Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday morning and evening, July 14, 2002, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia.
WHERE ARE THE NINE?
By Michael D. O’Neal Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church Albany, Georgia
Scripture Reading: Luke 17:12-19
Text: Luke 17:17
Luke 17:17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?
Introduction: Pastors and people who DON’T win souls often criticize those who do by asking, “Where are your converts?” They think that because we have 10 people saved that our attendance should automatically increase by 10 for every service. Well, that would be nice, but that is not necessarily the Bible pattern, and it is certainly not the Baptist practice. Even the church at Jerusalem, which saw thousands of people saved in a matter of days, later dwindled down to just a handful, with the apostle Paul having to go around collecting offerings from other churches to help out the poor saints there.
ALL TEN lepers were GENUINELY cleansed! Some folks say that if a person was GENUINELY saved, he would be in church all the time. Listen: salvation guarantees HEAVEN; it doesn’t guarantee church attendance. If a person does NOT attend church I assume that he is lost, but my assumption doesn’t make him lost.
Only one out of the ten who were all cleansed came back to glorify God! Where are the nine?
I have located the nine! I know where they live! As a card-carrying member of the FBI (Fundamental Baptist Investigators), I have diligently tracked them down to the very street where they live.
I. THEY LIVE IN THE COUNTRY OF NO GRATITUDE
Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
A. They are not thankful for their salvation
B. They are not thinking about their salvation
II. THEY LIVE IN THE COUNTY OF NO GROWTH
1 Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Romans 14:19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
A. They don’t fellowship with believers
- I have never met growing Christians who were not active members of a good church!
B. They don’t feed on the Bible
III. THEY LIVE IN THE CITY OF NO GLOW
Matthew 5:14-16 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
A. They don’t work
- The local church is God’s work crew
B. They don’t witness
IV. THEY LIVE IN THE COMMUNITY OF NO GOOD
2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
The above reference is about a coming judgement for CHRISTIANS about whether or not they did GOOD.
A. Good works are a purpose of salvation
- Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
B. Good works are a proof of salvation
- To men
- James 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
V. THEY LIVE ON THE COUNTRY ROAD OF NO GLORY
1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
Philippians 1:11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
A. They don’t praise God
B. They don’t preach God
C. They don’t prove God
- Put Him to the test
VI. THEY LIVE IN THE COTTAGE OF NO GOD
Psalms 42:3 My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?
Psalms 79:10 Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is their God? let him be known among the heathen in our sight by the revenging of the blood of thy servants which is shed.
Where is the God of the nine? Did God forgive them? Did God cleanse them? Does God claim them?
A. No one can tell by the activity of the nine
B. No one can tell by the appearance of the nine
VII. THEY ARE HIDDEN IN THE CELLAR OF NO GUTS
Romans 10:11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.