Faithlife Sermons

What's Going On Here?

Ecclesiastes  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented
0 ratings
· 35 views

What is the point of life?

Notes
Transcript
Handout
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →

Intro

Moving forward - NEXT season of life for our church.
Personal - I started attending church while working seasonally at FC in 2002. When I moved to Grapeland in 2003, I knew this was the local body of Christ that the Lord wanted me to join. I have been very blessed to grow up under 2 very gifted and skilled Bible teachers in David Bradley and Todd Nivens.
What’s next? WHO’s next - ?
PRAYER - We need to be praying. We need to continue to labor earnestly in prayer for both Search Committee and the next Overseer/Shepherd/Pastor. I can confidently tell you that it is the Lord’s will for the local bodies to have an Overseer - .
Consistency - We are in not sitting idle. One of the main fuels of the church is the Preaching of the Word of God.

The Pastor Search Committee will first look to find an Interim Pastor, and then move on to find the next Senior Pastor.
In the meantime, we are going to do our best to have consistent Preachers when able. I’m going to take the first leg of this and preach for a month or so on Sunday mornings.
Sunday evenings are going to be a continuation of the Sunday evening programming from this summer, but with a few changes. We’ll talk more about that tonight. I’m very excited about Sunday evenings and I hope to see you tonight.
Wednesdays will be like they have been for the past many fall seasons - Bible Study and Prayer Time in the Fellowship Hall and Hans will be leading a Bible study on the Doctrine of Salvation in the Seekers Class room - both will be from 7-8pm.
When it was decided that I’d take the first shift of preaching duties, I started praying and thinking about what book of the Bible to preach/teach through.
About a year ago, Todd was having some pretty serious health issues, and needed a Pinch Hitter a few Sundays. Not knowing how many I’d need to cover, I started preaching through Philippians. After a couple of weeks, he was ready to roll and that was the end of my time in Philippians. So, I thought - man, this would be a great time to finish where I left off…so…if you would open your Bibles to Philippians chapter 1....just kidding.
Seriously, though, in praying about it - one of my favorite books kept coming to mind. I’d push it to the side and keep praying about another. But this book just kept coming back. It is one of my favorites simply b/c it doesn’t shy away from telling it like it is.
I try to read through the Bible at least once a year.
I like to study and read through Song of Solomon at least twice a year, so that I can be reminded of how the Lord wants me to treat the most important relationship He’s given me here on earth.
I try to spend regular time in Psalms and Proverbs so I can try to understand God’s heart and also how He wants me to live.
And lastly, I absolutely love the book of Ecclesiastes.
It is some of the GLUE of Scripture that helps with day to day living for the Lord.
Recruiting people to Teen Missions - tell them about the Lord’s Boot Camp! KEEP IT SHORT
Stop and PRAY
James 4

Ecclesiastes

It asks and answers this question - What’s Going On Here? What is the point of life?
It is some of the GLUE of Scripture that helps with day to day living for the Lord.
We are going to see Solomon pose a thesis/thought, a question with an initial answer. Then he’s going to walk us through his process of discovering that answer.
Ecclesiastes 1:1 NASB95
1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
Authorship is attributed to King Solomon. In , the Lord grants him wisdom, riches, and honor. And, if he will live obediently to the Lord, he will also be granted a long life.
We are going to see Solomon pose a thesis/thought, a question with an initial answer. Then he’s going to walk us through his process of discovering that answer.

The Question

- Question: What’s the point of life?

Question: What’s the point of life?

Ecclesiastes 1:2–3 NASB95
2 “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher, “Vanity of vanities! All is vanity.” 3 What advantage does man have in all his work Which he does under the sun?
Solomon poses a thesis, a question and answer, that everyone considers at some time in life.

- Solomon poses a thesis, a question and answer, that everyone considers at some time in life.

Ecclesiastes 1:2–3 NASB95
2 “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher, “Vanity of vanities! All is vanity.” 3 What advantage does man have in all his work Which he does under the sun?
- Vanity - means emptiness, transitory, unsatisfactory - profitless.
- Advantage - profit, benefit, gain - the Message “What is there to show for a lifetime of work?”
Q: What’s the point of life on earth? A: There is no benefit, no profit, no gain - there is no point to life on earth.
A: There is no benefit, no profit, no gain - there is no point to life on earth.

