How The Unsaved Look Saved
Or, Why Missions Must Needs Begin On The Pew Where You're Sitting
A person may say, "I am saved by grace. I believe in Jesus. I teach the Gospel." Yet, even though they say these things and even teach the Gospel:
IF THEY DO NOT LOVE THEIR BROTHER IN CHRIST, they will perish.
IF THEY ARE NOT BORN-AGAIN, they will perish.
IF THEY DO NOT FORGIVE THEIR BROTHER IN CHRIST, they will perish.
IF THEY ARE NOT CONVERTED AND DO NOT BECOME AS LITTLE CHILDREN, they will perish.
IF THEY DO NOT DENY THEMSELVES, AND PICK UP THEIR CROSS DAILY, AND FOLLOW JESUS, they will perish.
The list goes on and on. This is not to say that salvation in any way depends upon what mankind does, but rather, these several situations are evidence of that change wrought in a dead and stinking sinner's heart, that as being dead, is totally unable to perform even that which he is commanded apart from the free grace of God.
They may appear to have repented, been baptized, and be doing that which resemblesserving God; however, IF these and other things are not also in place, they will perish. True repentance includes all of these, and the ability to truly repent is a gift from God.
But understand this. If you are HOT in knowledge and wisdom for Jesus, but are continually around others that teach and believe a fuzzy lukewarm, man-made message, they may cause you to cool down and compromise, rather than you causing them to get hot. It is written," BE NOT DECIEVED: EVIL COMMUNICATIONS CORRUPT GOOD MANNERS." I Cor 15:33 .
Remember, Jesus tells us, His church, in Revelation 3:18-21 "I COUNSEL THEE TO BUY OF ME GOLD TRIED IN THE FIRE, THAT THOU MAYEST BE RICH; AND WHITE RAIMENT, THAT THOU MAYEST BE CLOTHED, AND THAT THE SHAME OF THY NAKEDNESS DO NOT APPEAR; AND ANOINT THINE EYES WITH EYESALVE, THAT THOU MAYEST SEE. AS MANY AS I LOVE, I REBUKE AND CHASTEN: BE ZEALOUS THEREFORE, AND REPENT. BEHOLD, I STAND AT THE DOOR, AND KNOCK: IF ANY MAN HEAR MY VOICE, AND OPEN THE DOOR, I WILL COME IN TO HIM, AND WILL SUP WITH HIM, AND HE WITH ME. TO HIM THAT OVERCOMETH WILL I GRANT TO SIT WITH ME IN MY THRONE, EVEN AS I ALSO OVERCAME, AND AM SET DOWN WITH MY FATHER IN HIS THRONE.
If the world overcomes you, you lose, you were never saved. Matthew 16:18 informs us; "...THE GATES OF HELL SHALL NOT PREVAIL AGAINST IT" (the church)
Are you busy wiping off the eyesalve, rather than humbling yourself in a childlike manner and anointing your eyes with eyesalve that you may see?
Consider the following message carefully.
FEW CAN CORRECTLY DISCERN
The unsaved often look like they are saved. Very few people can discern most of them. They are decieved and deceiving and sit under so-called pastors that do the same. These poor lost souls fill churches where the preacherman is buisily building his bank book while entertaining goats, and knows nothing of the feeding of the Lord's sheep.
Jesus tells us, Lk 11:44 "WOE UNTO YOU, SCRIBES AND PHARISEES, HYPOCRITES! FOR YE ARE AS GRAVES WHICH APPEAR NOT, AND THE MEN THAT WALK OVER THEM ARE NOT AWARE OF THEM."
Here "ministers" of the Word are illustrated. They are blind leaders of the blind. They are called "graves." They are leading people to hell. Yet, Jesus tells us, they are as graves which APPEAR NOT. They do not appear to be as graves. They do not appear to be deceivers. They do not appear to be leading people to eternal death. Jesus also tells us that men are not aware of them. Men do not understand these teachers are false ministers. Men do not understand these blind leaders are sending people to hell. These deceivers are so skillful, that they appear to be true. They appear to be real. They appear to be ministers of righteousness. It may be said, they appear to be true followers of Jesus, but which Jesus?
