Summary: While on earth, Jesus sought out the sinner, He has called His church to go after the lost as well. The Holy Spirit draws people to the Christ and the salvation He so freely offers.
"The Story of a Lost Son"
TEXT: LUKE 15:23,24
A. In chapter 15 we have three stories which early church Fathers considered as one parable.
1) The purpose of each is to show the natural reaction to finding that which was lost is Joy.
a. God longs to reconcile sinners to Himself.
b. God is NOT EAGER to send people to hell ¡V no matter their condition.
2) That which is lost is the sinner whom Christ came to seek.
B. Earlier in this chapter we find publicans and sinners (those thought to be the lowest on the social scale) coming to Jesus ¡V eager to hear His message, eager to be accepted by God and changed.
C. Following we have the parable of the Lost Sheep -- wondered off
D. Then we have the parable of the Lost Coin ¡V lost at home.
E. Now Jesus gives us the parable of the LOST SON.
1) The Lost Sheep and the Lost Coin, needed someone to seek them out for they could not o anything about their lost condition.
2) The Lost Son, left His Father and His Family ¡V He had to return himself, but His Father was eagerly awaiting his return.
F. The elder brother with his jealous attitude reflects the attitude of the Pharisees.
I. TAKING FROM THE FATHER. 12,13.
A. All the natural resources that we possess came from God.
1) He created us not Satan.
a. The eyes, ears, mouth, brain, reproductive system all created by Him.
1. How many today are wasting their God given substance on riotous living.
a. What are they seeking?
b. What are they finding?
II. "HE BEGAN TO BE IN WANT."
A. There is no satisfactory substitute for God in your life.
1) To leave the fellowship of the Father is to enter a life of frustration.
2) You can substitute that desire for God for periods of time.
a. While scheming and planning and dreaming of that new boat and for the first couple of trips on it found it.
b. When lost in oblivion and illusions of drugs.
a. What does it mean when a man turns to alcohol? --seeking God.
b. drugs -- seeking God
c. fornication -- seeking God.
4) What does he find?
a. Temporary relief of the symptoms.
b. "He would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat."
c. Jesus said of this world, "If you drink of this water you will thirst again."
1. You can fill your stomach with corn husks, but you'll still be hungry.
B. Away from His Father ¡V He hit the lowest of the lows.
1) To protect themselves from defilement, Jews would not even touch pigs.
2) For a Jew to stoop to feeding pigs would have been a great humiliation, and for this young man to desire to eat food that the pigs had touched was to be degraded beyond belief.
3) That is what sin does ¡V it degrades
a. Example: Samson (former Judge of Israel) whose name means ¡§sun like.¡¨
b. Sinned against God
c. Lost His Power, fell into the hands of his enemies, lost his sight.
d. Grinding in the mill ¡V like an animal.
e. Mocked by his enemies ¡V the Philistines made a sport of mocking him.
4) For the Prodigal ¡V in a strange land ¡V a victim of self destruction -- no one gave him anything.
a. This shows that he was neglected and insignificant; he had truly sunk to the depths.
5) We see this same degrading pattern in the lives of men and women today who have turned away from God.
a. A shell of who they once were.
b. Bound by addictions that have degraded them.
d. Bound by a spirit of homosexuality -- going against nature itself.
III. "AND WHEN HE CAME TO HIMSELF."
A. That's exactly what Satan is trying to keep you from.
1. Fill you with lies.
2. Keep you so running.
3. Start his egg beater to confuse your brain.
B. Stop and think about God's offer to you.
1. eternal life in the place of perishing
2. love in the place of wrath
3. peace in the place turmoil
4. Joy & happiness- in the place of sorrow
5. righteousness in the place of sin
6. riches in the place of poverty
C. "Father" - servants have bread enough and to spare."
1) Look at these Christians here.
2) It is the emptiness and hunger that's killing you.
D. When you begin to think about turning to God a haunting fear grips you.
1) Will he receive me?
E. When reality finally hit him, the son finally came to his senses. Sitting among pigs that
were better fed than he was, he reflected on life back home.