Summary: The life of a person from unsaved to entirely sanctified can be one of "stages". The disciple of Christ may not go through all of the stages but the hope of this message is that we will be able to evaluate where we stand with the Lord and then move on.
(This sermon is a mixture of segments with a reinforcing song mixed in with each part.)
John 10:7-10 (Please find this passage in your Bible and follow along)
The Plight of the Lost …
- The Bible teaches that apart from Salvation through Jesus all are lost
- There is one called the devil. How do I know that? Jesus spoke of him.
Jesus had encounters with him. The evil one is found in both the OT and NT.
- I do not believe that the devil can experience anything that we would consider to be pleasant such as joy, happiness, satisfaction or any type of friendly relationship such as family or friends. But because these are terms we as humans understand let’s use them in “quotes” to help us understand the plight of the lost and what it has to do with the evil one.
- The evil one is perfectly happy for us to be happy as long as we do not find salvation through faith in Jesus.
- The evil one is perfectly happy for us to live our lives in torment as long as we do not find salvation through faith in Jesus.
- The evil one is perfectly happy for us to go to church every day of our lives as long as it is just a religious activity and we never find salvation through faith in Jesus.
- The evil one is perfectly happy for us to fill our minds with the temporal things of this world, good or evil, as long as we never think about our eternal destiny. As long as we never find salvation through faith in Jesus!
(Sing the first verse of Rescue the Perishing A Capella)
Luke 19:10 NIV
“The Son of Man came to seek and save the lost!”
Matthew 23:37 NIV
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.”
From the very beginning of the Bible where the Lord comes to Adam and Eve after their sin the Lord was pointing in faithfulness to the plan of salvation.
And then if you go all the way to the last book in the Bible you see Jesus standing outside a church filled with people who believe themselves to be self-sufficient, faithfully knocking on the door to see if they’ll let Him in.
The Lord has faithfully come to each of us through the Word of God or through personal testimony or through preaching or through a gospel tract. However it may have come about it was the Lord putting His plan of salvation faithfully in our path; calling us to Himself.
“Come unto Me all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest …”
For those of us who have come to know the treasure of Christ aren’t you glad for His faithfulness?
(Sing A Capella the first verse and chorus of Great is Thy Faithfulness)
There’s a video called EE-TAOW about missionaries to the Mouk tribe in Africa.
This tribe was walking in spiritual darkness. The Lord in His great faithfulness call a middle aged couple with very limited missionary background to take the Gospel to the Mouk people.
Over a matter of months the missionaries started teaching the Mouk the story of the Bible from creation to the death and resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
They did not start out with the Gospel story as found in the NT but built the foundation from the beginning.
The Mouk understood the significance of the shedding of blood for the forgiveness of sin from the story of Abraham’s willingness to offer Isaac as a sacrifice and the Lord providing a sacrificial ram sheep in place of Isaac.
So, when they heard that Jesus’ blood was shed for the forgiveness of their sins they started testifying that they believed that their sins had been forgiven because of Jesus’ sacrifice.
They started shouting EE-TAOW, EE-TAOW! It’s TRUE, It’s TRUE!
And the celebration went on for two hours.
Other nearby tribes noticed the difference. They wanted to have what the Mouk now had. They said that the eyes of the Mouk people had previously been filled with darkness but now their eyes were filled with light.
When a person is saved, really saved, there is a transformation from light to darkness within them. This may happen quietly or it may happen with great rejoicing. Either way that person will now be filled with the presence of Jesus, the spiritual Light of the world.
The Mouk and each of us were one day translated from the realm of darkness into the realm of light.
One song says it this way …