by Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001)
Sunday Evening Sermon February 1, 1970
"For thou shalt worship no other god; for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God." Exodus 34:14
May I invite your attention again in your Bible please to the Book of Exodus, Chapter 34. I am going to speak tonight on a subject that has to do with one of the little-known attributes of God, and that is His jealousy. His jealousy.
In Exodus 34:14, "For thou shalt worship no other god, for the Lord, show name is Jealous…" Isn't that interesting? Did you ever notice that before? His name is Jealous –"…is a jealous God. Lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go a whoring after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their gods, and one call thee, and thou eat of his sacrifice; And thou take of their daughters unto thy sons, and their daughters go a whoring after their gods, and make they sons go a whoring after their gods. Thou shalt make thee no molten gods."
One of the most overlooked attributes of God is His jealousy. Many times, in fact, I'd say about 35 or more, you find it mentioned in the Bible that God is a jealous God. It is said, "I the Lord thy God am a jealous God." Those words are said in Exodus 20:5, Exodus 34:14, Deuteronomy 4:24, Deuteronomy 5:9, Deuteronomy 6:15, Joshua 24:19. In all of these verses, it says, "I the Lord the God am a jealous God."
Now what does the word jealous mean? Exactly what it says. God's just jealous. That's all. God wants all of us and if God does not have all of us, it makes God jealous. Now that's what the word jealousy means. It means to want to possess all of something else. To want to possess all of something else. Let us face it, now why is God jealous over you? Simply, God made you to fellowship with Himself. The purpose of your existence is that you might fellowship with your Creator. Now, when you fail to do that, then God is jealous over you. You see, for some reason you're the apple of God's eye. For some unknown reason, you're the pearl of great price. For some unknown reason you are compared by God as a son who has gone astray, and He is the Father who wants the son to return. For some unknown reason you and I are really somebody to God. God wants us. God wants a man to be saved.
If you're here tonight and you're not a Christian, God wants you. God is jealous of you. If God does not have you, He is jealous of what does have you. If God is not your Savior, He is jealous because He's not. God is jealous of you.
God is jealous of nations—Zion. God is jealous of cities—Jerusalem. God is jealous of people, II Corinthians 11:2. Now, of what is God jealous? Please listen carefully because there are some things in our lives that make God jealous.
In the first place, God is jealous over graven images. At least a half dozen times in the Bible, God says, "Thou shalt make unto thee no graven image. Thou shalt not bow down and worship them." And then He ends it by saying, "I, the Lord the God, am a jealous God." You say, "Oh, you're talking about the Catholics." No, I'm talking about the Baptists if they have any graven images, too. I'm talking about anybody that has a graven image. Now, don't take it up with me. God said it. "Thou shalt not make unto me any graven image. Thou shalt not bow down and worship them."
I was in Japan a couple of years ago, and all over Japan you have the Buddha. The little god Buddha. The Japanese people pray to that little graven image, and they bow down before that graven image. Every time a Japanese person, or an American person for that matter, bows down before a god of Buddha, God is jealous. God is jealous about that and God is like a lover who is jealous of another. God says, "I am a jealous God." And any time you bow down and worship or bow down before a graven image, God becomes jealous about it.
I went to a funeral one time in a church that was not Baptist. They had images all over the church, and as you walked in, you would bow down and do like this. It was not a Baptist church. I am not being unkind. If it were a Baptist church, I'd say the same thing. The Lord says you shouldn't do that. The Lord says He's jealous about it; because it is God before whom you should bow. And it is God whom you should worship.
The little lady in Sychar—Jesus came down that day and He said, "How do you do? Do you come to get water?" And she said, "Yes, I do. I come everyday to get water, several times a day. I have to carry it on my head. And I put it in a bottle and carry it on my head." And Jesus said, "Well, I'm in the water business myself." She said, "Oh, you're in the water business, too?" He said, "I have some water; if you'll take one drink of it, you'll never get thirsty again."
"Boy," she said, "Wouldn't that be something? I come down here every day, many times a day, and my head is getting flat." (That's why most women are flat headed.) "My head is getting flat and if I could find some water that would cause me never to be thirsty again. Boy, think about those camels I have to feed. Just give them a drink of that water and they'd never gurgle again. Never get thirsty again. Give me this water!" And He said, "I am that water." And she said, "Oh, you've heard the Messiah is going to come." He said, "I am the Messiah." "Oh," she said, "We know. We're Samaritan. We worship up here on Mount Gerizim and the Jews worship at the temple in Jerusalem." And Jesus said, "The day is coming and now is that day when those who worship God must worship Him in spirit and in truth." And God is jealous when churches put images in their lobbies and put images in their buildings. God's jealous about that. Why? Because God wants you to bow before Him. God wants that adoration. God wants that praise.
You might say, "Well, Brother Hyles, I don't worship the image." Then why put it there? Why don' you put a picture of Mickey Mantle there? Saint Mickey or Saint Ernie? You see. Now, look. It is wrong to worship the idol, but if you don't worship it, it is still wrong to bow down before it. Because God says, "It makes me jealous." And God goes into a temper fit of jealousy every time somebody bows down before some image; because God wants you to bow down before Him. But there are other things.
