In presenting the concept of being “lost” to those who do not share “Christian standards” it can be helpful to bring up three important truths, being God’s original intent in creating man, the fall of man which brought sin into the world, and God’s solution to that problem.
We must first help those we are communicating with understand why God created man in the first place. As we see in Genesis 1:27-28a, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them.” Mankind was created to walk in the blessing of God and to be in perfect fellowship with him. God supplied man with responsibility, favor, provision, and open communication with himself. In addition to this blessing of life that was bestowed upon man, it is evident that man was also given free will to choose the goodness of God or resist it and experience the consequences. As seen in Genesis 2:16-17, “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
Secondly, we must help bring understanding to the reality of sin, which was first brought into the world through the fall of man. As Adam and Eve succumbed to the devil’s lure of temptation, and ate of the forbidden fruit (ref. Gen 3:1-14), sin was brought into the world. The result of this sin was death and man was separated from perfect fellowship with God (ref. Gen 3:18). This sin would mark all of mankind from generation to generation (ref. Rom 5:12), as everyone since Adam has taken on the nature of sin and the imprisonment of pending death (ref. Rom 6:23a). Thus, because of sin, mankind as a whole is separated from a perfect and holy God.
But God, who is rich in love and abundant in mercy, provided a solution for this problem of sin, death, and separation. As John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Through faith in the Person and work of Jesus Christ, man can be redeemed from sin and death, find restoration in his relationship with God, and have the hope of everlasting life in Christ.