Summary: A series on the Lost
What’s It Like To Being Lost?
Intro: There is one thing Christians and non-Christians agree on – they both dislike evangelism. The word alone conjures up images of “in your face” confrontation. Therefore Christians usually avoid gospel showdowns and most of the non-Christians are relieved they do.
You see, Christians are afraid to evangelize the lost because they don’t know what it means to be lost. The lost have no clue that they need to be evangelized so both remain fat and happy in their ignorance.
The truth is, however, Jesus spent most of His time evangelizing and teaching on evangelism. Today we are going to look at a very familiar passage of scripture. A passage of Scripture where Jesus teaches on being Lost.
[Read Lk 15:11-24/Pray/Dismiss Jr Church]
When evangelism is attempted it rarely begins with “in your shoes” empathy. If Christians really understood the spiritually lost people around us we would talk about our faith more naturally. Evangelism would be more of a conversation and less of a high-pressure sales pitch.
Unfortunately we Christians don’t understand the lost so we avoid the topic of our faith when around them. We don’t know what they think or how they feel, so we don’t know how to help them. We know what they need – a personal relationship with Jesus – but we cannot get the conversation started. So we often say nothing.
But there is a simple way we Christians can understand and help spiritually lost people. Its called learn from the time we got lost.
Jesus, in describing His mission no earth said, “…the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Lk 19:10). Being lost means we have a destination – to be reconciled to God. But we are lost on our journey until we get saved.
Many of us have been saved so long that we can remember what it was like before we were saved or maybe we were saved so young that we can’t remember not being saved. So as we look at the lost today I want you to remember a time in your life when you got lost. Maybe it was while on vacation or maybe you were on a business trip. All of us have been lost at some point and if we think back to the time we can learn something about the spiritually lost.
I. Being Lost Can Be Fun
A. Do you agree with any of these statements?
1. The lost are miserable
2. Felt-needs plague them
3. They struggle to build relationships
4. Nothing they do fills their empty lives with meaning
5. Aware of their sin, they run from God
6. They fear death and worry about eternity
B. What we believe about the lost determines how we attempt to share the gospel with them
1. If you agreed with any or all of my statements you are like I used to be – unaware of the truth about the lost
2. Because of my lack of understanding of the lost my attempts to evangelism was more ineffective than not.
C. Look at our text.
1. Once he got his inheritance it says that “…not many days after [getting his inheritance he] journeyed to a far county and wasted his substance with riotous living”
2. His life was all about him –
a) It was his inheritance
b) He wasted it on his own selfish lusts (riotous living)
c) V 30 tells us what the riotous living is:
(2) He lived on the wild side
(3) Spending all his money
(4) Not saving a penny
D. Consider this truth about the Lost…
1. “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Pr 14:12)
2. We often think that are lost friends and family members are miserable but the truth is they actually believe what they are doing is fun
3. The modern man no longer believes in God – not the God of Scripture any way
E. Consider the truth, it can be fun being lost, at least for a while
1. Author, John Kramp, in his book Out of their faces and into their shoes recalls a story about the time he and a group of his friend took off to visit Blue Lake outside of Portland, Oregon.
While driving along the beautiful fir-tree lined roads they spotted a little green sign that said Little Crater Lake. Now everyone knew of Crater Lake in southern Oregon. It rests in the stump of a once towering volcano. The brilliant blue of the water stuns first time visitors. The lake is encircled by multicolored lava walls – some reaching 2000 feet high.
The small group agreed to take a detour to find this baby of Crater Lake. Off they went following an 8 mile dirt road up through the mountains of Oregon. When they arrived at their destination there wasn’t a lake in sight. A small sign marked a walkway as the way to Little Crater Lake. So they loaded up the children, chairs, and picnic equipment and began the walk, preparing for a not-to-be-forgotten view.