Thursday, March 23, 2017

Is This Life All There Is?

In his sermon "Is This Life All There Is?" on January 8, 2017, Pastor Jeff Riddle looks at Ecclesiastes 6.  As he concludes, he gives the following spiritual application for this passage of Scripture (slightly edited for reading):

"Do not succumb to the four false alternatives; do not turn down these blind allies.  Do not think that you can make your life meaningful by: (1) the vanity of riches, (2) having the perfect large family, (3) living a long time and being healthy, and (4) through a series of self-created experiences.

But instead, ask yourself these three questions: (1) How can I live more than a vain life?  We have to turn from Ecclesiastes--it's only one of sixty-six books.  It's there [in the Bible] to show us the dilemma, what shall we do? how shall we live then?  The answer comes in the rest of Scripture and in the New Testament.  It comes when Christ comes: 'I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly,' (John 10:10b).  Christ is not a blind alley.  Christ is not a false alternative.  He said, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me,' (John 14:6b)...The most important thing is 'Will you know the Lord Jesus Christ?'  He is the One who can really give you life; He is the One who can really give you abundant life.  He is the One who can make you glad or happy all throughout your life no matter the circumstances of your life or whatever you have to go through.  If you know Christ, you can be blessed and you can be happy.

(2) How can I know what is good for man in this life?  I can listen to Christ as He speaks to us through the Scriptures.  Jesus said, 'My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me,' (John 10:27).  Where do we hear the voice of Jesus so that we can have direction as to how to live our lives?  We hear the voice of Jesus through the Scriptures...All Scripture is God-breathed...If you want to make your life meaningful, look to Christ; if you want to know how to live your life, look to the Scriptures.

(3) How can I have hope?  How can I have hope that this life I am living will have some meaning after I'm gone, and how can I have hope that this life isn't all that there is?  Jesus said, 'No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day,' (John 6:44).  If you trust Christ and you live your life by His Word, Jesus promises us that at the last day, we will experience the resurrection.  By the same power that raised Jesus from the dead, our bodies will be transformed, our spirits will be rejoined to those bodies, and we will be in heaven and we will enjoy life with God forever.  We have a hope that our life can be meaningful as we live it now, as we begin living the eternal life now, and we have a hope that that life will continue in glory at the resurrection.  Joel Osteen is wrong.  You don't get your best life now.  All though it can be good now if you know Christ.  But our best life is still to come."

"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.  For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory," (Col. 3:1-4).