On any given day you can probably turn your TV on sometime and the show will be on - Gilligan's Island. Yes! In fact, I'll bet you may even be able to hear the theme song playing in your brain. You see, that show was a big hit when it aired the first time. And now it just won't stop airing. Remember, there is Gilligan who is the terminally stupid first mate of the S.S. Minnow, the skipper, the millionaire and his wife, the Professor, the movie star - the characters are really well known. The plot was very simple, summed up in the theme song. These people went out on the S.S. Minnow for a three-hour tour and a storm blew them into some unknown island where they were stranded until the series finally ended years later. Some three hour tour!
Well, I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Gilligan Syndrome."
And what is the Gilligan syndrome? Going farther than you wanted to, staying longer than you planned to. It might be happening to you right now.
Jesus told us about a young man it happened to many years ago. Our word for today from the Word of God beginning in Luke 15:13. After this man has asked his dad for the family inheritance that is coming to him. "Not long after that, the youngest son got together all he had, went off to a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spend everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one would give him anything. When he came to his senses he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to spare and here am I 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, I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired men.' So he got up and went to his father."
He was just going for a fling on the wild side - just a three-hour tour. He almost never made it back. What was supposed to bring in pleasure and happiness, which it did for a little while - ultimately left him stranded on a spiritual island all by himself. Listen to this, "He squandered his wealth," in other words, he wasted what he'd been given. Have you done that? He spent everything he had. He paid a much higher price for this sin than he could have ever imagined. Sound familiar? He began to be in need, no one gave him anything, the party was over - the bill had come, and he was alone, except for the pigs.
The Bible says the way of the transgressor is hard. Well, it always is sooner or later. Maybe today you're like the Gilligan bunch except it's sin that's carried you to a place that's hard to get back from. The ugly truth about sin is this, sin will always take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you plan to stay, and cost you more than you ever thought you'd pay. Someone listening right now is saying, "that's right, that's what happened to me." Or maybe you're just starting down this sin row, it looks exciting, profitable, desirable, and you think it will be just a three hour tour. But sin never is.
Listen to God's reveling statement, James 1:15, "After desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death." It will take you where you never meant to go. And if you feel like you're just too far away to ever get back, you can get back the same way the prodigal son did. But only that way. It says "he got up and went to his father." It's time for you to run to the God that you've been running from. You say, "Oh, he'll never take me back." Well see, that's why Jesus told this story to let you know how God will treat you if you come running home. It says that his father saw him, he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. If you even start home God will come running to meet you. Because of what Jesus did on the cross for you. Haven't you been gone long enough? It's time to come home.