ONE DAY, Jesus Christ, while teaching about things that get lost and found, told the
          following story:

"...A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father,
give me the portion of goods that falleth to me.   And he divided unto them his living.
And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his
journey into a far country
Luke 15:11-13.

   So the younger son, figuring he'd be better off on his own, without his old man
telling him what to do, took off.   He headed out to where the action was, you know,
wine, women and fun.   And once there, Jesus said he:

"...wasted his substance with riotous living."

   In other words: he partied out; got drunk every night; flirted with every girl he met
and assuming they had pot, crack, LSD, and anything else that people dose with today,
he probably did that too.   Remember, this was "riotous living" and he had some
bucks.   He could afford it - but not for very long!   Jesus went on to say:

"And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in
that land; and he began to be in want."
  Luke 15:14

   The son was hurting and needed cash.   So he looked for some income.   But, without
an education, this guy wasn't about to get a nine to five job sitting in an air-
conditioned cubicle.   And selling dope had its own risks; the cops on one side and
competition on the other.   So, trying to stay legit, Jesus said:

"...he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and
he sent him into his fields to feed swine."
  Luke 15:15

   That was his job - to feed pigs!   And his pay check?   There wasn't any, except for all
the free meals you can eat (if the pigs felt like sharing).

"And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the
swine did eat
: and no man gave unto him."
  Luke 15:16

Now, before we go on, there's something about this story you should know.

   Jesus called stories like this: PARABLES.   And He'd use a parable whenever he wanted to teach
a valuable lesson.   You see, the people, things, and places you find in this parable represent real
life stuff.   For example: the younger son pictures us, you and me; his father pictures God.   And
how the son treats his father is a picture of how we treat God.   Because, just like the younger
son, we've told God: "I want to run my own life, don't tell me what to do; leave me alone!"

   But you want to hear the funny part?   After ignoring God and His infinite wisdom, we find
ourselves in a world that doesn't work right and then we wonder what went wrong?   Some even
blame God for all our problems when it was our rebellion against Him that caused all our
problems in the first place.

   That's what happened to the younger son.   He rebelled against his father's authority and
everything went wrong; his life fell apart.   What he should have done is asked his father (and
God) to: "Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity [SIN] have dominion over
  (Psalm 119:133)   In other words: "God, you tell me what to do, and keep me out of
trouble, ‘cause I don't know what's going on!"
  Anyway, back to our story:

   So here he was: broke, hungry, and without a home; out on the streets.   And when he hit
bottom, something interesting happened.   Jesus described it this way:

"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!"
Luke 15:17

   He came to himself!   In other words, HE CAME TO HIS SENSES!   He asked himself, "What am
I doing here?"
  "Why am I out here on the streets when there's a better way to live?"
friend, I realize that this guy had a rich father that he could fall back on.   He had a safety net.
And so right about now you're thinking that you can't relate to the younger son anymore.

   Maybe you ran off from home, and even if you wanted to go back, there's no rich dad
waiting at the other end.   Maybe there's not even a dad.   Or maybe dad is too busy getting drunk
and beating up on the wife.   But remember, the father in our story is a picture of God, and God
wants to be the best Father you ever had.   He said so Himself.
   " God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people
.   Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate,
saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a
Father unto you
, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."

2 Cor. 6:16-18

   Now, some people have a problem with this because they figure that if God is so loving and
wants to be such a great Father then, "Why doesn't He help me out?   Why doesn't He intercede
and get me off the streets?"
  But friend, go read the beginning of this story again and then ask

Who ran from who?

   That's right, the younger son did.   You can't blame his father when he's the one that split.
Likewise, don't go blaming God for not helping you when you're the one blowing Him off.   In
fact, God is reaching out to you, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and saying: "Come now, and
let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as
white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."
  (Isaiah 1:18)   The fact
that God used someone to put this very story in your hand shows that He's making an effort.

   When the younger son came to himself he was actually REPENTING.   He was changing his
mind about rebelling against his father.   And Jesus said that his repentant attitude resulted in
him returning to his father, because when he came to himself he said:

"I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father,
I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,"
Luke 15:18.

   He admitted he was wrong and that he had sinned against his father and against God.   He
stopped rebelling against His authority, admitting that without God he didn't know how to run
his own life and had made a mess of it (even the pigs were better off!).   And in true repentance,
Jesus said:

"...he arose, and came to his father."   Luke 15:20(a)

   Now, maybe in your case, if you went home, your father would beat the tar out of you.
Maybe you assume the same thing happened to the younger son.   But don't forget, the father
here is a picture of God, so Jesus concludes the story by saying that when the son was:

"...yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his
neck, and kissed him.   And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven,
and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.   But the father said to his
servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and
shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:
For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.   And they began
to be merry."
  Luke 15:20(b)-24

So what are YOU gonna do?

   How much of the streets are you going to put up with until you come to yourself.   God's
waiting.   He wants to greet you with open arms.   It's up to you.   Remember, you're the one
running from Him!

Read the back of this pamphlet and you'll learn how Christ dying on a cross
made it possible for you to have God as your Father.

IF you were to die today, are you 100% SURE
you would go to Heaven?
  The Bible says
YOU CAN BE SURE (1 John 5:13).

BUT FIRST, you must realize that what keeps
you from going to Heaven are your sins, because:
"...your iniquities [sins] have separated
between you and your God,"
Isa. 59:2.
In fact, in God's eyes YOU ARE A SINNER: "For
all have sinned, and come short
of the glory of God;"
Rom. 3:23.
And Jesus, referring to sinners, said that He:
"shall send forth his angels, and they shall
gather out of his kingdom all things that offend,
and them which do iniquity
And shall cast them into
a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing
and gnashing of teeth."
  Mat. 13:41-42

SECONDLY, you must realize that there is
NOTHING you can do to save yourself and earn
Heaven: "For by grace are ye saved through
faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the
gift of God: Not of works, lest any man
should boast."
  Eph. 2:8-9   Baptism, good deeds,
church membership, self-righteousness are all
examples of good works that cannot save you,
because: "Not by works of
which we have done, but
according to his mercy he
[Christ] saved
Titus 3:5.

THE ONLY WAY you can get saved
is through Jesus Christ.   He said: "I am the
, the truth, and the life: no man
unto the Father, but by me."

(John 14:6)   THAT'S WHY: "...while we were
yet sinners, Christ died for us."

(Rom. 5:8-9)   THEREFORE: You must REPENT
(change your mind); admit that you are a Hell
deserving sinner and can't save yourself.   And
call upon Christ, and Him alone, to save you.
"if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord
[REPENT], and shalt believe in thine
[TRUST] that God hath raised him
from the dead, thou shalt be saved."
  Rom. 10:9

P.O. Box 815   Fargo, ND 58107

[Christian Helps Ministry (USA)] [Christian Home Bible Course]