Tuesday, September 24, 2013

He Lost His Inheritance

Every Christian knows the story called The Prodical Son. I believe it is the most wonderful story of restoration and reconciliation in the Word. Preachers love to tell it, and of course they should.

One of the lessons that may be drawn from this parable is that you can depart from your father, sin and sin, have a blast, as they say. Then when you are down and out, go home and your forgiving father will welcome you back, even throw a feast in your honor. I agree with this entirely. I mean what's to argue?

I believe in the doctrine of the Security of the Believer. That means I have read Romans chapter eight, and believe it. The parable says it all--Once a Son Always a Son. Or as some sagely say, Once born, always born. No matter how bad you act you can't become "unborn".

So what point could I possibly make of this? You see, I believe that parable has a another feature, and that is the loss of one's inheritance.

In many of the threat-based religions, a fiery hell waits for those who are not of the faith, and in some denominations hell waits for those who lose their faith. But even with fundementalist believers (like me), once born-again, your salvation is secure and that is that. So far I sure can't disagree.

So what is the "other feature" I would interpret in this wonderful story? Very simply, the loss of your inheritance. Jesus told something in his story that is often neglected, that the Prodigal asked his father to give him his inheritance, then went out and wasted it. In short, when the son returned, his inheritance had been spent--lost.

So, you can, sin and sin, and not lose your salvation. Many have done it and are doing it now. But, in the story, he will end up working for his brother when it is inheritance time.

What is a Biblical basis for my claim? As a former prodigal myself, I offer these words:

...and the fire will test the quality of each person's work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved-even though only as one escaping through the flames. (I Cor. 3:13-15, NIV).

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