“Grace and Our Past Failures”, Dr. Charles Stanley discusses the seven-step spiral downward that people go through when they choose to live independently of God. He begins by explaining that God will allow His children to fail in their Christian life, even if it means they end up in a “hog pen” of sin and despair. However, Stanley also emphasizes that God’s response to our past failures is always grace. No matter how far we have strayed, God is always waiting for us to return to Him. – All sin begins with desire. When we desire something that is not in line with God’s will, we are setting ourselves up for failure. – Once we have a desire, we make a decision to act on it. This decision may be conscious or unconscious, but it is always a choice. – When we act on our desires, we separate ourselves from God. We may try to justify our actions, but the truth is that we are choosing to live independently of Him. – The further we go down the spiral of sin, the more difficult it becomes to turn back. This is why it is so important to repent and turn to God as soon as possible. – God’s response to our past failures is always grace. He is always willing to forgive us and welcome us back into His family. If you are struggling with past failures, we hope this sermon will give you hope and encouragement. It reminds us that God’s grace is always available to us, no matter how far we have strayed. Order this sermon today: https://store.intouch.org/purchase/gr…

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for more content Subscribe for more Dr. Stanley sermons, daily devotions, and bible studies This sermon is part of the sermon series Grace: God’s Second Chance: Part 1 – A Second Chance Now Part 2 – Grace Alone Part 3 – Grace: Our Only Hope Part 4 – Grace and Continuing Sin Part 5 – Grace and Our Past Failures Part 6 – The Gospel of the Grace of God Part 7 – The Cross – Grace Displayed Part 8 – The Riches of His Grace Radio Classics are sermons from Dr. Stanley’s radio ministry released to encourage and build your relationship with Jesus Christ.


