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WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? (CC)

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AUGUST 4, 2013 SERMON (CC) "WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?" SERMON TEXT: ECCLESIASTES 1:2, 2:18-26 PLEASE RISE. OUR SERMON TEXT FOR THIS MORNING IS ECCLESIASTES, CHAPTER 1, VERSE 2, AND CHAPTER 2, VERSES 18-26. AGAIN, I WILL READ FOR EMPHASIS: "MEANINGLESS! MEANINGLESS!" SAYS THE TEACHER. "UTTERLY MEANINGLESS! EVERYTHING IS MEANINGLESS." THIS IS GOD'S WORD. PLEASE BE SEATED. [TEXT TAKEN FROM THE HOLY BIBLE NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, 1973, 1978, 1984, USED BY PERMISSION OF ZONDERVAN BIBLE PUBLISHERS] DEAR LORD, PLEASE BLESS OUR MEDITATION UPON YOUR WORD THIS MORNING AND LET US TAKE IT TO HEART THAT WE MAY GROW IN YOU AND WE MAY BRING YOU PRAISE BY OUR LIVES IN LEADING OTHERS TO SEE YOUR GLORY. AMEN. DEAR FELLOW BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST: THE TEXT THAT WE ARE CONSIDERING THIS MORNING COULD BE CONSIDERED ONE OF THE MOST DEPRESSING IN GOD'S WORD. IT'S A QUESTION THAT'S ASKED BY PEOPLE ABOUT WHAT LIFE MEANS. WHAT IS LIFE ALL ABOUT? KING SOLOMON, THE WISEST MAN IN THE WORLD, WHO EVER LIVED APART FROM CHRIST, GIVES US A HARD-HITTING ANSWER: LIFE IS MEANINGLESS! HE REPEATS IT TWICE ... FOR EMPHASIS! "MEANINGLESS! MEANINGLESS!" AND TO AVOID ANY MISINTERPRETATION, HE REPEATS IT AGAIN AND AGAIN: "UTTERLY MEANINGLESS! EVERYTHING IS MEANINGLESS." THE WORD SOLOMON USES HERE IN THE HEBREW IS THE WORD FOR BREATH ... OR VAPOR. IT'S THE SAME THOUGHT BROUGHT OUT BY JAMES THAT I BROUGHT OUT IN THE CHILDREN'S SERMON. THE BROTHER OF OUR LORD WHERE HE SAID: "NOW LISTEN, YOU WHO SAY, TODAY OR TOMORROW WE WILL GO TO THIS OR THAT CITY, SPEND A YEAR THERE, CARRY ON BUSINESS AND MAKE MONEY." WHY YOU DO NOT EVEN KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN TOMORROW. WHAT IS YOUR LIFE? YOU ARE A MIST THAT APPEARS FOR A LITTLE WHILE AND THEN VANISHES. (VS. 13-14) LIKE A BREATH OF AIR ON A CHILLY MORNING, OUR LIFE APPEARS ON THIS EARTH FOR THE SHORTESS OF TIME ... AND THEN IT QUICKLY FADES AWAY. THIS MORNING WE'RE GOING TO MEDITATE ON THE MEANING OF GOD'S WORD UNDER THE THEME: WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? FIRST WE'LL LOOK AT: THE BEST LIFE HAS TO OFFER. AND THEN WE'LL LOOK AT: THE BEST LIFE ... GOD ... HAS TO OFFER. THE BEST LIFE HAS TO OFFER ... WOW! PERHAPS WE CAN LOOK AT THAT UNDER SATAN'S TEMPTATIONS TO JESUS WHEN JESUS WAS IN THE WILDERNESS. AFTER JESUS HAD FASTED 40 DAYS IN THE WILDERNESS, THE DEVIL CAME TO HIM WITH THE TEMPTATION TO EAT SOME BREAD CHANGED FROM STONE. HE