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Luke 15

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Luke 15:4
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Luke 15:4
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What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?

Note 2 at Lu 15:4: From this parable we can see that God puts a priority on seeking and saving that which is lost (Mt 18:11). Of course, the Lord does not neglect those who are His (Joh 10:9-16 and 17:12). However, by virtue of the infinitely more severe consequences, there must be a greater priority on evangelization than ministry to the saints.

Today, however, elements of the church have evangelized at the expense of ministering to the saints. This is wrong also. We must have a victorious, alive, and reproducing body of believers to accomplish the great commission that Jesus gave us (Mt 28:19-20). God's plan of evangelization is discipleship--not mass evangelism--and that has to be done by every member of the body of Christ, not just the pastors and other ministry gifts (Eph 4:11).

The ministry gifts spoken of in Eph 4:11 are gifts to the church so that the saints can be built up, and then the saints are supposed to do the work of the ministry (Eph 4:12). Shepherds are supposed to tend sheep, and then the sheep will have other sheep.

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