Two of my favorite sermons from Bible college down, two to go. This one was shared during a preparation meeting for an outreach we were going to do in New Orleans, years before Hurricane Katrina ever hit the city.
Jesus expressed great care, concern and passion for the lost, those who are non-Christians. Scripture teaches us he "came to seek and save the lost" (Luke 19:10). In the same chapter of the Gospel of Luke it declares Jesus had such a passion for the lost that he even merely, "approached Jerusalem and saw the city, (and) he wept over it" (v. 41).
God has shown us the example of his heart in Christ. Two of the pillars of the Church, the Apostles Peter and Paul proclaim it is God's perfect will and goal that all humanity might be saved by turning from their sins and turning to Christ as the Door to peace with God (1 Timothy 2:4, 2 Peter 3:9).
Indeed, God's heart is broken for humanity and he responds in such a way as to give up what is most dear to him - his only son, Jesus Christ. Christ exemplifies the love of God to a broken world. He is a banner of God's love, forgiveness and hope of reconciliation to all who would come through him.
As mentioned in the previous blog: "Scripture has many references (both Old and New Testaments) to those true followers of Christ's names being written in a certain "book of life"... Our lives are dear to God and our names are pre-written in his Guest Book, so to speak. Our names go before us and are written in heaven as we respond to the grace of God in Christ Jesus."
In lieu of this Biblical truth, the most intense example of this kind of compassion for the lost (beyond the cross) is found in Moses and Paul. Such a level of compassion is rarely reached and hardly explainable to the human mind:
Moses cried out to God in Exodus 32:31-32, "But now, please forgive their sin; but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written!"
The Apostle Paul also met with this level of depth and concern for those without Christ as he cried aloud in Romans 9:3, "for I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race!"
This is the deepest level of compassion for the lost. Willingness to sacrifice ourselves for others. Of course, God won't blot his holy people out, but how far will we go to reach them?
Are you willing to proclaim with those closest to God's heart ... "Oh God, blot my name out instead, that these might know you!"