Seeking the Lost

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Where Are You?

I would like to consider the first sermon ever preached.

Genesis 3:8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. 9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where [art] thou?

These words, where art thou?  I believe this question applies to every cool of the day.  Where are you?  Every evening.  We should ask ourselves the question where am I?  Where are we?  As the scriptures begin with this, the voice of the Lord is where are you?

Revelation 22:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

We have at the beginning of the Holy Scriptures God saying where are you and at the end he says I am coming quickly.  God wants to know where we are. Why?  So he can come.  Why else do you ask someone where you are?  If you made a garden and some people and put them in it, why do you ask where are you?  Because you want to go to them.  The scriptures are about Jesus coming to us and asking where we are.  In the whole human race he wants to know where we are and he wants to come. The voice of God was the voice of mercy grace and love.  The voice of condemnation was already in the mind of Adam and Eve.  That voice made them run.  The conscious the inward conviction they had done wrong.  Guilt and condemnation is nothing short of fear as when someone is scared they hide. This voice where are you was not of condemnation but mercy and love.

Adam should have taken the place of the seeker in the garden saying my God my God where are you as Adam had walked away from God and he should have been the one coming back.  The voice of God came and was saying to Adam and Eve where are you?  I’m looking for you. The moment man is out of communion with God, man wants to run away.  If you have a relationship with someone and it goes sour and you don’t want to talk. For us to consider Gods position as God looking at man and what he has done against God, Adam sinned against God and yet God went and looked for him. In the scripture there is this voice where are you and in the end I’m coming.  In the middle there is allot that happens between – where are you and I’m coming. There is much that takes place when God seeks man and man is restored. There is none that seeks after God.  None.  No one seeks God.

Luke 15:1 Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him.

Who is coming to Jesus?  Sinners.  Was Adam a sinner?  He was.  These crowds of people were coming to Jesus.  What makes us want to go to Jesus?  It is only by love that love is awakened. It was still this call originally, where are you? Each publican and sinner has heard in their soul the words where are you?  Many an evening a soul says where am I? What am I doing?  Everyone at some point in their life asks where am I?  It is the voice of God wanting us to say here I am.  We have to question ourselves where I am as that is the question God gave to us.  Am I in his fold or far away?  If we hear these words where am I? What am I doing?  If we consider what am I doing in life, at that point God is right near you as he is the one that can generate those thoughts. Jesus receives sinners but he seeks sinners also.  As the Pharisees and scribes murmured.

As the “publicans and sinners” gathered about Christ, the rabbis expressed their displeasure. “This man receiveth sinners,” they said, “and eateth with them.”  {COL 185.1}  By this accusation they insinuated that Christ liked to associate with the sinful and vile, and was insensible to their wickedness. {COL 185.2}

It angered them also that those who showed only contempt for the rabbis and who were never seen in the synagogues should flock about Jesus and listen with rapt attention to His words. The scribes and Pharisees felt only condemnation in that pure presence; how was it, then, that publicans and sinners were drawn to Jesus?  {COL 186.1}

The Pharisees were accusing Jesus of being insensible to sin as he would eat and meet with them and he wasn’t there to condemn them.  As they saw no railing accusation with these sinners he thought he was insensible to their wickedness.  Is Jesus coming to a sinner in love being insensible?  Is being kind to a sinner ignoring sin?  This is the accusation that the Pharisees had to Christ that out of anyone they received the strongest rebuke.  These were the thoughts of the Pharisees and they murmured as all these sinners came to Christ. There are three parables in Matthew 15 and all teach the same lesson.

The Lost Sheep

Luke 15:4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? 5 And when he hath found [it], he layeth [it] on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together [his] friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. 7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. 8 Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find [it]? 9 And when she hath found [it], she calleth [her] friends and [her] neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. 10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.

The sheep went away because of lack of diligence. The shepherd is leaving ninety nine sheep in the fold and he is going out and finds it and puts in on his shoulder.

Two Brothers and a Father

One of the brothers leaves home. We know this parable.  This parable of the prodigal son and the other parables came from the Pharisees saying Jesus receives sinners and it agitated them. The prodigal son becomes lost because of his own will.

The Lost Coin

The understanding of the coin in today’s terms is because it gets lost because of the slackness of the ministry. This parable is about a lady who lights a candle and seeks diligently her house to find the lost coin until she finds it.  The word until is a process and it won’t stop until it’s found. When you look at Genesis to Revelation, how many years?  Six thousand years until? Seek diligently until? Behold I come quickly to get you all to seek that which was lost.  The diligence of God in seeking those that have gone away from him. The sheep that was lost was it not part of the sheep, the 100 originally?  Wasn’t the lost coin part of the ten? The prodigal son was the offspring of the father.  We can conclude that Jesus is talking about backslidden people. People that have known God and then have gone.  The prodigal son decided to leave the house. The sheep decided to leave the fold and go away. The prodigal wanted to get away from his father’s control and he was getting irritated with the house hold and no doubt the sheep was the same. We have had people with us and the natural way to think is well, they knew.  Look at what they missed out on, they knew.

The Older Brother and His Attitude

Luke 15:25 Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound. 28 And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and entreated him.

