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Sept 24, 2017 Where Are You?

Where Are You?

 

Scripture reading: Genesis 3:9; Luke 19:10; 15:3-10

 

[I. Introduction] The beginning of the Bible reveals man’s origin and man’s source. Man is not the product of blind evolutionary forces. He is the special creation of God. If man is the product of blind evolutionary events then he has no meaning and no purpose and he is nothing more than an accident. But we have a meaning and we have a purpose. Our meaning is that we are the image of God (1:27) and our purpose is that we would have a relationship with the Living God (resulting in His glory and our enjoyment).

 

In the beginning of the Bible we see that Adam and Eve had a relationship with God. In Genesis 3:8 we read:

 

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day[1]

 

God took on a human form in order to walk with our first parents, to converse with them, to have a personal relationship with them. It seems as if this was something that he did often because it is not the mere fact of his physical presence that brings about fear but, rather, the shame of their nakedness since their minds and hearts were changed by eating of the forbidden fruit.

 

They hide themselves. God in human form, playing the role of a companion, asks “Where are you?” That is my question this morning. Where are you?

 

Let me ask another question first.

 

[II.] Who does man belong to? Everything created has an owner and man is an important creation. Then who is the owner of man? Who is your owner? There is a principle in jurisprudence, in law, that what one makes they own. This is why there are copyrights and patents. God made us. Therefore, we belong to him.

 

Even animals know who their owners are. My favorite movie of all time is the 1963 Disney film The Incredible Journey. I never tire of watching it. It is relaxing, warm, and hopeful all at the same time. Our family has seen it enough times that, if I even suggest watching it, groans are heard from everybody except Genevieve. She likes the movie, too. It is about two dogs and a cat that get separated from their owner and travel over 200 miles on their own through the Canadian wilderness and find their way back to their house. It may seem incredible (get it?) but the truth is there have been several instances of this very thing happening – dogs and cats walking great distances on their own to get back to their owners. At least twice across the entire United States. Other times, hundreds of miles. How they do it is inexplicable. Although there are several cases of animals finding their owners, there are a thousand times more who cannot find them. They get lost and cannot find their way home. Unless they have a tag or a microchip they will end up in Animal Control and probably euthanized. But, at least they know who their owners are. If they are reunited with them they are very happy.

 

Animals know who their owners are but many people do not know.

 

Where are you? You are lost.

 

[III.] Man is in a lost condition. It is one thing to know who your owner is and be lost. You are trying to find your owner but you just can’t seem to do it. It is even worse when you don’t even know you have an owner. Whether you know your owner and can’t find him or you don’t know him at all…you are lost.

 

[A.] Man is lost because he thinks that he is the master of himself, but he is not.

 

One of the most successful rock groups of all time is Journey. They formed in the 70’s and so are considered “Classic Rock.” They were popular in the 70’s and maintained their popularity in the 80’s and 90’s and even to the present day. They have sold over 90 million albums! One of their songs that received a lot of airplay in the 70’s is entitled In My Lonely Feeling from their first album. Here are some of the lyrics.

 

In my lonely feeling

From my darkest dreams,

As I wonder,

Always changing

Forever dreaming

Am I the master of my soul?

 

The singer asks the question, “Am I the master of my soul?” [Play clip]

 

At the end of the song he answers his own question and says, “Yes, I’m the master of my soul.”

 

Man thinks he is the master of his soul, but he is not. He wants to be, but he is not. Rather, he has other masters in his life.

 

  • Some are mastered by alcohol.
  • Some are mastered by drugs.
  • Some are mastered by ambition.
  • Some are mastered by laziness.
  • Some are mastered by constant faultfinding.
  • Some are mastered by lust.
  • Some are mastered by gluttony.
  • All are mastered by sin.

 

Paul writes in Romans 6: “We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.” [2]

 

Before a person is united to Christ he is a slave to sin.

 

In verse 16 he asks a question:             “Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?” [3]

 

It is a rhetorical question, meaning that his readers are expected to know the answer. Yes, they know – we know – that we are slaves of what we obey. And, unregenerate man obeys sin.

 

Man thinks that he is his own master, but sin is his master.

 

[B.] Man is in a lost condition because he is looking for an owner but he cannot find one.

 

Some recognize that life is hard and it is made easier if we have someone to help us along. So, many seek someone to rely upon.

 

  • Women are seeking husbands.
  • Men are seeking wives.
  • People are seeking friends that “have it all together.”
  • People are seeking an employing company that is successful and, at the same time, takes care of its employees.

 

Many times people find a spouse, find a friend, find a job…and then are let down, maybe even betrayed.

 

Yet, deeper than finding an owner in this life, people are searching for meaning and purpose. They are searching for an Owner even though they are not aware of it. The only evidence that they are is an empty feeling within that they cannot understand.

 

  • People are busy all day but they do not know what they are busy for.
  • People are always in a hurry, but they don’t know what they are hurrying to.
  • Man cannot tell where he came from nor where he is going.

 

The fact that man cannot find his owner shows that he is a lost condition.

 

[IV.] God is seeking man.

 

[A.] The Lord Jesus was God come in the flesh. God has no obligation to save man. Once Adam and Eve rejected Him and sinned, and all their progeny after them – even everyone to this very day, God could have left man in his own rebellion, waiting for the Day of Judgment when eternal justice will be administered.

 

He came not as the Mighty God. But He humbled himself and came as a poor carpenter’s son. He came to find us and redeem us from our lost condition.

 

[B.] He is the Shepherd who leaves the 99 sheep to find the one who is lost. When Jesus finds the lost sheep he rejoices (Luke 15:5). Did you know that you can bring joy to God? You can bring joy to God and to all of heaven by being found. Jesus makes explicit that “being found” is a picture for repentance.

 

Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. (Luke 15:7, ESV)

 

When you repent, turn away from your sin and commit to follow Jesus, our Shepherd, then God and the angels rejoice.

 

[C.] God is seeking man through the Holy Spirit.

 

“Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? (15:8, ESV)

 

The woman represents the Lord Jesus. The lost coin is you. The house is the world. And, the lamp is the Holy Spirit. The lamp shines its light into the nooks and crannies of this clod of dirt we call earth, even the nooks and crannies of our innermost being, until the coin is found.

 

When the Holy Spirit enlightens you, you feel troubled inside. This feeling comes from the Lord Jesus enlightening you and sweeping within you, through the Holy Spirit.

 

When some hear the gospel they do have this troubled feeling inside because the Spirit is sweeping. The Lord Jesus is seeking for you. Those who are not troubled by their sin and their lostness give evidence that the Spirit is neither shining nor sweeping.

 

[V. Conclusion] God is asking right now, “Where are you?” He knows where you are. He is asking not for his benefit, but for yours. He wants you to consider where you really are.

 

  • Have you been found by the Lord or are you wandering about?
  • Are you under the impression that you are the master of your soul? If you are, then you are lost, because you are not the master of your soul.
  • Are you searching for a master? You must know that no earthly master – no wife, no husband, no friend, not the best boss there is – can guide you as well as the Lord Jesus can and will. And no earthly master can take away your guilt. Only Jesus can do that!

 

God is asking, right now, “Where are you?”

 

If you feel the light shining, if you sense the sweeping, then come forward to him now and be found.

 

 

 

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ge 3:8). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[2] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ro 6:6). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[3] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ro 6:16). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.