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November 22, 2020 12:01 am
Carter common from the historic Times Square Church in New York City. This message is all about God's invitation through his son Jesus Christ. For you to come home just come home. Welcome to a call to the nation in Luke chapter 15 Jesus tells the familiar prodigal son parable of the younger son took off to a distant land and squandered his father's inheritance in this week's message Carter will explain why the father accepted his son back home joyfully and why this story is so imperative for believers in Jesus Christ. Let's join Carter, now with today's message incredible kindness of Jesus incredible kindness of Jesus. And there's nowhere else that you see it, probably more. In a story. Then in Luke chapter 15.
Now here's the scene. It doesn't say whether it's in a house it doesn't say words and feel really don't know the exact location within and surmise on that. But the Scripture says in chapter 15 verse one of the gospel of Luke. All the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to hear him is not interesting, and in verse two it says the Pharisees and the scribes complained saying this man receives sinners and eats with them serve the crowd you've got those that know that there probably very distant from God, but they feel very comfortable in his presence. Then you have those who feel that they're very close to God and they feel very uncomfortable in his presence is not interesting how that can happen. Those that strove hard in the religiousness know that Jesus is about to teach a parable where there were two sons in the one the one was the son who worked hard to gain his father's favorite insurer, but his religion was angry and it was joyless and he even testified to that at the end of this particular story. The other son was a younger son and at a certain point in chapter 15 verse 11 it said I'm I'm not here. I just don't want to live my life like this.
I find it too rigid to strict. I've often felt it was because of the older brother the younger brother decided to leave the father's house he might've said in his heart while this older brother mine is going to inherit the house and if I have to live under his condemning ministry, which is what the Pharisees and scribes were in Armada here.
I'd rather be a tax collector or sinner to live in this place. So the Scripture says Jesus told the story. A man had two sons, the younger of them said to his father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me and he divided to them. His livelihood not many days after the younger son gathered everything together and journeyed into a far country, and there he wasted his possessions on prodigal living and other translation basically says he wasted his inheritance on self focus.
He focused on himself. He lost the heart of his father forgot what his father's kingdom was all about and became all about me, myself, my future, my personal aggrandizement. Whatever it was that the whole thing became about me so E took the life that his father had given him the heritage. The title the gifting's. Maybe they were given to him the resources to accomplish what his life was supposed to be and it took it all and he wanted to replace was far, far away from the heart of his father. I'm not sure he really knew how far away from his father. He was going. I've no doubt that he continued to confess that maybe two if you at least anyway, that he was his father's on the came from this house. This was his background throughout history. Quite often, when a generation turns away from God turns away from the purpose of God, not to sing the in the heart. They don't think the turn from God, but they turn from the purpose of God, which is ultimately about other people and they gravitate to gospel that now focuses on themselves.
That's exactly what this prodigal son did. He turned away from what the real purpose of his life was turned away from the heart of his father and he crafted his own sense of well-being. His own sense of religion perhaps in every generation. When the house of God has become legalistic and strict which which Pentecost in particular and some other denominations as well has a tendency to gravitate towards where it all becomes about the length of clothing at all because all becomes about outward appearance and church attendance and picking up your broom and doing your work and service for the house of God. And then, suddenly, that the whole focus begins to shift in the and in the house of God becomes a joyless place.
A lot of people it they don't go to hell, but they don't want to be there either, and that this is the way to heaven. They said I'm just taking what I've got and I'm going to maybe find another way to find another purpose. I've always believed that whenever you find rigidity coming in the religion you find another generation that have taken this inheritance of God and they've gone far far away from the heart of God and if we had a chance to really do sociological study to think we might see that happen to a great degree. In America you had a generation turns from rigidity and they wanted freedom they will.
They wanted to dance in the house of God. They want to express their faith, but nobody would let them move the one let them do anything silly.
They took their inheritance of life it's promised them through the son of God, and they wanted to replace. Where was all just about me know was about my future and was about my happiness.
It was about my life or was it was all just about me myself and I and they gravitated babies, even churches that preach that way and talk about spiritual life is that that's all it's about, as opposed to being left here for the sake of others who are headed into an eternal place without God and don't know it unless somebody pays the price. In some cases to going to tell them about it and so he took his inheritance he went into a place that was far, far away from his father and he and he wasted his possessions. He had gifting's.
