Religious Seeker #5 ( Conclusion )
1. Jesus Came to the Religious Lost Seeker - John 1: 11-12
A. Seek and Rescue Mission - Matthew 18: 11
B. Came only for those in need - Luke 5: 31
C. The self-righteous Religious leaders wanted Him dead - John 11: 57
2. Jesus sends all of us out to others - Acts 1; 8; Matthew 28: 18-19
A. Three dimensions - proclamation, personal contact & personal involvement
B. Church looks for better methods, God looks for better men
C. Evangelical & Evangelistic outreach to all segments in community
( The Church must be more than Evangelical, it must also be Evangelistic )
3. Dividing the Lost from the Found ( Questions for all of us )
A. Have we by faith accepted the Lord’s sacrificial death on the cross as the
payment in full for our sins as a grace gift undeserved, freely given to all who believe ?
B. Is the Lord Jesus given the Preeminence over all other church authorities ?
C. Is God’s Word the final word in all areas of our faith ?
D. Do we agree that our works do not add anything to the finished work
of Christ on the Cross for our sins and that God produces the fruit of His
righteousness in us after we accept Him and are born of His Spirit ?
4. Road Blocks in Witnessing & Evangelism in the 21st Century to Overcome
A. Cults: Mormons, J.W.’s, Moonies, Roman Catholic or Protestant deviations , etc.
B. Charismania : Pagan tongues movement, name & claim, health & wealth, bondage
( This movement killed evangelism in America in the late 1970's, the healthy alternative to Charismania is sound Biblical understanding and walking in the Spirit which is evidenced by genuine love rather than some ecstatic expression which is an imitation of an occurrance in the Bible taken out of context. All of us believe in the miraculous; But let it be real and verifiable as it was in the Bible and not as it is among Pagan worshippers. The " greater works " today are clearly the millions who have already been transformed by the Gospel. )
C. Hypocrisy among true believers ( loss of love, carnality, pride, abuse & lukewarm ness )
Religious folks have seen many imitations, we need to show them the genuine article: Spirit Filled fruitful Christians who are also solid in their understanding of God‘s word.
5. Winning, Building & Sending
A. All of us can be involved at some level
B. Prayer list of those we are led to at work, neighborhood & community
C. Networking when we can with informal gatherings
D. Planning other outreach ministries with a committee in the local church
( I once had a very religious person ask me, " If my water baptism and the other sacraments do not remove my sin, then what does ? The answer is clear, " Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins". The blood of the Lamb can wash away our sins. Only His precious blood shed for us all, once and for all . )
St Ignatius of Loyola ( 1491-1556 ) Spanish Founder of the Jesuits ( Society of Jesus )
“ We should always be disposed to believe that that which appears to us to be white is really black, if the hierarchy of the church so decides. ” Exercita spititualia ( 1541 )
Martin Luther ( 1483-1546 ) Father of the Reformation - October 31, 1517 nailed 95 thesis to W.D.
“ Heir steh’ ich. Ich kann nicht anders. ” Proclamation - Diet of Worms April 18, 1521
John Wycliffe ( 1320-1384 ) English Reformer - Forerunner of the Reformation
“ This Bible is for the Government of the People, by the People, and for the People. ” Preface to the Bible translated by Wycliffe and Nicholas Hereford 1382 ( Quoted by Abraham Lincoln )
"Polish regular officers fired on our territory. Since 5:45 a.m. we have been returning the fire." — Adolf Hitler, Sept. 1, 1939
William Evans Ph. D., D.D. ( 1910 ) Associate Dean and professor at Biola and Moody Bible Inst.
“ The wise Christian worker will not attack the Roman church in his conversation and dealing with the inquirer. This is likely to enrage the man, and make all successful dealing with him impossible. Indeed, it might be well to say what good you can about the Roman Church. ” Quoted from PERSONAL SOUL WINNING published by Moody press 1910
WHO IS LOST?