with a message from God’s word here’s


Stanley a failure is not someone who

fails but someone who fails and gives up

in all of our lives there are past sins

things for which we are ashamed of Feel

So Unworthy to come to God and ask him

to forgive us and yet he tells us very

clearly in his word what his response to

our past failures our shame our sins our

guilt there are many people who want to

be delivered many people who want to get

out of the bondage that they feel so

desperately about but somehow they don’t

know how to get out they’re not quite

sure how God will respond if they come

to him again and say father here’s my

past will you forgive me will you give

me a new beginning they’re not quite

sure the title of this message is Grace

and our past failures and I want you to

turn if you will to Luke chap 15 and on

this occasion we’re not going to read

all of this because it’s verses 11

through 32 there are too many of them to

read but you know the story of the

prodical son here is the most beautiful

description of God’s work of Grace in

the life of a young man which is typical

really of the life of all of us and

sometimes we ask the question well why

is that prodical sun story so famous and

why is it the one that people love so

much I’ll tell you why

because all of us will find ourselves in

that story somewhere or the other maybe

not to the same degree but somewhere or

the other we’ll find it now let me just

give you a little brief idea of what’s

Happening remember that these two sons

the younger of them said to his

father father I want what’s coming to me

and I’m leaving and so he took his part

of the inheritance he left the Bible

says he went into a distant country and

he squandered it he ended up in a hog

pin and and a point of real true

desperation in his life and it is out of

this story that God displays and

describes for us his own character

himself as in few other passages in all

the Bible now let me just say first of

all at this point that all of the hog

pin are not on farms they’re in big

cities a hog pin is where anybody is

trapped anyone is imprisoned

by anyone is addicted to anything and

they can’t escape they can’t get out

there’s no Freedom they’re in absolute

bondage it is those positions and those

conditions in life where people feel

like they’re coming to the end and

there’s no way out and they do not know

what to do all for example the prodical

are not in hog pins some of them are

sitting in church on Sunday morning they

live in the hog pin six days a week and

on Sunday they dress up and come to

church hoping they’ll be able to silence

or at least quiet or deafen an aching

conscience that keeps knowing all the

time all of the prodal are not in the

hog pins in the world some of them are

sitting in church on Sunday morning In

this passage of scripture what I want

you to see is this I want you to see how

low down a person can become in their

life and what is God’s response when

they choose to come back to him now many

of us have been taught a lot of

erroneous things that sounded good and

felt good so we accepted them a lot of

us have attitudes about God that we

think surely correct because our parents

taught them and or our Sunday school

teacher or our pastor taught them what I

want to ask you to do is to open your

heart and ask yourself the question is

what this man’s saying is this what God

is saying in his word is this the truth

of God’s word is there something about

me that won’t let me accept some of this

and if it is why is it that I have such

a difficult time accepting what God says

about his grace and his love you see

most of us have an attitude ude toward

God that’s not biblical somebody told us

about it it sounds good in fact it

matches up to human nature and their

idea about God that they’ve taught us

really fits what is the most comfortable

with us and so that’s the way we believe

about God what I want you to see today

in this passage is this that it doesn’t

make any difference which hog pin you’re

in it doesn’t make any difference how

deep in sin you are it doesn’t make any

difference what’s going on in your life

God tells us in his word that for our

past sins his response is the response

of Grace so I want us to look at this

passage and what we’ll do we’ll take in

all of these verses before the message

is over but I want us to begin in this

15th chapter and simply say first of all

that God will allow his children listen

God will allow his children to fail in

their Christian Life God will allow you

and me who’ve been saved by his grace

know that we’re saved he will allow was

to make choices in life that’ll bring

about failure in our Christian

experience I didn’t say that God would

cause it but here’s what will happen God

knowing the future and knowing the pain

we’ll suffer knowing the wrongs we’ll

commit even though he foresees our pain

foresees the mistake foresees the

consequences God will allow us if we so

choose to walk away from him in our

spiritual life you know people who’ve

been saved you knew they were saved no

doubt in your mind about it and they

used to go to church sat on the front

row the second row down front had their

Bible took notes and for some reason or

the other after a while they stopped

coming to church and then they stopped

reading the Bible then they stopped

praying and you seldom ever see them

again and once in a while if you run

into them they say well you know I just

got so busy and and so forth or they may

say well you know I don’t much have time

for that now and uh yeah I used to be

committed but somehow I don’t know what

happened I’m just here and I’m just sort

of hanging in here where I am and they

find themselves in a hogpen and the

tragedy is many people are wallowing in

the Hog Pen and don’t even know they’re

there they think they’re still where

they used to be but they’re not they’ve

drifted and so God even though he knows

what’s going to happen if we make the

choice if we choose to live

independently of God in our lifestyle

God will allow it now what I want you to

see is this there is a seven step spiral

