Are people really lost? I had my mind blown by Jim Henderson's thoughts in one of his most recent books.
In his book Henderson explains that Jesus never referred to those who didn't follow him as lost. It sets up an superiority/inferiority complex between "found" and "lost". Essentially it doesn't help the cause for either side.
I was shocked at this thought, even though I had never personally thought I was using the term "lost" as a weapon or a statement.
I anxiously searched the Scriptures doing a words study. He was right. Jesus never referred to those who followed him as lost (a later Biblical term would be outsiders, but that's for another blog). It is a modern term for non-Christians that currently may do more harm that justice.
Jesus does share three parables of "lost" things, but that is it. In each case, "lost" is used to denote something of GREAT VALUE, or something ENDEARED to the one who lost it. Also, Henderson wisely points out that in each of these three cases, the emphasis is on the person who lost it and their sorrow more than the objects themselves, which shows God's sorrow and concern. It represents not his anger towards the lost object, but sorrow over losing it.
For us, it's best to see ourselves as the old adage says, "we're just beggars showing other beggars where to find bread." In our case, it's the Bread of Life, Jesus.
Non-Christians are no longer "the lost," rather they are "the people Jesus misses the most."