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9/8/2015: WHEN WAR IS UPON US DOES ANYTHING REALLY MATTER?
"I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. I devoted myself to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under heaven. What a heavy burden God has laid on men! I have seen all things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind." Ecclesiastes 1:12-14
"Meaningless! Meaningless!" says the teacher. "Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless." (Ecclesiastes 1:2) Wow! I'm not so sure we wanted to hear that in today's church. Deep inside, at least part of me is saying, "Solomon, how can you SAY that? EVERYTHING is meaningless? The work I do, the family I've raised, the time and effort I put into English and the Bible studies I have done, the trees I planted in the orchard -- you're saying that NONE of it makes any difference? None of it AT ALL?
But there's another part of me that knows that there is at least some truth to what the wise old king is saying. I mean, sometimes I feel that same way: "What does a man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun?" (Ecclesiastes 1:3). Every day you go to work. You punch in. You punch out. You put in your time. Then you go home. It's the same thing every day. And for what? A PAYCHECK...and that's IT? Sure, it enables you to put food on the table and keep a roof over your head. But for what purpose? How much does it really matter in the end?
That's the question King Solomon is raising in Ecclesiastes. I am not sure if you know where the book gets its name from, it's from the Greek word Solomon applied to himself -- "the Teacher." You may think it came from an after dinner speech that the old king gave near the end of his life. But it's more than that. It teaches us God's Truth. Though it was composed 3,000 ears ago, Ecclesiastes has been called "the most modern of all biblical books." It speaks directly to the spirit of our age. It deals with the meaning and purpose of life itself.
So today, let's investigate the question Solomon asks:
DOES ANYTHING REALLY MATTER?
The first chapter of Ecclesiastes encourages us:
1. Take a look at life without God.
2. To see what a difference God makes in our lives.
Solomon says; "I the teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. I devoted myself to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under heaven. What a heavy burden God has laid on men!"
Ecclesiastes 1, 12-13.
You may recall something of the life of King Solomon. He started life off well. The Lord appeared to him and said, "Ask for whatever you want me to give you." (1 Kings 3, vs 5.) Solomon requested wisdom from the Lord... "A DISCERNING HEART"... and God delivered. He "gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sands on the seashore" (1 Kings 4, vs 29.)
But Solomon grew older and pursued knowledge in every aspect of life, his many wives began to turn his heart after other gods. He was no longer fully devoted to The Lord his God or God's Word and as a result, his kingdom would be torn out of his hands. In time, the king repented of his sin and humbled himself before the Lord. And now, as he looks back on his life, he observes, " Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever. The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises. The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course. All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again"( Ecclesiastes 1, 3-7)
You know the routine. The sun comes up. The sun goes down. People are born...and they die. As one person departs this life...and another one is born. You mow the lawn one week...only to have to mow it again the next. You pull the weeds...but it's not the last time you'll have to do it. You clean up the house...and then the kids or spouse comes home. You feed your children...and within the hour they come back and say, "I'm hungry." We spend so much of our time doing these things...but they're all temporary. We know we're going to have to do them all over again.
Nothing seems to satisfy. "The eye never has enough of seeing nor the ear its fill of hearing: (Ecclesiastes 1:8). We think: "If I just get the latest iPhone...or that smart TV...or a new car...or a new house...then I'll be happy. Then I've got it made." But then we get what we want, and the novelty wears off and there's a gravestone...and who remembers the dead? "There is no remembrance of men of old," Solomon says, "and even those who are yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow." (Ecclesiastes 1:11).
"Meaningless!" says the Teacher. "Everything is meaningless."
Now keep in mind, this is Solomon talking. If anyone could have found meaning and purpose in life, it would have been he. He was the greatest intellect of his time -- perhaps all time. He had more wealth and resources than we can imagine, even more than Donald Trump. And he spent a lot of time thinking about the meaning of life. He searched for the answer in every possible pursuit. And here's his conclusion: "I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, chasing after the wind." (Ecclesiastes 1:14)
So...is that it? All we're doing is chasing our tails and running in circles and nothing really matters? I can't help but think of the sad fellow in the Beatles' song: "He's a real nowhere man/sitting in his nowhere land/making all his nowhere plans for nobody." Is that what life is all about?
LET'S TAKE A CLOSER LOOK.
