Updated: Feb 17
Lost and Found: Safe and Sound! The Lost Son!
A Sermon By: Pastor Henry T. Anderson
Windsor Avenue Bible Church, Oceanside, NY
11 And he said, A certain man had two sons:
Continuing in our Series: Lost and Found – Safe and Sound!
Luke Chapter 15
This, one of the most beloved chapters of the word of God, is an account of a single sermon of the Three Parables of Jesus Christ, the whole theme of which was "The Lost." First there was the lost sheep (Luke 15:1-7), then the lost coin (Luke 15:8-10), and finally here the lost son.
Now Remember A Parable is an Earthy Story with a Heavenly Message.
What’s the Earthly Story with The Lost Sheep? A Sheep got lost and the Shepherd went out and found him, he was happy and celebrated with friends and neighbors!
What’s the Heavenly Message? When someone that was lost spiritually, The Lord will search find You and through Repentance finally comes home to the Saving Knowledge of God’s Grace Through His Son The Lord Jesus Christ, they are no longer lost to an eternity in Hell, but have Eternal Life in Heaven!
ANALOGIES IN THE PARABLE OF THE LOST SHEEP:
The man with one hundred sheep = Christ the Good Shepherd.
The sheep which wandered away = A lost person from the faith.
Finding the lost sheep = Jesus saving sinners!
Elevating the lost sheep to his shoulders = Uplifting the fallen!
The rejoicing of the shepherd = Joy in heaven over the saved!
The fact of there having been only a single sheep is not an indication of how few were lost, but of the Lord's concern even for a single lost person. As a matter of fact, the lost sheep stands for countless millions of people.
What’s the Earthly Story of The Lost Coin? A Coin got lost and the Woman Diligently Cleaned and looked for the Coin until she found it, and was happy and celebrated with friends and neighbors!
In fact on the last day of our Vacation Sook 25 cents Story…
What’s the Heavenly Message? Because of Your Diligent work in that when someone that was lost spiritually finally comes home to The Lord Jesus Christ, they are no longer lost to an eternity in Hell, but have Eternal Life in Heaven!
ANALOGIES IN THE PARABLE HERE: TYPES AND PICTURES:
The Woman = A Christian or The Church throughout all the ages
The Lost Coin = The lost coin is very like a sinner, or backslider.
The Lighted Lamp = The Word of God
The Broom = The Church's concern for true virtues and morality
The Diligent Search = A Christian and The Church's urgent activity to save souls.
The Rejoicing = The Joy in Heaven over one who is saved!
One lesson that we must not lose sight of is that the one which was lost represents the outcast, and the despised. It represents those who while not precious in man’s sight, are precious in God’s sight.
We’re to Be The Church,
We’re to Love them,
We’re to Outreach to them!
We’re to Preach The Gospel to them!
30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.
There are three ways to become lost, and all of them are evident in this remarkable sermon by our Lord Jesus. The sheep was lost by wandering away from the flock, the coin was lost through no fault of its own, but through the inability or carelessness of the woman, and The prodigal was lost by Riotous Living and willful disobedience.
Charles Dickens was asked what he thought was the best short story written in the English language, Dickens replied… “The Prodigal Son”.
The Prodigal has three parts:
The Prodigal leaving his Father, The Prodigal returning to his Father,
And the reaction and conversation between The Prodigal's Brother and his Father.
This Parable is a very emotional and heart touching story, I'm not gonna rush the Sermon. There’s 22 Verses here, so I'm gonna spend at least two or three Messages on this, with today's focus on The Prodigal leaving his Father and what he did during that time. Most of us know The Story… Now…
The First Question out of the Gate is: What does "Prodigal" mean?
It's basic meaning is "wasteful"--particularly with regard to money. It comes from Latin roots that mean "forth" (pro-) and "to drive" (agere). It indicates the quality of a person who drives forth his money--who wastes it by spending with reckless wildness. That's what the Prodigal Son does in this story.
That was our Introduction. Let's jump into The Story now...
Let’s Look at Verses 11 & 12
11 And he said, A certain man had two sons:
12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.
The younger son came to his father with the request that he might have his share of what he would in the future inherit. In a case where there were two sons this would normally be one third of the whole (the elder brother who would take over responsibility for dependents would receive a double portion or two thirds).
Think about that.
He's asking his father to give him 1/3rd of everything that he owns right now, before his father is dead.
How many fathers would receive that suggestion well today?
How many would comply with it if one of their children asked it?
Not many! I would... If My Son asked Me for his inheritance now, I'd be like, OK, there's 66 dollars for your older Brother and here's 33 Bucks for You!
And surprisingly, Verse 12 The Father says Yes. “…And he divided unto them his living.”
13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.
This request by the younger son is a declaration of independence from his father. This is where ALL sin starts.
He didn't take his inheritance and invest it in the family business or buy a house or start his own business, he gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country. He moved out of his father’s country...
This Jewish young man relocated to a pagan country. It was a complete rebellion against what his father believed in. He no longer had to submit to his fathers authority, he no longer had to receive his fathers permission, he no longer had to abide by his fathers curfew.
