God's Bouncers

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Think about the best concert you have been to. Was it at an awesome and huge venue? Do you remember the bouncers and ushers? The bouncers job is to stand watch and make sure idiots don’t get too stupid and nobody that shouldn’t be inside gets inside. The usher’s job is to help people find a seat and make them feel welcomed, right?

What would happen if they reversed stations? The bouncer would be kicking all the people out and constantly judging the worthiness of someone to take their seat, while the usher would be wanting everyone to be comfortable and find a place in the concert hall.

A lot of times, church people think that they serve as bouncers into Heaven, saying things like “You cannot dress like that at this church, this is God’s House!” or “We know what kind of person you are, you need to go.”

Jesus once told a story that is now known as the story of “The Prodigal Son.” In reality, this story is about two sons, which is an important distinction.

The youngest son went to his rich father one day and told him that he wanted his inheritance now because he was bored of the life on the farm, and basically wanted Vegas 24/7. His Dad gave him the choice, and soon the son was off spending his money on girls, drinks, and anything else. Soon though he ran through all his cash and ended up literally in a pig trough. Then he thought, “I can go back to my Dad and beg for him to take me on as a servant, because even they live better than this!” He immediately set out for home, and probably was forming the conversation in his mind of how he would promise to be an amazing servant, and do his best for now on, and explain how sorry he was for taking off.

But his dad had been watching out for him for days, and finally the dad saw his son and sprinted toward him, while his son was still forming the words to say, his father embraced him like only fathers can, and when the son began to explain his future life of servanthood his dad doesn’t even acknowledge it, but instead calls for a feast to honor his son’s return. His dad was overjoyed to have his son home.

Remember though this story is about two brothers. The other brother had been working hard and putting in all this effort to be a good son, and make up for his dummy brothers absence, and when he comes back from the field he is angry to see a party in honor of this brother. Its understandable right? Wouldn’t we all be?

He begins to yell at his father and doesn’t even refer to the boy as “his brother” but instead as “your son.” and his dad gives a simple explanation, “My son, you are always with me, and all I have is yours. Isn’t it right to join in the celebration and be happy? This is your brother we’re talking about. He was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found again!”[1]

You see the attitude of the second brother reflects how many of us in the church world view those outside the church, worthy of judgment while we sit in our glass castle of perfection. But that’s not true. God never asked us to be bouncers for Him, He asked us to be ushers.

Our job is simple to help people from any background, any discernable feature  or past come find a place in God’s home. We are bringing those who are lost back into the family, and enjoy the party with them!

Because ultimately, none of us are really the second brother, we are all the prodigal, every one of us. None of us are without sin, we are all hurting. We all need a savior, not just in a one time event, but every day.

We are all the Prodigal today. The problem is that we get so clean on the outside that we forget that we are really God’s sons and daughters who he is so overwhelmed to greet back home.

So before you judge someone’s worthiness into heaven based on their past, remember that all of us were lost and God is overjoyed to say that “we are found!”

[1] Luke 15:31-32 The Voice