Summary: A sermon examining how rebellious Christians can hinder certain things in the church.
Attitudes That Hinder Celebration In The Father's House
Some time ago I attended a 50th wedding celebration. The special couple had lived a great life, raised 7 children and were blessed to enjoy for 50 wonderful years of marriage. Their friends and family gathered together to honor this momentous occasion. There was music, food, fellowship and a vow renewal. But as good as things were, there was a problem.... someone was missing! Of their 7 children, only 6 were present. One of their sons would not attend. This was not because he had a problem with his mother or his father. But many years earlier he had a falling out with one of his sisters. As a result he selfishly stayed at home because he refused to be in the same place with that sister that he was so angry with. This was very difficult for the parents, and though they had a great time, the celebration was not as good as it could have been because their son decided to act like a spoiled child.
It is amazing how the actions and attitude of one individual can have a detrimental impact on an entire crowd of people. It has always been a mystery to me how we can see lost souls saved on a somewhat regular basis and see backsliders restored pretty regularly and all out revival not break out in this church. Likewise, when these things occur the spirit of worship in this place should be nothing less than amazing. But if we are honest, that is not always the case. So what is hampering worship and hindering revival? Well, I believe we can find the answer here in the story of the prodigal's elder brother. would like to look at his reaction to the celebration at the return of the prodigal, and consider some "Attitudes That Hinder Celebration In The Father's House".
Most of us are familiar with the story of the prodigal son. This is the man who went to his father and asked for his inheritance. He then left his father's house and went to a far country. Once he arrived he wasted his inheritance on wild living. Around the time he ran out of money a famine swept the land. He found himself homeless, hungry and broke. He took on the detestable job of feeding pigs for a farmer. One day he was so hungry that he found himself desiring the slop that he gave to the swine. At that point he realized that his father's servants were living better than he was. So he decided to return to his father and ask him to make him one of his servants. When he returned home, his father was filled with unconditional love and compassion. He ran to him, kissed him and gladly welcomed him home. The father told his servants to "Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the fatted calf. Let us celebrate with a feast, for my son was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’
This was a great day for the father. He had longed for his son to return ever since he had left his house. The house was filled with joy and celebration, the father was there the servants were there, and the prodigal was there. But someone was missing. The older brother was outside the house pouting and refusing to go in and celebrate. So the father has to leave the party and go and deal with his rebellious son. This man illustrates the actions and attitude of many childish "Christians" in our day. He is no different than that brother of sister who sits pouting with their lips pooched out, arms folded.... griping, whining and complaining about everything and everyone inside the Father's house.
Though there was a great celebration taking place... things could have been better. And though we may see God do some amazing things in this assembly, I believe that it is possible for things to get even better. Let's walk through these verses and see those "Attitudes That Hinder Celebration In The Father's House".The first thing I would like to consider is:
I. THE DISTANCE OF A BROTHER HINDERS CELEBRATION IN THE FATHER'S HOUSE
When the party began the elder son was out in the field. As he approached the house he hears music and dancing. He calls to one of the servants and asked what was going on. The servant informs him that his rebellious brother had returned and the father threw a celebration because he was home, safe and sound. This young man was right at the door of the father's house but he might as well have been a million miles away. I can see the father as he kept looking at the door waiting for his older son to join the celebration. He knew that he was close by. He knew that he could depend on him to return soon. Though he was in the house celebrating the return of the younger son, he longed for that special moment when both of his boys were again under the same roof.