Parable of the Just Father

David Osteen

There once was a young boy living in a “Christian” home.  His mother was a Homemaker and his father a Judge. They always taught the young boy that it was important to “Be Like Christ.”  They taught the young boy about God’s love, mercy, and forgiveness, and how people are to emulate that in their lives.  As the young boy grew older he got in a fight at school.  Before his parents were to ground him he said, “I’m sorry.  I’ve asked God to forgive me and He is gracious and will, and so you have to also if you are like Him.” At 16 he borrowed his parent’s car without permission.  When they found out, they were furious, and right as they were about to ground him for life he said, “I’m sorry.  I’ve asked God to forgive me and He is gracious and will, and so you have to also if you are like Him.”  At 18, the belligerent beloved boy was upset with his mother and struck her across the face.  When his father got home, just as he was about to pound the puny boy, the boy said, “I’m sorry.  I’ve asked God to forgive me and He is gracious and will, and so you have to also if you are like Him.”  About 20 minutes later a policeman knocked on door, walked in the son’s room, and then put him in handcuffs.  As the boy tearfully protested yelling out “What about love, and grace, and forgiveness?  I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry!”  the Dad responded, “Son, you never asked for forgiveness… You mocked it.  Your Dad “the father” is full of grace, but your Dad “the judge” is just.  But I tell you son.  I told God, ‘Sorry, but I am taking this boy to jail for striking his mother.’, and so I asked God to forgive me, and He is gracious and will, and so you have to also if you are like Him.”

We look at the boy in this parable, his reasoning and twisted logic, and are disgusted by it.  Rightfully so!  What parent would stand for that?  What parent could accept that?  What parent could allow that boy to openly mock and ridicule his parents that he is to honor and love?(Eph. 6:1-3)  We see his blatant disrespect and are offended by it!  Good for us!  We see that if that boy truly loved and honored his parents, then he wouldn’t engage in sin with the scapegoat of forgiveness if he got caught; if he really honored and loved his parents, he wouldn’t willfully continue on in the sin to begin with.  We can see it in the parable.  Has Satan so blinded us that we cannot see it in real life? (II Cor. 4:4)

This parable illustrates the absurdity to the modern day profane position on God’s “grace”: that we might continue in sin that His grace abound! (Romans 6:1)  In spite of the fact that the Holy Spirit says “May it never be!”, that principle is lived when we plot out a course of sin with the intention of just asking God’s forgiveness at the end to “make all things right”.  To live that way, or teach that such should be done, is a mockery to the holiness and justice of God.  I can’t imagine this being anything other than insulting to God, and a downright mockery of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. “For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.  For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgressions and disobedience received a just recompense, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation…” (Heb. 2:1-3) God forbid we ever come to a point in our faith where we develop an attitude of “ask for forgiveness, not permission”!

That is a popular business marketing phrase that has found itself into the modern day approach to the walk, work, and worship of a Christian to God.  Instead of seeking out God’s permission – what we have authority in scripture to think, say, and do (a “thus saith the Lord”)– let us just go ahead and do whatever our heart desires, and then we’ll just ask for forgiveness afterward!  As brother Elmer Moore always said, “That doesn’t even have enough sense to be good nonsense”.  And as the bible says, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord.”(Col. 3:17)  Can we as Christians, really claim to premeditatedly sin “in the name of the Lord”? This sort of teaching of “ask for forgiveness, not permission” runs directly contrary to the preaching of the gospel message.  The gospel the apostles preached said God does not permit us to do whatever is in our heart, but rather to repent and demonstrate deeds of repentance – seeking Him (His authority) in all things. (Acts 17:30; 26:17-20; Matthew 6:33; James 1:27) We are told to avoid sin (Proverbs 4:14-15), resist it (James 4:7), flee from it (I Tim. 6:11; II Tim. 2:22); not to plan on sinning with the intention of asking forgiveness after.  That’s not God’s way, that’s the devil’s way.

To have a faith that encourages me to go on and commit sin, and just ask for God’s forgiveness afterwards is not a faith that honors God, His grace, or the price at which that grace came – the blood of His Son.(Eph. 2:1-5)  It does just the opposite.  It mocks God’s grace.  And the Holy Spirit explicitly declares “God is not mocked” (Gal. 6:7).  Are we so naïve or foolish as to think that God does not read our hearts and understand our intentions?(Heb. 4:13; Luke 9:47)  Are we so blind as to think God is blind?  That He cannot see the mockery in our soul as we plan out our course of sinful action, with the end of our plan to sin being that we ask God for forgiveness so that all will be well?(II Sam 11-12)  Let us be not deceived, such pleas for forgiveness do not honor God nor His grace.  They honor Satan.  They honor Satan and they mock God!

God’s will is not for people to die, but for people to accept Him and His grace in honor.(Ezekiel 18:30-32; II Peter 3:9-11) Certainly He is a God of grace and mercy to those who love Him in faithfulness.(James 1:12) And He will forgive those who honestly seek forgiveness.(I John 1:7-9) But before we commit to sinful plans let us be certain of two things 1) “God is not mocked” (Gal. 6:7-8), and 2) “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the Living God” (Heb. 10:31)  Our God is a God of abundant grace, but He is also a God of justice.  It’s the greatest fool… that thinks he can make a fool of God! Don’t let that be you.