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How A Lost Sheep Got Home
By Roy Mitchell (1928 - 2013)
“Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. And he spake this parable unto them, saying, What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth” (Luke 15:1-10).
Let me speak to you for just a few moments on this subject, after reading these verses of Scripture from God’s Word, on How A Lost Sheep Got Home.
First of all, I want you to notice that the shepherd found the sheep. And Jesus Christ is identified as the Good Shepherd. Now the question comes, “Who are the sheep?” Not just Israel, not all people, some saved sheep and some lost sheep. All the elect are called sheep in the Bible. Notice this great fact that Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd, not a goat herder.
Now the hundred that we read here represents the total number of God’s people. A definite number, you cannot subtract or add to the number. God has all the children He wants and He wants all He has. The hundred represent the total number of God’s people, a definite number. The “ninety and nine” represent those who have already been found. It began with finding Adam, on down through finding Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Matthew, the woman at the well, Zacchaeus, the Apostle Paul, and own down till the last one is found.
Now the one represents the sheep that have not been found yet. And notice the great fact that the Shepherd goes out searching. What is the motive that causes the Shepherd to go out; the Shepherd’s love. Nothing good in us, but the Shepherd’s love sent the Shepherd out. The Shepherd’s search caused the Shepherd to leave His home in glory. The Shepherd’s love caused Him to pay the price of our redemption. He searches until He finds the lost sheep. How long does He search? Until He finds it, no failures. He brings all of His sheep in, and carries them home on His shoulders. What a Shepherd!
With those thoughts in mind, let us think about the search for this lost sheep. God does have a people, as we established, consisting of the saved sheep and lost sheep. All of these are His, they are His; first of all, by sovereign election. Listen to God’s Word. “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will” (Eph. 1:4-5). “And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed” (Acts 13:48). Now notice again II Timothy 2:10, “Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sake, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.” “Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God” (I Thess. 1:4). Now I believe that God’s people are His by sovereign election. There is not a person in Christ that God ever chose on the basis of foreseen faith. That would make the actions of a sovereign God contingent upon the actions of depraved humanity, which is contrary to the Word of God. Faith is a gift of God.
Secondly, I believe that all these sheep saved and lost are His. Not only by sovereign election, but also by divine protection. “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be the heirs of salvation” (Heb. 1:14)? Then they are His not only by sovereign election, by divine protection, but one day, they will all be His by sudden collection. “And he shall send in his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (Matt. 24:31). There is coming a day when the Lord Jesus, in almighty power through His angels, is going to suddenly collect His elect together, and for the first time all of them will be together. You talk about a hallelujah time on the hills of glory! God’s people are going to have it when they are suddenly collected to the bosom of God and Saviour Jesus Christ. We are all His as saved sheep, and those who are lost sheep will be brought in. I tell you it is going to be a hallelujah time when all of them are brought in. Jesus Christ will not lose a one of them. Listen to what He said, “all that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” ( John 6:37). All of them will be His.
He now is bringing in the lost sheep. Let us see how He brings them in. All of the lost sheep have not been brought in yet, but they will be. How is God bringing them in? He is bringing them in by the preaching of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now there is no substitute for preaching the gospel of the Son of God and the power of the Holy Spirit. Oh, the power of the gospel, “the gospel is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.” Oh, how I love to proclaim the gospel; how I love to proclaim the good news of how “that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;” how He was buried and on the third day arose again according to the Scriptures. Good news! The best news that we ever heard in all of our lives; how that Christ became our suffering substitute, paid all the debt that we owed. Oh, how I thank God for Jesus Christ. How I think God that He was wounded for my transgressions; bruised for my iniquities and the chastisement of my peace was upon him, and how through His stripes I am healed. Oh, the Bible tells us here in I Corinthians 1:18, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe” (I Cor. 1:21). Then notice II Thessalonians 2:13-14, “But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Notice “called us by the gospel.” Oh, how we were brought to a saving knowledge through the power of the gospel. The preaching of the gospel, the Holy Spirit quickening, drawing us to the saving knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and causing us to be looking unto Him, the Author and Finisher of our faith. Because only Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. Oh, I thank God for every true Godcalled preacher who is preaching the gospel of the Son of God, which still can break the hearts of lost humanity.
He is bringing in the lost through the preaching of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Then not only through the preaching of the gospel, but through the power of the Holy Spirit. “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged” ( John 16:7-11). Now that is what the Holy Spirit is doing today. He uses the Bible, the Word of God, which is the sword of the Spirit, to convict sinners of sin. He convinces them of righteousness, not of their own righteousness, but the righteousness of the Son of God. He shows the righteousness of Christ to lost humanity.
