Before we even read the scripture, I will like to remind us that this is about returning to the Father. The Word of the Lord to Abimilech comes to mind.

 And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her.  (Genesis 20:6 AV)

All sin is primarily against the Father. The prodigal son was sinning against the Father, not the elder brother or anyone else. Therefore, this is about returning to the Father, not to the elder brother or anyone else.

 Luke 15:11-32
 11 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.

13 And

  • not many days after the younger son
  • gathered all together, NB the difference between the goods and the living, and took his journey into a far country, and there
  • wasted his substance with riotous living.
  • What are we doing with our substance, now faith is the substance.

14 And when he had spent all, there arose

  • a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.
  •  Hunger becomes a powerful motivator
 15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of
  • that far country; and he sent him into his fields to
  • feed swine. (Swine are those who have a separated walk yet do not meditate upon the Word.)

 16 And he would fain have filled his belly with

  • the husks that the swine did eat: and
  • no man gave unto him.

 17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father,

  • I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, Repentant heart
  • he brought forth fruits meet for repentance.

 19 And am

  • no more worthy to be called thy son: He had no more sense of selfworth
  • make me as one of thy hired servants. He felt internally disinherited.

 20 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.

 21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.

 22 But the father said to his servants,

  • Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and
  • put a ring on his hand, and
  •  shoes on his feet:

 23 And bring hither

  • the fatted calf, and kill it; and
  • let us eat, and
  • be merry:

 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again;  he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
 25 Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard

  • musick and
  • dancing.

 26 And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.
 27 And he said unto him,  Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.
 28 And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.
 29 And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:
 30 But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.
 31 And he said unto him, Son,

  • thou art ever with me, and
  • all that I have is thine.

 32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

    What Evidences That You Are In Father’s House

1.    Laying the groundwork for proper understanding.

    a.    The Younger Son
        i.    Youth’s desire to gain things quickly
        ii.    Youth’s desire to spend freely
        iii.    Youth’s lack of understanding concerning proper stewardship.
    b.    Father’s attitude to the boys.
        i.    Equal treatment for each son, even though it was the younger son that asked for his inheritance.
        ii.    Father gave both sons their portion of inheritance.
            (1)    The older brother hoarded his
                (a)    This is shown at the end of the parable, by his attitude.
                (b)    Even though he was in Father’s house, he did not have Father’s attitude.
                    (i)    You can live in Father’s house.
                    (ii)    have your inheritance.
                    (iii)    have been faithful in all things in all the years
                        1)    Parable of the vineyard
                        2)    Matthew 20:1-6  For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. 2 And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.  3 And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4 And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. 5 Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. 6 And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?
                            a)    beginning of the day
                            b)    3rd hour
                            c)    6th hour
                            d)    9th hour
                            e)    11th hour
                        3)    Pay time
                            a)    Those who had worked all day in the heat expected to be treated differently, even though, they had been promised a penny.
                            b)    When those who worked for an hour were payed the same it manifest hidden attitudes in those hired earlier.
                    (iv)    Yet not have taken advantage of your position to get to know the Father and his heart.

2.    The younger brother went out to spend his inheritance.

    a.    Although the younger brother went far from home
    b.    Although he wasted his substance in riotous living.
    c.    There was an attitude the younger brother manifest that we need to look at.
        i.    He spent his substance
            (1)    now faith is the substance Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 
        ii.    Although his investments were wrong
            (1)    he spent what was his. This is what God desires
            (2)    Matt. 25:14-30 The Parable of the Talents.
            (3)    He at least wanted to invest.

