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WHAT DO YOU MEAN, “LOST”?

December 16, 2014

Text: “And I said, “‘ Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”‘ Isaiah 6:5

Lots of people use the word “lost” in a religious sense without knowing its meaning. But worse than this, they have no understanding of  its consequences!  Since no one on his own merits can escape the consequences, all men should listen to the remedy supplied by Jesus. Paul wrote of Jesus, “Who gave himself for our sins to  deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and  Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” Galatians 1:4-5

The opposite of lost is saved.  The foreground of these two words is that once one has been lost he must obey the gospel of Christ in order to be forgiven of the sins that condemn him. Breaking God’s law brings guilt, and the sinner  must find the way to have them forgiven. Deliverance from the mastery of Satan is provided by the death of Christ. Once the gospel has been believed and obeyed and his sins washed away by the blood of Christ (Ephesians 1:7) the believer is in a saved condition. God has forgiven his sins!

There are many different reactions to realizing one is lost.

Fear is one reflex to be had by those who realize the gravity of this situation. Fear is an honest  reaction and a valid assessment. Some have disallowed fear as a proper motivation to obey the gospel, insisting that preaching should be all love in urging men to be saved. However, it has been said that fear is a legitimate and valid reason as love to respond to the gospel. Years ago my wife and I and our two little children were shopping in a grocery store. We had just  started down an aisle when a young lad of two or three came running up from the other end of the aisle screaming at his highest volume, “MOMMY! MOMMY! MOMMY! ”  The boy had become separated from the center of his universe! I call that fear.   I judge his fearful concern to be valid!  Think about it.

What is lost like? Well, one realizes that he has lost his bearingHis moral compass is gone. He has wound up in a place where he didn’t intend to go!  Perhaps it is like the GPS in your vehicle malfunctioning. And he feels vulnerable. All of these coalesce to make people very uncomfortable. When your heart and conscience are wounded by your sins, and are screaming for direction, it is time to listen and find forgiveness!  Isaiah 55:6-7

Probably our favorite parable is The Prodigal Son, one of the great Biblical examples of being lost and returning. Luke 15:11-32 This is probably the text I have preached more often than  any other. The younger of two sons takes his inheritance and goes to a far country to have his fling. After his money is all gone he finds himself with the lowliest  he could imagine. He had lost his moral compass and found himself in a land that ruined his life of goodness. But he obeyed his crying conscience and set off for home. Well, we see a boy who misunderstood the danger of sin. In a pigpen, however, he found he was lost and needed to be forgiven by his father. He remembered his father’s graciousness and decided to appeal to him. When he returned home he was greeted with love and fanfare. “…this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost and is found.” Luke 15:32

“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon  him while he is near…” Isaiah 55:6

REM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One Comment
  1. Larry permalink

    Yes! Another good one! To the point, well said, clear to understand.–ls

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