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Summary: This sermon is about recovering the lost mission of reaching the lost!

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Ever notice how things, especially meanings of words, change?:

Just look at the computer age/and internet (1)… A “cursor was a person with foul language” A “mouse was a rodent you trapped”. “Logging on was the job of a lumberjack”; “a monitor was the guy who asked you what you were doing roaming the halls”. Max Lucado said, the only interface he thought was the slang you spoke when you did a slam dunk “(Interface, baby). (1 – Max Lucado, The Study, How God Revels His Will, pp. 70-71) I think Max may have stretched that one a little "Interface - In your face) A few more that I thought of: A gig, was a job the band got on Friday night; a byte had teeth marks; a bat, was a winged creature or something you played baseball with; and a ram had horns.

Max continues, that now we get messages like (1) “I e-mailed you a memo I found….Why don’t you download my bat.file in my subdirectory and we can interface on the internet?” When we used to say “Did you get my note?”

Words have changed; meanings have changed; standards have changed; missions have changed.

A few more word changes for fun: spam used to be something you ate (recent resurgence this past few weeks with higher food prices) When I say cell, you think of phone. Snow, and crack, and blow, did not used to be drug terms.

Words have changed; meanings have changed; standards have changed; missions have changed.

Remember when you could pray in school, and at football games? Remember when the ten commandments could be posted on the courthouse wall? Remember when Lucy and Ricky slept in separate beds? When morals and Christian values were something that guided our society.

Two weeks ago, they were complaining in Santa Fe, Texas about how two Junior High girls had texted nude pictures of themselves to their Junior High boyfriends, who then texted them to all their friends. Remember that Santa Fe, Texas is where the parent sued to stop prayer at Football games.

Words have changed; meanings have changed; standards have changed; missions have changed.

Or have they? Does anyone here think that everyone in the world has heard about Jesus? Does anyone here think that there are any remote corners of the world yet to be discovered? Yet, this week, the National Indian Foundation (Brazil) released aerial photos of a tribe, they have discovered deep in the Amazon rain forest that they believe has yet to be contacted by the modern world. (cnn.com)

Words have changed; meanings have changed; standards have changed; missions have changed.

Or have they? The question is, has the mission of the church changed? Jesus clearly said “I did not come to call the righteous, but the sinners to repentance”. Eugene Peterson in The Message Bible translates it this way: “Jesus heard about it and spoke up, “Who needs a doctor, the healthy or the sick? I’m here inviting outsiders, not insiders – an invitation to a changed life, changed inside and out”. (p. 1862) The Lost mission is to seek those who need a changed life, inside and out.

So what has happened to the lost mission of the church, the lost mission of searching for the lost! C.H. Spurgeon once made the statement: "Brethren, we shall not adjust our Bible to the age, but the age to the Bible." (“What Happened to the Doctrine of Repentance, by Dean Robinson)

The Mission is still the same: To seek and save those in need of God’s Grace! The lost mission of the church is to seek the lost! Buckner Fanning (Trinity Baptist, S.A.) once said in a revival in Junction that “lost” is a term that could be defined as being “out of relationship”. To be a sinner, is one who is outside the relationship that God wants with them, it means to be separated.

Sam Haughey (commercial Salmon fisherman from Alaska)told me a story recently, as I gave him a ride back from Methodist Hospital, how when he wakes up in the middle of the night in Alaska, he looks out the window, and he counts his boats. One night, several years ago, he looked out and one was missing. It had been tied up incorrectly. He quickly dressed and getting in another boat he began to search. The boat had drifted quite a ways, but fortunately the ways and the wind kept the boat pressed up against the shore. Sam’s story is like one of the many stories of the Bible.

We need to search so diligently the shoreline for those who need the life changing grace of God. Those who are untied and adrift. In Luke 15:1-10 this story get exemplified again. The Pharisees haven’t caught on, and they accuse Jesus of “eating with sinners and tax collectors”. Jesus responds: 3 Then 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? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ’Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. 8 "Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins] and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ’Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." (Luke 15)

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