It starts with the passage from Luke 15:11-24 (The Prodigal Son) however today's message is about the teens and young adults of today which is so drawn to the world by using the illustration of "The Prodigal Son".
Spiritual Swine Flu
1) A 'fever' for the 'far country'. (Luke 15:12-13)
Q: What is this 'fever' of the 'far country'?
A: It represents the world out there; the pleasures, the fun, the excitement that seems to be out threre. It also represents the moving out from the covering and security of the family and the house of God and having a taste of what is our there. It too represents 'to strike out on our own'; 'to live one's own life and do one's own thing.' And last but not least, it represents moving in a direction that is no longer controlled, watched upon.
At the back of every young minds will have such rants in their mind, given an example below:
"I always look at the far country and all they're doing is partying, having fun. I want to have fun. I am in my Father's house, killing myself trying to do the right thing and all these other people are having so much fun out there."
2) A 'headache full of lies'.
Some young minds all long probably would have felt imprisoned, chained up to his father's house, his father's ways, the rules he thought he was being forced to follow.
"He believed the lie that the far country would finally give him the freedom he longed for."
Bible quotes a warning in 1John 2:15-17:
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.
So, what is wrong with going out there and be carefree, no control; no standards -going to the places that you want to go and mixing with the people that you want to mix, in the name of fun and freedom?
Bible quotes an answer to the above for what is really wrong in Romans 1:26-27:
Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
Heading back to the "The Prodigal Son" illustrations whereby there younger son longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
Who your 'true friends are will be revealed on the day when you have nothing!
There are times in some people's lives where it is best to let them experience what they thought is the best until they come to the discovery that it is not so.
Back to Luke 15:17-18
"When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you
3) The "Cure" (Luke 15:19-24)
It is not about how bad you are but how good HE is!!!
Note of lesson:
You don't have to go to the far country. Believe me, God wants you to have all the fun and excitement that you can have within the confines of His standards.
A psalm of Asaph.
Surely God is good to Israel,to those who are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold.
This is what the wicked are like—always carefree, they increase in wealth. Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure; in vain have I washed my hands in innocence. All day long I have been plagued; I have been punished every morning.
When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny. Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin. How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors!
Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you. But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.