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Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

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Luke 15:11-24
Intro: Amnesia is a strange condition that involves a loss of memory. There are cases on record in which the victim has forgotten his own name and address, the date of his birth, and his family relationships. These facts have been utterly blotted out of his mind. He has a mental block and cannot recall any significant events that occurred before he was afflicted. Even the most important milestones in the individual's life mean nothing to him when he is told about them.
I am afraid that there are many Christians who are in this same shape. They have a form of spiritual amnesia. It seems to me that they have forgotten all that the Lord has done for them. They have forgotten salvation and its blessings. They have forgotten the glory of being in a right relationship with the Father. They have forgotten how wonderful life is at the Father’s house. They have spiritual amnesia and they seem to have no idea how to get back home.
Well, this evening, we are confronted with a text that tells us in no uncertain terms exactly how to get home. In the story of the Prodigal Son, we are presented with the story of a young man, who for all intents and purposes, suffered from spiritual amnesia. We can look at his story and learn from his journey home. Let’s look together at this wonderful story and talk about How To Get Home. As we do, there are three questions that we want to consider this evening. These questions will help us make a safe and successful journey back home.

Question #1

A. v. 12-13a When You Leave The Father’s House Behind – (Ill. The Context, this young man made a very cruel request. In effect, he was wishing the Father dead. His desire was to throw off the authority of his father and live his life as though his father were dead.) For the Christian, the optimum time for coming home is the instant you realize that you have left the Father’s House. As soon as you feel that your love for Him has slipped, as soon as you realize you aren’t as close as you were, as soon as you see the signs of straying, that is the moment to bow in repentance before the Father. Backsliding doesn’t have to go on to its fullest measure. Repentance can head off tragedy!
(Ill. Simon Peter gives us a good example of this principle. When Jesus called Peter to walk on the water to come to Him, Peter began well, but as soon as he removed his eyes from Jesus, he began to sink. At that very moment, he called out to the Lord and said, "Lord, save me." When he called out to Jesus, the Bible reports that Jesus reached out and lifted Peter from the waves that threatened to engulf him. Matt. 14:28-31)
B. v. 13b When You Begin To live Like The World – (Ill. The Context – This young man left the Father’s house and began his downward spiral. The text says that he "wasted" what he had. This word refers to the winnowing of grain. This boy took his fortune, all the things received from his father, and he threw them into the wind of sin and watched as they were all blown away.) Let’s face it, there is a marked difference between the Christian and the world – 2 Cor. 5:17. However, when we see that line beginning to blur, that is an indicator that it is time to come home to the Father. Anytime we start to walk, talk, act, look, think, or anything else like the lost world around us, and we need to wake up and see the danger we are headed into. You cannot be right with God and live like the world! (Ill. Isa. 59:2)
C. v. 14 When You Lose The Father’s Blessings– (Ill. The Context – This boy threw all the blessings of the father away and he was left with nothing.) Ill. This is the state of many believers this evening. When they left the Father’s house, they were full, but now they have seen sin and loose living take the blessings of the Father from them and they are left with absolutely none of those things which they had enjoyed from the Father.)
(Ill. You see, sin will take your peace, your assurance, your joy, your prayer life, your devotional life, your witness and testimony. It will take everything of value and leave you spiritually bankrupt and destitute. When these things begin to be stripped from one’s life, that is a good sign that someone needs to return to the Father’s house!)
D. v. 15-16 When You Are Left With Nothing – (Ill. The Context – This young man found himself flat broke, working as a swine feeder, watching the pigs eat and wanting their food because he had none of his own and no one to care for him.) This is a powerful picture of what sin can and will do in your life. When it comes in, it separates you from those who love you, it sends you away from the Father’s house and it literally strips you of everything and leaves you broken and starving to death. No wonder the Bible says, Pro. 13:15, "Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard."
(You are deceiving yourself if you think you can sin without consequences. If you think that God will just wink and forget it, then you have another thing coming. When sin comes, it brings a companion that the Devil doesn’t advertise. This companion is called Chastisement. Every Christian who leaves the Father’s house and goes off into sin and remains there for any length of time will experience this companion of sin – Rev. 3:19; Heb. 12:5-12)
(God knows exactly what it will take to bring you home and He will not hesitate to do it!)
(Man in Georgia who got mad that the church and refused to go for years. His little 6-year-old son begged him to go to church with the family, but this man refused, often getting verbally abusive with the child. One Sunday morning as this father read his paper on the front porch, his son came and asked his father to go to church. The father responded hatefully with the boy and told him to never ask him that again. The little boy began to play in the yard, tossing a little ball into the air. After a time, he dropped the ball and it rolled across the highway. He ran after it and was hit by a car and thrown into the air. The father witnessed this event and immediately ran to the boy and picked him up. Just before he died, the boy said to his father, "Daddy, will you go to church with me?" This broke the father’s heart and there, holding the broken body of his little boy, he bowed his head and asked forgiveness from God. He came home, but it cost him his son. What will your sin cost you?)

Question #2

A. v. 18a With Resolve – (Ill. The Context – This young man made up his mind that he was going back to the Father. Just as he had left the Father in the beginning, now he leaves everything else behind to go back home.)
(You have to decide for yourself just what being back in the Father’s house and under his blessing means to you. Then, you must be willing to pay whatever price in necessary to make that happen. It takes a resolved heart to get back home! You have got to want God more than you want this world!)
(Ill. If you are out of the Lord’s will today, then allow nothing or no one to hinder your return to the Father. No matter what the cost: A relationship, a job, friends, interests, addictions, etc, they must be given up if you want to come back to the Father. He is worth any price!)
B. v. 18b With Repentance – (Not only did this young man experience a change of circumstances, he also experienced a changed heart. He was willing to confess his sins and place himself under the authority of his father.)
(If you have strayed from the Father’s house, you need to come home, but you will have to do it on His terms! He will receive you, but it will demand that you repent of your sins – 1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." When we become willing to admit our wrongdoing and confess our sins to the Lord, He is more than willing to hear us and forgive us. We can never come home until we first repent of our sins!)

Question #3

A. v. 20-21 We Will Find Love – (This young man found something waiting at home that he had never experienced in the far country. That was the love of the Father!) This love was manifested in several ways:
1. A Waiting and Watching Father – (No doubt, the father had looked for the son to return every day. Christian, God hasn’t stopped looking for you either.)
2. A Father Moved With Compassion – (This father felt the pain of the son. No doubt the son looked terrible. Probably dressed in rags with the filth of the pig pen all over him. But, the father didn’t care. His son was home and that was the main thing!)
3. A Father Who Ran To Meet Him – (It was considered undignified for an older man to run. Yet this father threw these considerations to the wind and ran out to meet this returning son.
(I can assure you, if you will take that first step, then the Heavenly Father will run to meet you and will restore that broken fellowship immediately)

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First Baptist Church of Barberville 137 East Broad St. PO Box 97, Barberville, FL 32112 * 386-749-3928