First, Second, or Third?

Luke 15:11-32

In this parable, Jesus tells of two sons. The first son asks his Dad for his inheritance and goes to a far country and spends his money partying, living for the moment, doing everything and anything that he desired to do. YOLO was this mans motto. He was finally free of his father and his father’s rules. He could do anything he wanted to do, but a time came when the money ran out and there was no way for this young man to make money. This young man finally finds a job feeding pigs. Pigs eat slop. Everything that you and I would throw away he had to  put in a buck and tossed into a trough. That is what this 1st son is doing, and he is so hungry that he is eating the same food as the pigs. In this moment he realizes, that no matter if there were good times or bad times, his father always took care of his servants. So this 1 st son decides to go back home and be his father’s servant. As his home was coming into sight, his father saw him and ran to meet him, hugged him and kissed him and threw a feast for this son. Now the 2nd son came back to the house after working that day and found everyone partying and being merry, he finds out that his brother has returned home, and is upset that his father is throwing a celebration for his brother. So lets take a look at the two brothers.

– Ran from home
– Lived in sin
– Waisted his inheritance
– But returned home
– Stayed home
– Worked for father
– Bitter spirit
– Angry and jealous

Even though the 2nd son stayed home and seemed to be right, he really wasn’t. Even though on the outside his life looked like he was doing everything right, his heart wasn’t in the right place. So many times we find ourselves as Christians in one of the two places. Either we are out right in our sin or in our rejection of the things of God, Or we look like are perfect Christians, but inside our heart is wishing we could be like the 1st son. Neither one of the sons are the Christians that we should be. I propose to you today that we don’t be like either of these sons, but we be a better son. A son that is neither sinful outwardly, nor sinful inwardly. We need Christian young people that are genuine, authentic, and REAL in their Christian life. So many Christian teenagers fall into these two groups. They decide that they aren’t going to let the Bible, preaching, and church change them. Or on the other hand they have Christian parents that make them act like Christians, but inwardly they battle with wanting to be like everybody else. BUT……… There is a third category.

That category of a REAL Christian.

1 Whose is genuine about being a Christian.

2 Who is conformable to Word of God and the preaching of the Word.

3 Who is confident as a Christian.

4 Who enjoys their life as a Christian.

5 Who doesn’t need the parties of the world to fulfill the emptiness.

This is the type of Christian that we all can be. The world talks so much about confidence in yourself, well why cant Christians be confident? Why cant we be confident in Christ, in His Word, and in the lifestyle He has laid out for us? The answer is we can. We can be authentic Christians, who genuinely want to live by the Bible, who authentically love people and want to see everyone accept the gospel, who are real Christians in their personal lives and in their public life. You don’t have to be like the 1st son and live according to world, you don’t have to chase the money so that you can’t live for God.You don’t have to talk dirty and act a certain way to be accepted by ungodly people. You can talk and act like a Christian. You don’t have to be like the 2nd son and be discontent in the Christian life he was living. You can enjoy the Christian life. Have blessings on this earth and an inheritance in Heaven. You don’t have to put on an act like that 2nd son was doing, you can really enjoy the life that God has for you. You can be REAL and have the inside match what you act like on the outside. So just like on a test you can choose the 1 st answer the 2nd answer or neither What kind of Christian are you going to be? Maybe today you are the 1st son and you have been living in sin, today is the day to get that right. Maybe you’re the 2nd son who looks good on the outside, but your computer or iPhone says differently, or your heart is wishes it could be somewhere else. Are you the First, Second, or Third?

Paul Gelhausen
Youth Pastor | Central Baptist Churc
Avenel, New Jersey