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March 11, 2021 7:00 pm
Dr. Nathan Crockett preaches a message entitled “Life is a Breath,” from the scripture passage James 4:13-5:12.
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 a message preached by Dr. Nathan Crockett, which was preached to the beach a you student body during the 2020 fall semester.
The Scripture passage is James four, and the title of his message is life is a breath please turn in your Bibles to James. For James for the privilege to be with you here several years ago my wife was flying for Bob Jones friendship dinner to Pittsburgh and at the time I had one child, not five and I was taking separate home with me and I remember those trips home when when my wife was flying somewhere and he would be in the backseat and he is used to having her back there to comfort him, and he would start crying and I did something with him. I been able to do with my other kids as well.
If there crying or just need to sleep. I turn on classical music and it seems to instantly put them to sleep. There something about classical music. That way, and so turned on a classical music station and he right away. Fell asleep member. We got a four-way stop on State Park Road and a commercial came on that classical music station and asked me what my favorite song was and what my favorite flower was and it went on to imply that if I did not plan my funeral ahead of time with the fine folks of this particular mortuary here in town that maybe I would have a funeral and nobody would play my favorite song in order to display my favorite flower now as soon as I commercial came on my son in the backseat immediately woke up and started crying. He been sleeping because the music now this wakes him up and so I was a little bit annoyed maybe more than a little bit you know why he jumped in the classical music like you have to wake up my son in the backseat. The time I was in my mid-30s you know wife why do you have to confront me with my impending death. Can I just drive home in peace. I kind of wanted to turn off the radio.
I wanted to lean to the backseat as a separate don't listen to this. I tried not to think of my favorite song in my favorite flower. In hindsight I really don't even have a favorite flower. But you know that that commercial really rubbed me the wrong way and I think for some of you this morning. That sermon may be that way, because what I want to do today is to show you from Scripture very apparent reality that all of us know, but few of us like to think about and that is that apart from the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. All of us are gonna die our life here is very, very short and it could be that for many of you today as we look at James four, and some other passages you're going to feel today about the sermon kind of the way I felt about that radio commercial you can want to turn it off, you're not going to block me out. You don't want to think about a bunch of other things because today from God's word. I plan to persistently and continually, and maybe in your mind somewhat obnoxiously remind you of that reality that apart from Christ return. Every single one of us in this auditorium are going to die now for many of you and and many believers to the history of the church. They said that there's been one particular spiritual truth that has motivated them more than anything else. For those of you who sat in the ministry of Dr. Bob Jones the 30 often says the most sobering reality in the world today is that people are dying and going to hell today.
I member well. One well-known Christian preacher.
That said, the thing that most motivated him was that God always sees me wherever I am. Whenever I'm doing God's watching. I don't know what it is for you. Maybe it's the fact that the Holy Spirit indwells you. Maybe it's the fact that you hold God's word in your hands for my wife. It's the fact that God is the creator that every beautiful thing you see in creation, God made that maybe for you it's the fact that Jesus died for you.
For me personally since I've been a teenager.
The spiritual truth that has been the most motivating to me has been this reality that I have one life and it's quickly passing. I have one life and it's quickly passing Rena see that in James for today when I tried to think of a title for the sermon. The first thing that came to my mind is to live like you're dying that I found out that the famous country music songs.
I figured I better not use that one I was thought about this. The three simple words you will dive and that sounds like a terrorist threat which would be a good idea this time of year right so so really what I want to entitle the sermon today is actually straight from Scripture. And it's also from a painting of a former student. I've had the privilege for the past number of years of usually taking my youngest child on walks in the morning and from 8 to 9 AM. Most every morning the semester I've gone on walks in my two-year-old daughter and uncle. Days like today.
We try to walk inside buildings and we are walking to the faculty art show. Even this morning.
If you don't go see this art shows you really should their fabulous years ago. I remember walking through a student art show in this student had done a tremendous job in her many of her paintings that I really liked even thought about buying that one in particular was my favorite was a very large painting.
