Temple Baptist Church - 11-18-2020
A. When we look at this verse for tonight, we need to understand the poverty associated with being a “stranger scattered.” These people had little to nothing. When you have little to nothing, it is easy to desire (covet-lust after) things that you see and cannot have.
B. Covet – to wish for earnestly; inordinate desire for something that belongs to another; to thirst for; to hunger for; to die for. A strong desire.
C. You and I are on the other side of the picture as most of us have the wherewithal to obtain many things. Whereas these Hebrews could not, we with a reasonable among of certainty can.
D. The importance of words in the Bible. “Let” means here means to allow. Though “let” can carry various meanings, I often use it this way: to allow something to take place that would not normally happen.
E. “Conversation” can also be used in a couple of ways. Conversation is something that we do with others. To carry on a conversation is to have a two-way conversation instead of a monologue. Talking with someone instead of talking to someone.
F. Conversation in the Bible also alludes to our life as it is visible to others. It is more of a monologue as our life speaks without expecting those who see it to speak back. There is an old saying, “A life lived is worth a thousand sermons preached.” “You talk talks and your walk talks but your walk talks louder than your talk talks!”
G. In our Laodicean society, we find discontentedness on every hand.
1. Everyone wants everything without working for anything.
2. Everyone wants everything now without being able to afford anything.
3. Too many place their trust and hope in these perishable things.
H. The Laodicean Church Age has affected God’s children in the same ways. We have been and are blessed! We must be careful not to let these blessings becoming cursing’s by:
1. Misplaced values. Placing things above our relationship with and work for Christ.
2. Misplaced trust. Placing our trust in these temporal things instead of in our loving Lord.
J. Then we have the reality and effects of Prosperity Preaching across our land. (6:5) “supposing that gain is godliness”
1. God’s faithful people have hard times financially.
2. Prosperity or the lack of it is not a sign of either God’s approval or disapproval of our lives.
K. We need to have a right perspective of finances.
1. There is nothing wrong with hard work and the financial rewards that go with it. 2 Thessalonians 3:10, 12 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. … (12) Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread. (Notice the reward of work is that THEY eat! In today’s politics, people are demonized for success in business. The laborer is worthy of his hire and these people who have excelled should be properly rewarded. Those who will not work (notice I said “will not”) should not eat.)
2. There is nothing wrong with enjoying the fruit of one’s labors. Ecclesiastes 8:15 Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labour the days of his life, which God giveth him under the sun. (The Bible has no problem with people enjoying the fruit of their labors. That enjoyment should be done according to biblical principles.)
3. Material things are temporal while the eternal are just that: eternal. ** Turn to: 1 John 2:15-17 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (16) For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. (17) And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. (Though both necessary and good, everything that you see will burn. We cannot take anything with us as we will leave this world the same way we came into it. Jim Elliot said it this way, "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.")
L. In these verses, we see a couple of things:
1. The “root of all evil” which is the love of money. Not money which is amoral but the love of money.
a. The dangers of worldly gain. ** Turn to: Matthew 6:19-21 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: (20) But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: (21) For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Material things can be a recipe for disaster. As many strange women stole the heart of Solomon, too many things cause our hearts to turn from our God. Where our treasure (things that we value) is there will our hearts be also.)
b. The desirability of worldly gain. Matthew 6:31-32 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (32) (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. (America is being destroyed by one thing: greed! Nothing satisfies; nothing is enough! Like Uncle Scrooge in the Donald Duck comic books, riches have become people lives. A rich man was once asked the question, “How much money would it take to satisfy you?” He answered, “Just a little more.”)
c. The deception of worldly gain. Verse 5 “supposing” Luke 12:18-20 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. (19) And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. (20) But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? (Money neither brings satisfaction nor security. As a general rule, rich people are the unhappiest people in the world.)
d. The duration of worldly gain. Proverbs 23:6 Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats: (Riches go much quicker than they come and fortunes are lost overnight. Someone once said, “The more I catch up financially the behinder I get!”)
e. The destruction of worldly gain. ** Turn To: 1 Timothy 6:9-10 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. (10) For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. (I have watched as good people have placed jobs and more money ahead of the Lord and be destroyed. I have seen men of God get their eyes on finances instead of the Lord and get out of the ministry. A good thing can become a bad thing if not careful.)
2. Godliness with contentment.
a. Godliness. 1 Timothy 4:7-8 But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. (8) For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. (It is profitable in all things. It is profitable now and also in the world to come. You will never go wrong if you go right! Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. said something along these lines, “It is never right to do wrong in order to get a chance to do right.” Situation ethics will get you out of the will of God.)
b. Contentment. Philippians 4:11-13 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. (12) I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. (13) I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Contentment shows several things: spiritual maturity, spiritual priority, and spiritual trust.)
Conclusion: I want to conclude with these verses:
Matthew 6:31-34 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (32) (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. (33) But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (34) Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.