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The Prodigal Who Came Home Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
September 4, 2020 1:00 am

The Prodigal Who Came Home Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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September 4, 2020 1:00 am

Many parents have heavy hearts, knowing that a son or daughter is far away from them, and from God. A famous Bible story gives hope to all parents of prodigal children. In this message we find encouragement and strength.

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Your parents as part knowing that her son or daughter is far away from them and from God, a famous Bible reading gives hope to all parents prodigal children less time we heard the sad account of Absalom today story happier ending from the Moody Church in Chicago.

This is going to win with Dr. Sir clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line will be teaching about the prodigal who came home and I hope this message will many parents. I believe that this message will give hope to many parents and little also give insight into prodigal children and it will be an encouragement you know it is one of the most famous stories that Jesus told about filled with many lessons for us were living at a time of crisis at time of panic.

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It can be yours. COBIT 19 the economy and our future. Meanwhile, I want us to open our Bibles and to listen to this familiar story with some brand-new lessons about product holes in the prodigal who came home. There are actually two kinds of product holes. There are those who do not come home and then there are those who this is just a two-part series and in the first message I spoke about Absalom who was a prodigal who did not come home. He died in his rebellion, but today were going to talk about the prodigal who actually came home.

This series of messages series of only two messages grew out of the fact that we been praying for prodigal's in our prayer meeting over the period of the last weeks I've interviewed perhaps said 20 or 30 pops parents of product holes and we got the names of their prodigal's and I'm always interested in the context in which the children rebelled and left home and left God and so we have these names on lists and we are fasting and praying to see God bring product holes back home by one of the things we learned about prodigal son you know that word means wasteful. The person who turns his back on God. What we learned is this that there are really two kinds of prodigal's in this sense as to why they leave home, there are those who leave home because of their home life. I was amazed, though I should not of been that as I interviewed the parents. I discovered that there was divorce. Sometimes there was abuse. Sometimes there was the abuse of alcohol and so forth and so the child decides to leave home and he hates his mother and his father and he says I also hate your God, and he leaves it all behind amazed at the number of prodigal's who are angry, prodigal's angry with their parents with their circumstances and with God. But then there prodigal's to come from fine homes where there was no abuse were there was nothing but love and caring and good teaching and good churches and they became prodigal's anyway because there was something within them that said that what we need to do is to find our own way and they look at the world and they say to themselves.

We have been shipped and what we want to do is to make sure that we go and we get it all.

The lure of the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. That's the way it was in the story of the prodigal son, which is found in the 15th chapter of Luke's gospel.

Luke chapter 15. He was from a fine home with a wonderful father but it was the lure of the far country. If you had your Bible. The 15th chapter of the Gospel of Luke and Jesus, who was a master storyteller tells this very familiar story which I'm sure you've heard many messages on verse 11 that there was a man who had two sons, the younger of them said to his father. Father give me the share of my property that's coming to me and he divided his property between them. Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living and when he had spent everything a severe famine arose in that country and he began to be in need.

So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country will send them into the fields to feed eggs and he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate and no one gave day what a rebellious, thankless son. This was first of all, he should wait until his father dies before he receives his inheritance but he comes to his dad and said I can't even wait until you die.

Give me my inheritance now that little word. Give me isn't it in verse 12, I mean that is the kind of entitlement.

Give me what's coming to me. I have it coming to me. I deserve this.

So the father according to the laws of the Old Testament gave him a one third in the elder brother would receive two thirds wordless. The father watches him go down the road because the father knows what the far country is like the father understands that the far country makes promises. It cannot keep the father knows that in the far country.

All of the wells are dry, but interestingly he doesn't try to talk the son out of it because there comes a time in the life of the child where he has to make his own decisions, and so heartbroken and grieved because the sun is turning his back on the father. The father watches the kid leave let's look at the text and find out all of the steps that this boy took in the wrong direction. First of all, he goes away as far as possible and says he went to a distant country. I want to go where nobody knows me where I don't have any relatives and friends, and an elder brother looking over my shoulder and telling me you should be doing this. I want to go to New York I want to go to Chicago I want to go to Los Angeles as far away as I can from home so I can do my thing and nobody knows me so he chooses the distant country. Also notice in the text it says he misuses the blessings of the father. He spends his property, his wealth that his father gave him on that riotous reckless living now just imagine that. Imagine the extent of the man's sin this young boy. I mean his father's money is to be used for things that would honor the father and he takes the very blessing that the father gave him and he sins against his dad by doing the kinds of things that would hurt and grieved his father evolve in their heavenly God gives us blessings he gives us healthy gives us strength. He gives us money and we say to ourselves. It is mine. I'm going to do my own thing and we use God's blessings and God's gifts to sin against him and to do what hurts him. Notice also. He despised his religion. Certainly in the basis of the Old Testament in Jewish times pigs were unclean animals. Not just physically unclean and pigs are physically unclean, but there also ceremonially unclean is not supposed to get near them, but he doesn't care about what his religion teaches because for him. Now it's a matter of survival. He's hungry and there he is in the pigsty willing to eat the pods that they were given to him that I was brought up on a farm and I'm kinda glad I left the farm behind personally and we had pigs and I remember we had a pail that we used to call the slop pail. I don't know if we use that word nowadays, but now that it's out of my mouth. You know what I mean.

