Welcome to the Kerwin Baptist Church broadcast today. Our desire is for the Word of God to be spread throughout the world so that all may know Christ.
Join us now for a portion of one of our services here at Kerwin Baptist Church located in Kernersville, North Carolina. The first step in getting out of sin is to realize you're in it. And I think that I want to ask each of us tonight, could you maybe just draw a little circle around just you and not think about your neighbor that you think we could really use this or another church member that you think, boy, I'm glad they're here tonight for this one. Could we draw a circle around ourselves tonight and do a little self-analyzation and try to ask ourselves this question, am I as close to the Father as I used to be? And dear friend, I have always said this, it's kind of a mean statement because I guess all of us were all guilty of this, but if there was a time or a season in your life that you were a lot closer to God and a lot more faithful and a lot more excited about serving Him than you are right now, it means that you have moved away from Him. Now you might have good reason and life might have been rough on you and all these type of things and, man, I certainly understand that. But do you realize that if there was ever a time that you were closer, the Bible says God is always the same, He doesn't move. He didn't move away from you. You have moved away from Him.
And the process sometimes is so gradual that you won't even realize that it has taken place. Any of you have ever been fishing? You know sometimes that if you go fishing and you don't want to necessarily use an anchor and I went fishing oftentimes in Florida, I've told you all those stories of where my fishing career kind of ended and I used to catch all kinds of fish and fish for all kinds of different kinds of fish and different things in Florida.
But you know if you let loose at all and you're sitting there kind of fishing, you don't have a trolling motor on, you don't have anything else on, if you don't pay attention you can drift sometimes 40, 50 feet from the spot that you were and you don't even know it. And that's exactly what happens in our Christian life. And all of us have to look at each other tonight and just say, not at each other, excuse me, at ourselves and say, could this possibly be for me tonight?
Could it possibly be that I need this tonight? And if you and I realize that you know what preacher, I am a further away than I used to be. What are the steps that I have to take? How do I begin this process? How do I get back as close to the Father as really I want to be? And I don't know how I've gotten this far away or how my heart's gotten this cold, but how do I get there? And I want to notice number one tonight and we're not going to read through the whole story, you're familiar with it, but I want to say number one, when should we go home? When should we go home? In other words, preacher, how do I know when it's time for me to go home? How do I know that I need to go home? When should we go home? As you look at this story, this young man had to get to a certain place in his life to realize I need to go back home.
So when should we go back home? And if you're keeping notes, this takes place between verse 11 and verse 17, but I'm going to give you the reasons very simply tonight. Let's pray. Lord, we love you. I ask you to bless, Lord, in this passage that is preached out of so often.
And yet, Lord, it seems that we always find something that we need. Lord, I pray you'd bless this tonight in Jesus' name. Amen. When should we go home?
Number one, I want you to write this down if you're keeping notes. When you leave the Father's house behind, when should you go home? When do you and I need to realize, you know what, I need to go home? First sign is this, when you have left the Father's house behind. Do you know for the Christian, the optimal time for coming home is the instant you realize you've left?
Are you all with me tonight? The best time for you and I to get back to the Father as quickly as we can is the moment we realize we've left. You see, the longer you're away, the more comfortable you're going to become being away.
The farther you go, the more comfortable you're going to get with that. The longer we drift, the more okay we are with the fact that we have drifted. And you and I, I think sometimes you and I, I think we look at ourselves and if you're like me, sometimes you get in bed at night and if you're not asleep as soon as you hit the pillow, like we work so hard on different things, many of you, but if you have time just to think, you begin to think about your life and if you're like me, I think, you know, Lord, I shouldn't have done that and I shouldn't have said this, you know, Lord, and I'm sorry. And I begin to realize, you know what, I've wandered off a little bit and I've not been reading my Bible like I should and I've not been in God's Word like I should and I've not really had the attitude that I should have had. And dear friend, look at me, the more you and I analyze that and realize that, but we don't do anything about it, the harder it's going to be to ever get back home. So when should we go back home? Number one, when you leave the Father's house behind.
