Luke 15:11-16
The Christless Journey

Today is our VBS kickoff.  We begin what we are praying will be a
powerful ministry to see children saved.  But saved from what?  From
a Christless journey.  Every human being is on a journey toward
eternity.  A few travel with Christ but most travel without Him.  VBS
is a ministry that ministers to both the saved and unsaved children.
We want the saved children to be encouraged in their faith.  We want
the unsaved children to come to Christ.  And we want everyone to have
a great time.  Letís consider the Christless journey.

I. The Christless Journey Has A Beginning  All journeys have a
    beginning and this one is no different.
    A. The Christless journey begins at home.
        1. Parents set every childís course in motion.
            a. They are the single most important influence in a
                childís life.
            b. Church, school, friends may also influence them, but
                since you determine which church, school, and friends
                your children will have, you are still the greatest
                influence.
        2. Parents, you will set the direction, speed, and velocity
            of your childís life journey.
            a. Direction - Toward Jesus Christ or away from Him.
            b. Speed - You determine how fast your child will be
                traveling in that direction.
            c. Velocity - You even determine how much force is behind
                your childís course.
    B. Perhaps you ask, "How do I set my childís course?"
        1. You decide by the everyday decisions you make.
        2. Mostly, it is by how you live your life.
            a. Emphasizing beauty over godliness
            b. strength over sanctification
            c. sports over worship
            d. acceptance of man over acceptance of God
            e. school over church
            f. money over morals
            g. style over modesty
            h. manís law over Godís law
            i. convenience over courage
            j. pleasing self over pleasing God
        3.  A cartoon is making the rounds on social media.
            a. First frame a 2 or 3 year old girl using vulgar
                language while mother laughs, calling it cute.
            b. In the second frame, sheís 7 or 8 and shaking her
                booty to some tune to motherís approval.
            c. In the third, mother is helping the girl now 12 or so
                to dress to attract boys.
            d. Last frame, the girl now 15 is pregnant and the mother
                cries, "Where did I go wrong?"
            e. She went wrong everywhere!
                (1) She emphasized ALL the WRONG things.
                (2) Sadly, many parents are not emphasizing one,
                     single thing to point their children to Jesus
                     Christ.
            f. Somebody says, "Well, I brought them to church."
                (1) What most mean is, "I SOMETIMES brought them
                     to church."
                (2) I will remind you that a salvation that wonít get
                     you to church on Sunday morning will not get you
                     to heaven when you die.
    C. Moms and Dads, there is no task more important on this planet
        than getting your children to Jesus Christ!
        1. That is your single, most important, God-given task.
        2. More important that feeding your children, clothing them,
            putting a roof over their head, educating them, having
            fun with them, and being liked by them.
        3. If parents would fulfill that God-given tasks, there would
            be very little need of evangelism.
        4. Do you realize that everyone who goes to hell goes there
            because a family member failed to get them to Jesus?
            a. There have been two times when God made sure that
                every parent knew Him.
                (1) Adam and Eve in the Garden
                (2) Noah and his sons after the flood
            b. If there is a spot on this globe without Jesus, it is
                because some ancestor failed to get his children to
                God.
            c. Donít join that group!

