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Walking Away From God - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
May 24, 2024 12:00 am

Walking Away From God - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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May 24, 2024 12:00 am

Dr. Stanley reveals the dangers of walking away from the path God set us on.

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Friday, May 24th. Has sin taken you to a place you never intended to go? Today's podcast offers help in finding your way home after walking away from God. There are people who are saved and know that they're saved, and yet somewhere along the way they chose to walk away. Now listen carefully, you say, well, how can you walk away from God if you're saved? Listen carefully. You can walk away from the will of God, but God never walks away from you.

But as far as His effect in your life, it's minimum. And so, what I'd like to talk about in this passage of Scripture is that simple statement, walking away from God. So, I want you to turn to the fifteenth chapter of Luke. So, beginning in verse eleven, he says, A man had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the share of the estate which falls to me. So, he divided his wealth between them. And not many days later, the younger man gathered everything together, went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living. Then when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished.

So, he went, hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. Now, let's think about, with that in mind, let's think about this whole issue of what to expect when you depart from God. When you just walk away from Him.

And the first thing that happens is this. When a person chooses to walk out of the will of God, they begin to flounder and to wander. Because you see, it's a relationship that's totally different from which God has created for them. When the Holy Spirit came into your life, He sealed you as a child of God.

To live a godly life that is a blessing to yourself and a blessing to others. When you step out of that, you step into a whole another arena over here that doesn't fit who you are. And so, you've got to sort of think about, well, this doesn't bring me to place. And this and you go from this to that and so forth and whatever it might be. And you may have a very steady job in that, but you know what's happening?

There's a disconnect on the inside. There are moments of guilt and on and on it goes. Because that's what happens when you decide to walk away. The second thing that happens is very evident in the Scripture here, and that is waste.

Because here's what happens. The Scripture says that he squandered his money with loose living. Now, what kind of loose living was that? Well, the Bible is very specific in the thirtieth verse of this same chapter. Because the Scripture says, but when his brother, now speaking to his father, but when this son of yours came who has devoured your wealth with prostitutes, you killed the fetid calf for him. You had a celebration for him. So, he wasted his money on the women. He wasted his money on frivolous things. He wasted his money on lots of things. But he was not only wasting his money, he was wasting his time.

Years were going by. He was wasting his talents, his skills, his gifts. He was wasting the background that his father had planted in him.

Being a Hebrew father, he'd probably done a good job of that. All that was waste. But one of the things that he was wasting, and that all this is true of people today, one of the things that people waste, they don't realize, is their health. When the person drinks, smokes, on drugs, illicit sex, and on and on and on we could go, people say, oh, that's not hurting me. Every single one of them is hurting your health.

Every single one of them is damaging your health. And here's the one thing the world does not want you to believe. And that is there are always, no exception, consequences to sin. Oh, have a drink. Here's the lie. It's not going to hurt you. Oh, a little pot's not going to hurt you. Big lie.

Sex is not going to hurt you. Big lie. In other words, all the big lies are told with, well, it's not going to hurt you.

I mean, what's one this or one that or one the other? But there are people who have involved themselves in all of those things and know that one time set them on a whole different course of life. And so, there's always waste.

And when there is waste, you can look around because right around the corner there will be want. Notice what happened to him. The Scripture says, so went and hired himself to one of the citizens of that country and he sent him into the fields to feed swine. And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating and no one was giving anything to him.

No one. Now, when he got to the distant country, don't you know if he had all his inheritance? He had lots of friends. Listen, there's a world of people out there, when you've got money, you've got a friend. When your money's gone, they're gone. That is true with not only money, but it's true with popularity and prestige and prominence and position in life. And there are many people who'll be your friend as long as you're giving.

When the giving gives out, they're gone because they're not true friends. So, here he is. Whatever he had, whatever he spent it on, the Scripture says and gives us an indication of some of it, then all of a sudden he had no one. And here he is hiring himself out.

And you can put this down. When you walk away from God, you will be in want. You say, well now look, I'm a multi-millionaire. This'll make you wealthy.

