Thursday, November 29, 2007

Lost - Part 2

Sorry for the delay in writing part 2 of this article. My wife and I have had a serious case of new born baby interrupt-us. Please continue to pray for us – especially my wife who is experiencing some minor complications with her c-section incision.

Now for the post…

I believe one of the greatest challenges facing today’s church is not reaching people with the gospel, but convincing believers that people need to be reached with the gospel. In other words, we must help Christians see the lost.

It is difficult for some to think of their loved ones, friends and neighbors as being lost. Most of us tend to think the best about people. We see the good that they do and think, "how could God send such a good person to hell?"

Jesus, in John 3:18 said, "Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." [Emphasis added]

The condemnation that the lost are under is not based upon their sins, but upon the fact that they are sinners. The Bible also describes the lost as being, dead in their trespasses and sins, under Gods wrath and controled by Satan (See Ephesians 2:1-5)

Even though most people are capable of doing great good, their nature is to gravitate toward sin. That is why we believe that people have a sin nature - because they tend to sin. Even my "innocent" little 4 year old son tells lies and disobeys his parents.

In Acts 17:16-34, Paul was waiting for Silas and Timothy in Athens. The running joke in Athens during that day was that there were more Gods than men in Athens. As Paul looked around the city, the bible says that His spirit was "provoked" within him at the sight of so many idols. Literally, he was exasperated because he saw the desparate spiritual condition of the Athenians.

This led Paul to start preaching Jesus in the synagogues, among the gentile believers and in the marketplace. His understanding of the lostness of the people of Athens led him to take action.

I am convinced that once Christians truly understand the lostness of the people in their circle of influence, and the consequences of that lostness - eternal separation from God, they will take action and announce the good news.

If we never see a need, then we will never sow the seed!

Monday, November 12, 2007

We interupt this blog....

We are interrupting your regularly scheduled Blog for this very important announcement...

Rebekah Mae Davis

Born 11/12/07 9:37 AM

7 lbs 6 ozs

19 inches long

God bless you...

Monday, November 5, 2007

Lost - Part 1

"For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost." (Jesus in Luke 19:10)

Do you have a burden for the lost, or have you lost the burden?

I am amazed at a how the post-modern church has left this highly biblical term behind in favor of more culturally sensitive terminology. We talk about the "pre-Christians," "not yet believers" and "seekers." We have come to fear the use of the word lost when describing those who do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Obviously, this shift in semantics was meant to express a biblical idea in a positive or optimistic manner. The word lost conveys negative images. However, call me old school; if the word lost was good enough for Jesus, shouldn't it be good enough for us?

Now I know that my dogmatic argument is probably not going to convince you of the need to recover this allegedly archaic word, so I better make my case before I lose you.

I would like to suggest that lost is actually a positive word.

In Luke 15, Jesus gives three parables about lost things: the parable of the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost (or Prodigal) son.

When the shepherd lost 1 of the 99 sheep, he dropped everything he was doing and went to find that one lost sheep. He did not give up until he located the sheep. When the woman lost 1 of her coins, she stopped what she was doing, lit her lamp and swept the house. She did not give up until she had found the coin. The father never lost hope that his son would return and kept watch for his return day and night.

Each lost thing in these parables was valued highly in the eyes of the one searching for it. In fact, the lost thing was so valued, the "owner" went to great pains to recover it.

If an object - a trinket, a watch, my mobile phone, money or _______ - is valuable to me, I will exhaust every effort to find the missing item. I will even rejoice when I recover the item and share the happy news with someone else. I don't get stressed out about losing something that has no intrinsic value.

So when I say that someone is lost, I am not just talking about their spiritual depravity and I am not trying to be offensive; I am saying that that person is valuable to God and to me. So valuable in fact, that God sent his precious son to die upon a cruel cross for that person's soul.

The terms pre-Christian, not yet believer and seeker just don't say much about the person's value in the eyes of God. In fact, these terms take the focus off of God and place the focus on man. The term lost implies the need for external help in order to be located. (A tip of the hat to any reformed theologians out there.)

In the next post, I will talk about the why is it is so important to help believers in today's church understand what it means to be lost. The future of evangelism depends on us recovering the idea of lostness.