II. The Christless Journey Has A Course
    A. This is where our text picks up.
        1. This is just a parable.  Nothing is told us of this young
            manís childhood.
        2. It starts at the point where this young man is about to
            begin his Christless journey in earnest.  He is about to
            bear fruit.
    B. This young man does not want muchójust what most want.
        1. He wants wealth, freedom, liquor/drugs, and women.
        2. Today, we would have to add, other men.
        3. This young man wantsÖ
            a. to GO where he wants to god.
            b. to DO what he wants to do.
            c. to SEE what he wants to see.
            d. to TRY what he wants to try.
            e. to BE WITH whomever he wants to be with.
        4. And he wants to do these things without any correction,
            any contrary advice or council, and most certainly
            without Godís conviction.
    C. It is interesting that the description of from this 2,000 year
        old story is so contemporary to todayís people.
        1. The only difference is people today do not run out of
            money.  They have the United States government to finance
            them.
        2. How can this be?
            a. Because this is every generationsí contemporary
                individual.
            b. It is the "standard" Christless journey!
            c. Everyone on that road likes to think of themselves as
                being unique, doing their "own" thing.
            d. Friend, you are just one of the biggest packs in the
                world.
            e. Every Christless person since the dawning of time has
                been on the same road, thinking the same things while
                herding down the same destructive path.
            f. That is why the bars are so full.  Thatís why liquor
                is legalized.  That is why the institution of
                marriage has just about fallen apart.
            g. It is the herd mentality of those on the Christless
                journey.
    D. In the beginning, people on the Christless road think they are
        living the dream life.
        1. If they are able to retain any wits about them at all,
            they will soon realize it is not a dream they are living
            but a nightmare.
        2. Donít be afraid.
            a. No one is going to pluck you off the road you have
                selectedónot even God.
            b. He has given you a free-will and will let you follow
                the Christless road as long as you wish.
        3. But you ought to at least admit to yourself, it is not all
            peaches and cream.
            a. Partying may be fun but the hangovers arenít.
            b. Wasting money may be fun but debt isnít.
            c. The brawls may be exciting but the broken bones ónot
                so much.
            d. Fooling around may be pleasurable but divorce and
                alimony arenít.
            e. Fornication may be great but the sexually transmitted
                diseases arenít.
            f. Your friends may be a blast but being shunned by your
                familyóeven hated by your own kidsóis not so cool.
        4. And then there is the bottom of the barrel.
            a. You say, "That will never happen to me."
            b. Maybe not, but then again, that is what they all say.
            c. I tell you the truth, if it was not for parents
                and government bailing people out, there would be a
                lot more at the bottom of the barrel.
            d. In the story, this young man went all the way down.
                (1) His money was gone.
                (2) His comforts were gone.
                (3) His friends were gone.
                (4) The only job he could get was slopping hogs.
                (5) The only food he could get was trash.
                (6) He slept on the ground with no roof over his
                     head.
            e. Explain to me again how traveling the Christless
                journey is the dream.

III. The Christless Journey Has A Destination
    A. Luke 15 does not give us the destination of the Christless
        journey but the very next chapter does.

Luke 16:23  And in hell he lift up his eyes,
being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off,
and Lazarus in his bosom.

        1. Was it a coincidence that the story of Lazarus and the rich
            man follow the story of the prodigal son?  I donít think
            so.
        2. Chapter 16 just finishes chapter 15.
        3. Parents, remember that the road you set your children on
            has a destination.
        3. Pilgrims, remember that the road you are traveling has a
            destination.
    B. Imagine the Great White Throne for a moment.
        1. Imaging if Jesus tarries His coming for 100 years, you
            getting to see every child that descended from you being
            cast into hell.
        2. I believe God is going to judge the last first and the
            first last.

Mt 19:30  But many that are first shall be last;
and the last shall be first.

        3. in the parable of the workers in the field were paid that
            way.  Those hired last were paid first, the first seeing
            that the last got paid the same as had been promised were
            angry.
        4. Why might God judge those who lived last first?
            a. So that those who lived first might see the end of
                their actions.
            b. You will watch as your great great grands, great
                grands, grands, and children are cast into the lake
                of fire.

IV. The Christless Journey Has An Exit
    A. The young man in our text found it.

Luke 15:17  And when he came to himself, he said,
How many hired servants of my fatherís have bread
enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
18  I will arise and go to my father, and will
say unto him, Father, I have sinned against
heaven, and before thee,

    B. The verse says he came to himself.  He started seeing things
        as they were.
        1. He saw what sin was.
        2. He saw what sin did.
        3. He saw where sin had lead.
        4. He went to the father.
            a. The father is a picture of our heavenly Father.
            b. The only way to get to the heavenly Father is through
                His Son, Jesus.

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