Believer, You Are Not A Prodigal – Part 1 (Article)

I’m sure you’ve heard it at church before, “When you mess up or stray from God, the Lord is always there to welcome you back with open arms, like a loving Father — just like in the parable of The Prodigal Son.” The problem is, The Prodigal Son is not written about a believer. So, these things are simply not true for you. It’s much better than you think.

The Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11) is actually written about someone initially coming to salvation, and that only happens one time in our life. It doesn’t have to be repeated. So it’s not applicable to you, as a believer.

Before we get into any details, we need to go over some foundational truths. The fact that we relate to The Prodigal Son parable to begin with shows me that you’ve probably been taught some of these things:

1. It’s possible for you to “stray” from God or be in a “backslidden” state as a believer. 

2. If you haven’t been mindful of God, He hasn’t left you but you’ve left Him.

3. God loves you, but your fellowship with God is affected when you sin. 

4. When you step out of the will of God, you step out of His provision or blessing.

5. When you sin, you need to ask God for forgiveness and cleansing again.

Now, even if you don’t check all those boxes, you must at least check some of them in order to believe that The Prodigal Son parable is applicable to you, as a believer. After all, when the father receives the son back, he says that his son was lost and now found, dead and now lives. Not to mention the fact that the son strays off and needs to be welcomed back by the father. And most Christians relate to that today.

Firstly, let’s address what happens when a believer sins…

Sins Forever

It should brighten your day to find out that Jesus’ sacrifice was made for sins forever. That means that Jesus was dying for your sins for all time — even the ones you haven’t done yet. For that matter, none of your sins were committed yet when Jesus died. 

Hebrews 10:12 (NKJV) But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God…

In the Old Testament people made sacrifices for every individual sin, therefore which sins do you think were forgiven by those sacrifices? Of course, only those individual sins. But if Jesus makes a sacrifice for sins for all time, and you receive that sacrifice, which sins do you think you’re forgiven of? Of course, sins for all time!

Jesus died for sins forever. The Bible makes no bones about this (resurrection pun intended). If you have initially confessed your sins and been forgiven, you are cleansed of all unrighteousness and do not need to repeat this (1 John 1:9). You are eternally redeemed from sin, eternally forgiven, and eternally made perfect! 

Hebrews 9:12 (NKJV) …having obtained eternal redemption… for the redemption of the transgressions… that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

Hebrews 10:14 (KJV) For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

These verses say that our inheritance, our freedom from transgressions, and our perfection is eternal and lasts forever. These things are not on-again off-again. They are constant and everlasting because Jesus’ death covered sins forever.

So, what happens when you sin? Well, regarding your relationship with God? Nothing. Regarding your forgiveness? Nothing. Regarding your inheritance? Nothing. Regarding the perfection you have? Nothing. Jesus is the one that secures all of these things for you, not your good behavior. So your behavior cannot change it.

If you sin, the Bible simply says that you FORGOT that you were clean, not that you need to get clean again!

2 Peter 1:9 (NKJV) For he who lacks these things [good virtues] is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.

So when you sin, do you need to be welcomed back by the Father, forgiven again, or restored in your relationship with the Father? Not even close. You’re still in the house, with the same robe, the same ring, the same shoes, and the same family partying all around you (Luke 15:22)! The only problem is, you forgot! So remember what you have and who you are in Christ and join the party. The party never stopped.

This is only the first part in a series. We will go deeper into this parable in the next parts, so keep reading! You don’t want to miss them.

…If you enjoyed this Article, share it with someone else. More people need to understand this awesome truth!