The moment you realize, you know what, I'm a little bit far away. Can I tell you something, look at me, it would have saved this young man a whole bunch of problems and a whole load of money if the moment he walked off that property he would have realized, you know what, I'm doing the wrong thing, leaving my Father's house. But he literally had to go as far as he could possibly go before he learned his lesson.
And it cost him everything. Dear friend, you and I need to learn to go home when we leave the Father's house behind. Number two, if you'll notice verse 13, when you begin to live like the world. If you'll notice in verse 13, and I find this very interesting, the Bible says not many days after the younger son gathered all together, took his journey into a far country, notice, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.
You know how you and I should know that we need to get home is when we begin to live like the world. He began to participate in riotous living. By the way, this is a first for this young man probably because his dad seemed to be a pretty sharp individual and a compassionate individual. And obviously in this story he is a picture of our Heavenly Father so his dad must have been a godly individual and this young man would not have been allowed to participate in things like that.
So obviously this is the first time this young man had ever gotten involved in something like this. And I have seen it over and over again, young people that are raised right, taught right, in the right kind of home. And it seems as they begin to rebel against that, the first opportunity they get, they literally want to go off the deep end. Listen to me, dear friend, the moment you begin to realize you're living like the world is the moment you should head back home. Because if you and I get to a point that we're starting to live like the world we have left too far, we've gone too far.
You all get what I'm saying tonight? Say amen. Let's face it, there's a marked difference between the Christian and the world.
Well let me rephrase that. There's a marked difference between Christ and the world. The problem is sometimes you look at the Christian and the world, there's not a whole lot of difference. There's not much difference in our churches, there's not much difference in our music, there's not much difference in our attitude, there's not much difference in so many things that you know what, before long the church can begin to look like the world. And the world can begin to look like the church. And dear friend, according to this story, when you start doing things like the world does them, that's a sign you have left the Father's house.
Number three tonight, when should we go home? When you lose the Father's blessings. When you lose the Father's blessings.
Notice if you would, verse 14. And when he had spent all, all the blessings that his Father had just bestowed upon this young man, it was all gone. And dear friend, when you leave the Father's house, before long you're going to go through all of the blessings you've been given. It doesn't mean God's still not good and God still doesn't meet needs and God still doesn't know where you are, but look at me dear friend, I'm here to tell you that all the good things that you have reaped and benefited from living for God, when you take off from the Father's house and we begin to get a guilty distance away and it usually begins with our attitude and our thinking and then it begins with our actions and it goes from all those things to before long, now we've got a rotten attitude, rotten actions, we don't want to be in the house of God, we don't want the things of God and before long you're going to think, hey, everything's still okay with me.
The bills are still getting paid, in fact, there are people in my neighborhood, preacher, that don't go to church, don't have anything to do with God and they're making money left over right and they seem to be doing well and they quit coming to church here and they seem to be successful. Look at me dear friend, before long they will lose God's blessings. You can have all the success you want, that is not God's blessings.
This young man as he wandered far away from the Father all of a sudden realized everything that the Father had given was God. You and I need to learn to turn back home when we realize, look at me, that we have lost the blessing of the Father. You and I live in a way that God can't bless that, we have sacrificed something that is very valuable and you don't know how bad you need it until you've lost it.
I could tell many stories about that but I'm not going to get into that tonight. May I say that when God's blessings begin to be stripped from one's life, it is a good sign that somebody needs to head back to the Father's house. Dear friend, may I say this, you can have all the money you want in the bank and all the material things you have but when one day you realize that you have left the Father's blessings, you're going to realize you don't have anything. I want you to notice fourthly, when should we go home?
Number four is this, when you are left with nothing. The Bible says in verse 15 and 16, notice this, And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and sent him into the fields to feed swine, and he fain would have filled his belly with the husk that the swine did eat, and no man gave unto him. He literally had nothing. You know a lot of times you and I say, well preacher I just don't really have much.
