WHAT IT MEANS TO BE LOST
“Brethren my heart’s desire for Israel is that they might be saved” – “Romans: 10:1”
There are many notable characters who we find the lives of recorded in the Bible, and although some of them are evil and godless, some are also notable because of their charitable deeds and the life they have lived for God. Some provide wonderful examples, and just now we are going to briefly look at one of them by the name of the Apostle Paul and see what can learn in regard to Gospel and Salvation from him.
The Bible describes him as a “Disciple of Christ” and also as an “Ambassador” and we find him also fulfilling the roles of “Pastor, Preacher, Writer and a Martyr for the cause of Christ.”
One might think that with so much to do he would be burdened down, and of course we realise he was. Over and above all the natural problems and sorrow however, he was bowed down with a burden for his Nation Israel. Paul realised that they had turned aside from God, and God’s offer of mercy and forgiveness, provided to them in the form of Jesus Christ.
The Nation was therefore provided with their long-awaited Messiah in Jesus Christ but remained without Christ as their Saviour because of their rejection of Him. As a result, they were without hope in the world, and through our text we see this fact brought to us. You see Paul as he went about various parts of Asia and Asia Minor viewed all men as lost, but why? We may say today “was Israel considered to be lost?” Well, the implication of Paul’s words brings this out, and in the words Lost and Saved.
Lost and Saved are bits of religious jargon, and we should look at what they mean.
To Be Lost Means to Be Perishing and it Applies to Life and Time and Soul and Eternity.
There are many verses we could look at to see how Paul and God views Men and Women and
Boys and Girls who reject Jesus Christ as their Saviour, here is one way that they did.
“What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul” – “Mark 8:36”
Now I’m sure that you like me realise that the whole world is given over to Materialism, and a desire to have more of what we might call the luxuries of life, and it is a fact that so many are completely overtaken by this desire, to the exclusion of everything else.
Spiritual matters take a back seat, and when you speak to people about Jesus, you know what happens they Procrastinate. Many of them say “not today when I get older etc then I’ll think about Jesus Christ” but very often Death takes these people unawares.
- In Boyhood they are too Carefree. They say: – “There is plenty of time. No use bothering about those things now.”
- In Youth they are too Busy. They have studies to occupy their time, and their living to get. They say: – “I must devote all the time that I can spare from sport and pleasure to making money. When I am settled in life will be time enough to attend to religion.”
- In Manhood they are too Pre-occupied. Family cares weigh upon them. Responsibilities have to be faced. Business demands their time, and their thoughts are urgent. They say: – “I can’t think of God yet; I must pull through these serious matters first.”
- In Declining Years, they feel too Old. Their hearts, long familiar with sin, are hardened. Worldly habits, contracted over long years, have become confirmed. They feel unable to move out of the rut in which they have run so long.
- On their Death Bed they are too Ill. Their bodies are racked with pain. Their thoughts are taken up with their sufferings. Their mind is enfeebled. The will is no longer vigorous. They cannot concentrate their thoughts as once they could.
- In Death Well it’s just too LATE. Opportunities are gone. Their spirits have fled from their bodies. According to the teaching of Christ there is now a fixed gulf between them and the eternal joys that might have been theirs. Never again will the offer of pardon and salvation be made to them.
Now I said earlier that death and the rejection of Jesus Christ as Saviour affects us for Eternity and it does, for one day there will be for all mankind a day of judgement, and it will be a judgement relating to what we did with Jesus when offered to us.
To Be Lost Means to Be Living Apart from Christ.
“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost” – “Luke 19:10”
What a marvellous statement Luke the Gospel writer makes there, but what does it mean for us? Let me share with you an illustration.
