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Summary: God is waiting to welcome every prodigal home

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Welcome Home

Luke 15.11-32

October 5, 1997 - Friend Day

Morning Service

Introduction

I. The Restoration of the Pulpit Furniture: The furniture from the old church, symbols of the history of the church and people, they were put into the prayer room, they were painted yellow, recently the church had them restored, weeks of hard effort and great labor made the change happen, now they are a beautiful cherry and shine as an example of positive change

II. The change that God creates: God has created this world as a testament of change and transformation, The turning of leaves, the process of catepillars turning into butterflies, water - exists in three states, Jesus tells us a story of such a transformation as a testament of change

Body

I. The Rebel Son

A. Rejection of the Father: The son rejects the father - son demands inheritance, wishes the father were dead, son gets & goes - father allows the son to go: symbol of the deep love and care for the son, son goes far off - both physically and emotionally,

B. Rebellion of Life: The new lifestyle - original wild child, wild living with drunkards and prostitutes, life became one massive party, The result of wild living: wastes his inheritance, left with nothing, totally bankrupt - wild living causes the son to lose everything

II. The Realization of Error

A. The Hopeless Situation: Famine comes - food in the land is gone, stranger in a strange land: no help or support, son has nothing and begins to starve, hopeless situation, son gets a job - feeds the pigs: placed in total filth, Hebrews had nothing to do with unclean animals: lowest of the low, longs to eat the scraps fed to the pigs,

B. The Resolution to Change: Son comes to his senses - realizes his error, remembers his home and his father, decides to go home - wants to go home, no longer worthy to be a son, fit now to be a slave

III. The Return

A. The son comes home: Son goes home: long walk home, swallows his pride, rehearses his speech, son was willing to plead with the father, fall on his mercy, love and grace

B. The Fathers Welcome: Father runs to the son - watching and waiting, expected the son to return, father sees the son and runs to meet him, Father’s love for the son - embrace and kiss, listens to his son, calls the servants, restores him to status of a son

C. The Resulting Celebration: Father welcomes the son - robe, sandals and ring, calls the servants to prepare a feast, kills the fattened calf, feast and celebration begins with song and dance, joyous time, Problem of the 2nd son - faithful and true, stayed with the father through thick and thin, jealous of the fathers love and concern, celebration was because the younger son had come home

Bridge - CBS Welcome Home - The Message of God

Application

I. The Rebel Child

A. Rejected the Heavenly Father: We have rebelled against the Father - its part of our nature, we are sinful from birth, we walk away from the one who has created us, We take God for granted - we take the facts of life for granted, without God’s provision we would not be alive, God will allow us to do what we want to do - He does not control us and we are not robots, He loves us and cares for us,

B. Rebellion of Life: We have our lifestyle - interruptions are not accepyed and God is a big interruption, too much is expected, we want to live our way, We don’t want to be burdened - Christians don’t do this or that, too hard to make the change, daily life is a burden, God is the burden lifter, you may be far off - wandered away from the father, too far gone, God can’t love me, we waste our time living without God - life without God isnt life at all,

II. Realization of Error

A. Hopeless Situation: Life is hard - difficulties mount, hardships come and go, one thing is always the same, the love of Jesus, We come to the end of ourselves - total desperation, all alone with no support, fill the emptiness, we slowly become spiritually banckrupt - lose the yearning for the Father,

B. Resolution to Change:Time to come to our senses - searching for deeper meaning, wanting something more, You can go home - you must make the decision, start the walk, not worthy of mercy - no one is worthy, mercy is a gift, God can’t want me - He wants you in His Kingdom

III. The Return

A. The Long Walk Home: You must begin - every journey begins with one step, now is the time to take the step, Swallow your pride - go to the Father, plead your case, the outcome is already sure, you will be taken in, fall on His mercy, The trip is not easy - well worth the effort

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