Our Lord expressed His mission in Luke 19:10. "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." The whole world was lost and in need of salvation. Paul wrote, "For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead." Lost! Do we really understand what it means to be lost? The lost people fall into different categories.
Some know they are lost and want to be saved. On the day called Pentecost, in Acts 2, when Peter preached of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ to a great crowd of people, he convicted them of their sin. Many of the people were cut to the heart and cried out, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" Peter answered, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." They that gladly received his word (about 3,000 souls) were baptized. These saved were added to the church. Acts 2:1-47.
Some are lost and do not know it. When Paul came to Ephesus in Acts 19, he found about twelve men who thought they were saved but were not. Paul asked them about their baptism and learned they had received the baptism of John the Baptist. These people were conscientious; they were sincere; yet, they were sincerely wrong! John's baptism was, at one time, valid; but it had, since, been fulfilled and taken out of the way. Paul proclaimed to them the one baptism of Jesus Christ. When they heard of it, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Acts 19. Today, many sincere people need to be told they are trusting in denominational baptisms that were never valid! Every baptism that is not for the remission of sins is not a valid baptism.
Some are lost but are too proud to recognize it. When Paul spoke the gospel to the people of Ephesus, many held onto their traditional religion and caused a great uproar. The citizens crowded into their theater and cried out, "Great is Diana of the Ephesians," for about two straight hours! Acts 19:18-41. Today, denominationalism is the bane of mankind. There is absolutely no support in the Bible for the existence of a single denomination. Jesus said, "Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up." Matthew 15:13. Yet, many are so attached to their family or traditional beliefs, they would rather fight or die than accept the truth. Jesus said, "Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31-32.
Some are lost and intend to do something about it some day. Like Felix, they say, "Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee." Acts 24:25. "Someday" never comes. The Bible says, "... now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation ..." 2 Corinthians 6:2.
Some are lost who once were saved. Like Israel of old, some have been delivered from the bondage of sins but have gone back into the world. Paul spoke of Hymaeneus and Alexander who made shipwreck of their faith and were delivered unto Satan. 1 Timothy 1:19-20. Peter wrote that those who turn from the holy commandment are like the dogs who turn to their own vomit again; and to the sow that was washed, to her wallowing in the mire. 2 Peter 2:21, 22.
Some are lost and do not care. Like the rich farmer, they put all of their interest and efforts into laying up much goods for many years. God said, "Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be ...?" Luke 12:16-21.
Some will be lost eternally. When the holy angels gather all of us before the judgment seat of Christ, we shall be separated as sheep from goats. Those on the left hand will hear the words, "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels." Jesus said, "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment." Matthew 25:31-46.
Friends, are you lost? If you are, I pray you want to be saved. If you are lost and do not know it, you are still lost. If you are lost, do not be too proud to admit it. If you are lost, I pray you will care for your soul and will want to do something about it today. If you are lost and once were saved, I pray you will return to your first love. Do not be with those who will be lost forever. Hear the gospel of Christ, believe with all of your heart, repent of your sins, confess your faith in Christ before men, be buried with your Lord in baptism for the remission of sins, and be faithful in worship and service unto death. Jesus came to seek and to save you! Rt. 5 Box 1468, Salem, WV 26426.
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