We do. Poor in this country is rich in other countries. And you know I know all of us may not have everything we wish we had, but we all have more than we need. Look at me, when I say this young man didn't have anything, I mean he didn't have shoes, he only had the clothes on his back, and he had nothing to eat.
He had nothing. Now here's what's interesting, the Bible says that God's children will never go hungry. You know when you and I need to realize that you know what, I need to head back to the Father's house and we have nothing. Unfortunately that's usually where a person has to get before they head back home. May I say this in a loving way, Proverbs 13 15 says, Good understanding giveth favor, but the way of transgressors is hard.
Did you hear that? The way of transgressors is hard. It's a hard road. It's a rough road. It's a tough road when you leave the Father's house. I wanted to mention this story, I obviously won't give names because we're on internet sometimes and different things, and it's obviously I have the names, but sometimes I don't think about it.
I want to give you the names just to let you know hey this happened, but I don't want to say it in case that name ever went out on the internet. But I found this story of a man in Georgia who was very mad at the church he'd been going to, and it was an independent Baptist church. I can't imagine somebody getting mad at an independent Baptist church, but I understand that that happens from time to time. This man had refused to go to church for years.
He was just mad about everything. He didn't go to another church. He just didn't go to church at all, and he had a young son that had been riding a bus to that church, and every Sunday morning that young man would get dressed and he'd say, Daddy, will you go to church with me today?
And his dad would usually just say some quick abrupt word like, of course not, you know better than that, but he'd let his son go. And this went on for months, and Sunday morning would come and say, Daddy, are you going to go to church with me today? And it kept building up to the point that this man said literally one day he kind of just got sick of it, was in a bad mood, and by the way, a Christian that is out of fellowship with God is a miserable person. It just is. And if you've got a rotten attitude and a rotten spirit, you better look at yourself because you might really not be right with God because a person that isn't is miserable.
They're just angry and miserable and cantankerous, you know. And so this young man just came to Daddy and said, Daddy, I'm going to church today. Are you going to go to church with me today, Daddy? And his dad just turned around and he actually cussed his son out. And he went blank, blank, blank. You know I'm not going to church. Now, quit asking.
If you ask one more blankety-blank time, I'm going to beat the blank out of you. So that young man went out of the house. The dad sat down. Now, I know if you are a parent like me, it's kind of hard to hear this, but that young man went out, got on the bus, went to church, came back home that afternoon. Dad's sitting there watching TV, the game or something. Young man came in, took his Bible, put it in the room. Came back in the living room and went outside to play. And as he was outside playing, that dad's just sitting there kind of mad and bitter, you know, different things.
And he seemed to hear this. And he opened up the door, and this took place about 60 miles north of Atlanta, apparently from the story. That young man had been playing ball with a neighbor friend out in that front yard and had run out to get a ball, and a car had hit that young man. That dad, when he looked out the window, saw his son laying there and a car sitting there, and the individual that had been driving the car was just kind of holding their face like this, and people began to run out. And that dad ran out to that son at that car, and he got down, and he picked up and said, Son, son, are you okay? Just with blood all over this young man, this father said that his young man looked at him and said, Daddy, since you won't go to church with me, would you at least go to heaven with me? And died.
And that dad said with his dead son in his arms. He went back to the father's house, but it cost him his son. And, dear friend, I'm here to tell you, what would it cost you? What would God have to do to get humility back in our life and a good spirit back in our life and that desire to get back as close to the father as we used to have, and we're going through the motions and we're going through the actions, but, dear friend, when you realize my heart's cold and my heart's dry and all the blessings that God used to put on my life, I've left all that, and I need to do something about it.
What would it cost to get to that point? It cost this young man everything just like it did this dad. I want you to notice fifth, when should we go home? You need to write this one down. When you long for the father's house. You know when you know you need to go back home? When you miss it. You know when you ought to get back in church?
