Without the Bible
by Pastor Jack Hyles
Sunday Morning Sermon February 22, 1970
"Oh that someone would arise, man or god to show us God." Socrates
"Unless a god-man comes to us and reveals to us the Supreme Being, there is no help or hope. The world will never be set right until the perfect man arises who will be persecuted, buffeted, and tied to a stake and so bring a new righteousness." Plato
"Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world!" John 1:29
You have heard me say this several times from this pulpit: God has provided satisfaction for every appetite that He has created. There is not an appetite that man has for which God has not provided satisfaction. God has given man a hunger for food. Many of you have it right now. In an hour-and-a-half form now you really will have it. God has given man a hunger for food. Now bear in mind, since God did give man a hunger for food, he allows food to grow on the plains and hillsides, fruit on the trees, and grain on the plains that we may have fulfillment. God made us. He would not have given us an appetite for food had He not also provided fulfillment for that appetite.
God has given us an appetite for thirst. We want liquid. We want water. (And by the way, I still think that water is the most refreshing drink known to man.) God has given us a fulfillment for that thirst. It was God who made the thirst. It was God who made most of the earth covered with water that the thirst might be fulfilled.
Now there are other instinctive appetites that God has given to man. There are other instinctive beliefs that God has given to man. If God made us, God would never give us an instinctive appetite unless he gave us that which could fulfill that appetite.
Wouldn't God have been unfair if he had given us hunger for food but no food to eat? By the way, I think that is one of the worst things about Hell—an appetite for food, but no food for that appetite. Wouldn’t God have been unfair if God had given us a thirst and had given us nothing with which to quench that thirst? There are other instinctive appetites that God has given to man. I want to call your attention to three of them this morning as I discuss with you, "Without the Bible."
In the first place, God has given man an instinctive belief in sacrifice—animal sacrifice. Missionaries on foreign fields tell us that even in the most remote places in the world, in the most heathen countries the world knows, people have an instinctive appetite or desire to sacrifice for their wrong.
Look, if you would please this morning, at a couple in a heathen land as they come to a god called Molech. That god Molech is something like a Buddha god sitting with his lap out in front of him with fire in his lap. Now we see a couple who have in their arms a baby, a child. They love their child as you love yours and as I love mine. See that couple as hey come and offer that little baby into the fire in the lap of that god Molech because they feel that they must offer a sacrifice for their sin.
By nature, there is in man a realization that he must offer a sacrifice for his sins. God has created in man this appetite. There is a desire in the most heathen lands to offer sacrifices. This couple throws the little baby in the lap of this god Molech, hoping that the sacrifice of their baby would appease and satisfy their god. They do this because there is an instinctive feeling in man's mind and heart that man must offer a sacrifice.
See this morning if you would, a mother in Egypt or in Africa as she comes to the Nile River and takes the choicest of her little children. A little beautiful rosy-cheeked baby and she sees the hungry alligators as they open their mouths awaiting that little baby to be thrown into the Nile River. This mother worships that river. She bows before that river as her god. She believes if she takes that little baby and throws it into the Nile River that she has offered a sacrifice accepted by her god and her sins will be forgiven.
See the African tribe this morning somewhere in the dark jungles of Africa. See them as they beat on their drums and as they offer a pig or a horse or a dog as a sacrifice. There is something instinctive in man that makes him realize that something must die in his place for his sins or he must die himself.
See the Far Easterner, in many cases, even offering himself as a sacrifice. Now listen. If there is in man a desire to offer a substitute in death for his own sins, don't you think as God provided food for hunger and water for thirst, that God would provide a sacrifice to fulfill this instinctive hunger in man for the need of a sacrifice? That is the first instinctive hunger that I have called to your attention.
Now in the second place—and please listen to this—there is in man not only a hunger for sacrifice but there's something instinctive in man that makes him cry for a god-man. As long as man has lived on this earth, he has hungered for somebody who is both god and man in one body.
Now let me give you an example. In the Garden of Eden, when Adam and Eve had sinned, God gave to Adam and Eve a boy. His name was Cain. Eve came to Adam and said, "I have gotten a man from the Lord." Genesis 4:1 Now it's too bad that that translation is wrong. What Eve was really saying was, "I have gotten the god-man." There was beating in the breast of Eve and also the breast of Adam for a man to come to earth who was god and also man. Now from Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, until February 1970, man has instinctively sought somebody who could be God and man in the same body. Let me give you a few other illustrations.