"For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost." Luke 19:10
Who is lost and in need of salvation? The Bible clearly teaches that many are lost and perishing. Who are they? Jesus made it clear to both religious and non religious that all of us start Lost. He also warned that "many" will follow the wrong path to salvation. Here are seven false paths that keep men Lost!
1. Those who try to earn or deserve favor with God by their own righteousness are Lost. Luke 18: 9-14; Romans 3:20; 9: 30-33
2. Those who have a dead faith that is half hearted with divided allegiance, are Lost. Matthew 15: 8-9; James 2:19
3. Those whose faith lacks the fruit of obedience are Lost. Mark 4: 2-9; Matthew 7: 15-20; James 2: 18; Romans 1:5; 16: 26
4. Those who choose to follow a religious path that deviates from what is known as right and true, even if it is in the name of Jesus, are Lost. Matthew 7: 21-23; Galatians 1: 6-10; Jude 3
5. Those who follow or trust in anyone else but the Lord and our only Savior Jesus Christ; God incarnate, Creator of all things who died on the cross, shed His blood as a payment for our sins, rose again and is coming back - are Lost. John 8:23-24; 14:6; Acts 4:12
6. Those who place or trust the word of man over or being equal to the Word's of Christ and His chosen Apostles or Prophets in the Old and New Testament are Lost. John 10: 1-15; Matthew 24: 4-5; 2 Peter 2:1-22; 3: 2; 1 John 5: 11-13; Revelation 22: 18-20
7. Those who are not Born Again of God and His Holy Spirit by grace through faith in Christ alone are Lost. John 3: 1-18; 1 Peter 1:1-15; Romans 8: 9-17; Titus 3:5; 1 John 5: 1
Ultimately God will decide who is saved and who is lost based on His understanding which is greater than ours. However, on the basis of His Word in the Bible, God "desires all men to be saved". 1 Tim 2: 4 and is "not willing that any should perish". 2 Peter 3: 9 Yet we know that Jesus said, “many” who think they know Him will be disappointed. God loves the lost more than any of us do and He already did everything for us. The thief on the Cross may not have understood much theology, but he knew to call on God, believe in Jesus Christ and he was convicted by the Holy Spirit of his sinfulness - Luke 23: 42-44.
Since the first generations existed in the beginning and after the flood, the world knew of the promise of a Savior, but turned away from God in rebellion - Romans 1: 18-20; 10: 14-21. Since the beginning of mankind - prophets, missionaries, yes angels and visions have been sent to reach those who call on God. Read about Cornelius. Acts 10: 1-6
Teachers who have willfully misled or accidentally by being careless, will bare a greater responsibility. Teachers who create new teachings that are not clearly taught in Scripture even if they seem benign, detract from the heart of the Word of God. The listeners of Paul and Silas in Berea were considered "more noble", because they checked everything out that was being taught by Paul. Acts 17: 11 The good news is that none of us have to stay lost!
"Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment." James 3: 1
"He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." John 3: 36
SALVATION IS A FREE GIFT!
“…And whoever desires let him take of the water of Life freely.” Apocalypse 22:17
Finally : Don’t get sidetracked! You may only get one chance to share with many of your contacts before they will shut you off in this area. Make sure that in that one chance you give them the GOOD NEWS of God’s amazing grace which, because of the finished work on the Cross by Jesus the Messiah, His Son, He gives His righteousness freely to anyone who believes in Him. Use the Four Spiritual Laws or a similar plan which uses Scripture rather than human reasoning. Pray for them often and study the Word at every turn to be better prepared to help them with answers to their questions. Many Religious people are already under great guilt from their sin and the problem is that they are trying to erase their sin on their own. All are saved in the same way from their own sins. It matters not from which church or background. All men need to be saved from their own sins and there are three aspects to our salvation: Penalty, Power & Presence. We are saved from the penalty now ( Rom. 8:1; John 5: 24 ) We are saved from the power now, but must appropriate God's victory daily as we still have the old sin nature to overcome by God's grace through faith on a moment by moment basis - confessing, repenting and trusting again as we go, every time we fail. Salvation from the presence of sin will be in Heaven.