In Luke chapter 15 we find a young man who wanted to live life his way. He asked for his part of the family inheritance and left to do his mischief. Perhaps he felt too confined by his father’s strict standards. The lifestyle he chose is described in Luke 15:13. He was prodigal and lived a riotous life. ” In today’s vernacular he was having a good time, sowing some wild oats.
He learned however that riotous living is a waste. “And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living” (Lk. 15:13). The cost of being the life of the party is high. Money needed to buy food, clothing, medicine, and housing is simply wasted. Haggai wrote, ““You have sown much, and bring in little; You eat, but do not have enough; You drink, but you are not filled with drink; You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; And he who earns wages, Earns wages to put into a bag with holes” (Hag 1:6). Not only is spending money for luxurious things without regard to the necessities of life a sin, but it leads one to poverty.
Being prodigal separates us from those who really care about us. This young man left his family to go to a distant country. Away from family he probably had some buddies also living the loose life. But once his money ran out so did his friends. “But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want” (Lk. 15:14). Here is a description of a man lonely and broke.
Sin separates us from God. “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear” (Isa. 59:2).
Being wasteful makes people do things they would not normally do. Most likely this young man was a Jew. As a Jew, swine were unclean. Not only would they not eat pork they would not be seen around it. Now he was willing to eat the very slop the hogs were eating. If this young man was told before he left his father’s house what he would do, he would probably have said, “never.”
Sin causes people to do more than they ever thought possible. People will steal, lie and commit adultery in order to get some more drugs or have a good time. One of sin’s dangers is that we get used to it and no longer become offended. We must step up to the next level to get that special feeling. If you start on the path do not be surprised at how far you will go.
Riotous living has a hidden cost. This young man was lost. “For this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found” (Lk. 15:24). Spiritually speaking a person living in sin is dead even though he is physically alive. “But she who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives” (1 Tim. 5:6). Physically, the consequences of sin can cost a person his life. What is left but to go home to his father and repent.”And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son'” (Lk. 15:21). He did not make an “if” confession. “If” I have done something wrong, or “if” I have offended you please forgive me. He did not have to be prodded, because he realized what he had done and was willing to admit it and repent of it.
Today, people try to pass the buck. They will say, “I sinned because they made me”. Even worse is the fact that a lot of people consider the word sin to be outdated. No one should have to confess a sin, it is too negative, is the modern philosophy.
The Bible defines sin as a transgression of God’s law (1 Jn 3:4). The fact that man sins cannot be denied. “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Rom. 3:10). The only question is what are we going to do about it. God has made a way possible for our forgiveness of sin. “But the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:23). As we are baptized into the body of Christ we are cleansed of our sins. “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Eph. 1:7). The child of God can go to his Father and confess his sins. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 Jn. 1:9). The result will be a life with God. “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry'” (Lk. 15:22-23).
If this story is about us, then this is us turning from our sins and obeying the gospel, and our heavenly Father with open arms receiving us. What a day of rejoicing that will be! It was for the Prodigal son and it will be for you and I if we remain faithful unto death (Rev 2:10),