Luke 15:25-32, “…"The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, `Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’ `My son,’ the father said, `you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”
Look at the perspective, and attitude the older brother had, which is similar to the attitude most of the modern church has today. The late Bill Bright reports in his book “The Coming Revival” that 98% of Christians don’t try and actively reach the lost and only 2% of Christians are doing their job.
The rest are like the taxi cabs that drive around “off duty”. In NYC I see tons of yellow taxi cabs, taxiing people to various destinations. I can’t imagine if only 2% of the taxi cabs drove around on duty, while 98% of them had their sign light up reading “off duty.” That would be ludicrous because why would they be calling themselves taxi cab drivers if they never try and pick people up to taxi around? They might as well get another job.
The vast majority are driving around in the nice atmosphere of worship, prayer, and praise (each necessary and important), but neglecting the sober task God has given to us to seek and save the lost. Oswald J. Smith said, "Oh my friends we are loaded down with countless church activities, while the real work of the Church, that of evangelizing the world and winning the lost is almost entirely neglected.“
The “faithful son” wasn’t concerned about his lost brother, but focused on himself. He was similar to the Pharisee who compared himself to the tax collector (Luke 18). The Pharisee and the older son shared the same spirit, and we see their attitude in the following: Both focused on themselves, compared themselves with the one they thought less of, and had no concern for the lost. The “lost” tax-collector was calling out to God, and the lost son came home to the father, yet neither of the two men cared about the lost. The prodigal’s dad had a heart for his lost son, and rejoiced when the lost now found. The father pleaded with his older son’s, tried to deal with his anger even persuading him to change his perspective, but the older son’s stubborn ways would not be moved. I can see that grieving the father’s heart, just as that attitude grieves Father God’s heart. Imagine if God were a Fire Chief and his firefighters were polishing their fire engine outside a burning building. If they were consumed with the truck’s beauty then they wouldn’t hear the cries of help from terrified people trapped at a top floor window. There’s nothing wrong with cleaning their truck, but not while people are trapped in a burning building! What would the Fire Chief think and feel about his firefighter?.
Application: We are called to rescue people from a greater fire that is why Revelation 19:15 reads, “If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire”. As a firefighter on God’s force, where is your focus?, on polishing your engine of worship, prayer, and praise, or running into the burning buildings with the full armor of God, especially the gospel boots of peace to seek and to save the lost? We are to preach the gospel only two times, “in season and out of season” As a Christian you are always to be “on duty,” concerned for the lost, showing the lost their need for the Savior so Heaven can be a constant party place, as all of heaven rejoices. Be a taxi cab driver that always is on duty to taxi people to Christ. Charles Spurgeon "Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you are not saved yourself. Be sure of that." Just imagine, being in heaven with all those you’ve shared the gospel with, and brought to Christ, both knowingly and unknowingly. There is going to be a major Party in heaven called the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, which I believe will be a culmination of all that have been called by God and been active, if they were able, in bringing people to Christ. Get busy and have attitude like the Father for the lost, you won’t want to miss out of Heaven’s Ultimate Party with the Captain of the Host! Blessings, Pastor Phil <><