Does God Take Anyone Back?

The reason I ask is because of Third Day. They are still among my favorite bands, yet as I listen and sing along with one of their songs I had to ask “is this true?”

The lyrics are line this:

how many times have I gone astray. The number is the same as the stars in the sky. Every time you’ve taken me back, I pray that you’ll do it tonight.

So, does God “take us back?”

As I think of redemption, and family, and the ways God relates himself to us, I don’t believe he does.

Think of the prodigal son. Was he taken back? Or did he simply recognize and return to whom he was. The father doesn’t say to his brother “we must take him back” but states “he has returned”.

That analogy, as with many other references and also the realization that when we are His we take his name, made me think of our redemption in terms of family. As family we are not “taken back,” for we cannot be removed. I think we recognize who we are and return. Maybe even from the dead. (Luke 15:32). Which kind of helps me understand baptism.

I will surely keep this question in my head as I read through the scripture and am open to have my mind changed on this subject, but as for now I think we go astray and return. He doesn’t take us back, but rejoices over our recognition of who we are.

Isaiah 55:6 (ESV) “Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call upon him while he is near;
7 let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.

Thank you for your thoughts.

Shalom,

  • Bruce

 

9 thoughts on “Does God Take Anyone Back?

  1. I agree whole heartedly with you! This is exactly what brought me to wanting to distinguish between being ‘taken back’ and returning. I believe there is a big misconception in what happens during our restoration and the reason for needing that restoration.

    In both examples of being lost as a coin or wayward as a son the reality is the owner of the coin and the father of the son desires greatly the return of what is lost. There was never a rejection by the father or the owner of the coin. If there is not a rejection then the need is not to be taken back but rather to return. I suppose a coin would need to be found, even still it was never rejected.

    Go back to the garden, to the first sin. Adam was in a sense lost as God asks “where are you?” It was 100% Adam who became lost. He was not rejected and in need of being ‘taken back.’ It was Adam who had wandered from the good instruction of God. Adam who had became lost and Adam that needed to return.

    In Yeshua everything has taken place that is needed for our legitimate return as sons. No matter where you’ve wandered or how far off you have strayed from the father, at anytime we may return as sons. However to ‘say’ we are son is not enough. There is a responsibility of the son to turn from his ways and carry out the will of the father. Yeshua has given us his life as an example. No need to be taken back, for we are all his. Those who live like it will forever be a part of his kingdom.

    Thanks for your input. The more I mull over these aspects of salvation the more I become convinced that our need is to return, not be taken back.

    • Though it seems a small distinction you are making, it has big implications, as often is the case. When people start thinking ‘we need to be taken back,’ it leads to further thoughts, and theology confirming those thoughts, that one has been rejected. And as you so nicely point out, that is not the case.

      It is interesting also to see that there is a parallel to how much of Christianity views Israel and the Jews. Shalom! – Yosef

  2. I believe God does take anyone back who is has a repentant heart. I John 1:9 says “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. We have to remember who the author was of 1 John. The author was John, and he included himself by using the word “us”. That is, if John confesses his sins he will be forgiven. God is merciful and is willing to take us back into the family if we repent. In the prodigal son, the father actually does take back the son by indicating he was dead and now is alive. By being alive, he is back in the family of God.

    • Thanks so much for your comments. And I believe you are at the heart of my dilemma in my understanding.

      As I struggle through this, I wrestle with what it means to be “taken back”. Being taken back indicates that we were rejected. I don’t believe that to be the case. As in the example, the prodigal son was never rejected. The son had rejected the father and his protection and his ways. By the son’s return, the son repents of his rejection of the father and his ways. The father then does not take him back but rejoices over his son’s return.

      Maybe it is semantics, however making the distinction has brought much light to some of the core ideas of the scriptures.

      Shalom -Bruce

      • You’re welcome brother. I pray the Spirit of God continues to help you as you go through your struggle with this. My understanding of the prodigal son is that the father loses someone which of course is his son. Yes it is true that the son repents of his rejection, however, the father regains his son in restoration. To me, that is what salvation is. The classic metaphor for salvation according to Jesus’ teaching is that of something that was “lost” and then “found”. In Luke 15, we see the examples of this with the lost coin, the lost sheep, and the prodigal son. In all the examples in Luke 15, all are recovered by the one who had lost them. Thus, salvation involves restoration, not mere rescue. The focus in all these example is not so much the loss of an object or person, but even more so the loss felt by the owner. It’s been a pleasure posting with you.

  3. Very interesting perspective and thought provoking.

    In the “eternal security” debate, I’ve held that though we can’t “lose” our family standing, we can walk away from it and deny it. Your post comes at the question from a different angle and makes some very good points. I’ll be thinking about this for a while.

    – Yosef

    • I’ve been thinking about your post for many hours now… I believe that Jesus didn’t come for those who were saved, but for the lost. Another response to your post can be found in Mark 2:17 – On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” We are only eternally lost if we reject Him; He will never forsake us 💛

Share your Opinion!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.