Turn with me to “Luke 15:3–7” what we discover there is the parable of the Lost Sheep. Let me read the verses to you from the Message Translation: –
“By this time, a lot of men and women of questionable reputation were hanging around Jesus, listening intently. The Pharisees and religion scholars were not pleased, not at all pleased. They growled, “He takes in sinners and eats meals with them, treating them like old friends.” Their grumbling triggered this story. “Suppose one of you had a hundred sheep and lost one. Wouldn’t you leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the lost one until you found it? When found, you can be sure you would put it across your shoulders, rejoicing, and when you got home call in your friends and neighbours, saying, ‘Celebrate with me! I’ve found my lost sheep!’ Count on it – there’s more joy in heaven over one sinner’s rescued life than over ninety-nine good people in no need of rescue.”
In the Eastern culture a man’s wealth and prosperity, and on many occasions his standing in the community was based upon the number of Sheep he owned. Now if a Shepherd were good, he would every morning and evening count the sheep as they came in and out of the fold, and if he discovered just one had gone missing, he would secure the remaining flock, and then search everywhere for the lost one.
The picture portrayed there and utilised by the Lord Jesus was given to show that God the Father, has in Jesus the “Great Shepherd” and the “flock” being this World, has been committed to His care, and Jesus is continually searching for those that have gone astray.
If you have not received Jesus Christ your Saviour then you are a lost sheep, and not only is the Good Shepherd one that looks for you, but more than that the Bible goes on to tell us “The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep” and that is just what Jesus Christ has done for you, and the Bible reveals to us that when He finds a sheep that was lost, He and the angels of heaven rejoice together.
The Bible reveals to us that without Jesus Christ living in our lives we are the enemies of God; we are alienated from Him and whilst His essence is that of love the outworking of His purity educes wrath upon all sin. In addition, we remain as “Aliens and Strangers” to Heaven,” and I feel sure that none of us wish to be barred entrance because of neglecting the opportunity of Gods favour on our lives.
To Be Lost Means to Be Out of Fellowship with the Heavenly.
When God first created humanity, He did so with the intention of having continual fellowship him and initially this is just what happened. God came down in the cool of the day, and walked and talked with Adam and Eve, but then Eve fell into transgression and Adam decided to follow her into sin.
The Bible tells us that God cannot look upon sin and evil, as a result there came a separation between God and His creation. Adam and Eve are our forefathers, and via them we have inherited a sinful nature, we are born with it, and it has separated us from God. Humanity is continually going its own way and despising God’s correction look at an example we find in “Luke 15:11-24” here we have the story of the Prodigal Son.
Let me read it to you again from the Message Translation: –
“Then he said, “There was once a man who had two sons. The younger said to his father, ‘Father, I want right now what’s coming to me.’ “So, the father divided the property between them. It wasn’t long before the younger son packed his bags and left for a distant country. There, undisciplined and dissipated, he wasted everything he had. After he had gone through all his money, there was a bad famine all through that country and he began to feel it. He signed on with a citizen there who assigned him to his fields to slop the pigs. He was so hungry he would have eaten the corn-cobs in the pig slop, but no one would give him any.“That brought him to his senses. He said, ‘All those farmhands working for my father sit down to three meals a day, and here I am starving to death. I’m going back to my father. I’ll say to him, Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son. Take me on as a hired hand.’ He got right up and went home to his father. “When he was still a long way off, his father saw him. His heart pounding, he ran out, embraced him, and kissed him. The son started his speech: ‘Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son ever again.’ “But the father wasn’t listening. He was calling to the servants, ‘Quick. Bring a clean set of clothes and dress him. Put the family ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Then get a prize-winning heifer and roast it. We’re going to feast! We’re going to have a wonderful time! My son is here – given up for dead and now alive! Given up for lost and now found!’ And they began to have a wonderful time.”
In this particular household there was the Father, the Elder Son and Younger Son, and it was customary in the East that the Father would give an inheritance to his children, either when he died or before.
