Welcome to the Kerwin Baptist Church broadcast today.
Our desire is for the Word of God to be spread throughout the world so that all may know Christ. Every school has a lost and found section. I forget back when, sometime we had a watch at our school.
I don't know if I'm telling something I shouldn't tell. Tanya Burchette worked in the office at the school and they had a lost and found. There was a watch in that lost and found that had been there almost two years.
And they kept asking students and asked students and nobody claimed it. So I got it. And any of you that, you say, why did you get it? I just got it, okay?
And any of you say, well, if you know anything about watches, it was a Tag Heuer. Yeah, so I enjoyed the lost and found section at school. That's the one thing I miss the most at the school anyway. Not the students, just the lost and found section. But in Luke chapter 15, God, this chapter, by the way, this is not original with me. This has been known for years as God's lost and found chapter. And over the next couple of weeks, we're going to be dealing with today the lost sheep.
Then we'll be dealing with the lost silver, then the lost son, and then the lost sibling. And God was preaching here, obviously, in the ministry of Jesus who was preaching to the Pharisees. I want us to begin at verse one, if you will.
And the subject to today is the lost sheep. Look at verse one, if you will. Then drew near unto him, him being Jesus, all the publicans and sinners, for to hear him. Verse two, and the Pharisees and scribes murmured saying, this man receiveth sinners and eateth with them. Two things in these two verses are a theme throughout scripture. Publicans, not republicans, publicans who obviously are the down and outers, the ones that didn't have necessarily the pedigree or the heritage. Publicans and sinners always drew near to Christ, and Pharisees and scribes always murmured about him.
That's the two things that always happen. The sinners drew near to Christ. The religious crowd criticized him. And you know, Jesus never, throughout his earthly ministry, ever had a problem with a lost individual.
All of his problems came from the religious crowd. Some things never change. It's amazing, you find an individual that's just been living life like the way they wanted to, and out in sin, and just had no parameters and no boundaries, and all of a sudden they kind of get right with God and get around Christian people, and we've had that happen right here in this church in the last few years, and they realize that, you know what, even though people are Christians, they're real, and they love you for who you are and different things, and at least Christians ought to, and they get around that, man, they're just so thankful to be at church and enjoy it so much, and they enjoy everything in the music, and they're just glad for it, and they're not complaining that they didn't get to sing as much as so-and-so, and they didn't get to do as much as so-and-so, and they don't get to play an instrument as much as so-and-so, and they don't get to do this, or they don't get to teach a class. They're just glad to be in church. They're enjoying being saved, and they just think, man, this is the greatest thing since the wheel, but somebody that's been saved year after year after year sits and pulls apart, criticizes everything in a church, everybody in a church, everybody on the platform, and before long, you got no problems from the lost.
I can tell right now I need to move on to a different subject. Look at verse 3. And he spake this parable unto them, saying, What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost until he find it? Everything is singular in that verse.
One sheep's lost, and when he's lost that sheep, he goes after that sheep. Look at verse 5. And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbors, saying unto them, Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth more than over ninety and nine just persons which need no repentance. All God's people said to this passage, aren't you glad God loves lost people? And aren't you glad that once you become his sheep that he loves you even when you run away? There's a lot of debate over this passage, and I've got my own personal feelings that this is about Jesus' love for lost individuals. And I will tell you that Jesus loves lost individuals. It doesn't matter where you've been, what you've done, what you have gone through, what mistakes you've made. He loves you no matter what.
It doesn't matter your color, your upbringing, it doesn't matter. He loves you, he died for you, and he wants to save you today. But I believe that this passage personally is about saved individuals that have gone away from God.
And I'll tell you why. Notice if you would, verse six. At the very end, the shepherd here calls his neighbors and his friends and he says, Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost. If you and I are his sheep, we're saved. We're not his sheep, and then we run off and we're lost, and then we've got to get saved again. When we're his sheep, we're his sheep. And the Bible says that his sheep knows his voice.
And he knows those that are his sheep. But I believe that this passage, he's talking here obviously, look at verse three. And he spake this parable unto them.
Who is them? Look at verse two. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured. So Jesus goes into a sermon to the religious, hypocritical crowd.
And he begins to give them three different parables, we would call them. And that's what we're going to deal with over these next couple of weeks. Now, I want to give you, before I dig into this, and I'm going to get you out in plenty of time. I know our services were a little bit long last Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night.
We had singing groups and all that stuff. And I'm going to be respectful of that, get you out in plenty of time today. And make that up to you, okay? But I want to give you some characteristics about sheep. Now this is beyond what we would normally do. I'm not here to give you the whole thing about a shepherd and a sheep. There are so many things we could bring into that.
It would take a week to do that. But I want to give you some things that, in my research, I didn't know. And so as God characterizes us as sheep, he brings into play one sheep that was lost. And he loves that sheep enough that he goes after that one lost sheep. Which proves, number one, this, that he would have died just for you.
