walking encyclopedia. He runs about 85 in Sunday School. He is considered to
be a big preacher, he is well known all over the country. He baptized twelve
You see, he misunderstands the purpose of defending
the faith. The purpose of defending the faith—let's go back to what happens
to you and me if someone breaks into our house. You and I are brothers. Lord
pity you, but we are brothers. Get the gun. This guy comes in, and he is
right here. When he comes in, he draws his gun. Don't you touch that gun. I
want to defend that gun. Why? Because I want to shoot his gizzard with it,
that's why I want to keep it. You know why I want to keep the gun? I'm going
to defend that gun, do you know why? Because I'm going to use it. The only
reason to defend the gun is because I'm going to use it. Don't you touch
that gun, it belonged to my grand-daddy. I don't care if it belonged to
George Washington; I'm going to blow his brains out if I can get it. Why?
Why defend the Bible? Because you ought to use the
Bible. This is why I have Carl MacIntyre, John Stormer and others who defend
the Bible—why I have folks to defend the faith—I'll tell you why. So we will
have enough freedom in the country to propagate the Bible, that's why. Not
enough just to defend the Bible. Why defend it if we are not going to use
it? The Bible is a Sword to be used, a gun to be used, a hammer to be used,
water to cleanse—defend it! The purpose is to defend it, so you can use it.
Now, what can we do? What should a Christian do? In
the first place, every Christian ought to have a job to do in the church. A
Bible-preaching church ought to have jobs in the church, whether it is
parking the buses, ushering, working in the PA room, taking care of the
nursery, or teaching a Sunday School class. Every Christian ought to find
some job to do in the church. Every Christian ought to have some planned way
of witnessing. It may be that you will do that on a bus route. It may be
that you will do it through your Sunday School class. It may be that you
will do it by just having two or three hours a week where you go out on your
own and knock on doors. But, every Christian ought to have a time when he
goes out and witnesses and tries to win folks to Jesus Christ.
What wouldst Thou have me to do? Why call ye me Lord
and do not the things I say. Friends, if you do whatsoever I have commanded
you, and the commandment was to go and bring froth fruit, every Christian
ought to not only have a job in his church but every Christian ought to have
also a time of calling and witnessing.
Number three, every Christian ought to readily
volunteer for a special task in the church. Now, I mean readily. It
shouldn’t be the pastor who has to say that we need twenty men to work at
the school and have to beg and beg and beg. People ought to beg to do
something for God. Here is an opportunity. I can do this for God; I can do
this for Christ. Something I can do! I can't preach a sermon; I can't sing a
solo; I can't be superintendent of a department; I can't be a deacon; but I
can do this. Every Christian ought to jump at the opportunity to do
something for God.
Here is a Pastors' School coming up. We will need
people to help. We will need people to help serve, help prepare, help give
demonstrations. We will need people to help. We need some to give. We need a
lot of money given sacrificially so we can operate a Pastors' School and
influence a whole nation for God or a whole world for God.
What would Thou have me to do? First place, have a job
in the church. Second place, have some kind of plan for witnessing and soul
winning, and thirdly, volunteer for a special task.
I have said this across the country, and I've said it
here. I have never in my life felt as much as I feel tonight that the days
are short. Look, do you realize, ladies and gentlemen, that if those twelve
people on that jury tonight and tomorrow, if they were to acquit those
fellows, do you realize what that means? That means that 100 fellows could
come to this church one night while I am preaching and run up here and
martyr this preacher behind the pulpit and get by with it. Did you know
that? Did you know we may just be days away from dying for Christ? All we
have got to do is just go a step further, take the authority out of the
policeman's hand, take the authority out of the court, and take the gun out
of your home, and we won't have any defense against these fanatics.
The honest simple truth is, we are closer to real
honest martyrdom than we ever realized. We don't have long to serve God. I
have never in my life felt as much that we ought to stay busy doing
something. That is one reason why I am playing on every string I can play
on. I just got one book out a few weeks ago and three weeks from next
Friday, my new book is coming out, "The Jack Hyles Church Bus Handbook," a
book that will color America in buses. I have started another book and the
Spring Program is on my mind. I sat in San Jose, California, the other day
with Brother Fisk sitting right beside me. Dr. Rice was preaching and I was
sitting on the platform. Brother Fisk asked me, when it was all over, if I
took notes on Dr. Rice's sermon all the time he was preaching. I said,
"Thank you, but what I really was doing was planning the Spring Program." I
had heard that sermon before. (I'm sorry, but that is what I really did.)
These are days we have got to stay busy. There is too
much to be done. Tonight, I looked back at the offering, and we are $800
below the budget. Last week, we were $2,000 above. What happened? I don't
know. Today, $800 below. Well, somebody wanted to do a little something,
spend a little money here and there, but this is God's business. We've got
to stay busy; we've got to give; we've got to live; we've got to build;
we've got to work.
Do you think I would do what I do and get criticized
like I do if I didn't think this was the biggest thing in all the world? We
have got to call a national emergency against the Devil. He has called it
against us. If we don't, everything we treasure will be gone, everything.
These are days we have got to stay busy. What are you
doing for God? Ezekiel, they love to hear you preach, but they don't build
any Sunday School classes; they love to hear you preach, but they don't work
on any bus routes; they love to hear you preach, but they never knock on a
door. They love to hear you preach, but they don't win any souls; they don't
do anything. What are you doing? Our country is at stake.
These little boys and girls down here on the front
row; they're at stake. I wouldn't give you twenty-five cents for the chances
of these boys on the front row getting to even go to a Bible-preaching
church when they get to be 35 to 40 years of age, unless we get busy for God
right now. Our country is about gone. Somebody has got to do something for
God. What are you doing? "I gave my life for thee; what has thou given for
Me? I bring rich gifts to Thee; what has thou given to me?" What are you
doing for God?
Must Jesus bear the cross alone,
And all the world go free?
No, there's a cross for every one,
And there's a cross for me.
Must I be carried to the skies
On flow'ry beds of ease,
While others fought to win the prize
And sailed through bloody seas?
Sure I must fight, if I would reign;
Increase my courage, Lord.
I'll bear the toil, endure the pain,
Supported by Thy Word.
In all of my life, I have never felt like we ought to
spend ourselves doing something for God like I feel tonight.
Let us pray.
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