I have a close unsaved friend in the community who is close to accepting Christ. Shortly before my medical furlough to care for my eyes during the summer, we had a long discussion about the Gospel, and I truly believed he would accept the Lord soon.
Sadly that didn’t happen
During my medical furlough he stopped coming to church, and our relationship just wasn’t the same after I returned. Satan I believe used that time away to draw my friend back into sin.
I wish this was a rare, but it’s actually incredibly common
Many close to accepting Christ have been lured back into the world by Satan.
But these frustrating situations give us an opportunity to display the gracious love of God.
In Luke 15 many wicked sinners come to heart Jesus teach. The religious leaders immediately begin complaining among themselves that Christ is spending time with sinners (15:2. Jesus responds by saying the wicked coming to hear is a blessing, because Salvation brings the greatest joy to God (15:7, 15:10).
The principle of this passage is God will pursue us when we wander from Him.
We in our sinfulness continue to stubbornly wander away from God. His response is always to find us, humble us (through punishment if necessary), and restore us. He does this because of His love for us, not because we deserve it.
The rest of Luke 15 is an illustration of that truth through the parable of the Prodigal Son. God bings great sorrow and suffering into his life so that he finally “comes to himself”, repents, and returns home.
The attitude of the religious leaders is also seen in the parable through the oldest son who refuses to accept his younger brother. He had an attitude of superiority that felt himself much better than the son who had wandered.
Missions is not about looking down on those who have wandered.
Instead it’s about pursuing lost sheep…..
This is not easy since the sheep are often stubborn, and selfish.
But we continue going out to rescue them, because our loving Father never fails to restore us.