Sr. Pastor Darrell G Vaughn
                                                        Faithfulness - A Key Step to Happiness
Mar 14, 2010                              "The Four "D's" of Christianity!" "To Listen the Audio with this Great Sermon click"  "Here"

Sun Am Worship                 Urgent Message for the Lost Church Member

Text: Luke 8 4-15 (King James Version)

 "Father, I am your servant, willing and desiring to be used to bless your people."

Luke 8:4   And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable:

Luke 8:5   A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.

Luke 8:6   And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.

Luke 8:7   And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.

Luke 8:8   And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Luke 8:9   And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be?

Luke 8:10   And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.

Luke 8:11   Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

Luke 8:12   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.

Luke 8:13   They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

Luke 8:14   And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.

Luke 8:15   But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

Ephesians 5:8-11 "For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them."

ILL.- Someone wrote: Several years ago I read of a terrible accident in which several youth were killed when their car was struck by a train. At the trial the watchman was questioned: "Were you at the crossing the night of the accident?"
"Yes, your Honor."
"Were you waving your lantern to warn of the danger."
"Yes, your Honor," the man told the judge.
But after the trial had ended, the watchman walked away mumbling to himself, "I'm glad they didn't ask me about the light in the lantern, because the light had gone out."

Has your light gone out? We all have our days when our light is not shining at all. And God sees when our light has gone out


Every week I speak to several different pastors. I hear their struggles. I share some of the heartaches and discouragement that they are facing in their ministries.

Week after week I hear the stories of complacency running rampant in our local churches. There are many of the local church that explain why the lost world does not get excited about joining with us on Sundays.

I have been asking God many questions about this situation, seeking some answer pertaining to the heart of the problem. What is the solution to the lack of focus and passion in the house of God? God has given me some answers to those questions and I would like to share them with you today.

Here are a few of the questions I am referring to:

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 can't we have 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 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?

On and on it goes. As I pondered these questions I began to read this text. In these few verses I believe that God has given me the answer. It is a simple one and also a very sad one.

The answer: Many of the church members are lost!!

I know this is not a very encouraging or uplifting thought. But I believe that it is something that needs to be addressed.

Let's examine the different situations described and see "The 4 D's of Christianity An Urgent Message For Lost Church Members"


2 Corinthians 5:17   Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

I believe true repentance is more than just an apology with a continued coarse of a sinful lifestyle.

I believe we can also realize within ourselves whether we are indeed in the faith or not.

Chances are if your lifestyle is little different from the world then you are probably not saved.

Jesus said My sheep know my Voice and I know my Sheep.

I did not write the Book brothers and sisters he is the one that said

1 Corinthians 6:9   Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

1 Corinthians 6:10   Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6:11   And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

 

Taking up our cross daily is not a suggestion it is a command!

 

An older gentleman was driving home from work when his cell phone rang. His wife was on the line in a panic and said, "Honey, be careful driving. I just saw on the TV that some maniac is driving the wrong way on the interstate!" The old man replies, "One? There's hundreds of them!"

That story would be more humorous if I didn't read about once a month of that actually happening somewhere in the country. It is easy to go the wrong way! This is true in life and it is true spiritually.

 

[2Cor. 5:11].Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences

I think the word terror could better be translated "fear." There is a great deal said in the Bible about the fear of the Lord. We are told that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (see Prov. 9:10).

One of the tenets of liberalism is that we don't need to be afraid of God. They characterize God as a sweet, indulgent old man whom you can treat most any way. Liberalism teaches the universal fatherhood of God and the universal brotherhood of man, which is one of the most damnable doctrines abroad today. Do you know that the Word of God says: "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Heb. 10:31)? Let us not preach a watered-down, sunshiny gospel. Our God is a holy God, a righteous God. It is this holy God who loves you. It is this holy God who wants to save you. But, if you don't come to God His way, you will have to come before Him in judgment. "Knowing therefore the terror [fear] of the Lord, we persuade men." There is many a pulpit from which is never preached a sermon on hell. There are few sermons on punishment, few sermons on judgment. As a result, God's judgment is almost a lost note today. We need to fear the judgment of God. We need to recognize that we are going to be held accountable to Him.

 I am always afraid of the soft-soap type of thing we hear today. There is so much today that goes the way of psychology, how to become a well-adjusted human being. May I say to you that if you are without Christ, it is not a psychological adjustment that you need. You are a hell-doomed sinner, and you are on the way to hell. What you need is Christ!

It may not make me popular to say this to you, but it is the Word of God. We don't commend ourselves to you. We don't want you to glory in us. The important thing for us to do is to declare the whole counsel of God. Our motivation to get out the Word of God is a recognition of God's judgment. That is the thing that would arouse many a sleepy church member today.

Missionaries tell about the needs out yonder.  I say that there is a real need in this land of ours. The United States is one of the greatest mission fields today. People in our land are on the way to hell. You rub shoulders with them every day.

2 Timothy 4:3-5
3For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

Back to the Soils Now After Jesus spoke this parable  His disciples questioned Him as to its meaning. Jesus went on to explain in detail the aspects of each type of soil.

Now every send 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.

I Love to farm and Garden. I have planted a garden for many years. And  I do know that there are some elements that are required for a seed to take root and grow. Water, sunlight and the soil are all very important to this process.

We find in these verses a description of several types of soil. Jesus is the sower, His Word is the seed and the soil represents several different types of people.

