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July 13, 2022 4:00 am
What we do in the ladder of success climbing on collapses work in return for help after everyone and everything has failed to fulfill our deepest longings will hear the answers today on Truth for Life Alastair big explains why we don't have to feel anxious or alienated or alone when the book of Ecclesiastes chapter 4 cars coming and going, driving north and south and east and west, people going about their business in the thoroughfares of life and what is it that describes them. Well, actually, whether the identified or not they are without him there without all, in the world and the sense of angst that they may feel a sense of dissonance that the experience the disengagement with their friends and neighbors. The sense of disengagement in their own souls is all traced to this one pivotal and foundational reality. Now in chapter 4, he describes this condition essentially from four angles when I read verses 1 to 3 I wrote down on the page you're better off dead. Verses 4 to 6 I wrote down just three words envy poverty, anxiety, envy, poverty in Zion anxiety and once again there is an overstatement here vigorously stating something for effect. What he says. I saw labor and all achievement the spring from man's envy on his neighbor the motivation he says that makes the world go around is the desire to outshine the next fellow. The girl on the plane with the folder and the laptop is driven in part to make sure that she outshines the person in the territory west or at least that she is not out. Sean by the girl who is Entergy West GB Entergy center. The wheel of life is driven by a competitive spirit.
The point that he's making is this that when we are moved and stimulated simply by keeping up with the Joneses, it will prove an insufficient motive and it will provide no ultimate satisfaction.
No loved ones hear me correctly, that are peculiar temptations in the land of the free and home of the brave. In this realm and we have to handle you by an ice cream cone in other parts of the world you can walk down the street with it in safety.
Now you can argue that that is because they don't give you enough ice cream you could also argue that is because they give you a sensible amount of ice cream. Everything's perspective, but do you know how many times I have dropped ice cream I would've on ice cream cone in the street you know what that does to our Scotsman's instincts when all that money falls on the ground and you know why it fell because I really only wanted one scoop with tranquility. I didn't want two scoops with anxiety, that's a paradigm of where this place is this is this is our place proud of it sensitized to anxious about it and be poverty, anxiety, verses seven and eight, I was wrong on one phrase a house too large for one house, too large for one.
There was a man all alone and had neither son nor brother no end to his toil, no contentment. Using this picture is Sarah reproduced all across America today.
I think of all of my experiences apart from going into bereavement homes. Nothing has given me a sense of sadness like the description that is here house too large for one North Carolina beautiful home set in the midst of acreage, which was in turn said in larger acreage split rail fence calls for horses four wheelers three wheelers skis for the winter snowmobiles for the winter toys for the summer large-screen TVs, stereo systems, plenty of seats on which to sit in the great room, a large dining area.
Lots of silverware all kinds of glasses for every occasion and into the kitchen. You go you find one cereal bowl turn but up in a spoon lying against it in a coffee cup turned on its head and then this lovely home lives. A man all on his own. He never planned to be on his own.
He didn't build a house for himself and is described right here in the pages of Scripture. No end to his toil and he says to himself, why am I even doing this, and why my depriving myself, look at all the gadgets that I bought and where my children to enjoy them.
Where is my wife to embrace her.
Where is it all gone. How did I get here.
Some of you may not be here for some of you might be considering it is an idea. Give up your silly ideas this morning finally, under verses 13 to 16, having done what I said I wouldn't do and that is take too long on these four things I wrote under verses 13 to 16 is lonely at the top lonely at the top. This is a picture of continuity or discontinuity. The king gets old and crusty too long in the saddle. He needs to go all young but rises up everybody loves him young. But moves perhaps from poverty to kingship. Listen to the people cheering for him. Look at the people following him.
Listen to the people criticizing him look at the crowd as it dwindles and Luke as he is not removed from the saddle and someone else gets ready to take their place in the process.
That is, need to be kingship and royalty.
It can be the structure of corporate life in America. It can be the transition within the educational establishments of the country you brought into the room and the people sit down you know as soon as you sit down. This is not going to be a good morning and somebody comes out with a phrase like this.
Reginald we've been talking and we decided that this company is going in a new direction and inside yourself. You're saying why doesn't this feel good. The answer is because that is a synonym for cheerio Reginald. We're going somewhere and guess what, you're not coming me not coming you who headhunted me.
You said that I held the key to the development, this whole area you telling me that you're going in a new direction without me yes and you know what when we dispense with your successor. We will dispense with her as well.
