Summary: Sermon in on who are the lost, how are they lost, and discovering a God who finds the lost.
FINDING THE LOST ---CONCERN FOR THE LOST
Luke 15: 1-10
When the tsunami struck the Kenyan coast on Dec. 26.
Slide a baby hippopotamus was washed away from its mother down the Sabaki River
into the Indian Ocean and then forced back to shore
A Hippopotamus is a social creatures.
Baby hippo’s stay with their mother for four years,
So being separated from its mother traumatized this baby.
It was lost. The Rangers nicknamed him Owen the 650 Pd hippo.
Slide It needed a surrogate mother and fortunately
it landed on the giant male century-old Tortoise.
Owen followed that Tortoise like it would his own mother.
Slide They swim, eat, and sleep together.
If somebody approaches the tortoise,
the hippo becomes aggressive,
as if protecting its biological mother,"
What a pair they make.
Hippo’s aren’t the only things that get lost.
SLIDE 800,000 CHILDREN ARE MISSING EVERY YEAR.
One child every 40 seconds.
1000 a day are abducted by family members,
400,000 run away from home.
50,000 are abducted by strangers
They are not just out late.
Or having a sleepover.
Or off to camp
Slide These children are missing.
Lost from their homes, playgrounds, and backyards.
This has forced our nation to set up an AMBER ALERT.
As sad as that seems to be.
There is a darker side to life and loss.
Slide Of the 6 billion people who are in the world
2.1 billion people profess to be Christians,
leaving 4 billion people who are spiritually lost.
Do we need an AMBER ALERT for those lost in spiritual darkness?
Jesus came to seek and to save the lost in the whole world.
Not just to save Christians.
And he needs our help.
So today I want us to think seriously about the lost.
SLIDE WHO ARE THE LOST?
1Now the tax collectors and "sinners" were all gathering around to hear him. 2But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them."
From this verse we see that everyone knows
SLIDE the Tax collectors and sinner were lost.
We know and they know, and Jesus knew and
the Pharisees and teachers of the law knew
Tax collectors and sinners were outside of the covenant of God.
They were outsiders.
When I talk with people on the street in Aberdeen, or Bismarck,
who are not living as God intended
They know it.
I have heard many say: “I know I’m lost.”
I’ve had more that one person says: “I know I’m going to hell when I die.”
They know they live outside the family of God.
But what is more tragic is those who are lost and don’t know it.
Maybe out of ignorance or just pride.
A young and foolish pilot wanted to sound cool on the aviation frequencies.
This was his first time approaching a field during the nighttime,
and instead of making any official requests to the tower,
he said, "Guess who?"
The tower controller simply switched off the landing field lights and replied,
The Pharisees and Teachers of the Law.
Knew who they were,
But they were unaware of where they were in the kingdom of God.
They were Lost in their religious boasting.
Lost in their laws, and religious rules and half-truths.
What is sad is that million of people today are in this condition.
Theologian, Jack Shea says, even the ninety-nine were lost in some way.
Even when we appear to be a part of the flock, and sit in church on Sunday morning.
Many when they look inside find that they
are in some way lost and needing to be found.
That is why Jesus came and said:
SLIDE I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father buy by me.
If you have seen me you have seen the father also. John 14:6-7
LETS LOOK AT THE
SLIDE I. HOW WE ARE LOST
3Then Jesus told them this parable: 4"Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? Luke 15:3-4
SLIDE This shepherd was lost when his circle was broken.He even may have been at wits end.When the "perfect number" of one hundred sheep becomes ninety-nine,they are not whole until the lost sheep is found. And 100 are restored.
SLIDE When the woman with the perfect number of ten coins loses one, she can only find joy with her neighbors When "10" has been restored.
SLIDE When the Father with the two sons has lost
one to greed and debauchery,
and one to resentment and jealousy,
He doesn’t stop to rejoice when only one son is found,
But goes outside to talk with the elder son.