God also is jealous of covenants with heathen nations. Covenants with heathen nations. He said in Exodus 34:14 that we read a while ago. "Now, look. I'm jealous over something. You're making covenants with heathen nations. When you do that, you bow down and worship their gods. They worship your god; you worship theirs. They go with you on Sunday morning. You go with them on Sunday night, you see." And He said, "Before you know it, your kids are marrying their kids. Your sons marry those heathen women. Your daughters marry those heathen men." Now God said, "I am jealous because you make covenants with heathen nations."
Now you can say what you want to say. I don't care if you are a democrat or republican. I don't care if you voted for Nixon or Humphrey or Wallace, or like Brother Streeter, you voted for Lester Maddox. I don't care who you voted for. I don't care what political persuasion you are in; it is anti-God and anti-Bible for American to consider entering into any kind of treaty with Soviet Russia. In the first place, it's not worth the ink and the paper that you use in writing it and signing it. A Godless, heathen nation who burns Bibles and kills Christians, and outlaws decency, and is against God, will also break a treaty. We ought to do what's the right thing to do and hang treaties with heathen nations.
God looks down and see America, for example, making a treaty about disarmament. Now we ought to disarm or not disarm on the basis of whether we ought to disarm or not disarm. You'll not be able to trust Soviet Russia with disarming, not at all. The honest truth is—I think we ought to build the biggest army, the most powerful arsenal. I think we ought to tell the whole world, "Boy look what we've got. If you ever decide to pick a fight, you are really going to have some problems."
Now the honest truth is God looks down and says, "Look at my people making alliances with heathen nations! Look at my people making treaties with Godless nations! I am jealous about that! My folks will not trust me for peace! They'll not trust me for safety! They'll not trust me for security!" You ought not to trust a piece of paper signed with a Godless nation. And God says, "I'm jealous about that!" You see, God is a consuming fire. I know God is a God of compassion, but He is also a God of vengeance. Sometime turn to the Book of Nahum and read what our God is. Our God is a consuming fire. He is full of wrath and vengeance. Sometimes turn to Proverb and read where the Lord says, "In that day of calamity, I'll mock them. I'll laugh at you. I'll sit in the Heavens and have you in derision."
The day is going to come when those of you who have put off being born again and have said "no" to Jesus Christ, you are going to bow on your knees and say, "God, save me!" But it will be too late. You'll have crossed the line. There is a line by us unseen that God has drawn in front of every unsaved person. When you say "no" so many times, you have crossed that line. The Bible says in that day you will decide to get saved. You will look up and say, "Lord, save me!" And the Lord will mock you. God in Heaven will say, "Lord, save me!" You say, "Oh, God, have mercy!" And God will say, "Oh, God, have mercy!" He will have you in derision and mockery and anger! For the God who says, "Come unto me and I will give you rest," if that love is spurned and rejected, becomes a consuming fire—a God full of vengeance and fury.
Oh, my precious friend, God looks down and sees America living and wallowing in a cesspool of heathenism and anti-prayer, anti-Bible and anti-God, He sees our colleges allowing hoodlums and beatniks and hippies to make fun of America and put Ho Chi Minh's name and fly the Viet Cong flag and laugh at American democracy and American capitalism, and say let's line up with heathen nations. God says, "I'm jealous about that! I'm jealous!" And God looks down and sees His people lining up with heathen nations, and then God becomes a jealous God full of wrath and full of fury.
But there's still a third thing that makes God jealous, and that is when saved people marry unsaved people. When converted people marry unconverted people, God becomes jealous. In Exodus 34:14 and following that we read a while ago, He says, "I am a jealous God." Why? You make alliances with heathen nations. Then what happens? Well, then you go a whoring after other gods. Then what happens? Then your boys marry their girls. Your girls marry their boys. And God is jealous.
Young people, you know when you have a date with an unsaved person, it makes God jealous? I mean just jealous. Did you ever want to go with a certain boy, and he didn't want to go with you, and some other gal got him? You could not sleep at night because you were so jealous about it? That's the way God is. I mean God is jealous! God wants you to do what He says! God wants you to marry one of His children. When you go out and court unsaved people and run with a heathen, God says, "I'm jealous about that. I want them to marry my children and go with my children!" That's one reason why I stress again and again and again a young person ought to build his life around a New Testament church so he will fellowship and associate with mostly Godly born-again young people. So when his heart is given away to another, it will be someone of like faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. God is jealous about that.
There's something else about which God is jealous. God is jealous about His name. In Ezekiel 39:25, God says, "I am jealous for my name." Now, we have mentioned three things already. He is jealous over graven images and our bowing down to worship them. You say, "Brother Hyles, it so happens that I belong to a church that has images." Okay. Then you make God jealous when you bow down to worship them. The second thing that makes God jealous is alliances with heathen nations. And the third thing is converted folks marrying unconverted people. Now the fourth thing is God is jealous for His name.