downward when a person chooses to live

independently of God independence from

God is the basis of all sin it doesn’t

make any difference if it’s something

simple or something complex any moment I

choose to do it my way and ignore God or

deliberately willfully walk away from

what I know is his will I choose at that

moment to take the first step downward

in the spiral of sin which is going to

lead to defeat and UT of desperation so

I want you to jot down these seven steps

because all of us either now or at some

point in our life have been somewhere in

this spiral now you can step out anytime

you choose to step out if you’re wise

enough to realize that God is able to

deliver you at any point but somewhere

in these seven steps down this spiral

most people are going to find themselves

now listen if you’re one of those

persons and you know that you are saved

but you are living in sin know that you

are and you’ve explained it away you’ve

rationalized it you said yes my parents

taught me about I came from a Christian

home or you didn’t come from a Christian

home but you know that you got saved no

doubt in your mind about it but you say

as you say wandered away from God you

have sort of um shall we say uh Slipped

Away the real truth is backsliding is a

better word that is you have walked away

from God deliberately for some reason or

the other something you wanted you chose

to act independently of God the first

step is desire all sin begins with that

that is all deler deliberate sin begins

with desire this young man the Bible

says in verse 12 the younger of these

two sons said to his father father give

me the share of the estate that falls to

me and he divided his wealth between

them he desired to live his own life

independent of his family he didn’t ask

his father for wisdom or guidance or

Direction he just chose to walk away

from the family whenever you and I

choose to live in sin disobey God we

first of all Des desire listen to this

we first of all desire something that

allures us challenges us Woos us away

from our intimate relationship with God

the Father the second the second word I

want you to jot down is decision he not

only desired but he made a decision he

went to his father and he said I want my

part and I am leaving he made a decision

to leave the scripture says that he

chose to put all of his things together

and once he had them together the the

Bible says that he chose to leave now if

he’d have been a smart boy he’d have

said father what do you think about this

what do you think is the wisest thing to

do but he had a desire and that desire

brought him to a decision his decision

was to live away from the father you see

because in his mind he had to make a

decision that was going to bring about

some dissension probably or mis

understanding and so he made this

decision the third word is departure he

left now what I want you to see about

the departures this when he left he made

sure he put enough distance between him

and his father to be able to do what he

wanted to do when he wanted to do it how

he wanted to do it with whom he wanted

to do it and for the reasons he wanted

to do it and there’d be nobody around to

tell him any different you see all sin

is a desire to act independently of God

our loving father knows what’s best for

us our loving father is a god of wisdom

a god of righteousness and a God who

seeks our best always when we choose to

disobey him we say we’re smarter than he

is we want this even though we know deep

down inside the consequences will be

painful so he departed and it’s

interesting what the Bible says he went

into a distant land or as the King James

says into a far Country Now where in the

world is a far country it’s different

for most people for example somebody who

lives way down in south Georgia here

somewhere could come to Atlanta and get

lost in this big city find their own

apartment get them a job I don’t have

any close friends just do what they want

to do and be what they want to be and

sort of be isolated and exclusive and

Anonymous do their own thing for them

this city would be a far country but

there are other people who live in a far

country whether they go to Miami or

Chicago or New York or some small town

where is a far country a far country is

any place you and I choose to live

outside the will of God any place you

and I choose to live outside the will of

God as a far country which means not

only in a small business Village but

right here in this church building or in

your church where you go to church week

after week you can live in a far country

and still be in a church house it is

anywhere we choose to live outside the

will of God so the third word there is

his departure the fourth word I want you

to notice here is the word deception

because this is always what happens you

see the reason he chose to walk away he

was deceived the very idea that he’d be

better off uh with his little bit of

knowledge making it on his own in that

very very difficult country not seeking

his father’s wise counsel of years and

years and years what happened Satan

whispered in his ear look you don’t need

them you can do it without them you can

make it on your own besides look at all

the wonderful exciting thrilling things

in life that you’re missing living out

here on this old plantation you need to

get in the big city man you need to find

out what life’s all about you need to

try out some things you need to uh test

out your own wings I mean grow up up get

out there in the world do your thing

make it on your

own remember this Satan always tells

us what we’re going to get but he never

tells us what we’re going to miss and

the truth is he never tells us all we’re

going to get he just tells us the part

that appeals to our old fleshly desires

and so the scripture says that he

departed he departed because he had been

deceived by his feelings by his

attitudes been deceived by Satan

everybody living in the far country is

living in deceit living in deception

listening to the devil’s lie it’s going

to work you don’t need God listen just

because your parents went to church

