Seeking the Lost
A child is lost, alone, and starving on the side of a mountain. He doesn’t know how to get home. He doesn’t have anything. He needs help. Would you try to help him? Would you make the effort and spend even just a day looking for him?
Now, imagine you’ve found him. What kind of effort would you put in bringing him home? Would you try to lead him by the hand? Would you carry him? Would you encourage him to come with you to safety? If he was unsure, would you lovingly, continually assure him that you are there to help him and that you know how he can get to safety?
Would you do the same thing for someone who is lost in sin, without Christ, and astray on the mountain of sin?
Today, we will be looking at the Biblical principles behind the song, “Seeking the Lost.” Hopefully, this will help us to better sing with the understanding, but also encourage us to actually be out seeking the lost!
Most people aren’t just going to come knock on our door and say, “I want to know the gospel!” No, we have to go find them.
Jesus Christ came to “seek and save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). We must follow His example, (trying to walk in the steps of the Savior, striving to follow our Savior and King…), and that includes seeking the lost. We aren’t going to find them if we don’t go looking for them. (“seek and ye shall find” – Matthew 7:7).
It’s time to start Seeking the lost.
So many people have the idea that we need to beat people over the head with the Bible until they finally open their eyes to see the gospel truth. But what we need to remember is that the word “gospel” means GOOD NEWS! We’re supposed to be out sharing good news!
If you find a little boy lost on the side of a mountain, you don’t grab your map or GPS and berate him for not following what the map said. Instead, you try to help him. You can use the map or GPS to guide him back, but being harsh with him isn’t going to help, and isn’t going to make him want to follow you at all.
Love is kind (I Corinthians 13:4). And we are to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15).
Seeking the lost, yes kindly entreating wanderers on the mountain astray.
But when we find lost people, what are we supposed to say? While our words are important, Jesus’ words are what matters. Jesus is the one who invites all lost souls to come to Him. He says, “come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden [bearing a heavy burden] and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
We need to tell these lost souls that Jesus has an open invitation to them. He invites them to come to Him. We need to let them know that there is safety awaiting them in Jesus.
“Come unto me,” His message repeating, words of the Master speaking today.
Far too often, Christians try to make evangelism about themselves instead of about Jesus. I don’t know what to say. I can’t evangelize. I might mess things up. I’m scared. Or maybe we start giving our opinions about things in the Bible when what we should be doing is pointing to Jesus!
The good news isn’t that the church of Christ doesn’t use instruments; the good news is that Jesus died for our sins—for their sins! The good news is that even though these people are lost, they can be led to safety and brought home!
There’s plenty of time to deal with doctrinal issues and how to worship God acceptably, but first we have to get them to Jesus!
Seeking the lost and pointing to Jesus
A lot of people have gone through some horrible times in their lives. They’ve been betrayed, they’ve been hurt, they’ve struggled—and still do. Many of them think that there’s no hope for them. Many of them think that no one cares. But it’s our responsibility to show them that we care because Christ cares!
souls that are weak and hearts that are sore.
When a person is lost, they want to know how to get somewhere.
A man comes across the lost boy on the mountain. The boy desperately wants to go home to his father. So, the man says, “keep heading up the mountain.” The problem is, the boy’s father doesn’t live up the mountain. He lives down in the valley. That boy is going to boy overjoyed because he thinks he knows the way now. But eventually, he’ll find out that the man wasn’t telling the truth.
Oh, that man may have thought he was telling the truth, thought he knew what he was talking about, but the fact still remains that the little boy will never find his father that way.
How incredibly sad! And it makes it that much harder for someone else to find that little boy, because he’s headed in the wrong direction. And it makes it that much harder to convince the boy that he’s going the wrong way. And even if you beg and plead with him, the boy may decide not to trust anyone’s directions anymore because he was led astray.
My brethren, there are thousands of people who are out looking for lost people and then giving them wrong directions that take them even further from God. They say, “Oh, the direction to Christ is the path called the Sinner’s Prayer.”
They say, “To get to God? Well, you can’t. You’ll just have to wait for Him to find you, and if He picked you, He’ll find you. If He didn’t pick you, you’re lost forever anyway.”
And that makes our job even more difficult. It’s not impossible to bring these misled people to Christ, but it’s difficult. That’s why we need to be out there, actively looking for people. Showing them the right way—the Bible way—before someone else gets a hold of them and sends them the wrong direction!
The more work we do now, the easier it will be!
Leading them forth in ways of salvation, showing the path to life evermore.
Because we have good news, because we have been given a mission by Jesus Christ, because we know the Bible way of salvation, we must spread it!
We must take pity on people who are lost and help them. We must show mercy to them, kindly showing them the error of their ways. After all, this is what Jesus did. Those people who had been neglected and rejected by society were the ones that Jesus seemed to spend the most time teaching.
And we need to be the same way. We need to go to these people who know they need help, who know they need Jesus.
Thus I would go on missions of mercy, following Christ from day unto day.
We need to give people hope by showing them that Jesus died for them. We need to show them that the gospel really is good news—it’s GREAT news. And when we see Christians who have stumbled, we need to help them back up and help them on that glorious path to heaven above!
Cheering the faint and raising the fallen, pointing the lost to Jesus the way.
Jesus gave a parable about a man who had 100 sheep, and one of them got lost. That man left the other 99 sheep to go search for that one lost lamb. We might say, “he’s still got 99% of his sheep, why worry about that one?” It’s because that one sheep is important. That one sheep is valuable.
We must realize that all people are important and are valuable. Until we take this seriously, we’ll never grow.
We have to be willing to go out of our way to seek the lost. We have to be willing to give up our comforts (and our comfort zone) to seek the lost.
If there really was a boy who was lost on a mountain, or in the woods, would you stop what you’re doing to help? Then you should be willing to stop what you’re doing and try to help find the lost souls out there who are searching for home. We need to find them, and guide them to Christ.
Going afar upon the mountain, bringing the wand’rer back again into the fold of my Redeemer: Jesus the Lamb for sinners slain.
If you’re not a part of the body of Christ, having put Him on in baptism, then you are one of the lost. Jesus died for your sins, and He wants you to come home to Him. He says “come to me, you weary ones. I’ll give you rest.”
The path to Jesus is easy, just believe in Him, leave your sins behind and confess Him as the Christ, being buried with Him in baptism, and being raised up from the waters as a new creature—saved!
Perhaps you’ve already followed that path, but somewhere along the way you’ve lost your footing and fallen off the trial to heaven. We beg you to come back now—we’ll help you!
-Bradley S. Cobb