Sunday, July 12, 2009

Saved or Lost?

Temple Baptist Church - 7-12-2009

Matthew 13:3-9; 18-23; Acts 2:41-47

Introduction: I will probably preach this message in two parts today. In a few moments, you will know why.

A. In these verses in Matthew 13, we find the general condition of “religion” in our day. Multitudes of professions with few possessions! Faithful, God loving, God fearing people are about as scarce as hen’s teeth!

B. Over the past two decades, there has been a serious, consistent decline in church attendance. It has resulted in churches canceling both mid-week and evening services while shortening Sunday Morning services.

C. So then, what is the problem? I believe that it is two-fold in nature: (You may be able to find more causes but I believe that these two are the main culprits!)

1. Churches are full of unsaved members.

2. Laodicea has taken its toll.

D. There is a two-fold deception that has taken place (Satan authors both):

1. He convinces the unsaved that they are saved! He will do everything that he can to keep the unsaved in a religious condition. Satan does not mind you being a little “religious!”

2. He causes the saved to doubt that they are saved! Some well meaning preaching does the same. Assurance of salvation is one of the blessed benefits of being saved. I want you to be saved and have blessed assurance, not keep “chipping” away at what you have so as to make you doubt.

a) If you have repented of sin and placed your faith in Christ, you are saved eternally!

b) Sin does not make you lost. Failure to grow in the Lord does not make you lost.

c) Feelings do not make you lost.

d) All of the devils in creation cannot make you lost! I want you to be saved and know it: resting in the finished work of Calvary.

E. Here in these verses we find a law: Good Seed + Good Sowing + Good Soil = Good Fruit! These three together always produce good fruit!

1. The problem was not a Seed Problem – The Word of God is good seed.

Psalms 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.

Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

2. The problem was not a Sowing Problem – Anywhere you sow the Word of God, it still works.

Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. (Not every creature will be saved though!)

Psalms 126:6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him. (Thank God some will be saved!)

3. The problem was a Sin Problem – If good seed is sowed, then the problem is the heart or “ground” upon which it is sowed.

F. To the believer, faithfulness to God’s House is not a request. It is a command! It is not what this preacher says that matters. It is what God says!

G. First this morning, let us look at these four soils of Matthew 13:

1. The Wayside Ground Hearer – vs. 4, 20 – has no interest; therefore, no conviction; therefore no conversion! Preach until you are “blue in the face” and they will not come to Christ. They may pray “the prayer,” but they will never come to church. A twenty mule team could not drag them to the house of God! You can visit, beg, or bribe but they will not change and they will not come and be faithful.

2. The Stony Ground Hearer – vs. 5, 20-21 – these have preaching problems - the Word of God will eventually offend them and they will leave. They have no “root.” They may come for a while but, when preaching get’s straight, they quickly fall to the wayside also. You can visit all you want but they will never come faithfully. The problem is not this preacher. The problem is every preacher who preaches the Word. These “stony” ground hearers will eventually either get out of church of find a “comfortable one” where their ears get tickled while their hearts get pickled!

3. The Thorny Ground Hearer – vs. 7, 22 – these have priority problems. They think more of the world and its pleasures or riches than they do of Christ. Their jobs and personal pleasures will keep them from being faithful to God. It is interesting that the Holy Spirit used the phrase “choke the word.” As thorns take over the field, these cares overwhelm their souls. The things of God always take a “back seat” to their desires. They always have things more important to do than be faithful to the things of God.

4. The Good Ground Hearer – vs. 8, 23 – They hear the Word, want the Saviour, come to Christ and are gloriously changed, and bear fruit! Good Seed + Good Sowing + Good Soil = Good Fruit! (We need to quit playing “church games” with lost people. If people do not get lost, they cannot get saved! If your heart is not right then get right!)

H. In contrast, we read in Acts 2 the description of truly saved people. Saved People always experience changed hearts! Changed hearts make for changed lives! Here are 13 ways that you know that you are saved:

Acts 2:41-47

1. There is the fruit of gladness –“ gladly received his word”

2. There is the fruit of obedience - ‘were baptized’

3. There is the fruit of faithfulness – “there were added unto them”

4. There is the fruit of teachableness – “they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine”

5. There is the fruit of love – “fellowship, and in breaking of bread”

6. There is the fruit of communion – “and in prayers”

7. There is the fruit of the fear – “fear came upon every soul”

8. There is the fruit of compassion had all things common

9. There is the fruit of agreement – “one accord”

10. There is the fruit of companionship – “all that believed were together…continuing “daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house

11. There is the fruit of praise – “Praising God”

12. There is the fruit of testimony – “having favour with all the people”

13. There is the fruit of the witnessing for God – “the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved”

1. Saved People Have Faith In God - 1 John 3:20-21 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. 21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. (Gladly received Christ! Not coerced, not to please or get a soul winner off of your back, not to make your family happy, not to fit in with other believers, but turned to Christ by faith and fell in love with Him!)

John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

2. Saved People Keep God’s Commandments - 1 John 2:3-5 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.

1 John 2:29 If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.

1 John 3:2-3 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

3. Saved People Are Teachable - 1 John 2:20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.

1 John 5:20-21 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. 21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.

1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

4. Saved People Love Each Other - 1 John 3:14-19 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. 15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. 16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. 19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.

1 John 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.

5. Saved People Have The Inner Witness Of The Holy Spirit - 1 John 3:24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

1 John 5:10-11 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. 11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

1 John 4:2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:

1 John 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.

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