Where Are the Nine? (Part 2)

What is Happening to the Majority of New Believers?

Luke 17:11-19

Aug 6, 2017 PM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland



I.       Introduction


A.    Searching Scriptures to find out what about those Christians who aren’t quite living it like they should.

B.    I got news for some of you…


1.      Carnal Christians, and backslidden Christians unfortunately exist.

2.      And just because they don’t “live” the Christian life very well, does NOT mean they ain’t going to be with Jesus!


C.    Jesus gave us an example to prove that not everyone will persevere, and yet are solidly saved!

D.    And then He asks US to find out just where the other nine were that SHOULD have been there at His feet!


II.   Background (Luke 17:11-19)


A.    Jesus is travelling south again from Galilee to Jerusalem – but this will be His last time

B.    Passing through Samaria

C.    Ten lepers try and approach Him – try to get as close as humanly possible


1.      These men had leprosy

2.      They had no life at all – just living each day waiting to die

3.      They had no access to their families – their wives, children, parents were forbidden to have any contact with them whatsoever

4.      They could not work, they had to live away from everyone else

5.      Every day, they just got worse – never better

6.      They were condemned to die a horrible death, alone

7.      Then they heard that Jesus was passing by!


D.    Cried out for HELP, for mercy – not sure what to expect, but wanted a miracle!


1.      Not theologians, not spiritual men, just desperate men

2.      In need of Jesus!

3.      Made no demands, but rather just asked for mercy!


E.    Jesus Instantly Responded to their Prayer!


1.      No shazzam, no dazzle, no magic words, waving of the hand, etc

2.      Just gave them what they asked for – He responded to their simple plea of faith with cleansing, healing – with an impossible miracle!

3.      And it wasn’t any kind of great faith that they had, just desperate faith


F.     Jesus Tells them to go and find a Jewish priest, and show them their healing


1.      This required no small measure of “faith” on their part, for Jesus did not “first” heal them, and THEN tell them to go

2.      They do not feel any different yet

3.      They do not look any different yet

4.      Yet, they BELIEVED Jesus enough to obey Him and start walking into the village to go find a Jewish priest

5.      By the way, it was necessary for the priests to verify the healing, because it would HAVE to be a miracle for any of them to be cleansed of their leprosy, and if they really were not healed, they were a danger to the rest of the community because leprosy was and still is very contagious!


G.   AS they went… they were healed


1.      These ten men believed Jesus’ abilities enough to obey Him, even when it didn’t make sense

2.      Remember, Jesus told them to go show themselves BEFORE they were healed – kind of backwards, unless Jesus was waiting for them to ACT on their faith, instead of just SAY they have faith!

3.      As they walked into the village… they hadn’t been in there for YEARS! A big deal!

4.      As they walked into the village…


a.      They looked down and saw no signs of leprosy anymore

b.      They saw all the scars now GONE and replaced by perfectly good skin

c.      They felt clean on their insides – no more sickness and weakness or disease

d.      And their walking turned into running, and laughing, and leaping, and shouting


5.      These men could go home again!

6.      They had been given a second chance on life!!!

7.      I believe they quickly forgot about going to the priests, and just ran home to their children, and wives, and parents!

8.      It must have been marvellous to watch such a miracle, and hear such joy!


H.   But just then, ONE of the ten stopped, turned around and came BACK


1.      Not just excited about the miracle

2.      But excited about the miracle GIVER

3.      He HAD to go back and worship Him, thank Him, and glorify God

4.      And that is just what he did

5.      Remember, that this was a Samaritan – not supposed to be happening for them, but only for the Jews!!!


I.       Jesus asks two questions


1.      Were not TEN men healed?

2.      Well then, Where are the OTHER Nine???


J.      If Jesus asked it today, he would ask, Where are all those who have been saved, forgiven, blood bought and redeemed from sin?


1.      Where are all those who have been given a second chance to live?

2.      Where are all those who have (or HAD) the joy of the Lord?

3.      If everybody who got saved through the preaching from THIS pulpit and from the witnessing of the people of THIS church were all here, we would have 1,500 believers trying to cram into this building this morning!

4.      Well, where are they?

5.      I was asked that one time several years ago and it bothered me



IV.   Last Week – A Wholeness Beyond Salvation



A.    A new believer often NEVER experiences what the new birth was designed to given them – joy, rest, purpose, spiritual fruit, a walk with God, etc!