You see, God is the only true God. His revelation to man is in His Son, Jesus Christ. Nobody can know the true God unless he knows the true Son. In John 14:6, He reminds us, "No man cometh unto the Father but by me." There is absolutely no way that you can be a Christian unless you believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the virgin-born, sinless Son of God. Oh you say, "Well, I believe there's a God up in Heaven somewhere. We're all working for the same place!" That's a dirty lie of the Devil. Nobody is working to go to Heaven and if anybody is, he won't get there. You don't work to go to Heaven; it is a gift of God. You could not earn Heaven. There's nothing you could do to deserve Heaven. You've got to receive what Jesus did for you on the cross. Here's a person who says, "I believe in God but I just can't believe this thing that Jesus Christ is God's son." God is jealous about that. He is jealous for His name. That's why God tells us we're not to yoke ourselves up with religions that do not believe in the deity of Christ. If there is one criticism I get—and there is one—every once in awhile, somebody will say to me, "Brother Hyles, I hope this doesn't hurt your feelings, but somebody said something bad about you." Oh, that's too bad. Remind me to worry about that a few seconds some day—But now if there's one criticism I get this is it. Brother Hyles criticizes other religions.
There is not a person in this house—and I challenge you to tell me—who has heard me criticize a church or a preacher who believes that every word in this Bible is the Word of God and that Jesus Christ is a virgin-born, sinless Son of God. You've never heard me! And if I stay sane, you never will! Now some of them criticize me. But you will never, as long as I stay of right mind, hear me criticize a Bible-believing preacher who believes the verbal inspiration of the Book and the deity of Jesus Christ and that Jesus Christ is God's virgin-born son. No, I'm on their team! But if a man stands behind a pulpit and poses to be from God and poses to be a man of the cloth and does not believe every word in this Bible is of God, he is a hoax, a fake, a hypocrite, a liar, a cheat; and I am going to expose him! Now you say, "I don't like that." Then you figure out the best way you can to lump it!
I'm not criticizing—listen, I'm not criticizing fakes and liars and cheats. The Bible says, "If a man come to you and bring not this doctrine, don't let him in your house. Neither bid him God's speed. For if you bid him God's speed, you become partaker of his filthy deeds." The Apostle Paul said in Galatians 1:9-10, "If there come unto you and bring not this doctrine, let him be accursed." He said, "If an angel from Heaven come and bring not this doctrine that Jesus is the Christ, let him be accursed." He said, "If something happens to me and I come back and preach anything apart from the doctrine of the grace of God through the deity and the death of Christ, let me be accursed!" And may I say, my precious friend, God is jealous when somebody stands up and says, "Well, it doesn't matter about the virgin birth." It does matter about the virgin birth! Somebody stands up and says, "Well, let's all be loving." You want to love the Devil and all his angels in hell, don't you?
The honest, simple truth is I don't think God wants us to love everything. God doesn't want us to love this heathen, atheistic philosophy going through our colleges and universities today. God doesn't want us to love the hippie movement, the communist movement, the anti-God movement, the anti-Christ movement. The honest truth is when God looks down from Heaven and sees someone that does not declare Jesus Christ is His son, God says, "I'm jealous about that!"
Now, you don't like what I'm preaching, but one of these days you will wish you had liked it, because one day God is going to call your name as sure as I am an inch high and as sure as this pulpit is before me; God is going to call your name. You are going to stand before Him who made you, and you are going to Heaven or hell on one basis. That basis is: Did you accept Jesus Christ as the incarnate Son of God who died for your sins and bore your sins in his body on the tree? If you say, "I do not believe He's God's son," if you did not get born again, if you did not believe the deity of Christ, the inspiration of Scripture, then you are lost and God, a jealous god, will be a consuming fire of vengeance toward your soul! God is jealous about that. He is jealous about it.
Once again I say nobody's ever heard me criticize a preacher who believes the Bible. But if I could tonight—and I say this with all the sincerity of my soul, and I say it full well, knowing that people will walk out of this building and hate my insides because I say it. I'll be honest with you tonight—if I could and had it within my power to empty every building in this city, calling itself a church, pastored by a man who does not believe every word of this Book is the Word of God, if I could, I'd empty every building for good! Now, if that offends you, make the most of it. If that be hating other religions, make the most of it.
Now get it right. Take notes on it. When you get on the telephone tomorrow, call your neighbor and be sure you tell them exactly what it is. I love the liberal but I hate his doctrine! I hate the doctrine that says Jesus Christ was an illegitimate child by a lady who had an affair with a blonde German soldier near Nazareth. I hate that! I hate the doctrine that casts reflection upon the verbal inspiration of this blessed Book. I hate the doctrine that says Jesus is not the virgin-born Son of God. I hate the doctrine that casts reflection on the deity and the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And by the way, for your information, my little pussy-footer, God hates it, too!
