Not too long ago, I got word that someone who is very dear to me was doing very badly. He was strung out on drugs and living in an abandoned garage. As I heard this heartbreaking news, all I could think of was the prodigal son living in the hog pen. I was reminded that the prodigal son came to himself and went home. I began to pray for my dear loved one, that he would return to himself and to Jesus, who would not cast him out but would welcome him with open arms.
Knowing this person as I do, I began to wonder what he must be thinking at night when everything is quiet in that abandoned garage. Was he thinking that God was mad at him? Was he thinking that God could never forgive him for the mistakes he'd made? Was he convinced that he was hopelessly addicted and that he would never be free? Having made such a mess of his life, how could he possibly return to the family home and to God?
I wanted so desperately to reach out to him, to tell him that there is nothing he has done that has changed God’s love for him. I wanted to tell him that he is not without hope. I wanted to tell him to get up out of that hog pen and go home, but I couldn't get to him, so I prayed for him, believing that God would send someone to minister His love to him.
Maybe you or someone you know is in a similar situation; addicted to drugs, alcohol, involved in homosexuality, working as a prostitute. Maybe your life is in ruins because of bad decisions or a disastrous marriage. Perhaps you are a prodigal son or daughter who believes that God is so angry with you that He will never forgive you. You are not alone. Millions of people from all backgrounds of life have bought into the idea that God is an angry deity waiting to strike them down when they do something wrong. This is a lie of Satan, and it stops people from being free. Beloved, the very character of God is love, mercy, and justice, yet what most people hear about God is often the opposite. This is evident in His Son, Jesus Christ, going to the cross. So no, He is not angry with you. He doesn't like the wrong that you do because it is not who He created you to be.
You are "God-created" (Acts 17:24-29, MSG), and God made you with a destiny and purpose in mind. He didn't create you to sit and do nothing. He wants you to walk in power, freedom, and victory. So, no HE IS NOT ANGRY. He wants to spend eternity with you. In Isaiah the Lord God declares: "I’m promising now no more anger, no more dressing you down. For even if the mountains walk away and the hills fall to pieces, my love won’t walk away from you, my covenant commitment of peace won’t fall apart.’ The God who has compassion on you says so" (Isaiah 54:9-10, MSG).
So you see, God never stops loving you and He wants to give you an abundant life. The devil would love for you to continue where you are because his goal is to destroy you. In John 10:10, Jesus says, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full" (NIV).
No matter who you are, where you’re from, where you’ve been or what you’ve done, God loves you. There is nothing that can get in the way of that. The Apostle Paul said in Romans 8:38-39, "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Nothing means nothing. God is Love, and His love for you has no limits.
Let me ask you a question. Do you want to continue in the hog pen? What is it going to take for you to come home? No doctor, no counselor, no drug rehabilitation center, or any other human being can change you. God has already given you the most valuable thing you will ever receive: His grace. All you need to do is accept His Gift. You need to make a decision! The choice is simple. Stay where you are and die or come home and live.
The prodigal son, although deeply ashamed, decided to go home, to beg his father’s forgiveness. As he approached his home, he was surprised to find his father running to greet him. There were no harsh criticisms. He did not ask for an explanation or demand an apology. He never said, "I told you so." He just put his arms around his son and, with tears of joy, said "my son has come home; let us celebrate his return." What a miracle this was!
Beloved, Jesus told the story of the Prodigal Son, (Luke 15:11-32) so that you will know that this same miracle is waiting for you too. The father in the story is God. Jesus Christ is the path back home to the Father! Jesus sees you in that hog pen. He knows exactly where you are and what you are going through. He cares about you and wants you to come home.
Before I became a Christian, I used to see car tags that said, "Jesus is the Answer" and would wonder how Jesus could be the answer to every problem. As I matured in faith, I came to realize that Jesus is the answer because He is the Way to God. Jesus Christ loves you as much as He loves me and every other person that has stepped out of the hog pen and come home. He doesn't play favorites, and He never turns anybody down who calls on Him for help. Jesus said in John 6:37, "Him who comes to me, I will not cast out".
Maybe in a time of desperation you called out to Jesus and got the impression that He didn't hear you, or maybe you thought that you were not good enough for Him to reach out and help you. I want to tell you that you are good enough, He does want to help you. The trouble is, you didn't really want to change, you just wanted a temporary relief. Think about it, how many times you found yourself in a situation and said "God if you get me out of this I will never do it again" When deep down inside you knew, you did not mean it. You just wanted to feel better; you wanted a temporary fix, or a patch up. The truth is God is not a temporary fix or patch-up God. He wants to make you into a brand-new person who is not a slave to sin. God knew what was in your heart and that you weren't ready. The Bible says, "If anyone gets into Jesus, he becomes a brand-new person inside." He is not the same anymore. A new life has begun!" (2 Corinthians 5:17 Living Bible).
Again, I ask how long will you live in the hog pen? What is it going to take for you to come home? Do you want this miracle power in your life? Are you even curious enough to find out if it's really true and possible for you? Is your heart being stirred right now? Are you even considering what I am saying? That is the Holy Spirit tugging at your heart. Don’t resist. Don’t keep ignoring Christ. You do not have to continue living in misery and pain. Rise up, lay the shame, the stubbornness and the pride down, step out of the hog pen and come home.
I don't care if you are the biggest crack addict or drug dealer, murderer, prostitute, child molester, homosexual, drunkard, Satan worshipper, or whomever in the world, you are loved by Jesus Christ. The Bible says in Romans 10:13, whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. If you sincerely call on Him, He will answer you and bring you home. You may think you are powerless to resist the issues that keep you in the hog pen, that you are never going to get out of the mess you are in. Don't believe that lie of Satan! No one is hooked by sin. No one is hopelessly addicted. The devil cannot hold you captive anymore because Jesus Christ died on the cross and destroyed the power of the devil. But you must decide to be free. Once you make the decision to rise up and step out of the hog pen and come home, the devil has no right to keep you there. Once you make the decision to come home, you can experience the miracle of the prodigal son too.
How Do You Step Out Of the Hog Pen
Dear God in heaven, I am a sinner. I am sorry for my sins and the life that I have lived. I want to come to home. I believe that your only begotten Son Jesus Christ shed His precious blood on the cross at Calvary and died for my sins. I believe that You raised Jesus from the dead. I ask you to forgive me of my sin and set me free. I am now willing to turn from my sin. I confess Jesus as the Lord of my soul. I accept Jesus Christ as my own personal Savior, and according to His Word, and by faith, I believe I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for going to the Cross for my freedom. Help me Jesus to understand what this means and to fully walk away from every work of the devil. I pray this prayer to the Father God in the name of Jesus. Amen.
If you just prayed this prayer, you are saved! Right now, the angels and my daughter in Heaven are rejoicing (Luke 15:7-10)! I am rejoicing too. Now ask your Father God to lead you to a place where you can learn about your new life in Christ.
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