That area located is that a long summary it better off dead, envy, poverty, anxiety, house, too large for one that is lonely little we see Mr. section cited so I want you to keep your Bible open.
You'll notice verses 9 to 12 versus 9 to 12, I wrote this phrase down. You got a friend you got a friend because this is the great news you see staying right you could say I lost my faith in science and progress you say I lost my belief in the holy church. You could say I lost my sense of direction, you could say all this and worse, but if I ever lose my faith in you there be nothing left for me to do some would say I'm a lost man in a lost world was even reading Ecclesiastes 4 is even a saying I have no I have no confidence in the institutions whether they are scientific institutions or religious institution and some of your here this morning and that's exactly where you are. I've given up on scientific rationalism is a dead-end street.
I've also given up on established religion because that apparently is full of conmen and end and clouds and the only thing that I have to hang my head on is you, whoever you is the object of my affection. This girl, this fellow this dream, this person, this entity and if I ever lose my faith in you. How alcohol let me tell you something, there isn't a person on the face of the earth that can meet your needs. There isn't someone with whom you can live and sleep.
Who can satisfy your desires.
There's not enough friend with whom you can body up through life who will be able to reach into the deepest longings in your soul and if little in the absence of affection does not drive you apart.
Death will, and therefore it is not macabre. It is simply realistic to say while in light of that, maybe his observation of the beginning is right. Maybe it's better if you are never born et al. maybe the best people are those who've already punched out but no two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work. This lovely little picture here is super clear up a ladder is helpful if somebody waiting for you down below, especially if you forgotten the hammer could you give me a hammer and Mary Bill.
If you don't have to go down and get it and come back up. If you fall off a ladder is better if you have a friend of you and Elyse pick you up and knocking out in the dust you off and and and help your bruised ego but pity the man who falls and is no one to help him up. What a shame to be there. Also when you were a student and you lived all by yourself.
As I hope you did and you snuggled up yourself to try and keep warm on those cold London nights with the rain seeping into your bones and you should keep warm hello to lie down together, they will keep warm. Now you find yourself sick so hot could you in a cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Better for a kid to have a mom and dad rather than just a mom or just that when you return to one verse, and I'm going to stop when for the landing gear down now so that we can stop on final approach see bags in the upright and locked position. Tray tables stay fleet safely stored in your carry-on baggage back onto the seat or in the overhead compartment.
Ephesians 2 verse 12 says to these Ephesian believers. I want to remember that at that time that is before the new Christ. A number of things were true of them.
They were separate from Christ. They were excluded from citizenship in England and in Israel they didn't belong in a Freudian slip and they were foreigners, foreigners to the covenants of promise and noticed they were without hope and without God in the world pretty miserable situation when you say aloneness separated from God, separated from others separated from family and separated from myself.
But look at this fantastic verse 13, but no transformation is taken place. This is a description of what it what it means for men and women on lonely Street to be welcomed into the embrace of Christ. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.
This is the message of the gospel. This is the good news that finally comes firing out of the pages of Scripture and what we discover and I don't have time to unpack.
It is simply this, that these individuals had been love without realizing they had been love without realizing the God that they had slighted and ignored had come to seek them out the way a shepherd seeks out a lost sheep and here you are this morning at Parkside and you feel yourself to be on this journey you feel yourself to be alienated and living alone or whatever else it might be on the message of the gospel to you is this you have been love without realizing God so loved the world, and he loves you they discovered also that he had been purchased without deserving.
That's the significance of the blood of Christ that he shed his blood on the cross to get rid of the bad thing.
What is the bad thing, but what is your bad thing is using that as a synonym for sin. How do we get rid of this is a way to get a clean start a new page to hit the delete key and to move forward. Yes there is. How in the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. He was forsaken in order that you and I might be forgiven. So they were left without realizing they were purchased without deserving and they had a constant companionship that penetrated their aloneness you are broadening the year near proximity you once far away now you're near once God was away on their you know who he was and what he was, but now you're near now you call God father now you praise him for his goodness, what happened, you are converted and my dear friends if you do not call God father and if you do not praise him for his goodness and if you do not have the experience of being brought near then the reason is probably that you're still far away and that's why everything seems so constantly dissidents to God is a way up there. The songs are fairly meaningless. You don't sing them. You have no interest in singing them when you pray, you simply close your eyes and think about yourself. There is no notion of being brought near to God. You don't go out onto the streets and say to men and women you know I found in the Lord Jesus friendship and proximity and forgiveness in the future and all you never say that because you haven't and the ultimate division this morning is not an age division on a financial division or an intellectual division. The ultimate division in this congregation this morning is between those who are still far away and those who are brought near and the purpose of God in Christ is to bring the are those who are far away, not a system, not a moral code to attempt, but a friend a guy you done to save and when you're brought near you go to heaven. You don't go on your own you go with a big group of people. A big funny group of people called the church family look around. What a funny bunch look in the mirror and start with that individual. All you family you can choose your friends where you can ginger family and you can ginger church finally chosen a bunch of weird people in this church couldn't agree more churches, railway stations and libraries full of very strange people. When you are weary and feeling small tears are in your eyes.
