Summary: Our attitude toward soul-winning
* This whole chapter is a parable, but in three stories. * Lost sheep - represent lost sinners;
* Lost coin - represents lost talents; * Lost son - represents lost fellowship.
* Although three stories are involved, they all have the same meaning. * However, the elder
brother represents the scribes and the Pharisees of whom Jesus was speaking to.
* The reason for this parable is because of the criticism Jesus was receiving in v.1-2.
* Note four possibilities that existed in the life of the elder brother, and in the life of the scribes
and Pharisees, and could very well exist in your life and mine.
(1) FALLING WITHOUT GOING TO THE FAR COUNTRY!
* The younger brother went, but the elder brother stayed at home - v.29
A) This is the condition of some people; they’re in church, but they’re out of Christ.
* They’ve been starched and ironed, but have never been washed in the blood of Christ!
* So you don’t have to be in the far country to be away from the Father!
* Heb. 4:2 "For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word ......."
* Heb. 5:11 "Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye ......."
(2) SERVICE WITHOUT FELLOWSHIP!
* He was mistaken in what his father wanted!
* He thought his main interest was in his flocks and fields, but it wasn’t!
* His primary concern was his sons and their fellowship with him!
* The father would’ve given all that he possessed to have his sons at home and in right relation-
ship with him! * This should tell us something very important!
A) Our fellowship with Christ is more important that our service for Him!
* "That they should be with Him" - that’s fellowship! * "... send them forth ..." - that’s service!
B) The lesson is: God wants us to spend time with Him! * Standards for leaders .......
* I had rather have leaders who couldn’t recognize their names written across the side of a
barn in red paint; but who live a clean life, and know the Lord and is filled with the Spirit ...;
* And who spends time with God, than one who had more degrees than a thermometer,
* And was as carnal as a hog! * If I had to choose between fellowship and service,
* God would have me spend more time with Him! * You can’t fellowship too much with God!
* If the fellowship is right, the service will be right!
(3) HEIRSHIP WITHOUT HAPPINESS!
* The elder son was heir to all his father had,
* But he was unhappy - v.31. * Inside the house, there was music, there was eating,
* There was rejoicing, there was singing, and there was laughing.
* But out there in the yard, there was a boy sitting alone with a frown on his face.
A) His problem goes back to his fellowship! * His fellowship was with his friends,
* Not with his father! * V.26-28, he had to ask a hired servant the secret to happiness!
B) Having things doesn’t bring happiness! * You may have everything you’ve ever wanted,
* But without Jesus, you don’t have anything! * Those things will fade away, Jesus wont!