Who Is Lost?

John David Clark, Sr.

The first instance of "lost" in reference to people is in Jeremiah 50:6: "My people hath been lost sheep". The theme of God's people being lost sheep is continued in Ezekiel 34:4, 16. Of the seventeen uses of "lost" in the Old Testament, these three are the only ones used in reference to people. It is important to note that the people who were lost were God's people, Israel, not the heathen nations.

In the New Testament, "lost" is used sixteen times. Nine times, it refers to people. But which people?

(1 & 2) The lost sheep of the house of Israel (Mt. 10:6; 15:24).

(3 & 4) Jesus has come to seek and to save that which is lost

(Mt. 18:11; Lk. 19:10).

(5 & 6) The father's wayward son is lost, and then found

(Lk. 15:24, 32).

(7 & 8) Judas became lost (Jn. 17:12; 18:9)

(9) The gospel is hidden from those who are lost (2Cor. 4:3).

Only the last verse could possibly refer to anyone other than God's people. And with the issue of converted Jewish teachers perverting the faith and pressuring Gentile believers to submit to the Law, this verse could have been intended by Paul as a reference to them. One fact is undeniable in these verses. The prevalent Christian idea that the sinners of the world are "lost" and that the call of the church is to find and save them is non-biblical.

Generally, the Bible's position can be said to be this: Goats are not lost. Only the sheep are lost. By being in sin and spiritual darkness, goats are where they belong. They are in their own "pasture", following their own shepherds, and feeding on the things they love. Jesus did not come to seek for goats, but for sheep, even for those sheep which were not of the Jewish fold (Jn. 10:16).

An old preacher who helped my father as a young minister once said that sinners cannot be tempted; only believers can be tempted. By sinning, sinners are doing what is according to their nature; they do not need to be tempted in order for them to commit those sins. Sheep, on the other hand, are never happy in sin, even before coming home to Christ. They must be lured into it. There is no scriptural support for the notion that before a person is converted he is a goat, and that when he is converted he becomes a sheep. The sheep are sheep from the beginning, and they are never anything else. Likewise, the goats.

So, I ask again. Who is lost?

If your name is in God's Book of Life in heaven, yet you have not yet received the baptism of the holy Ghost, you are among the "lost" sheep, and these messages are sent from God for you, to give you direction to the fold. If your name is not in the Lamb's Book of Life, these messages are not for you, and you cannot possibly believe them. There is a fairly popular gospel hymn that tells us that "There's a new name written down in glory". That hymn is indoctrinating people to believe that when one is converted, God at that moment writes his name in His Book of Life. This is completely false. It is typical Christian mythology.

Contrary to Christianity's teaching, no one can have his name added to the Book of Life. The sheeps' names were written in the Lamb's Book of Life from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8; 17:8). There has not been a name added to the Book of Life since God wrote their names in there; though, sadly, many sheep have lived disobedient, ungodly lives and have had their names erased from the Book of Life (Ex. 32:32-33; Ps. 69:28; Rev. 3:5).

There is only one way that anyone knows for certain that his name is written in God's Book of Life, and that is the baptism of the holy Ghost. The one who receives the holy Ghost baptism (with the evidence of speaking in tongues) is confessing his faith in God as true (Jn. 3:33), thus proving that he was a lost sheep who has at last come home. Every one who rejects the baptism of the holy Ghost is, in fact, calling God a liar (1Jn. 5:10) and is demonstrating that he is a goat who will never find a place in the kingdom of God--even though many goats profess to belong to Christ, and even have a degree in theology to prove it!

Who is lost? God's sheep are lost. If you are one of them, you will be happy to learn that the way home does not lead through Christianity, but through the Spirit of Christ. It is only by the saving work of Jesus in your life that you will ever see your Father and the rest of the heavenly family, to which you have always belonged. Forget your past, whether it be a disgraceful past filled with godless immorality or a highly esteemed past filled with participation in Christianity's religious rebellion against the holy Spirit of God (cp. Lk. 16:15).

Repent of all of it, and come home.

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