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August 6, 2020 7:00 pm
Dr. Billy Gotcher preaches a chapel message entitled “A Good Name Is Better Than Precious Ointment.” Today’s scripture passage is Ecclesiastes 6 and 7.
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina.
The school was founded in 1927. The evangelist Dr. Bob Jones Senior's intent was to make a school where Christ would be the center of everything, so he established daily chapel services today. That tradition continues with fervent preaching from the University chapel platform today on The Daily Platform will hear from Dr. Billy culture senior pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Williston, Vermont beach are you president Steve Pettit will introduce him this morning. We are honored to have preaching a chapel here, a friend of mine that actually goes back for many many years.
He is pastored in Michigan and Florida and currently is pastoring in Vermont Dr. Billy Goucher pastor Goucher began his ministry. Actually, God began to work in his life.
He went to a secular school in Texas graduated with a degree in business. He worked for what was known as EDS, Electronic Data Systems, and he began to attend a church up in Michigan where God began to work in his life and called them into the ministry. He graduated with his Master of Divinity degree from Detroit Baptist theological seminary.
He took he actually was a part of her church revitalization process in Michigan and then ended up in Florida pastoring and I was privileged to preach in both those churches and now he's presently pastoring in Vermont and the Lord is greatly used him. He finished his doctorate degree hear from Bob Jones University and is a wonderful man. He's a pastor and he sees Mr. Benson's one of his close friends were honored to have them here this morning and chapel so please listen and listen to what God has to say to you this morning through pastor Goucher like to invite you to open your Bibles to the book of Ecclesiastes Ecclesiastes will be at the end of chapter 6 in the very first part of chapter 7 of Ecclesiastes often misunderstood on this report, summary statement. Up converting a died in the context of chapter 6, which is very pivot point in the book of Ecclesiastes and then introduce really answer the fundamental question in chapter 7 that I hope will be of help to you in your thinking and ultimately and in your love for the Lord. But just stating it this way.
If I could. Life is a frustrating puzzlement. So when you feel that that word vanity vanity throughout the book of Ecclesiastes unlikely to think of it this way. Life is hard for us understand it's frustratingly puzzling, so is nothing of empty or meaningless. He saying life has frustration puzzlement in it because we try to figure it out and struggle.
Why because were finite and will follow and we live in a world that's been devastated by the falls of things don't work the way they should. I been awake work the way we think they will. But this frustrating puzzlement: life is still a gift from God that can be wisely enjoyed by those who know the Lord and so as we really grow in our relationship with Christ. We can learn how to enjoy life.
In fact, Solomon says several times throughout this book that there's nothing better than to learn to enjoy life as a gift from God was often happens is we take gifts to God's given we substitute them for God, who gave him and we turn life upside down life actually begins to lose its purposes focuses meaning and we can chase very empty things is overlooked here in Ecclesiastes and on the start chapter 6 units kind of a pivot point of transition. I'd like to suggest to you, you can think of the book of Ecclesiastes.
In this way is like a thesis paper. I'm sure a few of you got writing assignments that you got some papers due before semester is over. Some of you been going thinking you know what you can write about more research into your maybe even more confused. What you would understand the book of Ecclesiastes. This way is that, but the thesis of Solomon Islands of Solomon is a man who is given wisdom from God of the wise men walked this earth of the Lord Jesus Christ himself for divine wisdom and so he use that wisdom to explore the questions of life and really the issues of what is life worth living for and in answering the question what's life worth living for is really also answering other question if it's worth living for. Is it really worth dying is not worth dying for is probably not worth living for. And so you see these focusing in on what what so many answers been given and so in chapter 6 he points back and then he turns forward. So in verse 1011 he points back to how to summarize what is taught so far in his thesis when the other things is mentioned about the thesis is as we always think we can do. Maybe a little more research and Solomon did and maybe we come up with different answer values and Solomon's research is complete. It is divinely inspired research you can't get a more complete research and so we need to hear from Solomon and hear the wisdom of Solomon has to share Solomon's is what has or what that which has been is been named already and he begins with this declaration of that there's really nothing new there is no new purposes, the people are going to suggest there's not that there's a new technology is not the general get a new iPhone or whatever is easier saying that the things that people believe will bring them satisfaction like the things they pursue, they get passionate about those things really haven't changed. They been here they've been around people chasing them out. They put they put their hearts desire. After they they they got a desire from God.
