Sermon Prepared by James McCullen
Email Preach Him with Dr. Jim

What Sin Can and Can't Do
Luke 15:11-24

11 And He said, "A man had two sons. 12"The younger of them said to his father, "Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.' So he divided his wealth between them. 13"And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living. 14"Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished. 15"So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16"And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving anything to him. 17"But when he came to his senses, he said, "How many of my father's hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger! 18"I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men."' 20"So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21"And the son said to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' 22"But the father said to his slaves, "Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; 23 and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24 for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.' And they began to celebrate. NASU

INTRODUCTION
There Is A Famous Sermon Outline On This Text I have seen it several times but I do not know the one who first used it:

Sin will . . Take you where you don't want to go.

Sin will . . Keep you longer than you want to stay.

Sin will . . Cost you more than you want to pay.

I am going to adapt that out line to list outline.

Sin Can . . Promise More Than It Delivers.

Sin Can . . Place You Where You Don't Want to Be.

Sin Can . . Protract your Stay Longer than you Desire.

Sin Can . . Price You More than you want to Pay.

Sin Can't . . Procure Peace and Forgiveness.
 

Someone wanted to tell the story of the prodigal son and use an emphasis on words beginning with the letter "F". It goes as follows.

Melody in "F"
Feeling footless and frisky, a feathered brained fellow forced his fond father to fork over the farthings, and flew far to foreign fields, and frittered his fortune fabulously with faithless friends.

Fleeced by his fellows, and facing famine, he found himself a feed-flinger in filthy farmyard.

Fairly famishing, he fain would've filled his frame with foraged food from fodder fragments.

"Fooey , my Father's flunkies fare far finer," the frazzled fugitive forlornly fumbled.

Frankly facing facts he fled forthwith to his family.

Falling at his Father's feet, he forlornly fumbled, "Father, I've flunked, and fruitlessly forfeited family favor."

The farsighted father, forestalling further flinching, frantically flagged the flunkies to fetch a fatling from the flock and fix a feast.

The fugitive's fault-finding brother frowned on fickle forgiveness of former folderol; but the faithful father figured filial fidelity is fine, but the fugitive is found! What forbids fervent festivity? Let flags be unfurled! Let fanfare flare!

Father's forgiveness formed the foundation for the former fugitive's future fortitude.
 
 

1. Sin Can . . Promise More Than It Delivers. v 12-13 a


    "The younger of them said to his father, "Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.' So he divided his wealth between them. 13"And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country,

He sinned against the 5th commandment

He demanded his rights. He was full of self-confidence, and he even had a feeling that he was not being given his due and his rights. "Give!"
 



2.    Sin Can . . Place You Where You Don't Want to Be. v 13 b-16


        ". . . and there he squandered his estate with loose living. 14"Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished. 15"So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16"And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving anything to him.

Acts 10:28
28 And he said to them, "You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a man who is a Jew to associate with a foreigner or to visit him; . . . " NASU



3.    Sin Can . . Protract your Stay Longer than you Desire. v 14 - 15


        "Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished.  15"So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16"And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving anything to him.

His poverty is complicated by a famine striking the country
 
 

4.    Sin Can . . Price You More than you Planned. v 14


    "Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished.

A.    Sin Had A Price of . . Humiliation He Didn't Plan.

        1.    Cost him any of his true friends.
        2.    Cost him all his pride.
        3.    Cost him all his material possessions - Loss it all.

B.    Sin Had A Price of . . Hunger He Didn't Plan

    1.    Cost him his inheritance and wanted to eat with the swine.

C.    Sin Had A Price of . . Homesickness He Didn't Plan.

    1.    Cost him his home and family.
    2.    Cost him all his grand plans for his life.

Illustration
At Tower Grove Baptist Church in my Young Adult Group we had several student nurses. On of them became a friend of Christa and I. She graduated and married a doctor they became very active in a very prominent church in Oklahoma.

They began to be involved with much wealth. The church they attended went through some difficulties and this couple began to fellowship with a so called swinging crowd. They got involved in drugs eventually divorce came but the scene effected them and their children. One daughter got heavily involved in drugs. Her habit forced her to get money anyway she could and she became involved in prostitution. At the Missouri Baptist Convention I saw her brother and asked how she was doing and he told me pretty good after such a horrible event.

