LOST ! LOVED ! LEFT !
Scripture Texts: Luke 19:10; Romans 5:8; Luke 17:34-36
In the three portions of scripture which are mentioned above, we have brought before us some present, pertinent, and potential facts concerning every unsaved sinner who is reading this Gospel Message. First of all, in Luke 19:10, we read that the unsaved sinner is spiritually LOST in the sight of a Holy God. Secondly, we read in Romans 5:8 that even though the unsaved sinner is spiritually LOST, they are obviously LOVED by the God of Heaven. And finally, in Luke 17:34-36, we read that the Lord Jesus Christ is coming again to take the saved people back to Heaven to be with Him, but the unsaved sinners will be LEFT behind to suffer the eternal wrath of a sin-hating God.
Now then, let's just analyze these 3 facts which pertain to every individual sinner who has never been "saved", or "born again", by the Holy Spirit and word of God. And in doing so, we must depend upon the word of God, alone, as our only authority. Afterall, what you or I might think, believe, or say regarding this matter of salvation, means absolutely nothing if it contradicts the infallible word of God, the Bible. Therefore, we must predicate our conclusions upon the imperative premise that the Bible is the divinely-inspired word of Almighty God. And furthermore, any thought or statement unsubstantiated by the pages of Holy Writ cannot, in any way, alter the divinely recorded edicts of those who wrote the Bible, as inspired by the Holy Spirit of God.
Now getting back to our first scripture, Luke 19:10, we hear the Lord Jesus Christ declare that He came "to seek and to save that which was LOST." LOST! My what a terrible word that is! And yet, my friend, that's your spiritual condition in God's sight today if you've never been "saved", or "born again". Yes, God's word declares that you're LOST. In Ephesians 2:12, the unsaved are said to be "without Christ, ... having no hope, and without God in the world." And unsaved friend, if you were to die in your present spiritual condition, your soul would drop into a lost sinner's Hell. Yes. a lost sinner's Hell; a place reserved for the Devil and his angels.
Perhaps someone is thinking, "Well, how did I become LOST? When did it happen?" Well friend, Psalms 51:5 tells us, "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me." Again in Romans 5:12, we're told, "Wherefore, as by one man(Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin: and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." And the prophet Isaiah tells us in Isaiah 59:2, "But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear."
Yes, each of us have descended from our sinful predecessors, Adam and Eve, and we have, therefore, inherited their sinful nature which, you'll have to agree, manifests itself in our sinful thoughts, words, and deeds. And that's the reason why the Lord Jesus Christ told the religious Pharisee, Nicodemus, in John 3:3 that, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God." Friend, our physical birth brought us into this world, and into our parent's family, as sinners, and it is just as natural for us to sin as it is for a fish to swim, or a dog to bark. It comes naturally. However, if we ever expect to be a child of God, we must be "born again", or "born from above". And this new birth takes place the moment we believe the word of God which declares us to be LOST sinners. And then we must believe the same word of God which declares the fact that, in LOVE for our souls, the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins at Calvary's Cross.
Friend, I believe that the saddest part about your LOST spiritual condition in God's sight, is the fact that you're LOST, and you don't even realize it. You're unsaved and don't realize that you're on the broad and crowded road leading to the place that Jesus Christ calls "Hell". In fact, if I were to ask you if you expect to be in Heaven some day, I believe that most of you would say, "Well, I sure hope so! Afterall, I'm not as bad as some people I know. I go to church, I say my prayers, I read the Bible once in awhile. I've been baptized, confirmed, dedicated and I even partake of the communion emblems. I'm not perfect, I'll admit, but I'm not bad enough to spend eternity in Hell."
Tell me friend, have you ever been "born again?" Are you "saved?" And if so, when did it happen? Where did it happen? And how did it happen? Friend, if you're truly a child of God today, you know when, where, and how you were saved, or born again into the family of God. It doesn't happen in your sleep! And furthermore, you can't be saved if you've never realized that you were LOST. Yes, conviction of sin is just as essential to the soul's salvation, as is the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. And I say that with the highest degree of reverence.
In Luke 5:32, the Lord said, "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." Do I hear someone say, "Well, I'm one of the righteous so I don't need to be saved, because I'm not spiritually LOST ?" Well, again I must refer you to what God's word says in Romans 3:10, "There is none righteous, no, not one." Then in verse 12 we're told, "There is none that doeth good, no, not one." And in verse 23 of that same chapter, God sums it up with these words, "For ALL have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." Well friend, that's what God says about you and me, and everyone else, and I make no apology for the word of God.
