Summary: We cannot judge a book by it’s cover or Christians by their cover.
Scripture: Rom. 10:8-10; Jas. 2:14-17,26; Matt. 7:19-23; 25:41-46; John 13:35
The title of my message this morning is “Looking Saved”. Everyone sitting in this room will one die should Christ not come during our lifetime. When that time comes and we leave this earth, we will know immediately if we will spend our eternity with Christ. Until then we are left to do our best to “make it in”. I have heard older people say that they were “sending up their timbers building a home in heaven”. I have heard others say “I’m trying to make it into heaven.” For many years I did not understand what they were talking about for it seemed simple to me – accept Christ, get baptized and you go to heaven. I have found that it is not as simple as that. Yes I believe that we must all repent of our sins and accept Christ in order to be saved. But is that all we have to do?
This morning I want to address this from a “left field” point of view. How does one “look saved”? When we go to funerals, we evaluate the deceased as to whether or not he or she was a good person. We may never tell the family members what we “really” thought of the person because you are there to offer your condolences. In all of the funerals that I have attended, I have never heard anyone stand and say, “He sure did look saved.” Although it is never said, it is often thought about both of the living and the dead. So let’s talk about what it means to “look saved”.
People look saved when they:
• Give Tithes: If a person tithes to the Church, they look saved. It does not matter how they live, as long as they are tithing to the Church. Now if they tithe and give an addition offering (i.e. to the building fund), then they will have a very special place in God’s Kingdom. Do not misunderstand what I am saying, supporting the Church with your finances is very important, but that alone does not mean you are “saved”. You may look saved and that could be all you are.
• Church Attendance: If you attend Church every Sunday and Wednesday, all of the meetings, choir practices, outreach programs and everything else the Church has going on then you truly “look saved”. So what if you hate your spouse, hate your kids; hate your neighbor and everyone else you come into contact with. All of that does not matter because you are at Church every times the door are open so you must be saved. All of you know how I feel about regular Church attendance, especially during football season, but I must confess to you that coming to Church every Sunday does not save you although you “look saved.”
• Dress Code: If you do not get anything else right, at least when you come to Church you can wear a nice suit, button down shirt, tie, dress or long skirt and a hat for the ladies. If you wear this on Sundays, in a lot of traditional services, you look saved. Although we tell people to come as you are, God does not care; do we really mean it? In some or our Churches if a person does not look right, smell right or have “Church clothes” they cannot be saved because they do not “look saved.” Christians folk dress nice, are clean and they look prosperous.
Let me give you a visual picture for reference. Let’s say you are going to a friend’s house because they invited you over. When you pull up, you notice the manicured lawn; the nice paint job on the house and how it “looks” well kept. When you enter the inside, it “looks” very clean and neat – everything in its place. Now what you do not see are the cracks in the wall; the mess upstairs where you do not go; all of the stuff swept under the rug or under the couch, etc. You also do not see all of the fights that go on in the house. When you leave the house you have this image of a perfect house because that is what you saw with your eyes. The house “looked” good. It “looked” clean. When we look at one another, we only see the outer side, not the inside. That is why we can look saved and still die and go to hell. Unlike us, God looks on the inside; He can see what no one else can and that is the measurement of who we are.
There are four kinds of people in this world from a Christian point of view. Now this is my opinion only and I have no studies or research to back it up. However, since it is my opinion only, you have the right to disagree with me. Here are the four kinds of people: