Is there any hope for mankind: any message from God's Word to which
we can turn too, for comfort? Are there any answers to earth's myriad
problems? I am happy to report this Sabbath that there are answers:
and they come from the lips of the greatest man who ever walked this
earth: Jesus Christ, (Yahshua the Messiah) the Saviour of the
World. His message of hope is found in the Holy Bible. This Sabbath I
will read part of that message from (Luke chapter 15). I'll read the
whole chapter and then concentrate on a few key points, which
- if acted upon - will most certainly bring hope to the hopeless
and life to the dead. In that chapter we read the parable of the
lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son. All
three parables tell of Yahweh’s infinite love for lost sinners:
and that there is great joy in heaven when even one sinner
repents and accepts salvation. You may even recognize yourself in one
of the stories. Indeed, they were recorded for people like you and me.
|Luke 15:||1: “Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him.|
2: And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.
3: And he spake this parable unto them, saying,
4: What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
5: And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
6: And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.
7: I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
8: Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?
9: And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost.
10: Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.
11: And he said, A certain man had two sons:
|Luke 15:||12: “...Father, give the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.|
13: And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country.”
|Jeremiah 17:||9: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?”|
|Luke 15:||13: “...he took his journey into a far country and there wasted his substance with riotous living.”|
That story is being repeated in millions of lives - today.
Sin is fashionable. Sin is exciting. Sin is fun, especially if
thereis plenty of money on hand to spend. Freedom from restraint
coupled with wealth is a deadly cocktail that usually results
in trouble. Nevertheless, sin is very popular in the affluent areas of
the world. That is the main reason why we have so many social problems:
because sin reigns in the lives of millions. Every one knows
what wealth is; but what about sin? Do you know what sin is?
The Bible says:
|1 John 3:||4: “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.”|
The world does not know, and probably doesn't even care to know, what sin is. The very word ‘sin’ is taboo these days - even in religious circles - because people love to sin. Besides, every society has its own ideas about right and wrong. What is considered correct in one country is abhorred in another. Actions looked upon as ‘evil’ by one generation are practised with impunity by the next.The world is totally divided on moral issues and therefore incapable of legislating against sin, even if there was a will to do so. The fact is Yahweh the Creator is the only one who has the authority to legislate on moral behaviour, on righteousness and sin - because He made us. The prodigal son broke virtually every rule his father (Yahweh in the parable) had taught him. He plunged into sin and, as the story goes: “...wasted his substance with riotous living.”
|Isaiah 57:||20: “...the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.”
|Proverbs 13:||15: “...Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.”|
In our story this young man's pleasure binge soon came to an end.
It didn't take long for him to spend all his money. It was then
that his decadent ‘friends’ all vanished. He
was now alone in a foreign land without friends and without funds.
The Bible says:
|Luke 15:||14: “And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.”|
|Verses:||15: “And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.|
16: And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.”
|Romans 3:||23:“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”|
|Verses:||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!|
18: I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.”
|Luke 5:||32: “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”|
|Luke 15:||20: “And he arose, and came to his father. But 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.”|
|John 3:||16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.|
17: For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18: He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
|Verses:||25: “Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing.|
26: And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.
27: And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.
28: And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.
29: And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:
30: But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.”
|Luke 18:||10: “Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.|
11: The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
12: I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
13: And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
14: I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”
|Verse:||32: “It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.”|
|Hebrews 2:||3: “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him.”|
|1 John 3:||1: “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.|
2: Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”