God is jealous for His name. You folks that came tonight, you'll be glad when it's over. And if you weren't, I'd be disappointed. If you can go out and live like the Devil all week, not read your Bible, curse God's name, tell smutty stories, go to church every once in a while, criticize gospel preachers, not believe the Bible, not read its pages, never turn to God, never cleanse yourself of the world, and come to a service like this and enjoy yourself, I think I ought to hit the mourner's bench when the service is over! God is jealous! He is jealous for His name.
There's something else that makes God jealous. God is jealous not only of graven images, of covenants with heathen nations, of marrying unsaved people, jealous of His name, but God is jealous when His people refuse to keep going on for Him. The 78th Psalm, we'll not go into it. It talks about how God is jealous because His people stopped and went round and round in the wilderness. In the 79th Psalm, we find that they say, "How long, oh Lord, how long do we have to suffer for the fact that you've been jealous because we did not keep going on?" God is jealous when a person gets converted and won't get baptized. God is jealous. God wants you to obey Him and be baptized. I don't mean sprinkled. I mean baptized like Jesus was. If you have not been immersed since you got saved, God is jealous. Why? Because you have not done what He said do. And God is jealous about it.
God is jealous if you've been saved and baptized but don't belong to one of His churches. You students that come here to college, Moody Institute and other colleges, and don't even transfer your membership. God's jealous about that. You ought to find some church where you can get busy and serve God. Don't just be a spectator. Get busy and serve! God's jealous! Why? You're not going on! God is jealous when folks just join the church—actually, the only thing that several hundred of you folks every obeyed me in is when I said to you when you walk down the aisle have a seat on the front. And you did and you've been there ever since. When is the last time you did anything I said? God's jealous! God's jealous because you've not gone on. God's jealous because you have stopped your growth. God says, "I am a jealous God because of your refusal to go on!"
But there's another time that God is jealous. God is jealous when you take the Lord's supper lightly. I don't have time to go into it, but in I Corinthians 10:2 and following, the Lord speaks about the Lord's table. He says He's jealous when we sit at the Lord's table and do it lightly.
This morning, we observed the Lord's Supper. You sat there with cups in your hands and juice in the cups. And prior to that you sat there with a little piece of unleavened bread in your hand. That unleavened bread represented the sinless body of our Lord and Savior. That little cup pictures His blood.
By the way, I stop and say what I almost always say when I mention the Lord's Supper. No, I do not believe that fermented wine is what you ought to take at the Lord's supper. I think it is a sin to take fermented wine at the Lord's Supper. I'll tell you why. If God wanted unleavened bread, why would God want leavened juice? Fermentation is to wine what leavening is to bread. It is molding. God says, "No bold in the bread for Jesus is perfect and no mold in the juice for Jesus' blood is also perfect." I'll go a step further. I think it's a sin. I think it is a disgrace. I think it is something for which you will face God if you take fermented wine for the Lord's Supper or for any other thing. These package stores in this city are diabolical, satanic inspired and if you purchase merchandise from them, I think you're going to face God. And if you work in one, or sell the rotten stuff, you're going to face God, too.
But this morning we sat here, you passed the elements; we took that little piece of wafer. Our Lord had sat there in the Upper Room that day or that night with His own. In a few hours Judas would place the kiss of betrayal on His brow. Tomorrow is the awful day of trial. Tomorrow afternoon, and of course you know the awful suffering that's ahead, and our Lord is there in the Upper Room with His own. He takes the bread, unleavened, and He says, "Fellows, I'm going to go back to Heaven, and I want you not to forget Me. I want you to remember Me." And He says, "As often as you will take this bread, remember My body. And as often as you take this juice, remember My blood that was shed for you. This cup is the new testament and My blood that was shed for you and this is My body which is given for you." Remember, this morning, if you took that glass in your hand, and you drank it and you did not stop and remember Jesus and say, "Oh, thank you God for the great, great price you paid for my salvation," God looks down and He says, "Why don't they think of me? I told them to think of me! It's not the juice I wanted them to drink so much; I wanted them to think of me! The juice reminds them of me! And I'm jealous!
I think that jealousy—the way we term jealousy—is wrong. But Godly jealousy is not wrong. Godly jealousy-God looks down and God says, "That's the purpose of it. You're supposed to think about me!" Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God tonight, and this morning He sat there. He looked down and He saw you. And you yawned and took it and you swallowed it. And you tried to get it out of your teeth. And Jesus said, "He's not thinking about me. I didn't just give him a piece of bread to eat. I told him to think about me. He's not thinking about me! I'm jealous! I'm jealous of whatever is on his mind! I'm jealous of that ball game he is thinking about. I'm jealous of that school activity he's thinking about. I'm jealous of that other person he's thinking about. I'm jealous of that business deal he's thinking about. I'm jealous of that new home he's thinking about. I'm jealous of this or that. Whatever's on his mind, I'm jealous of it. He's supposed to think of me!"
