First Thessalonians Message One

The experiences and growth of a New Testament Church as recorded by Paul, an Apostle and a missionary in training.
Paul had been saved, educated, and preaching for about 20 years before being sent out by the church in Antioch. If we consider his missions ministry as most do – referring to his first, second, and third missionary journeys, he had only been involved in these works for about 4 years when he wrote this letter to the Thessalonians, taking the Word to the Gentiles (Acts 13:46,47). We can take from this that he was an experienced preacher but was being educated in the ministry of missions. This is a wonderful thought because we realize that we are learning from him as he learned from the Lord – real time!

Chapter One

A. The Message manifested by the missionary’s lives 1 Thessalonians 1:1-6

1. They were caring – for the saints. Love that remembers. 1:1
The Lord had begun to transform these men, (the missionaries) renewing their minds (which Paul later charged the Romans to do) through their ministry of the Gospel to these gentiles.

Note the –

a. Animosity that existed between the Jews and the Gentiles –

Acts 11:1-3 (KJV) And the apostles and brethren that were in Judaea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God. And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him, Saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them.

That animosity was changed by the Lord into –

b. Acceptance that is noted in their care for one another.

1). Paul’s words to them – “…Grace be unto you from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
2). Paul’s thanks to them –

Philippians 4:18 (KJV) But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.

They had become likeminded in the Lord and now they stood before the Lord on equal footing.

Romans 10:12-15 (KJV) For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

As God worked through them, we can see what He did to them! They had become one in the Lord and would be witnesses together for Him to a world that was dead in sin and in need of the Saviour. They could all boldly go together into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature!
We are truly “…new creatures in Christ Jesus…”

Yet, God’s work in their lives certainly did not stop here. We also find that whey were not only caring, –

2. They were committed – to the saints. 1:2-4 “…remembering…” to have on their minds
These men developed a pattern of life which they followed throughout their ministries and encouraged others to participate in! They regularly met to discuss the church in Thessalonica: the people “…you all…”, the accomplishments, the needs, and the future.

They set forth a pattern of –

a. Corporate prayer. 1:2

b. Informed prayer. 1:3

As they remembered the people and reviewed their works, they were led naturally to –

c. Encouraging prayer and praise. 1:4

As they remembered what God had done through them, they began to realize what God was doing to them.
He was filling them with joy and praise through the work He was accomplishing in these believer’s lives.

Can you imagine how glad they were that they had not quit following –

the difficulty of discerning God’s will in where to go (Acts 16 , this must have been particularly difficult on Paul as the leader. Would Silas and Timothy continue to have confidence in his leadership if he did not know where they were to go?)

the beating and imprisonment in Philippi
the mob chasing them from Thessalonica and Berea

They could have decided that this was not what they had agreed to and spoke the words which Peter spoke in a time of discouragement – “I go a-fishing…” (I do not want to do this any more, I am going home)

But they did not! Their care led them to commitment and because of this –

3. They were consistent – for the saints. 1:5,6 “as ye know what manner of men we were”

They were developing a lifelong practice of ministry in carrying out the commission of the Lord Jesus Christ. They gave the church a pattern to follow until the Lord returns.
They were able to praise the Lord for His working in their lives. They saw that He had brought them through it and not only this, they saw HOW He has used them for His honour and glory. He had made them leaders because they were faithful followers.

I ask you today – are you caring, committed, and consistent?

Are you following the Lord in such a way that He would want someone to follow you?
Can you thank the Lord today for the times that He has worked through you, and in that, how He has brought joy and praise to you? We have a wonderful account of the Lord’s working in the lives of the church at Thessalonica, but there was also a wonderful work going on in His servants lives that we sometimes overlook. What is God doing in your life today?
Are you saved? Have you turned to God through His Son, The Lord Jesus Christ, for salvation? He died for you that you might have life through Him.

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Luke 15:11-32 The Other Son

Luke 15:11-32
The Other Son

His Part – a member of the household. Luke 15:11 “…a certain man had two sons.”
His Position – leadership of the family.
His Potential –
He had the power: the servants obeyed him.
He had the persistence: Luke 15:29 “…these many years do I serve thee…”
He had everything he needed to increase the inheritance. Luke 15:31 “…all that I have is thine.”

