Summary: Luke 15:11-16:1 By looking at the story of the prodigal son, we can see how we fall into sinful states, what it means to be in a siful state, and how we get out of the sinful states we are in.
“How we get into and out of sinful states.”
When I was younger my family owned an “Atari,” how many of you remember those? It was great state of the art technology! You had this joystick and just one little button to mash. I thought it was great. Even to this day I still prefer an “Atari” to any other system because of that little button. Nowadays you have about eight billion buttons to push. Anyway one of my favorite games to play on the “Atari” was “Pitfall.” There was only one player who ran around in a green little shirt and jumped over things. That was really all you could do with one button. The point was to avoid all the little “pitfalls” in the game; like snakes, alligators, rabid runaway rabbits, and pits. Sometimes if you fell in the pits you had to find a ladder or wait for a vine to come by to get you out, and then sometimes you died in the pits and started over. This is what life was like for the Prodigal Son. A life of “Pitfall.”
The title of tonight’s lesson is “Playing Pitfall: How we get into and out of sinful states.” By looking at this parable from the son’s point of view we can see three things: How we get to a sinful state, What it means to be in a sinful state, and How we get out of the sinful state we are in. Then we will close by looking lastly at the other brother.
In the “Atari” game you always fell into the pits by not paying attention, or by jumping just a second to late, there are five things here in our text that tell us how we can sometimes fall into our “pits.” Luke 15:12 (quickview)  says, “And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me,’ and he divided them his living.” How many of you have ever watched the cartoon “Animaniacs?” They have this funny section on it called “Good Idea/Bad Idea.” Good idea, helping an old lady across the street. Bad idea, helping an old lady across I-95. Good idea, taking a walk through the park. Bad idea, taking a walk through the Sahara Desert. Good idea, playing golf. Bad idea, playing golf during an electrical storm. Good idea, getting in a boat and going fishing. Bad idea, getting in a boat and going fishing without a sheer pin. (I just threw that last one in for Lonnie) What the prodigal son did was a bad idea. He thought that he could take care of himself and his money better than his father. Often times we are the same way thinking that we can handle something without God’s help. The first way we can fall into our pits is by making bad decisions. By showing a lack of good judgment.
Number two, being unprepared. Verse 13 says, “And not many days…” He was unprepared to face this journey. He didn’t take very much time. My biggest problem in life is that I am unprepared. I Peter 3:15 (quickview)  says, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have.” It doesn’t say “sometimes” but always. We must always be prepared. This was his mistake. He was not prepared.