Are you lost?
How many times have you been lost or have helped someone else who is lost? Anyone can get lost from time to time, especially in unfamiliar territory, needing some help finding their way again. However, this is not the kind of being “lost” I mean. This article is more in line with being lost in a spiritual sense. We all need help in that sense too—but with the truth from the Bible. There is more involved than the simple going off to heaven or to “hell” when you die, that false Christianity teaches. We do not have an immortal soul! Who is actually spiritually lost in our world today? What is your understanding of this and what does the Bible teach? You may be a little bit surprised at what the Bible actually teaches on this subject, so please read on.
Oh I know that many times there are the instances when someone dies early or unexpectedly, but the elderly who cannot go on any more and because of too much stress or pressure at the time— seem to give up and just die. According to the thinking of false Christianity and its teaching, any person or persons— if not “saved”—would then be lost in hell, in the eyes of many (or stuck in “purgatory” is the thinking of some). There is a “giving up” that happens to the elderly a lot, which is kind of normal for a physical body to wear out, especially after living so many years and having lost many loved ones who were around them and now, have all already gone to their graves. We all must die and that was what God said to Adam if he ate of the wrong tree. However the true COG has a clearer understanding from the Bible on this subject. They are not at all lost according to the plan of God and teachings of your own Bible! (2Pet.3:9) God has a specific plan that has more than one stage in it, to save mankind!
Just think for a moment; How often do we hear of someone just being “tired of living” and giving up/going to their grave? However, for the average elderly person who just gives up and dies in their old age, they are not lost. The majority in our world today are not even called now and will face their judgment later! They are not lost and simply are just resting in their grave until their resurrection—Christ said this in John 5:28-29, in the ASV; 28 Marvel not at this: for the hour cometh, in which all that are in the tombs shall hear his voice, 29 and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment”. ASV These are two different resurrections and the Bible actually teaches of three resurrections. One of those does cover some that are considered forever “lost” or unreachable, not accepting truth and believing God. (See the split sermon audio titled “3Rd resurrection” for more on that subject, also found in the Commentary section at the bottom of the page.) The Bible does talk about those generally “LOST” and I will get to that in a moment.
Sometimes in our world today, many who may be a little younger (Some even in their teens) try to take an easier way out, when facing some serious trials or in deep depression, hooked on drugs or alcohol and they cannot break free again; end up committing suicide. This is also happening to a lot of veterans who just don’t want to cope with their reality any more. Are they now lost because of committing suicide? Read on! These are not alone however, as even some ministers take their own lives—and it has happened even in the COG! This is a real shocker when it does happen. Of course the Holy Spirit does not lead one to take his/her own life! The Holy Spirit is given for the purpose of helping us gain life, not take ourselves out of existence in death!
These are times, especially when a minister in the COG commits suicide, that tend to make us in the COG wonder; those who have been called out and given the Holy Spirit, if a person in that category is now forever lost? The unpardonable sin comes to mind and the question; how can one repent of killing them self, (Which is murder; violates the 6th command) without coming back to physical life in the second resurrection to repent of the sin? One wonders; can they be a first-fruit even after deliberately killing themselves, not leaving their life in GOD’s hand? Is this having the faith that God will bring them through their trials and troubles or let them die on their own? Can a true minister of Jesus Christ ever take his fate into his own hands and end his life prematurely? That leaves many at the question; “is that person lost who commits suicide and where would he come up”? Paraphrasing, Christ said “by their fruits you shall know them” and it may even cause us to ask of ourselves; am I now lost also because I am still battling with this or that sin? And there can be more to that discussion, but let us look at some Bible examples of what it is talking about when it mentions “the lost”, which will bring us to those who may think they are lost, even now.
God visualized a plan and set it in motion before He ever created mankind. (Isa.46:10) Man was created in the physical to eventually become a spiritual child of God. (Gen.1:26-28-Using the NKJ and ASV) He was created with that potential. However, due to Satan’s clever temptation to Eve, Adam was also tempted and they both did sin. Adam was to take the lead, as Eve was created for Adam (Gen.2:18-24) and it seems he did not lead in this matter. (Gen.3:6) God knew sin could and most likely would happen. Therefore, the NT Scriptures tells us through the apostle Paul that now all have sinned; Rom 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”—and the wages of sin is death (Rom.6:23, first part) but we know that Christ came to redeem us when we repent and are granted the Holy Spirit to let it lead us. (Rom.8:14) Of course we have to follow certain conditions for those things to happen, as is given in the Bible for us to learn from.