It was a little girl probably three maybe four years old she was.
If I remember right, blonde hair, blue eyes, rosy red cheeks and on that canvas. Her face was actually larger-than-life. And on the left side of the campus, there is her face here and she had a withered dandelion you when dandelions look like old people may get those white fluffy looks and she was blowing on the side of the canvas with her face in her puffed out rosy red cheeks and she's blowing this dandelion and it's really bright bright yellows and blues and rosy red cheeks and as the dandelion and she blows those seeds there sort of swirling around until they get to the end of this large canvas and the further you get to the right of the canvas the darker the canvas becomes and you see fewer and fewer. See, and really by the time you get to this side of the canvas. It's pitch black in the title of that painting which is straight from Scripture and the title of my sermon this morning is very simply, this life is a breath life is a breath there in James chapter 4 verses 13 through 512 deal with sins of the rituals begin reading verse 13 of James for go to now even say today or tomorrow will go into such a city and continue their year in buying and selling again. Where as you know not what shall be on the morrow for what is your life is even a vapor mist or smoker and exhaled breath on a cold day that appear at for little time and then vanish at the Wayne in the Greek. He plays on two different great participles have the same root in English should be like saying your life appearing then disappearing for the ought to say if the Lord will we shall live and do this or that, but now you rejoice in your postings. Also to rejoicing is evil. Therefore to him that know what to do.
Good and do with it not, to him it is sin.
This passage is not teaching us that financial planning is sin were told many other places in Scripture that we should use wisdom about stewardship and financial planning. But this passage does teach us the financial arrogance and self-confident boasting that those are sins when we forget that our life is in God's hands. Can you imagine if this weekend he went home to visit your parents and you had a headache that was so bad that you wanted to go see the doctor the pipe to be a really bad headache for college student you want to see the doctor and they do all these tests and the more tests they do, the more nervous you start to get. Just imagine hypothetically if that doctor comes back out to you in the waiting room in your parents is very somber and he tells you that you have a massive brain tumor because of its location on your brain. It's an operable and they tell you you have about 60 days to live. We probably all know people who've heard reports like that. What would you do for this final 60 days of your life.
What if same scenario. He comes back out and says it's it's mildly growing. It's in a location where we cannot access it. We think you have about a year to live.
Maybe 60 week how would you live those final 60 weeks. What if it's actually a very slow-growing tumor and he comes out to you and he says what you note to horrible news. There's nothing we can do about it, but it is growing at a rate very very slow rate.
I think you probably have about five years to live, maybe 60 month or what if he comes out to you, says good news. It's just a migraine take some Advil and you should be okay. Your your young healthy 20-year-old probably is 60 years of life left see whether it 60 days or 60 weeks or 60 months or 60 years were all terminal right just a matter of time. Robert Moffat, the famous missionary said we will have all of eternity to enjoy our spiritual victories, but only one short lifetime to win them all of eternity to enjoy our spiritual victories, but only one short lifetime to win them. Please turn to Luke chapter 12 Luke 12. This parable of the rich fool is found only in Luke's gospel. I say turn there probably means go there with your thumbs on your phone for most of the right. Luke 12. Look at verse 13. One of the company said in headmaster speak to my brother that he divide the inheritance with me in Christ, set under him man who made me a judge or divider over you said and them, take heed and beware of covetousness is violation of the 10th commandment from man's life consisted not in the abundance of the things which he possesses.
And then Jesus.
Verse 16 gives them a parable. The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully any thought within himself, saying, what shall I do, because I'm no rumor to bestow my fruits and he said this will I do I will pull down my barns and build greater and there will I bestow all my fruits migraine my wheat my barley all my goods and I'll say to my soul soul that has much goods laid up for many years. Take thine ease each drink and be merry.