doesn’t mean you have to go to church

just because your grandparents went to

church doesn’t mean it’s necessary for

you today I mean this is a new day man

this is the 20th century you don’t need

all that stuff all these preachers and

this Bible beaten and all this Hellfire

and Damnation and all these Christians

going to church on Wednesday night

Sunday morning Sunday night man you

don’t need all that stuff you don’t even

have time for that man get in the world

and live and see what life’s all about

that is the deception of the

devil but it leads to step number five

and that step is defeat and I want you

to notice what happened to this young

man the Bible says that first of all he

suffered defeat morally and the

scripture says that he verse 14 that he

spent everything and he went into a far

country distant country squandered his

estate with loose living now loose

living over in verse 30 when the oldest

son and his father went a conversation

with each other the oldest son said

about the youngest son and he may have

known the truth about him they probably

knew each other pretty well he said to

him he said this son of yours came who

has devoured your wealth with harlots

you killed the fatted Cal for him so

first of all he suffered defeat morally

the second way he experienced defeat was

financially because the Bible says he

lost everything he had he squandered it

he wasted it he he scattered it the

third thing he suffered defeat in was

this he suffered defeat in his own

personhood because what happened was

when he ended up in the hog

pin he lost his sense of self- reses his

sense of

self-esteem here he was having been the

finest of robes the finest of shoes the

finest of everything the finest the food

in that hog pin he lost it all he

squandered not only his wealth but his

own personhood he lost his own sense of

potential and sense of self-respect and

self-esteem the fourth thing he suffered

defeat in was in his relationships that

is he separed himself from his family

then he seped himself from whatever

friends he had usually if you’ve got a

lot and you’re living in sin when your

lot gives out your friends get gone

that’s exactly what happened to him

because the scripture says he began to

be in need and no one would give him

anything to eat not one single person so

think about it on the spiral of defeat

and that’s what it is the spiral

downward not only is there defeat but

there’s defeat in many aspects of a

person’s life defeat in their moral life

defeat in their financial life defeat in

their relational life and defeat in

their own sense of personhood then the

next word I want you to jot down is

despair because that is exactly what

happened to him he began to despair of

life here he was in a hog pin slopping

Hogs and the Bible says that no one

would give him anything he lost all of

his money he lost his sense of

self-respect his decency he lost it all

and as he looked around he had nothing

he was in absolute Despair and the Bible

says a famine came in the land now

listen if you living in sin and you have

chosen to live disobediently before God

and you just hanging in there with that

sin you can remember this there will be

a famine in your path sooner or later

what kind I don’t know but it is coming

you see it’s amazing when you choose to

deliberately walk away from God and dis

obey him and live in sin and know that

you’re there my friend God begins to put

every force of Life against you not

because he is against you but in order

to bring you from despair down to the

next step and the next step is

desperation because desperation is the

step before there is Deliverance

desperation is the step before there is

Deliverance or absolute utter

destruction now I want you to think

about this story in the 15th chapter you

recall beginning in verse one the

scripture says now all the tax gatherers

and the Sinners were coming near to

listen to him and both the Pharisees and

the scribes began to Grumble saying this

man receives Sinners and eats with them

so one of the primary reasons Jesus told

this story was to make a point with the

Pharisees and the Sadducees all the

sophisticated religious leaders of the

day who thought they knew it all they

couldn’t stand for Jesus to meet with

Sinners and so he tells this story and

there are three Parables here but he

tells this story story of these two

young men and their father what is it

that Jesus is after in telling this

story it isn’t simply that he loved to

tell stories and it isn’t simply that

he’s just talking about lost things

usually what we do when we come to this

story of the lost sheep and the lost

coin the lost son we’re talking about

lost people being saved and that

certainly is true and all the things we

say about those things are true but what

is the real point of these three

Parables and especially this last one

Jesus is about to make a comparison

Jesus is about to nail a point down that

they’ll not be able to accept but I want

to tell you something that a lot of

people who sit in pews week after week

who can’t accept it either and you’ve

listened to the gospel and listen to the

gospel and listen to the gospel for

years and years and years and what I’m

about to tell you is going to be

difficult for some of you because you’re

going to say now wait just a minute hold

it hold it hold it hold it wait a minute

you mean to tell me and the answer

Hallelujah is

yes now listen

this young man reached the point of

desperation and what was that

desperation well look at this the

scripture says in um verse 14 when he

had spent everything a severe famine

occurred in the country and he began to

be in need need of everything he went

and attached himself to one of the

citizens of that country and he sent him

into his fields to feed swine and he was

longing to fill his stomach with the

pods that the swine were eating and no

one was was giving him anything so look

at his point of desperation now Jesus

described this in a way that would put

this man in the most desperate position

that he could be in in the eyes of these

religious Pharisees and Sadducees who