Christ said; “For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.” Christ also repeated this in Luke 19:10, from the ASV; “For the Son of man came to seek and save that which was lost.” All have been taken captive by Satan the devil and must be redeemed, first being called by God (John 6:44) and then taught by Him. (V.45) Adam, the first man was cut off from receiving the spiritual help (Tree of life) he needed because before he or Eve had taken of it, the devil came along and tempted Eve and they sinned. (Gen.3:22-24) All have been spiritually lost in this sense except those few who have been called and converted down through time, having accepted the truth and now God/Christ as their savior. Christ came to redeem mankind back from Satan and our sins, once we have seen, accepted the truth and repented. God predetermined there would be first fruits. (James 1:18 & Eph.1:5,11) Eternal life comes in different stages according to our calling and God’s master plan. The vast majority, as said earlier are not called at this point, only those who are given the chance at being a first fruit, baptized and being begotten and then holding the truth and right way of life fast until the end. (Matt.24:13) It is an overcoming process for us all, but we have to be taught what it is we are expected to believe and what to overcome, as we press toward the Kingdom of God.
I have written this quickly so I can get on to the point of those who have been called & chosen now, and may be thinking they are lost because of committing some sin that they have fallen back into in weakness. Let us face the facts; there are requirements to be met, but no human is perfect or has been made perfect in this life, accept Christ who never sinned. We are all (true Christians, that is) in the state of repentance, or should be, every minute of every day. If we are still striving to please God and overcome sin, we are not lost. To become negligent and compromising/lukewarm with a ho-hum approach (Because we may be in the “church”) is another matter.
So what about the person who has been called, received the Holy Spirit and has been working at overcoming for years and then just gives up and turn back? We are told in Eze.18:26 “When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity (Sin), and dies in it, it is because of the iniquity which he has done that he dies.” (What about committing suicide?) Notice what is recorded just a couple of verses earlier; Eze.18:24 "But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? (Have eternal life) All the righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; because of the unfaithfulness of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, because of them he shall die.” The death here is eternal death, the same as Rom.6:23, without any repentance. Satan has always had the desire to destroy man’s potential and always works toward that end—but he can go no further than what God will allow. God knows the inner workings of a man far more that Satan. Paul knew that when he wrote this; Rom 7:22-25 “For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God -- through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, (Keeps the Commandments) but with the flesh the law of sin.” (gets caught in something without realization sometimes.)
Every true Christian has to focus on keeping the Law of God and the way of Jesus Christ—even though we may and do slip up from time to time—it is not our desire to do so and we will repent. What about today, when compromise and liberalism is all around us and even in the COG? Those who are still alive from the previous era of the COG and even now in Laodicea and are striving to be zealous for God, will not deliberately give in to the lukewarm attitude. We will all slip up at some point or be caught off-guard, find ourselves in sin before we know it and have to repent, as Paul was teaching that he had to do.
Within our minds we must keep focused on the way of God found in the Bible, our calling, having the Holy Spirit; that is the divine nature in us and strive to remain faithful, we will not fail to repent if we slip up and sin catches us off guard. (To be caught “off guard” is not the same as just going along with sin, knowing it is sin!) We are not lost when that happens; and it will happen while we are human because even though striving to be perfect— (Matt.5:48)— we are not yet perfect and will fall short on occasion. That is why we are to be “overcomers” in this life. (See Rev.2&3—7 letters)
It is only those who were once truly converted and walking in the Spirit with Christ then have let down and given in to an easier way or have neglected to maintain the Holy Spirit in them, perhaps even committed the unpardonable sin; that might be considered “Lost” and will end up in the 3rd resurrection. If you have a fear of being spiritually lost after conversion and do not want to be, chances are it is not too late for you to repent and keep overcoming. Cry out to God and ask Him for the help to see clearly where you have need of repentance. (See Heb.10:25-31 in the ASV) God alone knows the approach and attitude of mind in those whom He has called and chosen. (2Tim.2:19) Only the house of God/true first fruits are under judgement now. (1Pet.4:17) If we are striving to be repentant, overcomers and are looking to stay in the Fathers hand, Christ is our head and savior and we are not lost—however we must be zealous in this end-time era and not give in to being lukewarm with a casual approach! Rev.3:14-21. (See “Born Again” in the Articles section for more)