Who Are the Lost?

“Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:12).

Many problems in life call for very complex solutions. For example, a doctor may prescribe a surgery for a patient. But he then must explain to the patient the risks and hazards of such a surgery. He may have to adjust blood pressure medicine, and then explain possible side effects of the procedure. The surgeon will need a fall back strategy in case things do not go well in surgery. What appears straightforward on the surface, may play out differently in reality.

This works much differently in the spiritual realm. The way to God does not involve intricate paths and repetitive formulas. Why? All things revolve around the Son. The person who has the Son has, as the verse reads, life. They need not perform a set of prescribed rituals or complete a quota of good works. They need the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Those who place faith in Christ receive forgiveness of sins and eternal life.

On the other hand, those without Christ will not see life in a spiritual sense. They cannot know God nor can they spend eternity with Him. They stand lost and without hope until they call upon Him for forgiveness. When they place their faith in Christ, God forgives them of all sins they have ever or will ever commit. He declares them innocent. Instead of offering their own lives to God as grounds for salvation, they lean on Christ and His righteousness for acceptance with God. But until that time, they remain lost and alienated from God.

We do people no favors when we rationalize their spiritual status before God. “Well they go to church and do good works.” “They have lived a righteous life and have not descended into moral debauchery.” But without the Son they still reside in their sins. Jesus said they will die in their sins unless they believe in Him (John 8:24). This sounds harsh to some, but it does not sound overly complex.

Application

1. Do not overthink the gospel.
The gospel was made clear by Jesus and His disciples. They embarked upon a vigorous effort to bring it to the nations. People of all backgrounds and cultures have responded and will now spend eternity with God. We should not, therefore, make the gospel more complex than it really is.

2. Do not add to the gospel.
God does not need help in saving people. We should, therefore, shy away from efforts to modify the gospel to make it more “appealing.” To the soul sick of sin and living an aimless life, the gospel of the Bible is good enough. Efforts to alter it do more harm than good.

3. Ask God for opportunities to share the gospel.
This last prayer request resembles the gospel in its simplicity. Let’s ask God for boldness to do His will and hold out the lifeline.

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