(See Luke 15:11-32)
Have you heard this story? Jesus speaks of a man with two sons. The younger son asked for his inheritance and takes off with all his father had given him. He spent every dime on a lavish lifestyle and wound up with the hogs. When he came to himself, he remembered what he had and returned to his father.
Have you ever known anyone that has lived for the Lord then left? It seems like they had made a commitment to Him; when they suddenly make a 180 degree turn and go in the opposite direction. They went from singing in church, being Sunday school teachers, being deacons and leaders; and then they go the other way. Now its alcohol, drugs, illicit sex… all of the above. And it seems they are thoroughly enjoying themselves.
I have know people who have done this very thing. They’ve lived this lifestyle for 30-40 years. If you say anything to them, the first thing they say is, “Don’t judge me!” The Bible does say “Judge not, that ye be not judged,” but that passage is speaking of condemning someone. We’re not to judge whether a person goes to Heaven or Hell, but the same chapter tells us we can know if a person is a Christian by the fruits they bear. The Bible teaches us throughout scripture that we are to judge ourselves and others. We are to use scripture to “reprove, rebuke and exhort with all long-suffering.”
I think maybe these people haven’t bothered to open they’re Bible in the last 30-40 years to read those passages. “Don’t judge” is just a catch phrase; their first line of defense to use to defend the lifestyle they have chosen.
With that said, did these people really get “saved’ in the first place? Did they really make a true and total commitment to the Lord…. I don’t know; I can’t say. But what I can say is what scripture tells me. Jesus said “If you love me, you’ll keep my commandments,” and that we can know we are His because we continue to follow Him. So, maybe that answers the questions. I wouldn’t want to face the Lord with 20, 30, 40 years of a sinful lifestyle and bet my salvation on a profession I made when I was younger.
But, the Good News is… When they come to themselves and they realize they’re not waking with the Lord, they can return. The Father will take them in with open arms. So, if you find yourself in this position, or you know others who are, today could be the day of your salvation.
It’s as simple as ABC…
Accept that you’re a sinner, lost and in need of a Savior.
Believe that Jesus died to cover your sins and is the only way to The Father.
Confess that you believe, turn from your sin and ask The Lord to become Lord of your Life!
In closing, if you know someone in this state… don’t give up on them. There’s still hope. If you talked to them before, talk to them again. Maybe today will be the day. Most of all, DON’T STOP PRAYING for them.
Just something to think about.
Until next time…
-Steven Walker Sr.