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I WISH SOMEONE OUT THERE WILL FIND ME - 
A SERMON FOR THE X-GENERATION

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached on Lord's Day Morning, May 8, 2005
at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles

"For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10).


Loneliness is the greatest problem facing young people today. One college student told me, "I've been terribly lonely." She felt the pain that so many teenagers and young adults experience in our culture. A young man said to me, "I've never been able to hold on to friends. Something always happens to separate us." Another young person said, "I'm so lonely I don't know what to do." A short time later he committed suicide. According to many psychiatrists, loneliness is the greatest single problem confronting most young people in our time. And loneliness is often reflected in the music young people listen to on the radio. The punk rock group Green Day won seven Grammy nominations for its song "Boulevard of Broken Dreams." I do not recommend it. It contains some raunchy words. But it describes the aching loneliness so many young people feel when it says,

I walk alone. I walk alone. I walk alone. I walk alone
My shadow's the only one that walks beside me
My shallow heart's the only thing that's beating
Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me
'Til then I walk alone.
   (Green Day, "Boulevard of Broken Dreams," 2004).

Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever thought, "Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me"? If you have ever felt like that, then you are like the young man Jesus encountered on the road through Jericho. We can learn at least four things from what happened to him.

I. First, he was lost.

Jesus said to him,

"The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10).

Lost! What did Jesus mean when He said that Zacchaeus was lost? Why, he seemed to have everything he needed. The Bible tells us "he was rich" (Luke 19:2). He didn't have any physical needs. And yet Christ said that he was lost. What did He mean by that? Why, Zacchaeus was literally surrounded by people. There were so many people in the crowd around him that he couldn't even see Jesus, "for the press." I like the way the King James Bible translates it, "for the press." The crowd was literally pressing in around him - and yet he was lost! Lost in the crowd!

Haven't you felt like that sometimes? You can be in a crowd of people at a mall or at a party - and you still feel alone - and lost. Lost in the crowd! A friend of mine told me that was exactly how he felt one night. He was at a big, drunken party. He saw a pretty girl. He was looking at the back of her head. She turned around and looked directly at him. He saw that her eyes were dead and empty. Suddenly he knew that she was as empty and alone as he was. He turned around and walked out. Soon afterwards he became a Christian. He never went back to a party like that. Today he is the pastor of a Baptist church.

He was lost! Lost in the crowd! Just like Zacchaeus! The Bible uses the word "lost" to describe those who are not yet converted. Jesus said to His Disciples,

"Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel"
    (Matthew 10:6).

Jesus said that He would

"Go after that which is lost, until he find it" (Luke 15:4).

Jesus gave the parable of the Prodigal Son, in which the father said of his sinful son,

"He was lost, and is found" (Luke 15:24).

The Apostle Paul said,

"If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost"
    (II Corinthians 4:3).

And Jesus said, in our text,

"The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10).

This young man, Zacchaeus, was lost. And the Bible teaches that you are lost. I know you don't like to hear that. But I'm not here to tell you a pleasant little story to make you feel good. That's not the purpose of real preaching. The purpose of real preaching is to tell you the truth. You can reject what I say, or you can decide to listen. I hope that you will listen, and that you will come back to church here again. I hope that some day soon you'll be able to say what that song said, that we sang a moment ago,

The whole world was lost in the darkness of sin,
    The Light of the world is Jesus;
Like sunshine at noon-day His glory shone in,
    The Light of the world is Jesus…
Once I was blind, but now I can see;
    The Light of the world is Jesus.
       ("The Light of the World is Jesus" by Philip P. Bliss, 1838-1876).

"For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10).

II. Second, he was picked out of the crowd by Jesus.

Zacchaeus didn't know who Jesus was. The Bible says,

"He sought to see Jesus who he was" (Luke 19:3).

He was trying to see who Jesus was. He was short, and the crowd kept him from getting a good look at Christ as He came down the road. He had to climb a tree to get a better look at Him. You see, he didn't know anything about Christ. He didn't even know who Christ was.

"He sought to see Jesus who he was."

