Chapter Twelve


To Love God You Must Love the Lost.

Opening: I never felt more loved than during the time before, during, and following Anita and Mark's wedding.

  1. You were so generous in helping them begin their married life.
  2. You helped Joyce and me in so many ways. Literally, we could not have survived all of that work without so much help and support.
  3. Your presence that Friday evening overwhelmed me.
  4. All the help received Thursday, Friday, and Saturday was incredible.
  5. No way can I tell you how much we love and appreciate you.

For the past few weeks we have been taking a careful look at loving God. We have found:

  1. That has been and is the greatest responsibility people have had in every generation.
  2. To love God, we must have a personal relationship with God.
  3. To love God, we must love the people God loves.
    1. That means we must love our brothers and sisters in God's family.
    2. That also means we must love the lost.

This morning I want us to consider the importance of loving the lost.

  1. Let's begin by considering one of the best know texts in the New Testament. Read John 3:16-21.
    1. For God so loved the world--Who is the world?
      1. Every sinner, every evil person, every vile man or woman of wickedness and ungodliness.
      2. Does God love Sadaam Hussein? Fidel Castro? Omar Kadafi? Did he love Stalin? Hitler?
      3. Does God love the prostitute? The adulterer and adulteress?
      4. Does God love the homosexual?
      5. Does God love the rapist? Molester? Abuser?
      6. The thief? The swindler? The con artist? Those who prey on the weak, defenseless, elderly?
      7. The liar? The cheat? The fraud? The deceiver?
      8. The one who worships idols? Prays to nonexistent gods? Who devote themselves to false deities?
      9. The hate filled? The violent?
      10. The atheists? The agnostic? The one who loves the demonic?
      11. Or does God just love basically good folks "like us" who are just mistaken about some things?
      12. I John 4:10--Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be a propitiation for our sins.
        1. There is nothing exceptional to be seen in that we love God.
        2. The incredible fact is that God loved us enough to pay for our sins.
        3. The marvel of God's love is that it began for you before your salvation.
        4. It still exists for every unsaved person.
      13. I Timothy 1:15--Faithful is the saying and worthy of all acceptation that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.
        1. In his earthly ministry Jesus did not go to the righteous, godly Jew who had the proper heart, mind, and attitude.
        2. He went to the sin-laden, the outcast, the defeated, the disillusioned--the lost masses.
        3. He said he did not come to treat the well, but the sick.
        4. Were he here today, that is still where he would be.
        5. He is Savior; That's why he is called Savior, a Savior saves, rescues--He exists to save and rescue the lost.
      14. As God's family, the church has two missions.
        1. We must keep the saved in Christ--that is why we must love God's family to love God.
      15. It is easy to love the lost in theory or generically.
        1. However, it is very demanding to love the lost personally, individually.
        2. To love the lost personally:
          1. I must get beyond, "I just don't like that kind of person."
          2. I must get beyond prejudice.
          3. I must get beyond the anger and resentment directed toward people who remind us of our past-selves.
        3. How much does God love those people?
          1. So much that he sacrificed Jesus for them.
          2. We focus so much on the truth that Christ died for us that we forget that Christ died for them.
          3. In fact, Christ died for us when we were one of them.
        4. Why did God give Jesus for them?
          1. To provide them opportunity to:
            1. Believe in Christ.
            2. Escape eternal destruction.
            3. To have eternal life.
          2. God gave Jesus for them because God wanted them to become his children.
      16. Question: Did God love these people:
        1. Only before the death of Jesus?
        2. Only in the 1st century after Jesus died?
        3. Or today as much as ever?
  2. Of all people, we who are Christians should understand God's love for the lost:
    1. Consider:
      1. Romans 5:8--But, God commendeth his own love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
        1. God did not start loving you after you were baptized into Christ.
        2. He loved you before you ever considered believing in Christ.
      2. Ephesians 2: 4,5--but God, being rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace have ye been saved)...
        1. God possessed enormous mercy, tremendous love.
        2. His love is so great he even loved us when we were spiritually dead because of our wrong doing.
        3. When we had no feeling for him he created the way for us to be alive in Christ.
        4. I must get beyond the pain of those who have hurt me.
      3. To love the lost:
        1. I must see their pain.
        2. I must see their ignorance (they don't know what they are doing.)
        3. I must see their destiny.
  3. I haven't seen the person yet whom I wanted to go to hell.
    1. Why?
      1. Because you have no enemies and know only kind people? No!
      2. Because I know how horrible hell is.
    2. I have a very vivid memory of an incident in West Africa.
      1. An area had been closed by a powerful local official.
      2. This destroyed our work for 6 months.
      3. It meant that people would be lost because of this.
      4. I just thought of this man before God and the price he would have to pay.


  1. God looks at no one and says, "I don't want him for a child. I don't want her in the family."
  2. You cannot imagine the joy in heaven if Sadaam Hussein, Fidel Castro, or Omar Kadafi became Christians.
  3. When you love God, you are constantly learning to love the lost as does God.
transcribed by Christy Hesslen
Copyright © 1992, David Chadwell
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