Message says those who are lost can be found

Rev. John Ritter delivers the message at the Church of the Holy Apostles in Barnwell during the fourth week of the Barnwell County Ministerial Association’s Lenten services.

Rev. John Ritter delivers the message at the Church of the Holy Apostles in Barnwell during the fourth week of the Barnwell County Ministerial Association’s Lenten services.

First Byline: 
Jonathan Vickery - Staff Writer

What would you do if something is lost?
Rev. John Ritter with Bethlehem Baptist Church used several parables from the gospel of Luke to explain what God says people should do during the March 26 Lenten service at the Church of the Holy Apostles, the fourth in a seven-week series.
In the Parable of the Lost Sheep, Ritter explained how one of a man's 100 sheep got lost. "What will he do?" asks the scripture. Luke 15 says he will go after it.
The parable isn't really talking about actual sheep, but about people who don't know God. "Those that are here are already saved, go find the one that's lost," said Ritter. "He don't want none of us to be lost."
The parable explains how the man rejoices when he finds his lost sheep and "joyfully" carried it on his shoulders. "In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven't strayed away."
Ritter also shared the Parable of the Prodigal Son. The story focuses on a son coming home to his father after squandering his inheritance, which he asked for early, in a far away country. The son is a representation of humans who sin and fall away from God.
In the parable, the son was ashamed of his actions and was going to ask his father to hire him as a servant, no longer feeling worthy to be called his son. However, the father welcomed his son back with open arms and held a huge party in celebration. "For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found," states Luke 15:24.
"God's saying, ‘I don't care what you've done or where you've been,'" said Ritter of the parable.
He encouraged the crowd to be like the prodigal son and follow God. "No human person can help you," he said. "God's got everything you need. "That's why he (Jesus) died for us."