In fact, he says earlier in the book please ask is that God is putting on our hearts that we want to understand eternities and put on our hearts. We want to understand how life works at times we think we figured it out. We think if we do a and he were going to get see we do a way to be and we get D where like, why did that happen or we we we think and I can pastoral ministry have dealt with this. I we think of your devotions in the morning we go to church with a prayer lunch sure you know, we can kinda get the checklist Christianity sweet those checkboxes then the light should be good for me and then you find a period of struggle or sorrow or difficulty or heart anchor and his leg wound. Why did that happen. I thought it was doing everything right.
I we we want to figure out how to make life work fundamentally to our advantage. And so that that something that we wrestle with Solomon's is interacting with that and because of the nature of the world we live in because it's falling. Things don't always work the way solo somebody hard work, you tend to get ahead proverbial true is not always true.
The best don't always win the most talented don't always get advanced you might be the best in your field but you might be looked over life in a fallen world doesn't work like a formula and never will. And then the other side of it is because we are still were falling ourselves still sinners, we struggle with having the right passions right desires we will live for things that are not worth living for.
We will believe lies in the more easily deceived than we ever have understood and saved a really good liar and so all of these things come colliding and sliding into the passions by which we live. The direction of our life in order to look at really ultimately what is the real prize. Solomon says in verse 11, then facing there many things that increase vanity, or the idea here is more confusion.
What is just talking about here is there's there's there's many things people are going to suggest to you there's many ideas about what's worth living for. And so all that creates a level of confusion. There's a lot of voices speaking, the culture speaks your friends speak. There's all kinds of people speaking into your life about what has value and what has purpose in verse 12 we turn to the two questions that he then frames as we move forward becomes of these two questions and he wants us to understand the answer which is not a hard answer. Obviously, this is who knows what is good for man in life more than the second question. Who can tell a man what shall come after him. So as long as long as understand as we all have a desire to answer what is the purpose and meaning of life. One of my living for what is my direction and I want to figure out how to make life work to my advantage in the ask this question but do you really know what's good or who knows what's good for you and whose know what happened next. And the answer is: I don't not really. I can only know my God's revelation and so the ultimate answer the question is simple. We need to listen to God. We need to hear from God.
We need God's revelation.
In fact, he would say earlier and that same text he says whatever's been named in verse 10 that is in no. Neither may he contend with him. That's mightier than he. What is he talking about is saying you look there's not a new purpose really being offered to you. There's a lot of things in the world can offer and say live for this and you'll find fulfillment here. You find happiness here. This is gonna be the secret anything but we will tend to believe the wrong things because of sin's impact on her life and then we want to argue with God about how life supposed to work and you simply going but this is God's world you live in God's world into living God's world in your own way is his enemy life inherently isn't going to work for you because you can't contend with.
He was mightier than you and so you think about five and so as you enter into this reality of what is life about we have to wrestle with the question we have to answer it, and ultimately we need to hear it and that's his weaning God's revelation so that we might actually live with the right purpose. The right passion or if I can put it this way, we have to keep her eye on the right prize. We have to have that which is worth pursuing all of us are pursuing something we tend to have with a lot of what I would call approximate goals and their near to us. So some of you. Your goal was to get out high school to college so you accomplish. I congratulation negative mood and new goals are your new goal is to figure out what degree are to follow.
I talked a number students today as I'm asking you what you major in Manchuria or unchanged, or I may change again were not sure.
