Tag Archives: lostness
Bless-ed! 52 Blessings Your Lost Friend Doesn’t Have . . . And What You Can Do About It! (Part 1)
“Unlike Jesus” – A Theology Matters Retreat for Dayspring Camp – Part 1
Friends: From August 3-5 I have the privilege of leading a group of young people at Dayspring Camp in Ironton, Mo., through a study of friendship evangelism. I want to take the next few posts to survey some of what we will be studying as we think about how we can become friends of sinners like Jesus was!
Session #1- A Theology of LOSTNESS!
Our primary text for the weekend will be Matthew 11 where we read Jesus saying, “18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.”
Dr. Francis Schaeffer, author of The God Who Is There and Escape from Reason said, “We have in a real sense lost sense of the lostness of the lost!” We must recover a sense of the lostness of the human being before God.
Jesus’ story of the prodigal son in Luke 15 is the best illustration of lostness, it seems to me. After discussing the lost sheep and the lost coin, the Lord speaks of the prodigal son who rejected his family, prematurely demanded his share of the inheritance, and went off and debauched himself. But the primary point of the story, I think, is not that son, but the older brother who resented the father’s joy and celebration when his renegade younger brother came to his senses and returned home. He essentially said to the father, “I’m constantly working in the fields for you and you’ve never even thrown a small party for me!” The older brother clearly represents the “Pharisees and the teachers of the law [who] muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” (v. 2).
In their religiosity the Pharisees and the teachers of the law had lost a sense of their own lostness, counting on their own righteousness instead of the grace and mercy of God!
The human person does not enter this world spiritually neutral, but rather as an enemy of God (Rom. 5:10). And all who come into this world are lost and under the wrath of God (Jn. 3:36). Liberal theology teaches that we are all children of God and just need to learn how to live Christian lives. But creation does not equal redemption! According to the Lord Jesus, He came as “the Son of Man to seek and to save the lost.” (Lk. 9).
Many years ago a little boy and his twin sister became lost in a small community outside Boston. After they were missing for several hours, the police were called and a search party was organized. Meanwhile, the little boy and girl both showed up when they heard the commotion as the search party got organized. They asked what was going on and were told that a little boy and girl had been lost. For the next two hours they helped search for themselves!
People don’t search for themselves. Have you joined Jesus in His rescue mission to find lost people? (to be continued)
Search Party (Mitch Hedberg)
As some of you know, my son and I took stand-up comedy lessons over a year ago. If you haven’t seen my six-minute set, you might want to watch it here.
One of the most talented stand-ups was the late Mitch Hedberg. Mitch died of a drug overdose — a tragic loss. Here’s a brief clip from one of his performances.
What a talent! Do you see yourself as part of a search party? A search party is concerned that someone else is LOST and goes out of its way, ceases its normal activities of the day, to look for that person. May I ask, for whom are you looking?
One of the primary ways of describing sinners (like you and me) is lost. And we need to be found by the grace of God. And God uses His children to find those who are lost. Are we looking?
Religious Lostness Is Still Lostness!
My heart is sad this morning, friends. I just spent three hours last night trying to win my Baha’i friend to Christ. He is a local professional who is a leader in the movement. His religious zeal is unquestionable. He is in the middle of a nineteen-day fast (nothing to eat or drink from sunrise to sunset, not even a stick of gum). We had supper together (after sunset) and talked about Christianity and Baha’i for the entire time.
If you know little about the Baha’i religion, you might go here. One website defined Baha’i as “A sect of Islam evolving into a major independent religion with approximately five million believers worldwide. Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, Bahá‘u’lláh and others are viewed as a succession of divine messengers. A 19th century Persian teacher, the Báb, (or “Gate”) predicted Bahá’u’lláh’s coming. Baha’i advocates a new global order of sexual equality, a one-world economic system to eliminate poverty, and a one-world religion.” (Watchman Fellowship).
My friend — let’s call him Michael — is thoroughly immersed in his religion. I’ve never met a Christian more dedicated to his belief system. No amount of evidence will convince Michael that he is following a false prophet — Bahá‘u’lláh — and, consequently, has the wrong view of Jesus Christ. And that saddens me.
Baha’i wants to unite all the religions of the world, to put an end to religious fighting and killing, to establish a New World Order. Michael admitted that he does not see Jesus as God manifest in the flesh, but simply as a manifestation of God (like Buddha, Muhammad, etc.). There are thousands of ancient manuscripts which the Baha’i consider their authority, the Bible being only one among many sources.
Michael said that Baha’i parents do not teach their children that they are born sinners, but emphasize their nobility as made in the image of God. I asked, “If you don’t talk about sin, then why would any of us need a Savior?” He did not hesitate to state, “Jesus is my Savior!” But when we began to define our terms, we were not in agreement on the gospel.
Three takeaways from my time with my Baha’i friend:
(1) We Christians must, absolutely must, spend time with people of other religious faiths. They need our Savior!
(2) We Christians must know our Bibles and our doctrine so that we can show the other person the differences and why they matter.
(3) We Christians must get out into the world of lost people and share the gospel as best we can.
Would you pray for my friend Michael this morning? And for my heart which is broken over his lostness?
Time for a Great Cartoon! Lostness!
New Book Available! “Saved! Rescued from God, by God and for God”
I’m real excited that I have finished my latest book! It’s on the great topic of salvation!
What in the world does it mean to be “saved”? Our post-Christian world looks at an old bumper sticker like the one that says “JESUS SAVES!” and responds, “Well, I guess we should be thrifty too!” The Bible makes it quite clear that God is holy and we aren’t — and we’re in a lot of trouble. We learn that Jesus came to rescue us from God’s wrath, to pay the debt we owed a holy God, to draft us into His army to go rescue others.
This book looks at the Bible’s teaching on salvation from seven different perspectives: LOST, LOVED, LURED, LEARNING, LABELED, LIBERATED, and LAUNCHED. A strange epilogue entitled LOATHED completes the book. Ideal for small group study, Saved! is written for new believers and older believers who need to be reminded of God’s rescue — and how we ought to respond to the saving work of Jesus.
In about a week, you’ll be able to order this from Amazon.com — or — you can order it from me right now! The cost is only $10 and that includes shipping. If interested, send a check made out to me to our address: 117 Norse Way, Columbia, SC 29229 and I’ll get one right out to you (signed, if you want). You can also pay us through PayPal. Our PayPal account is firstname.lastname@example.org.