Summary: Sermon dealing with unsaved church members.
Introduction: Dr. James Binney, the director of Moorehead Manor and editor of Issues of the Heart Journal, in an article titled, "Can Church Members Go to Hell?" said this:
When I first became a Christian, I assumed that all church going people were automatically qualified for the fast track into heaven. It was a given. After becoming a church member, then a pastor, I had to rethink the issue.
I have encountered many leaders who doubted their faith, others who could not clearly explain how they were saved, and even others who frankly admitted that they had never been saved. Imagine 20 pastors confessing their lost condition in one city! It happened...when George Whitefield preached in Boston. Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. said, "I have spent nearly my entire life in association with ministers. Nobody would tell you that every preacher in America is a saved man." (Dr. Jim Binney, Issues of the Heart, Fall 2000, p. 2).
Dr. Binney believes that many preachers are lost today. These preachers will be left behind when the rapture comes!
But the problem isn't just with preachers. Dr. Binney also believes that many church members are lost. He refers to several well-known church leaders to support his position:
Dr. Rod Bell, president of the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship of America, estimates that 50% of church people are without Christ. His estimate concurs with that of Bob Jones, Sr. ...in the 1940's he also fixed the estimate at 50%. Dr. B. R. Lakin estimated that 75% are lost. W. A. Criswell would be surprised to see even 25% of his church members in heaven. Dr. Bob Gray, longtime pastor of the prestigious Trinity Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Florida, once said that probably 75% of those he baptized were not saved. Billy Graham puts the figure at 85% while A. W. Tozer and Southern Baptist consultant Jim Elliff raise it to 90%. These are shocking figures to be sure, but not surprising...many such lost people find their way into the roles of the church through evangelism methods that are less than thorough...In a country boasting of coast to coast Christianity with thousands of church buildings and millions of members, it is hard to realize the depth of the problem...with 80% of the American public declaring that they are Christians. The reason that so many who think they are saved may actually be lost is traceable to a misunderstanding about the means of salvation. Many religious people are misled into believing they are genuine Christians because of some external criteria. This may be the form of their prayer at the time of salvation. It can also include a dependence upon feelings, going forward at a public meeting, or meeting someone's expectations in any regard about the means of salvation. The Bible warns against dependency upon the wrong things for salvation (Dr. Jim Binney, Issues of the Heart, Fall 2000, p. 4).
The truth is that whether you agree with those who estimate 50% or those who at 90%, it is shocking to think that that our churches are filled with people who think they are going to heaven and are not; that our churches are filled with the saints and the aints! In my opinion this problem of false conversion has been compounded by the seeker sensitive movement that has been popularized by men like Bill Hybels and Rick Warren and the "cheap easy believism" that men like Dr. Leroy Forlines warned about years ago. Listen to a statement made by Bill Hybels just a few short years ago;