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Prodigal Children...of All Ages

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September 1, 2022 12:16 am

Prodigal Children...of All Ages

The Steve Noble Show / Steve Noble

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September 1, 2022 12:16 am

Prodigal Children...of All Ages

Steve talks to Dr. Stuart Scott from BJU seminary to talk about the prodigal son and how this story relates to us.

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The following program is recorded content created by the Truth Network job. Everyone ties with his noble show where biblical Christianity meets the everyday issues of life in your home, at work, and even in politics. Steve is an ordinary man who believes in an extraordinary God it on a show, there's plenty of grace and lots of true no sacred call Steve Bell 86 34 true 866-34-TRUTH or checking out online, Steve Noble now here's your host Steve Noble Thursday their friends at PG seminary and Bob Jones University and were trying to get connected with Dr. Stuart Scott is one of the just greatest proponents of Christian counseling America. He joined BJ's seminary this summer in July they made a big announcement and did you seminary today announced the Dr. Stuart Scott, one of the nation's foremost proponents of biblical counseling is joined its world-class biblical counseling falcon faculties got earned a BA at Columbia international University who later can be completed a Masters of Divinity at Grace theological seminary Masters of theology at the Southern Baptist theological seminary and a Dr. ministry, a covenant, the actual seminary while most recently he taught graduate courses at the Masters University in Santa Clarita. That sounds merry to you. That's because that's our John MacArthur's out that way. I actually think we might have a connection. Stuart, can you hear me I can hear yeah a touchdown. Welcome to the world of live radio and life looking like YouTube. And we do everything on a tight rope without a net. But anyway, it's great to see you. How are you I'm doing well thank you. Awesome.

And then I guess I should say welcome to Greenville South Carolina as well.

When did you move there so you did you leave the San Diego area. Stuart know we used to live in Columbia after all doubt the California back talking California but was in the Los Angeles area just north of Santa Clarita, just north of Grace Community Church.

So now Greenville South Carolina is a nice quaint little town compared all of that. It is talk about traffic your traffic. You guide the same perspective. I spent years in Chicago. So when we moved here to Raleigh and people like wow traffic is terrible and like it's moving so when you guys talking about. It's great to have you here and and and and I've been listening for a couple months now everybody at the seminary there at Bob Jones University in the seminary. So excited that you're there and I'm looking forward to having you on the show as often as possible.

But let me let me just back up a little bit in and then working to get an zoo probably one of the most challenging. Certainly one of the most emotional topics for a lot of us that we can get into have little experience in this myself with our four kids in. If you've ever had a prodigal son or daughter really of any age. Sometimes that's teenage years high school years, college years, and then what about once they leave the house.

The one thing about being a parent is you never stop being a parent and so when you have children that have wandered from the faith.

If you take that into the church environment and you look at some of the qualifications of a look at the qualifications from Scripture and Titus is a well yet if a prodigal child.

Maybe you shouldn't be in ministry and so there's that whole angle. I don't know how much of working to get to Dr. Scott as we work to this very, very important, difficult and emotional subject, but one packet see what the Lord does today and if not, that will will get you back as soon as possible and continue the conversation. But how did you end up in the world of Christian counseling in the first place.

Well, I'll just talk about how I got involved in counseling, I can give my testimony another time, but I was pastoring a small Bible church down in Columbia, South Carolina and I was taught in seminary. There's only one class on pastoral care and we had a psychologist teaching that class and told all the seminary students refer to any difficult problem. Refer them out, which sounded good to me late yeah it wasn't long that I'm teaching, preaching is seeking to care for the people that individual started calling her going by the office and said I got a serious issue in their labels of the disorder labels okay and I called around all the different Masters and said, you refer people to therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist, and I started to do with a lot fish logos on the business card. I figure there cannot be a Christian and you a good job and care for the people helpful and I'm preaching teaching and I'm beginning to wonder as I look into the faces of these people are referring out every Sunday.

What good is this good is the Bible for Christians is it only good to help you get saved when people have real problems. Real answers apparently were out there with man's wisdom and I back my faith was just week got time in the area of caring for people again really struggle.

