Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost."
1 John 3:8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.
Ezekiel 34:6 My sheep were scattered; they wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. My sheep were scattered over all the face of the earth, with none to search or seek for them.
Ezekiel 34:11 "For thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out.
To finance their great world empire, the Romans levied heavy taxes on all nations under their control. The Jews opposed these taxes because they supported a secular government and its pagan gods, but they were still forced to pay. Tax collectors were among the most unpopular people in Israel. Jews by birth, they chose to work for Rome and were considered traitors. Besides, it was common knowledge that tax collectors were making themselves rich by gouging their fellow Jews. No wonder the people muttered when Jesus went home with the tax collector Zacchaeus. But despite the fact that Zacchaeus was both a cheater and a turncoat, Jesus loved him; and in response, this tax collector was converted. In every society, certain groups of people are considered "untouchable" because of their political views, their immoral behavior, or their lifestyle. We should not give in to social pressure to avoid these people. Jesus loves them, and they need to hear his Good News.
When Jesus said Zacchaeus was a son of Abraham and yet was lost, he must have shocked his hearers in at least two ways: (1) They would not have liked to acknowledge that this unpopular tax collector was a fellow son of Abraham, and (2) they would not have wished to admit that sons of Abraham could be lost. But a person is not saved because of a good heritage or condemned by a bad one; faith is more important than genealogy. Jesus came to save all the lost, regardless of their background or previous way of life. Through faith, the lost can be forgiven and made new.
The reason Jesus came to this world, suffered, died, and rose again, was to seek and to save the lost. In Ezekiel 34 God took over the mission of seeking out t he lost sheep because the Jewish leaders had failed. So God sent His only begotten Son to seek out, and save those who were lost. The purpose of Jesus is to seek, and save the lost and to destory the works of the devil. That is very, very clear.
So my question today, "Is that still the purpose of His Church?" He founded the Church, He is the foundation of the Church, and He is building His Church. So, our purpose MUST BE to seek and to save the lost. Is it?
If it is, then why are so many churches battling with discord? Why the debate over the color of the carpet? The color of the pews? How much the pastor makes? Angry over who does or doesn't play the piano? If our purpose is the same as Jesus, then why do we gossip, backbite, and pass out the gossip, even though we only have half the truth?
When our phones, texts, emails, social networking is used to tear down, and destroy character and integrity based on half truth, haven't we lost our purpose? The enemy is a master at deception, and distracting God's people from the purpose of "seeking and saving the lost."
When the lost hear problems in the church, you think they want to attend? When the lost read bickering on Facebook, do they feel compelled or drawn to Christ? When the lost hear you at work badmouthing your Christian brother and sister, isn't that a good sign you have forgotten Jesus' purpose?
The purpose has not changed for Jesus. I am afrad it has for many of His followers. My friend, I couldn't live with myself if I caused someone who isn't a Christian, or someone who is a new Christian, to begin to pull away because of my selfishisness. We desperately need a revival. But revival will NEVER happen in discord. So church of America, lets put aside our pettiness and lets begin to follow Jesus' purpose once again!
"Lord, please forgive us for losing Your purpose. You came to seek and save the lost. Too often instead of seeking the lost we are running off the lost because we have left Your purpose. I want that to change today, and I will follow the leading and direction of Your Holy Spirit. In Jesus' name, amen"