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Dr. Ed Young - Some People Seem to Have it All

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    Dr. Ed Young - Some People Seem to Have it All
TOPICS: Influence

The pit of hell introduces us to our scripture in Ecclesiastes chapter number six. If you sit down and read Ecclesiastes six, by the way, we're studying Ecclesiastes. It is written, I believe by Solomon. He is picturing life without God. Life under the sun. Life that is full of vanity and meaninglessness. Life that is going no where and has only a dead end at the end of our last breath. And we have walked through these chapters and we come to the sixth chapter and at first reading, it's more disturbing than all the others. But I think the first verse sets the topical sentence for the rest of the chapter. Listen to it, Ecclesiastes chapter six, verse one. Solomon says, there is an evil which I have seen under the sun; remember this is all humanistic, secular thinking, and it is prevalent among men. Can anybody debate with that?

We've all seen evil under the sun. We've all seen it as prevalent among humanity. And that brings us to the question. What is the purpose of government? Whoa, you know what it is? A lot of people have the idea that all of our politicians are a bunch of crooks, we oughta throw em outta office. They are sorry. They are self serving and I don't buy that. I know a lot of godly men and women who are in public office in the city, in the county, in the state, in the nation and they're there sacrificially. They're there with great conscientiousness and they stand strong for principles that make a difference. I know a lot like that, so I do not think the idea let's run all the rascals out of office is legitimate. By the same token, there are some others, and we have to understand what is the purpose of government. The pit of hell reminds us of it.

We read in 1 Peter chapter two, verse 14. The purpose of government is to protect us, the people from evil; the purpose of government is to defeat and defend us from evil. And that's what government is to do and that is the purpose of our government to find a further explanation of this, you can read in Romans chapter 13. In fact, the birth of Jesus it says, the government shall be upon His shoulders. Now we start talking about government in the church all those outside say, well they wanna establish a theocracy. All Americans run by the principles of God and run by Christians; not in a million years. We are a constitutional republic. What does that mean? It means we elect people who represent us in the halls of government. A constitutional republic.

And we have the Declaration of Independence which is our charge to move into freedom. We have the Constitution, which is our birth certificate ladies and gentlemen in which it states we have those inalienable rights that God has given to us. Life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, they're rights that have come from the Almighty. And how important that is. What's the Bill of Rights? The Bill of Rights protects you and me, the people from the government, so this is how it is established. And we have the checks and balances all the way through our government. Why do we need this? Because the nature of human beings. Some people have the idea that everybody's born good. You ever heard that, everybody is really good. Anybody says that is dumber than a stump, don't listen to em very long. But they have the idea we're born good and with the proper education and encouragement and positive thinking, they'll be good all their life.

Some people really believe this myth. Others believe we are born evil and there's no hope for us. You decide to have dictators and despots who keep all the evil people down. Some people believe that. Others believe that we were born good, but we made the serious mistake with our own freewill and made in the image of God to choose to try to run our own lives independently of the Lord and when Adam and Eve stopped walking in the evening with God they disobeyed God and therefore, though we were born good, evil entered into our lives, into our culture, into our blood stream and therefore, we're all born evil, but thank God, He has acted and sent His Son Jesus Christ so that though we have a propensity for evil and we have a bent toward evil, you doubt that?

Let me say, did anybody have to teach you how to lie? Or brag, or lust, you know, we just, we were born evil, but thank goodness God has come in Christ and provided a way for us to confess, repent, receive His forgiveness and become good, become righteous. So that is the reason though we still even have a propensity towards evil. Jeremiah says it, the heart of man is twisted. It's broken, who can really know it? And therefore we have government here to defend us from evil and to protect us from evil and Peter goes on to say, to applaud those of us who do good. So we see the purpose of government and then what's your purpose? What is our purpose that we're under the government? What's our purpose?

I want you to look on the screen at some names. Look at these names. This some pretty biblically oriented congregation. How many here ever read through the whole bible, lift your hand? Oh a lot of us, oh yeah, yeah. Those are all biblical names. Does anybody recognize any one of those names and can tell me what context that name is found in? Now don't, don't, I'll embarrass you if you don't get it right. Can anybody name any one of those people. Those are all bible names, by the way. And tell me something about that person. The context in which, not anybody here. All in the bible. By the way, I couldn't either... That's the name of the ten spies remember when Israel was commanded to go into the Promise Land and wipe out all those evil Ites Remember all the Ites that where there? To go in there and take it. We brought you across the sea. We've provided manna. We've given you the commandments. You're ready to go and conquer the land, but instead of going in, they appointed a committee. God help us from committees.

And a committee of 12 went into the land and 10 of them; that's these wimps that you see listed there on the screen. These cowards, they came back and they said, I know God has commanded it and God has promised us victory, but you should see all these Ites, man, they're like giants and we're like grasshoppers, I mean, we don't have a chance against all those Ites. Those evil, and by the way, Isis would be the best thing to understand the kinda lifestyle all these godless people lived. And therefore, that's the minority report of cowards. I wonder if I'd been a part of that committee, would my name be there or would I be listed with two names everybody knows, Caleb and Joshua? They said, it's true, we're like grasshoppers, but God's on our side, let's drive all the evil out of the land.

