The Most Tragic Word

J. D. Conley
March 2, 2014

"Lost." The word alone conjures up utter hopelessness and despair. One way Webster defines lost is: "Spiritually destroyed," (Webster's II New College Dictionary 647). Jesus says to be destroyed spiritually is far worse than being destroyed physically (Mt. 10:28). A person who's body is destroyed by disaster or disease retains hope of spiritual salvation if they have lived an obedient life. But the one who is lost spiritually and dies in that condition has no hope in eternity.

"Lost: Needing Jesus" was the theme of the Southeast Lectures conducted at the Karn's congregation in Knoxville, TN., this past week. Two dozen great lessons were preached on the Christian's vital need to recognize the myriads of lost souls all around them and the obligation the church has to impress upon the lost their need for Jesus. The keynote theme each night was "Responding to the Cultural War..." Tom Holland spoke on "...Not as a Chameleon." The Lord's church cannot blend in with the culture or it will be lost. Dan Winkler spoke on "...Not as a Monk." Christians must not isolate themselves from the people of the world because we find them repugnant. Yes, sin is ugly and destructive, yet this is precisely why the lost need Jesus. Lovell Hayes preached on "...Not as Zealots." We must show proper zeal but not zealotry in trying to reach the lost. Zeal can attract the lost but zealotry will repel them. David Shannon closed the lectures by speaking on "...As Cultural Priests." This is how we are to deal with the culture in which the Lord's church is engulfed. Our attitude should be that of Paul's, "Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved" (Rom. 10:1). If it is the church's desire, and if it is the Christian's prayer that our current culture be saved, then untold millions will be added to the Lord's body in short order. We can "turn the world upside down" bringing millions to Christ if we can grasp the horror and the hopelessness of the meaning of this single word, "lost."

"Say not ye. There are yet four months. and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you. Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest."