Have We Forgotten Lostness?
“Do you believe there are lost people?”
I believe that if I asked that question to five-hundred Christians, I might get responses of 100% yes. We have little problem saying there are lost people in our world. We can turn on the television and see the lostness of a world in need of Christ.
So what do we do in response to that lostness? I am not asking what we should do, but what we actually do. From my observation of my own life and others, here are what I see that we actually do:
But we do NOTHING to actually change it!
What is lostness?I truly believe that the reason we act this way is because we have forgotten what lostness is. So let’s start there.
Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (HCSB)
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death…” (HCSB).
So what is lostness? It is being apart from God. It is having to pay the wages of sin. It is clear in Scripture that without faith in Jesus, a person is headed for hell. That is not the politically correct thing to say, but it is the Biblically correct thing. All, everyone, has sinned so we are all destined for hell. There is a punishment for our sin. Sin has to be paid for. There is absolutely no escaping it. You and I cannot pay that price. We deserve what we have earned…hell.
Thank goodness that Romans 6:23 does not end there. It goes on to say, “but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (HCSB). God has given a payment for our sins so that we do not have to worry about how we are going to have to pay for them. That way is through Jesus. He is the only way. “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6 HCSB). There is no other way. People will not be saved on their own accord or by any other way. If we believe that there is another way, we are not holding to the teachings of Scripture.
As you read that, you may be nodding your head agreeing with those words. Now I want you to ask this question…
Does my life agree with Scripture?
Are you living like Jesus is the only way? Jason K. Allen, President of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, said “Yes, you check the box and say that there is only one way to Heaven, but do you live like it? Are you a closet inclusivist?” What he means is do you live like regardless of what you do people will get to Heaven? Deep down do you believe that everyone gets to Heaven?
We see that Paul was wrecked by the lostness of those around him. In Romans 1 Paul writes, “We have received grace and apostleship through Him to bring about the obedience of faith, among all the nations, on behalf of His name…” (HSCB). Paul’s purpose was to bring people to faith on behalf of Jesus. Look at all of his writings. He was concerned about the lost. He gave his life trying to get the Gospel to as many people as possible for the glory of God.
The lostness of others consumed him. It pushed him. Why? He had experienced the power of Jesus and it overtook Him. He understood God’s heart. We see in 1 Timothy 2 that God wants all to be saved. He is a compassionate God. Paul understood this. He had the Holy Spirit, the very Spirit of Jesus, in him. He could not be contained because he knew that others were headed to hell! He knew that they needed Jesus!
When you look around do you just see people or do you see broken, lost people? Are you concerned about them? There is no way that we can be changed by Jesus Christ and not care about the spiritual condition of others! For far too long we have said, “Oh someone else will tell them.” It is time for us to stand up and do our part.
It is not enough to just try to walk the walk. We have to voice the Gospel. We MUST share it!
The ChallengeI challenge you this week to pray for someone who you know is lost. The lostness of others is not something we should be apathetic about. It should drive us. It should motivate it. It is the very reason we are here. We exist to make disciples so that God gets the glory!
Continue to engage them in conversation. Do not stop after just one time. If you are not sure how to share your faith, ask a pastor how. They will be able to guide you in how to do so. This is a spiritual discipline that is missing from so many of our churches.
May we be a people who are so in love with Jesus that we hurt for those who are lost and we sacrifice comfort or whatever it takes to share the Gospel with them.