I wonder what I would've done. What's your purpose and what's my purpose? You hear a lot of times, people say, you know, I don't wanna go to a church that talks politics, I wanna church that just preaches Jesus, doesn't that sound good? Or we just want a church that preaches Jesus. Let me tell you something folks, we not only need to preach what preach Jesus, but we also must preach what Jesus preached. Thy kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven. How is that gonna happen, shazaam, hocus pocus? All of the sudden the earth is like Heaven. How does that transaction take place? What are we praying? We are praying that we as God's people will not only preach and teach Jesus, I've done that for over 50 years, but we'll also begin to live out what Jesus taught and what Jesus preached and that will get us involved in moral issues in our land. Otherwise, we're just like those wimps, those cowards on the screen.

I wonder if during the days of slavery, if you had a voice, you had a pulpit or you had a witness, I wonder if you would've spoken out against that deadly evil I doubt it. I wonder if during the Civil Rights Movement, when America was going through a magnificent transformation I wonder which side you'd be on. Would you stand up for the equality of man under God or would you just been silent like these cowards and wimps on the screen? Would you've stood up? I doubt it. What about when Roe v. Wade passed congress. Most of us were alive; most of us were adults. It legitimized the murder of children in their mother's womb and following that political decision, millions of lives have been lost, where were you? Did you speak out, did you stand up? Where were you when the Overburn decision came down?

When marriage was totally redefined between anybody, any sex, any gender if they love one another, going against how marriage had been defined biblically and for thousands of years in almost every culture. Where were you? Were we standing up? My point is, the body of Christ, the church, all of us, I put myself there, not in those situations, I can tell you, I spoke, I stood, I marched, I preached, but I'm telling you, the church by in large did nothing. We took the easy way, the convenient way, the sweet way, the nice way, and we'd be on that same list. When God tells the church, the body of believers, those who believe in Him to me militant and be the salt and the light and the leaven in a society, in a world, in a community, we are called to stand.

If we're gonna change the broken culture in America, the church must become militant and get involved in issue that count; not everything. We not gon' become a whole political entity. We shouldn't be interested in what the federal reserve interest rate is gonna be when they have banks borrowing money from. That's not, no, no, no, no. But we're interested in moral questions that affect all of us for years and years to come. This is where we need to be. We say, well I don't wanna get involved in all that, I just wanna preach Jesus. What about us? We forget that Jesus preached that we are to be alive in the community, in the affairs of human beings, and go out there and try to make a difference for that which is of God.

You see, that's where we're missing it too. So we see, the role of government, block, kills, stamp out evil. The role that we have to be the church militant, speaking out, you see, we have gotten so politically correct we wanna make sure we do not offend anybody and the politically correct crowd. For example, the murder of a baby in a mother's womb, the politically correct crowd calls that choice. They rename things; they take words away from us. Years ago, I was conducting the funeral of a wonderful young lady. She was point guard on our professional basketball team. We had a professional, female, basketball team. She was a tremendous player. An all star, the leader of the team, vivacious personality, I got to know her and she contracted cancer. And she battled cancer so beautifully. I mean, here witness to the team. Her witness to America from her platform on that professional team was super.

I had her funeral in our church. The president came; it was a packed out crowd. Boy, what a witness she gave to everybody by her life when she was healthy and by her life when she was not healthy. And I'll tell you, it was a super thing. At the end of the memorial service, I said, let me tell ya, she was God fearing, she was dynamic. We all loved her. Her influence goes on and on with us. I said, she was a terrific gal and everybody stood and applauded. I got back in my office, my phone was ringing. You made this racial slur; you called her a gal. And I said, let me tell you something, you know, I got more than one call. You not gon take the word gal away from me. My wife is my gal. I like that musical, Me and My Gal. And she was a fabulous, dynamic, Christian young woman and I meant that with the highest respect.

Don't twist that in some kind of garbage understanding. Don't let the political crowd take away our words, folks. Don't let em do it. We come to our scripture. We talking about evil and Solomon says, let me tell you, if there's evil in your life; these shadows in your life, and that's true with far too many of us. I read about a month ago, staggering statistic, I hope it's not true that 94% of all American males watch pornography at least once a week. Did you get that? Ninety-four percent, hard for me to believe that. I certainly hope it's not true, but it's sorta an indication of the sub culture and the secret, deadly life we can get in and we'll let evil in the door in so many ways in our life and the result of that, Solomon tells us the result of evil. He tells us three things that's ever so clear.

Look at verse two, he says, A man to whom God has given riches and wealth and honor so that his soul lacks nothing of all he decrees, yet God has not empowered him to eat from them for a foreigner and a foreigner is any evil. Any deadly thing that enters our life. For a foreigner, yet God has not empowered him to eat from them, for a foreigner enjoys them. He said this is vanity. What's he saying? He's saying, does any form of evil in your life or my life, there is no enjoyment. Read about a guy went in a shoe store, and they measured him and he said, well you wear bout an 11, 11 1/2. He said, I want a size nine. He said, man you can't wear. He said, yeah bring me.