Some of these teachers are on the radio and tv, and can be heard on short-wave around the world. Some are famous evangelists that hold crusades and have altar calls. Some are college professors, teaching in most of the Bible universities. Some are people you would never expect.
Paul tells of these, in 2 Cor 11:13-15 "FOR SUCH ARE FALSE APOSTLES, DECEITFUL WORKERS, TRANSFORMING THEMSELVES INTO THE APOSTLES OF CHRIST. AND NO MARVEL; FOR SATAN HIMSELF IS TRANSFORMED INTO AN ANGEL OF LIGHT. THEREFORE IT IS NO GREAT THING IF HIS MINISTERS ALSO BE TRANSFORMED AS THE MINISTERS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS; WHOSE END SHALL BE ACCORDING TO THEIR WORKS.
It may be put this wayóit is no great thing if Satanís ministers look like they are the ministers of righteousness. They often look like they are ministers of Jesus, but they are really wolves in sheepís clothing.
Some of Satanís ministers call themselves APOSTLES of Christ. Some call themselves prophets. Some are ministers, teachers, preachers, and Bible school teachers. They appear to be true MINISTERS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS. Again, most people are unable to discern or understand that they are really ministers of Satan. Many are fully persuaded they are followers of Jesus and follow them to "hell."
The Word of God clearly shows that it is extremely difficult to tell the false ministers, who say they follow Christ, from the real ones. In some cases, it seems nearly impossible.
To the best of my memory and understanding, not long ago, there was a very famous evangelist in the United States. He had a great gift of laying hands on people, and tremendous miracle healings would take place. He could tell people all about themselves and reveal things about someone that no one could know. He could even tell who would sit in certain seats at a crusade, before it ever happened. He had many followers. He could do many "miracles." He appeared to be leading many to Jesus. His preaching seemed anointed, yet it was discovered that he was a drunkard and an adulterer. He might have a crusade and then afterwards, go to a hotel to be with another woman. He became an instrument of the devil to tempt another very well-known minister to commit adultery.
He was no longer walking with the Lord, yet he appeared to be saved. He was famous. He had been on television. Huge numbers of people would turn out for his evangelistic crusades, yet he was a grave which appeared not. Men were not aware that he was a blind leader of the blind. People did not even consider that he was a deceitful worker. Multitudes did not even have a thought that this man was a minister of Satan, who was transformed as a minister of righteousness. Jesus warned that there was a time coming when there would arise those that would show great signs and wonders which could deceive even the elect, if it were possible-ref Mt 24:24.
The unsaved often look like they are saved. Very few people can discern them, and most say, "judge not", and worsen the problem.
The Scriptures give us many examples of such people. They look and act as if they are truly saved. They look and act like they are followers of Jesus. Understand, these false ministers are positive they are of God. They are positive they are saved. Only Jesus Himself could cause them to realize they were not saved. Often, Jesus would confront such blind teachers of the Law. He would tell them they were not of His Father; they were not of God. They were of the wicked one; their father was the devil; they would die in their sins, yet they did not believe Him and did not repent.
