4 It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly
gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God
and the powers of the coming age 6 and who have fallen[a] away, to be brought back to
repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him
to public disgrace.
I. THE PRODIGAL SON – Wrong, but then Right (v. 11-19, 21):
A. Prodigal = rashly or wastefully extravagant; expending to excess or without necessity
B. His sins (v. 12-16)
1. (v. 12) He takes what doesn’t belong to him (“Give me what is mine” – greed,
a. It’s not his yet (not until his father dies). Clearly he values money more than he
values his father.
b. How sad it is when even God’s church values things more than they value Him
(our time, our $, our family)
2. (v. 13a) He went to a far country – Why?
a. Get away from authority (be his own boss)
b. Won’t have to answer to anyone – where is your far country?
3. (v. 13b) He squanders his substance with riotous (throwing away, getting rid of)
living. Recklessly and without god
4. (v. 14-16) He refuses to repent – in spite of several opportunities given:
All the money was gone He joined (cleaved to) a citizen of this far country. What business
does he have doing this? He is starving (not even as well off as the pigs he’s feeding, and
certainly not as well off as his father’s servants)!
C. His repentance (v. 17-19)
1. As bad as things are, he does not accept the idea that he’s gone beyond the point of
2. (v. 17) He came to himself; he recognizes his own value to his father, who takes
care of his servants.
3.(v. 18-19) Decision: To repent
a. I will arise (sometimes getting off our tails is the hardest step)
b. I will go to my father (this is what the father has been wanting!)
c. I will confess (I have sinned against 1) Heaven and 2) against you)
d. I will make no excuses, but will except the consequences of my sin (treat me like a
He feels unworthy to be his father’s son (v. 21).
How many times do we feel this way after we sin?
4. (v. 21) Action – He does what he said he would do
II. THE FATHER – Right all along (v. 20-24):
A. Unconditional love
B. He allowed the son to leave (God doesn’t stop His children from acting the way they
C. (v. 20) He watches and waits, ready to receive his son
III. THE OLDER SON – Right, but then Wrong
A. He didn’t leave; He was always there And obedient to? his father (proper action, but
improper attitude toward his brother all along)
B. Greed, bad attitude, selfishness (same things that had been said about his younger
C. The younger son’s repentance should’ve been encouragement to him (1 Thess 1:8-9)
D. He should’ve been happy because of his brother’s return
E. Not only should he have been happy at his brother’s return, he should’ve been trying to
bring him back!
F. Christians should always be ready to receive the penitent brother back
CONCLUSION: Both sons do things that are wrong, but who is the truly negative example in
this story? The older son…although he was doing the right thing by being a good, obedient
son, he gives us an example of a horrible attitude toward a penitent brother. It is so hard for a
brother or sister to repent (Heb 6:4-6). Don’t make it harder!