The Hindus, for example, deified two men. They had two characters whom they claimed were god-men. One was named Krishna and the other was named Rama. The Mohammedans took Ali, (not Mohammed Ali alias Cassius Clay) and they deified him.
A thousand years before Christ, there was a man who lived whose name was Zoroaster. I hope I pronounced that right. He was the leader of a Far Eastern pagan religion. He said, "A thousand years before Christ, God will never be known unless he reveals Himself in human form." Here is a man who had a pagan religion, but who said, "God will never be known until he reveals Himself in human form." From the time that the first child was born to Adam and Eve until this good hour, there has been beating in the breast of mankind a desire to see a god-man. They desire to see someone who is god but yet who is man and someone who is man but yet is god. And there beats in the breast of natural people, even unconverted pagan people, a desire for us to be visited by a god-man.
Hundreds of years before Christ, the Grecians in their Greek mythology were the nearest thing to what you and I have today? Don't misunderstand me. It was pagan ism and it was mythology. But do you know that their practice was much like Christian practice today? Did you know they had prayer meetings? Did you know they prayed for the sick? Did you know they had preaching services? Did you know they had street meetings much like our Salvation Army meetings used to be? They were built much like we are as far as practice is concerned. Though their message was not the same their practice was very much like ours.
As you know, the Grecian philosopher Socrates (or as Brother Hand says, "So Crates."), made this statement: "Oh that someone would arise, man or god, to show us God." That's what Socrates said. "Oh that someone would arise, man or god to show us God." In the minds of scholars, here's one of the greatest philosophers who ever lived; and yet he, himself, had beating in his own breast—and he admitted it—oh that god could come in a man and show the world god in human form.
Plato, who was one of the great students of Socrates, said, "Unless a god man comes to us and reveals to us the Supreme Being, there is no help or hope." That's what Plato said. Unless a god-man comes to us and reveals to us the Supreme Being, there is no help or hope.
What am I saying? I am saying I don't care who you are, I don't care what nation it is, I do not care what generation it is, there beats in man a desire to see God in flesh. Again, Plato said, "The world will never be set right." Now please listen. Plato did not know about what he was talking, but he almost hit the nail on the head. "The world will never be set right until the perfect man arises who will be persecuted, buffeted, and tied to a stake and so bring a new righteousness." That's Plato talking. Was he heathen? Yes. Pagan? Yes. Godless? Yes. But he was searching for something for which all men have searched.
I'll read it again. "The world will never be set right until the perfect man arises who will be persecuted, buffeted, and tied to a stake and so bring a new righteousness."
Just as man hungers for food, God has provided food; just as man thirsts for water, God has provided water: even so, man hungers for a sacrifice, and man hungers for a god-man. Don't you think that the same God who gives food to satisfy hunger and water to satisfy thirst would find something to satisfy the other two innate hungers in man's heart and mind?
In the Roman empire, for example, they instituted what was called "emperor worship." The Roman senate voted and declared Caesar Augustus as "divine", trying to have a god-man. Semachiah, a man who lived almost until the time of Christ, said: "Where shall he be found for whom we have been looking for so many centuries?"
In the Shinto religion, they had deified the emperor. They worshiped him. Man is searching for a god-man. Now please listen.
1. Man hungers for a sacrifice: a pig, a baby, a dog, a horse.
2. Man hungers for Adam and Eve until this day for a god-man. Someone to whom they can point and say, "There is a man who is God and there is God who is a man." Man hungers for that. His bosom beats for a god-man and for a sacrifice.
3. There is in man's heart an innate desire to live after he dies. I don't care who you are, whether you believe there's a life after death or not, you desire to live after death.
A man came to our church, as they often do, and made fun of me, as they often do; I didn't like it, as I often don't! He said, "This pie in the sky business, this Heaven that has golden streets that you talk about, where people go when they die, never get sick anymore, never have any sorrow, never shed any tears, never have any pain, never get tired, where everything is always good, God is always there, gates of pearl, golden streets—all of that. I don't believe that rubbish! And I said to him, "You may not believe it, but brother, you'll have to admit one thing, you wish you could believe it."