were so hypocritical so here’s what

Jesus said he said this young Jewish

boy got so desperate that he went and

hired himself to a gentile hog farmer

because no Jew would have been a hog

farmer so it had to be a gentile this

Jewish boy hired himself out to a

gentile hog farmer and his

responsibility as a Hired Hand of this

Gentile hog farmer was to feed Hogs and

that is in our day slop the pigs now how

many of you ever been to a farm and SE

have seen them slop Hogs well some of

you have and not very many of you well I

can remember the first time I read this

passage of scripture that that suddenly

it came live to me because I I grew up

in Virginia and my hometown where I

lived was just always a mile or two out

in the country to where the Farms were

and so some of my relatives had a farm

and I’d go out and spend a week with

them and I remember what I used to do

I’d get up in the morning with them and

I’d just go around and watch them do

whatever they did and I did that for

7even days and that was my vacation just

following them around early in the

morning till late night that’s that was

my vacation didn’t have any money you

had to do whatever you could do so it

was different anyway and so I remember

feeding chickens and watching them and

milk the cows and do all these things

but then I can remember slopping those

Hogs listen you know what they would do

they take all of the food that been left

over during the day you know they fed

big big meals three times a day for

these Farmers they take all of this and

mix it up with water and when you say

slop I mean old dirty biscuits and

mashed up stuff in meat and fat and

vegetables and all those things just


stuff I can remember five gallon can

taking that 5 gallon can here they came

dump it into the trough and sometimes

two or three of them Here Come Those

Hogs I mean they just come slapping

through the mud stick their stick their

old uh nose down and then just slop it

up I mean just all the noise that going

on i’ think what a horrible mess I mean

it would almost make me sick on my

stomach just thinking about

it and of course they gave him a little

corn and so forth every once in a while

but the important thing was watching him

slop those

Hogs you know it was horrible to me but

it was wonderful to the hog I mean he

stick his nose down and there and it was

it was all gone I mean they slopped it

till it was all

gone now you

know those old Hogs are just as

comfortable as they could be they just

wall around in the mud and just lay

around in the mud but here they come and

if if if they were if they were

coming if they were coming with a slop I

mean everybody got excited in the hog

pin but you know what if you were to put

a gentle little white clean lamb in that

hog pin he’d be very

uncomfortable mired up to about right

there in the mud he’d be very

uncomfortable Hogs they loved

it let me ask you a

question have you walked away from

God and you are living in

sin and what you have feasting on

isn’t kitchen

slop but it’s a whole lot more disa ous

to you than

that it could be

alcohol drugs you bought off the street

or drugs you bought off over the

counter or some kind of sin going on in

your life that you know is absolutely a

violation of the word of God then my

friend you slopping with the Hogs you’re

in the pen and don’t even know that you

are and you see if you’ve been saved by

the grace of God you know what you’re

like you’re like a lamb over in the hog

pin you don’t belong there you don’t

Lambs don’t fit with

Hogs now if you’re lost be a

hog if you’re lost if you’ve turned God

down you’ve never trusted him as your

savior then you’re just doing natural

things you’re just doing what comes

natural in the hog pin living in sin

just taking what you can get your hog

pin may be absolutely beauti beautiful

and what you eat what you’re eating may

be the finest that money can buy but

it’s still slop without God

right and that’s where he was the point

of absolute desperation that Jesus

couldn’t have listen he couldn’t even

have thought up anything that more

depicted the lowest state that a young

man could find himself than where he was

a Jewish boy hired out to a gentile hog

farmer and what was he doing he was

feeding his Hogs now he got in such a

position here the Bible says that he was

racing with the Hogs to find the pods

that fell off these trees and these

trees about 30t tall and these big long

husk would fall off and the Hogs were

eating them for food and he found

himself eating the same things the Hogs

were longing to fill his stomach with

the pods that the swine were eating no

one was giving him a single solitary


nothing he reached the point of

desperation it it was at the point of

desperation that the prodical

son said wait a

minute how many hired servants does my

father have and bread enough to eat and

here I am in need he turned his Focus

from that hog pin back to the father and

my friend in his darkened heart of

Despair suddenly something ignited

inside of him and it was

hope maybe his father would take him

back maybe he wouldn’t have to live like

this the rest of his life maybe his

father would take him back the Bible

says he made a decision he said I’m

going back to my

father you know what he did he rehearsed

what he would say he says I’m going to

say to my father father I have sinned

against heaven and in your sight and in

no more worthy to be called one of your

sons make me as one of the Hired Hands

one of the hired servants the Bible says

he jumped the fence and headed home now

all of that part of this story Jesus

told in order to get his point across

and all of this part of the story simply

says to us God will allow his children

to choose if they choose to do so he

will allow us to walk away to live in

sin if we choose to because God respects

our free will now listen carefully all

of us have a free will with certain

limitations there is no such thing there

is no such thing as an ABS absolutely

free will God who is Sovereign in this

universe has restraints on everyone he

he may appear to have less restraints on

