Preached at the Fundamentalist Baptist Tabernacle in Los Angeles, CA, on the evening of January 6, 2002.
 
"YOUR DESPERATE CRY"

Psalm 18.41

INTRODUCTION:

1. My text for this evening comes from a psalm that David wrote when he was a young man in conflict with king Saul. It seems to be recorded in its original form in Second Samuel chapter 22. But its final form, apparently edited a bit by David as a more mature man, is found as the 18th Psalm.

2. Please turn at this time to the 18th Psalm, where I will begin reading at verse 40. Thatís page 607 in your Scofield Reference Bible.

3. When you find the text, please stand for the reading of Godís Word. As I read I will point out some things common with a number of the Psalms. I refer to obvious Messianic allusions, statements that are true about David, the human author, but which are more true and prophetically significant when they are applied to the Lord Jesus Christ, Who would be born a thousand years after David died.

40 Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me.

41 They cried, but there was none to save them: even unto the LORD, but he answered them not.

42 Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind: I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets.

43 Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people; and thou hast made me the head of the heathen: a people whom I have not known shall serve me.

44 As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me: the strangers shall submit themselves unto me.

45 The strangers shall fade away, and be afraid out of their close places.

46 The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted.

47 It is God that avengeth me, and subdueth the people under me.

48 He delivereth me from mine enemies: yea, thou liftest me up above those that rise up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man.

49 Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name.

50 Great deliverance giveth he to his king; and sheweth mercy to his anointed, to David, and to his seed for evermore.

4. One of the reasons God chose to use the Psalms penned by David, to give us such profound insights into the ministry and the sacrifice the Lord Jesus Christ would make a thousand years later, is because of the great parallel that existed between David, Godís anointed prophet and king, and his enemies -- and the Lord Jesus Christ, Godís Son, the Messiah, the Anointed One, the Christ, and His enemies.

5. Let me point out some of the amazing illustrations of how the relationship between David and his enemies prophetically pictures what would be true of Christ and His enemies a thousand years later, and what is still true of Christ and His enemies three thousand years later.

6. Look at verse 44, where the psalmist writes, "As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me: the strangers shall submit themselves unto me." Sounds good, doesnít it? Seems to speak of conversion, doesnít it? But the word translated "submission" refers to feigned submission, submission that isnít real, submission thatís forced, submission that is not from the heart. In other words, this is a portrait of a false conversion!

7. Why do you think Dr. Hymers is so careful when dealing with sinners? Why do you think he is so insistent? My friends, itís because the Bible teaches of those with false conversions. He was falsely converted for years himself, and he wants to make sure, as a good pastor ought to make sure, that you are truly converted, that your submission to Jesus is genuine, that you really have with the heart believed unto righteousness.

8. Look at verse 47: "It is God that avengeth me, and subdueth the people under me." This verse describes the victories God gave to David over his enemies. But it far more perfectly describes the victory that God will give to His Son Jesus over His enemies.

9. Where David writes, "It is God that avengeth me," the apostle Paul writes these words in Romans 12.19: "Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord."

10. And where David writes, "and subdueth the people under me," we read these words in another Psalm and in Hebrews 1.13: "Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool." Thatís God speaking to His Son, Jesus.

11. So you see, this portion of the 18th Psalm that we have read is very definitely a Messianic passage. That is, it is an Old Testament passage from long, long ago which undeniably looks to the future, to the ministry and life of the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is Israelís Messiah.

12. It immediately speaks of the conflict that David, as Godís anointed king, had with his enemies. But the passage ultimately speaks of the conflict that the Lord Jesus Christ, as Godís anointed Prophet, Priest and King, would have and continues to have with His enemies.

13. Now we turn our attention to you. You see, just as Davidís enemies are found in this Psalm, so too are Christís enemies found in this passage. And though you may not think of yourself as Christís enemy, so long as you are unsaved, so long as you remain lost, so long as your submission to Jesus is only feigned, so long as your submission to Jesus is only a convenient pretense, so long as your submission to Jesus is not a real and genuine conversion experience, you are still His enemy.

