In this sermon Pastor Nic helps us to re-discover the heart of God through the parable of the prodigal son. The younger brother in this story was lost. He turned his back on the father and demanded his inheritance even before his father’s death! But later he was found and welcomed back into his father’s household. So the familiar story goes. And so we can learn about who God really is – what his character is – and what he really cares about.
God Seeks the Lost
“God seeks the lost. He searches for those who are lost. Let me ask you – if you were asked to give criteria of people who must go to church – who can go to church – what would be those criteria? If you were a vigil at KK security and they put you downstairs at the bottom there, and they say you choose who goes in and who goes out of the church, who would you let in? Who are the people you would allow to come to church? And who are the people to whom you would say “no, no, no. You can’t come. Go back”? You see whatever answer you give to that will reflect your theology. That is, will reflect what you think God is.
Whatever you think of God will always transpire in how you accept people to join the community of God
If you think God is somebody who doesn’t like poor people – and then on that door you will say “no poor people – you have to be rich to come into this church.” If you think God doesn’t like people who are dirty then you will say “you have to be dressed properly. Otherwise I won’t let you in.” Whatever you think of God will always transpire in how you accept people to join the community of God, or you reject them.
Jesus Welcomes Sinners
Let me actually say that whatever you understand God to be, will also impact who are the people who hang around you. Who are the people you interact with. Especially if you consider yourself saved or religious. Luke Chapter 15 to 19 is trying to answer this question. Who are the people that Jesus welcomes; that Jesus ‘lets in’? Who are the people actually that God seeks? In a sense Luke is actually telling us what is the character of God? What is the heart of God? And of course, at the heart of God there is the heart of the Gospel.
In Luke 15:1-10 we have a picture of a God who actively seeks – not righteous people – sinners. The people in the extremes of society. Those are the people that God is actively pursuing and seeking. This is a God who is happy when those people come back to Him; when those people are found. And that is what these two parables are really teaching us.”
Nic preaches a second sermon in this series focused on the elder brother – who is also lost, yet not found.
Preacher: Nic Kyalangalilwa
Title: Re-discovering the Heart of God 1 – The Younger Brother
Text: Luke 15:1-10
Date Preached: 30 April 2017
Location: Le Phare Church, Bukavu, DRC-Congo