Author: Kaleb Johnson | Student, Living Education – Charlotte, 2022-23
Estimated reading time: 4 min.
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Don’t squander your Spiritual Inheritance! Embrace it instead.
Mr. Phil West spoke for a forum, and he informed the students that they had a Spiritual inheritance from both God and their parents. He warned them not to scorn it by expounding on a powerful parable and encouraged the students to cherish and embrace their incredible inheritance.
An Inheritance from Our Parents
Phil West began by asking how many of the students came to the Church through their parents. He then informed those who had that their parents had fulfilled Proverbs 13:22 by giving us an inheritance. “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, But the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.”
But what is our inheritance? It is something far greater than riches: God’s truth. Mr. West continued by saying that our heavenly Father also promises an inheritance, one we will receive if we heartily serve God (Colossians 3:23-24). But we have a choice to make: Will we embrace these inheritances or scorn them? It is up to us to choose to listen to our parents and to choose to serve God.
A Biblical Example
The Bible has a stark example of squandering an inheritance. Mr. West turned to Luke 15:11—the parable of the prodigal son. He explained that the son demanding his inheritance while his father was still alive was disrespectful, but not unlawful. The father, no doubt gravely concerned, let his son go. The son then went out and wasted his inheritance on prodigal living, not respecting the work his father had done to give him these possessions. Young people raised by parents in the Church can do the exact same thing as the prodigal son if they leave the Church, disrespecting the inheritance of spiritual truth their parents provided. And it doesn’t end well.
A Lesson for Us
In the parable, the prodigal son did not end up with the glamorous life he no doubt imagined. Instead he ended up poor, hungry, in servitude, and friendless. Similarly, those who leave the Church end up in slavery in Satan’s world and spiritually starving. Mr. West warned the students not to “test” the world. There is nothing but “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” (1 John 2:16), which will leave us spiritually hungry and morally exhausted. Ultimately, the prodigal son “came to himself” (Luke 15:17), stopped living in denial, and recognized his pitiful state. When it comes to those who leave the Church, Mr. West explained, we hope they come to themselves one day and return.
The Choice and the Consequence
At this point, the prodigal son decided to return (Luke 15:18). But none of his suffering and pain had been forced on him. Mr. West compared the parable with the story of Cain and Abel. Cain and Abel were raised the same, taught the same values, and given the same chances to succeed. Yet Cain refused to listen to God, control his emotions, and rule over sin. Cain made a choice to ignore God. Abel, on the other hand, offered a more excellent sacrifice of righteousness and is remembered as righteous (Hebrews 11:4). One son chose to follow God and one did not. Similarly, the prodigal son did not have to squander his inheritance. He could have embraced it like his brother. Instead, he chose to despise his inheritance, leave, and then suffer the consequences.
Embracing Your Inheritance
As the prodigal son returned, his father embraced him and forgave him (Luke 15:20). Through the story, Mr. West explained, the prodigal son had changed so much. First, he had been disrespectful and demanding, but now he was humbled and appreciative. His father embraced him, just like God is always there to forgive, help, and encourage us. But there is a key lesson from this parable: don’t be like the prodigal son. We can skip the suffering and mistakes by choosing to follow God and not squander our inheritance.
Concluding, Mr. West read, “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come, and the years draw near when you say, ‘I have no pleasure in them’” (Ecclesiastes 12:1). He warned us not to chase after wealth, lust, or the temporary things of this world while we are young, but rather to embrace our spiritual inheritance and make the most of it.
Mr. Adam West also gave a forum recently. In his forum, Mr. Adam West explained the value of living a simple life in a chaotic world and gave practical tips for simplifying. Read his forum here: Simplify Your Life.
Kaleb Johnson is a student in the Living Education-Charlotte Program. He graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville in the spring of 2022. In addition, Kaleb enjoys writing, video-making, trying new activities (anything and everything), playing chess, and debating (it’s not arguing!) with people. He currently works in the Living Education department producing written content, videos, and helping with a variety of other projects.