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September 7, 2020 1:00 am
The Bible’s famous prodigal son demanded his inheritance and spent it all in a big hurry. Reduced to eating with pigs, he knew he needed to come home and face the father he had spurned. In this message we learn what it takes to get a prodigal to reverse direction.Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)
The Bible's prodigal son demanded his inheritance and spend it all in a big hurry reduced to engaging with pigs. He knew he needed to come home and face the dad begged him not to leave today what it takes to get prodigal reverse direction from the Moody Church in Chicago this is running to with Dr. Irwin sir loose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Master loser take a second to the book of Luke and give us a heads up on the marvelous conclusion that this story will Dave let me say flat out thanked God for the pigsty.
I know many stories of young people who change direction when they were finally in trouble.
Perhaps they were even thrown into jail and it dawned on them.
I'm going the wrong way and better return to God and to home and encouraging story for sure. You know I've given a lecture entitled covert, 19 the economy and our future will tell you why. I've done this in order that we as Christians might know how to respond and how to act differently in light of this crisis. If you're interested in receiving this either as a DVD or a CD.
Here's what you do go to RTW offer.com that's RTW offer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Now let's go to the pulpit of Moody church where we are encouraged by a familiar story, but very important lessons. Here I am.
I'm interviewing Pop's parents some product goals and were learning about the prodigal's and were putting them on nameless and we been received calls from outside the church of people who couldn't be here and 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 prodigal's come home were taken this seriously, but one of the things that we learned also was I interviewed people who had been prodigal's and permitting and said now they were at Edward prodigal's at permitting you understand they attended prayer meeting, though at one time they were prodigal's, 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 prodigal 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 addiction 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 fulfilling 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 today. Excuse me 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 and quite frankly the bonds of sinners. Such listen to what he says I was not willing to relent for three days.
I wrestled with many questions. How could I give up the sin that provided the only enjoyment and fulfillment in my life do I do that how could I expect God to forgive me and have me back. My only motivation at that point was to avoid hell. How can I hope to live a successful life.
When all of my previous attempts were failure during that long weekend here it is now finally gets good here during that long weekend. God opened my eyes to the reality of my life. I saw clearly that my best efforts to achieve happiness on my own terms were dismal failure. I can only look forward to emptiness death and eternal separation from God, and I realized catch this.
I realize the tremendous sacrifices I made for the illusion of independence and control the illusion of independence like that kid I told you about over the water tower that I saw in this little is maybe two years old. He was in one of these little pushcarts and that had a little steering wheel. He steering this thing to the right and crying. He wants to go to the right, but his mother is just leading him gently to the left and his steering wheel is not tied to anything that has significance in automating listen if you're living for sin. You're not in control. Jesus said that you are the servant of sin.
Sin tells you do this and you do it the illusion of control. Well, four days later, October 23, clinging to God's promise and forgiveness and belief in Jesus. I cried up to God and he answered me with an overpowering sense of his presence and love. I now understood how he had refused to give up on me how he had pursued me through many years.
Despite my repeated rejection of his love and grace, I surrender the control of my life to him and now he says my spiritual growth is stuck on fast forward any thanks Moody church and others who have helped him in the transformation of his life.
I just need to pause here today y'all doing out there detracted with me. What will it take for some of you stubborn people to give yourself to God what will it take how many sermons are you going to have to listen to how many songs are you going to have to sing before you say you know what, this is the illusion of my own control I give myself to God what is it going to take.
I'm only asking you the question you Chronicles hurry to the father what you know the rest of the story.
This kid says to himself, I'm going back to my father because you know even his servants are better off than I wish he had better motivation. I wish she'd say you know I'm going to my father because I broke his heart and all the kid goes because he's hungry. The father so graciously received them anyway and so he gives his speech and says you know, I've sinned against heaven and against the and am no more worthy to be called by stunt. He can't get out. The last words make me as a hired servant because his father is smothering him because the fathers waiting you see the father lost all interest in the farm is constantly looking down the road. That's why the Bible says when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him and ran to him and kissed the kid is saying. I'm just a servant. Now the father says bring hither the best robe and put it on him and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet servants didn't wear shoes and bring hither the fatted calf and kill it for this my son was dead and is alive and is lost on this file. Let's have a party. Oh sure, there are some things were going to have to talk about tomorrow, but for tonight. Let's party and you find that the elder brother of course was not amused and the elder brothers. Actually the heart of the story. Jesus was saying to you Pharisees your criticizing me for welcoming sinners and eating with the drunkards and the prostitutes and that and that connecting with those kinds of people and and look at that and and you're not rejoicing about the fact that these people are coming to the father and all that you can think of is why do they deserve such love and grace. Look at us.
