The parables of the lost sheep and the lost coin, both taught by Jesus at the same time as the parable of the prodigal son, can be understood to mean that God never gives up on anyone until they come into a saving relationship with His Son Jesus….
Don’t you see it?! By telling these parables, Jesus was saying, “That’s how My Father is! That’s how I am! As long as there is one of My Father’s children, My brothers and sisters, who is lost, we are going to keep on looking for him UNTIL WE FIND HIM!” Does that sound as if He is going to give up on anybody just because he dies? No!! Look at the story of the prodigal. It should be called “The Story of the Father Who Never Gives Up on His Children”!
— Mark T. Chamberlain and Thomas Allin, Every Knee Shall Bow, p. 22-23