HOW DO WE RESPOND WHEN SOMEONE COMES FORWARD?
For every worship service an invitation is extended for someone to come forward and either: (a) become a Christian; (b) request prayers to help overcome a struggle/sin, (c) request prayers and support while going through hard times, (d) recommit one’s life to Christ.
Even though this is not the only time these things can be done, of all the congregations that I have either attended or preached for, it is actually uncommon to see someone come forward. Why is that? Of the many reasons that could given, one of the biggest hindrances in my is because they’re afraid of what others will think of them and how they will be treated.
In the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), when the youngest son returned home (which represents the sinner coming to Christ), there were two individuals who responded in two entirely different ways. His father was overwhelmed with joy, forgave him, and welcomed him back into the family as if he never left. His older brother did not welcome him back, but basically responded the very opposite way of his father. How do we respond when a sinner returns home, like the Father, or the older brother?
Here’s how the unwelcoming, unloving older brother reacts to someone responding to the invitation: 1. “What did he do now?” 2. “I wonder what sin he committed that makes me better than him.” 4. “You’re now blacklisted from ever being considered faithful in my eyes.” 5. “As the weeks, months and years pass by, I’ll always remember your sins and what you’ve done and will remind others of what you’ve done.” 6. “Since I refuse to forgive you, I will also never respect you.” 7. “I’m so glad I’m not like you.” 8. “It’s sinners like you that make the church look bad.” 9. “I’m actually disappointed you came back.” This attitude and response has discouraged more people from either making their life right with God or continuing to live right than we may ever know.
Here’s how a Christian would respond toward someone coming forward if his attitude were more in line with the Father: 1. Tears of joy. 2. “I’m so glad you’ve come home, I’ve been praying for you.” 3. “I’m a sinner saved by God’s grace just like you. And even though are specific sins may be different, I’m in need of God’s grace just as much as you.” 4. “We’re here to help one another go to heaven, how can I be of help to you?” 5. “Did I mention how happy I am to see you return?”
“I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance” (Luke 15:7).
- Dale P.
WEEKLY BIBLE READING:
Numbers 35-Deuteronomy 16
News and Notes:
-The church now has a blog/website. You can find it at: www.southloganchurchofchrist.blogspot.com
-Keith Ball is planning to be with us on Sunday, March 11 for Bible class and morning worship to give his report on the mission work in India.
-Food Bank: Saturday, March 3.
- Annual India Missions contribution the 3rd Sunday in March.
- Ladies Bible Study: Thursday’s at 10:00 here at the building.
-A cradle roll class is now offered in the old toddler classroom for Bible class on Sunday and Wednesday.
For the Record:
THE MOVIE OF THE PRODIGAL SON – Luke 15:11-32 (part 3)
THE OLDER BROTHER
SCENE 5: (verses 25-32)
I. THE BROTHERS RESPONSE
II. THE BROTHERS RELIGION
A. He had some ___________________ __________________________ about him.
B. His Religious System:
C. View of Himself – Self Righteousness
2. _____________________ ______________________
3. _____________________ ______________________
4. _______________ __________________________ ___________________
D. View of Others – Superiority
COME WORSHIP WITH US!