His part, position, and potential – he had everything necessary to live out a blessed life. One more thing we need to look at though, because the Lord gave us this account to help us in life by making us aware of –

His Problem – he surrendered to pride which bound him up with the ropes of jealousy. Can you imagine the change that took place in a moment at the end of the day, how that his anticipation was turned to anger, his joy to jealousy, his determination to disappointment and discouragement! – how he walked out into his fields in the morning, worked throughout the day with the expectation of of blessing, and then was robbed of it all by anger? His accomplishments had turned to ashes before his eyes and that which he believed he deserved was given to another, and not just another, but an ungrateful brother who he believed should have been met with recompence for his actions –

Proverbs 20:21 (KJV) An inheritance may be gotten hastily at the beginning; but the end thereof shall not be blessed.

instead of being met by mercy and grace!

We must be thankful to the Lord every day for our part in His family, for our position to serve Him in the place He has prepared for us –
Ephesians 2:10 (KJV) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

– and for our potential knowing that everything we will ever need to live a life pleasing to Him, He has provided. We especially need to beware, though, of our problem. Pride and jealousy will rob us of our joy and destroy our testimony for the Lord. We are reminded of the dangers to God’s people in His Word –

John 21:20-21 (KJV) Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?

This was not the first time Peter had brought up a question like this. Following the Lord’s discussion with the rich young man, Peter inquired –
Matthew 19:27 (KJV) Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?”

It happened to Peter, it can happen to us. Be careful and never let it be said that we resemble the other son –

Ephesians 4:31-32 (KJV) Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

Let’s determine to reflect the loving father in our lives.

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The Blessings of Steadfast Faith

A thought about the prodigal son’s father –
Luke 15:11-24 (KJV) And he said, A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

The Father’s faith was not in his son, it was in The Son. He was broken hearted when his son left, but we know that The Son never leaves us or forsakes us. Because the father’s faith was in God, he did not sell the farm and follow his son into the world looking for happiness and satisfaction. He stayed true to God!
Can you imagine how disappointed the prodigal son would have been if he had returned, looking for safety and security, only to find that the father had sold the farm?

Many Christian parents have misplaced their faith, living for their sons and daughters instead of for the Lord. We may be disappointed in man, but never in God. The most important thing we can have for our family is steadfast faith in God.

They may go out into the world for a season, will they have something real to return to? The prodigal knew his father’s faith was firmly placed in God and he sought mercy, something he did not find in the world.

Will we be steadfast? Don’t sell out your faithfulness to God!
1 Corinthians 15:58 (KJV) Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

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preliminary notes on 1 Thessalonians chapter Three – a thought

Chapter Three
The selfless concern of the missionaries is noted by their willingness to temporarily separate from one another in order to encourage the believers in Thessalonica. They rejoiced in the faith demonstrated by these young believers, but they also knew Satan’s determination to destroy them as well as the trouble that was stirred up by their countrymen. The missionaries could accomplish more by staying together as they continued their ministry toward the South, but they decided against that which would be convenient for them, manifesting their love and concern for those that had trusted the Lord for salvation.

A. Their Decision 1 Thessalonians 3:1-5

The missionaries understood that the Lord would take care of His children, but He also taught them an important lesson – the Lord uses the mature believers to care for the young. The Lord works through His people!

Romans 15:1-3 (KJV) We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.

Ephesians 4:11-13 (KJV) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

The missionaries determined that they needed to share what they had learned through the grace of God in their lives. Notice that each had been blessed by the Lord through His strength in afflictions they faced –

Paul –
At Damascus, escaping for his life by being lowered over the wall in a basket.
At Jerusalem, not being trusted by the brethren.
At Lystra, being dragged out of the city, stoned by the crowd, and left for dead.
At Philippi, being humiliated, beaten, and put in prison.
Silas –
At Jerusalem, suffering with the brethren as outcast from the Jews.
At Philippi, with Paul in being humiliated, beaten, and imprisoned.
Timothy –
As a resident of Lystra, observed the treatment of Paul and Barnabas.
As a partner in the work at Philippi, observed Paul and Silas suffer

1 Peter 2:20 (KJV) For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.

These men knew the grace and mercy of God and determined that they had to share the faithfulness of God with others.