If he loves one sheep that much, he loves you that much, that he would have died on the cross if it was just for you only. Second, it means this, that everybody that is saved is important to God. There's not one person in this church that is more important than the other person.
Including the pastor. I'm here to tell you right now, I am no more important than any of you. We are all important equally in the eyes of God. We all have our roles that God has called us to, and it is our job to exercise ourselves in those roles, without murmuring, without complaining, and to be content with such things as we have. Everybody agree with that?
Say amen. Number one is this, sheep spend their day, their entire day, eating grass. Hour after hour, all sheep do is eat grass. Now you say, preacher, that's not really an interesting characteristic.
Well it is, because that would sound peaceful to me. That would sound fun, to just eat 24 hours a day if you want to. I have lost weight by the way, thank you Nick.
Now that I got my cast and my slings and all that stuff off, if my arm was going to break again it already would have, because I've been working it hard, because I'm going to get this weight off, because apparently my staff likes to pick on me about it. But to sheep, this constant eating creates problems. And I didn't know this, I want you to hear this. For starters, when sheep show up to eat, especially in Bible days here, when sheep would move from pasture to pasture, and we have different ways that we raise animals nowadays, and we shoot them full of hormones half the time, and they're walking around looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger, within a month, you know, kind of a thing, so that we can get 5,000 chicken breast off of one chicken, you know, kind of a thing. But in these days, when sheep would move from pasture to pasture, sheep would sit there literally and eat all day long standing there, and they would leave absolutely no grass in an area. And that would create problem because then there would be no grass for cattle to graze in. And shepherds had a problem because they had to keep moving their sheep, because if they left them alone, they would stand there and literally eat all the grass in an area, and if they moved them to another, there would be nothing left. It would all be taken.
You say, well, why is that important? Not only that, because the sheep would sit there and basically sheep eat all day long, they do not see what the other sheep are doing. And because the sheep eats all day long, he has a tendency to go from the next patch of grass to the next patch of grass to the next patch of grass, and before long a sheep can wander off because he did not pay attention to the herd, and he didn't pay attention to the shepherd because all he does is eat all day long, and that's why sheep have a tendency to move on and on and on because they're so focused on eating that they'll wander off.
I didn't really realize all that about sheep. I realized secondly that Psalm 23 says that, the Bible says that obviously God's our shepherd, and he eats us besides still waters. And I used to, I've always said that, obviously that God made it where sheep could drink and we could get the drink that we need from God's word and different things, but what's interesting is that sheep cannot drink in fast-moving water, and here's why.
If they fall in, they drown. If a sheep eats at still water and he goes into the water, he can come back out. But a sheep, because of his wool, and that wool becomes so heavy in water, and sheep's muscles are so small that if a sheep was feeding in raging waters and a sheep fell in, those waters would absolutely engulf him because of the weight, and he could not fight himself out, and he would literally drown from the weight of his own skin.
I didn't know that. I found thirdly that sheep, obviously, and we know this, are born followers. Sheep are told what to do, but that doesn't mean what they do. Sheep do what they see done, whatever the sheep in front of them done. In fact, you'll find numerous instances, not only in the word of God, but in nowadays that there are sheep that will literally walk off a cliff because a sheep was grazing next to a cliff and lost his footing and fell over the cliff, and when a sheep sees that sheep go over the cliff, he'll follow him right over the cliff, and before you know it, ten sheep will commit suicide going right over the cliff simply because that's what the one in front of them did.
You say, that's dumb. God calls us sheep. How often do you and I follow other people instead of the shepherd? I found this fourthly, I didn't know, that sheep are helpless against predators. Not only this, sheep do not fight back, and in Bible days, obviously, we have biblical instances that lions and wolves and panthers and leopards and bears, even hyenas and stuff, will go after sheep and they will kill sheep, and here's what happens. Sheep don't fight back.
They don't give any resistance. The problem is when they see predators coming, they gang up in a ball, and that makes it easy for the predator to get all of them. If sheep were smart, they would separate, but you know what sheep do? They're so dumb and they're so helpless that when a predator comes at them, they gang together so it makes it easier for him to get all of them at once. Makes no sense, does it? I noticed this fifthly, that under certain circumstances, a sheep can get turned over on its back and is not able to get up.
Now listen to this, I found this, I thought, I didn't know this. This is actually fatal to sheep. Most of a sheep's vital bodily functions depend on gravity, and I didn't know this. And if a sheep ends up on his back, many times they are not able to turn themselves back over, and with a lack of gravity, their bodily functions, the blood floods out of their legs, they cannot digest their food, their internal organs quit working, and they will die on their backs. And that's why shepherds have to constantly watch their sheep, and they literally have to turn them back over, or they'll die.
