“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him. . .” – Luke 15:20
If you’ve been in church very long, you’ve probably seen more than one person leave your fellowship. And I don’t meant they left your church in order to go to another church, which happens a lot, but they simply stopped going to church completely.
What are you supposed to do when people leave and stop attending church? Not just your church, but any church? Do you call them up and ask them why? Do you quote Hebrews 10:25 at them as a proof text that we are not to “give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing”? Do you go to their house on Sunday morning and force them to go to church with a gun in one hand and a Bible in the other?
In Luke 15, often called the “Lost Chapter” because of all the things that get lost, we find some interesting reactions to those lost items. The shepherd left ninety-nine sheep to search for the one that was lost, and the woman lit a lamp and cleaned house to find the lost coin. However, we don’t read about the father leaving home to go find the son. Instead, we simply find the father waiting at home, anticipating the day the son would return, for he noticed his son “while he was still a long way off.”
Why didn’t the father go after the son? The shepherd and the woman both search for their lost items, but the father stays and home and waits. Why? Because the sheep and the coin were ignorant of being lost, while the son, “when he came to his senses” (Luke 15:17), knew the way home. This is why I don’t chase Christians: they know the way home. Continue Reading