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Facing The Reality Of Death (Eccl. 9:1-10)

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Searching For Heaven On Earth  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  36:50
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The prospect of death should motivate us to enjoy life.

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All right. We're good morning. Good to see everyone. Glad that you're here. Keith told me not to look at the clock cuz it says 7-Eleven so. So I can go all the way to 12. I can go. Yeah, that's right. All right, we're good to see everyone. We're glad that you are that you're here this morning and it's getting summer time. Things are blooming. How many of you have allergies. He might have allergy and my goodness whole church has allergies. I know it's a bad time for some, some people even have to get shots for it and things like that. So I know it's a bad time, but it is a beautiful time of year and we look forward to next Sunday. We going to take a break from our Series in Ecclesiastes next Sunday. We don't talk about the resurrection. And so we will have a sermon on the resurrection next Sunday. It's kind of appropriate today because I'm just following the outline of Ecclesiastes. And next week, we going to talk about the resurrection. Today we're going to talk about a subject that no one wants to talk about. You never hear anyone talking about this, at least if they do, it's kind of hush hush. And that is, today we going to talk about death. Death this week. The resurrection next week. Solomon says a lot about death and that we need to understand it. So, if you're here this morning, and you're really sick. I'm not talkin about deaf to give you a complex or anything like that. What I'm doing the day is something. I think we all need to do and we all need to understand. That we're never going to elude death. Unless the Lord comes back. We will not elude it. So we can't the night, and we can't just kind of brush it away. Am I know we don't like to talk about it. Matter fact, when we do talk about it. Sometimes we use expressions like so and so passed away. We don't even like to say the word died. We say they passed away. Or we say, they went home, which for Christian. That's true. But homegoing. That's true. But we just don't like to say the word so-and-so died. Someone killed in a car, right? We don't like to say that person was killed in a car wreck. We just don't like to talk that way. You know, we talked a lot about

Things in this new series we done in Ecclesiastes searching for heaven on Earth and we've been talking about how to find meaning and purpose in life. And if you remember Solomon and said things aren't the way they ought to be things aren't the way they supposed to be and we know that and remember we preached the sermon on life is so boring. And we just do the same thing over and over. Every day, we go to the same job. We eat the same Foods. We sleep in the same bed. We see the same people. We drive the same car life just can be so boring. And then, of course, we had sermons on on wisdom. And remember we preached the sermon on the paradoxes of life. And we talked last week about humility living life with humility. Well, the title of today's sermon is facing. The reality of death and the prospect of death. Should motivate us to enjoy life. So what I'm going to say this morning, I don't want you to start thinking. Well, maybe I'm dying. I got this disease. I don't want you out. That's not what I'm talkin about. What I'm talking about today is I want you to look at the prospect of death that you cannot unload it. And how should that change my life in the fact that one day. I will. We don't know when we going to die. We don't know how many days that we have left, but we know that we're here this morning and we know that we are breathing this morning. So as long as we're on this side of the dirt, it out to motivate us to live life. That would please got. That's what this message is all about though. It's abundantly clear. And if you have your bowels turn to please, you assis chapter 9. It's abundantly clear. Death is a predator that tracks us down. We can outrun it. Friends. Listen, I don't care how much kale you eat. I don't care. It's not going. It's not going to prolong your life forever. I don't care how many medicines you take. How many supplements you take? How many diets you try that matter? How many Botox injections you. If you still you going to meet up with that one day? That matter how many workout programs are Craigs at there? He's a trainer. If anybody here would like a workout routine or a meal plan. He will write it for you, but I can guarantee you. One thing. He will not and cannot write you a meal plan or an exercise plan that will make you live forever. I can guarantee you that. That's exactly right. So he cannot do that. So death Solomon is going to tell us reminders life.