He had an inheritance of any wasted that the just used it for himself.
Everything that was given him it was no longer just speaking about things to come for the sake of others.
It was all about things to come for the sake of himself as it is, but when he spent everything, and others exhausted himself and and when you live herself. I tell you it's an exhaustive life. It eventually hits a wall, and eventually AIDS catches up with everybody. Eventually the dreams don't materialize or they do in the they turn out to be not what they promised that they were going to be and there arose a severe famine. Can anybody debate with me that there is not a severe famine in America can you hold to that position. There is a family like I never thought I'd live to experience famine of civility, a famine of truth. People don't seem to care what truth is anymore just truth is not based on fact anymore. Truth is just based on what I think truth should be in our modern-day society. It's it's like living in a bizarre world.
It's it perplexes the mind of anybody who was a believer in Christ and a once a foundation of of truth where there is a right.
There is a wrong. There's a reality there's and there's an unreality anywhere entity there was a severe famine, and he began to be in want and I wish I had time to read the prayer requests tonight that are on the tablet from people or just so fed up being where they are Christians. I'm tired of crying at night on I'm tired of. I'm tired of the addiction in my life.
I'm tired of running from drew from relationship to relationship.
I'm tired of the alcohol and tired of the I'm tired of all the endless pursuit going nowhere, there's a lot more people out there that are just saying I'm just so tired and just so tired I'm in want.
The Scripture says in verse 15 he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country and he sent them into his fields to defense, wind, and it speaks to me of the kind of a person who just gets tired he does want to go back in the sense to what he left behind in business.
It is worth it at this time so you into a gap garners a because it just defines himself out there because driven me to put it that way.
A lot of our young people are caused driven with an underinsured with the causes this to a lot of slogans and some have a marginal understanding of what it is that they're looking forward to what what kind of a society are we looking for in the there just being driven by causes even though they're not quite sure what those causes are in their their presence is feeding something that they shouldn't be feeding their presence maybe is feeding anger and division. This young boy was a Jewish boy. The last thing that should have been feeding through his life is swine because it is the most unclean thing to a child of God, of that time.
Here is into a field in his presence is feeding it. In other words, allowing it to exist and I speak now the young people aren't places you shouldn't be in your feeding things you shouldn't feed your presence is feeding it. That's not what you're called to be. That's not what the father is destined for your life is what you are trying to do to fill a void in your heart that only God can fill in your life, and he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine aided the pigs reading and no one would give him anything was a place it was so filled with selfishness, though it purported to be a place of compassion and love everything that is good news today. Everything matters everybody's holding up a sign that this matters that matters. This matters that my Eveready fighting over what really matters nursing assigned ever one time the sake Christians better. River knows that I've never seen that ever at any time.
I'm so I'm somewhat thankful for that because what's happening is that God is causing the world to reject you as a believer as his son as his daughter is the one created in his image as the one whom he has a plan for that so much bigger than anything you could ever imagine for your life is not allowing you to find satisfaction being in a place that you shouldn't be and this is young boys and in this field and everything matters but him just seems like who cares about me on everything around me seems to matter, but do I don't matter and you know the reality is that maybe he didn't really matter to the fallen society around him. He matter to somebody was. I was still on him. He matter to the one who created him matter to the one who loves him with an everlasting love who engraved them on the palm of his hands the matter to this wonderful father who seemingly had let them go into this place, without resistance, but it never left the front porch, or he's watching and waiting for him to come home. I wish you could fully understand how much God loves you how much he cares and how kind is willing to be towards you.
The Bible says Jesus said in the story he's telling out to tax gathers sinners, Pharisees and Sadducees.
They're all there. The religious were there the nonreligious of their the people of abandoned the house of God, of the time they're all there there all listing. He said suddenly. This is young son came to himself and others just had an epiphany epiphany is simply this. When my doing here. I'm created in the image of God. I'm created by God. For the purposes of God. I'm created for something greater than what I'm doing, he came to himself. My prayer is that the somebody listening to this message that you will just simply come to yourself in this not created to live here in the created to do these things and I'm not created to give my life wholly to some cause that that is short, it might be even a good cause, but it sure did what my life is called to be. It's sort of what could be accomplished through my life. God can do something that's exceedingly above and beyond all that I can even ask or think we started to think about the people in his father's house that had ridden up to despair, he said, but I perish with hunger.
