You Cannot Hide From God

by Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001)

(Chapter 8 from Dr. Hyle's excellent book, Kisses of Calvary)

(Preached at First Baptist Church, Hammond, Indiana, May 3, 1964. Mechanically recorded)

PRAYER: Our Father, fill us, quieten us, speak to us, as we speak on the precious hiding place and that man cannot hide from God but man can hide in God.

Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee. I've anchored my soul in the “Haven of Rest,” I'll sail the wide seas no more; The tempest may sweep o'er the wild, stormy deep, in Jesus I'm safe evermore. May we this morning realize we cannot hide from Thee. Quieten the children, cause the young people to behave. May the adults listen intently and carefully as we speak the words from God this morning. Amen.

When our little girl, Cindy, was smaller, we would play hide and seek. I would hide from her in the closet or in the bathroom or in the bathtub, or go outside the door, or hide behind the door, and I would say, “Come and find me.” She would come and look and look and look. Then I would say, “All right, you go hide.” She would hide. She then would say, “Come and find me.” And she would be hidden behind the door and I'd know where she was, but I'd go look and I'd say, “I wonder where Cindy is?” She would say, “Right over here.” And the next time she would not bother about all the running around and worrying about the trips she would have to take form one room to the other. She would just put her hands over her eyes and say, “Come fine me.” (Anybody who has ever had a child has done this.) I would say, “I wonder where Cindy is?” Then she would say, “Right here.”

But then when she got older and a little more dignified and a little wiser, she would hold her hands completely over her eyes and say, “Come find me.” I would say, “I wonder where Cindy is?” She would grin out from under her hands. “I wonder where Cindy is?” She was wiser then--she would not tell me. I would look and look and look, and she would think she was hidden. Finally I would say, “There she is. I found you.” It disturbed her tremendously because she did not know how I could know where she was. She was completely in the dark. There was nothing to be seen and she would say, “Who told you where I was?” Why, she was there all the time. But she had her own eyes shut and because she did, she thought I could not find her.

Man is the same way. We have the sneaking idea that we can get behind the barn somewhere and drink a glass of liquor and nobody knows about it. We have the foolish, ridiculous idea that man can hide himself from all other men, or a couple can hide themselves on a dark road some night do things unlawful to God and men--or beasts, for that matter--and God does not see it. But nothing is ever hidden from God. Not an activity, not a book you read, not a word you say, not a thought you think, not a place you go, morning, noon or midnight, is ever hidden from God Almighty. God knows where you are. You are never hidden from Him.

Jeremiah 23:24 says, “Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him?” Jeremiah 49:10 says, “He shall not be able to hide himself.” We read in Ezekiel 28, verse 3, :There is no secret that they can hide from thee.” Revelation, chapter 6 and verses 15 and 16 speak about the end time and it says that in that time “the chief captain, and the mighty men” and all the unsaved shall say “to the mountains and the rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him [the living God] that sitteth on the throne.” Yet, in spite of all of our efforts to have our sins hidden, in spite of all our efforts to hide from God, man never does anything in secret, for the all-seeing eye and the all-hearing ear, the all-searching searchlight of God's eternal omnipotence, shines from heaven constantly upon our lives and we never do anything in secret.

Not a kind deed is ever done but what the Heavenly Father will take notice. Not a broken home, not a broken heart, not a broken life, not a cup of water given in His name is ever done or committed but what Jesus does not notice it. And just as really, not a sin is ever committed but that Jesus in Heaven does not see it. You cannot hide from God. Neither now nor in the future. Today or in that great day of His wrath, you cannot hide from God.

There are three things that man tried to hide from God that he cannot hide from God. Man tries to hide his sin. Then man tries to hide his soul. And third, man tried to hide himself.

Sin Cannot Be Hidden

First, you cannot hide your sin from God. You may think you have a secret sin, but you do not. You may think that because the pastor doesn't know about it, God does not know. You may think it is secret because your mother does not know about it. You may think it is secret because Brother Hyles did not know about it. You may think it is secret because your children do not know about it. You may think it is secret because your father did not know about it.

