something I realized about the prodigal son parable


#1

Before I became convinced of universal salvation, I used to struggle with the Book of Hebrews chapters 6 and 10, which seem to suggest that if a person goes on sinning after becoming Christian, he is permanently lost. I worried that I’d blown my ‘one opportunity’ to be saved. Tonight I was thinking about the parable of the prodigal son. Throughout the New Testament, it is stated that only Christians are sons (and daughters) of God. So that would suggest the parable of the prodigal son is a source of comfort for sons and daughters–Christians–who have sinned.


#2

Throughout the New Testament, it is stated that only Christians are sons (and daughters) of God. So that would suggest the parable of the prodigal son is a source of comfort for sons and daughters–Christians–who have sinned.

The Father did say the son was lost but now he has been found after he repented or came to his senses. So he was lost but had to repent to qualify as being found and it wasn’t in the afterlife so don’t think this says much about Universalism but is more about the gentiles coming into the kingdom of God. Also i think in Hebrews 6 the phrase “impossible” is hyperbole and not an absolute statement.


#3

But he didn’t repent, not really… He ‘came to his senses’ which indicates life experience, not an evil being turning good. Rather, a human being seeing the choices he made ended up ruining his life, and so now he sees that… But that does that follow that his choices will be perfect from then on? No… It just means what he experience thus far opened his eyes and now can try a different path, under the protection of his father, of course.

Also, I don’t think sons and daughters are only those who follow Christ. They have recognized their sonship and are living accordingly… But a son, who doesn’t know he is a son, doesn’t cease to be a son. When Paul talked about adoption, it wasn’t adoption, but a growing into the role of the responsibility of sonship.

Tell me, what did the coin do for itself? did the coin repent? LOL…


#4

Steve, I agree that it’s not about universalism. I believe it’s about Christians knowing that if we leave our Father, he will be waiting for us with open arms when we realize the error of our ways. The father in the parable didn’t tell the son that he’s been permanently cut off from the family.


#5

I thought I might share the Got Questions, Calvinist spin:

What is the meaning of the Parable of the Prodigal Son?

P.S. It should be apparent by now, that I am NOT a Calvinist. But sometimes the Calvinist, can provide us, with a good starting point.


#6

Hmmmm… The Greek word that is translated as “repent” is μετανοεω (metanoeō) which literally means “to have a change of mind.”
Clearly the prodigal son changed his mind about his way of living, and went home to his father where he was welcomed. In his joy, his father even threw a party for this son who had gone astray.


#7

Another verse that contradicts the idea that backsliding Christians can’t be restored is Galatians 6:1.

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness.

It would be strange to think Paul was instructing Christians only on treatment of unbelievers here. If anything, the language suggests this admonition is about only sinning Christians; how could someone who never was Christian be restored?

See also 2 Cor 2:5-8. Paul talks about a sinner being punished by the majority of the church (and how the sinner should now be forgiven). Paul had said in 1 Cor, it’s the church’s job to judge Christians, not unbelievers. The obvious conclusion then is that in 2 Cor 2 Paul was talking about a Christian who had fallen into sin.


#8

Hmmmm, no he did not. He had nowhere else to go.


#9

Hmmmm… The Greek word that is translated as “repent” is μετανοεω (metanoeō) which literally means “to have a change of mind.”
Clearly the prodigal son changed his mind about his way of living, and went home to his father where he was welcomed. In his joy, his father even threw a party for this son who had gone astray.

Hmmmm, no he did not. He had nowhere else to go.

Having nowhere else to go motivated him to change his mind!


#10

#11

But to fear you also believe? What if you fear you believe? What if you believe you fear? Anyway let’s eat!! :laughing:


#12

This is the very thing that has come up in another thread.

The ‘Father’ here was ready to accept him at any point. He never stopped the son at the boundary of the property and said … ‘Son did you learn your lesson!!’ No! he welcomed him and had nothing but good to say of him. Even when the brother brought up the transgressions and the idea of him (brother) being faithful all through the years (time) the father still acknowledged the wayward son’s return. The son had a CONVERSION…(change of mind) And the conversion LEAD TO REPENTANCE :open_mouth:


#13

T

Yes, the son had a change of mind. And that is precisely the meaning of the Greek word that is translated “repentance.”

In English characters, that Greek word is “metanoia”.

“meta”—change
“noia” from the noun “nous” which means “mind”


#14

Wow, that is great. “I am sorry I hit you, I should have hit you harder! (change of mind)” - That’s ok, because you repented (changed your mind) I forgive you." All repentance means is a change of mind, and by golly!

Straight from Paidion’s reasoning!

If you don’t get the sarcasm here, the change of mind is a false dichotomy not to mention ambigious. Changed your mind about what? Is there only two opinions one can hold in a matter?

FYI - I am not disagreeing that the word is translated change of mind. That has been known for ages… The problem with how ambiguous the ‘change of mind’ definition is. People apply it to a false dichotomy of going one way, then turning back exactly the same way in another. Not to mention ministers disagree. The last one I heard said the change of mind was a change towards God. He said it was a 90 degree turn since we don’t turn around, but we turn towards God.

Anyhow, the father’s kindness led his son to a change of heart. The father didn’t refuse to forgive, nor would he had treated his son as less than son if his son didn’t get it.

Parents of drug addicts get it. Their children come home when they have no other place to go… But did they repent? No, not really. Many of them have history of chasing the drug, only to come back time and time again. But guess what? Many parents represent God and bring them into their home with kindness. Eventually the child may get clean and eventually sober, but to suggest the relationship isn’t restored until that person kicks a habit is ludicrous. The relationship may form deeper upon the child kicking the habit, but the relation exists, none the less. Fellowship is restored when the offended forgives and shows the kindness that God shows us.


#15

I was curious what the Calvinist site, Got Questions, had to say. I found their answer at:

What is the meaning of the Parables of the Lost Sheep and Lost Coin?

But they do go on, to mention all three with prodigal son, lost coin and lost sheep. Which got me to thinking. Is Christ doing variations, on the same parable theme? Or do these three, really convey different lessons?


#16

But they do go on, to mention all three with prodigal son, lost coin and lost sheep. Which got me to thinking. Is Christ doing variations, on the same parable theme? Or do these three, really convey different lessons?

I think it’s that every lost sheep, lost coin and lost son is very valuable to God.


#17

Hmm these are the things that we are dealing with here in 2017… Thanks Gabe