I thought well maybe I need to go back to school and get a doctorate in psychology that I have two books in my handwriting is as a viable and I got another call, you shall shut my door with two books in her and and I cried out to help you in awning for the Lord just help me to know what to do. I started asking questions to the people I was referring out in the church which branch of psychology is helping you the most and that I was all and I don't know Steve if you ever listen to people what happens behind closed doors with Christian counselors and therapists and psychologists and psychiatrists but it was really bad. My sense is my assumption. Stuart is it's always been like going to the grocery store and you say okay everything starts food. Okay, I'll give you that to be a massive variety.

Some really good for you and him and some other stuff is gonna put you in the ground well what I heard was everything from regression therapy talk therapy. Obviously meds were the psychiatrist sure hypnosis always for all this was done by Christian Christian counselors, but our people in our church and really appalled at what's happening and that's when I was introduced to biblical counseling when the pastor that I asked to help me decide you really need to get some training and you need something more than the Bible you see more of the five yeah, I'm right there to jump in there if it's commercial break in rights and therein lies the rub. As they like to say and the question is, is the Bible actually sufficient to help us through these things, or is it not, we need to dip into the Grab Bag of the world. And what about prodigal's. So it is theology Thursday with our friends at Bob Jones University Bob Jones seminary down in beautiful Greenville South Carolina today talking to Dr. Stuart Scott who just came on board to help them with an assistant partner with them on biblical counseling in the question for us in the morning to dive into this topic of prodigal sons and daughters of all ages is is that is the Bible. Sufficient with this is a topic that will probably Stuart will revisit this time and time again. Sure, it is the Bible and not just love Jesus more. That's an oversimplification of Christian counseling. But when I can look at the secular textbooks when I can go there. That is all that kind of conversation but I want to set that as I hit the pause button on that will deftly come back to it on a future theology Thursday, but today I want to spend the rest of our time. Stuart, in an area where I know a lot of us have personal experience. Just because you love Jesus and you know his word when you become a parent doesn't mean that everything is going to flow easily for you and we've been down this road to 1 or another, with our own family on most families I know. I would say Stuart have dealt with this one way or another. So when we talk about prodigal sons and daughters. What we referring to, because I think it's you if to say that your child has become a Christian, yet is that a prodigal son and daughter is at some of the group in church and now they walked away from the faith, because we know statistics are pretty scary, and that when that a bunch of kids growing up in our houses got to college next and you know you come back and renounce pretty much all that stuff.

So help us understand what is a prodigal, first of all, we will we have children. Obviously Bible teaches us all upset and come short so all of our children are lost that way right now. What happens, especially in Christian homes with parents that are believers, is that children often make decisions for Jesus early on, Megan often it can't strike Friday night capture some of my testimony.

I don't know I probably asked Jesus to save me 50 times or so writing more, just feeling a motion more emotional or not always converge. So you got children growing up in homes who have a heart of stone. The Bible calls it that instead of hostile towards God matches the heart of the Bible or traits are wicked and foolish, disobedient, you only have two options with unsafe children is apparent to options if the run state either the prodigal is a rebel and I mean a reveler wants to get away from the light in John three just hates the light wants to get away from alike. I was made what I I turned and acted like a Christian but my heart had not changed. And when I was around 1415. II did not want to be around my parents reflect the light. I wanted to get away as far as I could. So that's the prodigal rebel that wants to get away from the light. The other thinks they are part of the light and and do not have a new heart article brother Ma.

You only have two options. If the run state there. Her self righteous or there are reveler wants to run so usually refer to the prodigal is the one who runs a God raises them with saving faith and then they come back so not all children who rebel our products in the sense that they come back.

So God is not obligated to save any of our children.

We look at the Scripture in Romans nine he has mercy on whom he has mercy has passion and compassion. I think most Christian parents think all her children like gods obligated to save all of them were we as parents can produce right you actually make it happen. Yet we can't and I don't know how often we would express that in explicit terms, but I think it's got under the surface and when and when your children are walking with the Lord it it it it's highly disappointing and there is something I think inside our spirit.

