Loving The Lost (Part 4)

Loving The Lost (Part 4)

Thursday’s Column: Captain’s Blog

Carl Pollard

In loving the lost we should imitate the father in Luke 15:11-32. Notice his response to his son: 

  • He was hopeful for his son to return
  • He was waiting and saw him from far off
  • He was compassionate
  • He runs out to him 
  • He showered him with love 

In loving the lost, do we show this same care and concern as the father in this parable? It is a command that we love the lost and we search for them, because what is lost has an eternal impact. 

Notice the structure of Luke 15: 

  • 1 out of 100
  • 1 out of 10
  • 1 out of 2 

Each one is just as valuable as the next. Every soul is worth loving. Every soul is worth fighting for. 

In London there is an official governmental office for lost and found items. It is the London Transports “Lost Property Office.” It is located on the side of the Baker’s Street Station, just across the street from the fictitious residence of Sherlock Holmes. It has been there since 1933 and it is where all the lost items found on or in any of London’s transportation systems… subways, buses, cabs, etc., are placed to be reclaimed. Every year between 150,000 and 200,000 items are found and turned in to the LPO where officials attempt to locate owners and return their lost items.

Every year people lose wheelchairs, false teeth, watches, backpacks and lunch pails, umbrellas, cell phones, and what have you… between 2009 and 2010 38,000 books, 29,000 bags and 28,000 pieces of clothing were turned in. Oddities found and turned in included urns with human remains, a suitcase full of money, a human skull and a lawnmower.

People lose valuable items all the time, but most have lost their soul, the most valuable of their possessions, and they don’t even realize it. The sheep knew it was lost when it couldn’t find the flock, and some people will understand that something is missing in their life and search for it. The coin didn’t realize it was lost, because…well it was a coin. Some today will live as if nothing is missing. The prodigal son illustrates those who are lost, and know where to return to when they wish to come home. 

Our job today as Christians is to show people what is missing. We are to be a shining light to them in darkness. 

“This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:3-4). When I was lost in Walmart I regretted that I went and chased after the toy dinosaur. All I wanted was to find my mom again. I was so happy when I saw her. 

You may have a close friend that is searching for truth, and you will see the happiness you give them when they find what is missing, as Christians we are tasked with loving the lost, and what a privilege it is to be apart of sharing the joy of salvation with a lost and dying world. 

(Around the time of the Wal-Mart incident)
How Determined Are You?

How Determined Are You?

Neal Pollard

Karoly Takacs has one of the most interesting stories in Olympic History. The right-handed pistol marksman and sergeant in the Hungarian Army was a world-class shooter, but was denied an opportunity to compete in the 1936 games since only commissioned officers could compete. That prohibition was lifted after these games and Takacs anticipated competing in 1940, but a faulty grenade exploded in his right hand during army training in 1938. Unbeknownst to the Polish public, Karoly began practicing shooting with his left hand. He showed up at the 1939 Hungarian National Pistol Shooting Championship, and when other competitors came to offer condolences about his accident, he said, “I didn’t come to watch, I came to compete.” In fact, he won those games. But, he was unable to compete in the 1940 or 1944 Olympic Games because they were not held due to World War II. By the time of the 1948 games, held in London, Takacs was 38 years old. But, he qualified and won the Gold Medal there. Then, he turned around and did it again at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki. He barely missed qualifying in 1956!  For this, he holds a place as one of Poland’s greatest Olympic heroes of all time (information via Quora.com authors Ankur Singh and Swati Kadyan).

In the New Testament, God shows us how beautiful proper determination is. Starting with Jesus’ determination to save us from our sins, as we read about Him because of anticipated joy “endured the cross, despising the shame” (Heb. 12:1), we find the greatest example of resolve. But, then there was Paul. Before conversion, he was determined to exterminate the Christians (read Acts 26:9-11). After being won to Christ, he refocused his determination toward winning as many as possible to Christ (1 Cor. 2:2; 9:24-27) and he urged others to do the same (2 Tim. 2:1-6; Tit. 3:8; etc.). No one will make it to heaven without making a determined effort to do so. That does not mean that anyone will earn their salvation, but it just as true that no one accidentally goes to heaven. The way Jesus put it is, “Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able” (Luke 13:24). How badly do you want to go to heaven? What are you willing to give up in order to go there?