We been in this church for 30 years. Look at what we've done and when we don't even have those kinds of blessings and and you know what happened with the older brother is even though he was a son he lived like a slave. Father Sisk, don't you understand everything that I have is yours. Enjoy your own party. Legalists never do that today. The bottom line my friends today is simply this, that 10, the fathers waiting the father whose God and God says I have made provision for you to come back home. I sent my son, the Lord Jesus Christ to die on the cross for sinners, so that if you receive me and if you seek my forgiveness and my transformation.
I will accept you all. The reluctance is on your part. How much does God love us well. Jesus stretched out his hands like said so much.
That's how great the love of God is the reluctance the stubbornness is on your part. It's not on God's part because he's gracious and merciful, and he's waiting for sinners just like you to come home and he saying how long are you going to hold out from my blessings. Don't you know that sin is an illusion. Don't you know that in boomerangs, and the consequences come in. So hurry hurry to the father. One more letter from a Chronicle. Now the thing about this product will is a girl brought up in a fine Christian home where there is love and acceptance, RA. Let me read her story. She says when I was a teenager I made a very grave mistake. I ran away from home.
Not like most rebellious kids run away from home with a night at a friends house, but with a bag of clothes set on the porch. I really ran away. She said I have to tell you in parentheses. She had a number of children from various men along the way, the far country is a terrible place. It's a terrible place for nearly 3 months. No one knew where I was. I did not run away because I was treated badly. In fact, I was spoiled. I was not abused I was not neglected in any way. I was constantly nurtured and encouraged in all areas of my life but I guess in my radical teenage mind. Listen teenagers in my radical teenage mind. I felt that the few simple rules. I had been given were barring my freedom and keeping me from really seeing the world.
The illusion of independence well when things were no longer fun and I were talking over a period of years.
I called home nearly 30 years later, she says. I remember my father's loving response. I called them collect from a thousand miles away sobbing on the other end of the line. He did not ask me to tell them the bad things I had done. He did not even ask me where I was at, or even if I was ready to come home. The first thing he said was what can I do to help you. Now here's a parenthesis you parents of Chronicles you have to prepare your own heart for your prodigal to come home you may be standing in the way of your prodigal coming back home.
You know that permitting one woman said this I mean where could you find such beautiful insight. She stood up and she said you know here's my son over here here's Jesus over here but he can't see Jesus because I am in the way with my critical spirit is not powerful. So why would the sun want to come home with a critical, judgmental mother. She has to repent of her own sin and welcome her product back will anyway.
She says that many of us would not have received such a merciful response from our earthly parents the particles father loaded them with blessings and yet he ran away. She's referring to that and then she came back she came back to her parents and she came back. Now she was married for part of the time, and so forth. Very you know in a life is a mess when you get into the far country, and I'll simply end by saying she says even if you wasted all he's given you.
He wants to bless you again. The father said to the prodigal that he would have the best robe and put a ring on his hand and she ends by saying it's not too late.
And even if you're far away as soon as you make up your mind to come home. He will meet you Angel. Celebrate your return. Which is true. Jesus said that even the Angels celebrate when one soul repents that I need to tell you the rest of the story. This woman came to Moody church here with her father several months ago she came because she had terminal cancer. I was actually asked if I could do her funeral and would have been very glad to accept that I was out of town when she died.
So she is now in heaven, but at least the last years of her life were spent in fellowship with the father and what happens is, God begins to take the messes the messes and begins to send some snowfall to cover the ugly ruts and to begin to put your life together.
The bottom line is this godsend to Jesus, so that the vilest of sinners who truly believes that moment from the part your bonds of sin are strong.