But my precious friend, were it possible for us to hide our sin one from the other: the pastor would not know, the deacon would not know, the parent would not know--were it possible, it is still impossible to commit any sin that is not under the searchlight of God Almighty.

Isaiah 3:9 says they hide not their sin. Psalm 69 and verse 5 says, “Thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee.” David ought to know; he wrote the Psalms. David, who one day committed that sin with Bathsheba and tried to cover it up; David, who one day found Bathsheba expecting a baby out of wedlock by his own unholy relationship, tried to cover up his sin and hide sin, but finally David in Psalm 69 said, “Thou knowest my foolishness.”

God knows your foolishness this morning. God knows what you drink; God knows where you go; God knows how you dress; He knows what you say, knows what you hear. There is not a sin committed that is secret, not a one that can be hidden from God Almighty.

Jeremiah, chapter 16 and verse 17 says, “They are not hid from my face, neither is their iniquity hid from mine eyes.” Hosea 5:3 says, “Israel is not hid from me.” First Corinthians 4:5 says in that day He will bring to light the hidden things of the heart. Psalm 139, verse 12, tells us that “the darkness hideth not from thee,” and it goes on to say that day and night is the same with God.

Oh, you may hide your foolishness and your sin in the nighttime from others; you may hide in the nighttime a secret sin from people, but God always sees what you do. The song says:

Oh, be careful little hands what you do,
Oh, be careful little hands what you do,
For the Father up above is looking down in love;
Oh, be careful little hands what you do.

Oh, be careful little eyes what you see,
Oh, be careful little eyes what you see,
For the Father up above is looking down in love;
Oh, be careful little eyes what you see.

Oh, be careful little ears what you hear,
Oh, be careful little ears what you hear,
For the Father up above is looking down in love;
Oh, be careful little ears what you hear.

Oh, be careful little feet where you go,
Oh, be careful little feet where you go,
For the Father up above is looking down in love;
Oh, be careful little feet where you go.

May God give us the consciousness of a little child that everything we see, everything we hear, every word we say, every place we go, everything our hands do, is constantly seen by the God who made us, who loved us, who gave Himself for us, who is coming back for us, who some day will judge even the hidden secrets of our hearts. God knows your sin.

My young friend, God knows about your sin. Working man, God knows what you do on the job. You ladies who work in public, God knows what you do. God is constantly looking down and seeing what we do and He keeps a record constantly of even the innermost secrets of our hearts. Sin will be found out. Numbers 32:23 says, “Be sure your sin will find you out.” It may come out a different way.

In Genesis 4:10 God said to Cain, “The voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.” The blood of Abel spoke about the sins of Cain. Jesus said one time, ‘If I do not speak, even these rocks would speak. These stones would cry out.´

There is something rather horrifying to me. They are working on an invention where, if it is completed, we can actually hear the words of people who lived thousands of years ago. They say that our voices are recorded even in the rocks, the lumber of our houses. They say that if this world lasts another hundred years, we will probably be able to hear the words of Jesus tape recorded back from the rocks of Jerusalem. Ah, science thinks it is so wonderful. Science says we have discovered and are discovering a way to play back what the rocks said. Jesus said that two thousand years ago. He said the stones would cry out.

Mark it down, my friend, you had better live every day of your life as if your mother watched everything you did. You had better live as if Brother Hyles were watching. You young people at school, you had better do exactly what you would do as if your mother and Brother Hyles and your father were watching everything you did. For not your mother nor Brother Hyles nor your father will judge you, but one day you will stand face to face with Him who made you, the all-powerful One and all the hidden deeds of your life, all the words of the mouth, what you hear and say and do and where you go will be brought to judgment.

You cannot hide your sin from God. If nothing else, it will show in your face. I can tell when you have been in sin. You young people, I could march you teen-agers here across this platform and tell the ones who are going to high school dances. You think I can't; try me. You won't , will you? You try me. I can scan my eyes across this building Sunday after Sunday and I can tell how you are living. It shows in your face. Sin shows in your face.