And our Lord was jealous this morning. He always is. And then when you took that juice, and you drank it and you didn't think, "Oh, Jesus died for me and shed His precious blood. When I survey the wonderous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my riches gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride. See from His hands, his head, his feet. Sorrow and love flow mingled down. Did e're such love and sorrow meet or thorn's compose so rich a crown. Were the whole realm of nature mine, that were present far too small, Love so amazing, so divine, demands my life, my soul, my all. Oh, thank you Jesus for paying the price for my sin and I take this cup as a memorial of the blood you shed on the cross. Praise the Lord, I'm saved! "Oh, precious is the flow that makes me white as snow; no other found I know. Nothing but the blood of Jesus. There is a fountain filled with blood, drawn from Immanuel's veins and sinners plunged beneath that flood, lose all their guilty stains." And God looked down and said, "They're thinking about me. Oh, I'm so pleased! That's what I told them to do. They're thinking about me!"
But somebody didn't think about him. Somebody had his mind on a business deal or what he did yesterday or what he's going to do tomorrow. The Lord looks down and says, "I told them to think about me! I'm jealous about that!" God is jealous when we fail to think about Him at Lord's Supper time. That's one reason why I do not care for much sacrament or much ritual.
Ritual, usually, takes the place of the "heart" feelings. That's why we don't come out in the morning on Sunday morning and the choir sing, "The Gloria of Patre." Glory be to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Now I'm not against that except most church that do, don't have much glory to the Father, the Son, or the Holy Ghost. Let me reason with you a minute. Do you know that form and ritual is a substitute that is caused by a vacuum when the heart turns cold toward God? Did you know that as long as a church can feel the joy of God, we don't have to have the ritual. But what happens? Before you know it, the high churchism takes over. In the Book of Amos, the Lord looked down and He said, "I despise your smelly feast. You have your offerings and I know sweet-smelling frankincense comes up, but your heart isn't in it. I hate it. I despise it!" And then they played beautiful music and the Lord said, "That stinks. Take those smelly songs away. I can't stand them!" Why? Because God wants your heart.
Suppose you young couples are out on a date, and so you look at her and you say, "Oh, how beautiful you are. You're so lovely." And she says, "Holy, holy, holy. Boyfriend, almighty. Oh, all hamburgers come of thee. Amen. Amen." That wouldn't move you. It might move you to another girl. And that doesn't move God either. People often times come and say, "Brother Hyles, your church is different from ours. Everybody to his own taste." No. No, that isn't it. This church is not built on my taste. This church is built on the Bible. And it's not a matter of "Well, I like a church that's high in ritual and some don't. There's some poor, white trash like First Baptist Church people, you know, they don't like…" and God doesn't like it either! The reason we don't have the high church rituals is because God doesn't like it. The reason we don’t' have a lot of formalism is God isn't pleased with it. God wants he heart and God is not happy when our hearts are not in tune with Him. He is jealous about it! He is jealous.
There's another thing that makes God jealous. God is jealous when we hear false teachers. II Corinthians 11, I don't have time to go into it, but there's a long list there that talks about Satan's ministers being transformed into angels of light. Now what makes a man a false teacher? Suppose he's wrong on baptism. Suppose he sprinkles and doesn't baptize by immersion. Is he right on baptism? No, but he's not a false teacher. Carl McIntyre sprinkles but he's not a false teacher, you see. He's wrong on baptism. He sprinkles little babies. That's wrong but he's still a fundamentalist preacher.
Let's see. This fellow over in Ireland—Pasley. He's preached here. Pasley is Presbyterian isn't he? So I am sure Pasley doesn’t like to baptize by immersion. In other words, that doesn't make him a false teacher. It makes him a little goofed up on baptism, and he's wrong on that, you see. I'll be preaching with him in a few days down at Bob Jones University. He and I are both on the Bible conference there, and I'll have good fellowship with him. But I won't go to his baptizing.
When I was at the Jordan River, taking pictures on my first trip to the Holy Land, there was a Presbyterian preacher there, and he wanted to take a picture. He had one of his stewards or elders or something—he wanted to take a picture of him baptizing his elder. Well, we've been taking pictures all over the world. I'd take a picture for him; he'd take a picture for me. And so, I said, "Hey, take my picture baptizing in the Jordan River." I held my hand up like this and put a person down. He snapped it. He said, "Hey, take my picture baptizing my elder here, would you?" I said, "Sure." I got his camera and looked through that little square, that little red thing you know. I said, "What are you doing?" You know how he had him? He had him like this. And I thought I'd focused that screen, you know. And I said, "Go ahead." He said, "I am." I said, "Baptize him." He said, "I am." I said, "I'm sorry, but you're going to have to have somebody else to take this picture."
Do you know folks got mad at me about that? They get mad at me all over the world! I mean I've just got a knack at that you see. I wouldn't do it. Now, hold it. That fellow got sick on the trip. I took the best care of that Presbyterian preacher you ever saw. I gave him money out of my pocket. I went to his room and checked on him. I took him to the doctor. I checked on him when everybody else had forgotten about him. And when I preached the other day somewhere down south, that fellow walked up and he said, "I'm the Presbyterian preacher that got mad at you at the Jordan River." I said, "Put her there, Brother." He's born again. He's saved. Now, we can't fellowship in the water, you see. But in Arizona we can have good fellowship on dry land. Now, he's not a liberal. He's a good man. I'm for him you see. I'd like to baptize him. But I'm for him.