Senseless because death cancels everything else out that we do and all of our human effort is not the ultimate factor in whether we live or die. Matter fact, your effort has really nothing to do with it. I know that there's really fit people run marathons triathletes. Who have died in their thirties of a heart attack? And I know people that have smoked and drank and eat fatback and gravy and sausage their whole life and live to be 90 something years old now. I mean, I know that for a fact, I had a grandmother did that she ain't fat back. She chewed snuff swallowed it so I'm too, I think I mean she'd is a gravy, she didn't tear, it didn't matter if she was 90 something years old when she died. So it just doesn't matter. In this is Solomon's Point here, that matter how wise you are, how much money you have, how much comfort you, how successful you are that matter how religious you are. That matter, how clean the life that you live death is The Equalizer? Death is The Equalizer. It is the human assassin and death will rob life of value. So what do we do about it? Well, last, I checked a hundred percent of the people that are born die. 100%. It's just a perfect, like perfect attendance. So here's a point. Number one. We going to break this down. Deaf can render all life's actions, everything we do. It can render them meaningless. This is what Solomon says in verses 1 through 6. And the reason he says that. Is because he's looking at life as if life is all there is. There's no afterlife. There's no judgement. There's no God. And remember what he says about everything. Remember the word. He used vanity? All is just vanity. It's just useless. If this cursed world is all there is and there's no God and there's no life beyond the grave. Everything is meaningless. Your life is just mean, it's whatever you do. It, don't matter. It's just meaningless death, council's, it all out. And so, Solomon today is going to examine the reality of death in this sin cursed world. And he's going to see that all of men's actions are in God's hands. And he does not know if that indicates that God approves of him or disapproves of it and that brings us to the first sub point. We need to understand that God is Sovereign not our circumstances. Now, look at it. And verses 1 through 3 of chapter 9, not listen to what he says for. I considered all this and my heart so that I could declare it all that the righteous and the wise and their works are in the hand of God. That means that everything in your life is in God's hands. He Sovereign over your life. Whatever you do. He opens up doors and closes doors. Nothing happens. Unless God either allows it to happen or he wants it to happen in your life. This is what Solomon says. And then he says this people know neither love nor hatred buy anything. They see before them. All things, like to all. What event happens to the righteous and the wicked? What event is he talking about death? That's what he's talking about. One event happened to the righteous and the wicked to The Good, the clean and unclean to him, who sacrifices and give money to the church and loves the church. And him who does not sacrifice in person. Don't come to church and never give a guy that sent the same thing happens to both as if the good. So is the center. He who takes an oath and he who fears and Oates. This is an evil in all that is done under the sun. That one thing happens to all, we'll just go ahead and tell us what it is. Truly, the hearts of the sons of men are full of evil. Madness is in their hearts while they lived. And after that they go white, go to the dead. After that they do. This is what Solomon is talkin about. Here's the basic ideas, what he said, God Sovereign Lee rules over our lives. And according to Ecclesiastes chapter 3, everything is subject to God's timing in our life, a time to mourn. A time to weep, a time to play, a time to work, a time to cry, a time to laugh. Remember, all of that subject to his timing and our surroundings or our circumstances? Give up no clue as to what God really thinks of us. Can you hear that this morning? Whatever you're going through right now? Will give you no clue if God approves of you or disapprove. If he accept you or reject you, you cannot tell. Not most people don't look at life. That way. If things are going well got me. God does what he approves? If my life is just failing long, and I've got a good job, and I've got a pretty wife, and I've got healthy children and I make a lot of money, obviously, God, approves of me. But if I lose my job and my children are rebellious. And if I marry an ugly man, or if a woman, marries ugly, man, I marry an ugly woman or something like that. Does that mean God disapproves mostly of say? Yes, so if, so, if things are going wrong in your life, you're doing something wrong God disapproves of you. That's the Outlook of many people. But Solomon says, you cannot use your circumstances to determine. If God loves you. He hates you accept it or reject you. He said you can't use that. But that runs contrary to what I call. Christian the silliness. You say, what? What is that, what the people who say, if you were faithful, then you'll be prosperous. You're just right for God. God's going to bless you, mature early. What sometimes he does? What's 1 * you don't? I and then other people can say things like Well, if you really love God, you'll be happy healthy and wealthy. And matter fact. I read a book about 15 years ago and I bet some of you may have read it. Is a little bitty book in the title of. It was The Prayer of Jabez. Prayer of Jabez boy that was in popular book. It told you it was it went through the Prayer of Jabez in the Bible and people said, if you will pray like this, that God will expand your territory that you. He will bless you. And that you'll have this and you will. All you have to do is pray like Jay bass, just be a godly man or woman. Pray this prayer and in the promise was, he will expand your territory. Well that works out fine if it works, but John the Baptist was a Godly Man. A Godly Man and I bet he prayed some prayers like Jabez and what did it do for him? He got his head, chopped off.