Yes, but you know Jesus is there to forgive and to help and to restore you so prodigal's whether your saved or unsafe those of your saved your backslidden those of you who never have trusted Christ the Savior. Your prodigal to come to the father through Jesus Christ. Let's pray now father. What more can we say only you can overcome the blindness and the deceptions of our hearts.
All the lies we tell ourselves that we so willingly believe who is their father who was able to reach into the heart and deal with the anger that keeps a product will away from God who is there, except you. Now I want you to pray matter where you are listening to this message. Whether on the radio and the church over the Internet you talk to God right now. Father, we throw ourselves hopelessly in your presence and simply say you do the work that we can't. We've done what we could do. We've rolled the stone away but you need to say Lazarus come forth.
Would you do that, we pray in Jesus blessed name statement, this is Pastor Luther and you know my friend. I believe very deeply that this series of messages can be a blessing.
It can give us hope. But it is also filled with warning. You might want to have these messages or you know someone who really needs to listen to them. They can be yours so that you can listen to them again and again. Here's what you do you go to RTW offer.com that's RTW offer.com or you can call us at 1-888-218-9337 for a gift of any amount. This series of messages can be yours. Ask for the series. The product holes will be blessed, encouraged and warned RTW offer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337 and I want to say from my heart.
Thank you for all those who support this ministry. It's because other people give that you are able to listen and together we are making a difference. As always we emphasize the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are driven by him whom we love and whom we serve. It's time now for another chance for you to ask Pastor Luther a question about the Bible or the Christian life.
Some questions are simple, but today's question may take some time to sort out follow closely to Kara's series of questions. If a man and woman are married and one is a believer and the other isn't in the rapture occurs in the believing spouse is taken to heaven and the other spouse becomes a believer during the tribulation. Can that person remarry during the tribulation. Tara, I do need to say that if a prize were offered for the most creative question I think you'd be number one of all the questions I've ever been asked this one here I think is the most creative most surprising, and it's a very good question, but I'm sure that no one else on this planet has probably thought about it but you have so I want to commend you in answer to the question when the rapture occurs. The Bible teaches that the dead in Christ will rise and then those who are alive will be snatched up, and they also will be transformed and have heavenly bodies. So I take that to be the equivalent of death.
Yes, it's true that those were snatched up when Jesus Christ returns to earth. They will not technically have died but actually they will have already been transformed in such a way that they are able to be with the Lord. They will have their heavenly bodies, so the person who is left on earth would be able to remarry now, having said that, I doubt whether there is going to be a lot of interest in remarrying during the tribulation. At least during the last half of the tribulation.
Things on earth are going to be very very bad. You don't care.
This reminds me of the fact that there are some people who think to themselves, oh, even if I'm not saved today if the rapture happens all get saved after the rapture, that is really a false thinking because the Bible says that after the rapture of the church, God shall give them strong delusions that they should believe a lie. That means that many people are going to continue to be deceived after the rapture occurs, don't count on quote receiving Christ and I'm not saying that you are, but there are those out there who sometimes speak this way. Don't count on receiving Christ as Savior.
After the rapture occurs. We have no guarantee that that will even be a possibility, especially because the human heart might be turned against God. At that time in a way that is even worse than it is now. Now, of course, during the tribulation.
Evidently there will be those who will be saved, whom God has chosen to save but we should never gamble on our conversion, which leads me to conclude this way. If you or anyone else who is listening have never trusted Jesus Christ as Savior rather than being concerned about being able to trust him.
After the rapture, or marrying after the rapture.
What you must do is to receive him right now. If the Holy Spirit of God is at work in your heart, do not stifle the only voice that can save you now is the accepted time now.
Today is the day of salvation. Some wise counsel from Dr. Erwin looks her thank you Dr. lutes are if you'd like to hear your question answered. You can just go to our firstname.lastname@example.org and click on ask Pastor Luther or call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us at the running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 running to win is all about helping you understand God's roadmap for your race of life we face temptations every day. They draw us away from God and toward destructive choices that can ruin our lives, families, and futures. We must realize we're in a state of battle with our mortal enemy the devil next time we begin a series on seven snares of the enemy. The very real battle.
We're all in. Like it or not. Join us for part one. Welcome to the war. Thanks for listening for Dr. Erwin lutes are this is Dave McAllister going to win is sponsored by the Moody Church