Summary: Examining the reunion and celebration that will take place when the wayward child returns to the Heavenly Father.
The Journey Back To The Father's House
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American novelist Thomas Wolfe wrote a novel that proclaimed You Can’t Go Home Again. The novel was about a an author named George Webber. Webber wrote a successful novel about his family and hometown. Upon returning home he was shunned and faced anger from his friends and relatives because of some of the things he wrote about them. He faced so much hostility that he left his home and traveled to New York, Paris and then Berlin.
Today, there are many who are a part of the family of God and have wandered far from home. Some may feel that it is impossible to return. They think that things can never be the same again. I have good news....YOU CAN GO BACK HOME AGAIN!! Even better than that, you will find that the Father is longing for you to do just that!
Today we celebrate homecoming. Some of you have been gone for some time. And we are thrilled to have you with us today. While it is great that we can enjoy one another's fellowship for a few hours... for some there is another homecoming that needs to take place in your life. Maybe you didn't leave Stockdale because you were called to serve elsewhere, or because you moved to another area. Perhaps you left the church because somewhere along the way you walked away from the Lord. If that is the case, God is sending you a personal invitation for an even greater homecoming than you could imagine.
In this text will consider one of the most well known parables in the Word of God. The parable of the Prodigal Son. Jesus shares with His audience the story of a young man who left his home and his family and took matters into his own hands. At first things were great and he was "living it up". But after a while he found himself in the midst of some devastating circumstances. When he hit rock bottom he made the decision to return to his father's house. When he returned he found grace, mercy, compassion and love. If you will return to your Father today you will find the same response! Let's look to this parable and see "The Journey Back To The Father's House". I would like to begin with:
I. The Precious Relationship Of Those Who Have Left The Father's House
If you have left the church you have left more than an organization or assembly. You have left behind many precious relationships. First and foremost you must realize that:
A. You Have Left Your Father - Scripture tells us that He will never leave us, but we can walk away from Him. This was the case for the prodigal. - v11 And he said, A certain man had two sons: 12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.
This young man was not abused or treated harshly by his father. He was not thrown out of the father's house, he CHOSE to leave! His father gave him life... loved him... cared for him... protected him and provided for him. Even when he made his intentions known, his father willingly gave him his inheritance.
If you are born again, think for a moment about all the Father has done for you.
Your Father gave you life eternal... He loves you... He cares for you... He protects you and He provides for you. With all of the benefits of this precious relationship, some of you have made a conscious decision to walk away from the Father! But it doesn't end there. Not only have you Left Your Father....
B. You Have Left Your Family - One of the great benefits of the Christian life is the fact that we have many brothers and sisters in Christ. When you rebel and backslide you walk away from your faith family as well. The prodigal left his family behind. Verse 11 tells us that "A certain man had two sons"
We know that there was a brother. We do not know the status of his mother. Maybe he had a sister, aunts, uncles, cousins.... maybe even grandparents. Though we do not have a record of his family tree, we know enough to know that he left behind a family. If you have left the Father's house you have left behind a precious family as well. You have left people who love you and care for you. You have left the sweet fellowship among the brethren. You have left people who can disciple you! You have left a family that can encourage you! You are in a mess and you find yourself alone. It seems that there is no one that you can turn to!