Summary: To show people the path of sin leads to ruin but there is hope and help just for the asking.

LUKE 15:11-24



A. The story of the prodigal has always intrigued me, not just because Jesus told it, but because it contains and reveals so many truths that is pertinent to everyday life.

a. One of the outstanding truths it reveals is the downward path of the sinner and upward path of the repentant.

b. There are three truths I want to share with you!

1. The Ruin of the prodigal or sinner

2. The Recognition of the prodigal or sinner

3. The Restoration of the prodigal or sinner.

4. Let’s explore each of these:


A. Sin always brings ruin to the life.

a. Here I want to note the things that the prodigal did that ruined his life.

B. It began with a wrong attitude toward his father, and the things the father wanted him to do.

a. One’s attitude is very important to the outcome of their life.

b. We see this clearly in the life of the prodigal.

C. Another thing that brought about the ruin of the prodigal was a wrong desire.

a. Again desires are very important to one’s life.

b. To desire the things of the world is to crush and kill any desire for God and righteousness.

c. Desire often matures into love, and John tells that if anyone loves the things of the world the love of the Father is not in him. (I John 2:15)

1. His desires were filled with selfish motives, disillusioned imaginations.

2. He was also controlled with greed

d. The prodigal reached the point he loved and wanted the things of the world more than he wanted the love of the father.

e. This is why he went to the father and said “Father give me the portion of goods that falls to me.” Luke 15:12

f. The same verse tells us the father divided to them his livelihood.

D. The fourth step in the prodigal’s ruin is that he took his portion of the father’s livelihood, and left home and journeyed to the far country. Luke 15:13

1. To lounge around worldly things soon leads to indulging in worldly things.

a. Here we see a total separation from the father and all he stood for and represented.

b. Here we also see selfishness and self-will surface to the top.

c. Selfishness will not only destroy the person that is possessed by it, but those they associate with if they are not careful.

1. Here in this same verse we see the fifth step in the prodigals ruin, notice it says, “and there wasted his substance (possessions) in riotous living.

2. Riotous living is simply living it up with no regard of personal things or those of others.

3. Soon the prodigal’s passions were gone and so were his so called friends.

E. The sixth and final step of the prodigal’s ruin is, he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country. Luke 15:15

a. He was sent to feed the swine (hogs). V.15

b. This was about as low a person could go in those days.

c. But we find him sinking even lower as he thought of eating with the hogs.

1. This is where he came to himself or recognized what he was, what he had done, and what he needed to do if he was going to live.

F. The last thing that brought about the prodigal’s ruin was his rebellion.

G. I Samuel 15:23 records the account of Samuel telling Saul that “rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king.”

a. I believe this young man was a stubborn young man and his stubbornness led to his rebellion against and rejection of his father.

b. A stubborn heart will cause a person many heartaches, disappointments, and sorrows.

c. One can see it in this young man’s life for his stubbornness led to rebellion and rejection, thus to the far country, and the loss of his inheritance in riotous living.


A. Now keep in mind he was looking at the husk, slop the hogs were eating; probably elbow deep in their slop when he came to himself. Ch.15:15

1. As he looked at the hogs food he most likely thought, that stuff looks awful, do I really want to eat that, surely there’s something better.

2. That’s when a picture of home popped into his mind, and in his mind he could hear his father away off calling; come home, son come home.

a. Now, we don’t really know what he saw as he looked into the trough that held the hogs food, so we will have to use our imagination, and mine is as good as yours, so we will use mine.

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