SAID: SURELY IF YOU'RE THE SON OF GOD, YOU CAN DO THAT. FOOD ... IS CERTAINLY ONE OF THE MOST BASIC THINGS THAT WE NEED FOR LIFE. IF YOU'RE ABLE TO EAT OUT AT THE BEST CLUBS, YOU'RE HAVING WHATEVER EXPENSIVE FOOD YOU WANT, PEOPLE CONSIDER YOU TO HAVE MADE IT IN THIS WORLD. THE RICH FOOL WHO STORED UP CROPS FOR HIMSELF, AND THEN HE SAID: YOU HAVE PLENTY OF GOOD THINGS STORED UP FOR MANY YEARS, TAKE LIFE EASY. EAT, DRINK, AND BE MERRY. SHOWS US HOW FOOD IS LOOKED UPON AS A GUARANTEE OF A WORRY-FREE LIFE. THE DEVIL ALSO PUT JESUS TO THE TEST BY SAYING: JUMP OFF THE TEMPLE. SURELY GOD WILL PROTECT YOU. DO YOU DOUBT HIS LOVE FOR YOU. DO YOU DOUBT HIS ABILITY TO CARE FOR YOU? THE WORLD SCOFFS WHEN ANYTHING BAD HAPPENS TO US, DOESN'T IT? WHERE IS JESUS NOW IN YOUR LIFE? ISN'T HE WATCHING OVER YOU AND PROTECTING YOU? THEY DON'T REALIZE THAT GOD LOVES US AND THAT GOD PROTECTS US AND GUIDES OUR LIVES IN SUCH A WAY THAT WE WILL NOT BE TEMPTED, OR ... OR IN THE GREEK, IT SAYS: TESTED ... BEYOND WHAT WE ARE ABLE TO BEAR. BUT THAT HE ALLOWS TROUBLES IN OUR LIVES TO STRENGTHEN OUR CHARACTER. TO BRING US TO A FULLER UNDERSTANDING OF HIS GRACE AND MERCY. THE WORLD LOOKS UPON A CAREFREE LIFE AS THE ULTIMATE: THE BEST LIFE HAS TO OFFER. BUT GOD VIEWS THINGS DIFFERENTLY. KNOWING THAT CHILDREN NEED TO BE TAUGHT TO RELY UPON HIM AS THEIR SOURCE OF EVERY BLESSING. THEN SATAN TOOK JESUS TO A HIGH MOUNTAIN; SHOWED HIM ALL THE KINGDOMS OF THE WORLD AND THEIR SPLENDOR, SAYING: ALL THIS I WILL GIVE YOU IF YOU BOW DOWN AND WORSHIP ME. POWER, HONOR STRENGTH AND MIGHT, PRESTIGE, POSSESSIONS BEYOND COUNT. THESE ARE THE THINGS THAT THE PEOPLE OF THIS WORLD VALUE AND CHASE AFTER DURING THEIR LIVES. IN PHILIPPIANS 3, PAUL SAYS THAT THE ENEMIES OF CHRIST WORSHIPED THEIR EARTHLY DESIRES AS GOD. AND PAUL SUMS UP THEIR SITUATION BY SAYING: THEIR MIND IS SET ON EARTHLY THINGS. SOLOMON WROTE THAT SUCH A LIFE IS UTTERLY MEANINGLESS. UTTERLY EMPTY. AND IN THE LONG RUN, ALL THE FOOD, CLOTHING, WEALTH, PRESTIGE, HONOR, POWER, AND WHATEVER ELSE ONE MIGHT RUN AFTER TO SATISFY THEIR DESIRES IN THIS WORLD, WILL DISAPPEAR LIKE DUST IN THE WIND. FOR OUR LIFE SPAN IS BUT 70 OR 80 YEARS. AND WE BROUGHT NOTHING INTO THIS WORLD AND WE WILL TAKE NOTHING OUT OF IT. SOLOMON SPOKE FROM EXPERIENCE BECAUSE HE HAD DENIED HIMSELF NOTHING. LISTEN TO HIS WORDS. I THOUGHT IN MY HEART: "COME NOW, I WILL TEST YOU WITH PLEASURE TO FIND OUT WHAT IS GOOD. BUT THAT ALSO PROVED TO BE MEANINGLESS. LAUGHTER, I SAID, IS FOOLISH. AND WHAT DOES PLEASURE ACCOMPLISH? I TRIED CHEERING MYSELF WITH WINE, AND EMBRACING FOLLY -- MY MIND STILL GUIDING ME WITH WISDOM. I WANTED TO SEE WHAT WAS WORTHWHILE FOR MEN TO DO