some than others but he has restraints

ultimately on everyone there’s no such

thing as an absolutely free will but he

does respect our desires and our will

that if we choose to walk away he allows

us to walk away but friend you just

heard it and that’s the way it is

there’s a downward spiral of sin that

leads ultimately to Despair and

Desperation and either destruction or

Deliverance this young man focused his

attention upon his father and as he did

he made a decision which leads me to the

second thing I want to say and that’s

this that God responds to our

failure with Grace God responds to our

failure with Grace now there is a

dramatic picture here in a comparison of

something I want you to see here in just

a moment he responds to our failure with

Grace now listen carefully so you won’t

misunderstand this young man decided to

come back home now you listen and say

amen amen he was not forgiven because he

returned home

right he was not forgiven because he


home he was forgiven before he ever

thought about coming home and I say that

because some of you who are saying well

you know I want to get right with God

and I but but I’m telling you I just I I

I I just don’t think God would accept me

I have sinned against him I’ve disobeyed

him I’ve disobeyed my parents I’ve dis

disobeyed my heavenly father I’ve sinned

against heaven and against other people

how in the world is God going to take me

back what am I going to have to do to

get back what am I going to have to do

to get worthy to be acceptable in the

eyes of God you can do

nothing absolutely

nothing his acceptance by his father was

not dependent upon his confessions or

his repentance or uh his desire to do

better that’s not the reason the father

accepted him and that’s not the reason

the father accepts us it is not based on

that listen it is based on the character

of God who is this God whom you and I

serve he is a god of righteousness and

Justice yes but he is a God of all Grace

the Bible says he is the God of all

Grace he is the god of love and

forgiveness and understanding you said

but no wait a minute I have a difficult

time of that well that’s because you’ve

been taught that God is a God of Justice

and righteousness and he is and a god of

judgment and he is but I want you to

look again at the gospels of Jesus

Christ and point out to me anybody that

Jesus condemned Jesus judged Jesus was


toward who except those who were

self-righteous hypocritical religious

leaders everybody else he said the same

thing you’re forgiven go and sin no more

come on I’m going home with you today

publicans and Sinners and the reason

those Pharisees had such a hard time is

that he was so forgiv giving and so

loving and reaching out to people who

were down and out and up and out and

people in the hog pins of life loving

them forgiving them appealing to them

crying out to them to come to him

Pharisees couldn’t handle

it now when you look at this passage and

you look at what Jesus was teaching here

it’s very evident what he was saying

that listen if it is the character of

God to love and if he loves listen if he

loves you and me

unconditionally then that’s the way it

is it isn’t based on performance of what

I’m going to do it is an unconditional

love now one of the primary reasons that

there are several reasons that people

who get caught up into sin will not come

back to God first of all they feel so

much shame over their sin and what I

want you to see here is this that Jesus

has pictured this heavenly

father as a god of Grace because that’s

who he is a god of Grace now listen to

this he put this young man in the worst

condition he could be in spin it all

squandered it all left it all immoral

bankrupt in every way had absolutely

nothing slopping hogs for a gentile hog

farmer brother that’s his loow down as

you can get as a

Jew Jesus said now I want to tell you

how my father responds to people like

that and so he told the rest of the

story and here’s what I want you to

watch now watch this carefully

listen if the father had died do you

realize that this young man could never

have come

home he couldn’t have come home you said

well he had a brother that’s what I mean

he had a brother that’s the reason he

couldn’t come home because you see his

brother his brother is typical of the

law listen to this now you can be in a

church you can even be a pastor you can

be in a legalistic church whereby you

have been taught in order to please God

you must perform on in the following

manner yes or there’s certain things we

do and certain things we don’t do there

are the Ten Commandments the Beatitudes

and then there are our Commandments

right and so how do you live up to those

you cannot it’s like the fellow who

jumps the high jump the higher you jump

and the better you do they keep raising

the standard on you until finally you

can’t that’s the way we picture God and

so what do we have we have a god of

law rules regulations stipulations live

up to it and as we’ve said before over

and over and over again the Ten

Commandments were not given to us to

live by to get saved by they were given

to us to show us our Absolute Total

inadequacy and unworthiness and to drive

us to Christ so that listen to this

young man the brother now when the son

comes home and they’re having this big

festive party lots of food music and

dancing and I mean they just really

having a big blowout the son comes in

and he says to one of the servants

what’s going on he said well your

brother’s come home and now he’s safe

and sound and we I mean he says even the

slaves are in on this party he said what

yes the Bible says he was angry listen

to this conversation with the Father the

father comes out trying to get the son

to come on into the party listen to what

he says in verse

29 he answered and said to him look for

so many years I have served you

performance and I have never neglected a


rules and yet you’ve never ever given me

a kid that I may be married with my

friends look at this but when this son

of yours not my brother when this son of

yours who wasted his substance with his

