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Ephesians 2:1-3



Intro: We have spent the past few Sunday mornings considering the first three verses of Ephesians 2. I did not intend to stay here as long as we have, but I am glad I did. While these verses give us a depressing view into human depravity, these verses are essential to an understanding of the power sin holds over the sinner. Because sin invaded the human race, all humans are now sinners, and lost in their sins, until they come to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. I am glad we have spent the time in the verses that we have for a couple of reasons.


First, because we considered these verses in depth, there should be no question in our minds that lost sinners are in deep trouble and are in need of a Savior. Second, because we have lingered here, and looked full in the face of the awful human condition, we should be motivated like never before to share the Gospel with the lost. Third, I am glad we lingered here because the Lord showed one of our young men that he was “dead in trespasses and sins” and he came to Jesus for salvation. That alone makes everything I have preached these last few weeks worthwhile.


Today, we will finish verse 3 and move on to truths that are more exciting. But, for today, we need to take one more dip in the cesspool of sin.


Let me spend just a minute reminding us of what we have already learned.


In verse 1 of this text, Paul taught us that Sinners Are Dead in their “trespasses and sins.” This means, spiritually speaking, that they are dead. They are dead to the things of God. They have no desire for the things of God. Since the word “dead” refers to a “corpse”, it means that the lost sinner is incapable of coming to the Lord on his own. Not only can he not come to God on his own, but also there is absolutely no desire within the sinner’s heart to come to God for salvation. In that state of spiritual death, God must make the first move, John 6:44.


Not only are Sinners Dead, verse 2 tells us that Sinners Are Deceived as well. In that verse Paul tells us that lost sinners simply take their place in the parade of perversion in which the lost have marched since Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden. Sinners are deceived into thinking that the way they live is the right way. In truth, their father Satan is merely leading them about. They do as he does, and they do as all those deceived by him do.


One generation mimics the last, walking in their sins and wickedness, adding to it new sins and perversions they pass down to the next generation. Thus, fallen humanity grows more and more wicked as each generation passes.


So, Sinners Are Dead and Sinners Are Deceived, but verse 3 adds the truth that Sinners Are Depraved. This does not mean that lost sinners are as evil as they could be. It does mean that they can in no way please God. It does mean that they can perform no acts of righteousness that will make the acceptable to God. It does mean that they are hopelessly lost until they come to Jesus Christ for salvation.


Paul closes this dismal section of scripture by reminding us that sinners stand condemned before a holy God. God is not in Heaven merely winking at the sins of the sinner; there will come a day when He will judge them. My unsaved friend, if you never come to Jesus for salvation, here is your future; you are doomed! Let me end our time in these verses by pointing out the fact that Sinners Are Doomed. The last phrase of verse 3 gives us a couple of reasons why Sinners Are Doomed.

  I.  SInners Are Doomed Because Of A Sinful Disposition


The phrase “were by nature” calls to mind what Paul has just told us. The unsaved are sinners by nature, and because they live out that sinful nature through wicked deeds, they stand condemned before a holy God.


We are all morally inclined to do evil. Humans are born in a “morally depraved” state. In that state, they are naturally drawn to evil. Our sinfulness means that we are destined to face God’s wrath and judgment because of sin. (Ill. Isa. 59:2; Eze. 18:20)


There may be “pleasure in sin for a season Heb. 11:25, but the day will come when the pleasure will cease, and you will face the wrath of a holy God. Most people live their lives and rarely give God a second thought. People live for wealth, power, position and pleasure, never thinking about the fact that their lives of pleasure will come to a sudden end one day.


When that day arrives, there will be no reprieves, there will be no second chances. There will be only a meeting with the wrath of a holy, righteous, and offended God. That is why the Bible says, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living GodHeb. 10:31. It is a “fearful thing” because “our God is a consuming fireHeb. 12:29. That is a warning you need to take to heart today, 2 Cor. 6:2.


If you are lost, you are doomed because you are a sinner. There is only one way to escape the wrath of God, and that is through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the only hope the sinner has, John 14:6; Acts 4:12. Any other hope of salvation will fail, only Jesus can and will save the sinner from the judgment on sin that awaits him. That is why Jesus said, “Ye must be born againJohn 3:7. If you would be free from your sins; if you would miss Hell and go to Heaven; if you would be right with God, you must come to Jesus. He alone can save!