B.    Sometimes, some people were just healed, and sometimes, people were made whole – made complete

C.    There is a simple reason why…


1.      They have never become THANKFUL!

2.      For EVERYTHING in their life!


D.    Thankfulness is something SOOOOOO healthy - SOOOOOO life changing!

E.    Evidently, Wholeness comes only from THANKFULNESS


1.      WHAT could that mean?


a.      What do any of us have to be really thankful for?

b.      What is YOUR thought-life like? Always criticising, and fault finding? Or amazed, and grateful for problems and pleasure!

c.      Seriously! Have you EVER thought about what you THINK about?


2.      The devil has robbed 99% of us from our ability to be thankful

3.      THAT is why we MUST go ahead and take a very good long look at what we have and thank God for everything, and kill the critical spirit that has invaded our homes and hearts!


F.     The truth is, MANY are born again, and washed in the blood of Christ, and headed for heaven, but they are still miserable and making life miserable for everyone around them, SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY DO NO APPRECIATE WHAT GOD HAS DONE OR IS DOING IN THEIR LIVES!


1.      Don’t let the devil keep you in HIS realm of thinking – no thankfulness in him

2.      No joy in him

3.      Only death


G.   Is that YOU?


V.    Message – So, Where is Everybody?


A.    So where is everyone that should be living like Christians?


1.      Those that are Different? Passionate? Unashamed? Living LIKE Jesus did?

2.      Those that love the Bible, and love preaching, and love church and love people?


B.    I will tell you where they are – I think I have found most of them…


1.      They are unthankful (Romans 1:21)


a.      They got over being saved

b.      Not impressed with the grace of God, longsuffering of God, the kindness of God

c.      Don’t take notice of ANYTHING or ANYONE in their lives as GIFTS from God

d.      And so, they fall away


2.      They are biting and devouring one another (Gal 5:15, 26)


a.      These are CHRISTIANS!

b.      Finding fault with everyone who is not exactly believing just like they do

c.      Angry, bitter at God and at other believers

d.      You couldn’t believe how many Christian people are each other’s enemies (James 3:9,10)

e.      All of this fighting drives the sheep apart – into cliques, and ever smaller groups of bitter people!

f.       Without knowing it, a large number of believers have never looked at just how marvellous God’s grace has been towards THEM!


3.      They are focusing their time on doubtful disputations / arguments, and strange doctrines


a.      We are to avoid


1)     Foolish and Unlearned Questions (2Ti 2:23)
But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.

2)     foolish questions, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law (Tit 3:9)
But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.

3)     fables and endless genealogies (1Ti 1:4)  Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.

4)     questions and strifes of words (1Ti 6:3-5)  If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

5)     doubtful disputations (Rom 14:1-3)  Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.

6)     words to no profit (2Ti 2:14)  Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.


b.      This means being OBSESSED with diverse and strange doctrines (Heb 13:9)


1)     The flat earth idea

2)     Hyper conspiracy theories

3)     The illuminati

4)     Alien invasions

5)     Channelling spirits

6)     Crystals and pyramids in healing practices!

7)     Prosperity

8)     Keeping the Sabbath

9)     Losing salvation

10) Worldly Philosophies (Col 2:8) – about life, and God and self


a)      Oprah Winfry

b)     Dr Phil

c)      Afternoon radio talk shows

d)     Follow your heart

e)      You’re number one


c.      The answer to most of those things is found in Hebrews 13:9!!!


1)     Good doctrines establish hearts with GRACE

2)     Diverse and strange doctrines establish hearts with pride and self righteousness

3)     And they do not cause mutual affection (1Thes 3:12,13)


4.      They are offended, and not forgiving one another (1Cor 3:3; 6:6-8; 2Cor 12:20)


a.      Can you believe any and all that was going on amongst CHRISTIANS?

b.      And yet it was, and is!

c.      Oh may God deliver us from people who are constantly offended at everything around them!


1)     Everything upsets some people

2)     Nothing is ever just right

3)     Never just blessed and happy and content

4)     Always a Martha, and never a Mary


5.      They are loving this world – not looking forward to the world to come! (2Tim 4:10; 1John 2:15-17)


a.      They are loving success and money and careers more than loss, and weaknesses and being a living sacrifice – without which no one can experience the power of God’s grace in their lives


1)     God calls people like this FOOLS (Luke 12:13-21)

2)     The Christian life is a loss to the world (Philp 3:8-10)


a)      We lose our lives willingly

b)     We offer our lives as a willing sacrifice, for God to get the glory and others to get the Gospel (2Cor 8:9)

c)      We do all our best, for all our years, and not getting rewarded HERE (Mt 19:29)

d)     And so the world calls US fools!


