So Who is Lost?

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).

Here Jesus provides the purpose for His coming: to save the lost. The term “lost” may bring to mind a host of images in our mind. When someone has taken a bad turn in their life, we may say “they lost their way.” Even Christians may remark at particularly trying times in their lives that they felt lost. But Jesus meant something different. Even Christians need to know what it really means to be lost.

Who are the lost?

1. The morally upright person who does not know Christ is lost.
Many people today seek to live respectable lives. They commit no crimes, provide for their families, and pay taxes. They avoid unhealthy lifestyles and have not fallen into the trap of addictions. They may acknowledge that God exists and may even attend church. Without a personal commitment to Christ, they are without God and His salvation (Ephesians 2:12).

2. Professing Christians who do not possess Christ are lost.
Jesus warned that many would claim to know Him on the Day of Judgment, but in reality did not, in fact, know Him:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’  And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness’ ” (Matthew 7:21-23).

These people went through the motions, but never repented of their sins and trusted Christ alone for salvation. They may appear to be Christians, but in fact are not. They failed to accept Christ by faith and, therefore, remain in the same condition as before, lost.

3. All people without a changed life are lost.
Most people experience a few “makeovers” in their lives. They might give up drinking alcohol or smoking, or they might pursue a new career or image. But the Bible identifies true Christians as those who have experienced life transformation. Upon receiving Christ, things are no longer the same (2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15).

It’s vital that Christians know the gospel and know it well. Have you prayed for lost people this week that they may come to Christ?

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