WHY I BELIEVE THAT MOST RELIGIOUS PEOPLE ARE LOST
Scripture Reading: 2 Tim. 2:19; James 2:15-18
Text: James 2:18
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.
Introduction: Last Sunday morning, I told you how I KNOW that most religious people are LOST. In a nutshell, they are lost because they are not trusting Christ as Savior. They don’t know what the gospel is, and they haven’t believed the gospel.
Today I want to bring you a message called
WHY I BELIEVE THAT MOST RELIGIOUS PEOPLE ARE LOST
This isn’t the same message as last week. Last week I told you I know that most religious people are lost, because they aren’t trusting Christ.
You and I can’t see a person’s heart, so we don’t know who or what an individual is trusting to be saved. As our text says, we see a man’s faith by his works. By the way, tomorrow will be 34 years since I surrendered to God’s call to preach. My first message was on this same theme from this same passage, and I still believe it today. Saved people ought to show their faith by their works.
The children sing, “This little light of mine; I’m gonna let it shine.” When you let your light shine for the world, you’re showing WORKS, or they don’t see any light radiating from you.
Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Judging from their works, most religious people that I’ve met are lost. They don’t have much of a light at all. There are a number of things that ought to characterize Christians. A man is saved by grace through faith without works, but he SHOULD walk in good works after he is saved:
Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in
You are not lost because someone doesn’t believe you’re lost. As we read in 2 Tim. 2:19, God knows those who are His. However, His people should depart from iniquity! They should live right!
If you don’t live like a saved man, most people will not believe you’re saved. Most religious people I know don’t live like saved people, so I believe they’re lost. That doesn’t mean they are lost, but they make me think they are lost. That is called your TESTIMONY – the impression you give to other people OF your faith, BY your works!
Let me mention some characteristics of Christians which are missing
from some of the members of this church
from many of the visitors to this church
from most religious people I’ve met
and I believe these people are LOST! They may not BE lost, but they don’t look saved to ME!
I. THEIR ACTIONS INDICATE THAT THEY ARE LOST
Acts 9:26 And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join imself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple.
Acts 9:13 Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem:
A. Pleasing self
B. Promoting self
C. Practicing sin
Get this right, now. I did NOT say that you are lost because your actions are not right. I just said that if your actions aren’t right, you LOOK lost. If it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck, we assume that it IS a duck.
II. THEIR ATTENDANCE INDICATES THAT THEY ARE LOST
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.
A. Bed more than the brethren
B. Bass more than the Bible
If you tell people that Brother O’Neal says that you are lost because you don’t go to church regularly, you’ll be one of the biggest liars in Albany. I didn’t say you’re lost if you don’t go to church; you just LOOK lost.
III. THEIR ANSWER INDICATES THAT THEY ARE LOST
Matthew 26:73-74 And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee. 74 Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.
A. Some curse
B. Some contradict the Bible
C. Some choose another answer than the one of Acts 16:29-31
Don’t misquote me. I did NOT say that any Christian who swears is lost. I’m just saying that anyone who hears a Christian cuss thinks he is lost. I know that I think that.
IV. THEIR ATTITUDE INDICATES THAT THEY ARE LOST
Acts 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.
The attitude of some religious people:
A. Is hateful
B. Is hurtful
C. Is hellish
V. THEIR APPEARANCE INDICATE THAT THEY ARE LOST
1 Thessalonians 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
Romans 12:1-2 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. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Their attire is designed:
A. To draw attention to the flesh
B. To deliver a message of worldliness and rebellion
VI. THEIR ASSOCIATIONS INDICATE THAT THEY ARE LOST
Acts 9:26-28 And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at
Damascus in the name of Jesus. 28 And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem.
A. Their alignment is with lost people
B. Their agreement is with lost people
VII. THEIR AFFECTIONS INDICATE THAT THEY ARE LOST
1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
They don’t seem to enjoy
A. God’s food
B. God’s fellowship
Conclusion: Are you saved? If you are, and the message has “rung your bell” today, then starting looking like and living like you are indeed a child of God! If you’re not sure you’re saved but you’re madder than a hornet right now, it’s probably because you are not saved and need to be saved. Trust Christ today! He died for our sins according to the scriptures, was buried, and rose again the third day according to the scriptures. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved!
Michael D. O’Neal (Proverbs 11:30), Pastor,