Now, what am I saying? I'm saying that a liberal is not one that's wrong on baptism. You can be wrong on church government and not be a liberal. Now personally, I think the Bible teachers that a church ought to own its own building, call its own pastor, have its own budget, take care of its own money, and be independent. I think, even if it belongs to a denomination, it ought to be independent. I think it's wrong for a denomination to own your property. I think it is wrong for a denomination to ordain the preachers. I think it is wrong for the denomination bosses to tell the church what to do. But a fellow is not a liberal because he is in one of those denominations. And I can fellowship with him.
What makes a man a liberal? Here it is. If he does not believe in the verbal inspiration of the scripture and the deity of Jesus Christ, then he is a liberal. In I John 2:18,19, it says, "Ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us, for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us." So if a man is standing up and preaching heresy, that Jesus is not the Son of God, the Bible is not the Word of God, and we listen to him, God is jealous.
Brother Terry, let us suppose that you go home tonight, and Marilyn is already there, and she has an album down, and she's looking through that album. And she says, "What a man." And you say, "Oh, she's looking at my picture." And you look over her shoulder, and she's looking at this guy down at Tennessee Temple she went with before she dated you. And then she looks back and there's the guy she went with before that and she says, "Oh, I'll never forget those days." And she hugs them like this. You'd walk in and you'd say, "Why, Marilyn, you're having a good time. Well let me look at those pictures with you. Isn't that nice?" Is that what you do? No, you wouldn't. Boy, you talk about blushing. You'd turn red as a beet. Why? Because she's looking at the wrong pictures.
Suppose that Jesus, God in Heaven, looks down and he sees a preacher as he opens the bible and it’s the Revised Standard Version that talks about another Jesus—not our Jesus. And the preacher doesn't believe in the virgin-born Jesus. He preaches another Jesus. And Jesus looks down and the fellow is thinking about Jesus as not being virgin-born. Don't you think He gets red in the face? Of course he does. He says, "You ought to preach me. You ought to have my Bible. You ought to preach me. I'm jealous about it!" And God is jealous because we hear false teachers.
May I just say a few words now in winding up? Don't get encouraged, it takes me a long time to wind up. If I wind up, I have to unwind again don't you see. Our people are not encouraged when I say, "In closing." Because I close, usually, from four to eight times every service.
Young people, God has given you the talent to sing, and you sing worldly songs and do not use that talent to magnify the Savior; it makes Him jealous. I mean it hurts Him. It makes Him jealous. He says, "I wish they'd sing for me. I wish they'd sing for me." If God has given you the ability to play the piano, and you play the wrong kind of music, not songs that magnify Christ, God hears you play and God is jealous. There's a heaviness that comes in the heart of God and God says, "I wish he'd play for me. I wish he'd play for me." That makes God jealous. God looks down and sees your personality and your mannerisms and your vigor and your zeal and you are dynamic, and you use it at school, but not for Christ; maybe you belong to the school choir but not the church choir; maybe you do things in the world but not for God. God says, "Oh, what talent. I wish he'd use it for me." And the heart of God begins to hurt because he is jealous. You're using your talent for someone else tonight.
You business men. Numbers of you fellows will write big checks tomorrow. You should write some today, you know, you're here. But you'll write big checks tomorrow, and you have big businesses. Congratulations, I'm glad about that. But you don't teach a Sunday School class. You don't do anything for God. You use your talent in your business, in your field of endeavor outside the church. All you do on Sunday is just come and sit in the church, and when the Lord looks down and sees you tomorrow using your talent and your business ingenuity, God says, "I wish you'd use that for me." God's heart becomes hurt and it becomes heavy and there's a hurt there. And God says, "I want all of him." You see, jealousy is wanting all of someone that you love. God loves you as nobody ever loved anybody else. God says, "I want all of him! I want all of him!" But you don't give all to God, and you don't use your talent for God, your business for God. And God becomes jealous. When God looked down this morning and tonight—how many collection plates passed you and you gave less than a tithe? God's heart hurt. I mean that. God—the tithe is His. You can spend more money for amusement than you can for God! For clothing than for God! For food than for God! For entertainment than for God! For rent than for God! For utilities than for God! And in some cases, God pity you, even cigarettes than for God! And God looks down and says, "All I ask is a tenth. I gave them all of it. It was all from me. The air they breathe is from me. The water they drink I gave them. The sunshine I gave them."
All that they have I gave them. The strength they have to work I gave them, and they won't even give me ten percent. Oh, that hurts the heart of God, and God becomes jealous. I mean God's jealous. He's jealous like you'd be jealous if you didn't get what was coming to you! God says, "I'm jealous about that!" The tithe is mine and they won't give it to me and I'm jealous!
