Is there anything worse than being lost? If your answer is a hasty, reflexive, theologically pre-prescribed “no,” then perhaps it has been awhile since you felt the full, visceral desperation of being utterly without hope.
But what could possibly be worse than being lost?
When we are talking about spiritual lostness, we are describing the reality of an eternal separation from the sheltering presence of a holy and loving God—a terrible state so horrifying that few want to ponder it for long. And knowing that the very same holy and loving God went to heroic lengths to personally pay the price for our sin and separation makes the continued persistence in lostness all the more lamentable.
So then, what could be worse than being lost? What is worse than the unnecessary ache and hopelessness of being disconnected from a pursuing Creator who lovingly fashioned us incomplete without him?
This: being lost when no one on earth is looking for you.
The despair of lostness is always intensified when someone believes that there is no remedy, no hope, and no lifeline on its way. The terrible throbbing of aloneness is accentuated knowing it will likely never end. Lostness leaves us derelict, disoriented, and despairing.
If you’ve ever had the misfortune of being physically lost, the knowledge of possible searchers has a buoying affect—it inspires hope and heightens our expectation for help. This glimmer of light allows you to continue to dream of home and emotionally prepare yourself for rescue. The probability of a search party, of heroic people doing heroic things to return you to safety, will rouse your own desire to seek out your courageous rescuers.
Being lost and yet valued enough to be sought after tends to inspire spiritual expectation. Yet, the sad reality is that most of the population of North America is spiritually lost, with absolutely no one looking for them.
Own Our Responsibility
So, as God-called leaders in Jesus’ pursuing mission, what are we to do?
First, we must own the responsibility of allowing our ecclesiology to become so insular, so circumspect, and so self-preserving that it no longer calls its own into the dangerous mission of its Savior. Like spineless firefighters huddled in a cozy firehouse while the city burns, we have cloistered and entertained ourselves in an alternate and artificial reality, all the while calling our religious activity “spiritual.” We have made heroes of deserting generals and villains of the bewildered wounded who only frantically crave some good news (Ezek. 33:6). And our feeble theological predisposition to blame victims only adds evidence to our spiritual detachment.
Click here to read more.
Source: Christianity Today