The father was seeking the older son too. This older brother when his brother had left said oh well he knew what the father’s house is like.  This is the attitude that can come because the ones that stayed in the fold represented the Pharisees.  They were there in Gods church, in God’s presence and one had left and the Pharisees said these people need to be condemned.  Jesus is eating with them, he is spending time with them.

Matthew 18:11 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.

What is Gods one purpose?  To save that which was lost.  When he says to his disciples ye are my witnesses, that means you are witnessing of me.  That means me.  Our attitude should be we are to save that which was lost.

Matthew 18:12 How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?

Here are Gods people and one leaves.  So often we think if they have left well they know the full light, they aren’t ignorant what can we do for them?  They have seen and tasted it.  But what do you think Jesus says?

Matthew 18:13 And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that [sheep], than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. 14 it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish. 15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

Moreover means coming to the point.

Matthew 18:16 But if he will not hear [thee, then] take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell [it] unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as a heathen man and a publican.

A what?  A Publican.  What were the publicans like to Christ?  He received sinners and publicans.  Often we read this and think that when you have a problem with a brother first you tell him and if he doesn’t listen take more and tell him again.  If he still doesn’t listen you say see you later. If you read the attitude of Matthew 18 it conveys Gods attitude from Eden, where are you? There was a problem between God and Adam and Adam runs away. God is coming to him and he tells Adam his problem.  God is not coming to Adam to condemn him but to say I really want to see you, I want to come to you as he has come to see that which is lost. The parable says how do you think about this?  If you have a problem with a brother, isn’t it like a problem like Adam and Eve?  The attitude is that I’m not going to tell him his fault in condemnation.  That is not the way.

It is where are you?  As you want to be with and eat with them.  You want their person.  Not their money or reputation, you just want them.  God wants you and me.  He doesn’t want this world.  He owns it.  This whole world will burn. He just wants his people.  God’s heart craves over human beings. He wants to know us out of intense love.  If you have a problem with a brother in the light of the parable of the lost sheep and prodigal son, go to your brother in the light of that. Even if they leave the church treat them how? Like a publican ignored?  We can think exactly like the Pharisees, once they are like the publican you don’t greet but ignore them.  However we read that Jesus receives sinners and publicans.  Jesus was accused as he was mingling with them.  The Pharisees thought he was insensitive to wickedness. But Jesus was seeking to save that which was lost.

Ezekiel 34:10 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I [am] against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves anymore; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them. 11 For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, [even] I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. 12 As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep [that are] scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.

These shepherds had the attitude of the older brother, the class of the Pharisees.  If the sheep left it didn’t matter, they should come to us. God is saying I am against the shepherds I will go and seek my sheep.  No one takes care of your business like the owner.  Here God has put into the care of other humans the salvation of souls and they have failed him. They have not cared for the sheep, they have cared for themselves. They have not cared for Gods heritage. That is not my attitude he says I will go and seek them out. In the time of the Pharisees he came and did it and ordained twelve to be his witnesses and they did but every succeeding generation after many years did it wrong and God had to call another people to feed his lambs.  We are to have the attitude to go to them and communicate with them not in condemnation but in love. I even I will seek out my sheep.  I will go down in the cool of the day and where are you?  I want to be with you.

The Commission to Gods people

Matthew 10:5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into [any] city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Those that once knew the light and have left it, go to them first. God loves backsliders.  He loves them.  He doesn’t like heir backsliding. The bible says I will heal your backsliding. Our planet is a backslidden as we were in the presence of God in creation and we removed ourselves from his presence.  God loves us. He goes to every child of Adam and says where are you? He has given the gospel commission to those that love him and says go to the back sliders.  Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Isaiah 55:6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:

God is seeking us.  In the Garden of Eden God knew where Adam and Eve were but he asked where are you?  He came looking for them and if Adam had answered then there could be success. We are not to go to people and drag them back as they are lost sheep but we are to seek them but every soul is to seek back as only by love is love awakened. In our attitude towards people it is the love of desiring their person in Jesus Christ irrespective of what they have done.  If they won’t answer or seek the Lord, what can God do?  Do you think God would have gone into the garden and grabbed Adam?  He was seeking them. He says I will seek the sheep, I will find them.  We have a responsibility in our personal life when God calls us at the end of the day we are to respond.  It doesn’t matter what we’ve done or how bad we have been.

We can be obedient even though we have been disobedient.  We can come to him with all our sins as that is being an obedient child. We are to respond to his seeking by our seeking. When we speak to others by Gods grace they may respond to our seeking.  If they don’t it is their choice but we should always be seeking.  We should not have the Pharisaical attitude. The voice of Revelation is behold I come quickly.  Whether people sought him or not, he would have gathered his sheep that are his.  May we gain the spirit of Christ in all things in our love to others despite their doings and that our love will respond to Christ.

Amen.

Posted on October 25, 2009, in Prayer Meeting Sermonettes, Sermons For Sabbath and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. As we ar lost in sins let us cum 2 our senses nd go back home Jesus is stil waiting 4 us.

  2. adventbiblestudy

    Glad to see other people searching the scriptures, not giving up until the Spirit show new connections we could never find on our own.

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