What Does it Mean to be Lost?

"Lost, lost, oh what a cry," one of our hymns goes. When one is lost, he/she is destined for eternity in hell, apart from God forever and ever. Most people today believe that anyone, anytime, can call upon God and God will readily grant that which they desire or need. Folks who are never concerned with God or what He desires for them while they are living in lifestyles that are wrong, think that God is like "Santa Claus" and is just waiting in the wings to hear from them, are going to be sadly disappointed. Being lost means that one does not even have the avenue of prayer! We often hear about a lost child, and become very emotional about it until that child is found! Many today do not even have a concept of what it means to be lost! The Bible clearly teaches that all accountable persons have sinned. Romans 3:23 says, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." A great example of a good man who was lost is in Acts 10 in the New Testament. The text says of Cornelius, a Roman soldier, that he was "A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always" (Acts 10:2). Cornelius, in spite of all his good works of philanthropy and his spirituality, had to hear "words" (Acts 11:14), and respond to the gospel in order to be saved. The greatest passage in the entire Bible to describe the lost is Luke 15. In this chapter, Jesus gives three parables, all describing various ones or things that are lost. There is the parable of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son. All three of these parables conclude with the thought of how much joy there is in heaven when just one lost soul is converted and returned to God (Luke 15:7, 10, 24 and 32).

The fact is, the gospel and Jesus are the only things that can save one today. The Bible says, "And in none other is there salvation: for neither is there any other name under heaven, that is given among men, wherein we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). There are no shortcuts nor can one "work" their way to salvation. Salvation is by grace through faith in Christ, (Ephesians 2:8-9), and no one by himself is good enough to earn it (Romans 3:23; 6:23). The prophet Isaiah wrote "Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear" (Isaiah 59:1-2, italics mine, ER).

The facts are that sin separates us from God, and because of that, He will not hear or help us until those sins are removed! Since forgiveness must come from God, what we must do to have them removed, and be in fellowship must come from God. The Bible plainly teaches that the only way these sins may be removed and we can be saved is through Jesus Christ. The apostle Peter said, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). The apostle Paul, when speaking to those in Athens said, "...the times of this ignorance God winked at [overlooked, ASV]; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead" (Acts 17:30-31, emphasis mine, ER). Friends, when the judgment day arrives, the question you must answer is: will you be ready or will you be LOST in sin? God loves you, we love you, and do not want you to stay lost (2 Peter 3:9; Luke 15). What will YOU do?


Ed Rodgers, Heartland, TX