In returning to Macedonia, they would –

1. Confirm them in their walk. (Establish)

Ephesians 5:1 (KJV) Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;

2. Comfort them, which involves admonition and consolation.

1 Corinthians 15:57-58 (KJV) But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

3. Commit themselves to the Lord. 3:3

Paul used an interesting word here when he exhorted them not “to be moved by these afflictions…”. The word ‘moved’ is a description of a dog wagging its tail. The dog wags its tail as an emotional response. Paul is reminding these believers that they do not have to respond emotionally to the afflictions they will face when they are confirmed in their way, comforted in their knowledge of the Lord and committed to His purpose for their lives.

Because of the missionaries knowledge of God’s working in their lives, they were agreed in sending Timothy to the Thessalonians to help them “we”, and when he was departed, Silas also returned to those in Macedonia to help them leaving Paul alone, “I”, to begin the work in Corinth.

The missionaries knew the difficulties that this decision involved, but they also knew through God’s working in their lives the importance of slowing down and helping the brethren.
Paul revealed his emotional state to the Corinthians as he entered into the ministry to them without his companions in the work –
1 Corinthians 2:3 (KJV) And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.

But he went on anyway knowing the Lord would give him strength!

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The Book of Ecclesiastes Message Nine the final message of the series

Ecclesiastes 12:1-14

Solomon concluded his investigation with this message for all men by –

I. Reminding man that life is short. Ecclesiastes 12:1-11

Solomon presented a graphic description of the condition of the aged man as he approached the grave in death. Each verse draws forth from us the image of a family member or friend. We can see them clearly in our minds and we know that what he has written is true.

Having established the truth of life, he began –

II. Reviewing the warning signs that he has posted. Ecclesiastes 12:8-12

As Solomon came to the end of each road he traveled, he came to the same –

A. Conclusion. Ecclesiastes 12:8 “…all is vanity.” Life without God is worthless!

He informed us that although life offers no happiness, he kept on searching and warning because of his –

B. Concern. Ecclesiastes 12:9-11 He had wisdom and power and determined to use it to carry out this search to the end. He wrote warnings that need to be reviewed –

1. Message 2 beginning in chapter 2, He searched out false advertisements along the highway of life.

Solomon’s conclusion was that none of these searches gave him the solution that he was seeking. Therefore, he posted the warning sign that the advertisements along the highway promising that happiness and satisfaction can be found in education, entertainment, experiences, and escape from the world cannot be believed – there is no truth in them.

2. Message 3 Ecclesiastes 2:12-26 The sign posted here states “Wrong Way” Disappointment and death ahead.

Man will leave all of his triumphs and treasures on the highway. The person following him will either waste them or misuse them to his own destruction. No matter what happens – a toll gate is at the exit and everything one has gained will be collected and left behind. Solomon grieved as he discovered this truth and found that no one can hold tightly enough to material things to keep them.

His recommendation was that people use all that they have before everything is stripped away at the exit into death.

3. Message 4 Ecclesiastes 3:1-26

Solomon summed up his conclusion:
If there is a time to plant and a time to reap –
If there is a time to kill and a time to heal –
If there is a time to tear down and a time to build –
If there is a time to be holy but only a time to die as the unrighteous, life is cruel!
If you do not fear God, you may as well enjoy life, because it is all that you ever will have.

4. Message 5 Ecclesiastes 4:1-16

At this exit, Solomon posted the warning sign “Warning, no rest areas ahead”! No rest for the soul was found along those roads that promised that Power, Prosperity, Privacy, and Pride would lead to happiness, contentment, and rest. The only rest in life is in God through His blessed Son, Jesus Christ.

