by James Merritt

God Leaves the Lights On
Dr. James Merritt
Luke 15:11-24


1. He was a rebel, college drop-out, a party boy, a carouser. He smoked, drank hard liquor, was a brawler, and was well known by all of the local police authorities, and had more than one visit down to the jail.

2. By his own admission he was the classic example of the prodigal son. Today he stands to succeed the most respected, admired, and perhaps famous American of the Twentieth Century - Billy Graham. His name is Franklin Graham. Today, Franklin Graham not only has a tremendous benevolent ministry called ''The Samaritan Purse,'' but is now preaching the gospel just like his father to thousands and thousands of people all over the world. He will tell you he is where he is today because he had a father who left the lights on.

3. I grew up in the country not too far from here. Though it is no longer country because of the population explosion in this state, at one time it was Mayberry, USA. Whenever you would drive by someone's home and the front porch lights were burning, you knew someone was away from home, but there was a family inside that home looking for them to come back home and welcome them with open arms.

4. We're going to study today perhaps the best loved parable of all the parables Jesus told. In fact, if parables were songs this probably would be voted Jesus' all-time number one hit.

5. Luke tells us about the two most famous sons in all of the Bible. One, of course, is the Son of God, but the other is the prodigal son we find in this chapter. It is the classic biblical story of the second chance. It is a story that never grows old and has probably the sweetest storybook ending of any story in the Bible.

6. This story tells us probably as much, if not more, about God than any other single story in the Bible. But it also tells us as much, if not more, about us than any other story in the Bible. It lets us know why it is so wonderful to realize that ''God l ...

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