UNDER HEAVEN DURING THE FEW YEARS OF THEIR LIVES. I UNDERTOOK GREAT PROJECTS: I BUILT HOUSES FOR MYSELF AND PLANTED VINEYARDS. I MADE GARDENS AND PARKS AND PLANTED ALL KINDS OF FRUIT TREES IN THEM. I MADE RESERVOIRS TO WATER GROVES OF FLOURISHING TREES. I BOUGHT MALE AND FEMALE SLAVES AND HAD OTHER SLAVES WHO WERE BORN IN MY HOUSE. I ALSO OWNED MORE HERDS AND FLOCKS THAN ANYONE IN JERUSALEM BEFORE ME. I AMASSED SILVER AND GOLD FOR MYSELF, AND THE TREASURE OF KINGS AND PROVINCES. I ACQUIRED MEN AND WOMEN SINGERS, AND A HAREM AS WELL -- THE DELIGHTS OF THE HEART OF MAN. I BECAME GREATER BY FAR THAN ANYONE IN JERUSALEM BEFORE ME. IN ALL THIS MY WISDOM STAYED WITH ME. I DENIED MYSELF NOTHING MY EYES DESIRED; I REFUSED MY HEART NO PLEASURE. MY HEART TOOK DELIGHT IN ALL MY WORK, AND THIS WAS THE REWARD FOR ALL MY LABOR. YET WHEN I SURVEYED ALL THAT MY HANDS HAD DONE AND WHAT I HAD TOILED TO ACHIEVE, EVERYTHING WAS MEANINGLESS, A CHASING AFTER THE WIND; NOTHING WAS GAINED UNDER THE SUN. THOSE WHO REFUSE TO LEARN FROM THE HISTORY OF ... FROM THE LESSONS OF HISTORY ARE DOOMED TO REPEAT THEIR MISTAKES. SOLOMON, THE WISEST MAN IN THE WORLD'S HISTORY, SPEAKS FROM THE VANTAGE POINT OF TRYING TO MAKE LIFE MEANINGFUL BY CHASING AFTER THE THINGS OF THIS WORLD. AND HE CAME UP EMPTY. HE WROTE IN OUR TEXT: WHAT DOES A MAN GET FOR ALL THE TOIL AND ANXIOUS STRIVING WITH WHICH HE LABORS UNDER THE SUN? ALL HIS DAYS HIS WORK IS PAIN AND GRIEF; EVEN AT NIGHT HIS MIND DOES NOT REST. THIS TOO IS MEANINGLESS. WE KNOW FROM THE BOOKS OF KINGS AND CHRONICLES, THAT SOLOMON STARTED OUT FOLLOWING GOD IN HIS YOUTH BUT THEN HIS HEART TURNED AWAY FROM THE TRUE GOD INTO IDOLOTRY. HE HAD IT ALL ... OUTWARDLY. A GREAT SUCCESS IN THE EYES OF THIS WORLD. BUT IT WAS EMPTY INSIDE; DEVOID OF MEANING. AND EVEN IN HIS GREAT EARTHLY SUCCESS, SOLOMON SAYS THAT HE HAD PAIN AND GRIEF. RESTLESS NIGHTS; ANXIOUS STRIVING IN HIS LABOR. EVEN THE WISEST AND RICHEST MAN IN THE WORLD SUFFERED THROUGHOUT LIFE BECAUSE OF THE DREADFUL EFFECTS OF SIN. AND NOW IN OLD AGE AND REPENTANCE, GOD DIRECTED HIM TO WRITE THE BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES ... THESE WORDS, SO THAT WE COULD LEARN FROM HIS MISTAKES AND AVOID THEM. YES, EVEN A DEPRESSING BOOK LIKE ECCLESTIASTES, GOD CAUSED THE HOLY SPIRIT TO WRITE FOR US. FOR AS PAUL ASSURES US: EVERYTHING WRITTEN IN THE PAST WAS WRITTEN TO TEACH US SO THAT THROUGH ENDURANCE AND THE ENCOURAGEMENT OF THE SCRIPTURES, WE MIGHT HAVE HOPE. BUT AS PAUL REMINDED THE YOUNG PASTOR, TIMOTHY: ALL SCRIPTURE IS GOD-BREATHED ... IS INSPIRED ... AND IS USEFUL FOR TEACHING, REBUKING, CORRECTING AND TRAINING IN RIGHTEOUSNESS, SO THAT THE MAN OF GOD MAY BE THOROUGHLY EQUIPPED FOR EVERY GOOD WORK. [2 TIMOTHY 3:16] WHAT IS THE BEST THAT LIFE HAS TO OFFER? PAIN, TOIL, ANXIOUS LABOR, AND ULTIMATELY NO MATTER WHAT EARTHLY POSSESSIONS ONE AMASSES, OR HOW MANY PLEASURES ONE CAN EXPERIENCE, IT'S A LIFE WITHOUT MEANING. IN OUR GOSPEL READING, GOD SPARES NO FEELINGS WHEN HE SAYS TO THE RICH MAN WHO STORED UP THINGS FOR HIMSELF BUT WAS NOT RICH TOWARD GOD: "YOU FOOL! THIS VERY NIGHT YOUR LIFE WILL BE DEMANDED FROM YOU. THEN WHO WILL GET WHAT YOU HAVE PREPARED FOR YOURSELF?" [LUKE 12:20] AND LUKE EXPLAINS THAT JESUS TOLD THAT PARABLE TO ILLUSTRATE THE POINT TO THOSE LISTENING TO HIM: "A MAN'S LIFE DOES NOT CONSIST IN THE ABUNDANCE OF HIS POSSESSIONS." [LUKE 12:15b] FROM THE REST OF SCRIPTURE WE KNOW THAT THE LIFE WITHOUT CHRIST HAS ETERNAL CONSEQUENCES BEYOND AN EARTHLY LIFE DEVOID OF MEANING. A LIFE APART FROM CHRIST HERE ON EARTH, WILL RESULT IN AN ETERNITY OF BEING SEPARATED FROM GOD. AN ETERNITY OF BEING SEPARATED FROM GOD IN HELL. PAUL WROTE: "AS I HAVE OFTEN TOLD YOU BEFORE, AND NOW SAY AGAIN EVEN WITH TEARS, [PHILIPPIANS 3:18-19] MANY LIVE AS ENEMIES OF THE CROSS OF CHRIST. THEIR DESTINY IS DESTRUCTION, THEIR GOD IS THEIR STOMACH AND THEIR GLORY IS IN THEIR SHAME. THEIR MIND IS ON EARTHLY THINGS." AND WHEN PAUL SAYS THEIR GOD IS THEIR STOMACH, HE'S TALKING ABOUT THEIR EARTHLY, YOU KNOW, EARTHLY CONCENTRATION OF PLEASURE. BUT THERE IS AN ALTERNATIVE TO LIVING A LIFE OF LOOKING FOR THE BEST THAT LIFE HAS TO OFFER. SOLOMON GIVES JUST A HINT OF IT IN OUR TEXT. HE SAID: "A MAN CAN DO NOTHING BETTER THAN TO EAT AND DRINK AND FIND SATISFACTION IN HIS WORK. THIS TOO, I SEE, IS FROM THE HAND OF GOD, FOR WITHOUT HIM, WHO CAN EAT OR FIND ENJOYMENT? TO THE MAN WHO PLEASES HIM, GOD GIVES WISDOM, KNOWLEDGE AND HAPPINESS, BUT TO THE SINNER HE GIVES THE TASK OF GATHERING AND STORING UP WEALTH TO HAND IT OVER TO THE ONE WHO PLEASES GOD. [EC 3:24] THE BEST LIFE ... GOD ... HAS TO OFFER. WE'VE SEEN THE BEST LIFE HAS TO OFFER, BUT WHAT IS THE BEST LIFE? THE BEST LIFE THAT GOD HAS TO OFFER? IN OUR EPISTLE READING TODAY PAUL WROTE SINCE, THEN, YOU HAVE BEEN RAISED WITH CHRIST, SET YOUR MINDS ON THINGS ABOVE, WHERE CHRIST IS SEATED AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD. SET YOUR MINDS ON THINGS ABOVE, NOT ON EARTHLY THINGS. WE WHO WERE SINNERS HAVE NOTHING TO OFFER GOD. BECAUSE EVEN THE BEST HUMAN WORKS ARE SINFUL AND UNCLEAN BEFORE HIM. WE HAVE BEEN GIVEN THE BEST GIFT THAT ONE CAN EVER RECEIVE ... ETERNAL LIFE! WE WHO WERE DEAD IN OUR SINS HAVE BEEN UNITED WITH CHRIST IN HIS DEATH AND RESURRECTION. WE WERE BURIED WITH CHRIST IN BAPTISM TO DIE TO HIM. AND WE WERE RAISED TO LIFE IN CHRIST