- Time Waits for No Man

Ecclesiastes 1:4–7 NASB95
4 A generation goes and a generation comes, But the earth remains forever. 5 Also, the sun rises and the sun sets; And hastening to its place it rises there again. 6 Blowing toward the south, Then turning toward the north, The wind continues swirling along; And on its circular courses the wind returns. 7 All the rivers flow into the sea, Yet the sea is not full. To the place where the rivers flow, There they flow again.
Having Kids and Getting Advice: 2 main things repeated so far.
1. Get ready for the teenage years...
2. Pay attention to EVERYTHING because it goes SO FAST!!!
Life goes and goes and goes. The sun rises and sets and keeps going. The wind blows and blows and keeps going. The water flows to the sea, evaporates, rains, and keeps going.
Man can’t stop to catch his breath and try to get a handle on life. It’s like being stuck on a treadmill that you can’t stop.

- Answer: All things are wearisome.

Ecclesiastes 1:8–11 NASB95
8 All things are wearisome; Man is not able to tell it. The eye is not satisfied with seeing, Nor is the ear filled with hearing. 9 That which has been is that which will be, And that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun. 10 Is there anything of which one might say, “See this, it is new”? Already it has existed for ages Which were before us. 11 There is no remembrance of earlier things; And also of the later things which will occur, There will be for them no remembrance Among those who will come later still.
Trying to figure out the point of life is wearisome, exhausting, tiring.
No one has figured it out yet, and no one will. What anyone might try now has already been done, and it didn’t work. But yet, we will still try.
Those after us won’t pay attention either, and they’ll try to figure it out for themselves, too.

The Experiment

Solomon is going to layout his attempt to find the answer. If anyone in history would be able to find the meaning of life on earth, it would be him.
Solomon is going to try 3 things: WISDOM/KNOWLEDGE, PLEASURE/FUN, WORK/REWARD.

- Solomon tries WISDOM

Ecclesiastes 1:12–18 NASB95
12 I, the Preacher, have been king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 And I set my mind to seek and explore by wisdom concerning all that has been done under heaven. It is a grievous task which God has given to the sons of men to be afflicted with. 14 I have seen all the works which have been done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and striving after wind. 15 What is crooked cannot be straightened and what is lacking cannot be counted. 16 I said to myself, “Behold, I have magnified and increased wisdom more than all who were over Jerusalem before me; and my mind has observed a wealth of wisdom and knowledge.” 17 And I set my mind to know wisdom and to know madness and folly; I realized that this also is striving after wind. 18 Because in much wisdom there is much grief, and increasing knowledge results in increasing pain.
- Grievous: of small worth, distressful, EVIL ( - The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil).
Solomon first chooses to explore knowledge, history, philosophy, and the deeper things of life. His conclusion: “God has given people a burdensome task that keeps them occupied.” (, NET)
Conclusion: In much wisdom there is much grief - why? Wisdom and knowledge can lead us to understanding that there is a problem with man on earth. BUT man on his own CANNOT DISCOVER THE SOLUTION!
Rearranging the furniture - in my office.
Discovering a problem is one thing, but when you grasp that not only do you not know the solution, but you never will be able to know it, you end up where Solomon does in .

- Solomon tries PLEASURE

Ecclesiastes 2:1–3 NASB95
1 I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure. So enjoy yourself.” And behold, it too was futility. 2 I said of laughter, “It is madness,” and of pleasure, “What does it accomplish?” 3 I explored with my mind how to stimulate my body with wine while my mind was guiding me wisely, and how to take hold of folly, until I could see what good there is for the sons of men to do under heaven the few years of their lives.
Solomon now turns to pleasure, happiness, gladness, and delight. He explores laughter, wine, and foolish behavior.
Conclusion: This doesn’t work either - pleasure if fleeting.
Post-summer fun: Wakeboarding and Mexican Food. Really enjoyed both.

- Solomon tries WORKS

When knowledge and self-indulgent pleasure don’t work, Solomon turns to hard work to find satisfaction.
Ecclesiastes 2:4–11 NASB95
4 I enlarged my works: I built houses for myself, I planted vineyards for myself; 5 I made gardens and parks for myself and I planted in them all kinds of fruit trees; 6 I made ponds of water for myself from which to irrigate a forest of growing trees. 7 I bought male and female slaves and I had homeborn slaves. Also I possessed flocks and herds larger than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. 8 Also, I collected for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I provided for myself male and female singers and the pleasures of men—many concubines. 9 Then I became great and increased more than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. My wisdom also stood by me. 10 All that my eyes desired I did not refuse them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart was pleased because of all my labor and this was my reward for all my labor. 11 Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun.
Conclusion: Solomon did a lot of work for himself. But in , he tells us that although it was pleasing for a moment, it didn’t fully satisfy.
Thus, we see how Solomon arrived at his initial answer in , - There is NO PROFIT for man in all his labor under the sun.

The Results

Solomon now analyzes the results of his experiment.