So we would then the next goal may be to lock in their likening it to graduation. I then maybe it's on to getting married in a career and we start setting a lot of intermediate goals and and I'm not against intermediate goal. What I am against is making your life about your intermediate goal. Your life actually is an amount that they those goals are within a greater purpose and if they're not then you just go from one thing to the next thing to the next thing and you expect when you reach that goal, that somehow that's gonna bring a level of contentment and satisfaction. Those things weren't meant to bring that relationship with God is the place were supposed to find that when you start pushing into what when I get married and that the are we have kids and when I have this career we have this certain possession. Those are what to do if only you start believing and we start putting into the gifts of God given at a wrong sense of value.
We will not learn from what is been created how to live in the world that was created we need to learn from the creator how to live in his world in such a way that we are actually spending our life well, ultimately we have one life to spend as a finance accounting major floor calling the ministry and so what is it for superior banking is to do X and make a lot of money ended up God put me in the computer industry doing financial applications and then then I saw where that career path was going same time got locked in the local church was hearing the word of God taught I get saved as a junior in college, I was just a new believers out in the financial trying to make money and then started in a really good Bible teaching church and began to front the priorities you know when God began first learning about ministry. My first thought was that with God knew what he was doing. I would and I would with Bob Jones.
I would've went somewhere in Oak. I would've brought up in a Christian home I laid him in place were severely God does know what he's doing always and it's God's life.
And if God wants me in ministry that he is no make that pathway and he's going to provide means and open the doors and it really came down to an issue. Do I trust I trust God's goodness in a sovereign direction so as look at this prize worth pursuing will spend the rest of her time here. I like to read the tax collection read all the Texan wouldn't step in and walk beginning count backwards and forward and there's a purpose and that let me read to you if you can follow your Bible summary chapter 7, 1 to 4 and then 13, the good name is better than precious ointment the day of death better than one's birth is better to go the house of mourning than to the house of feasting that is the end of all men living will lead to his heart's sorrow is better than laughter, for by the sadness of the accountants. The heart is made better part of the wise and the house of mourning the heart of the fools is in the house.
Consider the work of God. For who can make straight what he has made crooked in the day of prosperity be joyful in the day of diversity. Consider.
Surely God has appointed one as well as the other so that man cannot ficus a man cannot find out nothing that will come after him.
Some begin by looking at that at verse 14 and will tie that together verse one and were talking about a prize worth pursuing and generally speaking, we value what makes us look good or feel good and so Solomon kinda confronts that idea. In verse 14 writing saying that there's a JPEG data prosperity. There's a day when things really went well. It's one of those at the end of the day will pass judgment good day bad day I would pass judgment throughout the day.
The other was a good lunch that looks good/bad last good sermon bad sermon.
All these things without continually bouncing all evaluations but generally speaking, those valuations are pretty trite.
Why was he good as I like that.
Why did I like. I don't know maybe feel good maybe look good and will will will will zone in their white what we call good bases in the day, prosperity in the day when things are seemingly going well, rejoice. It's a good gift for God in the day of adversity stop. Now some of you have friends and I'm sure it's none of you and nobody elbowing what else country. A few friends are little-known maybe is complainers like there the they're the Eeyore's of life and be there.
The glass half-empty all the time is always a problem there's something to be enjoyed deeply concerned about their worry either get really anxious and so maybe that you in the days of adversity. When the difficulties and the pressures come that bad day, I was you date it was awful.
Why will because it was harder and Solomon since before you pass judgment on your day and it was a hard day or was it an easy day sobbing. Consider something, namely why who made the day. Who rules the day. And what is his character. So it understands what we can speak to ourselves about the circumstance were facing really is a reflection of what we actually believe about God is a reflection of what what we think about God's character in his sovereignty and his goodness, and in what God is doing in the world and and we want. Sometimes I think we just want God to become our divine pacifier.
