Summary: THe term "Lost Church Memeber" should be an oxymoron but the fact of the matter is that this is a far too common occurence in our churches today.
An Urgent Message For Lost Church Members!
Have you ever heard of an Oxymoron? I know we all know some morons! But I am referring to a grammatical term.
Oxymoron - is defined as: A rhetorical device in which two seemingly contradictory words are used together for effect: Ex. “She is just a poor little rich girl.”
Here are a few more examples of “Oxymoron’s”:
• Dark light
• Living dead
• Clearly confused
• Act naturally
• Jumbo shrimp
• Original Copies
• Minor Crisis
• Deafening Silence
I said all of that to address this fact; the title for this sermon contains an Oxymoron… “Lost Church Member”. The term “Lost Church Member” should be a contradiction in terms, but, sadly it is a far too common occurrence. Throughout my ministry here at Stockdale we have had several individuals who thought for many years that they were saved and then the Holy Spirit revealed to them that they were not.
These individuals came to an altar and:
o Prayed a prayer
o Shed some tears
o Went through the baptismal waters
o Joined the church
o Attended regularly
o Gave their money
o Worked in the nursery & children’s church
o Taught a class
o You name it… THEY DID IT!
But there was something missing in their life: There are many people who live their lives based upon an emotional experience and fail to truly be born again. I fully believe that there are many on the role of this church that will never see Heaven.
I spend time with other pastors. Week after week I hear the stories and their struggles. As we join together there are some common questions and concerns that we all share:
• Why is there always turmoil and controversy surrounding the Christian church?
• Why do we not have people who are willing to do Kingdom work?
• Why are “active church members” not very “active?”
• Why is church membership declining?
• Why is there a decline in participation in missions and outreach?
• Why isn’t there a true spirit of worship in Gods house?
• Why do so called Christian people not have a burden for the lost?
• Why is there no real difference in church members and the people of the world?
• Why do some people make a profession of faith and begin with such zeal and then fade away?
I truly believe that the answer to these questions is found in these verses: The answer: Many church members are lost!! Let’s examine this portion of scripture and see “An Urgent Message For Lost Church Members”
After Jesus spoke the parable of the soils, His disciples questioned Him as to its meaning. Jesus went on to explain in detail the aspects of each type of soil.
Now every seed that is planted has the potential to produce much more seed. For example, if you plant one piece of corn it can produce a stalk that has many ears full of corn. It is the desire of any farmer to produce as much crop as possible at all times. He will never put out a bunch of seeds without the desire that they all become fruitful.
The same is true with Jesus.
It is His desire that all of the seeds that are planted grow and become fruitful.
Jesus is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
There are certain elements that are required for a seed to take root and grow. Water, sunlight and the soil are all very important to this process. In these verses there is a description of several types of soil.
A. Jesus is the sower,
B. His Word is the seed
C. The soil represents several different types of people.
Let’s look at how Jesus describes each type of soil and consider the thought …”An Urgent Message For Lost Church Members” First of all:
I. Jesus Describes Those Who Are Devoured v5&12
v5a some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. ..........v12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
Along with the type of the soil we must notice where the seed landed. In verses 5 & 12 the seed is described as falling by the “wayside”. In the Greek the wayside is described as a road or a pathway.A pathway is an area that is traveled on a regular basis. These places are packed or trodden down. In most cases they are hard.The hardness of the wayside/pathway illustrates to the condition of the hearts of many people, including some church members.One of the first things a farmer does when he plants his crop is till the soil. If you just go out and throw a bunch of seeds on hard compacted soil they will not have much of an opportunity to grow.