Look at these important facts from the parable of the lost son, Luke 15:11-32
1. The younger son (example of the “terrible” sinner) in his time of distress decides to return to GOD in a HUMBLE manner and not seeking any “special” favours (absolutely no expectations or demands).
2. God (the father) graciously lavishes His love beyond all expectations on the wayward son and happiness begins.
3. But notice the behaviour of the older brother (the one who never went “astray”)
- He is not at all happy about the father’s handling of the situation. He lacks compassion, he lacks love for his younger brother.
- He served the father but did not do it with a good attitude
- He blamed the father for not giving him a feast, when he could have organised one for himself at anytime
There are many Christians in the church today, they may be praying “mechanically” for sinners (because the Bible instructs them to pray for such people)…. but they dont really love them, they dont really want them to be saved (because “such people” dont “deserve” to be saved)….. moreover, they think that THEY (because of all their piety, because of all the “sacrifices” that they are making) DESERVE God’s full attention and ALL and ANY favour that God is showing SHOULD be directed towards THEM !
This parable teaches:
1. How God responds to “evil” people who come to Him in true humility and desperation
2. How many “pious” Christians neither understand the heart of God nor appreciate the freedom that they have (the older brother COULD have had a party with his friends any time he wished). UNFORTUNATELY, far too many Christians are “serving God” for all the WRONG (selfish) reasons believing that He is a “hard taskmaster” who will PUNISH them for the slightest bit of “self pleasure”…… and they certainly do NOT wish sinners to be saved because that would be UNFAIR to them after all their years of “self-imposed” SELF-SACRIFICE (and this is certainly NOT how we are supposed to view our relationship to God)
Read also the parable of the labourers …. Matthew 20:1-16
What does God expect of you ?…. ONLY THIS, that you ALLOW HIM to make you into the “image” of Jesus…. and He WILL do this IF it is “your earnest heart’s desire” (Luke 11:13, Luke 12:32)…… unfortunately, the majority of people do not “hold on to” this desire for long… because, in reality, “being like Jesus” becomes secondary to other “pressing concerns and/or desires” that they have (or develop) as they go through life from day to day.
Shallow commitment and shifting priorities…. think about it !