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Tag Archives: lostness

Bless-ed! 52 Blessings Your Lost Friend Doesn’t Have . . . And What You Can Do About It! (Part 1)

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking recently (always a bit dangerous for me) and I’ve come to certain conclusions. The catalyst for my ruminations is my friend Mike (not his real name) who is lost as lost can be.  Let me explain.

I came to know Mike as a result of one of my trips from South Carolina to New Jersey to speak in a church. This church invited me to come for ten days to speak on two successive Sundays and to meet with their leadership team to work together.

I am an avid tennis player. Notice — I did not say a good one. But I went to a local tennis club in NJ and met a really good player in his 80’s (I’ll be 72 in February). Mike has played in national tournaments and he and I got together each time I made the trek to NJ.

Mike was kind enough to take the short survey I used in my Unlike Jesus book about people who are “still on their way” to faith. With his permission I included his response to my questions in my book — and my response to his response. I have prayed for my friend Mike’s salvation almost every day without fail. You need to know that I try to be very careful in witnessing to those I know will be long-term or even life-long friends.

On my recent visit to NJ, Mike arranged for me to play tennis with a few of his friends and I began praying for an opportunity to share the gospel with him. I felt that he was a bit offended by my referring to him in my book as “lost” and “unsaved.”

We chatted a bit on the last day I could get together with him. I apologized to him for offending him with my language of “lost” and “unsaved” (without denying the truth of his “condition” before God). He said, “Well, that’s your opinion, Larry! Don’t worry about me. I’m fine!”

I was also able to say to him that the Lord is the answer to his loneliness (his wife passed away two years ago). And that was it. I’ll keep in touch with him and pray for him each day.

But this friendship got me thinking about what I enjoy as a believer and what my unsaved friends don’t have.

So I want to use this blog in our several posts to think about what my unsaved friends don’t have. This morning I want to suggest that . . .

1. THEY DON’T HAVE AN AUTHORITATIVE SOURCE FOR WHAT THEY BELIEVE!

My friend Mike doesn’t “feel” like he’s lost or unsaved. For many people their feelings are their final authority for what they believe. As a follower of Jesus, my authority is God’s Word, the Bible. And the Bible is quite clear in declaring the human person’s lostness before a holy, Triune God.

I’m grateful for God’s Word, especially because it tells me the truth about my need for forgiveness and God’s mercy. And I’m praying for my friend Mike that he would be convicted by God the Holy Spirit of his need of Christ.

How should I pray for my lost friend? I need to pray that he will stop trusting himself and get interested in what GOD says! (to be continued)

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2022 in benefits of being a believer

 

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The Theology of Calvin . . . and Hobbes (Lostness)

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2021 in Calvin & Hobbes

 

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“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)

 

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2018 in lostness

 

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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?

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2016 in search party

 

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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 Screenshot 2016-03-11 06.34.11defined 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.

Screenshot 2016-03-11 06.36.33Baha’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?

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2016 in lostness

 

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Time for a Great Cartoon! Lostness!

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The late apologist Dr. Francis Schaeffer put it succinctly:  “We have in a real sense lost sense of the lostness of the lost.”

Questions:

1.  How can we communicate man’s lostness to today’s unbelievers?

2.  What biblical texts come to your mind about LOSTNESS?

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2014 in lostness

 

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New Book Available! “Saved! Rescued from God, by God and for God”

Friends:
I’m real excited that I have finished my latest book! It’s on the great topic Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 7.27.09 AMof 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.

IScreen Shot 2014-10-03 at 2.24.06 PMn 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 Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 2.25.54 PMI’ll get one right out to you (signed, if you want).  You can also pay us through PayPal.  Our PayPal account is theoprof@bellsouth.net.

 
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Posted by on October 8, 2014 in salvation

 

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