Young people, listen to me! Nobody likes to die. It matters not whether you have a Ph.D. or sign an "X" on your checks. It matters not whether you speak in Greek, Hebrew, Spanish, German, or French or whether you can't even speak good English. It matters not whether you sign checks that effect the lives of thousands of people or whether you sweep out the plant where you work. It matters not. There beats in your breast a desire to live after you die. Every man wants to do that. Nobody wants to die. That's why the medical profession spends millions of dollars a year trying to extend life.
There's a new game you can play. It's called "coronary" and to be quite frank with you, I immediately decided I did not want to play that game. Here's how you play: You eat all the fat foods you can, all the sweets you can, and never get any exercise. If you do all of that, you can play the coronary game. The American Medical Association suggests you don't play that game. They would rather you get exercise, watch your diet, etc. They would rather you not play the game "coronary." Why the doctors? Why the hospitals? Why the medicine? Why the chemists? Why the druggists? Why? I'll tell you why! Man wants to live!
If this morning I could arrange to give you a pill that you could take that would make you live forever, you'd take it. But I'd take it before you got it because we want to live forever! The same God that gave man an appetite to eat and gave him food to satisfy his appetite, the same God that gave man a thirst and gave him water to satisfy that thirst, is the same God who gave us the appetite to live forever. Don't you think a God that would fill one appetite and fill another appetite, would fill the appetite or provide for that appetite to live forever? How many of you get hungry sometimes? Would you raise your hand, please? Way up high, way up high. Well, many of you are not hungry, so I'll just preach another 30 minutes.
How many of you have found something to fill that appetite, and have hopes that you will fill it today? Would you raise your hand, please? How many of you get thirsty sometimes? Would you raise your hand, please? All right, you find fulfillment, don't you? How many of you would like to live forever? Would you raise your hand, please?
Once a preacher said, "If you want to go to Heaven, would you raise your hand." One little fellow didn't. After the service, the preacher asked him why he didn't raise his hand. He said, "I thought you meant today. I don't want to go yet."
I'm simply saying there is an appetite in you that makes you want to live forever. Look at the Indian funeral. Look at the people as they come by and put the tom-tom, the tomahawk, and the corn in the casket. Why? Well, they want the fellow to have something to eat at the "happy hunting ground." They want him to have a tomahawk where he can go hunting in the "happy hunting ground." Why? Because innately man ha a hunger, an appetite, to live forever.
Go, if you would please, with me to Egypt. We are going down south of Cairo, three or four hundred miles to a little place called Lucksore, Karnack, Egypt. Go out across the Nile River on the west side of the Nile River and see those great hills and see those holes in those hills. Come with me down some long, winding stairs into the mountains of the hills. Come with me to a big room. All kinds of paintings all around the walls of the room and inside that room there is a great concrete vault, a sarcophagus. Go to the museum in Cairo and see the things they have taken from the graves of the kings of Egypt. Why? They wanted things with them for life after death. Why? Man wants to live forever! Of course you do. You have the same hunger and desire.
Three things we have discussed. There is a desire for sacrifice, innately a hunger for sacrifice. Number two. There has been from Eve until this day a desire for a god-man. Every philosopher in history, who was honest, has told of his desire for God to come as man. Thirdly, there's a desire to live after death. I'd like to say to the Mohammedans who have deified Ali, I'd like to say to the Hindus who have deified Krishna and Rama, I'd like to say to Socrates who was looking for a god-man, I'd like to say to Plato who said there's no hope unless God can come in the flesh, I'd like to say to the Roman Emperor who was being deified, I'd like to say to the Japanese who in their Shintoism have deified their emperor, I'd like to say to Eve in the Garden of Eden who was looking for a god-man, I'd like to say to those who are looking for life after death, and those who are looking for sacrifice, and those who are looking for a god-man—we have found him! We have found all three in one glorious package! That package is the Lord Jesus Christ. For everything that beats in the heart of man and for every appetite there is satisfaction. Over 2000 years ago, god in flesh was God-man. That's one appetite. The God-man went to Calvary and provided our sacrifice. There's the second appetite. He went to Calvary so men might live forever! There's the third appetite, too.
No wonder somebody said Christ is the answer. Christ is everything; for in him, all of man's spiritual appetites may be satisfied. Turn to John 1:29 and hear John the Baptist say, "Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world!" There's the sacrifice on the cross! Look, I don't care who you are. I don't care how rich you are. I don't care how many degrees you've got after your name or how many colleges you attended. I don't care who you are. There beats in your breast a desire for peace with your God. That peace can only come by sacrifice, and God's only acceptable sacrifice is His son, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God.