Now again someone might be saying, "Well, I lead a good, clean, moral life and I believe that God will look with favor upon my good deeds." My friend, again I must refer you to what God really thinks and says about your so-called good works and high morals. Ephesians 2:8,9, says "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." Then over in Titus 3:5, the Apostle Paul reminds the Christians, "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us."
No, my friend, nowhere in the Bible does God say that He finds favor in the so-called "good works, high morals, or religious activities" of those who've never been "saved", or "born again". In fact, God declares in Isaiah 64:6 that "we are ALL as an unclean thing, and ALL our righteousnesses are as filthy rags." Friend, aside from scripturally, let's look at the subject logically. If you and I could get to Heaven by trying to do the best we can, or by being baptized and highly religious, or by living a life of high morality, practicing the "golden rule", being considerate, cultured, compassionate, etc., then tell me - WHY DID GOD'S ONLY SON, THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, DIE THE SHAMEFUL, IGNOMINIOUS, AND CURSED DEATH ON CALVARY'S CROSS ?
Perhaps someone is thinking, "Well, if what the Bible says is true, then why doesn't our clergyman tell us these things? Why don't they tell us that we're LOST, guilty, and Hell-deserving sinners on our way to eternal torment ?" Friend, if your preacher, priest, or rabbi is not preaching the ruin of man, and God's remedy through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone, then THEY ARE NOT PREACHING THE TRUE GOSPEL ! Perhaps they're not saved themselves. Yes, they're LOST too! Or perhaps, they know that you wouldn't listen to them even if they did preach the truth. As I've often said, the word "GOSPEL" means "GOOD NEWS", but it can only be "GOOD NEWS" when a person realizes the "BAD NEWS", the fact that they are LOST, and perishing in their sins. Then, and only then, can they be saved by trusting the Lord Jesus Christ as their own and personal Saviour.
I should also add, that if there is a so-called "Doctor of Divinity" reading this message today, and you, yourself, have never been "saved or born again", then those initials D.D. after your name, will mean "Doomed and Damned", because you, too, are spiritually LOST, and headed for Hell, and the ultimate Lake of Fire. And I say that, in love for your soul, in view of the Judgment Seat of Christ, and in faithfulness to my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Now that leads us to our second text for today, and that is Romans 5:8. There we read that even though a person may be spiritually LOST, nevertheless, "God commendeth His LOVE toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Yes, thank God, even though we're LOST, we're still LOVED ! And even though God hates sin with an infinite hatred; nevertheless, He LOVES the sinner with an infinite LOVE. Yes, and if it wasn't for the LOVE of God for this Hell-deserving sinner named Minor Hawk, I would still be LOST and on my way to Hell, or already there. Oh, how I thank God that where sin abounded, His LOVE, GRACE, and MERCY did much more abound.
In I John 4:9,10, we're told, "In this was manifested the LOVE of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. Herein is LOVE, not that we loved God, but that He LOVED us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." And I'm sure that almost everyone reading this message has probably heard the best-known verse in the Bible, John 3:16. Listen to this blessed truth declared by the Lord Jesus Christ, "For God SO LOVED the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
Friend, if it wasn't for my father being saved after believing what he was told about John 3:16, I might never have heard the true Gospel, otherwise. A Swedish Christian man preached to my father while they worked together in the steel mill at Donora, Pennsylvania. Dad was a Deacon in a certain denominational church, but he had never realized that he was LOST. He was religiously sincere, but he was sincerely wrong. How about you, friend, are you in that same spiritual condition that my father was in? If so, wake up and wise up before it is eternally too late!
I should also add, that if it wasn't for the LOVE of God towards me, I wouldn't be in my 50th. year of radio ministry. And furthermore, I wouldn't have a web site on the Internet that has been logged on to by people in about 124 foreign countries, 9 Canadian Provinces, and almost all of the 50 States in the U.S.A. Yes, I've got so much to be thankful for today, and the best is yet to come.
Now friend, I must confess that I can't understand how God could LOVE me so much, that He was willing to send His dear Son from Heaven, down to this sin-cursed earth. No, I don't understand how God could become flesh, and dwell among His sinful creatures here on earth. And I can't understand how God, the Father, could permit His creatures to nail His Son to an old rugged cross, which was made from a tree which He, Himself, had created. No, and I can't understand how it could please God to have His Son suffer, bleed, and die for sinners like me. Yet we read in Isaiah 53:4, "Surely He hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted." In verse 10 of Isaiah chapter 53 we read, "it pleased the Lord (God) to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief: when Thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin..."
