Summary: This is the second part of a two-part message. The two things needed to reach the lost is (1) compassion, and (2) persistent effort. We cannot remain passive and expect the lost to return. We need to make connections with the lost constantly.
The sinners flock to Jesus, not because He preaches a compromising message but for the way they were treated – Jesus loves them.
• The first thing needed for reaching the lost is compassion.
• We need to show more compassion to those we need to bring to Christ.
• Love makes the different. It separates Jesus from the teachers of the Law.
The lost matters to God – there is MORE joy over one sinner coming home than the 99 already at home.
• God is in a relentless pursuit of lost people.
• Here we must learn the heart of God. He wants to save one lost sheep at any cost.
• God sent his one and only Son Jesus to the cross as a ransom sacrifice for our sins. God sacrificed everything to save his lost sheep.
• God’s care for one person is absolute. He will make a detour to talk to a Samaritan woman at a well; He will change His itinerary and stay over at Zacchaeus’ house.
The second thing needed for reaching the lost is persistent effort.
• It requires sacrifice. It requires commitment.
Read Luke 15:4, 8
The lamb is lost, and so is the coin.
• Both the shepherd and the woman hunt and rummage around until they find what’s missing. They are persistent!
• One lost lamb is a little thing to find in so vast a wilderness. One lost coin is a tiny thing to find in the whole house.
• But that didn’t stop them.
The son has gone far from home, with the inheritance.
• There is nothing left to draw the son back home.
• The father receive no letter, no phone calls, no news of his lost son
• But there is no letting up of hope – we see the father watching, longing, and hoping for his return. Who knows how long he has waited…
They all showed a common attitude towards the lost – don’t give up!
• It’s a “never give-up” attitude – the hope is always there for the lost to be found.
• Tremendous time and effort are spent, but it’s worth it.
• Jesus’ life purpose statement is “to seek and save what was lost.” (Luke 9:10)
In order words, we cannot be PASSIVE, if we really want to find the lost.
• It cannot be a “wait and see” thing.
• They won’t come to us, if we do not go for them.
• Our lack of desire to start the search, or our failure to act, will mean they will remain lost.
Someone puts it this way:
In essence, we’ve condemned the lost before they’ve been given a chance at survival.
• By our passive indifference, we cause them to remain in their ‘condemned’ state.
See the account in Acts 10 – Cornelius’ house.
• Peter was called to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles.
• God tells him in a vision that he “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” (10:15)
• See Acts 10:28. It wasn’t easy. Peter obeyed, went and preached.
• As he was preaching, the Holy Spirit falls on those who hear the Word (10:44).
You see something here – God needs a carrier.
• They need to know Jesus, only then can the Holy Spirit works in their lives.
• One man did what he was called to do – and a whole crowd was saved.
God is looking for carriers – who are willing to make the connection (with lost people) and then He will do the rest.
• Which mean, we cannot remain in a passive mode.
• We need to connect with the lost in some way.
I need to say something here – we must not be discouraged by lack of results.
• We tend to look at results as the number of people coming to accept Christ.
• If I cannot convert anyone – if it’s the Holy Spirit that does that - then it is obvious that God is not looking at results but the efforts I put in.
• The question, “How many people have you converted?” is not correct. The right question is, “How much efforts have I put in, to reach the lost?”
We are just one ring in a long chain of events that will challenge the lost person to consider Christ.
• We’re just one ring, but we are critical! The chain is as strong as its weakest link.
• Every act of kindness and love is a ring built into the chain.
• One day, may be at a crusade or some outreach event, the person will come to accept Christ – not solely because of a 30-min sermon he just heard, but for the many encounters he had with Christians over the years.