Then He also convinces men of judgment. Now the God of love is also a God of wrath. The God who loves people is also angry with people. Oh, the blessed work of the Holy Spirit. He quickeneth lost sinners, drawing them unto the Lord Jesus Christ.
Then not only through the preaching of the gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit, all the lost sheep are being brought in through His providence. The providence of God enters the picture. God’s works are not being carried out behind time or ahead of time, but right on schedule. I believe that we ought to recognize the providence of God in every move that we make in this old sinful world. Oh, the providence of God. By His providence, preaching the Word, the power of the Holy Spirit, He is bringing in all of His people.
Then thirdly, let me establish this, that all of God’s elect will be brought in. Every one of them. Not one shall perish. I do not believe for a moment that Jesus Christ died in vain. I believe that every person that Jesus Christ died for will ultimately be brought in. Everyone of them. It is impossible for one of the lost sheep, that He paid the price, to be eternally lost. God’s power can not be penetrated. Every one of them will be brought in. Why? Because God’s power can not be penetrated. “Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (I Peter 1:5). Now God’s power is unlimited. There is no power as great as the power of God. You can talk about the atomic bomb, the hydrogen bomb, and all the nuclear bombs put together can not equal the power of God. Now, no one, no one, not even the devil can penetrate the power of God to break God’s circle of His elect.
He is going to bring every one of them in, first of all, by His power. This is wonderful! It is an occasion of rejoicing, in the heart of every person who has been born of the Spirit of God. You can not break down the power of God. Now Satan is mighty, but not almighty. Satan is powerful, but not all powerful. All the lost sheep will be brought in, all the elect will be brought in, first of all, because it is impossible to break God’s power, to penetrate His power.
And then all of them will be brought in because His will, and His compassion, and His mercy are sovereign and they can not be nullified. All of these are sovereign. His compassion, mercy, and His will are all sovereign and they can not be nullified. Nullified? Never! Listen to God’s Word, “For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth” (Rom. 9:15-16, 18). Again notice John 6:65-66, “And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.” Oh, I will tell you, I believe in a sovereign God. His mercy, His compassion, and His will are sovereign, and nothing can nullify them. So therefore, all of the elect shall be brought in.
Fourthly, all of the elect will be brought in because He hath given His people a will, a promise that can never be denied. He made a promise and all of His promises are kept. He has never broken a promise. Notice John 6:37 as I quoted earlier in the message. “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” His promises can never be denied. They are not like man’s promises. Politicians make promises to get into office and break them immediately, but God has never broken a promise. Jesus Christ has never broken a promise. Oh, listen to this promise, how sweet it is. “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” ( John 6:37). And then listen again to the sweet words of the Lord Jesus. “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish...” ( John 10:28). “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life...” ( John 3:36). Then notice John 5:24, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” All the elect will be brought in because His promises can never be denied; never can be broken. I am glad, in the midst of all the unfaithfulness and short comings that we have, there is a God who will never turn His back on His people. He has promised to keep us forever. His promises are tried and proven. What can separate us from the love of God? How secure is a saved sheep? I will tell you, he is mighty secure. Because nothing shall separate us from the love of God. He names all the agencies known to mankind, then He says none of these things “shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:39). Are you not glad that His promises are tried and proven? All the saved sheep and the lost sheep all together representing the total of them all will be brought in to the hill sides of glory.
And then finally, all the saved sheep and the lost sheep will be brought in because His purpose, being eternal, can not change. Now we make plans and sometimes God over rules our plans, but not one purpose of God has ever had to change. God is a God that never changes. He is “the same yesterday, today, and for ever more” (Heb. 13:8). All the sheep will be brought in because of His purpose, being eternal, can not change. Notice II Timothy 1:9, “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” Then Romans 8:29-30, “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” Oh, this is God’s eternal purpose. “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate.” Foreordination, predestination, He called His predestinated ones. He justified the called ones and He is going to glorify all of the justified ones.
Five chains here. This chain began in eternity past and links together with eternity to come. And one of these days all the links are coming together. Oh, when He forms His chain not one link will ever be broken. We have not received our glorified bodies yet, but He speaks of it so sure to happen in the Scriptures as if it has already happened. It is so sure to happen. My, we are going to get a glorified body like the glorified body of the Son of God.
How A Lost Sheep Got Home, all through the Scriptures we get this great truth that salvation is of the Lord from the start to the finish. All glory and praise shall be given to Him.