Are you willing to be Lost?

(The following is based on the sermon "Amazing Grace and the Loud Cry" by Pastor Ivor Myers. Cick here to watch the sermon)

How many of us are happy to see the person next to us [in church or elsewhere] where ever we may be?
Jesus says:

John 13:34, 35 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Do we love one another just as Jesus has loved us?

How do we love one another? The same way that God loved us. And how did He love us? John 3:16 says – “for God so loved the world" and gave; He gave His Son and His Son (did what?) forgave us. Therefore beloved, the way that I demonstrate my love for somebody else is in my ability in Christ to forgive.

Col 3:12,13 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.

In other words, we are told, just as Christ forgave us, we are to be forgiving one another, the same way. That is forgiving grace that we receive at Calvary. Beloved, if we truly receive it, we will give that same forgiving grace to one another.

How did Jesus forgive us?

Isaiah 53:3 He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.

Now why was Jesus a man of sorrows? Jesus was a man of sorrows not for his own sorrows, but He was a man of sorrows, because He took our sorrows upon himself.

Isaiah 53:4 Surely He has borne (whose grief’s?) our grief’s. What did Jesus really do? He took our sins upon him and treated them as his own. That’s what forgiveness is about.

Wasn’t that amazing that God [the son] actually took our sins which were not his, and He took them upon himself and so identified with them, and at his very death he cried out “My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me”. That’s amazing!!! Jesus says that’s how I forgave you, now I want you to forgive others, the same way. I want you to take that person who has done you wrong and take that person’s sins, as though they were your own, and take it to the Father and say to the Father, Father, please forgive.

How many of us are willing to do that?

How many of us are willing to take the person who has wronged us and take that’s persons sin against us and go to God the Father in prayer, asking for the forgiveness of that person as though it was our own sin. Beloved, that is genuine love!

Moses and the character of God

When the children of Israel rebelled against God, Moses says, now I have to go up to the Mt. top to make supplications for you (Exodus 32:30). Do you remember that story? And Moses goes up and Moses loves his people. So he comes up with an idea. He says God , I got a plan. You see those people down there that hate me. Who are rebelling against you and who can’t stand my leadership; let’s make an agreement. Lets act as it was my sin. Let their sins fall upon me (Exodus 32:32) - That’s what he was saying!

It’s amazing that Moses could offer himself in that respect for a people, who were rebelling not just against God but against him. Moses was willing to take their sins as his own.

Jesus says this is the forgiving grace I want you to exercise to one another, and when you begin to demonstrate such love to one another, it proves that we are now manifesting the character of God. So beloved, when we begin to forgive someone like that, we are demonstrating the character of Jesus.

That’s why Jesus could pray, Father forgive them, he said, Father I am going to take their sins upon me because they do not know what they are doing. Father, I will take the lost. Beloved, forgiveness involves taking the lost.

But what do we like to demand? Justice. How many of us like Justice?

We demand justice and if they don’t tell me they are sorry, I am going to make them pay. Not until they ask for forgiveness, will I forgive them. They wronged me, they must pay for that.

Forgiveness is saying, I am willing to forego justice, and extend grace.

Beloved, this is important. If we demand justice, then we are in huge trouble. Why? Because what we demand of others, God will demand of me.

Now how many of us think we’ll be saved by God’s justice? No, we will be saved not by his justice; but we will be saved by his grace. The wicked will be lost because of God’s justice; the righteous will be saved because of God’s grace.

Jesus says in Matt 6:14,15, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

This is the forgiveness that God demand us. God say this is what we must have as people.

In Matt 5:43 Jesus begins to speak about perfection:

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor[g] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,[h] 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?

God says it’s no big deal if you love somebody that loves you back, that’s no big deal; even the tax collectors do that. I am calling you to love and forgive those who don’t deserve your forgiveness. Verse 47:

And if you greet your brethren[i] only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors[j] do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

What is perfection? It is the demonstration of the character of God which is most revealed in His willingness to forgive us.

It is saying while I am innocent, I will take the fault. What do we say beloved? We say I am so thankful that there is a lake of fire! God make sure he pays for that too. That’s sometimes our attitude.

Instead my friends, we should be praying, if he is going to the hell fire, please, don’t let it be on account of what he did to me. Take my name out of the book of life, just don’t let him go on account of me. That is amazing grace, that is when we demonstrate the character of God.

John 15:13,14 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.

What does it mean to lay down your life? It means to die. So do you realize that sin always demands a sacrifice? So note carefully. When someone does something wrong, immediately a sacrifice is demanded. Are you willing to lay down your life for someone else? Are you willing to say, i will be the one to suffer on his behalf; I will die rather than demand justice!

Remember, Jesus laid down his life for his friends. Who were his friends? His enemies!

Galatians 6:1,2 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

What is burdens? The word burdens is also translated as sin. Therefore beloved, we do not demand justice, but rather I be the one to do just like Jesus did, and thus fulfill the law of Christ; bearing one another's burdens.

Did you know that a Christian is a person who desires to see, his or her brother/sister get saved. You will say, Lord don’t count against them what they have done against me. What was Stephen closing prayer when he was stoned?

Acts 7:60 Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

Can you imagine if God’s church had this manifestation of God character?

How many of us, love one another? How many of us are willing to take a bullet for someone else? We are told to love one another, just as he loved us. How did He love us? He gave himself for us. So as God’s people, we must get to a place, where we are willing to actually physically die to save a life; of any given person. That’s what love is.

What cost was Jesus willing to pay? Not only was he willing to die the first death, he was willing to die the second death. Jesus was willing to suffer eternal separation from the Father knowing that many would not respond to that sacrifice. Yet he was willing. What was Moses willing to pay? Moses was praying to experience the second death (Exodus 32:32).

What is our primary nature? To save ourselves. We say, I want to get to heaven at any cost. However, that’s wasn’t Jesus mode of operation, and neither was Moses's. In fact we are told that Jesus did not find heaven to be a place to be, when we are lost. Jesus primary goal was not heaven. His primary goal was to fulfill the will of the Father and saves us at any cost. Moses prayed “blot” me out from the book of life. Was Moses blotted out? No! Moses in saying that, demonstrated the character of God and so he was saved.

Are we willing to suffer the second death? Are we willing to forsake your place in heaven for your enemy. When we look at the cross, and see what Jesus did, when we see how he has forgiven us, how can we not forgive others and call ourselves Christians.
Now here is the big question. Beloved, are we willing to be lost or lose our life for somebody else just like Christ did?

Matt 16:24,25 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.

Did you know that, heaven will be filled with people who were willing to miss out on heaven for somebody else?