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Wake Up Call Part 8

Wake Up Call  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  40:42
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Introduction

Text: Ecclesiastes 9:1-12
Ecclesiastes 9:1–12 ESV
But all this I laid to heart, examining it all, how the righteous and the wise and their deeds are in the hand of God. Whether it is love or hate, man does not know; both are before him. It is the same for all, since the same event happens to the righteous and the wicked, to the good and the evil, to the clean and the unclean, to him who sacrifices and him who does not sacrifice. As the good one is, so is the sinner, and he who swears is as he who shuns an oath. This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that the same event happens to all. Also, the hearts of the children of man are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead. But he who is joined with all the living has hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion. For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. Their love and their hate and their envy have already perished, and forever they have no more share in all that is done under the sun. Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do. Let your garments be always white. Let not oil be lacking on your head. Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going. Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all. For man does not know his time. Like fish that are taken in an evil net, and like birds that are caught in a snare, so the children of man are snared at an evil time, when it suddenly falls upon them.
Solomon in the book of Ecclesiastes is giving us a series of wake up calls.
“Wake up Call” = a person or thing that causes people to become fully alert to an unsatisfactory situation and to take action to remedy it.
WAKE UP CALL: You are going to die. (So we should live accordingly)
Now we all intellectually know this idea. But many of us try not to think about this too much. It’s too morbid or scary.
But Solomon wants us to think about our lives. They are vanity (a vapor)—shorter than we’d like to admin.

You are Going to Die

Death is Inevitable (Eccl. 9:2
Ecclesiastes 9:2 ESV
It is the same for all, since the same event happens to the righteous and the wicked, to the good and the evil, to the clean and the unclean, to him who sacrifices and him who does not sacrifice. As the good one is, so is the sinner, and he who swears is as he who shuns an oath.
Solomon lays out something for us that is absolutely certain: our death.
Death is Evil (Eccl. 9:3) —a result of sin, not natural … but it’s cause is sin.
Ecclesiastes 9:3 ESV
This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that the same event happens to all. Also, the hearts of the children of man are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead.
“To die well means I realize death is not simply something that ens to me; it happens to me because I am a sinner. I realize in a sense I cause my own death. To die well means I realize every time I see a coffin, it preaches to me that the is broken and fallen and under the curse of death—and I am a part of it. It means I realize that I am not owed three score years and ten by God. It is only because of his mercy that I am not consumed today. (David Gibson)
Solomon is not just saying that death is evil
He's saying that the way death does its work is also evil. It takes the good along with the bad, and where is the justice in that? It makes no sense. For anyone to experience death is an outrage. It is not the way the world was meant to be. Yet how much bigger an outrage when you see a young person cut down in his prime.
Death is the Close (Eccl. 9:4-6)
Ecclesiastes 9:4–6 ESV
But he who is joined with all the living has hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion. For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. Their love and their hate and their envy have already perished, and forever they have no more share in all that is done under the sun.
Death is the end of life
Solomon is saying it is better to be alive because once we die, there’s no more doing. We have one opportunity, one chance in this life. Then it’s over.
So he quotes an old proverb, “a living dog is better than a dead lion.” — In other words, its better to be a mangy old dog (and alive) then a regal lion (that’s dead)
Why? Once we are dead, all opportunities are over.
Hebrews 9:27 — “… it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment”
Death’s time is uncertain (Eccl. 9:11-12)
Ecclesiastes 9:11–12 ESV
Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all. For man does not know his time. Like fish that are taken in an evil net, and like birds that are caught in a snare, so the children of man are snared at an evil time, when it suddenly falls upon them.

So Live Accordingly

Solomon at the center of this passage gives us the proper response to the reality he has just painted.
Illustration: Dead Poet’s society (Carpe Diem)
This is not a call to live seizing the day (carpe diem) but rather corem Deo, “before the face of God”
What does this look like?
Enjoy and be thankful for the good things (Eccl. 9:7)
Ecclesiastes 9:7 ESV
Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do.
Do all for the glory of God (this is what he made!)
Illustration: Taste buds!! Not needed
Problem of using pleasure as the end not the means
Illustration: Screw Tape Letters
Take care of yourself (Eccl. 9:8)
Ecclesiastes 9:8 ESV
Let your garments be always white. Let not oil be lacking on your head.
Keeping your garments white kept you cool in arid sun.
Oil on the head kept the skin from drying out and cracking
In other words, take care of your body, soul, and mind while you have it.
Love those in your life (Eccl. 9:9)
Ecclesiastes 9:9 ESV
Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun.
Especially your spouse and those closest to you
This is “your portion in life and in your toil” … in other words, our loved ones, friends, neighbors … they are the most important thing in our lives. They are what matters
Illustration: Steve Jobs … wished he had spent more time with his family
Live in abandon (Eccl. 9:10)
Ecclesiastes 9:10 ESV
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.
In light of our impending, inevitable death we should live life to the fullest, live life with abandon — for the glory of God!
Illustration: Francis Chan Illustration: Olympic athlete plays it to safe on the balance beam
John Piper, “Don’t waste your life!”

Conclusion

Though death is the end of our life here “under the sun”, it is not the end of the story. God has destroyed death and will eventually throw it into hell with Satan himself.
However, in light of our death how are we living?
Questions:
Are you ready to die? Do you know where you will go at death? (gospel proclamation)
Though our story is not over when we die, our life is. So are you ready to die?
Are you “seizing the day” “before the face of God”?
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