THROUGH BAPTISM. LISTEN TO PAUL'S EXPLANATION: "AT ONE TIME WE TOO WERE FOOLISH, DISOBEDIENT, DECEIVED AND ENSLAVED BY ALL KINDS OF PASSIONS AND PLEASURES. WE LIVED IN MALICE AND ENVY, BEING HATED AND HATING ONE ANOTHER. BUT WHEN THE LOVE AND THE KINDNESS OF GOD OUR SAVIOR APPEARED, HE SAVED US, NOT BECAUSE OF RIGHTEOUS THINGS WE HAD DONE, BUT BECAUSE OF HIS MERCY. HE SAVED US THROUGH THE WASHING OF REBIRTH AND RENEWAL BY THE HOLY SPIRIT, WHOM HE POURED OUT ON US GENEROUSLY THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR SAVIOR, SO THAT, HAVING BEEN JUSTIFIED BY HIS GRACE, BY HIS UNDESERVED LOVE, WE MIGHT BECOME HEIRS HAVING THE HOPE OF ETERNAL LIFE." [TITUS 3:3-7] HE SAVED US NOT BECAUSE OF WHAT WE DID, BUT IN SPITE OF IT. IN SPITE OF OUR SINS, CHRIST DIED FOR THE UNGODLY. WHILE WE WERE YET SINNERS, CHRIST DIED FOR US. [ROMANS CHAPTER 5] AND AFTER LIVING A PERFECT LIFE OF OBEDIENCE TO GOD THE FATHER'S WILL, JESUS OFFERED HIMSELF UP AS A WHOLE AND PERFECT SACRIFICE ... THE LAMB OF GOD WHO TOOK AWAY THE SINS OF THE WORLD. HE IS THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. IT IS BECAUSE OF HIS GREAT UNDESERVED LOVE AND MERCY THAT GOD THE FATHER SENT HIS SON INTO THE WORLD TO LIVE THAT PERFECT LIFE IN OUR PLACE. AND IT WAS BECAUSE OF THE GREAT LOVE OF GOD THE FATHER THAT HE ALSO PUT HIS SON UP ON THE CROSS TO DIE AS OUR SUBSTITUTE. IS IT ANY SURPRISE THEN THAT JESUS TOLD THE CROWDS TO FOLLOW HIM? "SO DO NOT WORRY, SAYING, 'WHAT SHALL WE EAT?' OR 'WHAT SHALL WE DRINK?' OR 'WHAT SHALL WE WEAR?' FOR THE PAGANS RUN AFTER THESE THINGS, AND YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER KNOWS THAT YOU NEED THEM. BUT SEEK FIRST HIS KINGDOM AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND ALL THESE THINGS WILL BE GIVEN TO YOU AS WELL. THEREFORE DO NOT WORRY ABOUT TOMORROW, FOR TOMORROW WILL WORRY ABOUT ITSELF. EACH DAY HAS ENOUGH TROUBLE OF ITS OWN. [MATTHEW 6:31-34] IF GOD THE FATHER HAD NOT LOVED US ENOUGH TO GIVE HIS ONLY BELOVED SON WE WOULD BE LOST. BUT BECAUSE HE GAVE HIS ONLY BELOVED SON FOR US WE HAVE THE CONFIDENCE THAT HE WILL ALSO LOOK AFTER ALL OF OUR EARTHLY NEEDS AS WELL. WORRYING ABOUT SUCH THINGS IS REALLY A MANIFESTATION OF A LACK OF TRUST IN GOD. HE HAS PROMISED THAT HE WILL GIVE US OUR DAILY NEEDS. AND HE'S ALSO PROMISED TO GIVE US THE SPIRITUAL STRENGTH WE NEED TO MEET THE CHALLENGES OF EACH DAY AS WE TURN TO GOD'S WORD FOR NOURISHMENT AND STRENGTH. AND BEYOND THE EARTHLY NEEDS HE'S GIVEN US THAT ONE THING NEEDFUL ETERNAL LIFE. REMEMBER WHEN THE RESURRECTED JESUS APPEARED TO HIS DISCIPLES AND THOMAS WASN'T THERE? A WEEK LATER JESUS SAID TO THOMAS: PUT YOUR FINGER HERE. SEE MY HANDS. REACH