How many times have you and I ended up on our back? And it's only the grace of God that put us back on our feet. I want to talk to you this morning very quickly on the lost sheep. Number one in this passage, I want you to see this, that the good shepherd seeks his sheep. Notice if you would in verse four, very simple this morning. What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness?
And notice these two words, and go after that which is lost until he find it. Number one, I want you to see here a compassionate search for just one sheep was missing. Ninety-nine were okay.
And you would think that, you know what, well, I'm still ninety-nine to the good. But that shepherd has so much compassion in this passage for that one sheep, that he will leave that ninety and nine sheep, and he will go after that one lost sheep because he has that much compassion for that sheep. That's our God that does that for us. Let me give you a verse, Luke 19, 10. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save, listen to this, that which is lost.
Now I never saw this until I dug into this message. It does not say for the Son of Man came to seek and to save those which were lost. Instead he has come to seek and to save that which was lost.
Singular. He would come just for one. What a compassionate shepherd we have. John 10, 7, listen to this. Then said Jesus unto them again, verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. Verse 9 says, I am the door by me if any man, singular, enter in. He, singular, shall be saved and shall go in and out and find pasture. Look at me, dear friend. Jesus has so much compassion for you that he is concerned about you out of all the people in the world.
You. A compassionate search. Second, we see a costly search. You see, often times for a shepherd to go after a sheep, it meant great danger to the shepherd. Because often times sheep would, and as I dug into this I realized that, often times sheep will see patches of grass or something that look good to them in rocky areas and they will literally jump as much as 10 to 15 feet down to get to an area where they can eat grass. The problem is when they get down there they don't have the strength or the ability to get back up.
And they'll eat that grass there at that area and then they're stuck and they can't get anywhere. And often times a shepherd will have to tie a rope to something and they'll have to lower themselves down and it means that they're in danger that they could fall and it's at great risk to them. And so not only was this a compassionate search, but it was a costly search.
Now look at me, listen to me. For the shepherd the search was dangerous and death was a possibility. But for our good shepherd death was a necessity. You don't think that it was costly for Jesus to come after us lost sheep?
It cost him everything. We see a compassionate search, we see a costly search. John 10 11 Jesus said this, I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. I want you to notice thirdly we have a consistent search.
This is what's great. The shepherd did not stop until his mission had been completed. He goes after that which is lost, notice those last four words. Until he find it.
He will not stop until he finds it. I found this as a man named Dr. Andrew Boner and he lives in the highlands of Scotland. And he told this story about as he herded sheep, I wanted to read this to you. He says that sheep would often wander off into the rocks and get into places that they couldn't get out of. The grass on these mountains is very sweet and the sheep like it.
And they will jump down 10 to 12 feet and then they can't jump back again. And the shepherd hears them bleeding in distress. Sheep will begin to call out in almost a gluttural moan.
They will be there for days until they have eaten all the grass. A wise shepherd, this is what Dr. Andrew Boner said, listen to this. A wise shepherd will wait until they are so faint that they cannot stand. And when a sheep can no longer stand his legs will crumble under him and he will literally crumble onto the ground. And he said at that point then the shepherd will put a rope around himself. And he will go over and pull that sheep out of the jaws of death. The man that was interviewing him said this, why don't they go down there when the sheep first gets there? Ah, Dr. Boner said, they are so very foolish that those sheep would dash right over the precipice and be killed if they did. The shepherd has to wait till the sheep has no strength left for the sheep to submit to the shepherd. Let me tell you oftentimes why we go through so many things because God has to allow us to deplete all of our resources and get to the end of all of our rows and try all the things that we have to try till we have nothing left and we can't even stand on our own and then he can help us.
A compassionate search, a costly search, and a consistent search. Notice number two, look at verse five if you will. Not only does the good shepherd seek his sheep, but notice secondly the good shepherd secures his sheep. Excuse me, that's number three. Number two, the good shepherd saves his sheep.
I'm sorry. Look at verse five. And when he hath found it, he leaveth it on his shoulders rejoicing. Now I want you to notice two things out of this verse real quick. Number one, I want you to see the sheep rescued and number two, the shepherd rewarded. Now this is great. The sheep rescued.
Listen to this. The Bible does not say if he finds it, he leaveth it on his shoulders. The Bible says and when he hath found it. That means this, the saving of the sheep is an absolute certainty. The verse does not say that God, if he finds us, it says when he findeth it. That means this, the shepherd is not going to stop until he finds the sheep. And the fact of God finding us is an absolute certainty.
Say why is that? Because he never loses his sheep. It doesn't say if, it says when. And we see that the sheep is rescued from the danger that it had been in. What does it mean when we say hey, have you ever been saved? What does the word saved mean? It simply means this, to rescue from all harm and danger. And that's exactly what our shepherd did for us on the cross. He has given you the capability to escape all danger. The sheep rescued, but notice secondly the shepherd rewarded.