SCRIPTURES SHOWING HOW SOME UNSAVED LOOK SAVED: THEY DO THE SAME THINGS AS THOSE THAT ARE
The following is a list of examples from the Scriptures of people that were unsaved, yet appeared to be:
∑ Mt 15:8-they draw near to Me (to Jesus) with their mouth; they honor Jesus with their lips
∑ Mt 15:9-they worship Jesus, but they are not saved
∑ Lk 11:39-on the outside they look righteous and holy
∑ Lk 11:42-they tithe on everything
∑ Lk 11:43-they sit in important places; people greet them
∑ Lk 11:44-they do not appear to be unsaved; men are not aware that they are unsaved; men come to them; they appear to be something they are not
∑ Lk 11:45-they call Jesus, "Master"; they believe they are saved
∑ Lk 11:46-they have positions of authority; men obey them
∑ Lk 11:47-they build the graves of the prophets
∑ Lk 11:52-they have a form of Bible knowledge, yet are not saved
∑ Ro 10:2-they have zeal for God
∑ Lk 13:24-they seek to enter heaven
∑ Lk 13:25-they knock at Godís door; they pray and call upon the name of the Lord (Mt 7:21)
∑ Lk 13:26-they take communion; He (Jesus) taught in their streets
∑ Mt 7:21-they say to Jesus, "Lord, Lord"
∑ Mt 7:22-they prophesy in the name of Jesus; they cast out devils in the name of Jesus; they do many wonderful works in the name of Jesus, yet perish
∑ Lk 18:9-they trusted in themselves that they were righteous
∑ Lk 18:11-they pray long prayers (Lk 20:47); they give thanks to God; outwardly, they appear to be sinless
∑ Lk 18:12-they fast twice a week; they give tithes of all they possess
∑ Lk 20:46-they walk in long robes; people greet them in the market places; they have the highest seats in the synagogues; they sit in the chief rooms at the feasts; some are writers (or scribes) of the Bible, yet not saved
∑ Mt 23:2-they are religious leaders; they sit in Mosesí seat
∑ Mt 23:3-they have authority to command people what to do
∑ Mt 23:5-they look holy; they do works that look good; they dress beautifully
∑ Mt 23:7-they love to be called "rabbi" (or may love to be called "the treasurer, the secretary, or the preacher" of this church, or of many churches)
∑ 2 Cor 5:12-they glory in appearance
∑ Mt 23:7-10-people consider them to be Godís servants
∑ Mt 23:8-10-people call them, "master, father, rabbi"
∑ Mt 23:15-they travel long distances to save a person
∑ Mt 23:15-they save souls
∑ Mt 23:24-they are careful to judge the smallest things, while overlooking the weightier matters
∑ Mt 23:25-they make sure they appear holy
∑ Mt 23:26,27-they outwardly appear clean and pure; they appear to be beautiful
∑ Mt 23:29-they decorate the tombs of the prophets
∑ Mt 23:30-they declare themselves righteous, yet are not saved
∑ Acts 10:2-they fear God
∑ Acts 10:1-8,25-they have a humble attitude
∑ Acts 10:2-they give much alms; they prayed to God always
∑ Rev 2:2-these say they are apostles
∑ Acts 16:14-they worship God (Mt 15:9)
∑ Acts 16:17-they direct people to hear Godís servants
∑ 2 Cor 11:13-they are apostles, but false; they are workers, but deceitful; they transform themselves (their own way) into the apostles of Christ, as His ministers
∑ 2 Cor 11:15-they are transformed as the ministers of righteousness
∑ Titus 1:16-they profess that they know God
∑ 1 Jn 2:4-they say, "I know Him"
∑ 1 Jn 2:9-they say they are in the light, yet are not saved
In view of these Scriptures, how then can we possibly discern some of these? How can we determine they are not saved, when even the Bible shows it is nearly impossible to discern some of them? Even some of these unsaved peopleís fruits appear to be good from man's perspectiveóbut God knows their heart.
MORE EXAMPLES FROM THE SCRIPTURES
OF THOSE THAT APPEAR TO BE SAVED, BUT ARE NOT:
Ro 2:17-23-they boast of God
they rely on the Law (or the Bible)
they know His will
they are instructed out of the Law
they are confident they are a guide of the blind
they are confident they are an instructor or teacher
they boast of the Law
Isa 1:11-15-they offer sacrifices
they come before God
they bring incense
they keep the Sabbath and new moons
they call solemn meetings
they call assemblies
they spread forth their hands
they make many prayers
Isa 29:13-they draw near to God with their mouth
they honor God with their lips
their fear toward God is taught by the precept of men
Isa 58:2,3; 65:5; 66:5-they seek God daily
they delight to know Godís ways, as one that did righteousness
they ask ordinances of justice
they delight in approaching to God
they afflict their soul
they say they are holy
they say, "let the Lord be glorified"; yet are not saved
Isa 48:1,2-they swear by the name of the Lord
they make mention of God
they call themselves of the holy city
they stay themselves upon God
Ezek 33:31-they come unto God
they sit before God as His people
they hear Godís Word
they show much love with their mouth
Jere 12:1,2-they prosper
they are happy
they take root
they grow and bring forth fruit
Thou art near in their mouth
Jere 37:3-they ask Godís people to pray for them (Ac 8:24)
Mic 3:11-they lean upon the Lord
they say, "is not the Lord among us?"
