By Roy Burner - Minister of the Gospel
Lost and found equates to a life-giving pulsation of acceptance into the kingdom of God. All are in a state of emptiness until the light of the Gospel shines forth with the Spirit of God bringing conviction to the wayward soul.
On the Day of Pentecost the apostle Peter said: Save yourselves from this untoward (morally crooked or perverse) generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls (Acts 2:40-41).
Scripture reveals: Wherein time past you walked (or lived) according to the course of this world (in a lost condition), according to the prince of the power of the air (or Satan), the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience (Ephesians 2:2).
The term course signifies all the thoughts, pursuits, deeds of this present world. The term world refers to the world-system; its values and lifestyles that are opposed to God and hostile to Him. One can be held in captivity to such (2 Timothy 2:26) by the pleasure seeking and sinful activities flaunted before them. Such comes by an age of seduction, the evilness of mankind, and appeal of the flesh.
Scripture reveals: Among who we all conducted ourselves in times past, in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others (Ephesians 2:3).
Children of wrath refers to those subject to divine punishment; if they remain in the domination of Satan and his influence. America, and elsewhere, are flourishing on the ungodliness of man rather than the godliness of God. There is the flirtation of the vilest nature served on a platter of deception being consumed by a lost generation.
There use to be the advancement of godly ways from one generation to another; but when that began to fail, it continued instead with the ungodliness of man. Man has allowed such to steadfastly be part of daily life. There is now a stead consumption through electronic devices that make it readily available.
Scripture reveals that God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked but that the wicked turn from his way and live (Ezekiel 33:11). That God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us; even when we were dead in sins, has made us alive together with Christ (for by grace you are saved) (Ephesians 2:4-5).
Lost and found is the very essence of these scriptures. One may have walked in the sinfulness of man but God, in His mercy, has opened the door towards salvation of the soul; through the sacrifice of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. He brings one from a lost condition, that of darkness, into the marvelous light of the glorious gospel of Christ (1 Peter 2:9).
An illustration of the lost and found concept is found in the parable of the lost sheep: What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost (Luke 15:4-6). This parable is a picture of God's ever-searching love towards the lost (or perishing) of this world.
Another parable, in the lost and found category, is: What woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one coin, does not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls her friends and her neighbors together saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the coin which I had lost (Luke 15:8-9).
If a woman and her neighbors delight in the recovering of a solitary coin, and if a shepherd takes joy in rescuing a single sheep, how much more praiseworthy is the salvation of a soul? Scripture brings such to the forefront in revealing: There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repents (Luke 15:10).
For those who feel they have gone too far into the sinful nature of man; seemingly with no hope of reprieve, there is yet another parable in the lost and found category: A certain man had two sons: and the younger of them said to his father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me. And he divided to them his livelihood.
Not many days after; the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his possessions with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there rose a mighty famine in that land, and he began to be in want. And he went, and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: for no man gave to him (Luke 16:11-16).
And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will rise, and go to my father, and will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before you, and am no longer worthy to be called your son: make me as one of your hired servants (Luke 15:17-18).
And when he was yet a far way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And he said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand and shoes on his feet: and bring forth the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat and be merry. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost and is found (Luke 15:20-24).
This is a wonderful illustration of the lost and found category that relates to a Heavenly Father's willingness to seek out that which is lost (or perishing); to bring such into the household of faith, through the saving grace of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ!
Jesus extends an invitation to all: I stand at the door and knock (the door of one's heart); if any man hear my voice, and open the door (only you can); I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with me (Revelation 3:20). It is an invitation that is just as viable today as when first given!
If you ever look at this scene depicted in a picture; there is no door knob on the outside of the door, for it has to be opened from within. I accepted that invitation in 1978; and have been dining at the Master's table ever since!
The lost and found category is a daily occurrence; when one makes a commitment towards receiving Christ into their lives. When that commitment is made there comes a peace; knowing you have been forgiven and cleansed from all sin, by the precious blood of Jesus Christ (1 John 1:7)! Scripture reveals that God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).
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