Summary: This sermon compares being physically lost in the darkness to being spiritually lost.
Introduction: I look forward to this time of the year for a couple of reasons. First of all, I really enjoy deer hunting, which my father and I were able to do for a little while yesterday. But something I enjoy as much as hunting is just being out in the woods with my father, which is something that we have done almost every Fall since I was 13 years old. My dad taught me a lot over the years about hunting. He taught me how to shoot and handle a gun safely. He taught me how to find the best spot to hunt, and how to clean the game we killed. He taught me how to find my stand before daylight and how to find my way back to the truck after dark. However, I’ll never forget the time I got lost in the woods. I was about 15 years old and was hunting with my father and brother in Land Between the Lakes. It was a woods that we had hunted for a couple of years and I thought I knew it like the back of my hand. I was hunting about half way down a ridge, and just up from a power-line. In order to get back to the truck I had to go up the hill, take a right onto an old logging road and then all I had to do was follow it back to the main highway. It was something that I had done many times before. I’m still not sure how but I managed to get turned around but I did. I realized my mistake when I ran into the power-line at the bottom of the hill. So I went back to my stand and started over. Well, undoubtedly I made the same mistake, because I ended up back down on the power-line again. This time I stopped and listened for the traffic up on the main highway, but couldn’t hear any. So I did the only thing I knew to do, I started yelling “DADDY.” And sure enough, Dad yelled back, and I was able to follow the sound of his voice out of the darkness.
In the Bible the word Darkness is often used to describe sin, or the world without Christ. I want us to look at two passages of Scripture out of the book of First John that compare and contrast Darkness and Light. Read 1 John 1:5-10, and 1 John 2:8-11.
This morning I want to share with you several Characteristics of someone who is Lost.
I. Lost people are very self-oriented.
They mistakenly believe the world revolves around them. They focus more on themselves than they do other people. They are more concerned about their needs and wants than they are about others. They are like the man that Jesus talked about in the 12th chapter of Luke. The man was a very wealthy farmer, and God had blessed him with a bumper crop of grain. In fact there was so much grain that his old barns weren’t big enough to store it. So the man decided to tear his old barns down and build bigger barns so he could store all of his grain. So that’s what he did, he didn’t bother sharing any with his neighbors or with the poor, he kept it all for himself. He was convinced that he had plenty of grain for years to come. In fact he thought he would be able to just kick back and relax. He said, “I’m going to eat, drink and be merry, but Jesus called him a fool. And sure enough the man died that very night and wasn’t able to enjoy any of the fruits of his labor.
Illustration: It was a cold winter’s night. The wind was howling and a bone chilling rain was falling when the telephone rang at the home of a doctor. The man that was calling said that his wife needed urgent medical attention. The doctor was very understanding and said, "Sir, I’ll be glad to come and see what I can do for your wife, but my car is being repaired, could you come and get me?" There was indignation on the other end of the phone the man angrily shouted, "What, in this weather?"
One of the characteristics of someone that is lost is that they are self-centered.
II. A second characteristic of a person that is lost is that they tend to be very self-sufficient.
In other words they think they can handle anything that life throws at them. They pride themselves on not needing anyone and that includes God.
Daniel Boone marked off the wilderness road that brought settlers into Kentucky and Tennessee through the Cumberland Gap. He often wandered over vast areas of forest, living off the land and dodging arrows. Someone once asked Daniel Boone if he had ever been lost in the wilderness. He quickly replied, “No, I’ve never been lost, but I was a mite confused once for about three or four days.” Perhaps it doesn’t matter that Daniel Boone’s pride would not allow him to admit that he’d ever been lost, or in need of guidance. But it matters a lot, however, if our pride keeps us from admitting that we are lost without Christ.