Summary of the Sermon by Pastor Gilbert Khoo, Sunday, 15 September 2019
Understanding the Kingdom of God through parables:
Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32)
In this parable, a father has 2 sons the younger asks his father to give the share of his inheritance, and the father granted his younger son’s request. However, the younger son is wasteful and extravagant and he squanders his fortune away and eventually he became destitute. He was suffering in hunger and alone, he reaches to the point of envying the servants of his father’s household who had much better food as he was not being fed. He came to his senses and he returned home empty handed and intends to beg his father as a servant. The son chose to return to the father (godly repentance which leads to eternal life) he did not stay in the swine pen (worldly repentance which leads to death). Godly sorrow leads to salvation. It is never too late to return to the Father as long as we have the humility to return to the Father.
When the son chose to leave his family, he had the worldly perspective and in requesting half of his inheritance, he had cursed his father to die because normally inheritance can only be executed when the testator dies. He had the faith to receive the inheritance but no character to keep the inheritance.
Despite what the prodigal son had done, the father welcomes him with open arms, kissed him and hug him. His father even called the servant to dress him in a fine robe, a ring and sandals, and requested the fattened calf to be slaughter for a celebratory meal.
7 blessings that the prodigal son received when he returns to the Father:
1. Reconciliation (Col 3:13)
2. Restoration (Hosea 6:1)
3. Rejoice (Isaiah 61:7)
4. Renewal (Isaiah 40:30-31)
5. Rejuvenated (Jeremiah 31:25, Psalm 23:3)
6. Rest (Matthew 11:28)
7. Rich (James 1:17)
The point of repentance is the return to God, we can achieve a victorious life. Only God the Father can bestow the 7 complete blessings. Realization (surrendering our life to God) àrepentanceà salvationà victory in Christ.
Religion is man searching for God, Christianity is God searching for men. In the same way, God too takes thought also for those who have live a misspent life. God never rejects broken life or the broken hearted. The Father accepts everyone with his unconditional love. Only Jesus can mend broken hearts and life, nothing is too difficult for the LORD. Our Heavenly Father is always loving and longing for His children to come back as He heals and He restores.
The older son was angry with the Father’s decision and he feels he is treated unfairly this is where we need to have godly contentment. We should not compare our life with others. Each of us should focus on our own personal race, to be obedient to the calling of God. It is not about ourselves but about God. If the older son had been Christ centered, he would not have been a disappointed man as he would also rejoice for his brother who was once considered dead but is alive.
What can we learn from this Parable:
1. Realize and repent- turn back to the LORD JESUS CHRIST
2. Learn to forgive- God is slow to anger but abounding in grace
3. Focus on the Kingdom of God- keep our eyes on the finishing line
What is our response in different seasons of our life: Happy moments praise God, difficult moments seek God, quiet moments: worship God, moments of uncertainty: trust God. In the moment when we don’t see God’s hands, walk by faith, there are 7000 promises for us to claim in the Bible for breakthroughs.
Four marks of true repentance are: acknowledgement of our wrongdoings, willingness to confess it, willingness to abandon our old ways, and willingness to make restitution. (Corrie Ten Boom)
God’s plan is always the best for us. (Romans 8:28, Jeremiah 29:11)