Maybe start to think about some of the old folks that it's even in the house of God, in his early years that he thought were so off-the-wall once we get up and clap their hands and hoot and holler and do a gentle heart to reckon you know, I know a lot younger was so embarrassed by that, when they see their their parents and their though that of the older folks doing that, especially teenagers, they would be so embarrassed to bring their their friends to the house of God. Just afraid that sister so-and-so is going to get up and do her thing, a record so-and-so or the partridges go to get all excited and then sold to the platform and in the end and suddenly there's this memory that it wasn't as bad as I thought it was whatever they had. They seem to be satisfied with it and I'm perishing with hunger out here so it's almost as if he begrudging with the at least in the beginning gets up and says well I'm going to go home and even if being under the ministry of my brothers bad. At least it's not as bad as it is out here in and he gets up and is trying to figure out what is it that I'm supposed to say how is it that I'm supposed to be received back into the fellowship as it is and he comes to the conclusion maybe that was his experience father. I've sinned against heaven and before you, and that one statement. The first statement comes out of his mouth is very telling because to sin against heaven means in his heart he is saying. I'd lost my eternal reward, you know you were promised that were going to rule and reign with you there in promised Lord that their gift things that are going to be rewards given out, and when we get in your presence and mudslinging against heaven. That means that I've lost my place of lost my eternal reward, and of also so that means my future maternal futures jeopardized because of what I've done in our sin before you, which means my my present is also marred means you'll never look at me the same again means you'll always be looking at me askance for the always be wondering when I'm going to leave again it always be thinking the back your mind about what I did to the family name and the disgrace I made in the waste guy I propagated and or by taking the thing to do given me and just using them on myself and a sense of shame came into his heart and he said I no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me one of your hired servant. So another words to come back to you father to conduct your house means I'm going to be living in perpetual shame for the rest of my life and a lot of people of wandered away from the kingdom of God, feel that way about themselves. Odd comeback would've already blown in a bone mud my eternal inheritance and I blown the favor of God.
God's favor will deliver.
Trust me again because of what I've done with my life and and I'm on a distant incense for life of of shame. I don't want to share my testimony. I don't want to be the one to get up and search and say what my life is been because everyone else has this glorious victory story in mind as to such a disaster in the disgrace, and I auditioned open my mouth so to sit there and just hang my head and I'll take up my room like my brother and I'll just work for the favor of God. The Scripture says he rules and he came to his father but when he was still a long way off.
This he could see his father and some of you today. You're listening to million euro long way off.
In your heart you said I just wanted to back some are just so drug addicted.
You could hardly hear me you hardly think there's a man just listing.
I consists of my heart that you're barely sober but at least you're still listening and your long way off in your heart. Maybe the tears were even starting in your eyes now is I just want to get up and I just want to go home on tired of living like this. I want to go back to, or maybe even find something I never knew about my father before and when he was a great way off, but since his father saw him, he didn't see his father. His father saw him you you might not have a clear view of God but God has a clear view viewed in his said his father had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. I don't know if there's a greater demonstration of this means is written and read my Bible because it spoken directly by the mouth of Jesus. He is now conveying the heart of God is telling the people or listing why God sent him into this world because God was running after those who even largely could get up and start heading back to him again. His father ran fell on his neck and kissed him. Can you imagine what this boy felt like is a look down the road and it and from a distance he sees this this older men come running towards him and in the beginning is not sure. Is he coming at me in anger is he is he coming in, telling me don't come near my house get away from you that after the disgrace had made why is he running towards me in as he gets closer and closer and closer.
There would be there would be these doubts would be this war and and I'm telling you there's some to come back to God.
The negative to fight through this war if the fight to these thoughts that the blown your inheritance is God's found disfavor with you and you will always be a position of shame in the side of the father and how shocked he must've been when suddenly his father falls on his neck and kisses him now this boy has been in the field with pigs.
It is the most important thing to a Jewish person.
His father's Jewish is Jewish. Now, in other words, when the father embraced him. He took the smell of that son upon himself and others are not ashamed of his son. And when Jesus Christ went to the cross and he opened his arms wide with those nails through his hands and through his feet. He took the smell of your sin and my sin upon himself. Everything you have done everything you will do everything you are doing, he took it upon himself and only ask you to do is just get up and with whatever amount of strength you have, you can start making your way back to me again I see you are, you know where you are and you might just be staggering towards me, but I will come running towards you. I will embrace you, I will cover you in this boy would have known that his father had just taken his uncleanness upon himself because he would be unclean by his association with things that were an offense to the Jewish culture.