God looks down and He sees you have time for everything else. You have time for this and that but not much time for God. And God says, "I wish they had time for me." The heart of God is heavy and God is made jealous. God looks down and finds that you have time for everything but prayer. God is jealous. God looks down and He sees you read the newspaper everyday but not your Bible. God says, "I'm jealous of that paper! I'm jealous!" God looks down and sees you have time for "Better Homes and Gardens" and "Ladies' Home Journal." God sees you have time for that.
God looks down and sees that you men know more about batting averages of the National League than you know about the Word of God. You could quote more statistics about the NFL than you can scriptures in the Bible. God says, "That hurts me. I'm jealous about that!" You see, you're reading everything but the Word of God, and God says, "I wrote a book, too." I wrote a book, too. You know, I've written some books.
I was at a hospital, it's been about a year ago. No, it hasn't. it's been less than a year ago. My book, "Blue Denim and Lace" was already out. I went to a hospital room to make a visit, and my book was there. It was closed and on top of it was one that was open and there was a marker in it. The person had gone to the rest room or something, and my book was closed and on the bottom—"Blue Denim and Lace" and some other cheap, trashy book. It didn't matter what it was; it may have been a good book. But compared to mine it was cheap and trashy. I walked away and I didn't get mad. I thought, well, why didn't they read my book? Mine—I don't know what that is—but mine's better. I mean, why. I think God looks down and sees you as you read your magazines and newspapers and other kinds of books and even school books. I think God sometimes looks down and says, "Why don't they read my book? I gave a book to them. The most wonderful book ever written I gave them. Read my book!" God's heart is heavy and God gets jealous.
God looks down from Heaven. He sees you talk about everything under the sun. you talk about the weather. Isn't it wonderful, this weather? What would the barber ever say? I saw a cartoon one day, the cutest I believe I've ever seen. Dennis the Menace. (I was reading that cartoon and God was jealous.) But I saw a cartoon, Dennis the Menace. He was sitting down in the barber chair, and the next picture showed him looking around at the barber, and he said, "Hey fellow, what do you say we just don't say nothing today?" Now, God hears you talk about the weather. You talk about everything under the sun. Don't you think God looks down and says, "Why don't they tell somebody about me sometime?" God's jealous of your conversation. God looks down and God sees you. God says, "After you get saved you ought to get baptized!" I mean as soon as you can get to the water you ought to get baptized.
Somebody said, "How long do you think it ought to be after a person gets saved that he gets baptized?" It all depends on how fast he can walk up the stairs! You ought to get baptized as soon as you can get up there and get in the water. I mean, by immersion. You say, "Every man to his own opinion." No. Every man to God's opinion!
A fellow said, "Brother Hyles, now look." He said, "Jesus went down into the water. They used a bottle." It doesn't have the word "bottle" in there. He went down into the bottle? It was a big bottle! No. Baptism pictures salvation and the Bible says we are baptized by one spirit into one body. The Holy Spirit of God takes you when you get saved and baptizes you into the body of Jesus Christ. When you get saved, you're supposed to say, "Look folks, outwardly this is what happened inwardly." And anything less than immersion won't do. If you've not been baptized by immersion, then you ought to come tonight, and before you walk out those doors, you ought to obey Christ in this matter of baptism.
You say, "Brother Hyles, I go to Moody Institute and I'm a preacher boy." Well, then, you're a backslidden preacher boy. Well, you say, "I'm on the faculty there." Hello, backslider doctor. "You're pretty mean," you say. No, I'm not pretty mean I'm pretty straight. And the Bible says when a person gets saved, you ought to get baptized.
I was at a certain place preaching not long ago and they said, "Here's Dr. Hyles. He's strong on baptism." He said, "He's strong on minors." And I got up and said, "Since when has the Great Commission become minor?" The Great Commission says: Go and preach the gospel to all nations. And then it says, "Baptizing them," that's the Great Commission. Of course, a lot of you folks call it the piddling commission. It's the Great Commission.
Baptism is not a minor! It is not necessary for salvation but it is a major. Why? It's the first step of obedience. God says, "I want my folks to obey." And if you don't obey and obey Christ in baptism then God says, "I'm jealous about that. I wish they'd obey me. He does everybody else. Why doesn't he obey me?" God is jealous.
If you belong to the wrong church, God's jealous. He's jealous because you don't belong to His church. He's jealous because you don't belong to one of His own places, where a preacher preaches His own word and praises His own Son. God's jealous if you're not saved tonight. He's jealous for you life.
What it amounts to is this? God loves you. Brother Terry, suppose you went home tonight and you had company. And, let's see, Mrs. Bob Klepack had a big photo album out and she was saying, "What a man." And you looked over her shoulder and she was looking at Bob Klepack's picture. Of course, she's sort of foolish to say, "What a man," about him; but, what a man! Would you reach out and blush and grab that picture and say, "What do you mean saying, 'What a man!'" Well, no, you wouldn't mind he looking at somebody else's picture, would you? It's this one that would bother you, you see. Why? Well, of course, you think a lot of Mrs. Klepack but jealous is what comes when it's Marilyn. Now, what do I want to say?
