Religious but Lost, Part 1 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 62)

TEXT: John 5:39-44

39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

41 I receive not honour from men.

42 But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.

43 I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.

44 How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?

Today, I am continuing the daily Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign sermon series, which is aimed at sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with unbelievers and reminding Christians, in this important election year, to keep the main thing the main thing — and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to “pray without ceasing” for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders. Yes, you should pray for the right candidate to win; yes, you should vote for the candidate that the Lord gives you peace about voting for. But, don’t get caught up in it like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord.

This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”

This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 62.

Charles Spurgeon said, “Christ is a person, a living person, full of power to save. He has not placed his salvation in sacraments, or books, or priests, but he has kept it in himself; and if you want to have it you must come to him.”

After calling upon three powerful witnesses — John the Baptist, His own miraculous works, and God the Father — to testify on His behalf, Jesus sees that the Jewish religious leaders still do not believe that He is who He says He is. He begins to rebuke them for their unbelief because their unbelief is not based in sincere doubt, but in stubborn refusal.

Jesus says, “Ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” Notice the strong presence of the will. “Ye will not come.” The Jews had willfully chosen to not beleive what they had seen. They valued their own religious belief system over real eternal life. Many people today, both religious and nonreligious, refuse to believe even when presented with sufficient evidence. They know that belief means giving up something of themselves and putting their entire life in the hands of God. They would rather risk eternal damnation than humble themselves and believe.

Now, some of the Jews may have thought that Jesus simply wanted them to praise Him and recognize Him as the Messiah. Jesus preempts this assumption by declaring, “I receive not honour from men.” This is not to say that Jesus does not deserve our worship or praise, but simply that He does not NEED it. By refusing to believe, the Jews were not detracting from Jesus’ glory. If they believed, they would not add to His glory. We do not believe for Jesus’ sake; He does not need us to believe on Him. We believe for our own sake and for our soul’s salvation.

Then, Jesus gets to the real problem that the Jews had. He says, “But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.” The Jews had a heart problem — not an intellectual problem. They refused to believe, not because they did not have sufficient evidence, but because they simply did not love God as they said they did. They indulged in all the trappings of religion, but their hearts were not in the right place.

I believe that these people were in an even more dangerous position than non-believers and pagans. They had their own religion. They had their own rituals and practices. They had a “form of godliness.” They said they loved God, but Jesus tells them plainly, “Ye have not the love of God in you.” He means that they had no true love for God in their hearts. If they loved God, they would recognize the spirit of God in Jesus Christ. All they had was religious tradition. They may have started out sincerely, but they were in the wrong place now. They were religious but lost — and stubbornly lost at that.

You might be in the same or a similar place today — very religious, very committed to a code of conduct. As I was, brought up in Church, but religious but lost. You might think you are in right standing with God. But if you do not know Jesus Christ — and by “know”, I mean having believed on Him in your heart — you are just as lost as the Jews in this passage.

The good news is, you can change that today. You can choose to believe on Jesus Christ as your Savior. You can have eternal life. If you are ready to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, here is how you can do that today:

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

If you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to GospelLightSociety.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please e-mail me at dw3@gospellightsociety.com and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

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