At that time and he would know that his father had taken the smell and the reality of his uncleanness upon himself and not only that, but kissed him, embraced him, loved him it would diminish the shocking moment.
I don't think the board knew how to deal with this because he started with his prayer again. He said father I've sinned against heaven and in your sight, and I'm no longer worthy to be called your son. But the father doesn't respond to him and doesn't answer him doesn't agree with him.
The first thing the father does is clap his hands. As I see it as is bring out the best robe and put it on him. A real bit is reserved for royalty a road that is reserved for an honored guest in the father's house and in the kingdom of God. The cleanest world that is available to anyone who comes to God is the blood of his son Jesus Christ, and he said put the robe on him and when that world was put on them yet. He was completely covered.
He now no longer looked like somebody had just climbed out of a pigsty.
He now had the robe of royalty on him.
He was now an honored guest in the father's house not a guest actually was a son and then he said, put the ring on his hand the ring of authority the ring that the father gave to those who were the most trusted in his house. When you hear me on this. He would've been so shocked not only that the ring had power it had the power of the father seal. In other words, whatever you behind on earth is bound in heaven, whatever you loose on earth is loosed in heaven. He put the ring of authority on so when that son put the seal of that ring on anything it had the weight and power of the father and his whole house behind it incredible incredible that the father would give this boy, this ring because it was only given to those that were trusted to remember. He thought my father will forever be looking at me with a sideways glance, never trusting me again and suddenly before is a chance to even prove his worth is now covered in trusted in the side of his father. I've targeted with this incredible kindness of God through Jesus Christ his son and then on top of all of that, he said, put sandals on his feet, but it's an interesting concept because usually an encounter with God you look at the encounter that Moses had the Joshua had with God.
For example, the command is always take your shoes off of your feet. In other words, God said to Joshua Moses.
I don't want your strength. I don't want your plans.
I don't want you injecting your ideas into my kingdom. I want you to humbly walk before me and do what I tell you to do what now you see the father has a son who's been broken.
The sun now knows what he is without his father. He understands grace he understands the kindness of God the mercy of God is no put his shoes on because is not going to fight with me is not to bring his own ideas into the state of but I'm gonna send them on a journey now where is going to be actually doing what his life is supposed to do is going to be telling other people about the kindness of his father is Isaac is thought to be about 10 steps in thickness of seven steps to that awful rest of the stuff may be that the older brother was just so proud of the formulas and come up with for God's kingdom. This boy's message was to just come to know my father is going to meet my father, my life was a mess. I've ruined everything. But I came home, he randomly kissed me, covered me empowered me and invited me to tell others about them. You just simply have to know who my father is and that is what this message is all about. It's about God's invitation through his son Jesus Christ.
For you to come home.
It's no more difficult than that and don't make it difficult just come home. Your life might be a mess but your message will be about mercy. Your message will be about the kindness of God, you know, generally speaking that's why new believers have a tendency to win more people to Christ than older believers because the new believer knows it's all most of the older believers starts to feel it had a little bit to do with the redemption delivers the message in the long run, but oh God, I can see it in my spirit can see people just getting up like I see you have drunk in your living. I can see you actually in there in the kitchen, new chairs or plastic.
If you wonder one talking to in your kitchen and you are about to get up and come home to God your delightful never be the same again. You don't have to know all the Greek and the Hebrew of the Bible you don't have to be a theologian.
It is at the city Cisco know my father, I want to tell you what he did in my life is transformed me and met me when I was in my deepest mess and confusion covered me empowered me and invited me to tell you who he is, will you come home with me. I want to introduce you to my father, don't make it difficult. Don't try to add things to it.
Don't try to formulas you died for me. Jesus on the cross. He paid the price for my wrongdoing, which the Bible calls sin you invited me to a place where you could convert my wrongdoing you could give me the power to live a new life and you could give me a message and make my life what it was supposed to be when you formed me in my mother's will. So my message to you from the heart of God is come home just up from home. Thank you for joining us this week for a call to the nation with Carter come from Times Square Church in New York City. For more information log onto TSC.NYC TSC.NYC you can count on a powerful message each week on a call to the nation with Carter,