Friend, the word of God is true! God DID send His Son from Heaven. God's Son DID dwell among His sinful creatures, men. God's Son DID suffer the cursed death of the cross. And God DID find pleasure in the death of Jesus Christ, His Son, WHY? BECAUSE GOD IS LOVE ! And the sacrificial death of His Son was the only way whereby sinful mankind, including you and me, could be brought back into a new and proper relationship with our Creator, God. Yes, the heart of God is overflowing with LOVE for the LOST and rebel sinner.
And friend, you may not heed this Gospel Message today, and you might mock and scoff at this poor, old preacher of the Gospel, but listen friend, if you trample underfoot the LOVE of God, and the vicarious blood of Jesus Christ which was shed for your sins, you'll go down to a LOST sinner's Hell. Yes, and when you do, you'll be grieving the heart of a LOVING God. He has made it quite clear, in II Peter 3:9, that He is "longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that ALL should come to repentance." But again I remind you that God's LOVE is only appreciated by those who realize that they're LOST, and who want to be SAVED. He's not going to force His salvation on anyone, so it's entirely up to you. You can take it or leave it! But I must warn you again, in LOVE for your soul, that the alternative to accepting the LOVE of God, is to assure yourself an eternity of pain and suffering in Hell. In John 3:36, we have everyone in the world represented. Listen to this, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; BUT the wrath of God abideth on him." Friend, in which part of that verse are you found? I hope you're in the first part.
Now let's take a brief look at our third scripture text, Luke 17:34-36. Here the Lord Jesus Christ tells us of a terrible separation which shall take place when He comes again, this time to claim from the world, His own. Yes, those who are saved by trusting in the value and virtue of the blood that He shed for them at Calvary's cross. Listen to the description He gives of that scene which will take place in the not-too-distant future. "I tell you, in that night, there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be LEFT. Two women shall be grinding together; one shall be taken, and the other LEFT. Two men shall be in the field; one shall be taken, and the other LEFT." Friend, if the Lord Jesus Christ should come again today, or tonight, would you be taken, or would you be LEFT?
Listen sinner friend, if there's one thing that I'm sure of today, apart from my soul's salvation through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, it is the fact that the second coming of God's Son is very, very near; yes, "even at the door." All signs given in the Bible point to the imminent return of Jesus Christ. There need be not one more prophecy fulfilled, before the Lord comes to the air to call His redeemed ones up to Heaven. Then what? Well, those who have heard the Gospel but have never been saved, or born again, or who have never accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour, will be LEFT behind to suffer the eternal wrath of God.
Unsaved friend, after the Lord returns, you'll hear no more Gospel preaching led by the Holy Spirit of God. There will be no more fervent prayers said by Christians on your behalf. There will be no more "family altars" for you to endure as a rebel sinner. There will be no more Gospel Meetings, no more Gospel radio and T-V broadcasts, and no more Christian web sites like this to stir your precious soul. No, my friend, if you're unsaved when Jesus Christ comes again, you'll have nothing to look forward to but weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth. Yes, and some of you will be like the 5 foolish virgins of Matthew chapter 25, who were LEFT behind when the Bridegroom, the Lord Jesus Christ, came back for His Bride, the true Christians. And the Lord concluded the parable with these words of warning, "Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh." And remember, only God knows when the Lord Jesus Christ will return.
Friend, God wants you to know that this is still the day of His grace. We read in II Corinthians 6:2, "Behold, NOW is the accepted time; behold, NOW is the day of salvation." Again in Hebrews 4:7, God says, "TODAY if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts." So that's it friend, even though you are spiritually LOST, God's LOVE is being extended to you in the sacrifice of His Son at Calvary's cross.
And if you honestly believe in your heart that the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, then you are saved, you are born again, and you are prepared for both death, and the second coming of Christ. You'll not be LEFT behind when He comes back again. And furthermore, you'll be as sure of Heaven as though you were already there, walking the street of gold.
In closing, let me remind you of the warning God gives in Proverbs 29:1, "He, that being often reproved, hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy." So friend, right NOW, whoever you are, and wherever you may be, just believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as your own and personal Saviour. And if you do, you'll not only be saved for time, but thank God, you'll be saved for all eternity. AND REMEMBER, MY FRIEND, THIS IS FOR ETERNITY!
Evangelist: Minor C. Hawk