That's like I did all the right things when we were dealing with some of that in our own family and then there was a book that I read reaching today's prodigal's by Carol Bernie in and in that she's like there was a phrase that she's early on in the book Stuart which really helped my wife and I take ourselves off the gallows and the phrase was really good, well-meaning, mature Christian parents can have children that make really bad decisions in and that when we heard that were like okay because sales is that hey listen up everything they do wrong is your fault. Are you to take credit for all the things they do right words the Lord in any of but there's a whole Lotta guilt. Usually that's associated with the child, scope, time to time because there's no parent. There's no no perfect picture of a family in the Bible you think about the families in the Bible that are portrayed.

While there's problems, there's problems with the marriages there's a problem with the kids. But here's the verse I take parents to in Isaiah 1 verse two says hero happens. Get your old earth.

The Lord has spoken.

Children have rear and brought up, but they have rebelled against me, that's pretty good parenting dogs. The parent yes children have rebel so that's one verse. That should encourage parents that God understands and he cares. The other one is Ezekiel 18 where there is a proverb in the day that the parents have eaten sour grapes and the children's teeth are set on edge as I blame the parents for all the children turn out right and I proverb goddesses on everyone's responsible for their own said you can't blame the parents. Parents can't blame the children and that's it. That's a comforting passage that you know what we've all blown it as parent but every child is responsible before God for the wrong choice whether to do with a life God has given up yet and there's there's real challenges growing up week we can make real mistakes as parents in a chemically complete stumbling blocks in the way of our children as they try to come out of it in the statement her, but ultimately, sooner or later you can. As a young person, you can't keep pointing the finger at your parents because you become fully responsible and held accountable for your decisions. Now that's not the American way anymore. We try to get out of accountability but to your point, a minute going to hit the breaker stewards sack again. I looking back at when we first started to find some wisdom on the subject like okay you mentioned the perfect parent is God, the perfect situation, the guard and then how tobacco like that one that both like like you're betting a thousand in the garden with rebellion, with your daughter in your son, husband, wife, enemy, because there's more than one player involved the individual's with what appears to be a free will and that was the limit of limited and that's kind that's kind of what to get set up for a movie you noticed any conflict yeah and so you keep talking about that I think you know the hardcourt rebel there running right, they choose a totally different lifestyle. It's very offensive to you as a mom and dad might like. It's hard for like I have anything to do with you versus the one that thinks are okay are they just playing along a church, but maybe they're not saved it all.

That's a big part of it what you expect from a lemon tree is limits start there.

You in the future with back at Steve Noble to Steve Noble, show theology Thursday with our friends at Bob Jones University seminary BJ's seminary down to Greenville, South Carolina day at the pleasure of talking to Dr. Stuart Scott is one of the leading voices of biblical counseling in the nation with a biblical counseling.

In this case we actually mean it. I mean the Bible sufficient the Bible's going to have everything you need it. You can find some other things out there, but you don't need him.

They can be complementary. I give you a really good meal than ever, really good dessert. The dessert was nice but you didn't need it very good meal so that so that's the perspective are coming in here talking about prodigal sons and daughters and really the two different types again and thanks again for your time Stuart will actually two different types. Yet the real hard-core prodigal rebellious, they reject everything there like I'm in a pink my hair pink, I'm a pansexual I'm transsexual. I'm homosexual. I'm an atheist, I don't believe any of the stuff I can't get out. Here's the quick and right that's that's the hardcourt rebel product and then what was the other prodigal.

Well, the other is his brother self righteous brother thinks he's righteous.

Not so.

He's a Christianized pagan got it easy. He knows the language but he's his heart's dead as well so were talking about in this case and I want to make sure I was in the distinguished that the distinction were talking about in this case.

These two brothers, two versions of whatever's going on with one of her kids but I'm in a broad that out here for second visitors. They think they're Christians are not in the language, but they've actually not been converted in the islands is just hard-core forget it. Can we introduce 1/3 category that there actually saved but all right their carnal and there there taking their time out in the wilderness, they can't walk in darkness, are there there in darkness, yet they can step in the dark.