OUT YOUR HAND AND PUT IT INTO MY SIDE. STOP DOUBTING AND BELIEVE. AND THEN THOMAS SAID TO HIM: MY LORD AND MY GOD. AND JESUS TOLD HIM: BECAUSE YOU HAVE SEEN ME, YOU HAVE BELIEVED. BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO HAVE NOT SEEN ME AND YET BELIEVE. AND THEN JOHN CONCLUDED HIS GOSPEL WITH THESE WORDS: JESUS DID MANY OTHER MIRACULOUS SIGNS IN THE PRESENCE OF HIS DISCIPLES WHICH ARE NOT RECORDED IN THIS BOOK. BUT THESE THINGS ARE WRITTEN THAT YOU MAY BELIEVE THAT JESUS IS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD. AND THEN BY BELIEVING, YOU MAY HAVE LIFE IN HIS NAME. HE WHO DID NOT SPARE HIS OWN SON BUT GAVE HIM UP FOR US ALL, HOW WILL HE NOT ALONG WITH HIM GRACIOUSLY GIVE US ALL THINGS. HE'S GIVEN US ETERNAL LIFE; SOMETHING BEYOND COST. SOMETHING THAT EVEN THE RICHEST MAN IN HISTORY COULDN'T BUY. BECAUSE NO PAYMENT IS EVER ENOUGH THAT WE SHOULD LIVE ON FOREVER AND NOT SEE DECAY. BUT WE KNOW THAT OUR LIFE HERE ON EARTH IS TEMPORARY. WE'RE ALIENS AND STRANGERS HERE ON THIS EARTH. WE'RE MOVING OUR TENTS FROM ONE TOWN TO ANOTHER UNTIL OUR NEXT STOP IS HEAVEN. LIKE ABRAHAM, WE HAVE FAITH IN GOD. FAITH IS BEING SURE OF WHAT WE HOPE FOR AND CERTAIN OF WHAT WE DO NOT SEE. SOLOMON SAID THINGS UNDER THE SUN. HE REFERENCED WHAT OUR EYES CAN OBSERVE. LIKE THOMAS, WE WANT TO SEE AND THEN BELIEVE. IT'S BASED UPON, NOT THE THINGS THAT WE SEE THOUGH, OUR FAITH IS BASED UPON THE LIFE, DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. AND UPON THE PROMISES OF GOD. NOT THAT GOD DIDN'T GIVE VISUAL EVIDENCE OF HIS LOVE AND HIS PROMISES. AS JOHN WROTE: "THAT WHICH WAS FROM THE BEGINNING, WHICH WE HAVE HEARD, WHICH WE HAVE SEEN WITH OUR EYES, WHICH WE HAVE LOOKED AT AND OUR HANDS HAVE TOUCHED -- THIS WE PROCLAIM CONCERNING THE WORD OF LIFE. THE LIFE APPEARED; WE HAVE SEEN IT AND TESTIFY TO IT, AND WE PROCLAIM TO YOU THE ETERNAL LIFE, WHICH WAS WITH THE FATHER AND HAS APPEARED TO US. WE PROCLAIM TO YOU WHAT WE HAVE SEEN AND HEARD, SO THAT YOU ALSO MAY HAVE FELLOWSHIP WITH US. AND OUR FELLOWSHIP IS WITH THE FATHER AND WITH HIS SON, JESUS CHRIST. [1 JOHN 1-3] LIKEWISE PETER CLEARLY WRITES AS AN EYEWITNESS; AN EYEWITNESS OF THE WORD WHO BECAME FLESH. HE BECAME HUMAN TO LIVE AMONG US. [2 PETER 1:16-18] WE DID NOT FOLLOW CLEVERLY INVENTED STORIES WHEN WE TOLD YOU ABOUT THE POWER AND COMING OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, BUT WE WERE EYEWITNESSES OF HIS MAJESTY. FOR HE RECEIVED HONOR AND GLORY FROM GOD THE FATHER WHEN THE VOICE CAME TO HIM FROM THE MAJESTIC GLORY, SAYING, "THIS IS MY SON, WHOM I LOVE; WITH HIM I AM WELL PLEASED." WE OURSELVES HEARD THIS VOICE THAT CAME FROM HEAVEN WHEN WE WERE WITH HIM