5. Message six Ecclesiastes 5 The warning here is that people can be easily deceived by what they see, but beware – where you see worship and work and wealth of this world, only disappointment, destruction, and death reside. No happiness, satisfaction, or contentment is to be found here in the empty activities of the natural man.

Solomon instructs us through his experience that no man can fight against God and win – Ecclesiastes 6:10 “…neither may he contend with him that is mightier than he.”

He continued and advised us that his writings were authoritative and set forth another warning that we must be careful not to be –

C. Confused. Ecclesiastes 12:12 Stay with the truth as given by God.

Now we turn to the conclusion of the matter of life. Solomon is –

III. Recommending that man should fear God and obey Him. Ecclesiastes 12:13,14

We need to try and continue to be as clear as we can in considering this recommendation.

Solomon’s recommendation is applicable to the –

A. Men who have not received the truth. Those living in unbelief.

The natural man is not ignorant of the existence of God. It is that he has not been introduced to God. He does not know who He is and cares little to find out the truth. He does not realize that he has no excuse to give to God in the judgment. He turned from God to create idols to worship instead. When man knew the truth, he denied the truth and chose to worship his creations instead of God
The solution to man’s condition is in hearing and believing the Word of God declaring the truth that all men are sinners and are in need of the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.

John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

Yet, Solomon’s recommendation is not only for the natural man, those who do not believe in God. His recommendation is also applicable for –

B. Men who have received the truth.

We must remember that Solomon is not simply searching for answers as we would imagine a scientist would as he searched for a cure for dread diseases. He is not standing at a table on which test tubes filled with all variety of sin are used in experiments to find the cure for evil by mixing them with good works, good feelings, good intentions and any other thing that his wisdom can provide. Solomon is a man that knew God, loved and served God. He is that researcher that turned from God and injected himself with all manner of sin, feeding his own lust and desires. He led his people away from God and destroyed the nation.

Now we see this man, old and broken with the ravages of sin that he allowed to rule his life in his search for happiness

– we see this man, repentant and turned back to God, yet living with the consequences of his sin

– we see this man desperately warning others that the only hope in life is in God – “…fear God and keep his commandments for this is the whole duty of man.”

Being a believer does not make you immune to sin.

Paul wrote in –

Ephesians 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
We have a responsibility to observe the warning signs the Lord has led Solomon to post –
We are to see and obey!
Why? For the glory of God.
Why? For your own good.

Please note – This world provides no peace, happiness, or contentment.

If you are not saved, turn to the Lord today for salvation.
If you are saved, glorify God today through how you live.

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The Book of Ecclesiastes Message Eight

Ecclesiastes 7:1-29

We note here a change in the direction Solomon has been going. He has been investigating the source of happiness, contentment, and satisfaction in this natural world using all of the resources at his disposal. As he has searched out each turn on this highway of life under the sun, he has posted warning signs ultimately declaring that no hope of finding these things exists in this life.

At this point, Solomon turned from investigation to instruction. He began a series of proverbs to instruct man in having the best life possible in this world. We will begin learning from him, but realizing most importantly, the conclusion will remain the same – Life without God will never bring man peace or happiness. That being the case, why should we spend our time learning these lessons? We live in a world of men without God. We must be able to share with them that all value in society is based on the Word of God. We can show them through God’s Word, that even doing the best that they can, they fall short of the righteousness of God. The best that a man can be in this world is found in developing the following character traits in life. He should have a –

I. Good name. Ecclesiastes 7:1 His past. Developed throughout life.

The importance of a name is revealed by both a –

A. A bad name. Could you imagine having the name, or naming your child Pontius Pilate?

What emotions are drawn forth when you hear the names of Stalin, Lenin, Hitler…? Names are important!

Men must endeavor to have –

B. A blessed name.

What thoughts come to mind when you hear the name Jesus? What about Moses, Joshua, Barnabas… Wonderful thoughts because these were blessed men!
Note that Solomon declares that a good name is “better than precious ointment…” We gain a better understanding of what he said when we look at how precious ointment was valued – Oil that –

1. Sanctified unto God.

Exodus 30:22-25 Moreover the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Take thou also unto thee principal spices, of pure myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even two hundred and fifty shekels, and of sweet calamus two hundred and fifty shekels, And of cassia five hundred shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, and of oil olive an hin: And thou shalt make it an oil of holy ointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil. This anointing set apart the priest unto the service of God.

