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Lessons from the Prodigal Son

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Good morning, it is good to see yall this morning. Over the past couple of weeks we have been studying with an emphasis on seeing the truth that lost people matter to God. I want to continue with a second look at the prodigal son parable in
Let’s read the parable and then we can get to it.
(Read)
(Pray)
This morning were going to be learning lessons from the prodigal son.
The great novelist Charles Dickens was asked what he thought was the best short story written in the english language, Dickens replied… “The prodigal son”
The story of the prodigal son is the most well known and best loved parable of Jesus. But the parable of the prodigal son is not really about the prodigal son, it is not about the elder brother. We pay the most attention to the prodigal son because he is the character we most easily relate to… but the parable is not about him or the older brother, the message contained within this story is primarily about the Fathers love for BOTH of his sons..

The Backdrop

Luke 15:1–2 ESV
Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”
Jesus replies by telling 3 stories:
4-7: Lost Sheep
8-10: Lost Coin
11-32: Lost SOn
These three parables make one point “LOST PEOPLE MATTER TO GOD.”
This third parable is 3 dimensional there is a lesson in the loving father, the prodigal son, and the elder brother.
The Father in the parable is a picture of the love of God, but the prodigal in this story is a picture of the life of sin.
BIG IDEA: Lost People Matter to God
But by studying the downfall and restoration of the prodigal son we also see why GOD SHOULD MATTER TO LOST PEOPLE.
Every sinner needs to hear this message, every human needs to hear this message it can be summed up in 3 words:
YOU NEED GOD!, YOU NEED GOD!
EVERY PERSON INCLUDING YOU AND ME NEEDS GOD!

The Desire that motivates a life of sin

Luke 15:11–12 ESV
And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them.
Luke 15:
This request by the younger son is a declaration of independence from his father. This is where ALL sin starts. it don’t matter what sin you find yourself struggling with today and we all struggle with sin, and sin is a matter of the heart.
There is a streak of rebellion within each one of us, that strives for independence from God’s control over our lives and God’s credit for our lives.
This is the battle for the Christian here on this Earth. You are a rebel, you rebel against God by default. What is the main underlying cause for backslidden Christians and those who refuse to acknowledge Jesus as Lord?
CONTROL
On one hand
Luke 15:12 ESV
And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them.
This is an unparralell no son in the ancient world have dared bring up the subject of his inheritence with his father. The fathers blessing was only given at the father’s initiative, nearing his death.
But this kid had the audacity to come to his Dad and demanded his share of the fathers estate in advance. Basically the son said dad let’s pretend that you are dead to me and i am dead to you, i dont care about relationship with you, but whatever you were going to bless me with financially go ahead and give it to me and we will part ways.
This was a slap in the face of the father, but amazingly he gave his son what he asked for.
Luke 15:13 ESV
Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living.
When this boy recieved his inheritence he didnt just move out of his fathers house, he moved outta his fathers country...
Its one thing if he had moved across the city, he moved to the other side of the world.
“Far Country”
This Jewish young man relocated to a pagan country.it was a complete rebellion against what his father believed in. He no longer had to submit to his fathers authority, he no longer had to recieve his fathers permission, he no longer had to abide by his fathers curfew.
He was now his own man, not his fathers son. Church this is the story of every prodigal who is seperated from God. We wanna control our own lives independent of God’s authority.
The serpent explained to eve why she should eat of the tree instead of listening to what god had commanded. God commanded dont eat but Satan explained to Eve why she should eat...
Genesis 3:6 ESV
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.
Genesis 3:5 ESV
For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
The first sin was the result of human ambition that sought to be like God. so it is with every other sin, the truth is Christian our prodigal hearts dont really want a relationship with God.
Not the God of the Bible at least, we wanna be our own gods and we wanna use the true God to help us better serve ourselves. Like the prodigal son we dont want the father to be in control, but we want God to give us what we want.
If he really was his own man, he would have just left, not asked for money to leave.
The fact that he asked for moeny was evidence that he could not make it on his own but he was determined to start his own life independent of the father..
so it is with every sinner, spiritual independence desires credit for ones own life!
The son didnt wanna live under his fathers authority but that wasnt his only motivation.
he asked his father to finance his independence but this request would not fufill his motivation if he lived in the same city as his daddy.
As he wore his fancy clothes, drove his big car, enjoyed his plush condiminium nobody in his hometown would have been impressed...
Everybody would have known that the only reason he had it going on was because he was spending his daddys money. so he took a trip to the far coutnry where nobody knew him and when this hot shot moved to the big city he could then play the role of a self made man.,
This is the desire that motivates a life of sin, sin desires control over life so that we can take credit for life.
We want credit for our own lives,
in Paul explains why the wrath of god is revealed from heaven against all unrighteousness of man.
The reason is “althought they knew God they refused to honor God as God or give thanks to God”
the prodigal heart does not honor God because the prodigal heart wants to be honored AS GOD!
In our unrighteousness is not revealed in the far country, but unrighteousness is revealed when we refuse to give God the credit for what he has obviously done for us!
Were stingy with praise because we wanna take credit for our own lives.
The little child shows up with a gift or piec of candy or a dollar… the good parent has two questions:
Where did you get that from?
What did you say?
Thats to ensure that the child said thank you
but the prodigal heart has a problem answering those simple questions:
“Ok you got a nice house in a gated community, where did you get that from.”
“You have a degree and a succesful career thats cool where did you get that from”
“You got a blessed family, your marriage is doing ok, you children are decently behaved thats good where did you get tha from?
IF YOU KNOW WHERE YOU GOT THAT FROM WHAT DID YOU SAY?
The Bible says
1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:
So first we see the desire that leads to sin