We want to make life we want to make it easy.
God's not gonna make life in a fallen world easy nor comfortable your imagery that you are looking at throughout the semester is running a race that race is just a short little Sprint is not a comfortable race one this marathon incentive and endurance race.
You have to stick to it. Run up bills down the hills. I mean, it is difficult life in a fallen world is filled with adversity. But consider before you complain God made both of those things the David varsity and the data prosperity makes this statement a good name is better than precious when and is not saying that you know if I like that person's name and I don't like that person's perfume. That's a good thing I he's really TEs using a word play on two words.
It really sounds similar in Hebrews looks a little lost on us but he is saying that a good name is better in an precious ointment in this case really stands for all the things of life that we tend to value for the things we get as a result of the day of prosperity.
So you go back to your box and some essential anonymous check and it wasn't for your bill in your life. Yes, I can go by okay that's what precious ointment. It is, it is that that that that is things that we my purchase that are important to us. We spend money on. We were in the midst of a time of prosperity. So when we have more than we need one at time prosperity in the things that we value that are called precious ointment to ask is a wiki makes the same elicited good name is actually better than it is better than precious ointment and good name and so we really have to ask that question. What is it is ingested a name that people like is it a popular name now.
I think we know that.
I think the story the rich young ruler when he came to Jesus and asked him good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life in Jesus really probe that issue by turning back and say why do you call me good, and the point Jesus is trying to get his you really understand that I'm God there is one who is good and that is gone, and so to have a good name is and really have a life well lived at the life that actually reflects the character of the one who is good God is good and so I need to live with this purpose in mind that I need a name not Billy but I need the name of my testimony of the life that God has done by grace transforming my life to be a little bit more like Jesus Christ, so that my name reflects Jesus Christ that my life is a reflection of his goodness into a world that's lost in darkness are called to be light in the world. The light shines through vessels that actually are growing to be more like Christ.
Good name is a life well lived life will live a life well invested. It is a life that is been transformed by the grace of God that displays that that life before the so we that's a good name and we we need to live in order to obtain it and we obtain it in that pursuit of the right gold of Christ likeness teaching to the book of Revelation. In Revelation chapter 14 of the business life. But there's this statement about the hundred 44,000 describing them in Revelation 14 and it describes in this way they follow the Lamb whether oversight where there soever he go with it in their mouth is no guile, and when I read that statement is struck me this same statement made about Jesus going across. There's 144,000 are time of great tribulation of the world and their character is one like their Savior. And so to live with the good name is to have a life that when somebody begins to describe you that it actually reflects Christ we planted really revitalize the church and water from Michigan we were going door-to-door and pass out flyers inviting people to new church plant. And so, remember this was these two ladies that they were neighbors. They clearly weren't all that close that we handed both of them a flyer and so they start looking at the church flyer and and and one of them looked the other and set our one of them stock doesn't say I'm a Christian. With all that's great in the neighborhood knows you're all a lot and of course wheat wheat week. We quickly just let them have their own swab. Alright so but that the point was this one lady is saying publicly on the Christian. Her neighbors like who knows her life says your I wonder when people start talking about you which I don't mean what they say is a good name is it a life that rightly reflects Christ in his life.
That is really revealing that you actually know Christ and to drive this point home.
He really is a kind of a shocking statement not I don't know how many of you been to funerals. I soon if you I've done. In fact, my very first funeral I redid as a pastor was the funeral of my own grandmother this year I funeral my own father. This tax really does speak and then I fact I almost always start here funeral service. This is a day of death is better than the day of one's birth. That's kind of shocking because I can be honest as a pastor I know I've got the call and some is passed away up into the funeral home in the hospital and into the home.
I been with people when they passed away done many funerals I go to the hospital for the birth the baby second like a hospital visit going new baby, it's you and what you say when you see new baby to say what a baby every mother thinks the baby is beautiful.
