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The Prodigal People

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
January 4, 2021 12:00 am

The Prodigal People

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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January 4, 2021 12:00 am

From the beginning of time men have preferred to fashion gods in their likeness rather than allow God to fashion us in His. We are a prodigal people . . . and there is only one way back to the Shepherd. In this message Stephen tells us what it is.

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The gospel is the good news of salvation offered by God, but it begins with people realizing they have need for salvation. Thus, the gospel is first of all news that man is lost. The man is on the wrong path. The man is on the broad path that leads to destruction mankind is in deep trouble. God would seek them out. Still man returns were run the other way.

Even after hearing the truth of the gospel. There is only one hope that hope is Yahweh's son unless you understand gospel is privately a fallen mankind. We need a Savior, but from the beginning of time people have preferred to fashion gods in their likeness rather than allow God to fashion us into his likeness.

We are prodigal people and there's only one way back to the shepherd. Welcome to wisdom for the heart. Stephen Daly has a message for you today called the prodigal people staying with us in Romans chapter 3, which is where we have been for some time. In verse 10 we learn that mankind is totally depraved, totally sinful.

That is totally wretched and totally enslaved to sin. We also have learned that mankind according to the record of Scripture is spiritually dense. They cannot understand the things of the spirit of God for their spiritually appraised a person apart from the Holy Spirit cannot discern or appraise true spiritual things, even our world talks about spiritual experiences, our world talks about spiritual existence. Our world talks about spiritual things. According to the word of God. Apart from the regenerating, saving work of the Holy Spirit in the spirit of man is dead, not semi-conscious, but did not in some spiritual, or state of limbo but spiritually dead.

We also learned that mankind is not only totally depraved and spiritually dense but naturally disconnected from God. Paul is written later in verse 11 there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God.

The truth is sinful man like Adam all the way back in the very beginning of human history. After sitting against God did what he ran and hid from God and God came and said, in effect, in this first invitational Adam where are you did you not know where Adam was, as he did, of course, they wanted to pull manhood begun to run from him all the way back in the garden into the awareness of his sinfulness and his need for a God who is the true seeker Jesus Christ that I've come to seek and to save those who are lost. Luke chapter 19 verse 10, but somebody would say will and everybody believe in God so just in different ways. Well, 50 years ago, at least in our culture. The belief was fairly strong in one God, monotheism, and for the most part, the God derived from the Scriptures, the got introduced got illustrated the God described in the word of God me to believe in this God or you didn't believe in God all today, the God of the Bible is simply now one of many gods in India long 300,000 gods and each of them are equally valid in their claim and thus in our culture in our generation, even by the mid-1990s, according to the Barna research group that took a survey of of a number of different people on a religious level. I came to the conclusion quote nearly 2 out of every three adults now believe in this country that the choice of one religion over another is now irrelevant because all religions basically teach the same thing America has moved from pluralism. It is now fallen headlong into syncretism.

That is the combination the amalgamation of differing views, differing things even know they are contradictory as the Bible teach that we can all come up with our own way, the word of God says there is a way that seems right in the man but the end there literally is the way of what the way of death, serving to make it to heaven. The Bible says broad is the path that leads to destruction, and many there be that find it. But narrow is the path that leads the life everlasting and few there be that find it. 713. Thus, the gospel is first of all news that man is lost. That man is on the wrong path that man is on the broad path that leads to destruction mankind is in deep trouble that mankind is called and considered by God to be a depraved sinner. God would seek them out. Still man with terms that were run the other way. Even after hearing the truth of the gospel. There is only one hope that hope is Yahweh in the sun and the spirit. I stood this past year.

