The Gospel of Luke uses the word “lost” more than any other book in the New Testament. In chapter 15, for example, Jesus mentions a lost sheep, a lost coin and a lost son (prodigal). And in Luke 19:10 He said, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost”.
Speaking of which, WHO IS LOST in God’s eyes?
Through the centuries increasing numbers of church “authorities” adopted the position that everyone is lost from the moment of birth. According to them, we enter the world totally depraved and separated from God because we somehow inherit the sin of Adam at conception. In other words, newborn babes are morally filthy and entirely sinful in God's sight. (By the way, this erroneous doctrine gave rise to the equally flawed practice of infant baptism.)
Careful and unbiased Bible study, however, proves that God does NOT consider infants as morally filthy, sinful and lost. Nor does He transfer the sins of Adam to newborn babies. Ezekiel 18:20 states, “The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father…the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.” Moreover, Jesus told his followers, "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as LITTLE CHILDREN, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this LITTLE CHILD is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 18:3-4).
Some people cite Psalm 51:5 in an effort to prove that all men born of women are sinful at birth. “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.” If David literally meant that he was born a sinner, the same would apply to Jesus Christ, Who was also “born of a woman" – Gal. 4:4.
So, who is actually lost? Although the following is not an exhaustive list, it provides an idea as to those who are lost. Those who do not know God (2 Thess. 1:8-9); those who do not believe in God (Heb. 11:6); those who do not believe that Jesus is the Son of God (John 8:24); those who do not repent of their sins (Luke 13:3, 5); those who do not confess faith in Jesus (John 12:42-43); those who do not obey the gospel, including baptism (2 Cor. 4:3-4; Mark 16:16); believers who return to their worldly ways (2 Pet. 2:20-22); and believers who leave their first love or are spiritually lukewarm (Rev. 2:4, 3:14-19).
When we consider the aforementioned souls, it becomes clear that the lost have reached sufficient age and maturity to make such choices for themselves. Babies and small children are incapable of doing so.
As we continue to study the subject of salvation, may we determine to ignore man-made doctrines, while relying entirely on the Bible to determine the truth – John 17:17.
Jesus, always Jesus,