Summary: Message about winning the lost. The church should be prepared enough to be left and go out and get the lost.
Title: Lost Sheep – Ministry
Theme: To show the importance of moving out and doing ministry.
Text: Luke 15
Offering Scripture: Proverbs 11:24-25 There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more, and there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want. The generous man will be prosperous, and he who waters will himself be watered.
Luke 15:1-32 Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Him to hear Him. (2) And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, "This Man receives sinners and eats with them." (3) So He spoke this parable to them, saying: (4) "What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? (5) And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. (6) And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!' (7) I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.
In Luke 15 Jesus shares with the crowd three parables dealing with the sinner. It is intresting how each one deals with the same topic but from different angles and theological perspectives. It almost as if Jesus was covering all the bases.
They were brought on because of the complaint that the Pharisees (the religious leaders) and scribes (the religious interpreters) that Jesus “receives sinners and eats with them.”
The sinners were attracted to the message of Christ. They were not there to get justification for their sin but to hear a way out.
Þ The true believer is to "come out from among them [the worldly] and be you separate, says the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty" (2 Cor. 6:17-18). He is not to be out in the world with sinners doing worldly things and carrying on worldly conversation (Ephes. 4:29; Col. 4:6).
Þ The true believer is to "go you into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature [sinner]" (Mark 16:15). The believer goes; he does not sit back and wait on sinners to come to him and the church. He goes out where the sinners are.
— Preacher's Outline and Sermon Bible - Commentary
Each one of these parables have a few things in common:
1) There is a tragedy (a lost sheep, a lost coin, and a lost son)
2) There is a great search (sheep – wilderness, coin – search the house, boy – looking across the land)
3) A great celebration when that which was lost is found
a) Sheep - , he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'
b) Coin - she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!'
c) Son - , 'Bring] out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. (23) And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; (24) for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' And they began to be merry.
In two of the parables Jesus reminds us of what happens when a sinner comes to the Lord.
Sheep - I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.
Coin - Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."
This brings these parables more to a Kingdom mindset. This is what the kingdom looks like. Now you may ask “Am I to believe that every time a person gets saved (come back into the kingdom) the angels rejoice?” I would say yes. This is how important a person is to God’s kingdom.
Another note is the fact that they all part of God’s kingdom at one time. Our relationship with God was broken in the garden but also in sin. Yet God wants to restore us.
This is the problem the Pharisees had, they thought they were good enough themselves (in other words they would restore themselves) yet Jesus was saying Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” No matter how bad these sinners look the truth is no body measures up not matter who they are.