Is the parable of the lost sheep just wishful thinking?


It has been suggested, or rather lamented, that we cannot love as God loves. For God loves without limits, and we cannot seem to live without erecting borders, whether national or personal. Humankind does not love. But, I would also add, humankind does not live either, precisely because they do not love. It is our own limitations that blind us to the truth of Ephesians 3:20, “Now unto him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think…” If our own limitations lead us to think that most of humankind will forever abide in Hell without end; we must be reminded God is able to do exceeding abundantly above what we think. We must not project our own limitations on God.

It is a sad state of the Christian Church that its members look with despair upon their brothers and sisters and have no hope. The parable of the Good Shepherd who leaves the 99 to find the one sheep which was lost is, in the eyes of Church members, just wishful thinking. For the reality is the beggar on the street, the homeless under the bridge, the addict in the drug house, the rebellious brother, sister, mother, or father who did not make a profession of faith toward God—none of them were rescued by the Good Shepherd. God is, in the end, a failure. And God failed because the one being rescued did not reach out to Him.

Dear Body of Christ, God cannot fail. God will not fail. Do not look with despair towards the end. Our story is a triumph, not a tragedy. And if your understanding of salvation will not allow you to hope in this manner, then you have a terrible understanding of salvation. For God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think. And the God who loves without limits can cause you to love as he loves too. For to love your neighbor is to love God; and to love God is to love your neighbor. One cannot be done without the other.

 

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2 thoughts on “Is the parable of the lost sheep just wishful thinking?

  1. It truly is despairing to think of those “lost” people, especially the ones close to us. If God truly does not give up on them as I grew up believing, then neither should I give up on them. But if they really are condemned to Hell, then what hope is there… even for we that are saved?

  2. The only God that “spared not His own Son…will He not also freely give us all things?” I do not know if there is an eternal hell or not. For myself, I would hold to a “just in case” philosophy. But two things I do know..it is ingrained within me after going through many trials, and it is this: That God is good, and that He loves us. We can trust a God who is good and who loves us to judge righteously ourselves and those whom we love as well as the truly evil person, if there is such a one. We can keep on praying to Him because there is no one else who has the words of eternal life.

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