Summary: Adapted from welcome to the planet 40 Days of Purpose Series. Sermon #1
(Based on WELCOME TO THE PLANET: WHAT ON EARTH AM I HERE FOR?
Part 1: The Challenge to Move Ahead by Doug Fields)
Today we began our 40 Days of Purpose Journey. Are you looking forward to it?
Well tonight we are going to starting a series called “Welcome to the Planet: What on Earth Am I Here For?” It is going to be following along the themes of the 40 Days Program and so hopefully you will make an effort to be here each week to unpack it with me. Tonight, I want to give you an overview of where we’re going for the next six weeks. I want to challenge you to move ahead to see if maybe there’s an answer to this question, “What on earth am I here for?”
If you’ve got your bibles there, I want you to open them to Eccles 1:2-11. King Solomon was an incredible man. He had everything you could ever want – Riches, wealth, fame, fortune, power, wisdom, a huge army, great store houses, a magnificent palace and people to wait on him hand and foot. And a few that you wouldn’t want – He had 700 wives and 300 concubines. Imagine that – 700 mothers-in-laws, not very wise I don’t think. This is a guy that for all intense and purpose had it made and knew exactly what his purpose on earth was – but under the confident exterior with all its robes and gold jewellery was a man who asked the question “What on earth am I here for?”. His questions bubble to the surface in the book of Ecclesiastes in which he questions the meaning of life. He claims that in and of themselves everything is meaningless. Read Eccles 1:2-11 (from CEV).
2 Nothing makes sense! Everything is nonsense. I have seen it all— nothing makes sense! 3 What is there to show for all of our hard work here on this earth? 4 People come, and people go, but still the world never changes. 5 The sun comes up, the sun goes down; it hurries right back to where it started from. 6 The wind blows south, the wind blows north; round and round it blows over and over again. 7 All rivers empty into the sea, but it never spills over; one by one the rivers return to their source. 8 All of life is far more boring than words could ever say. Our eyes and our ears are never satisfied with what we see and hear. 9 Everything that happens has happened before; nothing is new, nothing under the sun. 10 Someone might say, “Here is something new!” But it happened before, long before we were born. 11 No one who lived in the past is remembered anymore, and everyone yet to be born will be forgotten too.
Meaningless – Everything is Meaningless. If you continue to read through this book, you’ll find Solomon, the man who had everything, says that Wisdom is meaningless, pleasures are meaningless, work is meaningless, self advancement is meaningless. WOW - Have you ever felt this way about life? That it is all meaningless? That it doesn’t make sense? That it is a waste of time? Don’t be ashamed because it is a common dilemma, particularly in our society today. Why is it so common? Because so many people have written God out of their lives. You see, if there is no God there’s no meaning in life. I put in your notes this famous quote from a famous atheist, Bertrand Russell, who said, “Unless you assume a God, the question of life’s purpose is meaningless.”
If we don’t believe there is a God, then you essentially believe that you’re here by accident. That millions and millions and millions and millions of years ago something happened, some collision in a void darkness and in that collision humanity began to develop and grow. We have subsequently evolved into the types of people we are today with the minds that we have, with the way that we can think and act and reproduce. It could have just as easily happened some other way and we could have just as easily ended up looking like a frog or something even weirder. If this is what you believe in, then there are some logical consequences to this… If there is no God, then there is no reason to life and there can be no moral standards or values or right or wrong. Values and standards are only the creations of the majority of people in a society – they could quite easily have decided that child molestation, rape or murder were acceptable, if it were a different group of people making the decisions. The values we hold near and dear are only valid because the law of the survival of the fittest says that if I get the majority angry, they’ll beat me up – so I play along until I die and of course, that is the end of it. Life is therefore meaningless and anything I try to do in this life is meaningless because there is no purpose to it. Essentially what you are doing now is wasting your time completely because there is no God and no purpose to exploring these things.