And so they're not enslaved to stand there and tangled and set God would be the language and that that sometimes a so-called brother. We use the language of first rent is five I'm not quite sure you're a believer not a believer not a follower of sorts, so you we get intensively intensively counseling the site length and then they began to follow the Lord truly converted because if they are. I listen that the arc of succinct vacation is not the same for all of us. You know your timetable. My timetable my kids timetable.

God is sovereign and so sometimes I mean is up as a parent of the prodigal, all you can really do to your knees, sometimes somewhat so when we do, I mean that's I know are all Americans and ready wants an answer. Yeah. So with putting prodigal in your life.

What we do as parents when you have an adult child actually to parents that remember the goal is not to save your children. The goal is to be a faithful parent to teach to train the love they can plant bacon water but it's only God who brings the inquiry so can't be your goal as a parent to get your children say, but it is your greatest desire sure and so I think of Romans nine and this is it's the most painful experience you can imagine that you import your your life into your children to point them to Jesus.

And here's the best way the wise way to go.

And they say no. I wanted the apostle Paul and Romans chapter 9 says I'm speaking the truth in Christ. I'm not lying, my conscience bears witness and the Holy Spirit that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart for I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flash so here's Paul who's joyful always rejoicing. But he's also sorrowful, always with us on stage. Family is on state kinsmen that's experience of the Christian parent, that your joy is in Christ, but there is an unceasing sorrow. It cannot take over your life, but it's always there. It's almost an unsafe child.

So you we we pray we ask God have mercy on that's Romans 10 repulses. I pray you, brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for them is that they maybe say okay Yep so we pray never give that up. Yeah, we pray for God have mercy on them as he has had on each one of us that's that's first in your right to publish you. We have to extend mercy to our unsafe children.

That's in Luke chapter 6 were to have mercy as God has mercy and he is merciful to the ungrateful and sets yeah they are there right there in your face, they want they don't want to give Tate and us who we once were. So it's it's showing love and mercy towards how important is it Stuart to maintain a relationship that comes up a lot. Okay, I think that is like premier. It is much as possible to maintain that relationship.

That doesn't mean you accept what they maybe offering or pushing your way.

Sure, anything I they know the gospel with grown-up gentlemen occurred, the gospel, so is how to how to love them, show mercy towards them return good for evil. Romans 12 says to do so you can love them and reach out to them without accepting or compromising your beliefs and doctorate, but I think one of the books I read that was very helpful as comeback Barbara Gary helpful of the pastor, Jack Miller is daughter just took off and he was a pastor and God. She was living with a drug dealer was but it's one chapter after the other, because God raised her with saving faith. Years later, and so they wrote the book together as what the parents were going through each chapter of her life kind of thing and then where she was at and what God is an excellent encouraging book called comeback Barbara comeback Barbara Solem limits her a specific incidents at you because I actually did this with this. I have a class I want to class that teaches Christian ethics in this class I was in earlier today. There was about.

I think 2021 students a high school age and I asked him how many of you and your families know somebody that or family or an individual dealing with transgender is at a 2021 is like two or three is that how many of you know of a family or an individual that's dealing with homosexuality one way or another. It was 60% of those all over the place. It's become kind of social contagion is the is that it is the culture says hey that's okay, it's beautiful. It's what you want to do relativism, whatever.

Then of course it spreads more but let's say your prodigal son or daughter. Your daughter is a lesbian and she's living with her partner. How do you maintain a relationship that daughter of yours brought people like I can't yeah come to my house and knock on your house and I can be around that and understand where they're coming from, but it is curious about your perspective on well you know the fact that Jesus would each with with the center all yeah him again with you prostitutes with gatherers, he will eat. He didn't compromise in one way, so if my essay saying child is adult child is living with another, same-sex I'm to love them like I love to homosexuals across the street to love them reach out to them, they're welcome to come to our home. We can eat together shirt but they can't be showing affection.

In other words, in the house. There can be certain guidelines and hopefully the child would respect you cannot push but if they I want to reach out to them and give the gospel I don't.might save her partner right now.

Yeah I'm I'm going to reach out to them. They're knocking to stay in the same room to stay in our lives to stay in separate romances, boundaries.