Two girls can walk down the street in downtown Hammond. Both of them beautiful; one just as attractive as the other. One can walk twenty-five feet behind the other. While one girl walks by she gets the glance and look of lustful me; she hears the cat calls and the wolf whistles of ungodly men. The other girl can walk by; just as beautiful, just as attractive, but she does not get the whistle. Why? Sin shows in your face.

You can tell a gambler nine time out of ten. It is on his face. You can look at a liquor drinker and tell nine times out of ten. It is on his face. It shows on your face what you are.

Politicians--I can tell one a long way off. It is on your face what you do, what you say.

Even if you could wipe that look of guilt off your face and that look of cynicism off your face while you are in sin, and if you could keep it from being revealed on your countenance, it would bring itself out in your conscience.

Oh, the hounding of the conscience! Oh, if no one else knows it, I know it. I know what I have done. I know where I have been. I know what I have said. I know what I have heard. Oh, the hounding of the conscience!

But if you could hide it from your conscience and if your conscience were seared over with a hot iron as it were, it would still come out some day, because God knows what you do. God sees that parked car. God sees the ice box. God sees your magazine rack. God hears the records you play. God knows what you do on the job. God knows what you do alone. God knows what you do on vacation. Oh, listen, it would change our lives if we could just grasp the fact that every moment of every day and night God Almighty watches what we do and sees what we do.

You say, “It wouldn't affect me, Brother Hyles.” How come you ladies burn your fingers trying to put out that cigarette when I come up? I think you ought to. I don't mean burn yourself; you ought to put it out. And keep it out! Why is it that some of you young people, when you see Brother Hyles, slump down in cars?

I was driving down the street not long ago at night coming back from church, and saw one of our young girls so close to the young fellow they could have had several more in the front seat. Brother, it would have taken them a long time to get unloose from that clench. Let me say this: it is not right, neither is it holy, for a young girl to set her body in such positions as that until she is married and has a license to do it. Brother, she looked around and saw my car (on the front of my car it says First Baptist Church of Hammond, and they know my car) and boy, down she went! You know why? She was afraid for the preacher to see her.

Let me tell you, my young friends, before that preacher ever drove down that street, God in heaven was watching what you were doing. You cannot hide your sin from God.

You Cannot Hide Your Soul From God

Man can do nothing to hide his soul from God. I call your attention to three verses:

“And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden. And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.”-- Gen. 3:8-10.

No you didn't. Adam; you just tried to hide yourself. You could not hide your sin from God. Those fig leaves you took and from which you made an apron did not cover your sin. That man-made attempt to hide your soul and to cover your sin left you still lacking, Adam. You need something else. Man could not hide himself from God.

The reason man could not hide his soul from God was that he had made his own covering, and man could not make a covering for his soul. It was made by man; it had no blood. One reason the sacraments can't save you is that they are man-made. One reason the Lord's supper can't save you is, it is man-made. One reason your baptism can't save you, it is man-made. One reason why a good life and loving your neighbors and paying your debts can't save you, it is man-made. One reason confession to a priest won't forgive a single sin you ever committed is that it is man-made. One reason joining a church can't save you, it is man-made.

Man has never hid his soul from God. Man has never made himself a covering that would satisfy the justness and holiness of a holy and righteous God.

Not only that, but it had no blood in it. That is why religion can't save you; it must be blood. That is why joining a church can't save you; it takes blood to save you. That is why denominations can't save you; it takes blood to save you. That is why confirmation can't save you; it takes blood to save you. That is why being sprinkled as a baby can't save you; it takes blood to save you.

And then God looked down and saw that Adam and Eve were covering their own sins or their own soul with their own works. God went and took an animal out of the field and slew the animal, the animal's blood dripped on the ground, and God took the skin from that animal and made coats and covered Adam and Eve in the coats that He had made. Now they were hidden. Their sins were hidden. Their soul was saved because they had looked out and by faith received provision that God had made, and the blood, the bloody animal and the sacrifice, provided them a covering for their sins.

Oh, listen dear friends, not a thing in this world can save you unless God provided it. Not a think in this world can save you unless God takes an animal and slay that animal and takes the animal's blood and then takes the skin of that animal and offers it to you and you accept the offering of the substitute as a covering for your soul.