The Dilemma that confronts the life of sin

The prodigal son abandoned his family left his fathers house and headed out for the far country, and the prodigals experience in the far country gives us two things about the life of sin.
The pleasures of sin are real
Luke 15:13 ESV
Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living.
In verse 30 we hear what this wreckless living involved. The older brother states that he wasted his inheritence on prostitutes...
We dont know how he would know that.
The story doesn’t tell us what was involved in the prodgial’s spending spree in the far country, but we can assume that while he suqandered his money in wreckless living, the prodigal had a good time...
He wasted his daddys money but he had a bal doin it, thats an important lesson.
THE PLEASURES OF SIN ARE REAL!
People don’t want to have anything to do with the heavenly father because the people want everything to do with the pleasures that come from sin!
Romans 1:18 ESV
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.
(FSU GAME)
As you walk up to the stadium there are young women dressed provocatively, seeking to seduce other young men who are with them. Being extremely flirtatious soaking up all the attention they can get by dressing that way and acting the way they act. There are young men who are treating young women with great disrespect and the girls just laugh it off. The booze is flowing the music is good and with all the laughter and excitement surrounding what is about to happen next all inhibitions are gone and if you didnt know any better it would look like pure freedom. But its not they are in bondage, bondage to popularity, bondage to sexual sin, bondage to alcahol.....
Yesterday......
As he stood with his megaphone in hand proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom he spoke the words of Jesus “REPENT FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS AT HAND!”
“GOD LOVES US, HE SENT HIS ONE AND ONLY SON TO DIE FOR US SO THAT WE COULD HAVE RELATIONSHIP TO HIM! “
As the enormous crowd marched toward the stadium they began to chant the war chant of the Seminoles so loud that even though he was using a megaphone you couldnt hear a word he was saying.
IT broke my heart, here this young man stood sharing the good news in love.... and the reaction of those enjoying the life of rebellion against God did what sinners do best.... THEY DROWNED OUT THE TRUTH!
This is what sinners do.... they drown out the truth… they supress the truth in their unrighteousness…
THEY DONT WANNA DEAL WITH THEIR SIN BECAUSE THEY LOVE THEIR SIN!
(Colorado drinking outreach)
In trying to reach the prodigals of this world we must be careful not to glorify the life of sin or participate in it…
Our job is to call prodigals from the far country not make the pig pen look more attractive.
We
But at the other extreme we must not assume that people in the far country are miserable hurting and troubled
The fact is THE PLEASURES OF SIN ARE REAL
Vegas stole its motto.... “What happens in the far country, stays in the far country”
Being lost can be fun! The pleasures of sin are real
The far country can be enjoyable BUT ONLY FOR A LITTLE WHILE!!!
The consuming passion of the prodigal son is to consume ALL THAT THE WORLDLY PLEASURES THE FAR COUNTRY OFFERS
Now I know thats hard to hear but if you look at it
Those pleasures are real.
The pleasures of sin are real
But the pleasures of sin dont last!
Oh you cam have big fun in the world but it wont last....
Luke 15:14 ESV
And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need.
He had big fun UNTIL.. He spent everything
Emptied his accounts, maxsed out his credit cards, then the friends he had hooked up, could no longer be found when he needed a hook up
Then a severe recession hit the far country and the prodigal son found himself in desperate need!
The party was OVER
This is the dilema that confronts the life of sin
Being lost can be fun but the fun of sin will NOT LAST!
Hebrews 11:24–25 ESV
By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.
The fleeting pleasures of sin
Sin can be pleasurable, but the pleasures of sin are fleeting, passing, and shortlived
SIN NEVER DELIVERS ON ITS PROMISE, AND THEY ARE NEVER WORTH WHAT THEY COST!
Only life twill soon be past, and only what is done for Christ will last!