Outside a Hindu temple in Chennai, India and incredibly massive beautiful temple effect in India. Everyone is impoverished. They have spent an inordinate amount of money on tombs and temples caught as it were, by the religion of hundreds of thousands of gods they're all wondering and it was so sad to stand there and see this massive temple in the pitch of its roof was extremely steep, tiered as it went off probably 67 maybe is many as eight stories high and on each tear surrounding that temple were figures and figurines of their gods and goddesses, and they were all painted with incredibly beautiful colors and it was sort of a traffic stop or you just would stop and gaze at all other gods for chief God's there were two headed gods and and there were half human half animal gods and there were female goddesses that represented certain things and mail goddesses somewhat pleasing looks on their faces and some with fearsome looks on their faces and I stood below in this courtyard with teeming masses of people who were impoverished with beggars pulling on our sleeves making motions to their malls hungry, they would say in their language hungry, I couldn't help but think of the prophet is said their gods are made of wood and stone. They cannot hear they cannot speak, they cannot help what an illustration it was for me of humanity that is now in the process and has been in the process of creating its own gods, but it's God's cannot help them, and ultimately deceive now the apostle Paul delivers the fourth indictment on the human race. That man is purposefully defiant. Verse 12 news gets worse as he describes the human evil condition as he does in verses 10 to 12 of these six particular statements. He says all have turned aside all there it is again the word all have turned aside, what is he mean Vern means all lien in the wrong direction. In classical Greek usage. This verb would speak of a soldier in the midst of battle.

The turns and runs in the other direction he's running in the wrong way he's running in the wrong direction.

Alvin J. McLean writes this phrase is intended to most readers. In this day in the first century to picture a caravan that is crossing the desert that is chosen. For some reason or another to go another way. And they they get lost in the desert.

The die another way of basically saying the man's lost all have turned aside, but it actually leaves the responsibility upon whom us as human beings we have turned to follow a different path. Isaiah said the same thing, just in a different way. All of us like sheep have gone what have gone astray, each of us have turned to his own way.

Isaiah 53 61. Writer reminds the reader in his commentary that in the early church. The gospel was sometimes called the way the true way. Of course, ask 92. Christians were often referred to as followers of the way the call today that takes that term and uses it to further deceive people, but it was a phrase that came right out of the New Testament, even the demon the right to given a certain slave girl the power of divination acknowledged through her that Paul and his his companions were quote bond servants of the most high God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation. Act 1670 Luke referred to some Jewish opponents of Paul's ministry in Ephesus as men who were quote speaking evil of the way, acts 19 nine and because of that opposition later on in verse 23 you read there arose no small disturbance concerning the way the writer of Hebrews spoke of Christ's atoning work as a new and living way. Peter spoke of false teachers who it infiltrated the church as those who have forsaken the right way of the gospel which is the way of righteousness for second Peter 215 to 21 mankind has chosen them according to this text. Another way. That's why you can talk to people out on the street and wherever you go about the way through Christ and there was a nine and I got another way, Paul said that all of humanity is searching, as it were, after their own pursuits, not after God.

I love the text in John 14 were Thomas the disciple once as Jesus Christ very honest question. Jesus been reassuring the disciples that he was going go to heaven but they could come after him. Then he adds in that phrase he says where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way and he said that because he knew he would provoke out of his students. The question that would naturally come after that statement. You know the way.

Sure enough, Thomas was the one is it will play the second we don't know the way we be.

We know the way.

We don't know the way. What I find interesting is that Jesus is next statement is one of the most powerful of course in the New Testament where he said to Thomas, I am the way, three different statements. I am the truth I am the life. What an incredible answer let me illustrate it this way. Imagine you've moved to the city or this area from somewhere else. I just wonder how many people in here have moved to this area in the last five years. Raise your hand with C look around.

That's amazing. At least half of this audience didn't help us in this building program I mean moved here the last five years and you asked somebody when you got to North Carolina for directions. You said something like, how can I get to the nearest grocery store and they responded and you probably didn't understand them when they told you what you go to intersections and eternal rat anyone where the rat was no right turn right. Go another block or two internal laugh and you took their directions and you finally made it there. By the way, all of you that have moved here. Imagine what kind of answer would get if he asked somebody in Minnesota how to get somewhere. My grandpa's Minnesota. I was born in Minnesota have my family.

How many of you moved here from Minnesota just one to be traded in Jesse Ventura for Jesse Helms is a good trade. By the way, but I'll say no more. You asked somebody from Minnesota how to get somewhere in there like I know my grandpa well you go to boxing to turn north and India to more boxing to turn northeast. I don't have a compass on my truck dashboard is not a boat pointed out, turn left at Walmart and go right a block or two wealth. I love the story told by Billy Graham and himself one day. He was a young preacher and he arrived in a small town where he was holding a meeting and he wanted to mail a letter to a stop. The young boy on the street and asked him directions to the post office and after the boy told Dr. Graham thanked him and said Millicent Sonny if you come to church this evening him to be telling people how to get to heaven aforethought a minute then said well no thanks Mr. Uni not get to the post office, but as it has it ever occurred to you that God has not given directions to heaven, he has not said now you gonna travel north and you pass if you plan on sending a swing a little aft you know you know West a while and you go past alpha Centauri and then bear arrived in and you gonna make it there.