So he brought him nine and a shoe horn and he finally got it on and he's walking around. He said, man you can't, you can't wear these. He said, I'll take it. And he took em off; he said, what in the world. Why, you can't wear that shoe. He said listen, he said the IRS just took my house from me. He said my partner stole all the money I had in the business and he's disappeared. And he said, my best friend has run off with my daughter and he says, I'm already declared chapter seven in bankruptcy. He said, when I go home and take my shoes off, that's the only pleasure I have all day long. He is saying, you can be rich and be miserable when there's evil reigning in your heart and your life no matter if you're rich or poor, you are miserable. No enjoyment and the next section, says there's no satisfaction.

Beginning with verse three through verse nine. I'll not read it all. If a man father's a hundred children, lives many years, however many they may be, but his soul, here's the word is not satisfied with good things and he does not even have a proper burial, then I say, better the miscarriage, and I won't deal with the next part of the verse, but what's he saying. Here's someone whose lost a child through miscarriage or lost a child early in life, he's saying that life is better off than those of us who are in this life, we never find satisfaction. We never find enjoyment and it's greatly encouraged to all of us that in Heaven, there'll be babies, there'll be children and we'll be there watching em grow up in a perfect, magnificent environment. That's a great word of insurance tuck off there in Ecclesiastes.

And look at the third part of this thing. He's saying when evil is in your life, not only there's no enjoyment, not only there's no satisfaction; look what he says now you have no future, look at verse 10. Whatever exists has already been named, and it is known what man is; for he can not dispute with him who is stronger than he. Now Solomon doesn't give a clear understanding of God, but he's saying, there is a force, he would call it God under the sun. There is a force that is sovereign that determines life and Solomon is saying, you can't box with Him. Have you ever tried to box with God, anybody here? Oh yeah, you have, I've boxed with God. That old Broadway play, you can't box, your arms are too short to box with God.

God, why did You do that? I mean, what is going on there, God? I'm just upset; I've been through all that. You've been through all that. What's going on, God? But God is sovereign, that's what he's saying. And he moves on and he ask three unanswerable questions if you seek answers, follow me, under the sun. If you seek under the sun answers, human, secular, materialistic, without God answers, you can't answer these questions. And look how he asked them here. He said, there are many words which increase futility. He said, here's the one, what then is the advantage to man? A lot of talk and conversation, under the sun, there's no advantage.

Verse 12, for who knows what is good for a man during his lifetime, the few years of his futile life? You can't answer those without a reference to the Almighty and he makes no reference. Then the last question, the last part of this chapter. For who can tell a man what will be after him under the sun? Without God, what comes after us? We have no idea, so there are three unanswerable questions that are there, but I'm gonna show you something in the last verse here that really opens up great meaning. Look at the little phrase, he will spend them like a shadow. He is saying, when evil controls your life, there's certainly no enjoyment, there' no satisfaction. And certainly there's no future and you will spend them like a shadow and he's using shadow as if, when we die, we don't even leave a shadow, right? Wrong, that' how he understood it.

But go to Acts chapter five. Wonderful things were thinking in the temple on Solomon's porch. People were coming and being healed. People were having new life and magnificent things were happening there, and it said, the shadow of Peter was so full of healing and power, people were running just to be in Peter's shadow; his influence, his power. How long was his shadow? How long is your shadow? If you're not here, your shadow still goes on if your shadow comes through the light force of Jesus Christ in, behind, and through your life. Let's say we had a storm, Galveston, devastated and you found somebody and said, I want you to go and see what fish are; discover what fish are and this guy didn't know anything about fish. He said go down there, here's a pad, here's a pen, go down there and write what you observe about fish.

So he went down to the shores of Galveston. There were fish all on the beach from the storm. They were flopping around; eyes bulging, they couldn't get their breath; they were grimy and they were already beginning to stink. And you'd write that down, eyes bulging. I'll have trouble; trouble, they're having trouble staying alive. They're grimy, and oh how they stink. And you'd come back and say, this is what I observed about fish. And I'd say, it's all accurate. Empirical observation, can't argue with that. They stink, they're grimy, they're gasping for breath, they're turning over and over. They're eyes are bulging out.

You've got it right as far as you saw and felt and tasted and observed, but what you didn't pick up is, you can pick up one of those fish and throw them into the ocean, which is their natural habitat and they will come alive and they will thrive and they will live and they will function. You didn't see that, but that's reality. I would say that to all of us. We've can just flounder around and we can say, oh I'm not enjoying life; I'm not satisfied with this and I don't know what my future, but let Christ come in and the atmosphere of Christ of His church of your Christian witness, you're shadow will grow longer and longer and it'll go on long on after we graduated from this earth. Let's begin, where you are, where I am. And through the light of Christ through our lives to cast that shadow that influence us, our wife, our husband, our family, our kids, our associates as we as part of the church begin to turn our lives and our culture as we extend that shadow of influence right side up.
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