What a baby I said you you you you admitted how is it possible and what does he mean by this house the day of death that are in it and I think it's not terribly difficult understand business like this. I've been funerals for people were clearly believers. They had a good name, but in my own mother-in-law's family, my son, saying at that funeral I saw Jesus we could honestly say that my mother been funerals of people who they profess faith were the best at the end of the day as you like I can hope so. I know they knew the gospel with their life and what like Christ and the funerals were really certain that the person is lost see at the end of July when people gather at the date of your death, which he says in this text is coming much sooner than you anticipate what you have been her having been is already determined you know of lived your life and if you live life of the good name and the date of your death that is better than the uncertainty that comes with birth is know what one of the heartbreaks of every Christian educator is a fact that some of you will have received great Christian education great principles and understanding God's word on how you ought to live with son of the original waste that entirely and at the end of your life knowing to say that was a good name. That was a good life.
One of Solomon's points when I talk about the prize worth living is that we tend to just look at what's coming next. What's that next goal. Solomon says stop you need to go over here the day of your death is coming. People are to be gathered there to to to mourn your your death.
What are they going to say about you.
Then you say you need to come from this vantage point back to where you are and you start making decisions right now that you will be glad you made when you come to the date of your death that this coming and what's really going to matters not what you've gained in this world, not the trinkets out the treasure, not the precious ointment all those things that are good gift from God that we can rightly enjoy as we serve the Lord. But those are not going with you what is going to matter is how you served Christ and have you been a follower of Jesus, like the hundred and 44, one who is one who follows Christ as he leads one who is run the race well finishes well who people will then gather and say that was a life well with things you love about college chapel is that there's all this potential summit you so much energy life in front of you.
There's all these opportunities and there's all these difficulties and all of them, really, but are you to be equipped Azure here in the word of God to actually prepare yourself to face life's challenges and keep your eyes on the right Prius you one opportunity. One opportunity to spend life well. I pray that we will spend well there you know I Alan Benson I've been good friends. We play the game of golf, pastor Mike Harding Enos preached her several times and we played with him and will is called his rules.
He no-hit to her having Harding so you know you play the game of golf and just didn't you like it that's not real golf you real golf. You know Mulligan's folks you get no mulligans in life. Get one chance, one opportunity, and Solomon wants to turn the perspective instead of you always living from here in this moment. Looking ahead, what's ahead. He want to pull around the end.
Look back, and he wants you to now make decisions in the now, that will actually glorify God and that you will be glad you made when you come to the end of your life. It's price surprising worth pursuing a good name is better than precious ointment. Let's pray father, thank you for your love for sinners like us.
Thank you for this chapel opportunity in pray for just a simple explanation of the profound passage of Scripture. I pray Lord to draw the students into a that they will want to read more. Want to hear from you, Lord.
We need you to pray with us on this deal bountifully with her serve the Lord. We need you mean how to open our eyes help us to see the truth. I was to see all the ways we believe the lies of our culture around us and how it affects our daily decision.
What we called good will recall the to be really reflectors that, in and through the grace of God extended to your grace extends and salvation.
Did you actually transform your life, that we might do good works that you've ordained for us, that we might reflect you to a world lost in dark but alternately whitening agent working given us to do to be disciples followers of Jesus who actually take the gospel to see others follow Christ will spend our life well, or the end of days he would wait. We recognize my pray the will recognize really believe that those who die with the most toys don't win those who spent their well their life well, reflecting Christ growing in Christ likeness. Those will invest in the lives of others of the gospel will have eternal joy for. Thank you. The joy comes from you may we invest in the right price maybe pursue it with the genuine zeal for which are glorified which are honor your glorious made known to the world around us will thank you for surprisingly pray you been listening to a sermon from Dr. Billy goat your senior pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Williston, Vermont join us again tomorrow as we hear more sermons preached during chapel services at Bob Jones University on The Daily Platform