He never did. Was Jesus Christ giving the disciples directions to have another is the amazing thing about his answer. Suppose that person. US directions from told you look. You know what it's only lefts and rights in you getting it lost up to what I got sometime this afternoon. I'll take that person then for you does not become someone who gives you directions like on a map that person become your map all you do is follow them. You don't have to know which way to turn in and was waiting to follow him and when Jesus Christ said I am the way, he's basically saying all you have to do is follow me on the map on the guide one day of were still alive in his prophetic calendar comes to that culminating point. We call the rapture words can follow him.

We will know which way we turned in exactly how to describe to somebody else how to get there. We just going with the way who is the map on our behalf will what is Paul saying mankind does. Mankind is choosing another man.

Mankind is choosing another series of commands or implications were clear Scripture that we have of who to follow.

He says they have all what they have all turned aside. That is, they have chosen to take another path man is totally depraved. He is spiritually dense is naturally disconnected and here in verse 12 he is purposefully defiant.

All have turned away all turned aside to talk about God with people in US and for their opinion in the probably sit down with you and say what say what I think about it. Ensure you listen to them, but when you begin to talk to them about a holy God who will one day according to the Scripture judge all of mankind and in the world will stand accountable as it were to him. According to Scripture, they would say all accept the kind of God. I have concocted the kind of got I believe is a breeze, all loving you know everybody in even though mankind is abandoned the way to Z Jesus Christ, that I am the way, no one comes to the father except through me. He goes on to give another indictment against sinful humanity.

He says this basically mankind is also increasingly decadent the word to choose the lot in a positive way means that a person becomes increasingly sinful. Look at verse 12. Again, all have turned aside, together they have become useless. The Greek word useless as a translation of the Hebrew verb that literally refers to sour milk. He also intends to refer to the waist didn't make sure of the mill. That's the meaning of the word. The nature of the milk is intended to do something else but it can't because it has soured its to be taken at its three drugs to refresh and strengthen, but this is souring milk.

This is useless it's wasted. Uni wanting to be near its you hold it at arms length. If you have an open that it's the word here. Like the prodigal son who left the father's home with his inheritance. He spent all of his money on sinful pleasure.

He bought friends who came along for the party and and he would have told you it's really living but he is decaying. Ultimately, he will end up in that pigpen and that putrid barnyard filled with pigs. He has chosen the path that led him away as it were from the father and now his life is useless. It is wasted.

It is putrid, rancid, soured bitter it is and gentlemen, the further away our society or any generation or any person in here goes away from the truth. I have news for you.

According to this verb just this verb, you will not stay like you are you will only grow worse and more self-centered and more unfulfilled and more wasted and more bitter. It's happening on society and we see illustrations of how our putrid society is wasting away even more, having chosen as it were, to ignore the path chooses sin instead it calls good evil and evil good this past week's edition of the world magazine that I get had an article entitled destructive diagnosis of courses is written from an evangelical standpoint it did announce that the American Academy of pediatrics with its 55,000 members. You may have heard of this already's been on the news.

They've endorsed homosexual adoption, claiming that children raised by homosexuals can be as well-adjusted as those raised by her own moms and dads statement was published in pediatrics and it claims that evidence suggests no vital difference exists between either set or pair of parent. The report even claimed quote children seem to actually benefit actually benefit now from arrangements in which lesbian parents divide household tasks in an egalitarian manner.

Here in the magazine is a picture of two men sitting at the breakfast table with a little girl around the age of four, whom they have adopted apart from God ladies and Jomini according to the text of Scripture, the prodigal human race runs further and further from that which would truly fulfill them from that which would bring true guiltless living.

True security. True hope. True joy, true peace.

The world can never see it as well with my soul man is depraved, dense, disconnected, defiant, decadent now. Sixth, Paul basically says man is entirely disobedient. By the way, when he says in verse 12 there is none who does good. There is not even one. He sort of summarizes everything you just said. In fact, up at verse 10.