And when he hath found it, notice this, he leaveth it on his shoulders rejoicing. I don't understand this, that you and I should be the ones rejoicing when we're saved. Anybody here this morning?
Now I've been gone for a week, but this is ridiculous. You hear me? When we get saved, we should be the ones rejoicing. The Bible says the shepherd is the one doing the rejoicing. Do you know when you and I got saved, Jesus was happier we got saved than we were that we got saved?
That doesn't make sense to me. But we find here that the shepherd loves us so much that when that sheep that was lost is found, he rejoices. I've seen people rejoice. I've seen people get saved rejoice. I've seen people get right with God and rejoice.
But nobody rejoices as much as Jesus does when that happens. What a shepherd. I want you to notice this, number three, not only does the good shepherd seek his sheep and save his sheep, but I enjoy this. Notice number three, the good shepherd secures his sheep. Look at verse five if you would. And when he hath found it, he leaveth it on his shoulders. Number one under this, I want you to see this, that he secures them by his strength. The Bible says that when he finds that sheep that was lost, that he picks that sheep up and he puts it on his shoulders.
Now look at me. You've got to get this. The sheep is not responsible to get himself home. The shepherd does that. You would think that an old mean shepherd, a sheep that was lost, he'd get that sheep out of it, throw that sheep down, get up and walk yourself.
You dummy. You're the one that got lost. The Bible says that our shepherd, when we have run off, that when he finds us, he lays us on his shoulders. It is not our responsibility to get back home.
It does not take our effort. It's the blood of Christ that gets us back home. It's the forgiveness of our shepherd that allows us back home. He secures them by his strength. The Bible says that we are kept by the power of God.
That's why the Bible says that he that hath begun a good work in you will perform it. It's his strength. It's his job. He performs it.
You and I don't. We're just laying on his shoulders and he's taking us home. Secondly, I want you to see that not only does he secure them by his strength, but second, he secures them by his stamina. Notice this if you would in verse 5. And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders rejoicing.
Notice verse 6. And when he cometh home. That means this, not only does the shepherd find us, rescue us, forgive us, he lays us on his shoulders. And not only is he strong enough to carry us, look at me, but he has the stamina to carry us all the way home. Dear friend, if you're saved, you are assured a home in heaven.
You cannot build it and you cannot provide that. The shepherd does that. And the reason he does that is because he had enough strength to find us and he has enough stamina to take us all the way home. Listen to this.
I want you to get this. The Lord did not start this mission to fail. He did not come to earth and die on the cross to fail.
He did it to be victorious. Dear friend, I want you to know something. As a lost sheep, those of us who were lost that are now found, those of us that have rebelled and have come back to God, there might be some here in the building that you know what, to be honest, you've gone a guilty distance away from God and it's time for you to come back home.
Look at me. He's looking for you and he's searching for you and he loves you and he's compassionate for you and he'll go to the depths of the earth to get you back. Don't worry about being lost again because you're not. You are his sheep. What I find interesting here is that the Bible says that the sheep were lost but the shepherd never was. You say, well, preacher, how do you know that if you get saved that you stay saved? Because we're the ones that get lost and run off. God never does.
And the Bible says God's the one that keeps us saved so it's not up to us. So as long as he doesn't ever get lost, we're okay. And he's the shepherd.
He doesn't get lost. I wanted to read this to you. I thought this was interesting. Carl Ketterside served in what we would call the restoration movement in church history. And I found this story about him that was interesting. As he got into his later years, he retired from pastoring and he decided to go and he worked in inner city areas. And he would go and reach what we call the slum of the city. And he was kind of the one that kind of birthed the movement of rescue missions that we have nowadays that tries to help people in obviously derelict positions and different things. And he was down there and he would bring those that looked bad and looked smelly and looked ugly and all that had been through things and alcoholics and drug addicts and all these things.
And he would begin to work with them and he gave his final years. After all that he had accomplished in church history, he gave those final years to help these kind of people. And one day he was in a church showing pictures and they didn't have slides back in those days. And he was just showing pictures in black and white pictures of folks in the church of the people that he would reach and he was trying to raise support. And one of the ladies from that church, one of the proper ladies came up to him after the service and he was showing her those pictures and trying to raise support. And she says, we're supposed to help those people?
And he said, well yeah. She says, they look like something the cat drug in. And he said, ma'am, no, they look like something the shepherd brought home. Dear friend, all of us look like something the cat drug in without God. I don't know about you, I'm glad God had enough compassion on me, not only to save me, but to come after me every time I ran away from the fold. God's lost and found, the lost sheep. Look at me, he loves you enough that if you were the only one, he would have died for you. And he loves you enough that when you are his sheep, even when you wander off, he loves you back to the fold. God bless you. God bless you.
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