So it didn't work for John, the Baptist you see being in God's hand and being in, God's will is not synonymous with prosperity Health & Wealth and a pain free life. Have you seen Christians before? They just seem like they just suffer all the time. And people say what they have to be doing something wrong. They could be doing everything right? In God's eyes, God's people suffer, but we trust that Jesus is enough, and that he is in control and that his timing. Is best in his plan or best for the Mitten, for us, in the midst of our suffering. That's what we have to do. Therefore, since godliness is not a guarantee of prosperity or Comfort. We can't look at our circumstances to determine if God is for us or against us. We can't do that in the main place. We see. This is the place of death. Was certainly of God care for me. I wouldn't die at a young age. Certainly, that wouldn't happen. But it comes to all of us. Regardless how we live. This what Solomon says inverse to it doesn't matter if you're right. It's or wicked. Good or evil clean or unclean. He said, one who sacrifices one who does not a good person or Center. One, who takes over one, who will not, it doesn't matter. Death is coming to you. So you can't look at a person and how they are. And what they, what they do in the life. They live and tell. If God is for more against them. You just can't do that. I've known people on my whole life, that went to church, try to praise God, worship God and a good godly people, and they suffered and suffered. I've known other people, that is never a frequent in the church and they got all the money they want. They're not wealth of their wealthy. They drive these two cars. I have these home. They never go to church and everything about God. You can't tell you yet. That's what Solomon says, death comes to all your situation. Your circumstance gives you no clue as to what God really thinks about you. So, regardless of how moral or religious you are. We're all going to die. Death is the great equalizer point B.

Life is more advantageous. Then death. Look at it in Verses 4 through 6. But for him who is joined to all the living there is hope. And other words to the person that still live in, there's hope I watch what he says a living dog is better than a dead lion. Somebody explain that to me. How's the living dog? Better than a dead lion. What does that have to do with anything? Well, we'll talk about that. Just a second. Then. He says, 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. Remember I said, 99.9% of us will die unremembered. He said the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love their hatred there and we have now, parents never more. Will they have a share and anything done under the Sun? So Solomon says, it's really quite at least in some way advantageous to live rather than die. Remember the paradoxes of life. It was better to die than to live. Now. He's changed it all up. He said, well in this scenario is slightly better to live than to die. In. The reason for the minor Advantage is that those who are alive and Hope, They have hope because a live dog is better than a dead light. Now. What in the world is he said? Well, we who live in the west, we would have a hard time understanding this because a dog is called man's death. What friend? How many of you have dogs? I mean, if you love your dogs, I mean if you sleep with your dog, while they sleep with you, you don't sleep with them, you know, a dog is a man's best friend. They're kind of cute domesticated live in our house. Sometimes lie on the furniture, but you have to understand in Israel. In those days dogs were not man's bat dogs were looked at as scavengers. They will go around like I tell you what, Pete, how people thought of dogs back, then when you go down the road and you see a possum in the road is dead and who's who's hovering over that possum? Eating them buzzards vultures buzzards. That's the way people right there and looked at. They didn't do nothing. Just eat dead things. They were they were scavengers. They would feed on dead flesh. Remember the Old Testament said the dogs licked up a Half-Blood and queen Jezebel 8. It was the scavenger dog that did that? That's how they were looked at lines. Now. They were stately. There's a king of the forest. Anyone would rather be a line than a dog. You see the author's point. Is even a disgusting scrounge real person is better off? Then a noble person who is dead. That's what do you say it? But why is that? Why is it better? Because it's better to be morally. Dirty and Alive. Then Noble and dead because the dead have no consciousness. They're not remembered. They have no rewards. They are forgotten, all