The younger of the two sons started getting tired of life on the Farm and wanted to stretch his wings and see what the world had to offer. He went to his Father and basically said “Father, I know that when you die, I will have an inheritance. Well! I can’t wait, I’m fed up with life here on the farm, I’m bored, I want to see something of the world. Father, will you give me my inheritance now?” amazingly, the Father did, and what we discover.
The Bible tells us that he took his Fathers money and went off to a “far country” and there he spent his time and his money on drinking, gambling, women, and riotous living, but then eventually his money ran out, along with it so did his so-called friends. He was left, lonely, desolate, and destitute, and ended up sleeping with pigs in a pigsty and eating the pig’s food.
Eventually, he “came to himself” it the Bibles way of saying, “He wised up” and he decided to return home to his father, who the Bible tells us was day by day longing for his return.
What do we learn from this story? There are many things but here are four to consider.
- Man has separated himself from God.
- The pleasures of sin last but for a season.
- Sin debases everything it touches.
- The Father was waiting for him.
Sin in whatever form it takes will separate, we sin because we want to and when we give into the enticements that our natures provide for us. Adam chose to sin, so do we. The devil does not force us, we sin because we wish to.
You may not believe that you are a sinner today, but whether you believe it or not, the fact remains that God has declared you to be so, and although you might be blind to the truth, it does not alter the truth.
When the prodigal went away there was no denying that he had the time of his life. There was no parental guidance, he could get up and go to bed when he wanted to. He could spend his time doing whatever pleased him.
There are many like that today, you might be like it spending your time taking drugs, meddling with the occult, drinking, gambling, seeing many different women.
You are getting your “highs,” but you most certainly do not like the “lows” well let me tell you that you are in for a nasty surprise, because this flimsy joy and happiness is truly short lived and you will come down with a bump, like the prodigal did.
Also, sin debases, the prodigal had nice clothes, and good place to live, food on the table everything he could have needed, but he ended up like a tramp, filthy and dirty, hungry, and cold, and spiritually he was as the Bible declare “Clothed in filthy rags before God.” If you have not received Jesus as you Saviour that is exactly how you are before God right now.
The wonderful thing about this story though is that throughout it all the father was waiting and longing for his son’s return.
To Be Lost Means to Be Under Gods Wrath and Bound for Hell.
Did you know that God is angry with you today and that His wrath is abiding upon your life? Well! If you didn’t then let me tell you that if you have not committed your life to Jesus Christ, you have not recognised that He died for you, and have failed to ask Him into your life, then God’s wrath and anger are rigidly fixed on you.
This is what “John 3:36” tells, us “He that believes on the Son has everlasting life, and he that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides on him” what an awful position to be in.
If you had a child and you knew that what it was doing was going to bring about its eventual destruction, you would have every right to be angry; well, that is God’s heart towards you today.
He is angry because He gave His Son Jesus Christ to save you from yourself, the devil, and sins misery. His Son Jesus died to provide forgiveness, healing, and deliverance and yet you have turned His gracious offer away.
Why not turn the anger and wrath of God away today by receiving Jesus Christ as your Saviour. He desires to Save; He desires to Deliver. He desires to set you free from Demonic Possession or Oppression and He desires to Heal your Bodies.
If you feel that God has spoken to your heart today, and you desire to respond to His call to you then will you take a moment to pray with me.
If your answer is yes! Then pray this prayer after me: –
“Lord Jesus I recognise my need as a sinner to take you to be my Saviour. I recognise that you are Lord and God. I believe Jesus that you were crucified, died, and was buried. I believe that on the third day you rose again. You ascended into heaven. You are now seated at the right hand of the Father. I believe that you will one day come to judge the living and the dead. Jesus, please forgive me now, come into my life as my Saviour and Lord enable me to live for you – Amen.”
If you prayed that prayer, then please let us know by going either to our guest page at www.worldwidechristianministries.org or by subscribing and commenting on our YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/c/AlbertMMartinWWCM and let us know about it so we can pray for you and help you further in this new exciting journey of faith.