Repentance Before Restoration


Photo by Mariya Georgieva on Unsplash

Luke 15:1-2 Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.

This is a sermon that I cannot preach by myself. I am going to ask you to help me preach it. To start, I need a male volunteer to read a Scripture. It is:

Luke 15:3-7 And he spake this parable unto them, saying, What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbors, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

Now I need a female volunteer to read a Scripture. It is:

Luke 15:8-10 Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbors together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.

In a few moments I’m going to read the third parable that Jesus preached, a parable commonly called “The Parable Of The Prodigal Son”. Now our Lord Jesus Christ was and is the best Preacher that has ever been. He is better than Billy Graham, better than W.A. Criswell, better than C.H. Spurgeon, better than Greg Laurie or T.D. Jakes, better than this foolish man standing before you today. His sermons were fantastic. I want you to know I have read His sermon from Luke 15, and since the age of 17 when I was saved and since the age of 37 when I started to preach – and have preached these texts – I have never really understood this sermon. Perhaps you have never understood it either. All three sermons have one great truth – one great theme – that ties them together.

Point #1 Of Jesus’ Sermon:
The Wise And Loving Shepherd

I have heard this first point of Jesus’ sermon – the One Lost Sheep – many, many times by many, many preachers. I have preached it – and preached it wrong, mind you. I can remember a Pastor that I loved – now with the Lord – talking about how Jesus loved the sheep. I remember him saying:

Jesus left the ninety and nine to go out and get that one lost sheep. If we’re going to be like Jesus we need to leave the ninety and nine and go get that one lost sheep.”

I spent three and a half years overseas in England, about 60 miles south of London. Where my wife and I stayed was sheep country. We often drove through the country side and had to stop and wait while a shepherd drove his sheep across the road. The sheep stayed close to the flock. Now listen to me. In all the time I was in England I NEVER saw a flock without a shepherd. Listen to me.

No self respecting shepherd would ever leave his flock unattended for a long period of time while he went out looking for a lost sheep. None!

Our Lord Jesus called Himself the Good Shepherd. How does Jesus describe a “Good Shepherd”? Jesus said:

John 10:3-4 {the Good Shepherd} calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.

The “Good Shepherd” does not abandon His Sheep. He stays with them. He watches over them. Why? Because the sheep have no natural defenses other than the Shepherd. Jesus said:

John 10:11-13 .. I am the Good Shepherd: the Good Shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is a hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.

No Good Shepherd would ever abandon His sheep. He would NOT walk away from 99 sheep and leave them open to a wolf or wild dog attack in order to hunt down a disobedient and errant sheep. Let me ask you this question:

Have you EVER tried to count people when they are moving around? You can’t get an accurate count when people are moving around.
And sheep are in constant movement.

How would a Shepherd – a Good Shepherd – know that he had lost one of ninety-nine sheep? He would know by the cry of the sheep. The sheep that went astray would cry out after getting in a mess. And when that sheep cried out the Shepherd would follow it’s cry. The Good Shepherd would leave the ninety and nine long enough to go get that crying sheep. What did Jesus say?

Luke 15:5-6 … when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbors, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.

The text says “He layeth it on His shoulders”. The lost sheep cried until the Good Shepherd came. And when the Shepherd came back with that sheep where was it? “He layeth it on his shoulders. That sheep did not fight the Shepherd. What else does the text say? “Rejoicing”. Did you see that? “Rejoicing”! Who is rejoicing? The Good Shepherd is rejoicing of course. But that sheep is rejoicing! The day I rested in my Jesus’ arms, the day I let Him put me over His shoulder and take me home …. oh, what a joy that was! The main point of this sermon? Read with me what our Lord said.

Luke 15:7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

The point is very simple. There must be REPENTANCE before there can be RESTORATION. There must be SURRENDER before there is VICTORY. There is no POWER without WEAKNESS. The lost sheep is not sought after nor brought back into the fold until that sheep R-E-P-E-N-T-S. When the sheep cries out, calling the Shepherd, the Good Shepherd comes. There must be REPENTANCE before there can be RESTORATION.

