Sermon #1353 Miscellaneous Notes
Title: COME ON HOME!
Text: Luke 15:20
Reading: Psalm 107:1-43
Subject: The Boundless, Overflowing Love Of God
For Toward Sinners Who Come To Him
Date: Sunday Morning – July 18, 1999
Tape # V-37a
The title of my message today is intended to tug at the hearts of you who are yet without Christ, especially you who have sinned so grievously and hardened your hearts so obstinately that you fear you may not be welcome at the throne of grace, that you may not be admitted into the Father’s house. I am preaching this message especially to you. You will find my text in Luke 15:20. The title of my message is – Come On Home!
Our text begins with a very little word, a three letter conjunction – “And.” It one of those words that is often passed over lightly by readers and seldom commented upon by expositors. But this little, three letter word is very important. This word, “And,” at the beginning of this verse takes us back to all that has gone before. It is a connecting word, connecting this with everything else in the story.
· The Prodigal’s Rebellion
· His Riotous Living.
· His Time In The Hog Pin Of Religious Legalism.
· His Turning Point – v. 17 "And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!"
· His Resolution – vv. 18-19 "I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, (19) And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants."
Now, in verse 20, we see this poor, destitute, penniless, dirty, hungry boy (A grown man, yes, but still his father’s boy!) coming home. I can almost see him. I know what is going through his mind. His steps are, everyone of them, heavy, heavy steps, hesitating. He is coming home because he simply has to. He’s got no where else to go, not one else to turn to. He goes along the way in utter humiliation. The nearer he gets home, the lower his head hangs. He dares not lift his eyes. He dares not rush through the gate. He dares not run up and grab his father around the neck, like a boy might who was returning from war. This boy was returning from the bars and brothels of the world, where he had wasted everything his father had given him. He is returning from the house of his father’s most implacable enemy, whose dungeons of legality he chose in preference to his father’s palace of mercy in his state of pride and rebellion.
That is what I see in the prodigal. But our text speaks of his father, too. There I see him, the prodigal’s father, our Father, the God of all mercy, rushing from his great and glorious throne, to receive the poor sinner!
1. “When he was yet a great way off…” – There you, you who are yet without Christ. You are a great way off. No matter how near you think you are, no matter how near others may think you are, you are still a great way off. Your changes of life, your resolutions, your determinations, your imaginary steps toward God, all leave you just as far off from God as you ever were. Nothing you do, step you make brings you one step nearer God, until God steps out to you and brings you into his house. Oh, how I want you to come to God! But I will not deceive you. I know, and I want you to know, you will never come home until God himself, by an act of almighty, free, sovereign, and irresistible grace, brings you home.
2. “When he was yet a great way off, his father saw him!” – His father saw who he was –Where he had been. –All that he had done. –What he was. –All the filth that was upon him. –All his great need. –What he would soon be!
3. “When he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion…” – The word is a tremendous expression of God’s inexpressible love toward us in Christ. It means “co-passion”. Our God is a God full of compassion! There was no anger, no resentment, no hostility, only love in the father’s heart for his returning boy. That’s our God!
4. “When he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran…” – What? God almighty in a hurry? God running to a sinner? That’s the picture. Oh, blessed be God, that’s the picture! This is the only in all the Bible where we have a picture of God getting in a hurry to do anything. Here we see the Lord God of heaven, the God against whom we have sinned, rushing, running out to meet a sinner in mercy, a sinner who deserves nothing but his wrath!
5. “When he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck…” – This is another expression of the greatness of his affection to him (Gen. 45:14 46:29; Acts 20:37) and of the greatness of his condescension and grace to fall on that neck which had been like steel, so stiff and rebellious. Surprising as it is to you who do not know him, that is just like our God!
6. “When he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him!" – He kissed him earnestly. He kissed him eagerly. He kissed him ardently. He kissed him much. He kissed him continually.
I want to spend the rest of my time talking to you about those kisses. In this parable, the father’s actions toward his prodigal son beautifully display the boundless, overflowing love of God revealed to sinners who come to him by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. What do these many kisses mean? What do they teach us?
Proposition: These kisses tell us that when a sinner comes home to God by faith in Christ, God welcomes the sinner with all the fulness of his infinite love!
