THE PARABLE OF THE FATHER AND DISOBEDIENT SON
Proponents of the diabolical and satanic false doctrines, “Once-Saved-Always-Saved” and/or “Unconditional Perseverance of the Saints”, like to use the analogy of the natural relationship between a father and his son in a feeble attempt to prove disobedience does not change relationship. The application of this illustration, they say, is, “No matter how much my son disobeys me, he is still my son. Likewise, no matter how much a Christian disobeys God, his disobedience does not actually nullify the Christian’s sonship”.
However, this illustration falls woefully short of accurately representing the complexity of the God–Christian relationship. Allow me to philosophically shore up the illustration this way…
Suppose you are not only a father, but also a criminal judge sworn to uphold the integrity of the law. As a judge, it is your obligation and moral duty to ensure the civil code, with its intrinsic restraint and penalties, is justly applied. Imagine one of your children has violated the law by transgressing a capitol offense (incurring the death penalty), say first degree murder. Nonetheless, suppose your child refuses to admit guilt, even though the evidence against him is overwhelming. During the trial, irrefutable proof, via eye-witness testimony, is presented confirming your son is guilty of the crime he is accused of. The jury, predictably, unanimously finds him guilty and schedules a date for sentencing, which will require your trusted judgment. Though you had hoped for his innocence, after examining the evidence, even you cannot deny the obvious: your son is clearly guilty of murder. What will you do? You love your son and cannot bear to see him perish, but you also know you have an obligation to rightly execute the law, which demands justice. Now, for the sake of illustration, suppose there was an obscure provision in the civil code that made it possible for a substitute to take the penalty for a convicted criminal so he could go utterly free. The only condition was the convicted criminal must confess his guilt and humbly receive the merciful intercession of his substitute. So, at the sentencing, you invoke this little-known provision, offering yourself as a substitute to pay the penalty for your son’s crimes. By this provision, you are able to both see your son spared, but also magnify the dignity of the law by suffering the death penalty in his stead, if he will only agree. You present the option to your son but he flatly rejects your plan, as he obstinately spurns your mercy and refuses the call to humble himself by confessing his guilt. Grief-stricken, you watch as the officials immediately take your son away and the next day he is executed for his crimes, ultimately meaning you no longer have a son. By transgression, your son has forfeited his life and with it, his relationship with you.
Relationship requires living interaction. The living do not have relationships with the dead. Likewise, when redeemed men fall into sin and refuse to humble themselves, repent, and put their faith in the atoning work of Christ, they incur the death penalty (because the wages of sin is death) and lose their standing with God.