It may say that you're in a real distant, far country. No matter what you possess, you're going to be in want. You think about all the floods, all the earthquakes, and all the things naturally that happen that should teach us a lesson. That the only thing that lasts is what is eternal from God's viewpoint. And so, when a person lives their life and they waste what God has given them, there's always going to be a want. And what is that want? Listen, all of us have emotional needs. We have some material needs, but we have emotional needs. And we have spiritual needs.

In other words, there are many, many needs in life that we have. And sin is a destroyer. Sin cheats us and deprives us of them. And this is why it's the responsibility of every parent to teach your children accountability to God, that there are consequences to sin in life, and there are consequences to sin that, listen, denial of consequences do not erase them. There are consequences to sin.

And here's the perfect picture. He wasted what was given to him, and then he began to be in want, which is probably something he never even thought about happening in his life. And so, he ends up in a hog pen.

And somebody says, well, now that's a couple of thousand years ago. I've been in some homes that cost millions of dollars that were hog pens. No love, no emotional relationship, animosity, antagonism, conflict, everywhere. You call that a home?

No, that's a hog pen. And there are many people who are living in deception, and they think there'll never be any want because of what they have. There'll always be want. Then I would follow that by simply saying there is weariness. And sometimes a person says, well, I'm doing really well, but think about this. When you're living in sin, there is that disconnect between you and God if you've been saved and you feel it. There is guilt, which you may deny, but it's there.

And there's something else. You see, there's a weariness that goes on inside of you because people who are living in sin, they're always trying to hide something. And so, you're living with this trying to hide, living with this trying to forget, living with this trying to change. In other words, what goes in in a person's physical, human, emotional being can be very taxing.

If you're living with regret, living, listen, with known sin in your life, living with unforgiveness, living with things in your life that you know are displeasing to God, it doesn't make any difference what you may say publicly. The truth is, it's wearing you down. And many people are getting old very early in life, and you know what's doing it? It's the way they're thinking because the way they're, and the way they're acting, and what they're doing with a human body, and listen, you can look like a doll on the outside, or Mr.

Handsome himself. And if you're living in sin, it won't be very long till it's going to start telling on the outside. That's just life. It's the consequences of sin. And here's this guy, and he's down here slopping hogs, so to speak, that's what we would say, slopping hogs, now he's an absolute turtle worm, living a very wretched life, no friends, no relationships, and all of a sudden something happens.

So the question is, you know, you say, well, you know what, you describe me, that's the way I'm living, so what do I do about it? Listen carefully. What did he do about it? Here he is, everything's gone wrong, he has years of regret, and here's what happens. The Bible says, listen carefully, he came to his senses, and that is, he didn't have to be there.

Something, there could be a change. So he came to his senses. Then the Scripture says, he made a decision.

And I'm going to start in the Scripture right here. He made a decision. But it's one thing to make a decision. I've seen a lot of people make decisions.

I've seen people walk the aisle and say, here's what God is saying to me, and this is what I'm going to do, praise God, thank you for praying for me, on we go. And then about a month later, how you doing? Well, you know, I made a decision. Listen, making a decision, watch this carefully, making a decision does not change your life. Making a decision to do better is not going to make you any better.

Following a decision is a positive action based on that decision. And so, listen to what happens in this passage. When he came to his senses, he said, how many of my father's hired men have more than enough, but I am dying here with hunger? I will get up and go to my father and I will say to him, Father, I've sinned against heaven and in your sight. I'm no longer even worthy to be called your son.

Make me as one of your hired men. Well, that was a good decision. But how do I know he meant it?

The reason I know he meant it was because the Scripture says, so he got up, came to his father, and then that's a whole other section. So, let me ask you a question. How many times have you made a decision, you know, I've got to get right with God. I've got to get my life straightened out.

That's what I'm going to do. You go down and pray and I've got to change things. You talk, you go to a counselor, you write, I'm going to change things. Have you changed?

In other words, what changed? You made a decision to, but why didn't you change? I'll tell you why, because you did not repent of sin. And you see, this is the deception. The deception is that if I make a decision, then God'll understand that and I'm okay.

No. God understands when I make a decision and then I turn from the way I was living and head in the direction that He's chosen for my life. And as long as I'm making decisions and going in the same way, God doesn't honor that. Repentance is a word we don't hear much about. But repentance is absolutely essential in the life of the believer and the life of the person who is a non-believer who wants to get right with God. There's got to be a willingness for God to change them.