You dry the mall when you're down and out. We are on the street when evening falls, so our he will comfort you see, unlike Buddhism or Hinduism or Shintoism or Confucianism or whatever other reason you want. Christianity is absolutely unique and every other religion is man's attempt to penetrate divinity. Christianity says I have come to you in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. I have Lord down a pontoon bridge to you and I have lowered it down in in a person not in an idea is not Scientology go in the back room somewhere and figure it out for yourself. I've come in a person that you can see this person laid down his life in order that you might walk right over that bridge of troubled water and understand from Paul Simon to James Taylor that hey any good to know that you've got a friend because people can be so cold, the heart, you will desert you take your soul if you let them don't let them use call out his name. I'm telling you where ever you are. He is and he hears the cries of the kids when you who are far away by his goodness are brought near then you find yourself say what a friend I have in Jesus all my sins and griefs to bear. What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer to my friends despise for sake media is there trouble anywhere. Yes, I don't need to be discouraged. I am take it to the Lord in prayer were done. Here's a question is life meaningful or meaningless without God, without hope in the world is absolutely meaningless with God. With whole. It is absolutely meaningful goodness. If I was offering you a product if I had a vacuum cleaner for you where it was so patently obvious that you are all monkey messy vacuum cleaner is so horribly inferior in comparison to what I just offered you, you been running out of funds. The first one with your check that out to me this give me this is running up the front to embrace Christ no one because it's not like getting a vacuum cleaner is like getting married so all life-changing.
Someone sleeps with stays with you, walks with talks with knows you intimately drive your car goes in your sock drawer understands every single thing about you and loves you just the same. I have nothing else to share with you. I have no one else to offer you save Christ but now those two simple words usher in the hope and assurance of the gospel we been loved without realizing it purchased without deserving it and we will never be alone listening to Alistair Begg on Truth for Life. Alastair will be back to close today's program with prayer in just a minute. In today's message Alister explained that without hope and without God in the world. Life is meaningless if you'd like to learn more about the hope Jesus provides you can watch a special message from Alister on the website for free. It's titled a hope that stands the test of time will also find a couple of short helpful videos that explain God's plan of salvation and how you can enjoy a meaningful life, like Alister mentioned earlier.
Watch all three videos by searching Truth for Life.org/the story all the teaching you hear on Truth for Life is available for free because of blisters like you who pray for the ministry and get to cover the cost of distributing Alister's messages. In fact, Truth for Life is entirely listener funded so if you're looking for a way to share the gospel with others. Know that every time you donate to Truth for Life. Your helping deliver biblical teaching to a worldwide audience. You can make a donation online at truthforlife.org/donate when you donate. Be sure to request the book were currently offering called living life backward how Ecclesiastes teaches us to live in light of the end.
The book is our way of saying thank you for your support in this book, living life backward is a great supplement to her current study and Ecclesiastes will dive deeper into the lessons we been learning from Alister and discover how to reprioritize what's important in life. Once again, you can request a copy of the book living life backward.
Would you give a donation.
Click on the image you see in the mobile app or visit us online at truthforlife.org/donate and if you brother mail your donation along with your request for the book right to Truth for Life at PO Box 39, 8000, Cleveland, Ohio. ZIP Code is 44139. Now here's Alister to close with prayer O God our father, we thank you that the Bible speaks right into our lives today and down at the end of lonely Street we find a friend. Such a friend who loves us before we even know it draws us to himself, woos us even in our wanderings, even in our slight things, often even in our rebellions because Jesus saves sinners, so help us to know this. Christ and to love him and to follow him and made his grace and mercy and peace be our portion today and forevermore. Amen Bob Lapine thanks for listing today simply putting on your Sunday best and planning yourself in a church pew doesn't qualify as worship tomorrow will find out why it's more important to be tuned in to be all decked out Bible teaching of Alister Vegas furnished by Truth for Life with the learning is prolific