There is one phrase that is the key to understanding Ecclesiastes. Look at verse 9: "There is nothing new under the sun," he says. And verse 14: "All the things that are done under the sun...are meaningless, a chasing after the wind." You see, "Under the sun" is Solomon's way of talking about life with no view of eternity -- life without God in the picture. Doesn't that sound like the world we live in? Where votes no longer count? Where the Supreme Court can rule them unconstitutional? A Federal judge can send you to jail for your Christian values! What next? Your vote for a certain President is unconstitutional? If you go to church, will it become unconstitutional? "The world says there is no God," After all, doesn't that seem like what the world is saying? "And since there is no God, nothing really matters. There's no eternity...no heaven...no hell. And if that's the case, then everything is limited to this world...and therefore it's all meaningless."
Jesus told a parable about a rich farmer whose land produced a good crop. So he built bigger barns to store his crop, and decided to take life easy -- "Eat, drink, and be merry." But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for ourself?" (Luke 12:20). We can seem to get along just fine without God. We can be successful at what we do. We can be fulfilled in our careers, raise our families -- even make the world a better place. But someday it will all come to an end. And then what? It won't do us any good any more.
You see, it's so easy for us to let the things of this life push God out of the way. This godless view of life is programmed into our fallen nature and supported by the culture we live in. It takes a miracle to see things differently. That miracle can only be worked by the Holy Spirit.
HE'S the one who opens our eyes to see where we've gone wrong. HE'S the one who leads us to see that everything in this world was designed by God and will accomplish His purpose. HE'S The one who helps us to see that the things we do in life -- even the little things, the seemingly unimportant things -- all have a purpose. Cooking for our families, changing diapers, scrubbing the floors, loading the dishwasher...it's all meaningful because it's not about the food or the floors, the diapers or dishes; it's all meaningful because it's not about about the food or the floors, the diapers or dishes; it's about the eternal souls that God has entrusted to our care.
It's not all about this life; this life is always connected to the next. We find happiness and purpose when we choose not to live for ourselves but for God and His glory. My career, my money, my relationships -- they're not the ultimate goal. They are tools to accomplish God's greater purposes -- to store up treasure in heaven where moth and rust do not destroy. That's what Jesus taught, "Seel first the kingdom of God..." and it's the way Jesus lived. Why didn't He go after money and power or women and wine? Why didn't He even own a home? Why did He allow His enemies to take away His freedom, His dignity...and His life? Because He was thinking about something beyond this life. He was thinking about your eternal soul.
I'm afraid we can become so focused on things of this life that we forget about God. We skip prayers and worship and meaningful time in God's Word. And for what? Late night TV...Dancing with the Stars? If there were no eternity, it wouldn't matter. But there is an eternity,m so it matters. It matters immensely. You see, all of us were headed for a meaningless eternity. But in His Love, Jesus rescued us from that. He gave up fame, wealth and status so He could give us ever lasting life.
Is it all meaningless? NO! I know better, and so should every true Christian! God gives us eternal life. He promises eternal glory. That's why it all has meaning. Coming to church and learning about Gd has meaning. Reading your Bible and growing in your faith has meaning. Spending time with family and teaching them about Jesus has meaning. Because these things are eternal. They won't disappear once you're laid to rest.
This week, take some time to look at the important areas of your life: your family, your friends, your job, your hobbies, your dreams. Ask yourself: Am I living out these areas of my life with God in the picture?
We need Christians who like the apostles in Acts 5:22-29. Who will stand for GOD! LIVING THEIR ENTIRE LIFE FOR GOD NO MATTER WHAT. Here in Acts 5 we find the apostle Peter along with other apostles preaching and teaching about Jesus and the Word of God even though a law had been past and were forbidden to do so. Along comes a high priest, an official in the eyes of the Romans. He was crying on a Roman Captains shoulders, "Fowl, Fowl look what those Christians are doing, they are disobeying the law, you know, the law of the land!" But Peter told them where to go, and said these words.
"We ought to obey God rather than man." Acts 5,29.
We need more Christians who are like the apostles who would rather obey God over man. Men who cave to the devils whims. My hat is off to Kim Davis who is a county clerk in Rowan County Kentucky for stand for her Christian values. She refuses to go against God and issue same sex marriage licenses. Praise God and Thank You JESUS for this precious woman. As of this writing she's still in jail for her Christian values and refuses to cave to the devil. Kim believes God's Law outweighs the Supreme Courts law. Yes God's Word matters our Christian values matter. Yet to my dismay I see so called Christian commentators on TV say Man's law is supreme over God's. I cannot judge them, but it seems they just denied God by denying His Laws. There are many Christian clerks and judges who are violating the Law of God just to keep their jobs. Are they denying Christ before man? Could be, I would not want to be in their shoes right now. Kim Davis in Rowan County Kentucky gave up her freedom for God and her Christian values. Cannot we do the same if we are called to do so? Kim has led each of us to that narrow road that leads to the heart of God. Again I thank her and my prayers and support are with her and her family.