That's right. So were not compromise the Scriptures of our home is were accountable to God for that. But I'm going to reach out to them and loved every which way I can. I wouldn't go to their wedding. Yeah, but to love them and reach out to. I am not compromise or to do that because I think you think is a fair amount of Christian parents are a break again. So where death leader part two units there so much here. I sent a conversation about using a script and never do some parents alike will accept cut him off. And that's the right thing to do. No, no, I still say I see the Lord just goes after you know that that lost sheep to do all I can do no words in Luke six were the Lord says Blessed are you when people ostracize you to say automatic.

That means they push you away.

You come to me all who are weary and heavy life lesser Democrat, you can't come lesser lesbian you can, unless your Darwinian evolutionists known. And that's why it's the kindness of God that leads people to repentance not shaming.

This is the noble Dr. Stuart Scott. Looking back at Noble to Steve Noble sociology Thursday just opening the can of worms. When we talk about well our children are sons and her daughters really of any age. And if you have a prodigal if you're in that world right now.

It's painful. It's disappointing. Sometimes it's humiliating it can be can bring shame with it because you're taking all the blame for that and it can be very very difficult situation.

Nothing more more of us. I mean it when when were all really honest with and not with one another as opposed to Sunday morning. Hey Steve how are you leads to blessed to be depressed.

God bless you. How are you well I'm too anointed to be disappointed. We play all those games, truth, truth be told that Jesus did say few there either go that way so you drive around this evening after the show is over wherever you're going and you look around here in the states of America. I met encourage you with a broken heart, as you look around to deal with the reality that most the people you seeing her singer lost and that that is a sad reality. As I recall, to share the gospel and be a good example and point people to Christ and then that can happen in our own families as well, which is why the prodigal thing is so difficult because you all the right things are good Christian parent for a lot of people. I mentioned this the other day were talking to Dr. Stuart Scott from BG seminary about my own regrets. Looking back, as it is a Christian father and raising our four children and that other people like man I wish I had been a Christian when we were raising their kids to bed and get sleep till I was older and this is all kinds of guilt and shame out there, which is why so important Stuart that we talk about this. I wanted to move on to come to the third. The first two were talking about enough not listen to everybody I know it's really hard to hear a phrase like Christianized taken its strong language, but it's accurate language for a lot of people to Jesus like it basically said the same thing someone can be silly. People say, Lord, Lord he's in is a good way for me. I never knew you. That's a really heartbreaking passage of Scripture, but it's true right Stuart. That's just the reality). You know the solution any time you send as a parent. We've all set. My goodness, how many times Mike Mike heard us confess our central lot was not is not rare, it was a lot because we would set them when we get in front of them or to them. There is a remedy for that is confess asked for forgiveness and work at changing and you can do that with your child's 35 or 40, if you can remember what I really blew it. Go to them and ask for forgiveness and they may or may not respond. That's what God calls us to do.

That's how we take care of our guilt.

He opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble super important because again on their side of the table. I mentioned that earlier that that it's the kindness of God that leads people to repentance of the all these terrible things I've done yet you did that for me and so I think that humility before our children is super super important me with one of our fours like that you keep confessing the same thing over and over so you're not actually fixing it so just confessing and asked me to forgive you, doesn't really solve it and I might your ground too much wisdom for me. Cannot even know how to do that. But what about our children that grow up and exit did make let's let's assume for the sake of the conversation Scott there actually converted. They've actually they've actually been born again. That happened in their teens.

They got the college and they start. Basically, going down the world's way how we handle that for a Christian truly converted her heart is after Jesus the spirits within both the will and to do his pleasure so there's a heartbeat. After the Lord I want to follow the Lord. Now they're getting distracted with the probably phrase I would use in second Corinthians 11. Satan would distract us all set on fearful that he's going to do that away from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ last that's the enemies number one agenda get our eyes off of Jesus Christ.