When you miss it. And, dear friend, I don't care how far you go, you'll be lying through your teeth if you didn't tell me that if there was a time in your life when you were right with God and serving God and love God and you've gotten away from all that, you'd be lying to me if you didn't tell me that there are some times in your life when nobody else is around that there's some tears that go out of those eyes because you miss it and you miss the power of God and you miss that experience. Let me tell you something, our father's house is so wonderful that if you leave it, you're going to miss it. I know we need to get back right with God when we miss being that close.
You can sit right in God's house and miss it. Say, God, I remember when I used to sit here and a preacher would preach, tears would flow down my eyes and God's conviction would be so heavy on me and I couldn't wait to get to that altar and get things right in my life and I couldn't wait to get in that car and talk to God in the morning on the way to work and slowly and gradually it just got further and further and further away from God's house and dear friend, I'm here to tell you, if you're missing it, it's time to come back home. When should we go home?
I gave you all those reasons. Number two, how should we go home? All right, preacher, you made your point and I think I should and I know I should and if I'm honest, I think that there's just areas of my life that need attention and how do I do it? Well, in this story, it doesn't just show the point that this young man had to get to before he got right. It shows through the life of this young man how we are supposed to get right. I find in verse 18 and 19, if you'll notice this, the Bible says obviously in verse 17 when he came to himself, he began to long to be back in the Father's house like I just told you and then in verse 18, he says this, I will arise and go to my Father. Number one, I want you to see this, how am I supposed to get back home, preacher?
Number one, with resolve. That means this, the only way you or I will ever get back close to the Father like we are supposed to be is if we decide to do it. You know what I find interesting? A lot of times people, they'll want to go to a church service and they'll want the pastor somehow to motivate them to get back to being close with God. Dear friend, if you have to be motivated to do it, it's not going to last very long. The only thing that is going to get you and I back to the Father's house and back in close fellowship with the Father is when we decide I don't care what I have to do, I'm going to do it. You know what I've told you and many of you have laughed at me and you kind of laugh because you say you know you're right about it, but you know what, you know why I told you why some people don't come to church and you want to say well this then they have this and they have that, it's because they don't want to. And I've told you, anything you want to say, why do individuals not do such and such?
And listen, you can give me all the reasons why you've been hurt and all this stuff, let me tell you why, it's because you've lost your desire to go. Now I don't mean sickness and I'm not talking about that, obviously you know that. But you know what, you and I as human beings we find a way to do what we want to do.
Do you know that? I mean I'm going to tell you something, look this morning Brother Burgess Hampton is sitting in the middle of the aisle on that wheelchair, I look at Brother Charles Eisenhower with his wheelchair sitting out there, we've got individuals in this building, let me tell you something, they've got every good reason not to be in the house of God tonight. Why do they go through all that putting the wheelchair in the car, getting out of the car, carrying an oxygen tank, doing all these things, why do they go through all that?
Because human beings do what they want to do. Let me tell you something, when you decide I want to get back to the Father, you'll do it. How do we go back home? Number one with resolve, number two with repentance. Look if you would at verse 18, this is how the sun came back home. I will arise and go to my Father, that's resolve, and will say unto him, Father I have sinned against heaven and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. That's repentance. I have sinned against heaven and before thee. Just if he would have gotten as far as saying I have sinned, that would have been way further than most of us ever get to. We would go to the Father and say, well Father let me explain why I left, so and so did this to me. And I was just going through a hard time and so and so, and we blame, we blame everybody else, this son got to the point, you know how you get back to the Father when you decide to get back with resolve, and when you come back to the Father with repentance. Now look at me, God will take anybody back at any time, it doesn't matter anything you've done, but he does require that if you're going to come back, you have to come back with repentance. There has to be a spirit inside of us that says, God I'm the one that did wrong.
This is my fault. Repentance. What I find here is not only did this young man experience a change of circumstances, but he also experienced a change of heart. I mean a lot of things changed in this young man's life, but the most important thing, his heart changed. I told you this morning he left and he said, Father give me. And he came back and said, Father make me. It totally swapped.