Then there is the oil that –

2. Sanctified one unto another.

Song of Solomon 5:5 I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped with myrrh, and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock.

The bride perfumed herself and the room with sweet oil as she opened the door for her groom, her husband to enter it. It represented sweetness and fidelity.

3. Sanctified unto death.

John 12:3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.

John 12:7 Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this.

This oil was valuable because it covered the stench of death, comforting at the time of separation.

All of these oils were precious as we note in the account of Hezekiah and the Chaldeans –

Isaiah 39:2 And Hezekiah was glad of them, and shewed them the house of his precious things, the silver, and the gold, and the spices, and the precious ointment, and all the house of his armour, and all that was found in his treasures: there was nothing in his house, nor in all his dominion, that Hezekiah shewed them not.

Solomon declared that men should desire to have a name that that when heard, one would think of faithfulness – faithful to God, faithful in promise, faithful unto death.

The man in this world should have a –

II. Good attitude. Ecclesiastes 7:2-6 His present. Developed day by day

“…and the living will lay it to his heart.”

Visiting in the house of those who have lost a loved one leads one to –

A. Realize the brevity of life.

Psalms 144:4 Man is like to vanity: his days are as a shadow that passeth away.

James 4:14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

This leads a man to –

B. Reevaluate his purpose in life.

Psalms 90:12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

Psalms 39:4-5 LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am. Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity.

C . Reject the foolishness of life. Ecclesiastes 7:6 “The crackling thorns under a pot…”

The thorns were loud and the fire was bright, but was only a show, flaring up for a moment and then disappearing, not accomplishing any purpose.

Ephesians 5:15-17 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

III. Good outlook. Ecclesiastes 7:7-10 His future.
Based on having a good name and a good attitude, he will be –

A. A man that is pure. Ecclesiastes 7:7 Integrity

B. A man that is patient. Ecclesiastes 7:8,9 Patience

C. A man that is positive Ecclesiastes 7:10 Great expectations for the future.

Not living in the past but changing the future for good.

Men living life under the sun, without embracing God as their Saviour, must remember the statement of the Lord Jesus Christ –

Mark 10:18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.

Solomon concluded that man by his own choice has rebelled against God. God created him righteous –

Ecclesiastes 7:29a “Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright:”

Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Genesis 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

But man chose to disobey God, not only by doing what He commanded them not to do, but turning against all that is righteous in the sight of God, and seeking ways to reject every good thing that God is and that He created!

Ecclesiastes 7:29b “but they have sought out many inventions.”

Paul identified these in his letter to the saints in Rome –

Romans 1:19…: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened…….Being filled with all unrighteousness….. haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things…..Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

Men have continued their pursuit of self-satisfaction through sin and degradation in every generation, denying their accountability to God. In doing this, they have proved the truth of God and witnessed against themselves. Notice how men manipulated the truth and said whatever was necessary to accomplish their purpose. Compare –

Matthew 27:22-25 Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified. And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified. When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.

…with their statements just a few months later when the apostles had preached the gospel in Jerusalem –

Acts 5:27-28 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.
There own words testify against them!

Truly, there are none good, there are none righteous! There is no happiness, peace, joy, contentment in this world under the sun.

The only hope that man has is that they recognize they are sinners in need of a Saviour!

The Holy Spirit led Paul to repeat this truth to us that we might know why we need to be saved –

Romans 3:10-11 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

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The Book of Ecclesiastes Message Seven

Solomon concluded this investigation of the results of man’s recklessness, ruthlessness, and ruin through greed by warning men to be cautious of becoming part of a community of people based on a superficial knowledge of their practices. Men are easily deceived by what they see because they are presented with those things that will entice them. The news is filled daily of accounts of people losing all that they had because they believed a lie. Men fall out of favour, bring shame to their families, and lose their fortunes because they do not listen to the warnings that have been placed before them. Solomon posted warning signs along this road and in order to help us understand this, and he added more insights and warnings which he summarized it in Ecclesiastes 5:18-6:12.