He was now his own man, but was he really? If he really was his own man, he would have just left, and not asked for any money and just leave.
The fact that he asked for money was evidence that he could not make it on his own but he was determined to start his own life independent of the father…
The father here is gonna illustrate God’s love. His love allowed rebellion and in some sense respected human will. The father knew that the son made a foolish and greedy request, yet allowed him to go his course nonetheless.
This is the result of The Free Will of Man that God allows…
Church this is the story of every Prodigal who is separated from God. We wanna control our own lives independent of God’s authority. And God will allow it. Just a few thoughts here on Verse 13:
1. The Far Country was not measured by distance.
Anywhere, Anyplace a man is away from God is a far Country...
Whenever you are not in fellowship with God your life is a far country.
When You Please Yourself instead of Pleasing God, your life is a far Country.
He wanted to get out of God's country so that he could live in sin and found his sinful lifestyle by what he took from his father.
You know why he might have left his family’s house and went to a Far Country? Probably so no one would recognize him... so he could really enjoy his new “freedom”.
The Far Country was not measured by physical distance, it was measured by a heart distance.
Jeremiah 17:9 says
9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
When You hear someone say: “Oh… I’m just gonna follow my heart and see where it takes me”…
You ought to throw ‘em in a closet and lock the door for a month!
Don’t use Your Heart, Use The Holy Spirit of God inside of You for direction and Guidance!
There’s only one place You can Trust Your Heart, it’s when You Give to and Trust God!
5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Jesus said in Matthew 6:21
21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Continuing Verse 13: “...the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.”
The Prodigal’s Treasure had his Heart set on Riotous Living…
2. In the Far Country the pleasures of Sin are real.
“... and there wasted his substance with riotous living.” …
Riotous Living means: characterized by wild and uncontrolled behavior. Unrestrained behavior, Wasteful, Reckless...
When Me and My Son drove from across The Country from CA to FL, we stayed one night in New Orleans and we went to The French Quarter for Dinner. I watch those Travel Shows on where to eat. We went to Felix's and we had A Dozen Oysters on The Half Shell and I had Shrimp and Grits. After Dinner, we walked around and all I saw was Riotous Living, The Bars, The Drunkenness, The Naked Ladies Place, The Naked Guys Place, The Debauchery. We took a few pictures and ten minutes later My Son said to Me, Dad let's get out of here!
You know what's Coming up in New Orleans in a few weeks?
Mardi Gras. Do You what Mardi Gras is? It’s a Religious Celebration?
No….. It's a Celebration of Riotous Living!
Mardi Gras takes place on the day before Ash Wednesday—the beginning of the Christian observance of Lent, which last about six weeks until just before Easter.
Mardi Gras in French means “Fat Tuesday”, because You better eat, drink and Party Up, because after that Your supposed to, You Know observer Lent for 40 Days and give up on the Riotous Living. I see My friends on Facebook, I'm gonna give up Potato Chips for 40 Days, You know for The Lord, and meanwhile they didn't give up on Booze and Partying...
The next day in New Orleans, I went to Church and as a Visitor people come over and talked with Me. An older lady, who introduced herself to Me, and I say I'm New York and she says: “You gotta come to New Orleans and Celebrate Mardi Gras!” And I replied, I don't think Christians should Celebrate Madri Gras...
I watch TV, You know what they do on Mardi Gras?
Public Drinking everywhere... And You know how the Women are wearing those Necklaces made of Beads, how they got those Necklaces? They got those Necklaces by showing the Men their... Let use the right word here... The Women show their Breasts and the Men throw the Necklaces at the Women.
I know The Bible can be a little Sexist at times, but we got a lot of Prodigal Sons out their and we got a lot of Prodigal Daughters out there as well!
It's gotten so bad that The City of New Orleans now has a Event 10 Days before Madri Gras, Called: Family Gras Weekend, minus the Booze, Nakedness and Partying.
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
Our problem is not that we don’t have light, but that we love the darkness.
Sin Loves Darkness... Darkness is a Type or a Picture of Sin!
How many people have ever been to a Bar? Don’t raise your hands…It’s a Dark Place, People love to Drink Booze at night. You ever go to a Bar at 2 o’clock in the afternoon and all the lights are out… Why is that?
Humans love sin and Humans love darkness
All the prostitution and sex-oriented businesses, such as sex shops, strip clubs, adult theaters are found where? In the Red-light district at night. The term originates from the red lights that were used as signs of brothels that are open at night.
How many people been to a Rock n Roll Concert? What do they do when they introduce The Band? They turn out the lights, it’s a Dark Place, and everybody lights up their Dubbies…
How many people been to a Disco or Dance Club? Dark Place, Why? Who wants to see you Dance when the lights are on, hehehe
And it no coincidence that 2/3 of all rapes and sexual assaults on Women happen at night…
They even got a song for that crowd:
Oh, I love the night life 📷
I got to boogie on the disco 'round, oh yeah
Gotta love the night life, No, No, No you gotta love God’s Light Amen!