  I.  Doomed Because Of A Sinful Disposition


II.  Doomed Because Of A Sovereign Decree


In the dawn of time, in the Garden of Eden, Adam was warned that sin would bring terrible consequences into the world, Gen. 2:16-17. (Ill. Gen. 3:1-19; 4:1-11)


Sin came, and death followed hard on its heels, Rom. 5:12; Heb. 9:27; Ill. In Gen. 5, we see the constant litany, “…and he died”. What we sometimes forget is that death does not imply the ending of life. Death merely implies separation. When a person dies, they are separated from this physical world, but they continue to live on spiritually.


According to the Bible, there are only two places people can go when they leave this world in death. Their spirits leave their bodies and they live on either in Heaven above, or in Hell beneath. Those who die with their faith in Jesus Christ are instantly in His presence when they die here, 2 Cor. 5:8. those who die in their sins open their eyes in Hell, Psa. 9:17, Luke 16:22-23. The saved leave this world of pain, heartache, sorrow and suffering and go to a place of peace, beauty and rest. The lost leave the same world behind to go to a place of unspeakable horror and suffering.


God has decreed that all those who die in their sins will face His “wrath”. The word “wrath” comes from a word that means “to be red-faced”. It is the image of someone who had held His anger in check for a very long time, but has finally reached the end of His patience. God has been very patient with humanity. He has given mankind thousands of years to repent and to turn to Him, yet the world stands in stubborn rebellion against God’s command to repent.


God has proven His love for fallen men by sending His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for sin and for sinners, Rom. 5:8. Yet, men turn a deaf ear to the Gospel. They steadfastly refuse to come to Jesus so they can be forgiven, changed and saved.


Sinners are condemned already, John 3:18, 36. Those who continue to refuse will eventually die in their sins. Those people will face the all-consuming wrath of a holy, righteous, all-powerful, and offended God, Ill. 2 Thes. 1:8-9; Psa. 9:17; Rev. 20:10-15. Ladies and gentlemen, “the wages of sin” is still “death”, Rom. 6:23. This does not mean death is the end of all things. That word refers to the “second death”. It refers to eternal separation from God in the fires of Hell.


While the saints of God will enjoy the beauty, peace and glories of Heaven and the presence of God, the lost will spend eternity separated from God in the fires of Hell. The horrors that await them there are almost beyond description.


•   Unquenchable Fire - Mark 9:43; Luke 16:24

•   Memory and Remorse - Luke 16:25; 27-28

•   Unquenched Thirst - Luke 16:24-25

•   Misery and Pain - Luke 16:24-26; Rev. 14:10-11

•   Frustration and Anger - Luke 13:28; Matt. 24:51

•   Eternal Separation - Rev. 21:8; 2 Thes. 1:8-9

•   Undiluted Wrath - In Hell, the wrath of God will be given full vent!


There will be no mercy in Hell, Ill. Hab. 2:3. It was the mercy of God that let you see the light of day today. It is the mercy of God that allows you to enjoy the pleasures of this life. All the things you take for granted, your health, your wealth, your family, the breath in your lungs, the food on your table, the shoes on your feet, the roof over your head, even another day of life; all these things are the mercy of God in action in your life. He has been good to you, but one day that goodness will end and you will die in your sins and you will go to a place where mercy, joy, grace, happiness and goodness have no place.


•   Imagine an eternity with no rest, no beauty, no peace, no laughing babies, no playing children, no smiling faces, no kind words, no family, no friends, and no hope of salvation. Imagine an eternity with nothing before you but unending suffering, pain and sorrow, separated forever from the God Who could have saved your soul. That is Hell! That is where you are going if you are not saved!


The only way to miss Hell is to come to Jesus by faith so you can be saved.


Conc: Where does this message find you?

•   Does it find you lost and trapped in your sins? Has the Lord revealed your condition to you? Is he calling you to come out of your darkness into His marvelous light? Is he drawing you to Himself so you can be saved? Why do you delay? What are you waiting for? Life is fleeting and time is swiftly passing you by. Come to Jesus now, and He will save you!

•   Does it find you redeemed and headed to Heaven? Does it fill your heart with praise to know that the Lord came to you in your dead condition, breathed life into your spirit, and changed your life? Wouldn’t you like to bow before Him in humble thanks and worship today?

•   Does it find you burdened about the unsaved around you? Wouldn’t this be a good time to come to the Lord with those names? Wouldn’t it be a good time to bring them to the Lord once again, and ask Him to touch them and save them?

•   This message is a warning to the lost. It says, “Come to Jesus while there is time!”

•   This message is a reminder to the redeemed. It says. “You are not what you used to be. Praise Him for it!”

•   This message is a call to prayer. It says, “Your children, your grandchildren, your family and your friends are perishing. Bring them Jesus and ask Him to save them.”


Where does this message find us? It should find us on our knees before a just, righteous, holy God.




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