What Does it Mean to be “Lost”?

Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

The Bible often speaks of people who are dead in their sins as “lost.”  We think of people who reject Christ as those who are in danger of losing their soul.  It is a way of describing the condition of people who are outside of Christ, but I would like us to think for a moment here more specifically about what it means to be “lost.”

Something that is lost has wandered away, losing direction, and becoming separated from its proper place. One time our yellow Labrador, Sadie, wandered away from home on a bit of an excursion down to the river across the street. We searched and searched for her. She was lost – separated from her home and from us. Eventually we came back to the house and there she was, all tired out and sitting on the back porch.

Being lost is dangerous. Being lost is being disoriented, confused, off the right path, separated from the safety of home. A lost pet or certainly a lost child is in great danger, being very vulnerable. Lost creatures, if not found, end up dying.

Well, when we speak of a person being lost spiritually, we mean that they are separated from Christ. They are separated from the Good Shepherd and the life that only He can give. They are not where they are supposed to be. And they are hopelessly lost. No way can they find their way back home to the Father. They need someone to launch a search and rescue mission to find them. That is precisely what the Lord does:

Eze 34:16 I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them in justice.

Are you where you are supposed to be? The Lord created you for the purpose of enjoying Him, glorifying Him forever and ever. If that is not what defines your life, if you are not at home with the Father, then you are lost and in desperate need of a Shepherd to search for you, find you, and bring you home. Without that, there is no hope. Without Christ, the sinner’s lostness becomes eternal lostness.

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