The Discovery that changes the life of sin

In the far country the prodigal son learns something about life and himself, and his father...
But his father was not the one who taught him the lesson.
Let me tell you how he learned the most important lessons of his life, life caught up with him. Consider what he learned and where he learned it.
verses
Luke 15:14–17 ESV
And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything. “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger!
He went to the big city with lots of money and his daddy nowhere around, but it was when he spent eveyrything he had that he began to recognize HOW GOOD HIS DADDY HAD BEEN ALL ALONG. Hired servants in his daddys house were well taken care of, but here he was feeding pigs in the far country, in fact he went from herding the pigs to huddling up with the pigs! So desperate that he almost started fighting the pigs over the slop he was supposed to be feeding the pigs! So he made up his mind
“I CANT KEEP LIVING LIKE THIS, I NEED TO GO HOME TO MY DADDYS HOUSE!”
YOU NEED GOD!
YOU NEED GOD!
Dont ever put anything or anyone ahead of God, do not put your children ahead of God cause you gone need God to help you with them crazy rascals.. Dont put your job ahead of God cause you gone need God if you get laid off that job…Do not put your health ahead of God because you gone need God when the doctor gives you a bad report!
UP OR DOWN YOU NEED GOD, WIN OR LOSE YOU NEED GOD, POOR OR RICH YOU NEED GOD,SICK OR WELL YOU NEED GOD, HIGHOR LOW YOU NEED GOD, VICTORY OR DEFEAT YOU NEED GOD, SUNSHINE OR RAIN YOU NEED GOD!
HOLD UP NOW I WANNA BE CLEAR YOU DONT NEED THE BLESSINGS OF GOD the boy had that, BUT BLESSINGS WILL TURN ON YOUR IF YOU DONT WORSHIP THE ONE FROM WHOM THE BLESSINGS COME FROM! YOU NEED GOD
Psalm 127:1 ESV
Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.
The builder seeks accomplishment, the watchmen sustains accomplishment, but WITH OUT GOD the house is gonna come crashing down! in every season every situation YOU NEED GOD!
37 year old mother and wife cleaned her house one day meditating on the goodness of God, as she considered God’s blessings she was struck with her desperate need for God. So she sat down and wrote a poem, and the poem was set to music later and for the last 100 years the church sings....”I need thee every hour, most precious Lord, no tender voice like thine can peace afford, I NEED THEE OH I NEED THEE EVERY HOUR I NEED THEE.. Oh bless me now my Savor as I come to thee”
YOU NEED GOD
But I better warn you about the classroom where sin teaches.
Luke 15:17 ESV
“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger!
He didn’t learn this in his fathers house, he didn’t learn this in the far country, he learned it in the pig pin...
If you mess around will sin you may come to a place where you lose whats most important to you , in order to show you how much you need God!
The sad fact some people have to lose it all before they look up to God
“HELL IS TRUTH KNOWN TOO LATE” JC RYLE
Don’t wait for life to catch up with you before you trust and obey the Lord
1 C
2 Corinthians 6:2 ESV
For he says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
“When He came to himself”- This is repentence!