The slop pail. All of the things from the table that wouldn't be eaten was put into the slop pail and then the slop pail given to the pigs and their there.

This young man is there and that the Bible says something very interesting. The key to the turn of his life is in verse 17, but he came to himself. Oh, what a wonderful phrase underline it in your mind and in the word of God. He came to himself kinds of reasons why he could've stayed in the far country.

He could've said like someone articles I'm going to die in the far country, and I'm not coming back home.

I don't care if I die out here. I don't care if I start I don't care if I get disease from these pigs. I'm staying here we could've had a hard and rebellious heart and he could have justified it in his own mind he could of said first of all, I can't stand the shame of going back to my father if I go back to my father I go empty-handed.

He will know that I squandered everything that he gave me. He knew what the far country is like. And now I have nothing to present to him and it's embarrassing to go back home and to say father I bring nothing in my hand and I cleave to your grace and mercy that takes a lot of humility and so you got is that I'm not gonna do that. He could've also said to himself. There's no use me going back because I can't. I can't keep up the rules of the farm. My dad has certain standards and if I go back there.

I am sure that I just can't measure up to what he wants so I'm gonna stay in the far country is another reason that he could've stayed in the far country, and I'm convinced it's a reason why many product holes stay in the far country. He could've said to himself. I'm not going back to that goody two shoes, brother of mine, you know, the brother who's never done anything wrong, who's worked hard on the firemen the people in town say here's a man who had two sons and one of them is this rebellious kid who should be whipped and the other guy will we wish we had a son like him works from sunup to sundown very very reputable.

The worst thing he's ever done like one man told me I'd never send the worst thing I've ever done is to take a pair of golf clubs and wrap them around the tree all are you impressing me with your sinlessness self righteous lately God can use you. Somebody might say some self-righteous person you know you been divorced you been in the far country, and I know the people who are nitpicking and you and you know when you go back to the father. You have to put up with his other kids. That's why many kids stay in the far country. I think to themselves, I'm not going back to the people of that church, because if I come back to God than back to mom and dad I have to go back to God's people, and I don't like them. This boy could've said that.

But thank God he didn't. He came to his senses. Now you have to catch the picture in permitting here I am. I'm interviewing pops parents of product holes and were learning about the product holes and were putting them on nameless to leave and receive calls from outside the church of people who couldn't be here is said please put my son and daughter on your list and by the way, we have a list of maybe 30 and were praying and fasting and seeking God until the particles come home were taken this seriously because these particles need to come home but one of the things that we learned also was I interviewed people who had been product holes in permitting and said now they were at that inward particles at permitting you understand they attended prayer meeting, though at one time they were product holes. Although prayer meeting is open to products hundreds of you should come to permitting it's open to prodigal's I wish you'd come to permitting. So I interviewed people because I want to know what is that this business of coming to your senses.

What does it take for a product told to finally say okay I give up.

I surrender the weapons of a rebel. No matter what it is I'm submitting to God, and I'm coming back to God what is it that God has to put people through. Let me give you one testimony of a man whose name is Bob if he were here I'd interview him.

Unfortunately couldn't be here today. So he sent me his testimony, which I've summarized.

He said okay he's brought up in a Christian home. That's the background I threw myself into a life of sin. I soon embarked on an adulterous relationship with a woman I met at work and several months later I moved to California, hoping to put my past behind me once for all. He goes to the far country in California is the far country, is it not all right, although I never felt prey to the conventional addiction such as alcohol and drugs. For me, the ultimate action was independence. I reveled in having absolute control over my life with no one to answer for the choices I made master of my fate captain of my soul for the next 22 years.

That was the pattern of my life during my years apart from God.