Solomon called our attention to these verses by two very important statements. He has not referred often to God’s will and work in the natural man’s life and so when he speaks of God here, we do well to pay attention. These two statements provide the key to this portion of Scripture –
5:19 “…this is the gift of God…” and –

6:10 “…neither may he contend with him that is mightier than he.”

Whether religious or not, master or servant, wealthy or poor, man has no argument to bring against God. Man, through his desire to know both good and evil has introduced sin into his nature and in doing so, has brought a curse upon the world –

Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: –

and he is without excuse before God. We should consider this – Refer to

Genesis 3:17-19 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

God had provided man with every good and perfect thing. Man rebelled against the goodness of God and stole food from Him. Man was judged for this sin, yet God in His mercy allowed man to stay and work in His fields to provide for himself and his family. Think about this! God continued to supply that which man needed to live physically and He even provided that which man needed to live spiritually

John 3:16-18 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Look at this carefully –

Genesis 3:8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

Adam and Eve, and therefore all mankind with them, broke away from freedom and into bondage! Would you break into a prison and spend the rest of your life in bondage and hard labour? They did and here all mankind is – laboring through life under the sun! There is a truth that man must admit – God is in control. While studying this portion of Scripture, I wondered at Solomon’s statements about God giving wealth, giving one the blessing of using it and the other withholding the blessing, making it a curse unto him. I asked myself “What is going on here”? Then it became clear that Solomon declared that God is in control of all His creation! This is the warning sign that Solomon posted as we turned onto this road – ‘Controlled Access Road’. Men are living separated from God spiritually, but they are not separated from His control! All men are accountable to God and will stand before Him in the day of judgment. Solomon offered two examples of this here and we will illustrate these truths through the lives of two men who knew God’s power – King Cyrus of Persia and King Nebuchadnezzar of Chaldea.

I. The power of God to bless. Ecclesiastes 5:18-20

“Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof”.

The illustration of this truth is given in the account of King Cyrus –

A. He was chosen by God to serve.

Isaiah 44:28 That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.

B. He was willing to obey God. God gave him a choice and he obeyed! 150 years had passed since God’s promise!

2 Chronicles 36:22-23 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth hath the LORD God of heaven given me; and he hath charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? The LORD his God be with him, and let him go up.

C. He was blessed by God in this work and God proved again His declaration in –

Isaiah 44:6 Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.

God is in control!

Notice the difference in these statements –

II. The power of God to curse. Ecclesiastes 6:1-12

“A man to whom God hath given riches, wealth, and honour…, yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof…”

The illustration of this truth is given by the life of Nebuchadnezzar.

A. He was chosen of God to serve.

Jeremiah 28:14 For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; I have put a yoke of iron upon the neck of all these nations, that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and they shall serve him: and I have given him the beasts of the field also.

B. He was lifted up against God by his pride.

Daniel 4:30 The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?

C. He was humbled before God and man.

Daniel 4:31-33 While the word was in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee. And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws.

God declared that He is in control over all things – He is the Creator and all things are His. Men can deny that God exists, or they may admit that God exists but that they have no part with Him. He is not their God, but here Solomon is reminding us that God is over all and he is warning us that we will all answer to Him. Remember that the Word of God praises the Lord and reveals His power –
Philippians 2:9-11 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Blessed or cursed – nothing satisfies in this life under the sun! God has allowed man to have his desire – to know good and evil. Men discover that neither hope nor help are to be found in this condition. In the world, some prosper, some struggle, some fail, but all die just the same – prisoners to sin.

Have you been set free from the bondage of sin by your faith and trust in God through the Lord Jesus Christ? This is the message, first and foremost –

1 Corinthians 15:3-4 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

Will you obey God and act upon His message to you today?

Romans 10:9-10 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

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