Point #2 Of Jesus’ Sermon:
Careless Woman

The second point of Jesus’ sermon deals with a woman who had ten pieces of silver. She lost one of those pieces. So what did she do? She turned her house upside down until she found that missing piece. When she found that missing piece Jesus said:

Luke 15:9 … she calleth her friends and her neighbors together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost.

Now how did the woman lose this piece of silver?
It was valuable before she lost it.
It was valuable while it was lost.
It was MORE valuable when she found it.
It’s value did not increase because it was lost.
It’s value increased because HER EYES WERE OPENED.

The woman lost this silver piece because she – in her heart – took it for granted. She forgot how valuable it was. It was not until it was lost that she realized how valuable it was. There was an old song I grew up hearing that had a line in it:

You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone!”

How many bad mistakes we have made because of carelessness? How many times do we wish we could rewind the clock and go back? Oh, the tears that I’ve cried because I took for granted that which was priceless. Woman, oh woman, how many women have given themselves away to useless men, seeking to satisfy a bottomless and selfish pit? Women, you all have something that you can do that no man can do, even with sex change operations men cannot do it. Women, you can give life. Women, you can nurture. That is priceless, priceless. Do not give away that wonderful gift God has given you. Do not cry, “My Body, My Choice”. This is a stupid phrase that selfish and sex crazed people – influenced of hell – financed by American tax dollars – mislabeled “Planned Parenthood” – have taught you. The world led by satanic forces says “So what if you – satisfying yourself – become with child. Destroy it! Your Body, your Choice, your Life!” Then you do so. And what happens. You grieve. Oh, there are some monsters who celebrate the destruction of that life, but Hitler wasn’t normal. The “Final Solution” wasn’t moral. Killing is never right. Regardless as to the monsters who video these procedures and post them to “Youtube” or “Instagram”, there will come a time when you will grieve. You will turn your house upside down to find what you have lost.

Some of the “sinners” that the Pharisees and scribes murmured at Jesus about were women. Some were harlots, prostitutes, what we could coarsely call “whores”. Others were women trapped by men, self righteous men, like these Pharisees and Scribes.

You can’t get back what you have given away, but you can be whole again. You can turn your house upside down. You can sweep and clean that home by running to the arms of Jesus. Jesus is there. Jesus is there. With repentance comes restoration. Your life is more valuable than momentary pleasure. Your life is of great worth. This is why Jesus said:

Luke 15:10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.

Do not let the self righteous define you. Run to Jesus. He died on Calvary to pay for your sins. He rose again from the grave to embrace you, to receive you to the Father. Your carelessness does not need to define you. With REPENTANCE comes RESTORATION. With SURRENDER comes VICTORY. Run to Jesus! Rn to Jesus!

Point #3 Of Jesus’ Sermon:
wo Foolish Sons

We have yet to read the final point of Jesus’ message today. I warn you, this point is the longest. Many preachers – myself included – have called this the Parable of the Prodigal Son. But this is not what Jesus called it. Jesus said:

Luke 15:11 … A certain man had two sons

Now how do we preachers get off calling this “The Parable of the Prodigal (or wandering) Son” when Jesus called it a Parable of TWO sons. The bulk of the story is about the wandering son. But as Paul Harvey used to say … that’s not all of the story.

God had two sons. He had Israel His oldest son – represented by the Pharisees and Scribes that are now judging Jesus. When God sent Moses to Pharaoh to demand Israel’s freedom the message was:

Exodus 4:22-23 … Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me …

God chose Israel through the fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Israel is God’s firstborn son. But God never meant to have just two sons. God had a younger son that the firstborn thought nothing of.

The sinners that Jesus came to save were God’s younger son. God the Father loved this son just as much as the older son. This is why God the Father sent Jesus Christ into the world. The …

the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. … Luke 15:1

It was not so much that Jesus received sinners like us, but it was that Jesus both received sinners AND ate with them. How dare He do such a thing?

