When it comes to their spiritual situation, many people deny that they are lost.
Some blame their sin on psychological factors: “I don’t have a choice, I’ve been conditioned to do this. Environmental factors from my family have irrevocably shaped me into who I am.”
Some blame biology: “It’s in my genes. Would God make me this way if what I’m doing is wrong?”
Some make comparisons: “Well, at least I’m better than him!” This is the attitude of the Pharisee who prayed, “God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector (Luke 18:11). Paul said that this way of approving oneself—measuring and comparing oneself with others—is not wise” (2 Corinthians 10:12).
Some rationalize their sins and give them new names. Abortion becomes “pro-choice.” Homosexuality becomes “an alternate lifestyle.” Fornication becomes “cohabitation.” Drunkenness becomes “letting off some steam.” Hatred becomes “being careful about that person.” Neglect becomes “giving myself a break.”
Some just don’t realize they are lost. Paul spoke of Gentiles who walked “in the futility of their minds.” “They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart” (Ephesians 4:17-18).
We cannot accept the gospel unless we accept that people are lost. We marvel at God’s love and quote John 3:16 which says, “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,” but what’s so marvelous about God’s love if people are not lost?
The Bible speaks of our “great salvation” (Hebrews 2:3). But what’s so great about salvation if people are not lost?
Know this: All have sinned and become lost. Unless you have come to Christ through the gospel, you are lost and in danger of eternal destruction. There is nothing worse than being in this situation.
But there is hope. The God we serve is the Father in the Parable of the Prodigal Son, who received his wayward child back with a warm embrace, and rejoiced saying, “He was lost and is found!” (Luke 15:24).
Come back to God just as the Prodigal Son came home to his Father. The angels will rejoice just as there was rejoicing in that story over a lost soul who has come home.