The Shepherd's Successful Search: His Sheep! Two verses: For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost. (Luke 19:10) Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners---of whom I am the worst (1 Timothy1:15). Both of these verses are more familiar than known. It is those verses we are familiar with (i.e. we think we know) that often prove most elusive when it comes to learning from. Many read that first verse as if it merely said "Christ came to seek the lost". But the verse says more than that. It teaches a doctrine that is actually fairly unpopular among some modern Christians. It teaches that Christ came to save the lost, not just seek them. That means that the first coming of Christ, culminating here on what he did on the Cross, had the announced purpose of saving certain people. It was a mission accomplished! That is, on the cross Christ died to actually give salvation to the lost, not just make salvation possible for the lost. "Why that's heresy, Tom! You are saying that everyone will be saved!" No, I am only saying that those designated as "lost" here will be saved. In the same way that "world" does not always mean "world", so here the "lost" does not mean "all of those who are not saved". But notice what the two verse do not say (nor does any verse in the Bible): They do not say that Christ's death made salvation possible - that "possible" is the assumption of modern theologians. It is actually a limitation of the power of the Atonement. The Biblical teaching is that those who are saved at the cross (and there is no other place to be saved - Acts 4:12) will be saved to the uttermost (Heb. 7:25). That is the true Atonement teaching that really satisfies and comforts. He who started our salvation in us will perfect it until the Day of Christ Jesus. The teaching of the hand-wringing I did-all-I-can-do Jesus is a contrivance of more recent times. No wonder that this sovereignless Jesus does not command respect or awe. No wonder that the modern church has to think up gimmicks and entertainments to trick the unchurched inside their walls to lend an ear for five minutes to this forlorn jesus.