And Jesus stopped. Right there, in the middle of that swirling crowd of people, Jesus stopped. And He looked up to the top of the tree and said, "Zacchaeus…come down; for to day I must abide at thy house" (Luke 19:5). What a surprise! He didn't even know who Jesus was - and yet Jesus knew his name! "Zacchaeus…come down! Hurry and come down. I'm going home with you." Christ picked him out of the crowd. Christ called him by name.

My shadow's the only one that walks beside me
My shallow heart's the only thing that's beating
Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me
'Til then I walk alone.

Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me.

"The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10).

The "Son of man" is Christ. Christ sent us to find you! Christ told us,

"Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled" (Luke 14:23).

And that's exactly what we did. We went out to the malls and colleges and streets and we asked you to give us your name and phone number. And you did it! And then we phoned you and brought you here to church this morning to hear the gospel. Remarkable! Truly remarkable! Out of all the thousands of people in Los Angeles, somehow we got through to you, and here you are! Christ is calling you! Christ sent us to call you! And here you are! Thank God! And we say to you, "Why be lonely? Come home - to church! Why be lost? Come home - to Jesus Christ, the Son of God!" Christ has spoken directly to you through us, because

"We are ambassadors for Christ…we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God" (II Corinthians 5:20).

That's our message to you. As ambassadors for Christ, we say to you, "Be ye reconciled to God"! Why be lost? Come home - to Jesus Christ, the Son of God!

III. Third, he received Christ joyfully.

Please look at Luke 19:6. Let us stand and read that verse out loud.

"And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully" (Luke 19:6).

You may be seated.

Many people think that it is very sober and not much fun to be a Christian. I don't want to mislead you. Sometimes it is difficult. But there is a joy and happiness that Christ can give you that you will never experience anywhere else. That's why Zacchaeus hurried, "and came down, and received him joyfully."

Yes, I know you must have conviction of sin. But no one is ever saved by conviction! Oh, no! The purpose of conviction is to bring you to Christ. When you finally receive Christ, there is joy. It may be greater in some people, less in others - but there is always a certain amount of release - and inner joy - when your sins are washed away by his Blood - and you have new life in Him. Green Day said, "Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me. 'Til then I walk alone." Someone did find you! Someone is calling to you! It is Christ Himself! There is joy when Christ finds you! There is joy when Christ saves you! There is joy when His Blood washes your sins away and you are converted!

"And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully" (Luke 19:6).

"For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10).

IV. Fourth, he experienced a complete change of direction in his life.

Up to that point, Zacchaeus lived a sinful life. As a publican, he took money from people "by false accusation" (Luke 19:8). But after Christ saved him, he was a new man. He was converted. And Jesus said,

"This day is salvation come to this house" (Luke 19:9).

Zacchaeus was saved! Christ had converted him! Now his life took a completely new direction. And when you receive Christ your direction in life will change.

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new"
    (II Corinthians 5:17).

Christ died on the Cross to pay the penalty for your sins. Christ shed His Blood so your sins could be washed clean out of God's record. Christ rose physically from the dead and ascended bodily into Heaven. He is alive now, on the right hand of God. And you can come to Christ - and He will pardon you and save you - and give you a whole new direction in life. When you receive Christ, "all things are become new" (II Corinthians 5:17). You will be converted!

"For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10).

Why walk alone? Why be lonely? Come home - to church! Why walk alone? Why be lost? Come home - to Jesus Christ, the Son of God! As an old song puts it,

Come home, come home, Ye who are weary, come home!
Earnestly, tenderly Jesus is calling, Calling, O sinner, come home.
   ("Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling" by Will H. Thompson, 1847-1909).


(END OF SERMON)
You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
at www.rlhymersjr.com. Click on "Sermon Manuscripts."


Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Luke 19:1-10.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
"Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling" (by Will H. Thompson, 1847-1909).



THE OUTLINE OF

I WISH SOMEONE OUT THERE WILL FIND ME -
A SERMON FOR THE X-GENERATION

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.


"For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10).

I.   He was lost, Luke 19:2; Matthew 10:6; Luke 15:4, 24;
II Corinthians 4:3.

II.  He was picked out of the crowd by Jesus, Luke 19:3, 5; 14:23;
II Corinthians 5:20.

III. He received Christ joyfully, Luke 19:6.

IV. He experienced a complete change of direction in his life,
Luke 19:8-9; II Corinthians 5:17.