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The Living Waters Podcast

Ep. 259 – How to Guide a Prodigal Back to the Lord

The guys discuss a challenge faced by today’s church: nurturing relationships with Christ while also implementing loving yet firm biblical discipline. All of this is done to reach prodigals with God’s saving love.

Show Notes

The church often finds itself grappling with the challenge of discerning true believers among a sea of professed believers. Like Adam in the garden, the prodigal son didn’t realize what he had until he was sitting in the pigsty. Ray, E.Z., Mark, and Oscar focus on two types of prodigals: those who have strayed yet remain under the umbrella of salvation, and those who have yet to find redemption. Central to this discussion is the doctrine of eternal security, and the guys unanimously assert the irrevocability of salvation.

Generally, the cause of drifting away from the faith is in the heart, not the brain. This introspective journey confronts believers with the reality of their devotion, urging them to move beyond mere cognitive acknowledgment toward a genuine, transformative relationship with Christ.

A poignant dilemma plaguing many congregations today is the absence of church discipline—a practice rooted in biblical illiteracy and a reluctance to confront sin. This reluctance is compounded by the perception of discipline as a punishment rather than a restorative act. True biblical discipline is a manifestation of love, seeking the repentance and restoration of the soul. Scripture states that sparing your child from discipline will spoil them, and this serves as an analogy for the nature of discipline within the church. Just as a loving parent disciplines their child, the church disciplines its members out of love and concern.

The process of church discipline is imbued with grace—a concept often misunderstood in contemporary Christian discourse. It is not an act of condemnation, but a redemptive endeavor aimed at guiding individuals back into the fold of God’s grace. At the heart of effective church discipline lies a profound understanding of grace. Grace confronts sin yet extends mercy, it disciplines yet restores. It is a grace that mirrors God’s, seeking to emulate God’s redemptive love in every aspect.

Ultimately, the church’s mission extends far beyond the walls of its sanctuaries. It encompasses the pursuit of prodigals, both within and beyond its fold. It is a mission grounded in love, propelled by grace, and animated by the unwavering conviction that no soul is beyond the reach of God’s saving grace. In summary, the church’s pursuit of authenticity in discipleship, coupled with a commitment to biblical discipline rooted in love and grace, serves as a beacon of hope in a world rife with spiritual uncertainty. It is a call to embrace the transformative power of grace and extend it to all who stand in need of redemption.

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Ray Comfort
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