E.R. Hall Jr.

     In Luke 15 we read of how Jesus was accused of receiving sinners. The three parables given in this chapter are given by Jesus to illustrate why he received sinners. What we find upon reading these parables is that four different types of lost people are being illustrated:

There are those who are lost in the sense the sheep was lost. This sheep wasn’t lost in the sense that it was dead but it had become lost as the result of no. longer being in fellowship with the shepherd an the flock. In 1 John 1:5-7 we read: “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

There are those who are lost in the sense the coin was lost. This coin hadn’t lost its value. It was simply out of circulation. It wasn’t doing anyone any good. Jesus recognizes as lost every person out of circulation. If our blood didn’t circulate no nutrition would reach the cells of our body.

There are those who are lost as the youngest son was lost. We sometimes call him the ‘prodigal son’. He was a waster, not a worker. 2 Timothy 4:10 “For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica;…” It is obvious this son was lost!

There are those who are lost as the elder brother was lost. His type is seldom counted as lost either by himself or others. However, he is lost because he has no sympathy for others who are lost. He has no joy when those who are lost return.

          Not only do these parables illustrate four TYPES of lost people but also four WAYS by which to get lost. The sheep was lost through thoughtless straying. So we drift ever so carelessly away (Hebrews 2:1-3. The coin was lost through the carelessness of others. Thus we have a responsibility to restore those who are lost (Galatians 6:1-2). The prodigal son and his older brother was lost because each of them wanted to have their own way. Instead, our attitude must be that of our Saviour in Luke 22:42 when He spoke to His Father and said, “thy will be done”.

          When does the Lord receive sinners? When they hear and believe the word of God (Romans 10:17), repent of their sins (Luke 13:3,5), confess Christ with their mouth (Matthew 10:32; Romans 10:10), and are baptized (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38). Then and only then can they have the remission of their sins and the hope of heaven.

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