14. Though we initially read 11 verses, my text for tonightís sermon is a single verse, Psalm 18.41. Let us stand once more and read that single verse again, you reading silently while I read aloud: "They cried, but there was none to save them: even unto the LORD, but he answered them not."

15. Jesus is sitting at the Fatherís right hand in heaven, as I speak to you tonight. Through the ministry of the Holy Spirit of God, Who convicts sinners and prepares their hearts for conversion, you are being invited to Jesus. And if you actually come to Jesus you will at that moment experience the miracle of the new birth.

16. But while the Gospel ministry is going forth here there is another thing happening elsewhere. As men and women and children are dying without Christ, and as the Spirit of God draws back from sinners who commit the unpardonable sin and stubbornly refuse to come to Jesus, God is subduing Christís enemies, God is making Christís enemies His footstool.

17. While some few are being converted, mostly in places like China, Southeast Asia and in the Sudan, far greater numbers of sinners are being subjugated all over the world by God and made into Christís footstools, good for nothing better than the bottom of the Saviorís shoes.

18. Having resisted the Gospel during this lifetime, and having refused to bend the knee and bow the head and confess Jesus Christ to be Lord, but insisting on being stubborn and rebellious, you have not cried out to God for saving mercy. You have not pleaded with God for saving grace. You have not begged God for faith to believe in Jesus. But you will, my friend. O, you will. Of that you can be sure.

19. Our text for this evening shows us that you will. "They cried, but there was none to save them: even unto the LORD, but he answered them not."

20. Three things to notice about you, for this verse speaks of you:

1A. First, YOU WILL CRY FOR SALVATION

Notice that it says, "They cried . . . even unto the LORD"

1B. But you need to know something about this cry you will someday cry, my friend. In fact, you need to know two things: Your cry will be desperate and your cry will be deficient.

2B. That is, you are going to plead and beg and pray and apologize and submit and surrender and attempt to bargain and trade and buy and whatever else you can think of doing for salvation. Deny that you will all you want, but you most certainly will.

3B. But when you cry it will be too late. It will be far too late. You canít imagine yourself really pleading with God for mercy, crying out to God for saving faith, begging God for saving grace, but you will. Only, it will be too late. It will be far too late.

4B. For, you see, verse 41, which is you crying, comes after verse 40, which is God giving your neck to Jesus for destruction. In other words, you wonít have enough spiritual sense to cry out to God for deliverance until after itís too late, after you have been subjugated by God, after you have died and gone to Hell.

5B. Your cry will, indeed, be desperate, because once you are in Hell you will begin to realize what a terrible fix you are in. And deficient because your cry will simply be too late. Because you ignored the passage that urges you to "seek the LORD while he may be found," when you do cry out to God for mercy it will simply be too late. . .

2A. BECAUSE NO MAN WILL SAVE YOU

". . . but there was none to save them"

1B. Not Yourself

1C. You will already be in Hell when you finally begin to cry for someone to save you, so how will you be able to save yourself?

2C. If you canít save yourself before you die how can you possibly save yourself after you die? So, when David wrote that there was none to save you, he surely included you in that number.

2B. Not Your Friends

How can your friends save you? Thereís two reasons your friends will not be able to save you:

1C. First, because your friends are in the same situation you find yourself in. Like you, your friends are dead in trespasses and sins. Like you, your friends are under the condemnation of God. Like you, your friends are spiritually weak and impotent and incapable. Your friends cannot help you.

2C. Thatís if you have any real friends. Before I was converted I had no real friends. O, I had fellows I would hang around with. But they couldnít do me any good. And they didnít really care for me any more than I cared for them. They just used me, like Iíll have to admit I used them, to pretend they werenít lonely, to pretend they were having a good time, to pretend they had life figured out. But they werenít real friends and couldnít do me any real good.