Things changed. I think about David after his sin with Bathsheba and all the pitiful things that David did, the Bible says that he came to God and repented of his sins, and he confessed them before the Lord, and cleansing and forgiveness came straight from the Father. Dear friend, when you come with repentance, God hears you. David said in Psalm 32, I acknowledge my sin unto thee, mine iniquity have I not hid. I said I will confess my transgression unto the Lord and thou forgaveth the iniquity of my sin. Psalm 51, David said, for I acknowledge my transgressions. My sin is ever before me against thee, and thee only have I sinned and done this evil in thy sight, that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest and be clear when thou judges. Dear friend, over and over and over again, we find in the Bible that God forgave the worst of sinners and God forgave the most evil of individuals, but he always did it when they came with repentance.
A lot of people say I want to be back with the Father, but I want to blame everybody else for what's happened. And dear friend, God's got to see humility in us. It's my fault that I wandered off.
It's my fault that I left. How do we go back home with resolve, with repentance number three? With respect.
This is very important. Look at verse 19. He said this, he says, I'm gonna tell my Father, I am no more worthy to be called thy son.
Make me as one of thy hired servants. What is interesting, he left wanting all the money that the Father would give him and he came back willing to just be a slave. He had a total change of heart and he had so much respect, look at me, for his father and his father's house that he said I am not worthy to be his son.
This wasn't a show. He talked about this before he ever saw the Father. Now a lot of us are good at the speech when everybody's listening, but this was going on in this young man's heart before he ever even got back home and he literally in his heart felt I'm not even worthy to be his son.
That's how much respect he had. He's basically saying this, my father is so good and I am so bad that I am not worthy to be his son. Let me tell you when God will start getting in your life and my life and begin to work, when you and I realize that he is so good and we are so bad that we don't deserve to be his children, but we are because he loves us. You and I have got to come back with respect for the Father. A humble spirit realizes that it deserves nothing but judgment and punishment. A humble spirit demands nothing from the Lord. A humble spirit comes before him willing to be and to do whatever God could demand.
A humble spirit just wants to be back in the Father's house. I'll be a slave. Like I said this morning, I'll clean the toilets. I'll take out the trash. I'm not worthy to be your son anymore. I just want to be a slave.
I just want to be back around the Father. Resolve. Yeah, he had resolve. You say, well, did he have repentance?
Yeah. But he had respect. You know what I find interesting is that some people play games with people and some individuals tell people what they know people want to hear, but you ought to have enough respect for God's house that you don't play those games with God. Don't you come up to an altar and play a little game, put on a little show for individuals, and make yourself appear to be the, oh, I'm just Mr. Super Christian now, whatever, and you know deep at home the opposite is going on. Let me tell you something. You and I should have respect for the house of God.
He demands honesty from us. I have gotten down to pray, I can't tell you how many times I say, God, I have a rotten attitude right now. I have a rotten spirit. You've been better to me than I deserve, but Lord, I am selfish right now. I am full of junk, and I'm mad, and I'm this, and I'm that, and God, I'm not gonna hide it from you because you know it anyway. And God, I'm coming to you because I need a change of heart and attitude. Number three, what will we find when we go home?
This is good. Look at verse 20 and 21. He arose when he came to his father, but when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, had compassion, ran, fell on his neck and kissed him.
We talked about that this morning. Look at verse 21. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. I like verse 22, but the father said.
He never got to finish his speech. You see, it's really not important what you say. It's important what's in here. The son didn't have to tell the father that I've been humbled. He could see in the son that he'd been humbled. And dear friend, it's not our speeches that we give to God, and it's not our grand ability and capabilities. God sees right through us right into our heart. He knows when we're humble, and he knows when we're remorseful, and he knows when we have respect for him. He doesn't need to hear our speech.
He just has to see our heart. Thank you for listening today. We hope you received a blessing from our broadcast. The Kirtland Baptist Church is located at 4520 Old Hollow Road in Kernersville, North Carolina. You may also contact us by phone at 336-993-5192 or via the web at kirtlandbaptistchurch.com. Enjoy our services live and all our media on our website and church app. Thank you for listening to the Kerwin broadcast today. God bless you. ... ... ...
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