God loves you. That's why He's jealous. Any time you stop and realize that God is a jealous God of you. You just say, "Praise the Lord! He loves me! He loves me. He wants all of me. He's jealous of me." Tonight if you're not saved, God wants you. If you don't know that you're going to Heaven, God wants you. God's jealous because He wants your life and doesn't have it. God is jealous of every hour that you spend without Him. God is jealous of every day you live, every hour that you spend without Him. God is jealous of every day you live, not belonging to Him. Jesus died for you! God gave His Son for you! He offers salvation and if you don't take it, God's jealous about that. That means His heart is heavy. And that means God is not pleased. He says, "I wish they'd trust me." Wait a minute. Hold it.
Brother Terry goes home tonight and Marilyn is looking at pictures and saying, "What a man, what a man!" And you say, "Now, Marilyn, don't do that!" And she says, "But Lindsey, I love you. It's just an image." But you say, "Marilyn, I wish you wouldn't do that; there are pictures of me you could look at and say, 'What a man.'" She's be lying, but she could do it anyhow. You could do it. So what happens. "Okay, Lindsey, I won't do that anymore." Tomorrow he comes in and Marilyn is looking at the same pictures again. "Oh, what a man. I wish I had married you!" You didn't know I knew all that. "Wish I had married you!" And Lindsey says, "Marilyn, Marilyn." And he begins to cry. And, "Marilyn," he says, "I don't think you ought to do that. I just don't think you ought to do that. Marilyn, please, don't do that. Don't do that! Please, Marilyn!" And so what happens? The years roll past and she wears out that picture saying, "What a man, what a man, what a man!"
Ten years pass. Lindsey comes home and she says, "Oh, I wish I had married him. What a man. What a man." And Lindsey says, "Marilyn, I love you. Please. Look at my picture. Burn those old pictures. For ten years you've been looking at that guy. Look at me a while. She says, "I can't and that's why I'm looking at him." "But look at me, Marilyn. I love you."
Then ten years pass. The years come and go. One of these days, Lindsey's going to come home and find her looking at those pictures and he's going to say, "Okay. If you want him, take him."
You see, that jealousy turns to wrath. God is a loving God. God comes tonight and says, "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden." If you don't, God is jealous about it and the heart of God becomes heavy. God says, "Please, please." But if you insist on turning Him down, if you insist on not being saved, if you insist on resisting salvation, if you insist on saying no to God through Christ, God will say "please come." One of these days God will say it for the last time. And God will say, "Okay. Okay. Don't pray for Him anymore. Don't pray for Him anymore."
Tonight when I ask folks to raise their hands and pray for someone, if someone raised that hand and prayed for you, you ought to say, "Glory to God!" If someone is still praying for you, that means there's still a chance for you to get saved because the Holy Spirit is the one who prompts them to pray. But the day will come when the Lord will say not to pray for you any more. There won't be much concern. Nobody will much care. And God will say, "Okay, go on to hell!" You say God will say that? Yes, God will say that.
Hosea 4:17 says, "Ephraim is joined to idols. Let him alone!" The day will come when God will say, "Okay, I have been jealous, jealous, jealous, and you've broken my heart for the last time! Go on to hell!" Genesis 6:3 says, "My spirit shall not always strive with man." And God's spirit strives and begs and pleads and says, "Come, come, come, come, come!" And one day like the people of old in Noah's day, you will have crossed the line. God will not have mercy! That why in Romans, Chapter 1, it says God gave them up. Three times—God gave them up, God gave them up, God gave them up! God gave them over. So my advice to you tonight is while there is a jealous God, jealous for you soul, jealous for you life, jealous for your time, jealous for your money. You come to Him and say "yes" to Him before the door is shut and the line has been crossed. Say, yes dear Jesus.
If you've been saved tonight say, "Dear Jesus, I know you're jealous of my money. I'll give you the tithe. Jesus, I know you're jealous of my time, I'll pray and spend some time in prayer. Jesus, I know you're jealous of the books I've been reading; I'll read the Bible more. Jesus, I know you're jealous of my time. I'll be faithful to Wednesday night service from now on. Jesus, I know you're jealous of the idols and I'll not bow down to graven images any more. Jesus, I know you're jealous. I know and I'm going to let you have all of me now. All of me."
If you're not saved tonight, look up and say, "Dear God, I know you're a jealous God. I know you love me and I, tonight, make this the day of days when I receive Christ as my Savior. For I know that Thou, the Lord my God, are a jealous God." Would you trust Him tonight? Would you say "yes" to Christ tonight? If you're not saved, would you say "yes" to a jealous but loving God? If you are saved but not baptized, would you say "yes" to baptism to a jealous but loving God? If you have no church home that preaches the Bible, where they stand for the Bible and Jesus, you come tonight and join the church and say "Jesus, you're jealous of my affiliation with God's people and God's church and I come to your church tonight." I hope you will. Let's bow our heads for prayer, please.
Let us pray.
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