3.    What is the attitude and heart of the Father?

    a.    The Father did nothing to inhibit the law of sowing a reaping.
        i.    He did not send a message warning them in the far country of the error of the ways of the younger son.
        ii.    He did not send a message to the harlots (churches) saying the son was no longer to be given fellowship.
            (1)    This definition is taken from scripture’s definition of harlots.
                (a)     And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.  (Revelation 17:5 AV)
        iii.    He did not send a message to the employers of that land to tell them to not give the boy a job when he ran out of funds.
        iv.    He let the younger son’s backsliding correct him.
            (1)     Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts.  (Jeremiah 2:19 AV)
    b.    The Father never gives up hope.
        i.    While he was yet a far way off the Father saw him
            (1)    The Father watched for him every day
        ii.    The Father ran to meet him
            (1)    James 4:7-8  Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
        iii.    He fell on his neck and kissed him
            (1)    the Father never stopped loving him.
        iv.    He forgave him immediately.
            (1)    He refused to make him a servant even though he had received a change of heart and was willing to be a servant, just so he could be near Father. He no longer cared about position.
        v.    Father gave him a measure of relationship immediately.  NB. Each of these was new and the best. If this speaks of backsliders coming home, should we change our attitudes towards them.
            (1)    He place a ring on his finger.  This speaks of
                (a)    commitment
                (b)    covenant
                (c)    authority
            (2)    Father gave him the best robe.
                (a)    He gave him His righteousness
                (b)    He gave him new covering.
                    (i)    Love covers
            (3)    Father gave him new shoes.
                (a)    This symbolizes a new walk.
        vi.    Father showed him how to celebrate properly. Is it possible that in throwing the feast for the son, he was correcting the sons perceptions of worship, praising and celebrating in the presence of the father.
        vii.    The Father manifest His joy in
            (1)    redemption
            (2)    reconciliation
            (3)    restoration

In applying this parable, it is important to keep this in mind. We can return to the Father in our spirit and let Him take care of the mess we have made. Only He can show people how to clean up their lives after they have made major mistakes. The overwhelming thing in this parable is the expression of the heart of the Father that is manifest. It is the call of God upon us that we, by His grace and inworking in our lives, obtain the heart of the Father toward both His children and those who desire salvation.

In the light of what I have shared with you, there are several things I want to give opportunity for.

I do not believe in long invitation times. I am just going to mention these things briefly and give opportunity for response. Please, everyone remain in the building. Let us respect on another and the presence of the Lord as He is dealing with hearts.

1.    There are those here this morning that know that they are elder brothers. You have been a long time in Father’s house. You have labored long and hard. But, you have not learned of the Father’s heart and attitude.

    a.    If you want to learn the Father’s heart of mercy, come
    b.    If you want to learn the celebrate in Father’s house, come.
    c.    If you want God to produce in you the proper attitude toward the wayward ones, so that you can honestly rejoice when they return, come.
    d.    Come and let me pray with you now.

        i.    Dear Father, I come in the Name of Jesus.  Please, forgive me for serving you without learning your heart. I want and need a heart of mercy. I realize that it is something that comes only from you. I want to learn to celebrate in Father’s house with real joy and gladness. I want to learn to rejoice over returning ones just as the angels rejoice over them. Thank you for beginning that work in me, through the Wonderful power of Jesus Name, Amen.

2.    There are those of you here that fit the model of the prodigal son.

    a.    You have moved in the Father’s house in the past.
    b.    You have a measure of knowledge of the Father’s heart, and yet, you are convinced that you have lost all that and that there is no more position for you in His house.
    c.    You would be content to be a servant if you knew Father would accept you back.
    d.    Come and let the Father dictate what you do and let Him give you what you do not feel you deserve. Let him express His Mercy in
        i.    Redemption
        ii.    Reconciliation
        iii.    Restoration

            (1)    Dear Father, I recognize myself as one who knew you and was distracted by what you had. I ask your forgiveness. I thank you that although I would be content to be a servant, you are not content with that. Lord Jesus I am presenting myself for you to do the threefold work in me of Redemption, Reconciliation, and Restoration. Redeem me from my past.  Restore me to the Body of Christ. Reconcile me with the Father and my brethren, through the wonderful power of Jesus Christ.

3.    Finally, I want to give opportunity to those of you who have never been to Father’s house before.

    a.    Come let Him wash away your sin.
    b.    Come let Him bring you into the new birth of a relationship with Him as your Father.

        i.    Dear Lord Jesus:    I thank you for your death on the cross for my sins. I ask you to forgive me for my sins against you. Wash me and make me clean. Let me become a trophy of your Mercy and Grace. Lead me by the power of your Holy Spirit into all truth, who is Jesus Christ. Amen.