He brought health crises to wake me up but it didn't work. I refused to surrender my life of sin was becoming less and less of building every day. I can recall numerous times when I literally sobbed at how empty my life and become although I was never tempted to commit suicide for the first time I could understand how someone could hurt enough to take that way there's some people who say rather than come to God. I'd rather kill myself. I knew that the choices I had made were responsible for the situation I was in, but I saw no solution. I felt totally bound by my sin. I had lunch with someone this past week who said regarding his boss. He has no ideas. The chains of sin that bind him while and then he says he talked to a missionary in this awaken within him a desire to live differently. And then he says things were like this until October 19 last year, and the man is in his 60s, and whenever I interview them. Those of you were in permitting you will remember he wept. He could hardly talk about the grace of God in his life. He had an allergy attack. He called for assistance he passed out.

He thought that this was the end he was absolutely certain he was dying, and even though he lived. He said later to himself. I just dodged another bullet I can continue to ignore God. Don't you marvel, the stubbornness of the human heart. I mean I read this and I say wow. All right, they discharged him and he began to realize that he was gambling with his soul and now he was scared and still the bonds of sin were so strong that I was not willing to relent. You know, particularly those of you who are living in immorality. You know you're sleeping with your girlfriend because after all, you know you're gonna get married anyway and those of you who are in those kinds of sinful relationships. It is tough for you to come to the father because you know right well that when you come to God. God is going on not only forgive you but he's going to try to clean you up. Yes my friend and God will clean you up. That's the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I believe so deeply that these messages are very important important for parents important also for the particles to understand the end results of disobedience. If you've been blessed and helped. Or perhaps you know someone who needs to listen to these messages they can be yours for a gift of any amount I want to thank you in advance for standing with us here at running to win as we preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and more than 20 countries. Here's what you can do. Go to RTW that's RTW or you can call us at 1-888-218-9337 ask for this series of messages titled product holes. That's RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 parents. It is very important that we understand that our children have tremendous potential for good and tremendous potential for evil, and in this series of messages I deal with both. Can I give you that information again and thanks in advance for standing with us with your gifts go to RTW RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 ask for the sermon series. The product holes it's time now for another chance for you to ask Pastor lutes or a question about the Bible or the Christian life serving the Lord. After a time of living in sin. What options does a believer have Jesse has written with this story.

I have a heavy burden to preach the gospel but in my past I committed adultery.

This happened two years ago and I was a Christian at the time. I've since repented and want to tell others what the Lord is done in my life and how his Word has the power to change us. My question is this, can or will God use a man who has sinned so greatly to proclaim his word to others. Jesse thanks so much for writing and of course, in answer to your question, if I might begin at the end of your questions. The answer is yes, of course, God uses people who have fallen into the sin of adultery.

Possibly the best illustration is David in the Old Testament, you know, we read the Psalms and we are blessed we read the things that David did and the encouragement that he gives to all of us and yet we also know that at one time he committed adultery, and he prayed that his joy might be restored and he also said that he might be able to tell others of God's grace and power. It's there in Psalm 51. He said it in different words but he said that he might be able to proclaim to others and that they might hear the word through him.

So in answer to your question yes I want to encourage you, but at the same time. What we have to do is to unpack your question and to look at it from another point of view you say you have a burden to preach the gospel. Not sure what that means if you say I want to share the gospel with others. Obviously, you are free to do so.

Not only that, but telling them about your story and your failure might actually be a way to show people.

God's grace and God's mercy and your testimony.

I'm sure can have an impact in the lives of others. But if we look at your question a little differently when you say that you have a burden to preach the gospel. Does this mean that you want to be an officially recognized ordained minister. That's a separate question denominations today take different points of view regarding whether or not they are willing to put their hands on and anoint if I can use that terminology. Someone who has committed adultery. The problem with that establishing a person like that in a position of recognition, leadership and official sanction. The problem is that it often times what shall we say makes people think that sin might not be too serious. You can imagine someone sitting in the congregation and saying what yes I committed adultery but so did my pastor and because of that the Bible has a very high standard is a high standard for those who would be involved in official church ministry, representing the church so you and your wife and your denomination are going to have to think through all those implications before you quote officially preach the gospel but in terms of individual witnessing. I encourage you to do that to let people know that Jesus redeems sinners and you're a good example of that redemption. Absolutely God is able to use you the question that needs to be determined is in what role and how will that being used look like. May God give you wisdom in all of these decisions and carry on for his glory. Thank you Jesse and thank you Dr. lutes or if you'd like to hear your question answered. Go to our and click on ask Pastor lutes or or call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us at running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 doing you long for your child to turn around. The Bible's famous prodigal son demanded his inheritance and spend it all in a big hurry reduced to eating with pigs. The new needed to come home and face the dead who'd begged him to not believe next time I'm running to win what it takes to get a prodigal to reverse direction. Thanks for listening for Dr. Erwin lutes or this is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the Moody Church

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