There has to be a change. And so, he got up and went. And what you have in the rest of this passage is how God responded. And once in a while, somebody will say, Well, you know, I know I need to change my life, but I've been, I've done so many things that are so bad for so long, I don't believe God could possibly help me.

Well, listen carefully, because here is a perfect example. And Jesus described this in a way you could never forget it. What is God's attitude toward you? You've chosen to walk away from Him. You've lived in sin.

You've done all kind of things. Your guilt, your rebellion, all the things that have gone in your life. Well, what's God's attitude now? Here is God's attitude.

Listen to this passage. So, the Scripture says, so He got up, came to His Father, and I can hardly read this, came to His Father, but while He was still a long way off, the Father saw Him and felt compassion for Him and ran and embraced Him and kissed Him. Now, here's the significant thing about that that Jesus put in here, and I'm glad He did.

When He said His Father saw Him and He ran, fell on His neck and kissed Him, you know why He put that in there? Because in those days, no dignified man ever ran in public. And here He is, God running toward this sinful boy whose clothes had to be smelly, who was dirty as He could be. He had to look like a hippie, probably, back in our earlier days. In other words, He had to look like somebody who just didn't care anymore.

Because what happened? Space showed the wear and tear, probably a little humped over, dirty, filthy, smelly, and God just loved Him. His Father just loved Him. Now, you say, well, maybe He, maybe His Father had to give Him a lecture. There's nothing here but lecturing. Because you see, watch this, and this is true of you and me. His Father, are you listening? Say, amen. His Father had forgiven Him before we ever saw Him.

He'd been waiting for Him, hoping and praying that one day He'd come back. You say, well, but you don't know what I've done. Let me ask you a question. Have you ever gotten so low down, you slopped hogs?

No. Have you ever gotten to the place in your life where you just messed it all up and there's nothing left and you were at the end of yourself? I hope that's where you've been. Listen carefully. You can reach a stage in life by continually, deliberately disobeying God.

Listen carefully. Till you will not want to be saved, have no interest in being saved, and cannot be convinced to be saved. When your mind becomes reprobate and you just, that's it. You've sinned and sinned and sinned it. You don't want it. You're not going to hear it. Nobody's going to tell you no matter what. But will God forgive you?

Yes, He will. So, I want you to notice what happens here in just maybe four or five words. And the first one is this. His Father's response was He forgave him. He accepted him just the way He was because He heard His repentant heart. He knew that, boy, something had happened. And so, He restored him. He said, My Son has come back. And the Bible says they were rejoicing over it.

Now, watch these words. He forgave him. He accepted him. He restored him and they rejoiced over him. But the scars of his sin were still there and they'd never be erased. And what I want you to see is this. Will God forgive you?

Yes. So, the person who says, Well, I can just sin all I want to do and one of these days before I die, I'll be, I'll get saved. There are probably a lot of people in hell who thought the same thing.

What I want you to see is this. There are scars to sin that nothing erases. Forgiveness? Yes. Save with the grace of God?

Yes. But what I want you to see is how dangerous it is to live in disobedience to God. Once you're saved by the grace of God and you choose to walk away, that forgiveness will not erase the scars. There's some sins that so impact the human body and the mind and a person's whole emotional being that being saved will not change. It's a dangerous thing to walk away from God because listen, it never is like it was before you did because you got scars to live with. And I want to encourage you, whoever you are, wherever you are, we're not talking about church. We're talking about you getting right with God and asking and listen, making a decision to turn around from where you've been going, turn from the life that you've been living, asking Him to forgive you of your sins. Repenting of it means you make a decision, a deliberate, definite, willful, serious decision to turn your life over to God and let Him guide your life. And when you do, He will forgive you of your sins and He will change your life.

My plea to you is this. Don't wreck your life believing the lie that there are no consequences to sin. Listen, remember this, that sometimes those consequences to sin are not only consequences in our life, in the life of our children, our husband, our wife, our friends. Sin is a destroyer and Christ is the one who can make it right. Thank you for listening to Part 2 of Walking Away from God. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or InTouch Ministries, stop by InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of InTouch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-24 02:32:49 / 2024-05-24 02:40:51 / 8

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