they say, "none evil can come upon us"
Jn 8:41-they say, "God is our Father"
Jn 8:4-they call Jesus, "Master"
Jn 8:5-they can quote Godís Word (showing some of them study Godís Word diligently) they are experts in the Law (or in Godís Word)
THE ONE WAY (BY GODíS WORD AND GODíS SPIRIT)
TO DISCERN WHO IS SAVED AND WHO IS NOT
Again, in view of these Scriptures, how can we possibly discern some of these? How can we tell they are not saved, when even the Bible shows it is nearly impossible to discern some of them? Even some of these unsaved peopleís fruits appear to be good from man's perspectiveóbut God knows their heart.
There is just one key thing that clearly reveals that they are not walking with God. This one key thing is, they would not receive correction from Godís Word, as a little child, and by God's grace, repent. This is the one way that a person which has a good knowledge of the Scriptures, by Godís mercy and Godís Spirit, can discern who is saved and who is not.
We may be able to tell that some people (who appear to be righteous) are not saved, because they are not walking by faith. They make excuses, when the journey gets difficult. This may be a determining factor in recognizing some but not others.
We can recognize those that appear to be righteous, but are not saved, by their fruits. Jesus said, "WHEREFORE BY THEIR FRUITS YE SHALL KNOW THEM"-Mt 7:20. Their fruits can include both their attitude and their works. However, in this Laodicean church age, there are few spiritual Christians, who by reason of use, have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil (ref Heb 5:14).
We can tell that some people who appear to be righteous are not saved, by their lack of thirst or hunger for Godís Word. If a person is not hungry for the milk of Godís Word that he may grow, then something is wrong. However, many unsaved also hunger to study Godís Word, yet they are not saved, such as the scribes and Pharisees. Remember, John the Baptistís words, THE FRIEND OF THE BRIDEGROOM (Jesus), WHICH STANDETH AND HEARETH HIM, REJOICETH GREATLY BECAUSE OF THE BRIDEGROOMíS VOICE (or the voice and words of Jesus)?-Jn 3
A friend of Jesus should rejoice, as the words of God come forth. A friend of Jesus should greatly crave Godís Word, so he can grow. He should want to study and meditate in Godís Word. Godís Word should excite him and bring him joy. A lack of enthusiasm to learn more of Jesus is a very bad indication, as we can see from Godís Word.
We can tell that some people who appear to be righteous are not saved, because of their lack of hunger and thirst for righteousness. Again, this applies to some, but not to all.
Many wrongly believe they are saved, because of emotions, false teachings, being told they are saved by the blind or lukewarm; because of traditions; because they go to a certain church; or many other reasons. It is Godís Word that will judge us.
Again, the one key thing that can reveal a person is not walking with God is, they will not receive correction from Godís Word, as a little child, and repent. They may disagree with the correction, or make excuses, or believe it is wrong; even when it is clearly right. They may justify themselves. They may be sure they are right and the correction does not fit their situation. They might say, "You do not understand my situation." This is a much used saying among deceived people, which Satan puts in their thoughts. The darkness they are in makes it difficult (perhaps, impossible) for them to see the truth. They may say, over and over, they want correction; however, when correction comes in a certain area, they cannot receive it as truth and repent.
They may pray. They may preach the Gospel. They may show much love. They may help the poor. They may praise and worship God. They may sing to God. They may do many great miracles in the name of Jesus. They may fast and give tithes and offerings. They may cast out devils. They may do everything in this huge list of Scriptures, but they will still perish.
The one thing (or common denominator) among all who perish is, they would not humble themselves and receive correction from Jesus as He gave them the Word.
They would not (or could not) humble themselves, as a little child before their Father and repent of certain things.
Hold fast to that which is good, like:
CHILDLIKENESS TO CORRECTION FROM GOD'S WORD (key sign of walking with God)
DESIRE TO OBEY CORRECTION
LOVE FOR YOUR BROTHER IN CHRIST WHEN HE CORRECTS YOU IN TRUTH