He has already said there is none who is good now in verse 12 he says there is none who does good. We are neither good nor can we do good things that you say to wait a second. I know unbelievers who do good things or remember, Paul is speaking here to the condition of mankind. He's talking about the internal nature of man compared to the holiness of God, and there are people who behave better than other people and it's tragic when an unbeliever might even behave in a certain situation better than a believer but is referring to the nature of mankind. He is referring to that sinful inner core that even though it can move its hand and some good gesture or do something good maybe kind he is when compared to the holy, righteous living standard by the spirit of God, unable to meet it and so Paul can categorically say that all of mankind is unrighteous that when you look at somebody else that's worse than you can say a lot better now.

That's not the standard. The standard is not somebody you standard is God when held to that standard. There is none righteous, not even one left to himself.

Prodigal human race will wrap himself among the hogs and say even there. This is living. This is the way I wanted. I have testified of the gospel of Jesus Christ to people who had reached what I would consider new would consider the bottom who have instead justified defended said this is my choice for life. The one who is being rescued. The one in this auditorium who has already been rescued by the Savior is one who was recognize themselves as sinful direction, defiant, depraved, disobedient Dick and decadent, the great evangelist of 100 years ago Dwight Moody once told being asked by the warden of a large prison in New York City to preach to the inmates because there was no chapel there are any other place. It would be safe or suitable to speak to the group he had Moody stationed on-ramp, a balcony so to speak, and course down that balcony were a series of cell doors.

Of course, across the abyss. Another tiered level with cell doors Moody can see anybody but instead of the end of that revenue preach the gospel at the end of the sermon he asked the warden if he could walk down that ramp that the tear balcony and just look in through the windows, little board openings in each door. Just talked to some of the inmates face-to-face. The warden gave them permission. Moody said he soon discovered that most of the men and not even listening to his message. That, of course, disheartened him. He soon also discovered when he talked to them and most of the men were declaring the justification of their actions or their innocence, they would insist that a false witness testified against him more that he was mistaken for the true criminal or the judge or jury was prejudiced against Moody Road. I began to become deeply discouraged when I had gone almost through the end I found one man one man with his elbows on his knees and two streams of tears running down his cheeks. I looked in at the little window and said my friend.

What is your trouble. He looked up with despair on his face said my sin more than I can bear. Moody said thank God for that. Thank God for explained to him that the full realization of sinfulness is that initial work of the Spirit of God that is calling and drawing and bringing one to true repentance.

My sins are more that I can bear. Have you come to see yourself that way. My friend, I believe there are people, perhaps even in this auditorium we think there save with think that God saved a pretty decent person and did himself a favor that we really want that bad after all. But the Alcala Jesus to my bag didn't see their sin, who repented of nothing basically choose to live the same way, have you found yourself in Romans chapter 3 where Paul writes in verse 10 as it is written, there is none righteous, not even one, there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God.

All have turned aside, together they have become useless.

There is none who does good. There is not even my friend, the person who finds his or her name in this paragraph is the person will discover their names written in the Lamb's book of life for to admit you're sinfulness to admit your need of a Savior is to be forgiven is to be redeemed is to be rescued free for you have come to know that only in the realization of your sinfulness come to know the one who is the way it was the truth, who is the life you have, more will come to know the one said those of you who know the truth. The truth, the truth will make freedom, else our shame and from the consequences of our sin is what we all desperately need to continue exploring this all this week here on wisdom for the heart. Stephen Davey is in a series called the depravity of man, the deliverance of God. This is the fourth message in that series, and Stevens calling this message.

The prodigal people. If you missed the first three lessons and want to go back and hear them there posted to our website. If you go to wisdom online.org you can navigate to the page called daily broadcast. There you can see all of our most recent messages. The archives are also posted to that site so you can listen to any of Stephen's sermons from his 35 years of pastoral ministry. By the way, you can also do all of that from the wisdom international app for your phone or tablet install that app from the App Store for your device. It's not too late to begin the habit of daily Bible reading in 2021. We've developed a reading plan that you can follow along with on our app. We also have a printed copy available if you want to call us today. We can send you a complimentary copy. Our number is 86 648 Bible 866-482-4253. Thanks for joining us. Please join us again tomorrow as we continue through this series here on list on the heart


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