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The Seven Downward Steps of the Prodigal Son


Sermon shared by David Hallum

April 2001
Summary: The Complete Story of Ruin and Reconciliation
Denomination: Baptist
Audience: General adults
The Seven Downward Steps of the Prodigal Son
The Complete Story of Ruin and Reconciliation
Part One
Luke 15:11-32
April 29, 2001

The story of the Prodigal Son needs no introduction. It is probably the most famous parable in the Bible. Jesus introduces us to three characters: the father and two sons. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the story that we forget who the main character is. It is not the elder brother. It is not the Prodigal Son. The main character in this story is the Father!

Thesis: The road to ruin is brightly lit, wide and well traveled while the road to reconciliation is dim, narrow and seldom used.

I. The Road to Ruin v.12-16
A. Self-will v.12
1. A rejection of physical authority
a. He rejected the will of His earthly Father.
b. He rejected the will of His earthly Fathers. (Mosaic law)
c. He rejected the will of His earthly family.
2. A rejection of spiritual authority
a. He rejected the will of His Heavenly Father.
b. Not willing to have Jesus as King over his life Lu 19:14 14 But his citizens hated him. And they sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this one to reign over us.
c. He walked in the flesh and not in the Spirit 2Pe 2:10 10 ¶ and especially those who walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise dominion. They are darers, self-pleasing; not trembling at glories, speaking evil.
B. Selfishness v.13
1. Total Disregard of the Rights of Others
a. Take what you need and leave the rest Eze 34:18 18 Is it a small thing to you to have eaten up the good pasture, but you must trample the rest of your pastures with your feet? And to have drunk of the clear waters, but you must foul the rest with your feet?
b. You are created you be cognizant of others Hosea 10:1 ¶ 1 ¶ Israel is an luxuriant vine; he brings out fruit to himself. According to the multitude of his fruit, he has increased the altars. They have made beautiful images according to the goodness of his land.
c. Prosperity is to be shared - not hoarded Habakkuk 2:6 6 Shall not all these lift up a parable against him, and a mocking riddle to him, and say, Woe to him who increases what is not his! Until when, then, shall he load the pledges on himself?
2. Neglect of the Needy and Suffering Matthew 25:43 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in; I was naked, and you did not clothe Me; I was sick, and in prison, and you did not visit me.
3. Heartless Indifference Toward Sinners 2Timothy 3:2 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
C. Separation v.13
1. This separation was willful.
a. The son’s will was imposed on the Father.
b. The Father’s will was abandoned and distained.
2. This separation was wasteful.
a. The son improperly asked for "his" inheritance.
b. The Father gave the son what was not legally his.
3. This separation was wanton.
a. Do you think the Father knew what the son wanted to do?
b. What happens when someone is not ready to accept a responsibility is given that responsibility?
(1) Sometimes they make you real proud.
(2) Usually you get a Prodigal Son (or
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