Derek Prince - What Happens When You Truly Repent
Now we have to go on with the nature of repentance. There is one parable that Jesus told which is the most vivid and perfect illustration of true repentance. It’s the parable of what we call the Prodigal Son. Somebody else has said it should be called: the Caring Father. You remember the story in Luke 15, most of you know it. The second son of a wealthy family decided to get all his inheritance from his father right now, and went off to a distant country and lived it up. He did all sorts of sinful things.
And then, when he’d spent his whole inheritance a famine came, and the only job he could get was feeding pigs. And you have to remember he was Jewish, so for him to feed pigs was just as low as he could come, without any slight on pig farmers. We’re not saying anything against them but it just so happens that for the Jewish people, the pig is right outside. And so here he is, in rags, feeding the pigs, hungry, wishing he could fill his stomach with the husks that the pigs are eating. And then this is what happens. Verse 17 of Luke 15: When he came to himself he said... That’s the point you have to come to. You have to come to yourself, what I call the moment of truth. You have to see yourself as you really are. You have to see yourself as God sees you.
When he came to himself, he said: How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare and I perish with hunger. I will arise and go to my father and will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I’m no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me as one of your hired servants. Now you see the two elements? Because it goes on to say: And he arose and came to his father. He made a decision and he turned around. That’s repentance. Making a decision and carrying your decision out. Going back, to the father whom you have offended, to the God who loves you, saying, I’ve made a mess of my life. I can’t run my own life. I need you. Will you take me back?
The wonderful thing is he planned to say to the father, Make me as one of your hired servants. But when he started out his father was watching for him. I think this is so beautiful. That’s how God is. When we begin to turn, He’s watching for us and waiting for us. The father saw him a long way off, and ran to meet him. That’s how God is. That’s how He meets us. And he kissed him. And he never let him say those last words, Make me as one of your hired servants. He said: Bring out the best robe, put a ring on his finger, sandals on his feet, and kill the fatted calf. That’s the result of true repentance. It’s worth repenting, to be welcomed like that by God. That’s the picture. Just think about it for a moment yourself. He came to himself. He said, I’ve made a mess of my life. I’ve wasted everything my father gave me. But I’m going to make a decision. I’m going to turn around, I’m going to go back to my father, and say I'm sorry. He turned and went. Think about that. That is true repentance. Repentance in action.