With The Holy Spirit and God's help we, you and me, can find more of the meaning of what obeying God is and finding our true meaning in life. It is with God in our life and us in His we will become a voice again if not we are in deep trouble.
As I was finishing this article I was caught up into heaven by The Lord. He said, "come, come and read what is to happen in the near future. And to what new laws the Supreme Court will soon pass." We were in what seemed like a large library filled with every book and scroll written about man their words and deeds that was said or done on earth. The Lord opened up a set of books and said, "Read and write what you see here." I saw these were laws written by the Supreme Court and executive orders by the President of The United States. Also laws and records from every nation around the world. Saying "THESE ARE THE LAWS OF THE LAND!"
THESE ARE THE LAWS TO COME THAT AS I READ THEM FROM THE BOOK!
1. The law was passed by the Supreme Court that parents could no longer take or make their children go to church or to study the Bible!
2. Another law that was passed was Christians could no longer pray over meals or teach the Word of God in public!
3. A law was passed that Christians could no longer have or hold Bible Studies in their homes as it was not recognized as an official meeting place. Again it was passed by The Supreme Court.
4. A law was passed that all churches shall allow any and all groups the right to use the church for their parties and meetings. Whether they were Christians or not. The reason this law was passed is because the church was built through the authority of the governments 501c3 law.
5. In another law that was passed, it said pastors could not refuse to marry same sex couples nor discriminate against any other religion. The law stated that because pastors who pastor a 501c3 church also came under the rulings of the 501c3 were considered employees of the Federal Government.
6. No Christian shall speak evil of another person nor condemn them for their religion or sexual preference.
7. All Christian homes can have only one Bible as long as it was registered with the Federal Government and could not be used to teach children nor proselytize against another person.
8. All Christian shall register their faith with the Federal Government.
9. One of the new laws passed by the Supreme Court states no Christian shall nor can hold any public office.
10. All Christians have to register their travel with the Federal Government if they leave their area of residence.
With this I saw tears well up in our Lord's eyes as He said, "I gave My life and a command to all my servants to preach My name and baptize in My name to all creation. They have failed Me. Now as it was written by My prophet Amos, these things will be upon them."
"Woe to you who desire the day of the Lord! For what good is the day of the Lord to you? It will be darkness, and not light.
It will be as though a man fled from a lion,
And a bear met him!
Or as though he went into the house,
Leaned his hand on the wall,
And a serpent bit him!
Is not the day of the Lord darkness, and not light?
Is it not very dark, with no brightness in it?
I hate, I despise your feast days,
And I do not savor your sacred assemblies.
Though you offer Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings,
I will not accept them,
Nor will I regard your fattened peace offerings.
Take away from Me the noise of your songs,
For I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments.
But let justice run down like water,
And righteousness like a mighty stream." Amos 5:18-24
And again, the Lord spoke to me and said: "Tell My people as I spoke through my prophet Amos that the day will come that unless you hide My word in your heart (Psalm 119:11) you will not know My word when you need it, and you will be looking for My word as spoken by My prophet Amos.
"They shall wander from sea to sea,
And from north to east;
They shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the Lord,
But shall not find it." Amos 8,12.
CAN YOU LET EVERYONE YOU KNOW, THAT GOD WILL NOT BE MOCKED? OR ARE YOU MORE AFRAID OF MEN THAN GOD? YOU NEED TO SHARE AND RE-SHARE THIS MESSAGE TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW!
We are in the last days and your eternal security depends on what you will do! The Bible, God's Word gives us the answers to everything if we would just follow them! It also tells us what will happen if we don't. Evil men will become our rulers as they will drive us underground once again. Yes there will be a rapture but what will happen first? If you will be honest with yourself you will see the church is under attack and and war is upon each of us.
My dear Brothers and Sisters. There is a saying. So goes America so goes the WORLD. What is about to happen here will soon effect every Christian.
DOES IT REALLY MATTER TO YOU? WELL, DOES IT?
IT DOES TO ME!!!
A RIGHTEOUS WARRIOR FOR THE MOST HIGH GOD!
Daniel Yoder THE LAND!"
We are in the last days and your eternal security depends on what you will do! The Bible, God's Word gives us the answers to everything if we would just follow them! It also tells us what will happen if we don't. Evil men will become our rulers as they will drive us undergr