Summary: My life with God begins when I realize my lost condition and I am helpless and hopeless apart from Jesus Christ.
The doctrine of the lostness of man has truly been neglected in this generation. For some reason people believe that nobody is really lost except maybe the extreme serial killer or rapist.
This message needs to be reintroduced in today’s society.
The question I want to pose is simply this, “Are the heathen really lost?”
To answer that we have to define what we mean by “heathen.” I doubt very much if anybody attending church today across our country has ever met someone they considered to be a heathen. Everybody in the end, so we believe, will finally make it into heaven.
That has not been the teaching of the church since the apostolic days. It was not something that Jesus taught. Jesus said about himself, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). This was his purpose in coming.
Why is he seeking and saving the lost if they are not in danger? He thought they were.
According to the dictionary, a heathen is an “uncivilized or irreligious person.” That covers a lot of people in our country. We like to think that the heathen are in some country somewhere where there is no society like ours.
Instead of using the term “heathen,” let me use the biblical term, “lost.” What does it mean, from a biblical perspective, to be the lost? When did you discover that you were lost?
Theme…My life with God begins when I realize my lost condition and I am helpless and hopeless apart from Jesus Christ.
Only when we believe we are lost will we ever look for a remedy. The only remedy for lostness is Jesus Christ.
Very simply put, “lost” means that there is absolutely no hope we can anchor our life on. We all are floundering on the sea of depravity no life boat.
Let’s think about the subject and try to pull into our own life experience and then allow the Holy Spirit to burden our hearts for those in our family and community that are indeed lost.
I. The First Thing We Need to Do Is Define Lostness.
I think this is a very important step in our own spiritual journey. To realize what it means to be lost and that we are lost and need rescuing.
To be lost means alienation from our created purpose.
Genesis 1:26 – “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”
Revelation 4:11 – “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”
Psalms 139:13-16 – “13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. “
The verses could go on and on.
Very simply put, to be lost means alienation from our created and intended purpose. It means an unfulfilled life from God’s perspective.
II. Then We Need to Consider the Degrees of Lostness.
Not all lostness is equal.
We have talked today about equality. And the only equality that is really true is our alienation from God. We all are equally alienated from God, which is our definition of being lost. Nobody is more lost than anyone else. This is something we have a hard time grasping.
But then when it comes to lostness there are various degrees. If you would put it on a scale from 1 to 10, there is very little difference between 1 and 10.
A person who is trying to do good and making the best out of life is just as lost as the worst criminal you can think of.
I believe that the person who is in the #1 degree is probably in more danger than the person who is at the #10 degree for the simple reason that the latter person knows he is lost whereas the former one thinks he’s okay.
Some people believe that if they do the best they can, God will understand and will allow them to come into heaven. This has been damning to so many people. People who don’t realize what it means to be lost.