OceanSide church of Christ
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JUST ONE SOUL…
What Are We Looking For?
Victor M. Eskew
A. God has told us: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).
1. Notice the scope of this mission: every creature in the world.
2. As of March, 2016, the world’s population was 7.4 billion people.
B. We know, however, that not all will accept the truth of the gospel. In fact, the Bible tells us that most will be lost.
1. Matthew 7:13
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.
2. Matthew 22:14
For many are called, but few are chosen.
C. Yes, we must preach the truth to all men, but we are looking for a special kind of person as we seek to win souls.
D. The title of our lesson this morning is: “What Are We Looking For?”
I. WE ARE LOOKING FOR THE LOST
A. The word “lost” is only found 16 times in the New Testament.
1. In Luke 19:10, Jesus said that His mission was “to seek and to save that which was lost.”
2. The prodigal son was said to be lost while he lived his profligate lifestyle in a foreign land (Luke 15:24, 32).
3. II Corinthians 3:4
But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost.
1. Strong (622): to destroy fully, perish, lose
2. Thayer: to destroy, to put our of the way fully…to devote or give over to eternal misery in hell
3. Vine: to destroy, destroy utterly…of spiritual destitution and alienation from God
C. We emphasize that we are looking for the lost because the lost constitute more than
1. The unchurched or those who do not practice a religion.
2. NOTE: During Jesus’ ministry, He sent His disciples unto “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matt. 10:6).
II. WE ARE LOOKING FOR HONEST AND GOOD HEARTS
A. In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus taught about four soil types. Only one of them was classified as “good ground” (Luke 8:8).
B. Jesus explained what the “good ground” represented in Luke 8:15.
But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
C. Not all hearts are good and honest.
1. Many hearts have been blinded.
2. Many hearts are cold and hard.
3. Many hearts are dishonest and evil.
4. Many hearts are divided.
D. One of the best examples of a good and honest heart is the Ethiopian eunuch.
1. He was reading the prophet Isaiah (Acts 8:28).
2. When asked: “Understandest thou what thou readest?” He answered: “How can I except some man should guide me?” (Acts 8:30-31).
3. He asked questions in the study (Acts 8:34).
4. He was the one who requested to be baptized (Acts 8:36).
And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?”
III. WE ARE LOOKING FOR THOSE WHO WILL LOVE GOD
A. God’s love for man is designed to provoke a love response from man (I John 4:9).
We love him, because he first loved us.
1. Love begins by believing the message that man can be saved by Christ because He died for him on the cross of Calvary.
2. Love involves a relationship between the one who is lost and the heavenly Father.
B. Not all men will love God.
1. Some will not believe.
2. Some will see God as their enemy, not their friend.
3. Some will be indifferent.
IV. WE ARE LOOKING FOR THOSE WHO ARE WILLING TO CHANGE
A. To embrace the Christian life, there are changes that a person must make in his life.
1. A change of affections
2. A change of thinking
3. A change of beliefs
4. A change of behavior
5. A change of direction
6. A change of religion
B. The Scriptural word for this change is “repentance.”
1. Luke 13:3
I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
2. Acts 3:19
Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.
3. Acts 17:30
And the times of this ignorance God winked at, but now commandeth all men every where to repent.
C. Not all are willing to change.
1. The rich man was not willing (Matt. 19:22).
2. The Jews for the most part were not willing (Matt. 23:37).
3. King Agrippa was not willing (Acts 26:28).
D. Saul of Tarsus exhibited some of the most profound changes that a person could make (Gal. 1:23).
But they had heard only, that he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which he once destroyed.
V. WE ARE SEEKING THOSE WHO WILL OBEY GOD
A. Two verses:
1. Matthew 7:21
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
2. Hebrews 5:9
And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.
B. The example of the Jews on the Day of Pentecost:
1. The Question: “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37).
2. The Answer: “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38).
3. The obedience: “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized…” (Acts 2:41).
C. Not all will obey.
1. They do not love God as they should (John 14:15).
2. They do not have the faith they should have (James 2:20-22).
3. Satan blinds their minds (II Cor. 4:3-4).
A. There are many, many people who are lost.
B. There are few who will be saved.
C. To be saved, a person must manifest certain qualities.
1. He must be lost.
2. He must have an honest and good heart.
3. He must be willing to love God.
4. He must be willing to change.
5. He must be willing to obey.
D. The few are scattered among all of the lost. They only way to find them is to go from person to person. “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).