3 DECEMBER (PREACHED CHRISTMAS EVENING 1769)
Lost to God
‘For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.’ Luke 19:10
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Isaiah 1:2–8
A sinner may be described as lost to God. He made us and he made us for himself, for his own service, for his own glory, to know, love and honour him. But as it was said of the prodigal, this my son was lost [Luke 15:24], so God has lost the reverence, obedience and dependence due to him from his creatures. Speaking after the manner of men he expresses concern, and, as it were, disappointment upon this account (Isaiah 1:2 and 5:4). In him we live and move and have our being [Acts 17:28]. He gives us life and breath and all things, rain and fruitful seasons—a boundless capacity and an immortal duration. But what are the returns? How totally are we all lost to him by nature, and how totally are some of you lost to him still. May he give you to know it—instead of reverence, contempt and blasphemy. See how it is with angels and glorified spirits (Isaiah 6). But how is it upon earth? Ah, how is the holy arm of God profaned, his worship neglected. Instead of dependence upon him, self reigns in every heart. We trust in our own strength and live to our own ends (Daniel 5:23). Instead of obedience, the sinner has broken the bonds of God and cast off his yoke behind him. Which of his holy commandments is not transgressed wilfully, habitually, openly, without control and without remorse—as if it was, as indeed it is, a very principle of our vile nature to set our Maker at defiance? Consider each of you what part you have in these charges.
The thief who near the Saviour hung
I take my pattern from the thief,
(In death, how happy he!)
I have no other plea;
Was answered when his dying tongue
For I of sinners am the chief,
Said, ‘LORD remember me.’
Then LORD remember me.
My sins are not less black than those
The Lamb upon his glorious throne
Which brought him to the tree:
As newly slain I see,
No thought can give my heart repose,
And trust he will not those disown
But LORD remember me.
Who plead, ‘remember me’.
SERMON: LUKE 19:10 [3/5]