- Lessons Learned

Ecclesiastes 2:12–17 NASB95
12 So I turned to consider wisdom, madness and folly; for what will the man do who will come after the king except what has already been done? 13 And I saw that wisdom excels folly as light excels darkness. 14 The wise man’s eyes are in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I know that one fate befalls them both. 15 Then I said to myself, “As is the fate of the fool, it will also befall me. Why then have I been extremely wise?” So I said to myself, “This too is vanity.” 16 For there is no lasting remembrance of the wise man as with the fool, inasmuch as in the coming days all will be forgotten. And how the wise man and the fool alike die! 17 So I hated life, for the work which had been done under the sun was grievous to me; because everything is futility and striving after wind.
It is better to be WISE, i.e. to be moral and to know right from wrong.
- Solomon was promised to have his days prolonged by living wisely/morally.
But, morality - though beneficial - doesn’t guarantee a longer or even better life.
1 Kings 3:14 NASB95
14 “If you walk in My ways, keeping My statutes and commandments, as your father David walked, then I will prolong your days.”
No one is getting out of here alive. And, even the best men and women are only remembered maybe by a few for a short amount of time.
Conclusion: - “So I hated life...” Looking for meaning in meaningless things leads to despair and hopelessness.
IF TIME PERMITS: Big Red taxidermy donated to camp. HAD to get rid of it.

- The Outcome of the Experiment

Ecclesiastes 2:18–23 NASB95
18 Thus I hated all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun, for I must leave it to the man who will come after me. 19 And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will have control over all the fruit of my labor for which I have labored by acting wisely under the sun. This too is vanity. 20 Therefore I completely despaired of all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun. 21 When there is a man who has labored with wisdom, knowledge and skill, then he gives his legacy to one who has not labored with them. This too is vanity and a great evil. 22 For what does a man get in all his labor and in his striving with which he labors under the sun? 23 Because all his days his task is painful and grievous; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is vanity.
Solomon is frustrated with life. He can’t keep all the things of earth that he accumulated. He has no guarantee that his successor will be good or bad.
We know that the man who came immediately after Solomon was Rehoboam - didn’t go too well.
(We know that the man who came immediately after Solomon was Rehoboam - didn’t go too well.)
- This is meaningless.
- This too is vanity and a great evil.
Ecclesiastes 1:2 NASB95
2 “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher, “Vanity of vanities! All is vanity.”
- All his days his task is PAINFUL and GRIEVOUS; even at night his mind does not rest.

Conclusion: Life under the sun - without God - is MEANINGLESS.

BUT...

- There is HOPE. Because there is ONE who lives ABOVE the sun.

Ecclesiastes 2:24–26 NASB95
24 There is nothing better for a man than to eat and drink and tell himself that his labor is good. This also I have seen that it is from the hand of God. 25 For who can eat and who can have enjoyment without Him? 26 For to a person who is good in His sight He has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, while to the sinner He has given the task of gathering and collecting so that he may give to one who is good in God’s sight. This too is vanity and striving after wind.
Question in - “What profit is there in this life under the sun?”
Answer in -2 - “There is nothing under the sun, within man, that makes this life meaningful. Meaning comes from God!
- “There is nothing in a man to eat and drink and tell himself that his labor is good.”
Question from - W
Meaning in this life does come from within MAN - but from the hand of God.
- Only those who are “Good” in God’s sight are given wisdom, knowledge, and joy.
Who is GOOD?
, ,
2 Corinthians 5:21 NASB95
21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
What this is NOT SAYING:
Don’t learn - don’t acquire knowledge.
Don’t enjoy fun things.
Don’t work hard.
What it is saying:
This life is from God. Trying to live life w/o God is pointless and ultimately leads to despair and misery. But, to the one who comes under God’s authority - who understands his sin and need of God’s grace and forgiveness, offered only through trusting in Jesus’ sacrificial death and His resurrection - to the believer, God reveals purpose and meaning.

So What?

Are you trying to live life on your own here on earth under the sun?
Are you finding meaning in your own experience?
Are you consistently striving to be satisfied with life through happiness and pleasure - materialism, drunkenness, or other bodily pleasures?
Are you a workaholic - numbing the stresses and responsibilities and relationships of life through work?
Are you trying to do life on your own? Stop. Don’t stop living - just stop living for yourself - it has been tried, it has been accomplished, and it has failed EVERY TIME.
Understand that this life is more than just what you see under the sun. There is a God - the One True God - and He wants you to know Him and the life He created for you. And knowing God comes only through believing in His son Jesus.
Psalm 46:10a NASB95
10 “Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Psalm 46:10 NASB95
10 “Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Related Media
Related Sermons