July 15, 2012
"Our Responsibility for the Lost"
Read Matthew 5:13-16; 18:12-14.
What is our responsibility for the Lost? To show the influence of those who
accept His Word and become His true disciples, our Lord Jesus used two figures.
He also used a parable to show God's concern for the lost (the unsaved).
First, He used the figure of SALT. "You are the salt of the earth. But if
the salt loses its saltiness, how can it become salty again? It is no longer good
for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men" (Matthew 5:13). 1) Salt
is used today as a preservative; for example, salt herring and cured ham. 2) In
Biblical times, salt was used to create a thirst so that the body might retain the
proper amount of fluid to maintain its health. Salt created a thirst which, when
satisfied, would maintain life. My father as a farmer used salt while plowing and
then drank water to keep himself hydrated. 3) Believers are in the world to create
a THIRST, both by their life and by their words, for the One in whom they have found
their satisfaction. 4) When salt loses its saltiness it cannot perform this function
and is as worthless as sand. Sand was plentiful and salt was scarce. Therefore,
it was imperative that those who were Christ's witnesses should be careful to maintain
a testimony before the unbelieving world. The desired result is to bring the unsaved
into a relationship with Christ and His church.
Second, He used the figure of LIGHT. "You are the light of the world....let
your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father
in heaven" (Matthew 5:14-16). 1) Light attracts to itself. 2) Light also reveals
or exposes what is in the circle of the light. Those who have received Christ's
Word would be counted as light in the midst of darkness. It is impossible to hide
the light, for it penetrates the deepest darkness. 3) Our Lord referred to this
fact when He said that a city on the top of a hill cannot be hidden. He also said
that a lamp is not lit to be hidden away, but to be put in a prominent place so
that all can be illuminated by it. 4) Believers are commanded to let their light
shine so that people may see their good deeds and praise their Father in heaven.
The life they live is light pointed to Jesus the Light of the world, and the life
of God revealed to the world brings praise to their heavenly Father. 5) "For once
you were in darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light....and
find out what pleases the Lord" (Ephesians 5:8).
Third, the Parable of the Lost Sheep (Matthew 18:10-14) illustrates God's
concern for the lost (unsaved). God so loved the world that He sent His
only begotten Son (John 3:16) to seek the lost sheep. Will He not leave the ninety-nine
saved sheep in the safety of the sheep fold to search for the lost one until He
finds it? Those of us who believe in Him are commissioned to seek His lost sheep
with His help. It is not His will that any be lost. The Great Commission reminds
us of the priority of evangelism (Matthew 28:18-20). Also Acts 8:26-35 reminds us
that God placed Philip where He needed him so that he could guide the Ethiopian
Eunuch to salvation. Where has He placed you to have an impact on the unsaved?