the emotions, both positive and negative are gone. They no longer have any portion of anything but you see death white, the way everything. But on the other hand the living at least have hope because they can be conscious of the fact that one day they'll die and they can take advantage of that. They can enjoy life. They can repair of any sin and bacon live differently in the face of death. Why? Because their life, they can change. What we're all alive here this morning. Well, let's look at the reality of death. And if we have to let's change the way we live because of the reality of death. We're still alive. See we can do that. We have hope. But the problem is that, most people instead of thinking about death. We just waste our time on Earth with all these distractions. We just kind of live as if we have an endless supply of days of head of us. And Solomon says, this is foolishness. We have a set number of days. We need to understand that and living your life with this in mind. It will help you not to be. So, careless in this life. It will help you in your relationships with a spouse or child. When you start thinking about it. It will change that. So, Solomon instructs us to live life in the face of death. Certainty. Well, we come to our second point and our last point. Well, we said that death can render all of life's actions, meaningless. Secondly, death and render all life's actions meaning. In other words, we can get something good out of it in verses, 7 through 10. And we'll look at that in a moment. These ideas kind of sound my point sounds contradictory, but the reality of death can enter, either render life meaningless. If there is no God, if there's no afterlife then it's meaningless. But if there is a God, if there is afterlife and if there is a day of accountability, death can be meaning. Going to tell you how here in just a second. And so when I was at Fruitland, That we had a guest speaker one day and he was probably about 40 some years old and he was a pastor of a church, Greenville, South Carolina. And he said about three weeks before he come to fruit and to speak. That he experienced. He said, the hardest. In most terrible day in his life. And he said a young lady at his church. She was 30 years old and she had two girls and she was pregnant two weeks pregnant with another baby. And he said about three years before that. He had led this lady and her husband to Christ and he said ever since then they were they come to church every Sunday had their children in church said that they were just just the perfect Church attenders. They were there almost every time. The doors would open when he was getting ready to preach one Sunday morning, secretary handed him a note and her name was Ruth and the note said roof just had A. Brain hemorrhage. And she's on life support. And they don't know what they going to do with the baby. So he said he preached his sermon. He went to the hospital, got to the hospital. He was met by. The girls mother-in-law and she said there's no God that would exist. That would allow this to happen. And he said he tried to console her. But he just couldn't do it. Well about 15 minutes after he got there. The man, the ladies wife root of Ruth's husband was there, they had to take the baby. He said come hold my baby and he gave it to the pastor. And while the baby was in the pastor's harm, the baby died. He said a baby's dead, a family torn apart. And the mother is on life support. In the other room. They pulled the plug on her and he said she died within seconds. He said, three days later. He had to do the funeral. Said there was open casket. The lady was in the casket in the baby was on her chest.

And, you know, he said he had to preach and he said it was he said, was the hardest thing I ever ever did in my life, but he said, when he got home, his wife was there and he had two girls. He said he just dropped on his knees and just started sobbing and he said, grab them and hug them. But what he said was I remember this. He said the reality of death. Calls me to love and enjoy my family more than I ever had. You say that's what death will do. Death can be meaningful if we will look at it at the right way. So number to, it can be meaningful and here's our points. Here's what we need to do, face the harsh reality of death. How do we do it by enjoying life? You say what, how does death and enjoyment? How does that come together? Well, look, what silence is in verse 7. He says go eat your bread with joy and drink your wine. With a merry heart for God has already accepted your Works. Here's what we need to do. This is what Solomon is saying. Eat every meal. treat every meal like you are at Ruth Chris.

