Most of us are familiar with the story of the Prodigal son in Luke chapter 15. As this story came up in a recent discussion, I have been thinking about the attitude of the Father vs. the attitude of the brother. The Prodigal son left the goodness and safety of his father's house and wasted his substance with riotous living. Sadly, he goes from having it all to having nothing, and desiring to eat the food of pigs because he was so hungry. When he finally decided to make the long trek back to his father's house, his father didn't wait for him to come knock on the door; But when his father saw him a long way off, he had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. His father then told his servants, "Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found."
Instead of being happy that his brother had returned to the safety of their father's house, he was jealous. The father then replies to the jealous brother, "Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found."
The brother had access to all these things in his father's house, but took them for granted and failed to realize that he could have and enjoy them at any time. We in the church have the goodness and mercy and blessings of God all the time - we are safe in the Father's house. Let's not take for granted the wonderful privileges and blessings that are at our fingertips. Let's also not be jealous when a lost brother or sister finds their way back to the house of God and receives the welcome and blessings of God.
What is your attitude when a backslider comes back to God? Do you welcome them? Do you show them the same mercy and compassion that the Father is showing them? Can you rejoice with them, or are you jealous? Our attitude should be that of the Father's; an attitude of love, compassion, and forgiveness.
The bottom line is that we must all be saved.