All The Lost Are To Be Saved

All Christians admit that men are in a lost condition. While there is no such language as "finally impenitent," or "finally lost" in the Bible, the Gospel everywhere assumes that souls are lost. For the purpose of seeking and saving such, all such, Jesus came to this world.

The Son of Man is come to save that which was lost. Luke 19: 10.

Not a part, but all the lost. Will he succeed? This question he answers, and in the three parables, the Lost Silver, the Lost Sheep, and the Lost Prodigal, he teaches that all the lost are to be restored.

What man of you having a hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, does not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it. Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, does not light a candle and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it. A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, father give me the portion of goods that falls to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he came to himself, he said; how many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, father I have sinned against heaven, and before you, and am no more worthy to be called your son: make me as one of your hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, father I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight, and am no more worthy to he called your son. But the father said to his servants, bring forth the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet, - for this, my son, was dead and is alive again; he was lost, AND IS FOUND. Luke 15: 11-22.

Now, had these parables been related to teach the common doctrines of the sacrificial church, they would have represented the shepherd as having found say twenty sheep, while eight were irreclaimable; the woman would have lost, say six pieces of silver, and found but two, while four were utterly gone, and the father would have had, say four disobedient children, only one of whom returned, while three wandered in the great desert of sin irredeemable forever. But this is not the teaching of these simple yet divine stories. Their significance is not in the loss of sheep, or silver, or prodigal, nor in the value placed on them by their owners, nor in their diligence in searching. There are beautiful lessons in all this, but the emphasis is placed where the Christian world does not place it, not on the loss, or the finding of a part, but on the fact that the search was continued until all the lost were found. The word that Christians overlook, is the word UNTIL - "Until he find it," "Until she find it," the search continues for sheep and silver, and the father of the prodigal waits until he can see his son return, until be can say "My lost son is found." These parables teach beyond all controversy that however many are lost, they are all found, that when the search is finished there are no lost. Hence the divine author of the parables says:

All that the Father gives me shall come to me; and him that comes to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father's will which has sent me, that of all which he has given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. John 6: 37-39.

Christianity tolerates no final loss. All the lost are to be found by the Heavenly Seeker. When the divine task is consummated the entire race will be brought home - "no wanderer lost, a family in heaven!" The language of our Savior can have no significance, if he does not accomplish the redemption of all souls.

I am the good shepherd and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knows me, even so know I the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. John 10: 14-16.

Christians of all creeds rise to the sublime height of the salvation of all, in their best moments, as witness the universal singing of the "Ninety and Nine," a song that breathes the spirit, while it expresses the literal language of our faith, and yet is sung by Christians of every sect, everywhere.

There were ninety and nine that safely lay

In the shelter of the fold,

But one was out on the hills away,

Far off from the gates of gold.

Away on the mountain wild and hare,

Away from the tender Shepherd's care.

"Lord, you have here your ninety and nine:

Are they not enough for you?"

But the Shepherd made answer, "This one of mine

Has wandered away from me;

And although the way he rough and steep,

1 go to the desert to find my sheep."

But none of the ransomed ever knew

How deep were the waters crossed,

Nor how dark was the night the Lord passed through

Ere he found his sheep that was lost.

Out in the desert he heard its cry -

Sick and helpless and ready to die.

"Lord, whence are those blood-drops all the way

That mark the mountain's track?"

"They were shed for one who had gone astray

Ere the Shepherd could bring him back!"

"Lord, whence are your hands so rent and torn?"

"They are pierced to-night by many a thorn."

All thro' the mountains thunder-riven,

And up from the rocky steep,

There arose a cry to the gates of heaven,

"Rejoice! 1 have found my sheep!"

And the angels echoed around the throne,

"Rejoice, for the Lord brings back his own!'

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