God one day looked down and saw that you and I were lost. He saw our sins. He saw us trying to hide ourselves, making our own fig leaves. God looked down and said he would slay an animal. But there was no animal to qualify. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, became that animal. And John the Baptist stood on the Jordan banks and said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

He went to Calvary. On the cross of Calvary He shed His blood as our substitute, as our sin-bearer; now He says, “If you will accept Me as your Saviour, I will cover your soul, I will cover your sin.”

Mark this down. I don't care what church you belong to, how many times you have been baptized, how many good deeds you have done, how many holy sacraments you have taken, how many times you have been sprinkled; I don't care how much water hit you on the head when you were six weeks old; I don't care how many churches you have joined, how many confessions you have attended, how many rituals you have gone through, how many denominations you belong to, you will not have your sins covered unless they are covered by faith in the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. There is a sacrifice provided by God, made by God, offered by God. All man can do is accept it by faith and God makes him His child.

There is something else that man tries to cover or hide. You cannot hide your sin. Your soul--you cannot hide your soul. And man tries to hide himself.

Man Cannot Hide Himself

Much talk is around the world about hiding today. One man took his family from the Chicago area recently, out to the mid-west somewhere, moved out to the mountains and dug himself a cave and said, “My family and I must hide ourselves.” We hear about bomb shelters. It is not an unusual thing to drive past a shopping center and see a bomb shelter being displayed. I have been down in several of them. If a bomb hit Chicago I believe I would rather it would hit me on the head then to have to spend the rest of my life in one of those crazy holes. It is amazing to me why a man would rather go into a hole than go to Heaven.

In a certain town a lady took me down and showed me her bomb shelter. Brother, it had a Ping-pong table and enough food for two weeks and enough magazines for two weeks. And I told her that I believed I would rather go to Heaven than to play Ping-pong for two weeks! How foolish can people get! We see the clouds of war and we dig a hole, yet our souls go on without God and we don't have enough sense to hide ourselves in the refuge that God has provided through His own dear Son.

Tonight at ten I'll be leaving O'Hare field, God willing, to go to Miami, Florida. Tomorrow morning, God willing, I'll be flying over Cuba. The prospects are not very encouraging. I read in the paper yesterday morning where Castro said he was going to shoot down any surveillance plane, that is, spy planes, that fly over Cuba. I told my class this morning I'm going to get me a big banner when I fly over Cuba tomorrow morning and I'm going to hold it out and say to the beardless one, or the bearded one, Fidel, “This ain't no reconnaissance plane. It is just a Baptist preacher going to preach in Jamaica!”

But, I'll tell you one thing, if old Fidel points that gun toward me tomorrow, and says, “There is that preacher that has been talking about me; let him have it,” and my body falls, my spirit is going up. Brother, I have mad my provision. I have my covering. I'm hidden in Christ, the only refuge for the soul.

So much is said about bomb shelters and fallout shelters and storm cellars, when we ought to say what the Psalmist has said in 32, verse 7, “Thou art my hiding place.” In Christ you can't lose.

Many of you work hard to get security. You have money in the bank, you have a retirement plan--so what? Then war comes. But if war could be averted, then what? Then communism might come. But what if communism doesn't come? Then what? A cancer might take you.

I'm just saying, dear friend, there is no permanent hiding place in this world. There is no place in this world that offers real security outside of

“Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.”

A long time ago I took out my insurance--I hid myself in Christ. Precious hiding place! Precious hiding place! And I put myself in His keeping as the writer of Colossians says in chapter 3 and verse 3, ‘My soul is hid with Christ in God.´ Whatever comes, I'm ready. You can't lose. If death comes, you will just be in Heaven. If war comes and they drop a bomb on you and blow your gizzard one way and your brain the other, and your clothes are mangled and your body goes into a thousand pieces, so what? Jesus takes me to Heaven and one blessed day He blows the trumpet and my body comes back together all in one big piece just like it is and I'm with Him forever! I'm hidden in Christ.