He recognized by my facial expression I did not know what he was talking about so he told me. Judy's daughter was murdered and they found her body in different parts. Her head was found in a storm sewer.

What a terrible story. If you asked Judy did sin cost you more than you want to pay? She would respond YES!

Application

Sin cost more than you intended to pay
 
 

5. Sin Can't . . Procure Peace and Forgiveness. v 17


    "But when he came to his senses, he said, "How many of my father's hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger!

He Didn't want to be a Son but now willing to be a Servant

But the very first step back is to face the issue, to face the situation honestly and clearly. We are told that this young man "came to himself' v. 17). That is actually what the man did!

He was finished and no one could help him. There was but one left. Father! The last, the only hope. The gospel always insists upon our coming to that point.

Then having realized all this, act upon it. Leave the far country.

He resolves to return home...

    1.    To confess his sin against heaven (God) and his father
    2.    To confess his unworthiness to be called his father's son
    3.    To be made only like one of his father's hired servants

A bushelful of resolutions is of small value; compared to a single grain of practice. The determination to return home is good; but it is when the wandering boy begins the business of really carrying out the good resolve, that he draws near the blessing.

If any of you here tonight have long been saying, "I will repent; I will turn to God"; leave off resolving, and come to practising; and God will lead you both to repent and to believe in Christ!

ML JONES He demanded his rights. He was full of self-confidence, and he even had a feeling that he was not being given his due and his rights. "Give!" But when he returns home, his vocabulary has changed and his word now is "make."

ML JONES God never desired to see you as you now are. It was against His wish and His will that you have wandered away. It is all of your own doing. Tell Him so and tell Him further that what worries and distresses you most of all is not merely the misery you have brought upon yourself, but the fact that you have disobeyed Him and insulted Him and wronged Him.
 

Conclusion (Not a Personal Illustration)
I had the name of a young woman, a minister's daughter, in Brooklyn - it's a story I can't get out of my mind, I went to visit her because I thought, hey, I have a daughter, and I would want a pastor to do the same for her. So I got in my car - a car that wasn't worth stealing - and drove down there. I ran up the stairs and knocked at the door. I could hear the music: boom, boom,  boom, boom. So I knocked louder.

I was just getting back to take a run at the door when she opened it. "Who are you?" she said. "Ron Halverson," I said. "Who's Ron Halverson?" she said. "A minister," I said. "I'm not interested," she said. "I know; that's why I'm here,"I said. So on that, she let me in. I sat there and talked to her, and she told me about her life. She'd grown up in Christian schools, had sung those pretty little hymns and sat and listened to her daddy preach. Then she got into an academy, got with the wrong people, and wound up pregnant. Her father got angry. "You're not my daughter," he raged.

So she hitchhiked across the country, and leeches were waiting for her. They set her up in an apartment. She'd been wasted when I found her, a little child playing in her room. I asked her if she ever thought about going home. She said, "I've burned all the bridges; I can't go home." (Can you imagine the pain she felt? Can you imagine the hurt? The daughter of a minister, and she can't go home! And we pay him a salary!) So I prayed with her, got in my car, and drove home. Her dad was in California and I was in New York, but I found him. "Yes, sir, good afternoon," he answered my telephone call in his professional voice.

"I wanted to call and tell you that I just visited with your daughter," I said. "I have no daughter," he said. "You're a liar!" I said. "You have a beautiful daughter, and a beautiful little grandchild. Did you ever hear about the prodigal?" His heart was broken as we talked, and he started to cry. And God resurrected him. God converted him. I said, "Do you want your daughter home?" He said, "Yes, I want her home. Please . . ." I said, "She'll be home!" I jumped into my car and drove to the airport. I bought his daughter a ticket and sent her back home.

Five years later I was at a great convention, hundreds of Christians sitting out there being fed. Afterward, a girl came up to me with a nice-looking young man. She told me, "I got my education, I'm teaching now in our church school. I want to introduce you to my believing husband." By Ron Halverson, Decanter

YES

Sin Can . . Promise More Than It Delivers.

Sin Can . . Place You Where You Don't Want to Be.

Sin Can . . Protract your Stay Longer than you Desire.

Sin Can . . Price You More than you want to Pay.

Sin Can't . . Procure Peace and Forgiveness.
 


If you want forgiveness come to the Father!