CHRIST THE ROCK CONGREGATION
SUNDAY MARCH 26TH 2024
Sermon by Pastor Marc Simeon
THE DISILLUSION OF EARTHLY SUCCESSES AND PLEASURES
Mt 16:26 “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
10 I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor.
11 Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun. NIV
- Whether or not we put it in writing or acknowledge it, we all have a philosophy of life.
- That philosophy of life governs how we approach life.
- We measure the degree of importance of all things based on our philosophy of life.
- One’s philosophy of life is a replica of his mental and spiritual DNA.
- Every action and every thought we formulate is filtered through our philosophy of life.
- Our dreams and our aspirations are the reflections of our philosophy of life.
- No one can function outside of the scope of his philosophy of life.
- We may claim to be Christians, but our actions may differ than what we profess.
- Because of our sinful nature, everyone’s philosophy of life is foreign and contradictory to what God has intended it to be.
- The life’s philosophy of the unregenerate person is not far different than that of the animal kingdom.
- In the animal kingdom, the primary aims of life are survival, food, shelter, safety, dominance, sexual pleasure, and reproduction.
- Selfishness in the animal world is a means of survival.
- The natural man or the merely intellectual are terms that the Bible uses to describe the behavioral patterns of an unsaved person.
- In some translations it is rendered to mean (the animal man), the man whole behavior coincides with that of the animal kingdom.
- 1Co 2:14 The merely intellectual man rejects the teaching of the Spirit of God; for to him it is mere folly; he cannot grasp it, because it is to be understood only by spiritual insight. (TCNT)
- Unfortunately, many professed Christians continue to exhibit that they are still under the control of the old nature.
- Many of the philosophies of life that people adopt come from the world, from their families, from their social classes, from their races, their country of origin, from their professional circles, from the neighborhood they live in.
- There are also social engineers out there who aim to influence how people think and behave for their own profits.
- Out of the many engines of influences that are in our world, the Creator God is also competing to steer the thinking pattern of mankind toward righteousness.
- Today, we are going to examine a man who has adopted several different philosophies of life at various stages in his existence on earth.
- We will exhibit the life of Solomon to show the disillusion of earthly successes and pleasures.
SALOMON’S INITIAL PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE
3 And Solomon said: “You have shown great mercy to Your servant David my father, because he walked before You in truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with You; You have continued this great kindness for him, and You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.
7 “Now, O LORD my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in.
8 “And Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted.
9 “Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”
- When Salomon came to power, he was a humble man.
- Solomon was a spiritual man.
- Solomon preferred God’s wisdom above riches and honor.
- Solomon was only mindful about leading the people rightfully and the building of the Temple of the Lord.
- Solomon was very reverent to God at first.
- God was very pleased with Salomon in the beginning.
- God gave wisdom, wealth, respect, and glory to Solomon
THE SHIFTING OF SALOMON’S PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE
- With the high accomplishment of Salomon because of his great wisdom, came fame, pride and fantasy.
- Solomon’s military successes turned him into an emperor of some sorts.
- Solomon was also a great musician, poet, song writer, agriculture expert, management expert, and a great designer.
- When pride entered Salomon, he began to undermine the World of God.
- While it was forbidden, Salomon indulged himself by marrying foreigners.
- Salomon became obsessed with self love that he kept adding wives and concubines to his collection. He had 700 wives and 300 concubines.
- Solomon became so self-absorbed that he over taxed his countrymen to sustain his life of fantasy.
- Solomon began to practice open faith.
- Not only did Salomon give himself the freedom to explore pagan religions, but he set out to build temples for these pagan gods in the Holy Land of God.
- Although Solomon became a little sober at times to write Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Songs of Solomon, it seems that Solomon was too far gone.
- Countess pagan practices in the world today are rooted with Salomon’s idolatry.
1Ki 11:3 And Solomon had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart.
4 For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the LORD his God, as was the heart of his father David.
THE VANITY OF THE PURSUIT OF PLEASURE IN THIS WORLD
- HIS WEALTH
2Ch 1:14 And Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen; he had one thousand four hundred chariots and twelve thousand horsemen, whom he stationed in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem.
15 Also the king made silver and gold as common in Jerusalem as stones, and he made cedars as abundant as the sycamores which are in the lowland.
- HIS HONOR
2Ch 9:26 So he reigned over all the kings from the River to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt.
- HIS PRESTIGE
1Ki 7:1 ¶ But Solomon took thirteen years to build his own house; so he finished all his house.
2 He also built the House of the Forest of Lebanon; its length was one hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits, with four rows of cedar pillars, and cedar beams on the pillars.
THE VANITY OF THE PHILOSOPHY OF THIS WORLD
1John 2:16 For all that is in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–is not of the Father but is of the world.
- Many in our world today are following Solomon’s footsteps in search of happiness by accumulating wealth and by being thrill seekers.
- They will all end up in the same valley of vanity and disappointment as Solomon.
- By the time Solomon became old, he had a profound distaste of life.
- He thought that life was meaningless and vain.
- He abandoned God and life became tasteless for him.
Ec 1:2 “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher; “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.”
3 What profit has a man from all his labor In which he toils under the sun?
Ec 1:10 Is there anything of which it may be said, “See, this is new”? It has already been in ancient times before us.
- As an avid Satanist, Solomon knew the underworld and saw what we call future has already passed. In other words, our earthly existence is like re-run movie.
- Solomon not only sought fulfillment in material accumulations, he tried sexual pleasures to the fullness all to no avail.
- He sought to acquire a great amount of knowledge on many different fields but he still felt empty.
- Solomon invested himself deeply in occultism in his unending quest for knowledge but became the more miserable as he tried.
THE GOOD PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE ENVISIONS BOTH THIS LIFE AND ETERNITY
- When we read the writings of Solomon, we must be careful to understand that Solomon is only expressing his own limited personal observation of life in many instances.
- In Ecclesiastes, Solomon speaks from the optics of the earthly experience of mankind in his carnal state.
- In the proper Philosophy of life, God is at the center of everything.
- We can see the shifting in Solomon’s thinking from Proverbs to Ecclesiastes.
Pr 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
7 ¶ Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil.
8 It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones.
- Believers are to be well grounded in the Word of God so that we can draw our philosophy of life from it.
- Otherwise we will keep shifting from one philosophy of life to another as Solomon did.
- As we conclude, I want to bring in some of the words of Jesus who is our prime example, Who is also the embodiment of wisdom.
- Mt 16:26 “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
- Lu 9:25 “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?
- Mt 6:19 ¶ “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;
- Mt 6:20 “but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.
- Jesus is not encouraging us to live carelessly in this life without making plans for our future, but He is drawing the contrast between the two worlds.
- Jesus is stressing that our preoccupation should be toward heaven for this present life is temporal and the afterlife is forever.
- Thrills seekers are always in need of more thrills in exchange for the same or less, or zero satisfaction.
- There is a place in the soul of every human being that can only be filled by a meaningful relationship with his creator.
- Earthly successes and pleasures are disillusions when God is not at the center of our lives.
- The wealthy people die trying to accumulate more wealth in quest for a sense of gratification that can only be found in God.
- The most promiscuous people usually die alone because they have hurt so many people throughout their lifetime in their insatiable drive for sexual pleasures.
- Ecclesiastes 2:10-11
- 10 I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor.
- 11 Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun. NIV
- Mt 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.