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The Prodigal Son


Sermon shared by Jerry Falwell

July 2001
Summary: The wayward son reveals a side of Godís character . . . His love.
Denomination: Baptist
Audience: General adults


1. The wayward son reveals a side of Godís character which most people donít know, i.e., His love.
2. The Fatherís love does not depend on how good you are or what you do.
3. The Fatherís love for all of us never changes.

ďAnd not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous livingĒ (Luke 15:11-13).


The young boy finally got everything he always wanted.
1. To get away from his fatherís control.
2. To have everything heís longed to get.
3. To be in charge of his life.
4. To live where there are no rules and no regulations.
5. To party all the time.
6. To have complete freedom.

I imagine the young man didnít walk down the road from his fatherís farm, he literally ran away from everything that was ďrestrictiveĒ to him. He was running towards a new freedom that he had wanted all along. He was running towards a life of fun, parties, booze and women. There was no stopping him now.

I imagine the young man was good looking, was rich, and had a lot of friends. There was music playing all the time, the wine was flowing freely; and donít forget the money was flowing just as freely. The Bible describes this as a wild spending spree.

Why is it that what we canít have, is what we always want. Even little kids donít want their mommies to tell them what to wear, what to do and where to go.

A little girl was told the story of the Prodigal Son in Sunday school. Then she was asked the question, ďWhat does it mean to waste all your substance with riotous living?Ē The little girl answered, ďTo spend everything you got on bubble gum.Ē


The young man had great fun while the money lasted. There were new friends, pretty girls, and something to do all the time. But the young man was in for a shock, something he didnít expect would happen soon; probably he didnít expect it at all. Notice the three things that hit him hard:

∑ His money ran out.
∑ A mighty famine.
∑ He was hungry.

When a young man is rich, good-looking and prosperous, he has all the friends he can buy drinks for. Why is it ďthereís never a shortage of friends to help you spend your money?Ē But you need to ask yourself the question, ďAre the people that spend your money, really your friends?Ē Remember, a true friend loves you whether you have money or not.

Life is very different for the poor of this world. The so-called ďfriendsĒ donít come around poor people. When you get in trouble, the people who used to ďpartyĒ with you donít come around. Who usually comes around when youíre broke . . . no car . . . no house . . . and youíre sick? Iíll tell you who comes around, the church of Jesus Christ; theyíre always willing to help.

Letís look at the trouble that this young man is in:

∑ Heís a foreigner in a strange land.
∑ Heís bankrupt.
∑ He has no friends or relatives nearby.
∑ No government handouts.
∑ Heís lonesome.
∑ Heís hungry.

Many young people today are ďpickyĒ when it comes to jobs. They donít want to get up too early . . . work too hard . . . work too long . . . or wear certain clothing. I have heard of young men who turn down jobs just because
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