bits from bob....
We have traditionally defined evangelism as reaching out to those who have never known a relationship with God. Surely such are in great need of the "good news" so they might be redeemed. The Scriptures, however, have much to say about another group in need of the "good news" so they might be reconciled. These are the lost sheep, those who have previously walked with God but have somehow walked away from the Shepherd.
I am saddened when I think of those I know who have returned to the world and no longer walk in faithful relationship to Christ and his spiritual body on earth, the church. Jesus says such may be due to hard teaching (John 6:66, Matt. 19:10-12). Such may occur in the lives of those who never counted the cost of being a disciple (Lk. 14:25-33). Such may occur because of misplaced priorities (2 Tim. 4:13). Such may occur inadvertently as one is overcome by sin (Gal. 6:1-2). The most troublesome cause, however, is carelessness. Most lost sheep have merely drifted away, wandering in the pastures of the world (Heb. 2:1-4). No overwhelming issues or disagreements, no hard feelings, no doctrinal disagreements, every intention of returning soon. Sadly, days turn to weeks turn to years, and the spiritual spark dies.
May the love that sends us seeking those who need redemption be strong enough to send us seeking those who need reconciliation. If we loved enough to save the unsaved, let us love enough to keep the saved saved.
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