Like you're at Sun Bank, how high cotton fancy place treat every meal like that Solomon Road in Proverbs that when we come to our meals, we ought to come with a glad heart meals are to be occasions for fellowship and celebration. I mean, that's why we over food. We celebrate. We fellowship with each other over food. That's a Biblical idea. Didn't start with us. This is a Biblical idea. Now. I was thinking the other day. I ate three meals that day and all three meals that I ate, I ate by myself. I was out somewhere on the road. I ate some Chick-fil-A biscuit for breakfast. I eat me a salad for lunch that I got at Bojangles and then I come home, and I was sitting there and I fix me a bowl of cereal and a bat and all 3 meals. I eat by myself. I was just by myself. How many times do we eat fast food in? You eat, while you're in the car or you said at your desk and work? How often do we really go home and sit around the table and eat with each other? You see this fast food thing goes against everything that the Bible talks about and matter fact. There's a growing movement is called the slow food movement and it promotes a return to these Eastern ideas of meals, being an extended event for socializing and fellowship, as well as just purely, enjoying your food, your food, sometime so fast cuz you had to go. We had a meeting, I had to do something like that. You didn't enjoy the food, you just pushed it in your face and then And then you left but every meal that goes by without using it as a as a way to fellowship with family and friends is a missed opportunity. This is, what song is that? He says, go eat your bread with joy and drink your wine with a merry heart. Go do that. Eat every meal like you at Ruth. Chris number 2. Celebrate everyday. Like you're going to a party. Look at it. And verse 8, let your garments always be white and let your head lack. No oil. Put it on white garments and anointing yourself with all. In those days were the preparations. You would take to go to a party or celebration. where every day ought to be like that for us to do this everyday, don't just Fix up when you go to a wedding or to a family reunions or something like that, make every day, a celebration of life as a gift from God, don't become so preoccupied with death. And forget that life is to be lived as a celebration because God has been good to us. So we out to live like we out to enjoy life like that. He never made a life here at Ruth's Chris. Celebrate everyday. Like, it's a party number three. Enjoy every day. With your spouse and or children. Look what he says in verse 9. Live joyfully with the wife whom you loved all the days with the life that you love all the days of your bang life. This love your wife, even though your life means nothing just love your wife, which he has given you under the sun, all your days of Manatee for that. Is your portion in life. And in the labor, which you perform under the song. Never remember the man who's riding this. Who says to love the wife of your youth. The man whose riding this, is the wisest man in the world, but he's also a man who had 700 wives and 300 concubines, or was it 300 wise and seven other? I can't remember, he had a 1035 Exchange and just enjoy the wife and love the wife of your youth. Well, he look back on his life. If he could see how much he did not enjoy hit, don't do as I did, do as I say, this is what Solomon is saying here and it's important to know that the end of his life. He admonishes us to live life. Joyfully with the wife of our youth. At one time. Solomon did have a wife of his youth. His very first wife, but he didn't stop there. And he knows now exactly what he needed to do. All we're saying, here is enjoy your family. Enjoy your spouse. If you have children, enjoy your children. Sometimes it's so easy to get in the road of life. You don't enjoy anyting. You yell and fight, and spit, and stop at your wife and children, and all of that one day. So I don't know, says you go and you need to make the best of your life. Specially your relationships is what Solomon is saying, so just think about that. Not that you're dying this morning, but think about one day, I'm going to die. Think about how you live, like, how you eat, how you drink, how you interact with other people. It will change the way you live. If you look at it of the reality of death. And the number four, He says basically work everyday, as if it were your last day, look at it in verse 10. Whatever your hand finds to do. Do it with your might. For there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave and he says, where you're going. He says one day you're going to find yourself in the great and you're not going to be able to work. You're not going to be able to study in the find out knowledge. I read somewhere the other day. That if a person goes to work when they're 