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Summary: Restoration.

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LOOKING FOR THAT WHICH IS LOST

LUKE 15: 4-7

I. INTRODUCTION

ONE OF THE WORST PLACES IN THE WORLD TO BE IS OUTSIDE THE WILL OF ALMIGHTY GOD. YES MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS, TO BE LOST CAN HAVE ETERNAL CONSEQUENCES THAT NO ONE CAN BE DELIVERED FROM. THE WORLD IS PERMEATED WITH SOULS WHO ARE LOST BUT DON’T KNOW IT, THEN THERE ARE THOSE WHO ARE LOST AND DON’T CARE. BUT LOST IS LOST, NO MATTER HOW YOU LOOK AT THE SITUATION. TO BE LOST IS TO BE SEPERATED FROM GOD, AND WHEN A PERSON IS SEPERATED FROM GOD THEY STAND IN JUDGMENT OF THE WRATH OF GOD FOR WHICH NO HUMAN COMFORTING CAN SOOTH.

IT IS OUR PLIGHT AS BELIEVERS IN CHRIST TO SEEK THOSE WHO ARE LOST, OFFERING THEM SPIRITUAL FREEDOM AS OPPOSED TO SPIRITUAL BONDAGE. WE MUST NOT TAKE A CASUAL LOOK FOR THE LOST, BUT WE MUST PUT FORTH A DILIGENT EFFORT IN FINDING THAT WHICH IS LOST. HOW MANY OF HAVE LOST OUR KEYS, ONLY TO SPEND MUCH TIME AND ENERGY LOOKING FOR THEM? HOW MANY OF US HAVE MISPLACED OUR WALLETS AND PURSES, TARING THE HOUSE APART UNTIL WE FIND IT? THE SAME PRINCIPLE APPLIES WHEN IT COMES TO SEEKING AFTER THE LOST SOULS OF HUMANITY. WE MUST SEEK WITH SINCERITY THAT WHICH IS LOST.

II. THE TEXT

JESUS IN THIS PASSAGE OF THE TEXT IS RESPONDING TO THE COMMENTS OF THE RELIGIOUS CROWD. THEY MURMURED THAT HE SPENT TIME WITH THOSE THEY FELT WERE OF NO VALUE. BUT MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS, THE SOULS OF MEN ARE OF GREAT VALUE TO THE LORD. THESE PEOPLE WERE ANTAGONIZED BY THE PHARISEES, BUT THEY WERE PRESCIOUS TO CHRIST. MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS, WE SHOULD NEVER GET TO THE POINT WHERE WE THINK SOMEONE IS OF LITTLE OR NO VALUE, BECAUSE ALL OF US AT ONE POINT IN OUR LIVES, WERE IN THE SAME CATEGORY, LOST; BUT PRAISE BE TO GOD THAT HE DID NOT GIVE UP ON US.

JESUS GIVES AN ELUCIDATING ILLUSTRATION OF A MAN HAVING A HUNDRED SHEEP WHO GOES AFTER ONE THAT HAS GONE ASTRAY. WITHIN THE CONFINES OF THE SHEEPFOLD IS SAFETY FROM DANGER, PROVISIONS FOR THEIR NEEDS, SHELTER FROM THE STORM, AND LOVE FROM THE SHEPHERD. OUTSIDE OF THE SHEEPFOLD THERE IS THE ABSENCE OF PROTECTION, THE ABANDONMENT OF PROVISIONS, THE LOSS OF SHELTER, AND THE LACK OF THE SHEPHERD’S ATTENTION.

THE CHURCH IN ONE SENSE IS LIKE A SHEEPFOLD, AND IT IS DANGEROUS WHEN THE SHEEP OF GOD GO ASTRAY. JUST AS NO SHEEPFOLD IS PERFECT, THERE ARE NO PERFECT CHURCHES, HOWEVER, IT IS SPIRITUALLY SAFER IN GOD’S HOUSE THAN IT IS OUTSIDE OF HIS HOUSE. AND WE MUST DO LIKE THE LOVING SHEPHERD OF OUR TEXT AND GO FIND THE SPIRITUALLY LOST AS WELL AS THOSE WHO ARE SAVED BUT HAVE STRAYED AWAY.

I HAVE DISCOVERED, NOT JUST HERE AT ZION, BUT GLOBALLY, THERE ARE MIA SAINTS. SAINTS WHO ARE MISSING IN ACTION, SAINTS WHO ARE MISSING IN ATTENDANCE, SAINTS WHO ARE MISSING IN ACTIVITY, AND SAINTS WHO ARE MISSING IN ADORATION, THAT’S WHY WE MUST BE ABOUT THE MASTER’S BUSINESS OF SEEKING THAT WHICH IS LOST. JESUS SAYS IN MATT. 18:11, "FOR THE SON OF MAN IS COME TO SAVE THAT WHICH WAS LOST."

III. THE APPLICATION

IT IS OF THE UTMOST URGENCY THAT WE SET OUR SIGHTS ON THE LOST AND THOSE WHO HAVE GONE ASTRAY FROM THE HOUSE OF GOD BECAUSE BOTH ARE AT RISK FOR CALAMITY. NOTICE THE SHEPHERD’S PERSISTANCE. HE LOOKED UNTIL HE FOUND THAT WHICH WAS LOST. HE DID NOT GIVE UP, BUT HE KEPT ON SEARCHING. HE WAS NOT CONTENT WITH THE NINETY-NINE, BUT SOUGHT AFTER THE ONE THAT WAS LOST. MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS WE MUST NOT BECOME COMPLACENT WITH THE MEMBERS THAT WE SEE ON A REGULAR BASIS, WE MUST GO AFTER THE ONES THAT WE DON’T SEE. WE MUST NOT BE CONTENT WITH JUST HAVING THE SAVED AMONG US, WE MUST SEEK THOSE WHO DON’T KNOW JESUS, AND INTRODUCE THEM TO HIM.


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