ON THE SACRED MOUNTAIN. FINALLY DOES IT BOTHER YOU THAT BELIEVERS SUFFER TOGETHER WITH UNBELIEVERS? SUFFER THE EFFECTS OF SIN. AND DON'T LIVE VISIBLY HERE ON EARTH UNDER THE SPECIAL BLESSING OF GOD. MY FRIENDS, ISN'T THAT WHAT LIVING BY FAITH IS ALL ABOUT? AS THE WRITER TO THE HEBREWS SAID [11:13]: ALL THESE PEOPLE WERE STILL LIVING BY FAITH WHEN THEY DIED. THEY DID NOT RECEIVE THE THINGS PROMISED; THEY ONLY SAW THEM AND WELCOMED THEM FROM A DISTANCE. AND THEY ADMITTED THAT THEY WERE ALIENS AND STRANGERS ON EARTH. THEY, AND WE, ARE LONGING FOR A BETTER LIFE. A HEAVENLY LIFE WITH GOD. WHAT SOLOMON WROTE IS TRUE: GOD GIVES WISDOM, KNOWLEDGE AND HAPPINESS, TO THE MAN WHO PLEASES GOD. THAT IS, TO THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN HIM. FOR WITHOUT FAITH, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PLEASE GOD. BUT WE, LIKE THE HEROES OF FAITH, KNOW THAT GOD HAS PREPARED A CITY FOR US. THE HEAVENLY JERUSALEM, WHERE WE WILL ENTER IN AND EAT FROM THE TREE OF LIFE. WE'LL BE CLOTHED WITH ROBES OF RIGHTEOUSNESS. WASHED CLEAN BY THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB. BUT THERE WE WILL FINALLY ENJOY THE TOTAL BLISS AND HAPPINESS OF LIVING IN GOD'S PRESENCE AND SEEING HIS VISIBLE PRESENCE .. VISIBLE BLESSING UPON US. WITH NO MORE EFFECTS OF SIN. MY DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST, LIFE IS NOT MEANINGLESS. NOT A LIFE WITH CHRIST. WE'VE BEEN GIVEN PURPOSE HERE ON EARTH. WE HAVE BEEN CREATED TO GLORIFY GOD. WE ARE THE PEOPLE OF HIS POSSESSION AND GOD DOES ALL HE HAS DONE ... FOR US. HE'S CHOSEN US TO BE HIS HOLY PEOPLE. HE'S GIVEN US HIS PRECIOUS WORD ... TO SHARE WITH THOSE AROUND US. HE'S COMMISSIONED YOU AND I TO BE HIS AMBASSADORS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD. USE THESE DAYS, THE FLEETING VAPOR OF LIFE THAT GOD HAS GIVEN TO YOU, WISELY. LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE AS PEOPLE SEE YOUR GOOD WORKS SO THAT THEY MAY GLORIFY GOD ON THE DAY OF HIS COMING. WHEN HE TAKES US TO BE WITH HIM FOREVER IN GLORY. AMEN. [MOTIONS FOR CONGREGATION TO RISE] NOW MAY THE PEACE THAT COMES FROM KNOWING THAT GOD HAS GIVEN US EVERYTHING WE NEED FOR LIFE, AND ETERNAL LIFE, KEEP YOUR HEARTS AND MINDS IN THE TRUE FAITH UNTO LIFE EVERLASTING. AMEN.

Video Details

Duration: 22 minutes and 25 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: R & M
Director: Jesus
Views: 58
Posted by: hischild on Aug 8, 2013

Guest Pastor Jim Sherod at Zion in Torrance, CA in this Closed Captioned August 4, 2013 message compares a life lived without God to a life lived WITH God ... for now ... and for eternity.

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