Family Bible Study lesson for Sept. 4: Dead End Ahead : Friday, Aug. 12, 2005
August 12 2005 by Chadwick Ivester

Family Bible Study lesson for Sept. 4: Dead End Ahead : Friday, Aug. 12, 2005
Friday, Aug. 12, 2005

Family Bible Study lesson for Sept. 4: Dead End Ahead

By Chadwick Ivester
Focal Passages: Ecclesiastes 1:13, 16-2:8, 18-22

Dead End of Intellectual Pursuits

(Ecclesiastes 1:13,16-18)

Many persons seek happiness by attaining knowledge. The pursuit of academic and intellectual knowledge is never-ending, but happiness and contentment will never be attained when knowledge itself becomes the goal of happiness and contentment.

Only when a person's happiness is based upon knowing Christ will they be content. The apostle Paul told the Corinthians that he determined to know nothing among them except Jesus Christ and Him crucified (1 Cor 2:1-2).

The most intellectual scholar can have every degree attainable, but if he or she does not know Christ, that knowledge is worthless. A little knowledge of Christ, if applied to the soul by the Holy Spirit, is greater than all the knowledge of this world.

John Flavel wrote, "The most eagle-eyed philosophers were but children in knowledge, compared with the most illiterate Christians... Many learned philosophers are in hell, and many illiterate Christians are in heaven."

Dead end of physical pleasures

(Ecclesiastes 2:1-3)

It is dangerous to seek happiness in the "good things of life" rather than in Christ. We live in an epicurean (pleasure-seeking) culture. This philosophy proclaims, "Eat, drink, and be merry!"

Solomon learned that the temporal pleasures of this world could only bring temporal satisfaction. Even the greatest comforts of this world can only satisfy the soul for a season.

Dead end of accumulated possessions (Ecclesiastes 2:4-8)

The "American (or Secular Humanistic) Dream" for satisfaction and success in the world is as follows:

Graduate from high school and enroll in college. Maintain your health: diet, exercise, and attain lots of will power. Meet the perfect mate and fall in love. Graduate from college and attain a high-paying job with great benefits and retirement. Marry your college sweetheart.

Buy a new home in the nicest, newest neighborhood in your town. Obtain a couple of dogs, a vinyl fence, and a new SUV. Have a couple of kids and raise them in a wholesome environment with lots of activities. Work your way up the "corporate ladder." Build a lucrative retirement and retire at an early age. Live in Florida for the winter and the mountains for the summer.

Then, oh no, you die! But that's all right. "The person who dies with the most toys wins!" Right?

Attempting to be satisfied with temporal objects leads to failure and eventually hell.

We must know that every car will eventually end up in the junkyard. Good jobs will only last a lifetime, and may not last that long. New houses will one day be eaten by termites. A spouse can only bring a lifetime of joy, and that's not guaranteed. Bodies that are strong and healthy will eventually become weak and diseased. Money that will last a lifetime will only last a lifetime, if that long.

The pleasures and riches of this world are temporal. Yet God made the soul everlasting. Seeking temporal objects of this world can never satisfy the everlasting thirst and hunger of the soul.

Dead end of personal achievements

(Ecclesiastes 2:18-22)

Millions of people seek personal achievements to bring themselves happiness. As a former professional rodeo cowboy, I once sought happiness apart from Christ by chasing my "Gold Buckle Dreams."

Throughout my eight-year career as a bareback bronco rider, I obtained a small piece of fame and prestige in the rodeo arena. I finished the 1997 rodeo season ranked 12th in the world standings in the International Professional Rodeo Association.

I accumulated a few gold buckles and trophy spurs. Where are they now? Collecting dust on my son's shelf. I wasted eight years of my life seeking happiness apart from Christ by chasing "Gold Buckle Dreams." Vanity!

Soul satisfaction can only be found in the eternal self-existing One, revealed in Jesus Christ. All other objects of satisfaction are temporal and will soon fade away. Henry Scougal wrote, "The worth and excellency of the soul is to be measured by the object of its love."

May Christ, and Christ alone, be the object of your love and satisfaction.

8/12/2005 12:00:00 AM by Chadwick Ivester | with 0 comments

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