3C. Not even Christian friends can do much more than urge you to come to Church. No Christian can save you, no matter how good a friend he is. So, no man will save you. Not yourself. And not anyone you know.

3B. ". . . but there was none to save them" Not Even Jesus.

1C. This may surprise you, but Jesus is the Savior right now. He invites sinners to come to Him, now. But there will come a time when itís simply too late.

2C. You see, Jesus is not angry with you now. Heís not mad at you for being unconverted now. But there will come a time when God subjugates you, when you will die and go to Hell, and the Lord Jesus Christís attitude toward you will dramatically change.

3C. From being the One willing and able to save you, your stubborn refusal to come to Christ has convinced Him of your hatred. And according to Psalm 18.40 His plan will be your destruction.

4C. So, you will cry out for salvation someday. But there will be none to save you. Not yourself. Not your friends. Not even the Lord Jesus Christ.

3A. NOT EVEN GOD WILL SAVE YOU

"They cried . . . even unto the LORD, but he answered them not."

The LORD God Almighty will not help you then, my friend. Cry out to Him all you want, but He will not save you. Cry out for mercy, but you will not then find mercy. Plead for saving grace, but He wonít even hear you. Why not?

1B. Because you have no standing before God

1C. The child of God is urged to come boldly to the throne of Godís grace. Perhaps you have heard the saints of this Church boldly urging God to draw you to Christ through the preaching of the Gospel. O, how they have prayed for you, my friend, and will continue to pray for you.

2C. God hears their prayers because they have standing. That is, they have access to the very throne room in heaven through their Savior, Jesus. But you have no such standing.

3C. What does that mean? It means that God is not obligated to hear, much less answer your prayers, now. But God is so good, so merciful, so gracious, that though He doesnít have to He oftentimes does hear and respond to the pleas of a lost man for mercy.

4C. But after He has subjugated you, after your allotted time on earth has expired, after that beast we call "death" has consumed you, it will be too late for you. Cry all you want. Plead all you want. And you will plead and cry for salvation. But God, Who is not obligated to hear you now (though He oftentimes does), has declared that He will not hear you then.

2B. Another reason not even God will save you then: You have not the Spirit of God

1C. Romans 8.26 declares that "the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." But that verse speaks of the indwelling Holy Spiritís ministry of helping the Christian in his prayers to God.

2C. But you donít have the Holy Spirit living in your bosom because you are not converted. And as a lost man you resist the wooing ministry of the Holy Spirit, you quench and grieve the convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit. There will come a time when the Holy Spirit will no longer strive with you, and then you will live out your life, die, and go to Hell.

3C. So, for what reason and by what twisted logic can you imagine that the Holy Spirit, Who you grieve and quench and resist now, will come to your aid after you die and help you pray to God for salvation after you have died? For what reason will He, after He has given up on you, return to help you ask God for a salvation you shunned when you had ample opportunity to seek it?

CONCLUSION:

1. So you see, there will come a time in your existence when you will be dramatically transformed into quite the prayer warrior. You donít much pray now for your salvation. You donít cry out to God for mercy now.

2. But there is coming a time when you will pray without ceasing. O, how you will cry out to God. O, how you will plead. O, how you will beseech. O, how you will argue your case and present the reasons why you should be saved.

3. You will cry out to Jesus, but He will not save you, because Godís Word says, "there was none to save." And that certainly includes Jesus. You have no time for Jesus now, and canít imagine feeling any need for Him now. But O, how you will cry loud and long for Him . . . when itís too late.

4. And you will cry out to God, too. Tears and snot and saliva running down your face, you will cry like youíve never cried before. O, how sorry you will be then. O, how you will reason and explain to God. But it will be too late.

5. That, my friend, is the Bible truth about your desperate cry, the cry of your heart and soul after you have died and gone to Hell. I do want you to cry out to God for mercy and grace now, before itís too late. Because your desperate cry of Psalm 18.41 will be a cry that will go unanswered.

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