I can hear the whispers in the Church as I write this:

Did you see that girl? Why didn’t she dress for Church?
And that boy! Look at his ear rings!
That mother! I heard she has no husband.
He smells like alcohol.
Isn’t there a Church for people of that color?
I don’t like to see interracial babies!

The Pharisees and Scribes loved judging, but there are Pharisees all around us. You may be a Pharisee, a hater, a judger. You may have been saved when you were just a child. You may have been born in Church. I don’t know – I don’t doubt your salvation. But there are many of us who are the younger sons of God. We came from alcohol or drug stained paths. We came from questionable lifestyles. We were not the older son, but the younger. Maybe you’re one of us.

Luke 15:12 … the younger {son} said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me.

In the Jewish world the firstborn son received the double portion, not the younger. Once the father died the firstborn became the executor. He determined what the rest of the family received. The younger son demanded what he had no right to demand, and took what was not his. He was presumptuous.

And the Father in Grace gave it to him.

Your Heavenly Father has given you gracious gifts. He gave you life. He placed you in the most prosperous nation on earth. Your bellies are full. You are in pretty good health, or if not, in a country with great healthcare. You take all of the gifts that your Father has given you. What do you do? What do most Americans do?

Luke 15:13-14 … {the younger son} took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.

The younger son abused the Grace that the Father gave him. You abuse your lungs, your livers, your hearts, your minds. You wander far away from home, far from the God Who in love made you and gave you so much. You live for the moment a sexual, sensual, selfish creature. Then one day you begin to be in want. The good times end. The health decreases. The liver and lungs you abused say ENOUGH! You get cancer, some sexually transmitted disease, or something worst happens.

Luke 15:15-16 … he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.

You figure out a way to get out of that mess, but every way you try only makes things worst. The friends you thought were your “best buddies” abandon you. Your money ran out. Your beauty ran out. Your time ran out. And your fair weather friends ran out.

Luke 15:17-18 … when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father..

Every week I receive calls from people. “Will you pay my bills? Will you bail me out?” My question is “What Church is your family? Is God your Father, and Christ your Brother? Are you home and in need, or wandering the streets wanting a quick fix?”

Beloved, without REPENTANCE there can be no RESTORATION. I can bail you out today. But if you’re not home with Father, you’ll be in the same hell on earth tomorrow.

The younger son came to himself. He repented. He swallowed his pride. She turned from her sins.

Father, I’ll just be your servant. Please, take me back.
Please, fill me with what I need.
I’ll be your slave. Please Father, save me!”

So the son, the daughter, the sinner heads home. You have rehearsed in your head what you will say.

Luke 15:18-19 …. Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son …

but while you are coming your Father sees you. He runs to you, embraces you. Heaven has a party. The Angels rejoice!

Luke 15:23-24 … let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.

This is why Jesus came. This is why Jesus died. This is why Jesus rose again. All of Heaven rejoices when a sinner comes home! Oh, what a glory it is.

But let’s not forget the older son. Does he rejoice? Is she pleased? No!

Luke 15:28-30 … he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him. And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.

The younger son forgot the Father, but the older son did too. If you are born again by faith in Christ Jesus did not just come to save you, but to save others NOT LIKE you. The Father tells you:

Luke 15:31-32 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.

You could have a party, too. All the Father has is yours because of the Son. Every day should be a celebration of life. Every day should be filled with joy. Let us not be like the Scribes and Pharisees, but let us rejoice with the angels of Heaven that a younger son came home. Let us stop being miserable, but let us rejoice in the knowledge that all of Heaven is ours, and earth as well. We shall inherit all, if we are in the Father’s arms.

Run to His embrace.
Run to Jesus.
He awaits you.
Run to Him now.
He loves you, as He loves me, so very much!

May the Spirit of God touch your hearts with this His Word.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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