Summary: The Third and final sermon in a series on church.
THE WHO, WHAT, AND WHY’S OF GOING TO CHURCH
“WHAT” HAPPENS WHEN YOU COME TO CHURCH
Have you ever found yourself in God’s lost and found box? You see this boy found himself in the father’s lost and found box. He stepped out of his father’s protection, and ended up lost. He needed to be found again. He needed to be back with his rightful master, his father. This kid was out there.
This is a perfect image of a Christian. You see what we do so often is that we ask God for all that He will give us, and then we take off and go and live however we want to live. We go and waste our possessions with prodigal living. We turn and go and live in the world. Leaving behind our family and what God has given us and live with the world. Before we know it we find ourselves at rock bottom. We find ourselves with no where left to go. We have hit the bottom and we have nowhere left to turn. We find ourselves in God’s lost and found box. The place where things are put that need to be returned to their rightful owner.
There comes a time in each of our lives that we find our self in this position. We are lost and looking again for where we belong. Just waiting to be returned to our Lord and Father.
What do we do about it? What do we do when we find ourselves in this position. When we find ourselves in God’s lost and found box. We have to:
I. Realize where we are.
Where are we at? We have to realize that we are in God’s lost and found box. The son realized that he messed up. He realized that he was no longer under the father’s protection and provision. He stepped out of it the moment that he left the will of his father. The way that things were done at that time was to divide up the inheritance, but the children did not receive it until the father had passed on. In some cases the inheritance was divided up like in this case.
The son took what was given to him and left his father. He stepped out of the will of his father, and it only got worse from there. He knew that it was wrong for him to leave, but he let his lust for life over take him. Before he realized it he had hit rock bottom. He had squandered everything. He had nothing left. He found himself only dreaming about eating what the pigs ate. He had come to the point that he had lost everything.
Is this not the perfect example of God’s church? The father would represent God, and the son would represent the church. How accurate of an illustration is it? The fact is that this is a picture of the church because it is a description of what we as Christians do. We take off and find ourselves with the pigs.
We get involved with God and the next thing we know we let our lust for the world over take us and we leave the will of the Father. We leave his love and protection and provision. He never stops giving it, but we step out of it.
The fact is that sin will ALWAYS take you farther than you ever intended to go, keeps you longer that you ever intended to stay, and cost you more than you ever intended to pay. This son in Jesus’ story never thought that he would end up where he was. He simply wanted to go and live life. He never thought that he would hit rock bottom. He certainly didn’t want to be there. He certainly didn’t plan on staying as long as he did. He had no idea that he was going to go until he was spent emotionally, physically, spiritually, and financially. He certainly didn’t intend to spend all of what he had.
That is what happens to us. We get taken in by the lies of the devil and before we know it we are in over our heads and we have come to a point that we are at the bottom. We have to realize where we are.
The son realized that he didn’t have to eat with and serve the pigs. He knew that he was at the bottom. He knew where he was. How many of us know when we are at the bottom. Often we know it, but we don’t want to admit it. He admitted it.
When we come to the point that God is no longer using us, it is a good indication that we are His lost and found box. Where are we in our relationship with God? If we are not a part of God’s program, then we are in His lost and found box. If we are not feasting on God’s Word, and learning, we are there. If we are not in His will, we are there. If we are coming to church to counter God, then we are there. If we are not allowing God to renew us and shape us according to His plan, then we are there. If we are vessels of dishonor instead of vessels of honor, then we are there. It is time to realize where you are in your relationship with God. Remember that God will not use a dirty dish to serve His meal on. Once you realize where you are then it is time for the second step.