wealth on and devouted it with harlots

you killed the Fatt C for him anger

bitterness resentment hostility

separation I have performed I’ve been

with you all these years I’ve kept the

rules I’ve not

disobeyed now suppose the prodical had

come home to him let me tell you what it


like the prodal comes home and the

brother sees

him so what does he do he takes out

heads out toward the field because he

decides he’s not going to be he’s not

going to meet him he’ll have to come

after him if he wants

him oh you’re coming back forget

it man you blew it brother you got your

part of the inheritance what was due you

you got your rightful part and you BW

that’s your tough luck

you messed it all up you blew it the

only way you can come back is to work

for me and not only that you can just

count yourself as one of the Hired Hands

you’re not going to be treated any

better and any differently you get paid

the same thing they do but I’m here to

tell you you going to have to live under

our rules and our

regulations you don’t like it you don’t

stay that’s the

law he’ll never come home to his

brother but let’s look at his father

now suppose his father had been the same

kind of man the Bible says that when

this young man was coming home that his

father saw him a way a great distance

off if this father had been like most

people picture God a god of law rules

regulations stipulations legalistic live

up to perform or else here’s what the

father would have

said that looks like that’s that

backslid waywood despic able prodical

son of mine coming up the road well I’m

getting out of here because I don’t want

him to see me sitting out here standing

out here so the father leaves finally

the son comes and he and the father meet

the father says to him you look like a

mess what in the world have you been

doing you’ve lost weight you’re filthy


stink you don’t even have any shoes on I

guess you’ve lost it all haven’t you

what are you coming back here for if you

you’re coming back here let me tell you

something right now you’ve got to make

amends you got to make restitution for

what you’ve done you got to pay back all

you’ve wasted you’re in debt son you’re

in debt to me the rest of your life to

pay back all the money that I gave you

out of those hard years of work that I

did and I gave you your share and you

wasted it and you squandered it and you

spread it around you messed it up and

you you just messed up your life you

come back here you got to pay and I mean

you better perform

how long son I don’t know the rest of

you life I don’t know how long it’s

going to ever take you to pay it back

but I’m going to be watching you and you

better live up to the rules and if you

don’t you’re

out now if you will to come back under

those conditions come on go on out to

the slave’s house and get yourself some

clothes get

busy get to work and start paying back

what you owe

me what would you have done if you’d

have been him and your father had said

that you and I probably would have bowed

our heads and walked away and thought Oh

God right I can’t handle two hog

pins but Jesus told the story so he

could get to the next

part listen to this the Bible says this

father and here’s the here’s the picture

of holy God a god of

Grace this old father standing out on

the porch and he looks down the road a

long ways and he sees that boy and the

more he looks at him he thinks that

looks that looks like my

son and the scripture says when he

recognized that it was his son listen

his heart just ballooned with

compassion and what did what did he do

he went he took off running down the

road now the reason Jesus put that in

there was this in the customs of their

day no one no important person ever ran

in public and what Jesus is saying is

when one of his backslidden children

living in sin comes home God the Father

runs to meet him yes and what does he do

when he runs down the road to meet him

he doesn’t stop and say hold it right

there what a mess hold it you stink so

bad I can’t get close to you the Bible

says he ran to that boy he didn’t stop

he didn’t say anything he ran and threw

his arms around him and hugged him

listen hog slopping all he hugged him

smelly and all he hugged him he kissed

him he rejoiced over him and here’s this

boy trying to say now father listen I

know that I’ve done wrong and I want to

ask you just make M be said oh son I’m

so glad to get you home I just love you

bless you for coming home he couldn’t

even listen to the confession for loving

that boy listen that boy didn’t come

home to get forgiven he was forgiven

before he ever left home and listen that

father didn’t forgive him because he

came home he was forgiven before he ever

came home that boy didn’t have to come

home and repent of his sins to get

forgiveness listen that Daddy didn’t

even listen to any of that he hugged him

and him and he because he was already

forgiven then remember where he came

from this is a Jewish boy slopping hogs

for a gentile hog farmer having lost his

father’s entire inheritance and spent

his life in immorality and debauchery

and has absolutely wasted his life and

what is the response of a loving father

come on

son and what happens while he’s trying

to confess In this passage Mage he says

Hey Ho Let’s have a big party tonight

bring the best robe not just the robe

kill the fatted calf not just the calf

bring me a ring a sign of sunship and

restoration give him a robe let’s he

says we are really going to have it

tonight all the slaves are invited

everybody’s invited big Feast everything

food laughter dancing music Hallelujah

my sons come

home you say well now I I think if I


um get that kind of reception maybe I’d

get back to

God my friend listen to me do you know

why that’s in the

Bible because Jesus was

portraying in a language in a culture in

an environment with things that people

could identify with to say to you and me

when you and I come back

and get our hearts right all of the

angels in heaven rejoice and there is

praise and thanksgiving and

blessing you say but you mean to tell me

that I can go away and live in sin and