Let me show you seven things revealed in Holy Scripture which I believe these kisses upon the prodigal’s cheeks must signify!
I. The Father’s kisses mean Much Love Deeply Felt and Demonstrably Expressed.
A. These kisses express the great love of our heavenly Father, that eternal, everlasting love that is deeply felt in the very heart of God.
B. These kisses speak of the great manifestations of God’s love to the hearts of believing sinners.
True love cannot be dormant. Like fire, it must be active. Like water, it must break out. It must show itself in words, actions, deeds, and expressions. Behold the love of God for us…
1. Our blessed Savior did not have to die.
2. We had no claims upon him.
3. There was no appeal on our part for him to die.
4. When he died for us, the Lord Jesus knew that if he laid down his life for such sinners as we are he would get no love in return from those for whom he died, except he create it.
5. The Son of God died by the hands of men, as well as for the sake of men.
6. He died for men who wished that he should be made to die, for men who counted him worthy of death.
7. In dying for us, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, voluntarily took upon himself the awful mass of shame and dishonor which we deserve because of sin, and took unto himself an infinite, indescribable, ignominious relation to sin!
C. These kisses of grace are the means by which we perceive God’s personal love for us.
II. The Father’s kisses mean Full Forgiveness, Freely Bestowed.
A. God promised to forgive sin.
B. The Lord Jesus Christ purchased forgiveness for us.
C. Now, by his warm embrace and tender kiss, our heavenly Father makes us to know that our many sins are all forgiven forever.
1. His kiss tells me that all my sins are gone.
2. He gives another kiss, and tells me that he will never remember my transgressions.
3. With another kiss, he assures me that he sees no fault in me.
4. With another kiss, he tells me that he will never treat me any the less graciously because of my sin.
III. The Father’s repeated kisses mean Complete Restoration.
A. With a kiss, God owns me as his son again.
B. With the kiss of his grace, God answers all my prayers.
C. With the kiss of God upon my cheeks. I am assured that all my lost, forfeited privileges are completely restored.
IV. The Father’s kisses are Tokens Of Great, Abundant Joy.
A. The angels of God rejoice, because the prodigal over whom they watched, whom they constantly protected, has now come home.
B. The saints of God rejoice, because a lost brother has now come home.
C. The triune God rejoices, because the object of his eternal love has returned to his bosom. – He has been returned by the grace of God. Yet he gladly returns of his own accord!
D. The prodigal himself rejoices.
1. In His Father’s Indestructible Love!
2. In The Fatted Calf, Slain For His Soul – Christ Crucified!
3. In The Gospel Of Peace – The Shoes!
4. In The Seal Of Covenant Grace – The Ring!
5. In The Robe Of Perfect Righteousness Imputed To Him – The Best Robe!
6. The Gospel Feast Spread Before Him!
V. Surely, these kisses from the lips of our Father mean Overflowing Comfort For The Hearts Of Redeemed Sinners. – They mean…
A. The past is all forgotten.
B. The present is all peace – We are “accepted in the Beloved!”
C. The future is all secure. – Here, in the Father’s house, there is no possibility of expulsion, or of us ever leaving on our own.
Once in Christ, in Christ forever!
He will never, never leave me,
Nor will let me quite leave Him!
VI. The Father’s kisses, if they mean anything, mean Strong Assurance Of Grace Most Free.
A. His kisses assure us that his mercy, love, and grace are all real.
B. His incessant kisses assure us that his love is immutable, unfailing, and everlasting.
C. His kisses assure our hearts that we are, indeed, his!
VII. The Father’s kisses mean Intimate Communion And Complete Reconciliation Established By Grace.
A. Before the prodigal is brought into the fellowship of the family, he must be brought into fellowship with God.
B. Before a sinner comes to the family’s table, he must have the Father’s kiss upon his cheeks.
C. Before there could be any public rejoicing, there had to be some private kissing.
D. Only after he had received the prodigal’s kiss could the prodigal son endure the elder brother’s scorn.
1. Who is it that God almighty, himself will kiss?
2. How can the Lord God so tenderly and graciously receive sinners?
3. Where does the Lord God meet returning prodigals with his kisses reconciliation?
4. Do you have the Father’s kisses upon your cheeks? -- Let me tell you how you may have them. Are you interested? -- Come on home! Come, and welcome!