Saturday, June 11, 2011

Being Honest About Being Lost

Have you ever been lost? Chances are that you have been. (Although, thanks to our modern GPS gadgets, "being lost" may be a thing of the past.) How did you feel when you realized you were lost? Did you stop and ask for directions? Or, did you "man up" and just figure it out (...several hours later...) all on your own?

I've been unusually immersed this week in the Scriptures, books, and conversations regarding the reality of man's "lost" condition apart from faith in Jesus Christ. Don't misunderstand me, I recognize this theme as a reality every week, but it has just been especially intense over the past few days. One clear observation from all my prayer and study is this: God repeatedly points out man's condition of "lostness" whereas man continually denies such a reality. God, in his holiness, declares that "...the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth" (Romans 1:18). But man denies that there is any problem at all (Romans 3:10-12).

The Bible actually uses another term for this idea of "lostness"; the term is death. It says, "And you were dead in the trespasses and sins" (Ephesians 2:1). The Apostle Paul says, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). And again, he says, "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (6:23). This is what it means to be spiritual lost--we are relationally seperated from God and "dead" due to sin.

The depth of man's lostness is such that "no one seeks God" (Romans 3:11). The Bible, and frankly our own personal experience in the world, testifies to our continually craving for everything but God. Jeremiah 17:9 says, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?" Not only is man lost apart from God, he is sickeningly satisfied to remain that way.

So, how does anyone ever come to the understanding that they are lost and in real danger? This is the great story of the Bible. In response to man's sinfulness, the Lord sends Jesus to be the sin-bearer. In light of our rebellion, God provides a righteous Redeemer. The Bible says, "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Corinthians 5:21). When we like wandering sheep had lost our way, God sent the Good Shepherd to find us and bring us back into His heavenly pen (John 10).

It is actually the work of God's Spirit which brings personal conviction of sin and prompts the child of God to repentance unto life (John 6:44; 16:5-15). God, in His mercy, touches our eyes to see the reality of our lost condition (Acts 9). In His grace, God tenderly brings fresh life into formerly dead hearts. That's the sort of God who has revealed Himself through Christ and the Word.

The Bible says, "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost" (Luke 19:10). If you aren't walking with Jesus, my friend, then you really are lost. Isn't it about time that you come clean about this? Isn't time to be honest about being lost?

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