IF YOU ARE LOST…Dan Lightfoot 1468
One of the most frightening words in English consists of only 4 letters. It can be spelled by the average 2nd grader. "L-o-s-t" is a frightening word... Fear strikes us with such expressions as, "he lost his mind,"...health, wealth, or life! It's tragic for a child to be lost in the woods. Imagine him wandering…. It sets us to looking, trying to find him, save him… He could die of starvation, exposure, or be eaten by a wild animal. Ship's crews have been lost at sea… tossing in the waves… adrift to die of starvation or exposure… some tossed overboard to become food for the fish. Some cannibalized.
It's a tragedy to lose one's mind… etc. Yet, it's worse to be lost eternally from God. And most are! Lost from God. Lost from heaven ...righteousness… Jesus… peace…
Jesus said - Matt. 7:13-14 -- "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide & the way is broad that leads to destruction, & there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small & the way is narrow that leads to life, & there are few who find it."
And God is not prejudiced. Peter said in Acts 10:34-35 -- "I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, 35 but in every nation the man who fears Him & does what is right is welcome to Him." The majority will be eternally lost -- & God doesn't change His way of salvation for any one. Therefore, I could be lost - and you!
I. The World at Large Is Lost!
A. Lk. 19:10 - "For the Son of Man has come to seek & to save that which was lost."
1. Rom. 1:18-32 - Gentiles are under power of sin -- & are lost!
2. Rom. 2:1-3:20 - Jews also in sin -- & condemned.
3. Rom. 3:23 - Sums it up: "All have sinned & fall short of the glory of God"
4. 1 Jn. 5:19 - "...the whole world lies in the power of the evil one."
B. The world is lost NOW!
1. One who dies w/o hope is lost now! If he died without Christ, he died lost. He'll continue to be lost thru all eternity
2. Jesus made that clear in Jn. 3:18 -- "he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. "
C. If the governor offered you a pardon, it would be meaningless.
If he offered it to a prisoner, it would mean a lot! Why?
1. Because he is presently under conviction & incarcerated!
2. The fact that God offers us pardon in this life is proof that we are lost!
D. But it's not enough to realize the world is lost...
1. I must realize I may be lost... Think of yourself ... your sins.
2. Confess your sinfulness & obey the gospel...
II. If Lost, Whose Fault?
A. God's? No!
1. Some could say, "My parents don't love me."
a. girl, 3 foster homes, real parents indifferent.
b. But God loves -- Jn. 3:16. He proved it.
c. Rom. 5:7-8 -- "For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." If you are lost, friend, be assured: God loves you!
2. Some could say, "My parents don't want me."
a. ...give children away. ...not bring them to God.
b. But God desires you! ... tried to save you. Wants to adopt you!
3. Calvinism -- claims your lost state is God's fault.
a. claims predestination -- God decided the lost & saved ones before creation. The # is fixed!
b. if true -- you can justly blame God.
c. But it's not true! Not taught in the Word of God. You get a choice.
B. Jesus' Fault? No!
1. Calvinism also claims Jesus died only for the elect-- limited atonement. (not true)
2. 1 Jn. 2:2 - "and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world."
3. Heb. 2:9 - "Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone."
4. Mk. 16:15 -- preach to every creature-- had you in mind,
5. Jesus invites you now - Matt. 11:28-30-- "Come unto me…"
6. Jn. 14:1-3 -- "Let not your heart be troubled"-- prepared a place for you
a. God's Son died for you. He wants you to be taught the gospel; He invites you to receive Him as Savior
C. Holy Spirit's Fault? No!
1. Calvinism teaches total depravity - can do no good - can not respond to the gospel--until the H.S. operates directly & miraculously on the sinner to change his heart to enable him to turn to Christ -- & that the work of the Spirit is irresistible! If that's true, you can blame the H.S. if you are lost.
2. But neither total depravity nor miraculous operation of the H.S. in conversion are upheld in the Bible.
a. H.S. came on apostles to guide into all truth (Jn. 16:13).
b. Inspiration gave the Bible, the very words of God -2 Tim. 3:16-17
c. H.S. gave the Bible & convicts men of sin, righteousness & judgment (Jn. 16:8).
d. In Acts 2, apostles spoke as Spirit gave utterance - 3000 responded … to the word!
e. Thru scripture, H.S. pleads with you to do the will of God.
