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Prodigal, Go Home

And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.” Luke 15:20

I am burdened today for the child of God who is out of fellowship with God.

I am burdened because I know that the end of their path will be the hog pen. After the world uses them up they will be discarded like trash. I am burdened because there are many that will choose to die in the hog pen instead of returning to the Father’s table. I am burdened because not enough Christians seem to care. I am burdened because not enough Christians are burdened. Christian, do you have a prayer list of prodigals? Why not?

Instead of joining the prodigal in the hog pen, we should be praying them out of it.

As a pastor, I preach it straight and stand firm on the Bible. I do my best to oppose sin and the world. I fight to keep Christians from the Far Country. If I love them enough to preach the Truth, then I should love them even when they reject the Truth. I love the people God has entrusted me with as a pastor. I do not love them less when they become the prodigal. Our burden should not end when they walk out the church doors. Just as we dread the prodigal leaving, we should pray and long for their return. I am burdened because we do not weep anymore over the wayward. Lord, break our hearts for people.

We know the Father is waiting on the return of the prodigal, but are we awaiting their return? 

I am burdened, but I am hopeful. In recent days I have seen “prodigals” return home. I am anticipating the return of others. At the Immanuel Baptist Church, the prodigal is welcome. I will beg you never to leave; I will pray for you while you are gone, and I will help you when you return. Prodigals who have spent their inheritance will need the help of a pastor and church. Prodigal, go home.

Lord, help me to never be the “elder brother.” 

Scripture tells us the father was awaiting his son, but scripture also tells us the elder brother was awaiting the return of his brother. Instead of rejoicing, he was condemning. Instead of celebrating, he was sulking. I wonder how many who have been away from God found it more difficult to get back to Him because of the “elder brother” attitude! This should not be so!

Prodigal, go home! 

If you are reading this and you are currently residing in the far country, allow me to remind you that your Heavenly Father is waiting. He loves you unconditionally, unlike those who encourage you to spend your inheritance in riotous living. Aren’t you tired of feeding on the empty husks of this world? Ask God for forgiveness and seek to restore your fellowship with Him. Make that call to your parents, pastor, Sunday School teacher, youth worker, or friend. Don’t wait another day. You may be surprised how eager they are to help you.

Christians, we need a revival of prayer for the prodigal. Will you join me?

 

by Pastor Greg Neal

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