“.....he would have eaten the corn cobs in the pig slop,
but no one would even give him any”
(Luke 15:16)

The dictionary defines a parable as “a simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson as told by
Jesus in the Gospels.”  Simple, yes, because Jesus’ audience was primarily the simple folk, the everyday
citizen of ancient days: olive skinned, hard working, frequently uneducated, and eager to embrace a word
of hope which might better their existence.  At the conclusion of his ministry when Jesus’ sacrificed his life on
the cross, it clinched any doubt and the hope became reality.   

Jesus didn’t give Himself as the ultimate sacrifice just so people could feel good.  He didn’t die so that people
could have a religion to occupy their time or to manage their lives as best they see fit.  Trusting Jesus as
your personal Savior is a full time, life long commitment.    

One of today’s prophets, Joyce Meyer, likens a relationship with God this way: if the power line to your house
is cut you have no power.  Likewise if the power line to your house is cut hundreds of times you still have no
power.  Whether one time or scores of times, the result is the same.  Cut off, no power, no light, no food.  
It’s the same with God.  If makes no difference whether you’ve committed one sin or a lifetime of sins -
you’re still cut off and in the dark.

Remaining in a state of unforgiveness by not trusting Jesus as your Savior, by not confessing your sins and
allowing Him to take them upon Himself, which He did when He died upon the cross, means a life of ongoing
hardship.  It means making every decision on your own without any help, without any higher power to guide
you, without any peace of mind.  Whatever you do, even if you are successful at it from a world’s point of
view, that’s as far as it goes.  You die - it’s over.  No hope of eternal life.     

When it comes to people who have accepted Christ as their Savior, but are no longer consulting Him or have
just plain forgotten how to rely upon Him, the perfect peace that they once knew has vanished.  There is a
subconscious pain, almost indiscernible, that never goes away.  It’s guilt and it’s justifiable.  Being “in Christ”
is by far the easier route.

Christians who are living without an intimacy with Jesus no longer have the peace that passes all
understanding.  They’ve learned to go with the flow.  They’ve learned to compromise their faith.  They have
taken on the misguided world’s standards and twist their free salvation into a relationship based on what they
can do, not on what Jesus has already done.  No matter how much planning and manipulating, no matter
what does or doesn’t turns out right, their peace is gone.  Vanished.   

The prodigal son had to go through the pig pen.  He had to reach bottom before he came to his senses.
Of course the circumstances will be different today, that’s a given, but in one way or another the backslidden
Christian is going to wish for help, and, whoops, all the friends have disappeared.  

Whether one sin or many, Jesus says come home.  Why go it alone when you don’t have to?