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A Tale of Two Sons

    Jul 17, 2016

    Passage: Luke 15:11-32

    Preacher: Dan Boyce

    Category: Christian Living


    A Tale of Two Sons

    (Why are we losing our young people?)

    Text: Luke 15:11-32



    -If statistics are right, 70% of our young people will turn their backs on the church when they leave home.

    -Why is that?

    -Christianity Today says the reasons are:

    -They want a break, they moved and never found a church, work made it impossible, church members are hypocritical, didn’t feel connected, church members were unloving and not friendly, because of attending secular colleges they changed their religious views, or they disagree with the church’s political and social views.


    Marc Yoder from churchleaders.com gives 10 reasons:

    10. The church seeks to be “relevant” therefore it stops being authentic.

    9. They never attended church to begin with: (they went from nursery, children’s ministries, youth group, pizza, parties and sports).

    8. They get smart: (we continue to dumb down the message and college challenged them to think).

    7. We sent them out unarmed: (no Christian/Biblical World-View, no understanding of the truth of the Word of God, the Bible which is our sword).

    6. We gave them hand me downs: (we handed them down our faith and beliefs).

    5. Community: (church was just something they did; they never belonged, labored, ministered, or took possession).

    4. They found better feelings:

    3. They got tired of pretending:

    2. They know the truth: (they can’t do it, but they know it).

    1. They don’t need it:


    -But while many of these things are true, I believe the #1 reason young people leave the church is because they don’t know Him, they are not saved.

    -How can you say that Pastor?

    -Because we always find time for the things we love, and if you love Jesus, you will love His Church, because His Church is His Bride for which He died.


    -Let us examine a Tale of two brothers: Luke 15:11


    I. The Younger Son: verses 12-20a

    A. The way down: verses 12-16

    1. Give me: verse 12

    a. Instant gratification: No thought for the future

    2. His journey: verse 13a

    a. Into the far country: (the world)

    3. His waste: verse 13b-14

    a. Everything was gone:

    b. Riotous living: reckless living

    c. He was in need:

    4. Where his journey ended: verses 15-16

    a. In a pig pen, feeding pigs, and desiring to eat pig slop: (remember he is a Jewish man)

    Note: For the young person who wants instant gratification, who wants to leave parents who love them, who wants to journey to the far country, who wants to live their lives recklessly, this is where it leads, the pig sty of the world. Just ask the drunkards, just ask the junkies. Where are his friends now? No one wants to party in the pig pen!

    B. The way up: verses 17-20a

    1. He comes to himself: verse 17

    a. Did he sober up?

    b. My father’s servants have it better than me.

    2. He repents: verses 18-19

    a. I am going home:

    b. I have sinned:

    c. I am not worthy:

    Note: In verse 12 he says “give me.” In verse 19 he says “make me.”

    3. He arises: verse 20a

    a. This is where so many fall short. They stay in the pig pen, feeling pitiful, knowing they should arise, but they don’t.


    II. The Father: verses 20b-24

    A. Waiting: verse 20b

    1. Praying, worrying, wondering, fretting, crying, heartache, sadness, never out of his mind or heart, waiting, waiting, waiting.

    a. His father saw him when he was a great way off: (That’s him!!!)

    B. Welcoming: verse 20c

    1. Compassion demonstrated by his:

    a. Running, embracing, kissing, and I am sure crying.

    C. His son’s reaction: verse 21

    1. True repentance (why dwell on it)

    D. The celebration: verses 22-24

    1. The best clothes: (rags exchanged for righteous garments)

    2. A Ring: (showing son-ship)

    3. Shoes: (makes of a freeman not a slave)

    4. Kill the fatted calf: (let us be merry and rejoice)

    5. My son who was dead is alive, who was lost is found: (he was born-again)  


    III. The Older Brother: verses 25-32

    A. His query: verses 25-26

    1. Why the celebration?

    B. The answer: verse 27

    1. Your lost brother is home, safe and sound!

    C. His anger: verses 28-30

    1. Self-righteousness:

    a. Only sees himself (I have never sinned all these years).

    b. No love for his younger brother.

    D. His father’s rebuke: verses 31-32

    1. You have always been with me: (doesn’t that mean something, your brother was willing to be my servant)

    2. All I have is yours: (you eat sumptuously every day, your brother has been eating pig slop)

    3. It is right to be merry: (you are wrong in your self-righteous anger)

    a. Your brother was dead and now he is alive

    b. Your brother was lost and now he is found



    -Why do 70% of young people leave the church when they leave the home?

    -Could they be like the younger brother who was enamored with the far country, the world, and are were never saved?

    -Could they be self-righteous like the older brother and have just a shallow faith that goes through the motions?

    -What about you dear parent, are you waiting for the prodigal to return?

    -When they do, what will you do? Welcome them or scold them?

    -What are you doing to have your older sons not become self-righteous and just go through the motions?

    -Parents, we need Christ’s compassion.

    -Younger sons, you need to repent of your sins and get saved.

    -Older sons, you need to repent of your self-righteousness and get your eyes off yourself.