Lessons Of A Lifetime

A Wasteful Son Leaves Home
A Forgiven Son Is Welcomed Home
Sunday Jan. 2, 2022

Scripture To Consider:
“Then Jesus said: ‘A certain man had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, “Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.” So he divided to them his livelihood. And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want.’

“Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into the fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”’”

“And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’”

“But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.”             Luke 15.11-24

Something To Consider:
The story of the prodigal or wasteful son who left home, is acknowledged by many as the greatest of all short stories. It is important to understand that the certain man having two sons is a representation of our heavenly Father. The two sons represent many wasteful sons and daughters, or envious sons and daughters who have left the comfort and safety of the kingdom of God either physically or spiritually.

According to Jesus, in Luke 12.15, we are warned; “Take heed and beware of covetousness [love of money], for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he [or she] possesses.” Speaking of a certain rich man, Jesus said that it was not wise but foolish to lay up treasure for one’s own consuming, while not being spiritually rich toward God! Of which of these two scenarios would we be found guilty of by Jesus?

According to the apostle Paul writing in 1 Timothy 6.6, “Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.” The prodigal son finally learned this lesson of a lifetime the hard way! What about us? Have we learned the biblical lesson of our being content with what we have in this life? Are we content whether we are found with plenty or with little while here upon planet earth?

Something Else To Consider:
The word prodigal means lavish or wasteful. Another definition would be spendthrift, which tends to enlarge the circle of guilt among many of us even without our leaving the comforts of home within the kingdom of God. But after finding himself living among the pigs, the younger son returned home.

We might say this younger son came to his senses and confessed his sin that was against God and his father and then repented of that sin. God declared and still declares in 2 Chronicles 7.14; “If My people who are called by My name [Christians] will humble themselves and pray and seek My face [as the prodigal son sought his father’s face], and turn from their wicked ways, then I [God] will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

Oh, how America needs the forgiveness of God and His healing touch upon this land and upon its people! Without our humbling ourselves, we will see the destruction of what was once a God-fearing nation before the Lord returns. But until then, there is time to seek the Lord, to call upon His name, and to repent of our national and personal sin before a merciful God takes action upon us.

And yet, what if what America is presently experiencing is God’s judgment or God’s promised great delusion due to our refusal to believe the truth of His holy Word? What if the unleashing of the predicted by Jesus abounding lawlessness is due solely because of the accumulated sin, arrogance, and pride demonstrated by the political and religious so-called leaders of this nation of America? The answer to our dilemma is repentance!

Something More To Consider:
The younger son’s confession, “I have sinned against heaven and before you”, reveals that our sin is always against God first and then others. But let us notice that the father of this younger prodigal son was waiting and watching for two things. He was waiting and watching for his son’s repentance and return.

And so the father’s forgiveness was an immediate response to his son’s repentance and returning home. He was spiritually lost, but now he was found. He was spiritually dead, but now he was alive, and welcomed home without a lecture. Are we safely in and under the care of our heavenly Father? If not, the time of our humbling and confessing of our sin is upon us!

Next week we will deal more directly with our being spiritually lost or spiritually found. For now, we want to further discuss our need for repentance even if we claim to be Christian. The truth is, that our sin separates us from God. If we are practicing sin, that sin, whatever if may be has and will continue to separate us from God if not repented of. Do not believe the unbiblical lie that all your sin past, present, and future is forgiven. Sin is only forgiven when it is confessed and repented of.

We cannot escape that fact even though false  teachers of this 21st century claim our past, present, and future sins are forgiven. Without our humbling ourselves and confessing our sins, we remain separated from God just as were the five unwise and unprepared virgins were who had no oil. Yes, the atonement for our sin has been provided by Jesus, and has been approved of by God the Father. But according to the Word of God, sin separates us from God, period!

A Few Final Words:
Ezekiel, the prophet of God, proclaimed to the supposed people of God; “Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.” For without repentance we will face ruin, according to God’s Word. And according to Jesus in Luke 13.3; “Except you repent, you [we] shall all likewise perish.”

And in Revelation 2.5, Jesus warned the church of Ephesus and every church in every generation; “Remember therefore from where you have fallen [began practicing sin], and repent.” Are we to remain a wasteful son or daughter who has spiritually left home and become spiritually dead and lost? Or have we become a forgiven son or daughter who has been welcomed home due to our repentance?

Wasteful, lavish, prodigal living, requires repentance and our returning home to our heavenly Father; empty handed, open hearted, and forgiven. For Jesus declared, “And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven [God] and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’” And for the end of the story, next week will be very revealing!

But for now, how will we enter into this brand-new 2022 year? Will it be as a convicted wasteful son and or daughter? Or will it be as a forgiven through true repentance of our sin sons and daughters of God lovingly welcomed home by our merciful heavenly Father?

Our Father in heaven, forgive us for our wasteful lavish lifestyle. Thank You for lovingly welcoming us home by way of our repentance that has been made available only in and through Jesus Christ. In Him Always, Amen!

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