Temple Baptist Church - 5-10-2009
A. This story is ever so familiar to many of us because:
1. Many of us have been Prodigals at one time or another.
2. Some of us have Prodigals in our family now.
3. If you have not been a Prodigal, thank God.
4. If you do not have a Prodigal, thank God and be watchful.
B. There is story after story in the Bible of godly parents who have had children go astray. We are not perfect parents and do fail our children just as we fail God. Raising children for the Lord does not force them to make right decisions.
C. I am not trying to take all of the blame from us parents who have Prodigal children but am going to give us some hope tonight. God had two children in a perfect environment and they chose to sin. Children still have to choose the path for their lives, otherwise they become robots of our making.
D. Children raised in ungodly homes get saved and serve the Lord while children raised in godly homes sometimes chose to reject Christ. The only place that I see where Adam and Eve sinned was in the Garden of Eden and yet they lost their first born.
E. Let us look at this Prodigal’s father for a few minutes. He was a godly father with nothing evil spoken about him and yet he had one Prodigal leave while the other Prodigal stayed.
1. He realized That His Son Had The Right To Make A Choice – vs. 12 “he divided unto them his living” - (You can teach and plead, but you cannot choose.)
2. He Did Not Compromise What He Believed Or Where He Stood – vs. 13, 20 “a far country…yet a great way off” (You have to let them go and distance themselves. Continue to do what you are doing – don’t stop or let up. Give them something stable to come back to.)
3. He Never Gave Up On His Son Though He Must Have Waited A Long Time – vs. 20 “yet a great way off, his father saw him” (Stay encouraged! Give the Lord time to work.)
4. He Never Ceased To Love And Pray For His Son – vs. 20 “fell on his neck and kissed him” (As much as possible, keep the wayward child’s sin between them and the Lord.)
5. When He Saw His Son Returning, He Made An Effort To Help Him – vs. 20 “had compassion, and ran” (The wayward child will need your help and guidance.)
6. He Willing Received His Son Back When He Repented – vs. 21-22 “I have sinned…bring forth the best robe” (The wayward child will be looking for any signs of rejection during restoration.)
7. He Restored His Son To His Former Position – vs. 22 “bring the best robe…ring…shoes” (Full restoration, not partial as the son both deserved and expected.)
8. He Never Made A Difference Between His Sons – vs. 24 “for this my son” (Even though one left, they were both his sons with equal privileges.)
9. He Would Not Let Others Son Mistreat The Lost Son When He Came Home – vs. 25-32 (Stand with him or her unashamedly when they get right.)
1. Stop Blaming Yourself! There is nothing that you can do to change the situation now and the child made bad choices! They were raised better. They knew better when they chose the wrong path. Get over it because there is work to do.
2. Never cease to pray for them! Morning, noon, and night. All during the day, call their names out to God as Job did. He sacrificed for his children each day just in case they committed sin.
3. Do not compromise in order to get him or her back! Hold steady and serve the Lord. They must have a godly home to come back to one day.
4. Expect God to honor His Word and work in their hearts. You spent years teaching them the Word of God and it will not return void.
5. Do not “cut your children off.” Leave the door open for reconciliation. I understand that, under certain conditions, you have to break fellowship with them but let them know that they can get right with God and you.
6. Love them as God loves you! Forgive them as God forgives you! I am glad that He loves me in spite of my sinfulness.
7. Go on with your life! Life does not stop because they have made wrong choices and you life does not now center around them. It centers around the Lord.