Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Restoring the Wayward (the wanderer)

Luke 15:1-7, 8-10, 11 - story of the Prodigal Son.
This couples with James 5:19-20

On one hand we have a problem here because it implies a loss of salvation! (KJV says "save a soul", NAS reads, "save his soul form death".
This can be argued from now on, and there is no certain answer.
BUT, something we can know from these verses: when a brother or sister wanders, it is our job to attempt to bring them back.... Compare Gal. 6:1-2


#1. We are not responsible for their sin (wandering)
We are responsible for our response to their wandering! (ie: responsible for our actions, reactions, inactions) Ezek. 3:17-21

#2. We are not responsible to bring them back
We are responsible to attempt to bring them back.
Question? Why are we not more diligent in our attempts?

Some possible answers:
it's very unpleasant (confrontation is not fun)
I might make the person mad. BUT, we probably upset more people by NOT going (not showing concern!!)

it's none of my business. This is the 21st. century "tolerant" society.
Contrast that with "am I my brother's keeper?" - as Christians, it is our business.

it takes time and effort .... it costs me to do it ...

it's just easier not to!

who am I to go and confront someone? I'm no better..... If you are a child of God, you are capable and have the responsibility.

we don't realize it's Biblical

We're not sold on the benefits of it

It doesn't seem to do any good (long term.... because, even if and when they are brought back, they tend to re-wander.)

Or, maybe, it's just a lack of concern.

Gossip is more fun than restoration.

These are just some reasons why we are not more diligent in our attempts to restore a wanderer.

#3. This work is NOT easy for anybody, but it is the responsibility of all.

#4. You are not responsible for everybody (who wanders)
But you are responsible for somebody!
Therefore, you need to be open to the Holy Spirit's leading and willing to respond.

#5. the object (point/purpose) is not to bring them back to church! But to bring them back to TRUTH! In other words, an active lifestyle that is in line with truth. Therefore, if they, for some reason, can't stomach your church, send them to another church)

#6. We'd have less wandering if we had more attempts at restoring.

#7. This work (ministry) is very close to the hear of Jesus. Luke 19:10

#8. If you go (in the power of the Spirit, the proper way, for the proper reason), He'll go with you. "Go, and I'll go with you."
This is HIS work. You don't do it alone.

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