Over 90% of “Christians” are not actually saved.

Have you ever been used to lead someone to Christ as Lord and Savior and then be puzzled at why there’s never any change in their lives?

Or maybe this is a bit more personal for you and you have made a decision for Christ but one year later two years later or five years later you really don’t see any difference in your life and sometimes you wonder why there was not more impact on your life than what you have seen.

Over the course of two decades of being saved I’ve been blessed by having the opportunity to share the need for Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior with a lot of people. Many of these people have made professions of faith [while many others there was a seed planted that may or may not have grown at a later date and to salvation.

That was the blessing, to be used by God as part of the process of others becoming a Christian. The great frustration however was to look back over 15 to 20 years of witnessing to people and to realize that for even those that had claimed the name of Jesus Christ in salvation by faith there was little to nothing in their lives that indicated that they really had ever been saved.

At one point a couple of us brought up this point in a church meeting, that although our church had a reputation for being a soul winning church, the results were that year after year after year consistently for nearly a decade that we could account for, the overwhelming majority of those professions of faith were nowhere to be found in any church, our church or elsewhere.

The logical path, we thought at the time, was that we were not pushing discipleship opportunities strongly enough and so we began developing new courses and promoting new opportunities for people to grow in Christ. Yet the same people no more no less continue to attend these opportunities for growth. Where were those that have been saved in the last two months six months a year? Where were they hiding? Why could we not get them to come out and be seen?

After a while of this we started searching again for the correct answer. It wasn’t just leading people to Christ and having them make a profession of faith in Christ as Lord and Savior,and the answer obviously was not fully in just encouraging them to take advantage of discipleship opportunities, so where then were we failing?

There had to be something obvious that we were missing. And, making the answer to this question was even more pressing when we realized that there seems to be a universal truth in almost all churches. Professions of faith are made but a year later statistics indicate that 90% of people making professions of faith are nowhere to be found in a Christian environment or living Christian lives as little as 12 months later.

The answer is simple but many faceted. The simple answer is that we were saving people and not God. We were telling people to repeat the sinner’s prayer or to indicate to them what a prayer for salvation would sound like and because they uttered this prayer we thought that they were saved. The evidence seems to indicate that this was all a folly and that we had failed these people and failed God at the same time.

If we save someone then quite obviously they are not saved. It quickly becomes clear that God had not saved them because if God had saved them in Christ Jesus than they would have always been saved.

I believe that the answer to our problems and the thing that I have changed since then in my presentation of the Gospel is simply going back to the greatest evangelist for Jesus Christ of all time and that would be Paul.

Paul was quoted as saying in Acts 26:20, “… but I kept declaring both to those of Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance.”

In short, because I quickly have to bring this post to a close, too many of us have forgotten that being saved is all about God’s power. And his message in Genesis that in creating heaven and earth and mankind so he can fellowship with him it’s all about our returning to God. And only God in the Holy Spirit can draw any person to him in repentance. It is only when someone is truly experiencing the pain of disappointing God in their lives that they can then be saved.

It is not scriptural to run around offering fire insurance policies to people by explaining to them that if they do not turn to God that they will burn in eternity in hell. At best this is only a secondary factor. The first priority in the life of any individual being saved is that they are contrite over the sinful lives that they have led. That suddenly they are distressed because they failed God. Suddenly, because of God’s intercession as the Holy Spirit, they realize that they have lived their lives as a series of bad priorities and lousy decisions and they seek to apologize to God for their actions. And to apologize without excuse. No holding back.

It is then that we have God’s opportunity to present to an individual what they must do to be saved, that is to be forgiven for the eternal consequences of their sin.

I believe it is clear from Scripture that it is only in that situation when the Holy Spirit has truly convicted someone of their need for repentance that one can truly be saved.

“It is a trustworthy statement, preserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”. 1 Tim. 1:15

It’s kind of obvious, don’t you think, that in order to be saved from the consequences of one’s sin, first one needs to be convinced and convicted to the depths of one’s soul that one truly is a sinner fully deserving to spend eternity in hell? They, when anyone asks, “Saved from what? What was I saved from? I was saved from the consequences of my actions. You know, I was ready to spend eternity in Hell because I realized that’s all I deserved. Then I heard about God’s forgivness available through Christ. WOW! What an experience.

Hey, Reader, you have anything that you can add regarding your experience in witnessing to the lost? Let me encourage you to register and leave a comment or two.

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