Now THAT’s a Good Question!

What does it mean to be LOST?

Part 1

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This is a question, I confess, I have been asking myself a lot recently. In other words, MATT PEARSON is the one who has asked this question. I want to dare to contemplate what it literally means to be without Jesus, separated from God.

Why? Two reasons, mainly. First, I want it to compel me to more aggressively and intentionally evangelize. Second, I want it to be a means by which I pray fervently for God to open their eyes.

At this point, I honestly am not sure how many Monday posts this will take. But I feel led to spend some time looking biblically at what it means to be without Jesus.

Let’s start with a fascinating passage out of the Old Testament book of Ezekiel:

25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you.

26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 

27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. 

28 You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God. 

29 And I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. And I will summon the grain and make it abundant and lay no famine upon you. 

31 Then you will remember your evil ways, and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves for your iniquities and your abominations. 

33 “Thus says the Lord God: On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities. . .” 

Ezekiel 36:25-29, 31, 33

These words are a prophecy God gave to Ezekiel for His people. Many believe that this is what Jesus was referring to when He spoke to Nicodemus about being born again by water and the Spirit in John 3:5-6. If you look carefully at these verses – they shed some light on traits of a person who isn’t “born again.”

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Consider. . .

#1. Being cleansed and delivered from uncleanliness (vs. 25, 29, 33) implies being dirty.

A lost person has never been washed spiritually. A lost person has never known what it feels like to be made clean, to be made whole.  In their heart, there is this dirt and filth and grime that simply hasn’t ever been removed. A person without Christ is spiritually what a person without a shower is physically. They’ve never know the spiritual “feeling” of washing off all the dirt.

#2. Getting a new heart and His Spirit (vs. 26-27) implies needing a new heart and a different spirit.

A person without Jesus is a person with a hard, cold, and dead heart. A person without Jesus has a soul and spirit that hasn’t been replaced with the Spirit of Christ. The things of God are boring to them. The things of God are useless to them. The ways and purposes and hope and grace and love and mercy of God are dull to them. A lost person cannot obey God. A lost person cannot walk in His ways and statutes. A lost person is hardened to hope that lasts and is eternal. Spiritually speaking, a person without Jesus is a person who is dead to the things of God.

#3. Having God as “your God” (v. 28)  implies not knowing Him personally. 

A person who is lost may know about God. But he/she has no idea what it’s like to know Him personally and intimately. A person without Jesus is not one of God’s own children. There is no confidence of having Him as a Father. There is no grasp of approaching Him as a loving daddy. There is no affirmation of being loved by Him like a parent loves a child.

#4. Being cleansed from idols (v. 25) implies worshipping lesser things.

An idol is something you worship. If God needs to cleanse one of an idol, then he or she is worshipping something that is insufficient. In other words, a person without Jesus worships something that is useless. It will never, ever satisfy. A lost person is – in their hearts – totally unsatisfied. If the only Being who can satisfy is God, then having an idol that is not Him will leave you empty and wanting more.

#5. Loathing yourself for evil ways (v. 31) implies hearts that love participating in sin. 

There is a big difference between hating getting caught and hating to commit a sin. People without Christ might hate getting caught, but they love doing the sin. Lost people love sin. Lost people are bent towards sinning and sinning constantly without a thought of repercussion. If saved people will loathe themselves for their evil ways, then lost people love themselves for their iniquities and abominations.

Jumble all of this together. A lost person, according to this passage, is one who has a hard heart and spirit, is constantly dirty (spiritually) due to continuous enjoyment of sin, totally unsatisfied, & having only (if any) a hollow knowledge of God.

5 Action Points:

a. Dwell on this for a little while. Can you imagine living life without confident hope or ever being cleansed?

b. Ask yourself if you have been “born again” based on these verses. Don’t rely on your experience only. Put it up next to the truth of the Word.

c. Beg God to give you a deep burden for the lost. 

d. Cry out to Him, who alone can replace hearts and inject His Spirit. 

e. Whose path will you cross today that needs to hear the Good News?

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4 thoughts on “Now THAT’s a Good Question!

  1. Rodney Wimberly says:

    Just a few verses earlier, 22-23 (NKJV), God says, ““Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went. And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the Lord,” says the Lord God, “when I am hallowed in you before their eyes.”

    Have our religious institutions failed us by teaching us to focus on the institutionalism of religion rather than the glory of God? Is this not the answer to every problem the church faces today, declining attendance, but TV viewership is up (especially religious TV), shortfall in Lottie Moon yet The coffers of the K Street lobbying firms representing the “Christian right” overflow and perhaps the most egregious sin of all, of which I was first among sinners, caring more about who was elected to what office rather than concern for the immortal soul of the individual standing right next to me?

    It has been a long road, but one thing I have learned for certain, it is not about me, you, Matt, FBC, the SBC, it is about the holiness of God and when the things that please man (patriotic, social, culture, political, whatever) replace the glory of God, the holiness of God, the wonder that is God, in God’s House; that when we take our eyes off of a Him and talk about Him like He is not even in the room, especially in His house, history teaches we will see, well what we see today.

  2. […] Last Monday we began to answer this all important question by taking a look the Old Testament prophet Ezekiel. […]

  3. […] is part 3 in a series seeking to biblically answer this all-important question. Part 1 is here and Part 2 […]

  4. […] is the fourth and final part in a brief series on lostness. Part one is here, part two here, and part three – right here. My purpose has been to look at several passages […]

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