What Does It Mean to Be Lost?

“…it is not my heavenly Father’s will that even one of these little ones perish.” (Matthew 18:14 NLT)

Have you ever been lost? A few weeks ago, my car got “lost.” I met a friend for lunch in a large shopping area to which I’d never been. I turned into the first parking garage I saw, parked, then hurried to our agreed upon location. After lunch I followed the signs back to the parking garage, but I couldn’t find my car. Turns out, I’d parked in the garage right next to the restaurant, but being unfamiliar with the complex, I’d walked all the way around to go to the restaurant that was next door to where I parked.

That experience caused me to think of a quote from a book I read many years ago. I don’t remember the exact quote, but it had reference to the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15 and said something to the effect: “He walked around the whole world to find what he could only find in the very place he left.” What’s the implication? We sometimes get lost looking for things we can only find at “home.”

The difference between the sheep referenced in Matthew’s quote above, and the Prodigal Son is, one wandered away and couldn’t find his way home. The other left home with no intention of ever returning. Where do you find yourself today? Have you wandered away or are you running away?

Being lost can be confusing. At first, like me, you may not even realize you’re lost, or what you’re seeking is lost. Many people in the world today go through their daily routines never realizing what they’re missing; never understanding that in a spiritual sense, they are “lost,” without a clue as to what horrific consequences their lack of knowledge may hold. They don’t know what they don’t know.

Photo by Keenan Constance on Pexels.com

Being “lost” in the Biblical sense, means living our lives separated from God. But the truth is, many may not even realize that they are “lost.” Billions of people across the world live their lives without regard to the spiritual laws that will one day hold every person who has ever lived, accountable. And the tragic thing to me is, they don’t even know. No one has ever made the effort to tell them. Or they’ve not listened to the ones who have tried.

People often believe their personal “goodness,” their religious beliefs, their ethical or moral convictions should be good enough to please whatever god they’re seeking to please. Perhaps a god of their own creation. Or worse, they don’t even care. Their search is for self-satisfaction, self-actualization, self-fulfillment. In their mind, “If there is a God, He certainly wants nothing to do with me.” The reality is nothing could be further from the truth. The God of Heaven, the God of the Bible, has a personal investment and interest in every person who has ever lived or ever will live. And He went to great lengths to prove it.

Jesus asked the Pharisees, the strictest sect of the Jewish religion, “How will you escape the judgment of hell?” (Matthew 23:33 NLT) What’s my point? The Pharisees were very strict in their adherence to the laws of their religion, just like many who cling to their respective religious convictions and codes of personal behavior today. The Pharisees believed by keeping the rules they would satisfy God.  

The problem is, keeping rules or codes of conduct, without personally knowing, loving and being committed to the God of the Bible, is a death sentence. It’s to essentially say to God: “I don’t need the sacrifice Your Son Jesus made for me. I can earn my own place in Heaven.” But the Bible clearly says, “For Jesus is the one referred to in the Scriptures, where it says, ‘The stone that you builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.’ There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12-13 NLT)

Being lost means being separated from your only Source of hope, forgiveness, meaning, purpose, and an eternal life in Heaven with Him. That’s why it’s so vitally important to understand who Jesus is? We’ll begin to look at that tomorrow.

Blessings, Ed 😊

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