Sunday, September 24, 2017

Walking Away From God

Temple Baptist Church - 9-24-2017
Luke 15:11-16


A.  We just ended the series on “Walking With God” and now I want to take a look at “Walking Away From God.”  It stands to reason that, if we are not walking with God, then we are walking away from God. 

B.  These verses that we just read are normally preached to young people or children but there is a great application to be made to God’s children.

C.  I fear that too many of God’s children have no desire to be used of God and “walk at a guilty distance” from Him.  A lackadaisical life for Christ is not a benign form of neutrality!  If we are not with God, we are against God!  If we are not gathering for God, we are scattering!

Matthew 12:30  He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.

D.  Walking away from God or backsliding is normally a gradual thing and can go unnoticed for a while, even to the backslider, because it begins with an inward cooling off while still going through the motions.  Eventually, the drifting from God becomes apparent but harder to control.  The best remedy for backsliding is to “cut it off at the pass!’  “Nip it in the bud!”

E.  Luke, chapter 15, is noted for three things:  a lost sheep, a lost coin, and a wayward son.  The sheep is a sheep, the coin is a coin, and the son is a son.  Therefore, I believe all three are types of God’s children.

F.  I will be looking at the story of the Prodigal Son over the next few weeks as there is so much spiritual truth found there.  When I think of this story, I think of three people—none of them named.  This is not a parable but a true story.  A certain man with two sons.

G.  We read the first six verses only because I want to look at the first son whom we call the Prodigal Son.  What brought this young man down?  It was not his upbringing as nothing bad is said about the home in which he was raised.  The young man made personal choices.

H.  How he ultimately ended up in the “hog pen.”

1.  He Spoke When He Should Have Listened – vs. 12   (Listen, children, listen!)

Proverbs 1:8  My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:

2.  He Gathered – vs. 12-13a  (He set his heart on things – and obtained them unlawfully.  It was up to the father to pick the time of dividing the inheritance.)

Psalms 62:10  Trust not in oppression, and become not vain in robbery: if riches increase, set not your heart upon them.

3.  He Journeyed  – vs. 13b  (He chose the wickedness of the world over the godliness of his father’s house.)

Proverbs 1:15  My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path:

4.  He Wasted – vs. 13c (A fool and his money are soon departed!  He found out that money is a lot quicker spent than it is earned.)

Proverbs 23:5  Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for richescertainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.

5.  He Spent All – vs. 14a  (It won’t be long until the world owns you.)

Proverbs 28:22   He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him.

6.  He Began To Want – vs. 14b  (Famine normally follows feasting.)

Proverbs 13:18   Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured.

7.  He Joined – vs. 15  (What a glorious life!  Feeding swine!  Remember, hogs live in hog pens!)

Proverbs 1:10   My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.

8.  He Hungered – vs. 16  (His buddies all gone and he left with nothing.)

Proverbs 6:26  For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life.

Conclusion:  The end of backsliding is always a “hog pen.”  God’s children are not like the world.  They are in the world but not of the world and cannot be happy or flourish in sinfulness.  Thank God he came to himself – not all do!

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