I don't care who you are, you want to see God in flesh. All nations hunger; philosophers, kings, theologians, poor, rich, mighty, weak—all men have hungered for God to visit man so that man could understand God. God did visit man and man can understand God. That fulfillment of this appetite is found in the Lord Jesus Christ. Then also Jesus has fulfilled this appetite to live forever, to live after we die when the worms have destroyed the body and our bodies have returned to the dust from whence they came, when folks have forgotten our names and stumble and dig to find the remains of our plots in the cemetery. We desire to live when people call us "old what's his name" and can't remember where we lived or where we worked. Folks say, "There used to be a fellow, I can't remember his name, but he lived across the street." When we are only memories and our names are only written on tombstones, there is a hunger in our heart that we be living forever. Blessed be God, we can live forever. For the same one that fulfilled that desire for sacrifice, and the same one that fulfilled that desire for God to visit man as a god-man, the one that said, "I am the resurrection, and the life." John 11:25 The one who said, "He that believeth on the Son had everlasting life," fulfilled the desire to live forever. John 3:36 And the one who said, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16 Jesus Christ is the fulfillment for the desire for a sacrifice, for the desire for the god-man, for the desire to live forever. It is Jesus is for whom you're looking.
Hippies! Hippies, with your sandals and your long hair and your obnoxious odor, with your LSD and marijuana have the same desire. Hippies, with your vulgar language and demonstrations and your communism and SDS and with your wild lives and your reckless morals, have the same desire. What you're looking for is Christ and your just don't know about it, that's all!
Folks invested their lives last night and much of their money trying to escape reality as they went into some little leap-in and limp-out joint here in Hammond. You see them all over this area—these little dark places and old women with trembling hands and old men with diseased bodies and young men and young ladies whose bodies someday will disease and someday whose hands will tremble. They walk into these little places, and they try to escape reality. Why? They're looking for God and don't know about it. Reality is in Jesus Christ. That is for what the world hungers. That is for what the world cries. That is for what the drunkard searches. That is for what the dope addict seeks.
What you're looking for this morning—if you do not know that you're saved—what your heart cries for is something that was left out or removed from Adam and Eve when they sinned. That something was peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. The God-man who became our sacrifice that we might live forever.
My associate in ministry and an acquaintance of many years and one whom I have known and loved since a child, Jacob Gartenhaus, now is up in years. He's a Jewish man. His father for many years was Rabbi of a synagogue in Jerusalem. Dr. Gartenhaus was a young man, I think, when he came to Moody Bible Institute. He received Christ as his Savior. When he did, he was beaten and stomped on the streets. His father, a Rabbi in Jerusalem, and his mother disowned him. They had a funeral service for him and actually buried him as far as the family was concerned. Dr. Gartenhaus became concerned about his parents. He traveled from America to the Middle East to Jerusalem. He went to the home of his mother. He knocked on the door. She came to the door. He said, "Mother, this is Jacob. This is Jacob." She said, "Jacob is dead. Jacob is dead." He said, "Mother, I am Jacob, your only son. I am Jacob." She said, "Jacob is dead. Jacob is dead," and closed the door in the face of her son.
He went to his father at the synagogue and he said, "Father, this is your son, Jacob." His father said, "Jacob is dead." Dr. Gartenhaus had to come all the way back to America without even talking, other than that conversation, with his parents. He prayed and wept for God to save his parents.
He decided to go back to Jerusalem again. He traveled halfway around the world. He went to the synagogue, and his father was in the synagogue. Jacob walked into the synagogue and his father had changed, for God had softened his heart. Jacob walked in and his father embraced him. Jacob said at the altar of that synagogue he told his father about Jesus Christ. He said after he told the story, his father looked up and said, "Joshua, if you please, Jesus." And then he cried, "I've found him!"
There is in your bosom today, a hunger for a supreme sacrifice that will satisfy God. There is in your bosom today, a hunger to see a god-man. And there beats in your breast today, a hunger to live forever. The same God who gave food for your hunger and water for your thirst has given Jesus Christ to satisfy those spiritual appetites. We have found him and you may find him today, if you'll look in faith to Christ on the cross and accept Him as your Savior.
Let us pray.
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