THE MISSION OF THE LOCAL CHURCH #7
A. MY FRIEND?
My friend, I stand in judgment now,
And feel that you’re to blame some how.
On earth I walked with you day by day,
And never did you point the way.
You knew the Lord in truth and glory,
But never did you tell the story.
My knowledge was then very dim,
You could have led me safe to Him.
Though we lived together on earth,
You never told me of the second birth;
And now I stand this day condemned,
Because you failed to mention Him.
You taught me many things, that’s true;
I called you “friend” and trusted you.
But I learn now that it’s too late;
You could have kept me from this fate.
We walked by day and talked by night,
And yet you showed me not the light,
You let me live, and love, and die.
You knew I’d never live on High.
Yes, I called you “friend” in life,
And trusted you through joy and strife,
And yet, on coming to this end,
I cannot, now call you “Friend!”
1. What a horrible thing it will be in the Day of Judgment for our friends to cry out to us, “You never mentioned Him to me!”
2. Are we really their friends is we do not tell them about Jesus? What if we knew the cure for cancer ……?
B. It has been said:
1. The church that does not “reach out” will soon “fade out”
2. It takes the “whole church” to take the “whole truth” to the “whole world”
3. The church must go to the lost or go into oblivion
C. We must all (congregationally and personally) go – if not across the ocean, at least across the street – teaching and preaching the good news.
A. WHO ARE THE LOST?
1. First, it is important to understand that it is not man that decides this – God does
a. God has given us information in this regard
b. Thus, we have the ability to know who the lost are
c. Yes, I know we cannot read a man’s heart, but Jesus said, “By their fruits ye shall know them” (Mt. 7:20)
2. Who are the lost?
a. 2 Corinthians 4:3
1) Those without the gospel are lost
2) Romans 10:14-15
b. “Except ye believe that I am he, ye shall die in your sins” (Jn. 8:24)
1) Those without faith are lost
2) Romans 10:17
c. Luke 13:3
1) Those without repentance motivated by the gospel are lost
2) 2 Corinthians 7:9-10
d. Matthew 10:32-33 … Those who refuse to confess Christ are lost
e. Mark 16:16
1) Those that reject baptism are lost
2) Now who did Jesus say would be saved?
f. Acts 2:47
1) Those outside the Lord’s church are lost
2) Just because someone is a good person does not mean they are saved – Cornelius is a good example of that (Acts 10)
3) Just because someone is devoted to some denomination doesn’t mean they are saved – Galatians 1:13-14
4) Just because one is sincere in their convictions doesn’t mean they will be saved –
g. Revelation 3:14-16, 19
1) Lukewarm and indifferent church members will be lost
2) Negligence is the most dangerous sin
h. The apostate – those fallen back into the world – will be lost
1) Hebrews 3:12 … Why take heed? – Because you will be lost
2) Hebrews 10:29-31
3) James 5:19-20
3. So who are the lost? Those who:
a. Have not the gospel
b. Have no faith
c. Have not repented
d. Will not confess Christ
e. Have not been baptized
f. Are not in the Lord’s church
g. Are lukewarm
h. Have fallen back into the world
B. WHAT CAN WE DO TO SAVE THE LOST?
1. Live right before lost souls
a. Even the glorious message of salvation will seem repulsive when coming from a hypocrite, but then the hypocrite is not usually concerned about the lost
b. Our lives must be such that we are attracting souls to Christ and not driving them away
1) Romans 2:21-24 … if we claim to be Christians – we must live like it
2) Galatians 2:20 – can the world see Christ living in us?
3) 2 Corinthians 3:2 – our life is an open book
2. But living right is not enough we must also show a personal interest in lost souls
a. Invite them to hear the gospel preached
b. Continue to show interest in them by talking with them about the Christ, His church and salvation
1) Give them religious tracts
2) Set up a Bible study … Jule Miller, Searching for Truth, etc.
3) Ask the preacher or the elders to assist you in the study
c. Some say I don’t know enough to teach
1) Hebrews 5:12 … we should all grow to the point that we could teach someone how to be saved
2) 2 Peter 3:18
C. WHY SHOULD WE BE CONCERNED FOR LOST SOULS?
1. Because the Lord was concerned
a. The Lord left His home in glory … Luke 19:10
b. The Lord gave His life that we might be saved … Romans 5:6-9
2. Because of the value of a soul
a. What do we value most in this life? Most, it seems, value physical life the most.
b. But, it is important to realize that souls are worth much more than physical life
1) Matthew 10:28
2) Matthew 16:26
c. Once a soul has departed this world unprepared, it will always remain lost, separated from God for an eternity
3. Because of our own soul
a. Can we expect to be saved if we don’t care about the lost souls of those around us?
b. I once read about two people who were lost in a snow and ice storm together, and they got as close to each other as they could while buried in the snow. By doing so, their body warmth went to each other, and they managed to stay alive by giving warmth to each other.
c. That’s the way it is in our spiritual lives. By helping to save others we save ourselves. He who would save himself must strive to save others.
d. “He that winneth souls is wise” (Pro. 11:30)