Summary: If we are going to be a caring church, one of the very first things we must do is to care about those who are without Jesus Christ, those who are lost. We need to develop a heart for the lost like Paul’s heart.
Was anyone here saved listening to a radio broadcast? Raise your hand. How many were saved listening to a TV preacher? How many prayed to receive the Lord Jesus as a direct result of a message? How many were saved when you saw "Jesus Saves" on a big rock, a sign, or a bumper sticker? How many of you were saved, when some preacher or some other person led you to Christ, and their face comes to your mind? Raise you hand. Now I don’t want you to raise your hands or audibly answer to the next series of questions, but.... How many souls have you brought to Christ? How many have led a person to Christ in the past 6 months... the past year... the last five years... ever? It is a sad statistic that less than ten percent of all Southern Baptists will share their faith with someone this year. If we are going to be a caring church, one of the very first things we must do is to care about those who are without Jesus Christ, those who are lost. We need to develop a heart for the lost like Paul’s heart. He had...
I. A Broken Heart for the Lost
A. Romans 9:2-3 "That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:"
B. The depth of Paul’s concern is expressed in his words " great heaviness and continual sorrow" or "bitter grief and continual anguish" for Israel.
C. The source of this agony was
1. An awareness of the lostness of his kinsman.
a. Romans 10:2 "For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge." -
b. He realized that though they were religious they were lost!
c. The Jew believed because he was a Jew that he automatically had an in with God but Paul concluded in Romans 3:9-10, 22b-23 "What then? Are we better than they? No, in no wise. For we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin. As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."
d. There is no man, woman or child that does not fit this description.
2. An awareness of the exclusivity of Jesus Christ
a. John 14:6 "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
b. Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD."
c. There are only three kinds of persons. There are those who know Christ, having established a relationship Him as Savior. There are others who are blindly seeking but have not found Him; and lastly, the rest who go through life without seeking Him oblivious to their ultimate destiny
d. I Timothy 2:5 "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;"
e. Bailey Smith (1982 SBC Convention) - You cannot turn your back on Jesus and your face toward God, because they stand together!
f. The magnificent Niagara Falls have been spoken of in every part of the world. Many years ago, two men were in a boat on the river leading to the falls and found themselves being carried so swiftly down the current that they both faced inevitable doom. However, one man was saved by a rope that was floated out to him, which he grasped. Another rope was floated to the other man, but at the same instant the rope came into his hand, a log floated near him. The thoughtless and confused man, instead of seizing the rope, laid hold on the log. It was a fatal mistake. Both men were in imminent peril. The one was drawn to shore because he had a connection with the people on the shore, while the other, clinging to the loose, floating log, was borne swiftly along, and was never heard of afterward. Faith has a saving connection with Christ. Christ is on the shore, so to speak, holding the rope, and as we lay hold of it with the hand of our confidence in Him, He pulls us to shore. But religion, good works, and virtue are merely logs that offer a feeling of buoyancy while allowing one to drift along to an eternal fate that is far worse than perishing on the rocks at the bottom of Niagara Falls. Grasp our virtues as tightly as we may, even with hooks of steel, they cannot benefit us in the least degree. They are the disconnected logs that have no hold on the heavenly shore. Christ is the only way.