Lost and Found
And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself. 28 But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, “Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.” 29 Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. Acts 16:27-33 NKJV
Undoubtedly, a missing fruit in the latter day church is a lack of oikos (Greek) evangelism, i.e., sharing Christ with the whole family—the whole household. This includes witnessing the Gospel message to everyone under the influence of your household. You may be saved, but without your witness, family and household members remain lost and need to be found.
The “Lost and Found” is a place where personal property is kept until claimed by the lawful owner. So, what does it mean for a sinner to be lost and found? First and foremost, understand that a person is a sinner, primarily, not because of what they do, but because of whom they are—a person without Christ in their life. Furthermore, a person is lost because they don’t know where they are and whose they are. They are lost within themselves but not to God. Nothing is ever lost in the mind of God.
To be found is when God, by His Spirit, makes a rightful claim on your soul (Luke 19:5-10; John 6:44). Figuratively, God claims the lost from the “Lost and Found.” Like the keeper of the prison (Text), a sinner is sleep in darkness and will only be awaken by God shaking the foundations of his life—being before oblivious to the light of the Gospel. In fact, Apostle Paul told the Corinthians that, “ . . . if our gospel is hid, it is hid to those who are lost, in whose minds the god of this world has blinded, who do not believe, lest the glorious light of the gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them” (2 Cor. 4:3,4 ). So what makes a sinner see and realize the need for salvation?
If a sinner doesn’t see the need, he remains blind to the Supply; if he doesn’t see the problem, he remains blind to the Solution. Jesus Christ is the Supply and the Solution, and He will come to claim lost souls in the “Lost and Found.” When a sinner realizes that he is lost, helpless and without hope; then he’ll believe. It’s the only thing left that he can do (Acts 2:37). The evidence that he truly believes that he acts on what he believes, i.e., he’ll look for an opportunity to “wash stripes” (Acts 16:33). To “wash stripes” are acts of rectitude and restitution—seeking to clean up what he messed up; he wants to right his old sinful acts that wounded and hurt others. This may not be possible in every case, but just know, what the new believer can’t make right, God will by His grace.