Summary: A series looking at the lost.
What Your Lost Friend Looks Like
Intro: Last Sunday I made a comment that Baptist Churches aren’t growing today like they were up until the last 20 years or so not because Baptists have become outdated or obsolete but because the members of most Baptist Churches have lost their passion for the lost; lost their passion for personal evangelism. I would go so far as to say that the vast majority of Christianity has lost their passion for personal evangelism.
There was a time that when Christian men and women would get together socially their conversations would ultimately be drawn to their most recent encounter with a lost person and their attempt to present the gospel. Why most churches, especially Baptist Churches, had a “Soul Winning” night each week in addition to the Sunday morning, Sunday evening & midweek services, and visitation.
These men and women didn’t meet this often because they didn’t have TV to watch or because there wasn’t some other form of entertainment available. No, the meet this often because they understood what it meant to be lost and they could live with themselves if someone they knew didn’t know about their need for a savior.
Today, we have lost our passion because we have lost our vision of what a lost person is. Satan has so slyly caused us to become so wrapped up in our own personal lives that we can’t find the time to attend services more than one hour each week let alone be involved in some personal soul winning program at church. Our attitude is “What does this pastor want? For me to be at church every day? What about my time; time for my pleasure? Friends, God’s doesn’t have time to care about your time and pleasure, He has chosen His followers to win a lost and dying world before it’s too late.
Today, I begin a sermon series titled Lost? Jesus said that the only reason He came to the world was “…to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). And I believe that we have taken our eye of the target; winning souls.
In our text for today Paul, in challenging the church at Ephesus to not walk as the lost do, gives us the most descriptive picture of just what our Lost Friends and Family members who are lost look like.
[Stand/read Eph 4:17-19/pray/dismiss Jr church]
In our text today the word GENTILES is Paul’s way of describing the inhabitants of the lost world we live in. We may have so many things in common with them: same office or school, job similarities, family ties but what we live for should be radically different because of our relationship with Christ.
Consider the condition of a lost person for a moment; why do we refer to them as lost? What is it that they have lost? May be it is better to ask, what is they actually have that is of any lasting value?
Paul’s command to the church that we live lives different from the world is one that is hard to follow if we don’t know what a lost person, a Gentile looks like. Let’s look at our text today and see just how the Holy Spirit leads Paul to describe a Gentile; the description of our Lost Friend or Family member.
According to the Lord a Lost person’s…
I. Intellect is Profitless V.17
A. The phrase In the vanity of their minds literally means: morally depravity, profitless, empty headed, mindless.
1. The NKJV translates VANITY as FUTILITY and futility means, ‘that which never succeeds’
2. Bottom line is this, when it comes to things of the Lord; and after all isn’t that all that really matters in the view of eternity; in their lostness they are never going to come up with the right answer
3. Their thinking will never lead anywhere of eternal value
B. In Rom 1 Paul says this in describing the condition of the lost mind, “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools” (V. 22)
1. If they are them fools because they are empty headed the psalmist says that a fool says “…in his heart, There is no God” (Ps 14:1)
2. Solomon in all his wisdom says this regarding his personal quest for the best
a) using his wealth and power to pursue every pleasure that came to his mind
b) He concluded that all of life is “vanity and vexation of spirit.”
c) The phrase vexation of spirit actually means “grasping for the wind”
d) What Solomon said about life was that trying to reach God with all his wealth, power and wisdom was never going to succeed [vanity] and was like trying to catch the wind
C. That lost friend of yours; that family member who isn’t saved, you if you are here today without a personal relationship with Christ are simply empty headed when it comes to their knowledge of God