The truth that delivers from the life of sin

Luke 15:18–19 ESV
I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.” ’
Luke 15:18
Luke 15:18 ESV
I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you.
Wow the last time he saw his daddy he demanded that his daddy give him money. This time when he goes to see his daddy he plans to just beg for a job...
Thats what happens when life catches up to you it strips you of your pride
It dont matter the terms he just needed to go home.
YOU CANT FIX LIFE BY WORKING HARDER IN THE PIG PIN! THE ONLY REDEMPTION FOR THE LIFE OF SIN IS COME HOME TO GOD!
COME HOME TO GOD YOU CAN COME HOME TO GOD
YOU MUST COME HOME TO GOD!
Will you come back to God today?
Why wont you come hom to God today?
Your sitting here in a mess and you wish things were how they used to be with the Lord.
Will you come home to God?
You see the father never left his post, he never did the leaving the prodigal did.
Friends when you feel distant from God I dont care what the circumstances are it is alwasy BECAUSE YOU DID THE LEAVING
Luke 15:20–24 ESV
And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.
Luke 15:20-
Now we find the punch line of the religious asked if Jesus really knows God then why is he partying with sinful people?
Jesus asked if you really know God why havent you joined the party
THE HEART OF GOD CELEBRATES ANYTIME ONE PRODIGAL COMES BACK HOME FROM THE FAR COUNTRY
If you come home you’ll discover, that when the prodigal came home everything he was looking for in the far country was already available in his daddys house!
He wanted fancy clothes
THAT FATHER SAID: Put the best tobe on him
He wanted shoes that signified he was somebody
THE FATHER SAID: put sandals on his feet
HE WANTED BLING
THE FATHER SAID: PUT A RING ON HIS FINGER
He wanted party he wanted to celebrate and
THE FATHER SAID PUT THE PIG IN THE GROUND GET SOME COKE A COLA ON ICE CAUSE MY LOST AND WAYWARD SON HAS COME HOME TONIGHT
Only God has what your soul needs, what your spirit craves what your heart longs for and what your strength pursues
John 10:10 ESV
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
Just come home
Maria’s husband died not long after she gave birth to their daughter Christina she was left to carry the burden of caring for the family alone, she expected that when Christina came of age she would help share the load but when she came of age Christina was fixated on big city life, Maria knew her daughter, maria knew the big city and knew what it would take for her daughter to survive and contently warned her to stay home, but one day Maria woke up to find Christina gone and all her belongings but MAria immediately determined to go to the big city and find her daughter. She didnt have alot of money, she didnt have any conncections, she didnt know where to look so before she left she went to a photo booth and took as many pictures of her self as she could afford. So she went to the city and everywhere she went bars, clubs, hotels, she hung a picture of herself. until she ran outta money and pictures and she went home with a broken heart.
Some time later her daughter Christina was leaving a hotel after a long night. Life had caught up with her, and now she would rather sleep on a cot in her mammas house than the scores of beds she had been in in the big city. As she exited a hotel she looked up and saw a picture of her mother she took it down off of the wall only to find a note on the back of it in her mothers handwriting that simply said
“Christina wherever you are and whatever you’ve done, it doesnt matter I LOVE YOU COME HOME!
Christina did.
When we were lost God took a picture of himself He named it JEsus and He hung it in one universally visible place..... AT THE CROSS
IF YOU ARE LOST LOOK TO THE CROSS AND THE BLOOD THAT WAS SHED FOR YOUR SINS AND HEAR THE HEART OF GOD SAY:
Wherever you are, whatever you’ve done, it doesnt matter I LOVE YOU
COME HOME
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