But God said unto him, thou fool, is guilty of the ultimate folly thinking you can live apart from God, thou fool, this night, my soul shall be required of the then who shall those things be, which that was provided so is he that lay up treasure for himself and is not rich towards God. This man thought he was finally ready to live. God tells him is not even ready to die now. Is there anything wrong with eating know it's highly recommended. Is anything wrong with drinking nonalcoholic beverages. Of course not, is there anything wrong with being happy.
No, but there's something incredibly wrong with living your life apart from God member when I was interim pastor a church in Lander South Carolina nearly an hour from here and I would preach on Sunday mornings and we go to some friends house on Sunday afternoons you'd eat there with a bunch of college students are member one of my kids was very young at the time, probably about 890 many-year-old and I was trying to be on a diet in which I need to be now as well and I remember I would usually skip dessert.
I go upstairs I lay out on the couch on my back and put my child on top of my chest and we take a little nap together and I remember just listening to the heartbeat of my child. I remember all these weird thoughts. We go through my mind like you think your iPhone has a great battery life or your Kindle think about a heart that can be hundreds of thousands of times over 80 or 90 years and never even if plug your kids in the wall socket right mean only only God can make something like that and I remember I would have this thought as I held my little baby. There on top of me and I would think someday. This heart will stop beating and obviously as a parent I hope I never see that day for any of my five kids praying deeply for one of my friends who recently lost their toddlers a few days ago and yet thoughts like that make me want to be a dad who will raise my kids, not just to be successful in life, but to be prepared for eternity right this life here is just a breath, even 80 years or hundred years compared to eternity its tiny listen to these verses you have to turn there a second team of 1414. We must needs die Weir is water spilled on the ground which cannot be gathered up again Job 925. My days are swifter than a poster runner.
They flee away, they see no good there passed away as the swift ships as a Eagle that hasted there swoops down to its prey. Some 39.
Five behold, you made my days as an handbreadth mine ages is nothing before the literally I'm a breath before you.
Proverbs 27 one post not thyself tomorrow for the nose, not what a day may bring forth.
Psalm 90 verse five and following that carries them away. As with the flood. There like asleep in the morning there like grassroots growth up in the morning and floors with the growth up in the evening. It's cut down and weather is for all our days are passed away in my wrath, we spend our years is a tale that is told is a 3812 mine ages departed.
It's removed from me as a shepherd's tent. First Peter 124 all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. What is Scripture telling us to very apparent fact is, apart from the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. You and me were going to die, listen, you are not fast enough to outrun death.
You are not smart enough to outwit death you not good looking enough to flirt with death. You're not rich enough to buy off death. You are not strong enough to over power death.
One of the most basic realities of life is that all of us die. Doesn't matter if you're Steve Jobs or Heath ledger Michael Jackson put in the name of any recent movie star or musician is died within the past year you're going to die, the God of the universe knows exactly how many days you and I are gonna live and it's impossible for us to live one second longer than he has planned for us. All the armies of earth cannot prevent your death.
When God is through with you. Fact all of us are. Several minutes closer to death and we began chapel right were gonna die. No questions asked. No objections raise no maybe no Mulligan no do over will all die one day. People that know us will look at our lifeless body in the cold coffee. The walk by the say things may be nice maybe not. We don't really know what the cause of our death is going to be typically could be a virus it might be a bacteria might be a car or bullet or tree limb or stroke of lightning might be a heart attack or cancer or an asteroid or nuclear bomb that were gonna die our death perhaps will be expected for it might be utterly shocking. It might be decades from now, or could happen within the next 24 hours, but all of us are gonna die what if when you went home for break your parents had a birthday may be turned 20 in your parents say they've been waiting for particular time to tell you about a particular uncle.