Right. And when that happens. That's why the disciplines of grace, rare, and time in the word which is at an all-time low is on social media hours and hours, maybe minutes, if at all in the word so the spiritual disciplines is what God is going to hell in our life to use us to really drink phrase in Scripture drink from the fountain of Christ rather than go after all the broken sister right out there right and if they're not involved with a local assembly at church and I mean serving and practicing the one another centered on the word of God reading and meditating and seeking to follow it in prayer. The disciplines they will drift will alternate data traits can happen is an so it's trying to find out where what's going on in a person's life of a believer that's entangled with Stan and it said that there there dealing with their and how to get them back in the focus on Christ confess their sin and get back in the spiritual disciplines which will renew your mind warmed her affections and strengthen their resolve yet. So from and again as a father may man I want to fix everything.

But one sure son or daughter is 23, 25, 28, and they're out of the house and they're not you know that they're not walking with the Lord then will deny Christ they can explain the gospel they think the Lord for things, but there's a lot of things in our lives that are probably inconsistent. Do we just pray and wait be a good witness there is anything we can do on that well and I know it's it's It's tough as a parent to your adult child during adult heard my kids tell me more.

I want on one occasion, stop treating me like chop yes yes I think I heard that once a the same time and in Hebrews 3 we have a we need to admonish one another and exhort one another is the word Hebrews 3 verse 13 exhort one another every day as long as call today that none of you may be harder by the deceitfulness of said so I want to help you grow and not if you see something in me.

That's what I would tell my adult child. If there were a believer is you see something in me now tell me, but we can talk his friendship and not talk down to you.

I just want to see something glaring in its I see it often or it's becoming stuff one time snapshot looks like a filmstrip I'm good to say something because I love you. Proverbs 27 verse finds this open admonishment is better than love carefully concealed, try pay for the wounds of a friend that I think this is so open admonishment gentle is better than what I love them too much to say something that's not love you, and then we get when I think a lot of parents we get fearful that if we do admonish even if we go gently shut down. Then there's a bear but I think that's why we have to be really careful wise as a serpent generalist because I'm pretty sure God didn't send Steve Noble in the world convicted of sin and that's and that's a role the Holy Spirit get to know your place is like like what we tell our kids what you need to know your place right they were the same way. We have about three minutes left Stewart so I would just ask you to come to close these next couple minutes just for the encouragement. I know there's a lot of parents that are dealing with this it's it's it's hurtful. It's sad.

It's disappointing. I think we can almost be give up hope on so how do you encourage the parents are struggling with this well. I as you mentioned is one of the most painful things for a child that you very heavy burden and have to keep casting at the Lord because he cares for us. I would say keep reaching out to your children encouragement where ever you can encourage encouraged. It seems as if, when you look at the letters that Jesus when he spoke to the churches in Revelation 2 and three.

80% of what he said of those charges was encouragement, and 20% was here something wrong or something that needs to be asked and I think his parents weekend. We always see things wrong.

Now I see that wrong that Ron but we often are the best pharmacist you know were not the best encouragers so even with your unsaved children. Anything that their two-way that's right, that's a good citizen and pointed out so that you do have to say something is in addition they're not saying when you do this all the time. That's all I hear from you so I just want to encourage the parents that your child still alive.

Oh that's right, that's the story's not over yet. And God is merciful and gracious, saving God and we pray for one another. Which reminds me in and when the stories come up. I'm not sure they're coming up more often than they were 30 years ago, but because of social media in the digital realm. We hear a lot more than we did 30 years ago, but whether it's something that Joshua Harris or written link in the well-known Christian people who who can preach who can explain the Bible and then they deconstruct and they walk away if you like Steve, how you explain like well either. There carnal in struggling or they were never actually Christians but I will I will say this one thing I do know this until they die. That story settled so don't go from chapter to chapter 20 in the book is this. Things are getting a lot going 11 verse in Isaiah 9, one where he says is not happy your arm is short. Cannot say we all need to remember that we need to remember God is still on such great words of wisdom because they come from. The word itself. Doctorates got God bless you brother so nice to meet you think you would do it again. Hang on, right there. Pray together.

The radios over but it's great having him do it again this is Steve Noble and Steve Noble shall, God willing outside to get real soon. I like Mike at all easy to set ever for another program powered by the Truth Network

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