20 years old. By the time that they reached 50, they have worked 62400 hours. That's how many hours you have work from 20 to 50. Now how many of those hours for the average Christian? Has been live for God. How many of those hours did you say God? Thank you for this job. You've given me. I'm going to work as hard as I can. I'm going to do the best that I can because I want to bring honor and glory to your name or how many of those hours at your job. Did you just complain about your job? I can't stand this job. I don't like the people I work with. You see 64,000 62400 hours. We can use to be a witness for Christ or we can use it. The blast mean, his name. In front of other people. You think God for each day for the work you have to do and you ask him to use you in your job to bring him honor and Glory. There was this writer this lady. I was reading about the other week and she said something and I wrote this down and this is what she said and I feel like so many Christians are like this. Listen to this. She says I was brought up in a Christian environment where because God had to be given preeminence. Nothing else was allowed to be important. There's a lot of people who grew up in homes, like you go to church and you go to Sunday school. You're there every day that the doors are open. That's what you do because God is the most important wealth. That's true. But he's not the most important and everything else is unimportant. And this is what she said. Listen to this. I have broken through that to the position that because God exists. Everything is important. Now, that's how you look at life, because God has given me a job. My job is important because God is giving me friends and a spouse relationships are important. You see, it's not that what we do on Sunday is sacred. And what we do in the rest of the week is secular. It's all sacred to God because he's The Giver of all those get. So these four admonitions here can transform our lives from one of dullness and drudgery. The Joe and expectation. So that's why the last point. Focus on the joy of living, not on the certainty of dying. That's what it's certain. That were going to die. We know that, but don't focus on that. Focus on the joy of focus on the joy of living or Solomon said, each breath of Joy. Drink your wine with a merry heart. Let your garments be white. Let your head like no oil live. Joyfully with the wife of your youth. In other words, he saying enjoy life. God, wants your attention focused on joyful living. Not as a means that I'm going to avoid death and I'm not going to talk about it. No, we ought to talk about it and we ought to know the reality of it. But if you know Christ, you're not afraid to die. Why? Because next week, we're going to talk about how he walked out of that grave. And one day, we will. Play. The resurrection is true. We don't have to we don't have to look at death as if something is taken from us. Death is the doorway to the presence of Christ. That's exactly what it is. And because that fact is certain. We have to be free to live life. Joyfully now and live it with joy and enjoy the gifts that God has given us death. Now, listen death, can render all of life actions, either meaningless. Or meaning and for the Christian friends is all meaningful. Amen. But let's pray. Father. We thank you, and praise you. Love you today, Lord for this topic that we none of us, like to talk about. But Lord help us to look at it the reality of death. And Lord, when we understand that one day, we going to breathe our last. It all to change the way that we look at life in the way that we live. More. We don't want to live a morose morbid. Existence. Just dwelling on one day. I'm going to die. Because one day we will die. We ought to live. Joyfully with great expectation. We all to live a life that pleasing you and have as much joy as we can. We also value relationships revalue our church value our time with the people, the time that we get to work, help us, too. Help us to evaluate that in a way, Lord, where we bring you honor and glory and everything that we do. Because we know that all of life is sacred because you're The Giver of all good gifts, forcing Christ name, I do pray. Amen. All right. Well, thank you for being here today and I hope you can come Wednesday night. We're going to be in Romans again, Wednesday night. So I hope you can come there. And then next, Sunday course is Easter. And we'll have our service here. Don't forget the Lord's Supper. That's something that we celebrate. We celebrate. Why I cry spilt. Blood his broken bones, but also, we celebrate that he's coming back again to get us because he resurrected he died, but he resurrected. So that's what we're going to say. A real mess Brother, David. If he would be closing soon, the word of Prayer.

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