There was a falling out with the family and they wanted a way to 20th birthday to tell you about him and when they say his name immediately recognize it is one of the richest men in the world is good friends with Warren Buffett and Bill Gates is not just a millionaire. He's a multibillionaire and they tell you they are supposed to call him on your 20th birthday to pick up the phone and you reach the secretary, the secretary of the secretary and finally as they put you through. You talk to your uncle for hypothetical reasons was calm superrich uncle yet superrich uncle on the phone and he tells you he's been waiting for your 20th birthday and there's the back history is not to go into the all this time he's wanted to be generous to you as his niece or nephew and now he wants to finally make it up to. Are you free this coming Saturday or whatever and you say sure that Saturday or Rolls-Royce limousine pulls up to your front yard in your small little neighborhood and a shofar gets out and meet you at the door get in this limo with your superrich uncle and he asked you where the nearest mall is that you tell him, and he tells a shofar to go to the mall and you go to the mall. He says yes and real estate business in areas can alleviate them all by yourself to have the shopping trip of a lifetime and you're curious about this and he hands you a card and he says very few people know that Visa has this card has a $60 million credit limit and you kind of gulp and you say happy. How much of that can. I spent a set are you kidding you have my blood flowing through your veins. I be disappointed if you didn't spend all of it.
He speaks a 16 digit code in the card it starts going green. He tells he will self-destruct in one hour.
This card is acting made of platinum and dozens of the word platinum Honoré has made a plan to visit you never had an experience like this before in your life and you just turn to start profusely thinking of any such you're wasting your time one hour $60 million. That's $1 million a minute go to it and he jumps in his limo and heads off and you walk into that mall holding $60 million in your hand. With one hour to spend what would you do you you probably would be a man or woman on a mission right you be thinking about stuff you could resell on eBay and Craigslist. Some of you culinary arts students might try to buy up the whole food court. Some of you guys with engagement on the mind and head straight to the jewelry store. A lot of you probably go to the Apple Store. Some of you if you have relatives that are in the commercial real estate. Maybe you just spend the time in the parking lot on your smart phone trying to buy up a chunk of the mall for $60 million like to broker commercial deal there in an hour. A lot of you that have school bills would be desperately trying to think of what shops could you get cash back, you know, that would be nice you hope it was a mall that had like a BMW plant or Mercedes play or something attached to it than 60 million. That way maybe you know I don't know exactly what you would do.
I'm looking at thousands of really creative students, you probably think of stuff that would never even enter my mind. I don't know what you would do but I'm pretty sure I know what you would not do. I don't think you would shuffle your feet. I don't think you'd sit down on a bench there just kind of people watch for the next hour. I don't think you would go to the food court chasing all the free samples and chicken teriyaki is good, but not when you're burning $1 million a minute right. I think you'd be a man or mission woman on a mission. Why, because you had something really valuable to spend in a short period of time to spend it now.
I doubt any of us have billionaire uncles and I'm not sure that these even makes a $60 million credit card.
The guys and girls.
There is something that I know I know that the God of the universe.
The God who spoke the world into existence. The God who owns the cattle on a thousand hills and the wealth and I reminded that God has given you something far more valuable than $60 million. He's given you a life you a mind in a body talents and abilities and opportunities he's invested in you this one. The life and he's told you that you have a very short time to spend it. So how are you doing be living like you're dying are you man or woman on a mission. Are you just kind of shuffling through life. People watching doing a little bit of nothing and playing all the newest video games, hoping that someday sometime maybe inspiration will strike and you'll think of something to do with your life not try to be critical, but I am in earnest here because your life is so short and slick you'll snap your fingers nearly 40 years old like me feels like yesterday I was sitting in the seat. Your life is a breath we often use inaccurate terminology. We tend to think were in the land of the living and we visit a funeral home and we think that someone went to the land of the dying minutes exact opposite.
Right now every single one of us is in the land of the dying every breath we breathe one step closer to death and when you die, for the first time in your life, you enter the land of the living because we all will live somewhere eternally, the day that you breathe your last breath here on this earth, you will leave the land of the dying and you will enter the land of the living to your eternal delight or your unending horror and it could be that for some of you this message is very frightful application because you're still without Christ you never been born again.
