When You Leave You Lose
Read: Luke 15:11-24
When I was a kid growing and going to the barber shop every three weeks on Saturday ahead of you for my time to get a haircut. It could be an hour or more before you get your hair cut. As a young boy I wanted to be out playing with my friends instead of sitting in a barber shop losing good playing time. I was constrained with the ultimatum by my parents and that I was not to come home that day unless I had gotten a haircut. I was given money for a haircut and nothing else! Also, there was a hard-cut rule in the barber shop which stated, “If you move you lose!” your place in the barber cut line. I was forced to wait my turn in the barber’s chair.
The same rule applies to our Christian lives. Once we become saved by receiving Christ’s salvation in our lives and move away from it, we lose out on the stored blessings God has chosen for us. God has another baptism awaiting us - the baptism of fire (John 15:26). It is just like dropping out of school in the eighth grade and not receiving the graduation diploma which could lead to a more fruitful and progressive future, not counting the opportunity of four years loss of high school education. When one leaves the church before he/she is baptized, he/she loses. Such a person has just lost all before Christ has had the opportunity to give him the greatest blessings of life - salvation.
The same is true when we have set an earlier educational or financial goal for our lives and all is well until we make some unpopular decisions and our lives are side tracked and an untimely pregnancy comes up, a prison sentence interrupts our future and financial plans. An eager and anxious desire to get married for whatever reasons stops us in our track only to realize years later you took the wrong exit at the crossover roads of life. All this is because we no longer desired to hold out in our life’s discipline of self- control, and abandoned our need to delay self-gratification.
The story, as told by Jesus about the prodigal son who left his father’s house, is so typical of people who leave the sheepfold of Christ and are lost. The prodigal son left his father’s house with much and returned with nothing. When the son left this father’s house, he lost it all. The prodigal son only began to realize what he had lost and left behind while he was eating corn husk like a pig. Some people leave the better life when they think the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, not realizing that the grass has to be cut on both sides of the fence.
The prodigal son went through a lot of unnecessary suffering and social disgrace as he lost his so-called friends when his money became scarce. When the prodigal son left his father’s house, he went from hero to zero. When we rebel from the Lord, we set in motion a powerful spiritual vacuum which sucks out all the good things God has in store for us. We often become mad at God before He finishes walking through the dark valley with us. We leave the house of God too soon in disappointment before we have a chance to reconcile with God the hurting issues in our lives. Just like a penny which is lost it still has value even while lost. God knows this. This is why He awaits our return To Him. God sometimes sends out his hounds of heaven to chase us back into his sheep fold when we leave the house of God too soon.
It is the major work of the devil to discourage, and depress God’s children and our spirits so that we find that God’s house is not fitting into our lives anymore. This is because some of us are all “churched out.” There is never a good reason to leave the church before you get a chance to meet and know God.