You gotta Love God, you gotta Love The Holy Ghost, you gotta Love His Book, you gotta Love His Salvation, you gotta Love His Grace!!
The fact is THE PLEASURES OF SIN ARE REAL
Vegas stole its motto.... “What happens in the far country, stays in the far country”
Being lost can be fun! The pleasures of sin are real
The far country can be enjoyable BUT ONLY FOR A LITTLE WHILE!!!
A third thing we see that:
3. There's Deception and Poverty in a Far Country. Verse 14:
14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.
The son was completely to blame for the wasteful, foolish living and spending. He was not to blame for the mighty famine, but was afflicted by it nevertheless.
And what happens when You got a lot of Money? “... he had spent all...”
And as the old saying goes: A Fool and his money is soon parted...
The Bible says in:
20 There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up.
The Prodigal Son when he received his inheritance, probably didn't have a Plan and Improper Planning Leads to Poverty.
“And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want”.
Easy come, easy go. And then reality. No More Money and No More Food…
Now we have a famine. And a want...
What do You think The Prodigal Son was wanting? He was wanting something to eat, he was wanting a place to sleep with a roof over his head!
4. It is Costly to be in a Far Country!
And when a mighty famine hits, only those with money might be able to get some food and buy some shelter and the Prodigal Son had no money.
It's costly to be in a far Country, so far it cost The Prodigal Son:
1. Cost him fellowship with his Father.
2. It Cost him his freedom -- ironic, that's why he left to find freedom. And ended up a slave.
3. It Cost him everything = his inheritance – The Prodigal Son spent it all.
The Prodigal Son had a Cotton Candy existence. Have you ever eaten cotton candy? I have, When You put Cotton Candy in my mouth it melts and disappears. It looks real pretty, it promised a great taste, but it didn't really deliver. The Far Country is a land of deception and costly.
5. When You're in a Far Country, remember, they do things differently than Your Country.
15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
Driven by hunger and need, The Prodigal Son accepted work that was unacceptable and offensive to any righteous Jew: Working on a Pig Farm, because pigs/swine were unclean under the Old Testament Law.
7 And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you.
A Jewish Son, God's Chosen People in a pig pen! What a disastrous development that was!
16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.
First he’s working on a Pig Farm and now he’s eating Pig food…
And here you have the full results of Sin...
James 1:14-16 says:
14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.
The Prodigal Son was tempted by money, he lusted after riotous living and was living in sin. The Prodigal Son was dying Spiritually, he was close to death, ohhhhhhhh but look at:
17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
And when he came to himself...
Having been brought to such a low state, he recalled how his righteous father treated even his hired servants better: "How many of my father's hired servants have bread enough and to spare, but I perish here with hunger!" (v. 17).
And when he came to himself...
He thus plans to return to his father and say three things:
(a) "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before thee" (v. 18),
(b) "And am no more worthy to be called thy son" (v. 19),
(c) "make me as one of thy hired servants" (v. 19).
Even being treated as one of his father's hired servants would be better than the treatment he is receiving in the Pig Pen Far Country.
And that’s where we’re gonna close today! Evelyn Piano Invitation…
Lost and Found-Save and Sound?
Stay tuned folks for Next Week when we look at Part 2: The Prodigal returning to his Father
What do the actions of the Prodigal Son teach us so far?
They teaches us the depths to which our own misuse of freedom will bring us.
There’s Lesson’s on Financial Responsibility…
If we are bent on leaving God, things will go badly for us. We will be humiliated in the uncaring world.
The farther we get from the Father's loving care, the worse off we will be, and our best course is to return to God and his forgiveness.
We can be a genuine son of the Father--who is spiritually "alive"--and be "lost" through sin. We can turn our backs on our heavenly Father and leave him of our own free will. Mortal sin is a real possibility.
How Can We Avoid Ending Up Like A Prodigal Son or Prodigal Daughter?
What must I do to be Saved, Borned again the Bible way, pleasing God?
Well, I’m glad you asked!
The Bible says there is only one way to Heaven, John 14:6
Jesus said: "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me."
My Friends, Good works cannot save you, Ephesians 2:8-9
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."
Trust Jesus Christ today! Here's what you must do:
Admit you are a sinner. Romans 3:23
1."For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"
2. You must be willing to turn from sin (repent).
Jesus said in Luke 13:5: "I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."
3. Believe and Confess that Jesus Christ died for you, was buried, and rose from the dead.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
Romans 10:9 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."
4. Through prayer, invite Jesus into your life to become your personal Saviour.
Romans 10:13 says: "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
Here’s a Good Prayer to Pray:
What to pray: Dear God, I am a sinner and need forgiveness. I believe that Jesus Christ shed His precious blood and died for my sin. I am willing to turn from sin. I now invite Christ to come into my heart and life as my personal Saviour.
The Bible says in John 1:12:
"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:"
You’ve just become Borned-Again!
2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
And when you become Borned-Again, you have Eternal Life in God’s Eternal Kingdom!
If you accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, please let me or someone in Church now about it. We want to help You!
Preached on Sunday, February 09, 2020