I. A Description Of 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.

Think about a road, or a dirt path, even your driveway. This is an area that is traveled on a regular basis. These placed are packed or trodden down. In most cases they are hard.

This is a good comparison to the condition of the hearts of many people, including church members.

What is one of the first things that a farmer will do when he plants a crop? He must 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.

That is the case with may people today. There hearts are so hard that they have become numb to the Word of God.

They have lived life their way for so long that they refuse to listen to what the Word of God tells them.

and the fowls of the air devoured it – When you have a hard heart it is much easier for the seed (Word of God) to be snatched away by Satan!

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. – These are people that have heard the Word & pondered it but fail to accept it!

An Urgent Message To Church Members- some of you have been Devoured!

Not only are some church members Devoured, some of them are Deceived.

II. A Description Of Those Who Are Deceived v6&13

v6 And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture

v13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

In many cases there are portions of ground that look like a great place to plant a garden. The problem is there is a thin layer of topsoil on top of a sheet of rock.

When a seed is planted in this area the seed will germinate and quickly spring up as a beautiful plant. The problem that arises is that there is no opportunity for the roots to grow deeper. As soon as the sun beats down on this plant it will wither and die never having the opportunity to produce fruit.

How many times have you seen a person come and bow in the altar, make a profession of faith, get baptized and the before you know it they are gone, never to be seen again?

They may even become very active for a short while, completely on fire for the Lord. Then after a while they are right back living in sin.

This is not an uncommon event. It happens all the time. In the 14 Yearss that I have been here I can think of several people that fit this description.

What happened? How are these people deceived? - 13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

The seed was good but the soil was not.

 

In many cases these are the people who are looking for crutch and not a commitment. People who: are having financial problems, marital problems, people who are looking for a quick fix for addiction.

They have an emotional reaction to the truth of God's Word but as soon as temptation hits they wither just like the plant with no roots once it sees the sun.

Does that sound familiar? Do you fit this description? If so you are walking on dangerous ground!


Imagine I took $10,000 to buy a new car. I paid for it and then went to the car and vacuumed the inside and dumped the contents in a shoe box. Then I emptied the ashtray into the box and I found a couple of old French fries in the back seat and some other garbage in the trunk. I put it all in the box and drove home. My wife asks me "What did you get for $10,000?" And I show her the contents of the box! She would maybe try to slap some sense into me! Why? I bought the car; the trash just came with it. I didn't spend $10k on the trash

Verse 13 says that these people fall away. Notice how the term Fall Away is defined in the Greek.

Fall Away –To desert, depart, refrain, and withdraw self. That sounds very similar top the actions of many church members today!

Some church members are Devoured, some are Deceived and some are Distracted.

III. A Description Of Those Who Are Distracted v7&14

v7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.

v14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.

This type of soil appears to be ready to be sown also, but under the soil are the living roots and seeds of thorns and weeds.

When the seed falls here, it also quickly springs to life the problem is that the same ground begins to produce the thorns and weeds that were already below the surface and they eventually choke out the young plant. This plant withers and dies without producing any fruit at all

It is sad to say but I believe that this describes Many of church members sitting in church pews every week.

What is the problem? They are "choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life".

This is the person who attempts to ride the fence. This is your typical Sunday morning "Christian".

This is the person who comes to church only when there is nothing better to do!

This is the person who puts recreation and material goods in front of worshipping God!

This is the person who comes to church and goes through the motions and never truly experiences the power of God!

This is the person who sings Amazing Grace on Sunday and lives like there on the highway to hell Mon-Sat!

This is the person who sits in church and can't wait until the last amen is said, instead of longing to hear from God!
This is the person who fills the majority of our churches today!

This is many of a Sunday morning crowd. Many will not see the need to return tonight or come Wednesday night. Or participate in outreach. How many of you were once on fire for the Lord and couldn't do enough for the Kingdom. But now you just have better things to do. Christ is no longer a priority in your life. Friend, you may be  "choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life". The problem is that all of these things will pass away!

Matthew 6:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

There is one common element that is involved with the three soils that we have just observed. The people described are May NOT be SAVED!

When we are saved we will bear fruit. That is not to say that we will all lead hundreds to Christ. But there will be good fruit produced as a result of God's presence in our life.

What about you? Are you bearing the fruit of the Spirit in your life? Or do you fit the description of the thorny soil?

Some church members are devoured, deceived, distracted but praise God there are some that are devoted.

IV. A Description Of Those Who Are Devoted v8&15

v8 And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

v15But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

Some of the seeds fell onto good ground. This ground had been worked and prepared. It had been plowed and tilled and it was ready to receive the seed when it came.
The seed develop within the heart of the soil and the plant began to grow. When the plant reached maturity, it began to produce fruit that brought honor and gain to the farmer.

Don't get mad at me, I am just tilling the ground!

The soil of these people's hearts has been prepared. They received the seed. They produced fruit and it multiplied.

What gets a person to the point where they fit this description? The answer is found in verse 15 they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

Does this describe you? If not today is the day to make things right!

 

John 14:23   Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he

will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto

him, and make our abode with him.

Conclusion: This message is not intended to make you doubt your salvation. But it is a clear description of many of the attitudes of church members.

Which one fits you? Are you Devoured? Are you Deceived? Are you Distracted? Or are you Devoted?

Either way this is "An Urgent Message For Lost Church Members"!

 

Chances are if you are living like the world then you are of the world!