3. Acts 2:38 - receive salvation & the H.S. is given to Christians
a. 1 Cor. 6:19 - "your body is temple of the H.S...."
b. Rom. 8:9 - "Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.''
4. In spite of the H.S.'s interest in us -- we can resist him.
a. Acts 7:51 - "You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; "
b. We can resist him for a lifetime & die without hope…
c. But… We cannot blame the H.S. if we are lost.
D. Can we blame the Bible? No!
1. Is it too difficult to understand? (the big excuse)
a. "Which part is so difficult?" 9 out of 10 can't say.
b. Eph. 5:17 - "Be not unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is."
c. He has based our salvation on our knowledge of His will.
2. Questions: Does God love us? Does He want us to be saved? Then why would He give us instructions we can't understand?
3. Bible does contain difficulty (2 Pet. 3:15-18-- "in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. 17You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. ")
a. wrested the difficult & the simple...,
b. misunderstanding caused by predisposition to rebel against God.
c. We can understand the simple scriptures & grow to understand the difficult ones.
d. fundamentals not hidden except to those blinded by Satan --
2 Cor. 4:3-4-- "...if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ,"
4. God's word is light! Psa 119:105 "Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path."
God's word gives understanding - Psa. 119:104 & 130 -- "From Your precepts I get understanding; Therefore I hate every false way." & "The unfolding of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple."
God's word creates faith - Rom. 10:17 -- "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ."
God's word is the instrument of salvation - Jas. 1:21 -- "putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. "
God's word furnishes us for every good work - 2 Tim. 3:16-17 -- "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work."
E. Can't blame angels, family or the church. -- Lk. 15:10 -- "There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repents."
2. They know who is saved & lost. ...when a lost person is saved. … & are happy when one is saved.
F. Only you are to blame if you're lost!
1. Others may fail or disappoint you -- but you're responsible
III. Consequences of Being Lost.
A. ...You've Perverted Your Reason for Existence.
1. Solomon learned that pleasure did not bring fulfillment - Eccl. 2:1-2
2. nor wealth - Eccl. 5:10.
3. nor wisdom - 1:16-17.
4. 700 wives, 300 concubines - no happiness.
5. nor achievements - 2:4-6 .
6. ''The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person." Eccl. 12:13 (whole of man)
a. One reason to exist-- in the home, on Job, in school, on a date,
b. you've not yet learned to live if you haven't learned this purpose.
c. Phil. 1:22 -- "For me to live is Christ..."
d. If you die without Him, you'll be one big colossal failure.
B. ...If you're lost - you won't be alone. Others always follow...
1. "None of us lives to himself." (Rom. 14:7)
2. What would you think of me if I plunged a knife into my child? or if I lead my children to disobedience ..
C. ...You're missing the abundant life.
1. Jn. 10:10 - "I came that they may have life, & have it abundantly." Christians can enjoy life to its fullest.
2. the unsaved has uncertainty, fear, doubt, anxiety, meaninglessness.
D. If lost -- you'll not go to heaven.
John 8:21-- "I go away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin; where I am going, you cannot come."
E. You will go to hell. (torment, pain, loneliness, darkness, outer…, blackness...)
F. You'll bring sorrow to those who love you. (cf. dad)
G. You are breaking God's heart, too.
1. in rebellion to Jesus, his death
2. for you, he died in vain.
IV. Conclusion - You can respond 3 ways.
A. In Acts 17:32 when Paul preached. "some began to sneer, but others said, "We shall hear you again concerning this." 34But some men joined him & believed,"
1. some mocked -- some procrastinated -- some were obedient -
B. The choice is yours -- no one can make it for you.
1. Jer. 8:20: "The harvest is past, the summer is ended, & we are not saved."
2. Please make 3 statements right now: "I can do all things…"
''I must be about my father's business."
"I will rise & go to my father." (I can… I must… I will…)
[Please click on the doorway above to return to the Sermons index page]