Luke 15:11-31, “21 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… 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, 19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”’
While we know the story of the prodigal son having taken his inheritance and gone to a far country and wasted it all, I would like to dwell on his coming back home because it’s a powerful message most churches have forgotten. Repentance is the forgotten doctrine in most churches, foreign to many coming to God, no wonder General William Booth the founder of Salvation Army said, “The Chief danger of Christianity in 20th century will be…Religion without the Holy Ghost; Christianity without Christ; Forgiveness without repentance; Salvation without regeneration; Politics without God; And heaven without hell”.
One prominent preacher (I use that title loosely in talking about him) said in an interview not too long ago that “People come alive when they realize ‘God is for ME. He’s got a plan for MY life, and I can do something GREAT. I can be who He wants ME to be… We should be happy every day”. The late Keith Green in response to such a gospel said, “ It’s Me-Centered Instead of Christ-Centered. First and foremost, it is the gospel that appeals to the selfish. Instead of honoring God, it places the sinner at the center of God’s love and plan. But the Bible places Jesus at the center of God’s plan, not the sinner”.
What picture do we see with the prodigal son? when he came to his senses he said vs. 18 “I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you”. In the state of being broken and crushed, and hungry, and open, and yielded, and abandoned, he arose, and came to his father to repent towards God and to his earthly father. In preaching about repentance, Paris Reidhead said, “Repentance is not just “being sorry” – that is only conviction. Repentance is not merely a change of heart and a change of mind; it is a change of action, change of direction.” Repentance is here pictured as a journey. It is more than a mere emotion or impulse
Vs. “19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants” “The church used to confess its sins, now it confesses its rights”, David Wilkerson We live as though God owes us and we continue to hear it promised to us in one way or another from some pulpits. This young man was not coming back to claim any inheritance, no, he had nothing. The one he was going back to is the same one he wished was dead. Oh how we would see how wretched and miserable we are in need of God, not because we are worthy but because He is. A stanza on this hymn Rock of Ages is what I see in this young man’s attitude and ours ought to be, “Nothing in my hand I bring, Simply to the cross I cling; Naked, come to Thee for dress; Helpless look to Thee for grace; Foul, I to the fountain fly; Wash me, Savior, or I die”. He came seeking to be made what his flesh hated in the beginning”
Those who are coming are those who are done with self, done with living the way they want to, done with rejecting the Savior who loves them and are coming not to claim any rights but simply to cling. These are the people who have been called by Him, called to Him, called from the world. They been broken in His presence, and now the only desire is to be made servants living only to the glory, and the honor, and the praise of His name, such God will not deny. James 4:6, “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble”, to finish. Blessings Ev