live like this and all all God has to do

is just say come on in no I didn’t say

that this part is not in the scripture

because this wasn’t what Jesus was after

because he couldn’t have said it at this

point because it had never happened do

you know why God can take folks like you

and me whove sinned against him and


him do you know why he can take folks

like us take us back in love and

forgiveness and kindness and

graciousness because Grace is God’s

kindness and graciousness taught us

without regard to what we deserve or

what we are worth and in spite of what

we deserve you know why here’s the

reason he said in his word here’s the

law the the law is the soul that sinth

it shall die every hog pin boy has had

it that’s what the law

says so how does Jesus Keep face with

all of his holy angels all of his

prophets and all all of us how how does

how do how does God the Father forgive

us and love us

back when he said the soul that sth it

shall die and look what this young man’s

done look what all of us have done how

does he forgive us here’s the way it’s

the only way

he says that he so loved you and me and

everybody else that he gave his only

begotten son that whoever believes in

him would not perish but have eternal

life not if and but except none of that

have eternal

life the only way God can be true to

himself and be a loving God of Grace is

that his son paid your sin that in mine

in full you know you know what that

means that means every despicable year

of your life every sin that you’ve ever

committed all those days weeks and

months and years in the hog pin you know

what that means all of that was dumped

on Jesus and when he died your

forgiveness was provided you think

that’s cheap let me ask you this if

you’re a father who has a son a mom who

has a son or a daughter

father do you think it would be cheap to

you if in order to save millions of

people your son or your daughter had to

be almost stripped naked and hung

between two criminals crucified dying

with spikes in hands and

feet would you call that cheap neither

does God the Father it CS God the

Father the life of his son Jesus to make

it possible for us to be forgiven this

is a god of

Grace you say but but look at that you

mean to tell me I can get by with sin

now watch this always being asked that

because somebody’s so afraid somebody’s

going to get by with something let me

ask you a question are you

listening would you say that the prodal

got by with

anything he bankrupt himself morally

financially relationally in his

personhood lost it all blew it

all do you say that he got by something

because because his reception by his

father was son I love you you were

forgiven before you ever left

home that’s this wonderful God of Grace

that you and I

serve does that mean that there’s no

judgment no doesn’t mean that it means

that God’s not in the Judgment business

today upon his children no

condemnation therefore there is

therefore no condemnation to those who

are in Christ Jesus listen not

any and you know what the wonderful

thing about that is you know I don’t

have to live up to anything that is we

don’t have to perform to get God to

accept us what did this young man have

to do to get his father to accept him

nothing not a


listen his coming home made it possible

for his father to express toward him

what his father felt toward him while he

is in the hog

pin the coming back didn’t get him for

love and forgiveness the coming back

made it possible for the father to

express it I don’t know what you’re

going through or where you are but I

want to tell you this our father is a

father of Grace and love and forgiveness

and kindness toward his children you can

step out of that hog pin and turn your

failure into a testimony of the grace of

God and how do you step out you make a

decision you jump the fence that is you

make a decision you you just turn to the

father and say

father I’ve had enough of this hog pin

living I’m coming

home and you know what

happens you look into the eyes of a

loving gracious kind and forgiving

father who says son daughter I’ve been

waiting come

on how do you reject that kind of

God I don’t know what you’re going

through in life and what you feel

trapped by but if you will turn your

focus to

God and say to him I’m sick and tired of

hog pin living you may be the finest

Dressed Man in your town Drive the

finest automobile live in the biggest

home but you’re in a hog pin if you’re

out of God’s will what you’re eating

will never satisfy the Deep yearning

hunger of your

heart and how do you get out of the Hog

Pen you just tell

him I’m sick and tired of the hog pin

and I want to come


trusting this is very important trusting

that in the death of his son

Jesus he took all the consequences of

your hog pin living dumped them on him

he paid the penalty and you’re

accepted accepted in Christ Jesus by the

way of the cross

father when we think of how good and

gracious and kind you are when we think

of the praise that you paid for our

Salvation we tell you this morning that

we love you and feel so inadequate in

saying it I pray for those who have

never been

saved who know in their heart they’re

running from you they desperately need

you would you just enable them to see in

this simple message that if they have

never trusted you as their their

personal savior that’s step number one

it is the first and only step that can

be taken looking to you as a god of

loving kindness and forgiveness and

knowing that their sins Wicked and vile

as they may be that Jesus when he died

took them with him and the moment

they’re willing to accept him as their

personal savior their sins have forgiven

they become a child of God life begins a

new father for so many of your children

who are living in sin and who’ve

wondered if you will take them back

would you

just turn their focus to you today and

remind them that not by performance or

rueping Not by promises or hard

work but by the acceptance of Grace and

oh father that we cannot add one single

solitary thing to your grace our pride

wants to but we can’t it’s all grace and

grace alone