In this sermon has a media application for you because you're not ready to die you the ways been sitting there the whole time even try to push the sermon out of your mind trying really hard not to listen to it hate going to funerals you hate visiting nursing homes. You never want to think about death, because you know you're not prepared to die if that's you, could I give you some tough love this morning.
Can I plead with you and direct and Frank language. If your unsaved don't dabble with God's grace. Don't mock God's mercy. Don't presume on God's patience for your nonbeliever. The frightening reality is that your one heartbeat away from hell. If you are a believer this morning. How could you in the language of Luke chapter 12 live a life that is rich towards God in our last couple minutes. Let me tell you a few suggestions number one deliberately tell God he can have your life sometimes tell my students write out a deed to your life and sign it over to God. Tell God that whatever he wants to do with you, whoever he wants to marry everyone to go.
You'll do it because your life is his is not your only thing a lot of songs about that.
But to actually practice it.
Secondly, I would say write out goals for your life if you aim at nothing, you'll hit it every time.
Write a purpose statement a mission statement for your life. How can your life best bring God glory and thoroughly take inventory of your schedule, how you spend a typical day, had he's been a typical week or typical month because if one of your goals is to know God better through his word, you spend a typical day reading the Bible for two minutes and watching YouTube clips for five hours. It's probably not can happen.
Take inventory of your schedule and finally get an accountability partner.
Find somebody who's just as committed as you are to using his or her life for God's glory. Maybe it's a boyfriend or girlfriend. Maybe it's a youth pastor. Maybe it's apparent maybe to teach. Or maybe it's a pastor here back home. Someone who will get on you if you spend all of Christmas break, watching funny videos of cats on YouTube is not the best use of your life. Find someone who's in dead earnest about living the short breath of life.
For God's glory and ask them to hold you accountable. I'll end with this. How many of you play the game of Monopoly before and there's a bunch of variations of it that monopoly deal a lot of games. Now they're shorter probably probably very few of us could raise her hand for the actual game of Monopoly. We don't have enough life or that riots can take hours, but if you know anything about monopoly immunity. You have all this fake money and you try to buy things you sell things and you want to get Park Place and boardwalk and you don't want to get thrown in jail and so on and and after buying houses and cars and selling houses and cars and so on. Maybe when the game if you lose the game. What you do at the end you're responsible person you get the rubber bands and you put all that money back in the rubber band and you put everything in its place and you you close up the box if you're irresponsibly just that would all in and hope that someone else will deal with it later.
But at the end of the game after someone wins and someone loses all those little bits of stuff all the cars and houses and apartments and money you put it back in a box and you close the lid and you put the box away. This might sound really mean, but if I know my heart.
I think I'm saying this, and love the guys and girls, if you live your life for yourself for fame or fortune or sex or whatever you think is the coolest thing to do at the time. If you live your life for yourself. In many ways.
You did nothing more than played a big giant game of Monopoly maybe bought a bunch of houses may be lots of houses, hopefully to get thrown in jail you got some apartments about a car you sold the car but at the end of the day you die and they take your body in a few of your possessions and they put you in a box and they close the lid and they put you away 6 feet under and if that's everything that you live for, then that was your life, you wasted it.
But here's the good news guys and girls. You don't have to live for material things. You don't have to live for the pleasures of this world. You can live for an almighty creator that created you and you little old you sitting in your seat in the FMA right now from a small town that maybe no one's ever heard about you can use your gifts for God's kingdom. You can invest yourself in a local church. You can be a godly husband or a godly wife and incredible dad a loving mom and you some day can stand before the God of heaven and have him look at you and say well done my good and faithful servant your life is a breath.
How are you using it.
The spray father, I think you for your word. Pray that for all of us, you would help us take this one short life we've been given an investor for your kingdom and your glory. We pray these things in Christ's name. Amen. You been listening to a sermon by Dr. Nathan Crockett preached during the 2020 fall semester to learn more about Bob Jones University. The sponsor of today's program. You can go to the website.
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