Oh, dear friend, this is a troubled world. Last Tuesday I preached the funeral for a little lady and as I always do at a funeral, I gave people a chance to be saved and asked them to raise their hands. I did not give the invitation to walk the aisle but I said, “Let´s pray.” I don't preach on Hell at a funeral. A lot of folks are scared to death to have me preach a funeral. They are afraid I'll romp and stomp and break down the flowers, but I never do. I preached a simple message on Romans 8:28. When I got through I said, “Now if you need Christ, why don't you trust Him today?” I was standing at the casket. Not a member of the family but a friend of the deceased came by. I felt somebody tap me on the shoulder and I saw tears begin to roll and a little lady said, “Brother Hyles, would you pray for me? Would you come by and see me? Oh, my heart is troubled.”

I went by yesterday--she is here this morning--I think I know she will walk the aisle in a minute. She said, “Brother Hyles, I can't sleep at night. All I can think about is that I may die. All I can think about is that death may come. I am tormented. I am miserable. I am wretched. I can't sleep. I'm troubled. What can I do?”

I said to her, “Dear lady, you'll have a good night's sleep tonight (unless you shout all night), if you'll come by faith to Jesus Christ.”

Hide Your Sins in God

You can't hide your sins from God, you can't hide your soul from God, you can't hide yourself from God; but you can hide your sins in God, you can hide your soul in God, you can hide yourself in God by faith in Jesus Christ.

You say, “Preacher, how do I do it?”

First, admit you are a sinner. Second, admit that because of your sin you are lost without God. Third, admit that Jesus died for you and bore your sins. And fourth, trust Him as your Saviour by faith, and God will hid you in Calvary.

The day my father passed away, dying a drunkard's death. I was weeping, and Mrs. Hyles stood to sing. I can hear the words now:

My soul in exile was out on life's sea,
So burdened with sin and distress,
Till I heard a sweet voice saying,
“Make Me your choice;”
And I entered the “Haven of Rest!”

I've anchored my soul in the “Haven of Rest,”
I'll sail the wide seas no more;
The tempest may sweep o'er the wild,
stormy deep,
In Jesus I'm safe evermore.

Bow your heads, please. Are you hidden in Christ? If you died today, would you go to Heaven? Are you hiding from Christ, or are you hidden in Christ? Are there sins unconfessed? A life wasted? Who would say this morning, “Brother Hyles, I'm saved and I know it. If Jesus came this morning, if a bomb came this morning, I would be with God. Oh, I know I am saved. If I died, I would go to Heaven and I know it. I know it and God knows I know it”? Would you raise your hand? Thank you. God bless you.

Now, who will say, “Brother Hyles, I'm not a Christian. I do not know that if I died today I would go to Heaven, but I know this is a world of turmoil. I know it is a world of sorrow. I want to be a Christian. I want to go to Heaven. Pray for me. Pray for me. I want to be a Christian. I do not know that I am one but I want to know”? Lift your hand, please, God bless you. (Many hands raised.)

Now listen carefully. I'm not trying to sell you anything. I'm not trying to get you to join a church. That is the farthest thing from my mind. You don't need a church; you need Jesus. You don't need baptism; you need Jesus. You don't need the Lord's Supper yet; you need Jesus. You don't need the holy sacrament yet; you need Jesus. Would you trust Him this morning? Would you right where you are say, “O God, be merciful to me a sinner and save me now”? (Several hands raised.)

As we sing I am going to ask you to leave your seat, come down these aisles to the front and give me your hand and say “Yes” to Jesus Christ.

But wait a minute. Who else would say, “Brother Hyles, I am saved but not baptized”? Now this morning I am going to ask you to come and present yourself for baptism. it is the will of God that every Christian get baptized. Then those who need to transfer membership, you come and join our church. Now everyone who raised your hand, on the first stanza, come to receive Christ as Saviour, come for membership, come for baptism.

PRAYER: Our Father, we come to the invitation time. May we feel the blessed presence of God and know He is here as people respond to the Gospel invitation. In Jesus´ name, Amen.


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“I am an old-fashioned preacher of the old-time religion, that has warmed this cold world's heart for two thousand years.” Billy SUNDAY