3)     Nothing wrong with being successful – but when your success, and your popularity takes over your life so that you don’t come to church, and don’t read your Bible, and don’t go soul-winning, and don’t tithe, and don’t serve others freely, then you are a fool!


b.      IF you loved heaven, and love Jesus, you wouldn’t be able to stay away from Church, and from God’s people – WHOM YOU WILL BE SPENDING ETERNITY WITH by the way!

c.      IF you really LOVED God, you would love the name of Jesus and would love learning more about HIM! Love singing about Him! “More about Jesus would I know…”

d.      Where are those that look forward to heaven like the hymnwriters, like the Christians of the past that had NOTHING, and yet sang like they were the wealthiest people on the planet?


6.      They are LAZY


a.      There I said it

b.      Get mad at me all you want, but it is JUST AS HARD for the rest of us to get here on a Sunday evening, and Wednesday evening for the WHOLE time as it is for YOU!

c.      It takes just as much effort to read our Bibles, chapter by chapter every day as it does you!

d.      Count up how many hours you sit on your laptop on Facebook, watching youtubes

e.      Count up how many hours you sit and watch show after show on TV

f.       How many movies you got to every month

g.      And then tell me how many times you make it to church and to the side of your bed in prayer!

h.      There ARE legitimate reasons sometimes why you may have to miss church, or not be able to spend very much time in the Bible

i.        But according to THIS Book, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”

j.        This Book says, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” (Heb 10:25)


7.      They are terrified of suffering for Christ (John 9:19-22; Jn 12:42,43)


a.      Peter didn’t know just how hard it would be to live under mockery and persecution

b.      He crumbled, and ran, and quit on Christ

c.      So do so many Christians!

d.      So they HIDE their Christianity – their commitment, their peculiarity!

e.      Can’t see themselves EVER carrying their Bible out openly (constantly carry it in a bag or sack!)

f.       ALL of us who live godly WILL suffer persecution (2Tim 3:12)

g.      Get used to it!

h.      And get on with it!


8.      They are arguing over who is greater or will be greater in Christ’s kingdom (Luke 9:46; 22:24)


a.      This is amazing! TWICE arguing about such a thing!


1)     Luk 9:46  Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be greatest.

2)     Luk 22:24  And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest.


b.      I have found people who have never won a soul, never taught a Sunday School class, never completed anything in their life, will spend HOURS taking about the Rapture, and the Second Coming, and the Millennial Kingdom, and who is going to be reigning with Christ!

c.      Shame! They will certainly NOT reign with Christ when they put more of their time in debates than soul-winning!

d.      Paul said this… “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” (Rom 8:16,17)

e.      The disciples of Christ seemed to quite often argue about this subject – don’t you do the same!

f.       The truth is, I just am glad I am going! My desire is to be humble and faithful! I will leave the rewarding up to Christ!


9.      Lastly, they are back under the bondage of sins (2Peter 2:19,20; Gal 2:4)


a.      It is a REAL problem in Christianity


1)     Believing the lie that they COULD just keep drinking, hang with all the old friends, and keep watching anything they felt like watching

2)     Only to find themselves BACK under the dominion of sin


b.      Satan has control of their lives once again – not of their souls, but of just about everything else

c.      So they end up frustrated with their emptiness and unfruitfulness

d.      And in the end, they just quit “trying” to live the Christian life


C.    All these “9” are saved, but have become of no use to God – but instead become great tools of the devil! Bad testimony to their children, to their workmates, their neighbours, etc! And to other bad-attitude Christian!!!

D.    Don’t let that be YOUR testimony!


VI.Invitation - What could CURE all of this?


A.    BE Thankful – FOR everything, from this moment on – BY choice, not feeling!

B.    HOLD your tongue! NO MORE biting and devouring one another

C.    Dump ALL the stupid doubtful disputations / arguments, and strange doctrines that you may be caught up in – and work with THIS local church and get busy working together for souls HERE, and not showing off on the internet!


1.      Good doctrines establish hearts with GRACE

2.      Diverse and strange doctrines establish hearts with pride and self righteousness

3.      And they do not cause mutual affection (1Thes 3:12,13)


D.    GROW UP and stop being always offended, and forgive one another when you are offended, and crossed!

E.     REPENT of loving this world –look forward to the world to come!


G.    Suffer for Christ anyway!

H.    No more arguing over who is greater or will be greater in Christ’s kingdom


1.      I just am glad I am going! My desire is to be humble and faithful! I will leave the rewarding up to Christ!


I.       Lastly, do whatever you have to, to get victory over habitual sins – TWTF, fasting, humbling yourself constantly, talking with me, etc!


J.      Do YOU want to join with the majority of “Christians” who never go on for Christ, and end up being used by the devil?


K.   Or do you want to be a part of the few, the faithful, the determined follower of Jesus Christ?