Coming Home

Welcome Home

This study helps the person to feel welcomed back, and assess why they left and how to be restored.

Pray and have a good talk…

  • What is their story (from becoming a Christian, to leaving the church, to wanting to come back).

 

Luke 15:11-24

  • Discuss the heart of God and the church when someone returns (grace and love).

 

Luke 15:11-13

  • Why did the son in this parable leave?

  • It may be different for you, but why did you leave the church?

    • Take the time to draw out the reason(s); there may be more than one.

    • Did others sin against you?

      • Empathize, comfort and minister to them.

      • Assure them that “no one is getting away with anything”.

        • We will do our best to help you and the other person (or people) work through whatever conflicts need to be addressed.

        • Even if the other person is unwilling to work through their part, God assures us that he will bring about justice and vindication in the end (Psalm 37:1-11).

        • The important thing is to work through our own part (1 Peter 2:18-25)

      • (Refer: “A Biblical Guide to Help You Work Through Your Past”)

 

Luke 15:14-17

  • Why did the son return?

  • It may be different for you, but why are you returning?

 

Luke 15:18-19

  • Why was it important for the son to look at his part?

  • What’s your part?  

    • Have you sinned against God and others?

    • If you could do it over again, what would you do differently?

 

Luke 15:20-24

  • How excited is God about your return? Why? (He loves you so much!) (Us too!)

  • What was key to restoring the relationship between the father and son? (repentance)

    • We’ll study repentance next time.  

  • Suggest: pray together

 

Heartfelt Repentance

This study defines heartfelt repentance for the returning Christian.

James 5:19-20

  • Notice that coming back to God (and his church) is all about turning back to God, which involves turning away from sin and the world.

 

1 John 2:15-17

  • What are some good reasons to turn away from the world, and back to God?

 

1 John 1:5-2:6

  • No one’s perfect, but we must be walking in the light to be right with God and each other.

 

Luke 7:36-50 - The Sinful Woman is the model of true, heartfelt repentance.  

  • What’s the point of Jesus’ teaching here?

  • How does this apply to you?

 

James 5:16

  • What’s the value of confession and openness?

  • Are you comfortable with doing that today?

 

Galatians 5:19-21 (Other helpful scriptures if needed: 2 Timothy 3:1-5; Mark 7:20-22)

  • What sins and character issues do you need to repent of?

 

2 Corinthians 7:8-11

  • What’s the difference between godly sorrow and worldly sorrow?  

  • Which of these qualities of Godly Sorrow do you still need to have?

 

Homework:

  • Make a list of the major sins you’ve committed since leaving.

    • Note: This is just for you; please don’t give it to us.  It is for your own private use.

  • Write a letter of apology to God.

  • Make a list of people you think you ought to apologize to or reconcile with.

  • Next time, we’ll review this homework, and talk about reconciling your relationships.

  • Pray.

 

Reconciling Relationships

This study helps the individual to resolve and reconcile hurt relationships with God and others.

Review Homework together (spend as much time as needed on this; most important)

 

  • “Make a list of the major sins you’ve committed since leaving.”

    • Discuss and help person to see things clearly, connect dots, be convicted.

    • Any addictive sins they need more specialized help with? (Refer them to appropriate people who can help; suggest professional help when needed.)

 

  • “Write a letter of apology to God.”

    • How did that go?  Offer help where needed.

 

  • “Make a list of people you think you ought to apologize to or reconcile with.”

    • Discuss this thoroughly.  Offer to mediate where conflict resolution is needed.

    • See next section and go over scriptures on “forgiveness and conflict resolution”.

 

Importance of forgiveness and conflict resolution

 

  • Matthew 5:23-26

 

  • Matthew 5:38-48

 

  • Matthew 6:9-15

 

  • Matthew 7:1-5

 

  • Matthew 18:21-35


 

Suggest: pray together

 

Renewed and Restored

This study is done as the last restoration study before they are formally restored. It will show them principles that will help them stay close to the Lord for a lifetime.

Matthew 7:13-14

  • What are some things that make the road to eternal life so narrow?

  • What’s it going to take for you to stay on the narrow road?

 

Romans 12:2

  • Spiritual disciplines that will help you get back on track and stay on track:

    • Regular Bible study

      • 2 Timothy 3:16-17

    • Prayer

      • Matthew 6:7-12

    • Obedience

      • John 14:15-24

    • Relationships in the body

      • Hebrews 3:12-14

 

2 Corinthians 5:14-15

  • Christ’s love, especially as shown on the cross, is what will keep us faithful for a lifetime.

  • Discuss what the cross means to you, and why it’s so motivating…

 

Titus 2:11 – 3:11

  • 3:8 tells us that this is what we ought to stress in our teaching: God’s grace (vs. 7).

    • What reasons does the passage read give for this?

 

Ephesians 4:16

  • Ephesians 1:23-24 says Christ’s body is the church.

  • How is the body made strong according to this passage in Ephesians 4:16?

  • Are you ready to be an active, contributing part of the body again?

  • Discuss how and when to be officially restored to the church.

 

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