Summary: It’s very basic, this choice. And the results of the choice are also very basic, very universal. You will believe that God is and shape your life accordingly, or you will not. And the results of the choice are eternal
Passage: James 4:13-17
Intro: There are two distinctly different ways to view the world.
1. and they produce very different results in a persons life, and in the life of a nation.
2. one view is very common, the other somewhat rare.
3. one view is very safe, the other very dangerous.
4. James is a big picture guy, and using one example, he gives us here a very large picture that we can immediately apply.
5. it is very easy to fall into the most common viewpoint; it is sold to us all the time.
6. in fact, some people demand that we have that viewpoint.
7. it should be no surprise to us that these differing viewpoints concerning God and His place in our world.
8. but we may be surprised at the incredible power these viewpoints have to impact our lives and our eternity.
9. in life planning, it is the most important and the most ignored factor.
I. Taking God Out of The Equation
1. it’s easy to look at James 4:13-17 and conclude James is criticizing merchants.
2. but as we’ve learned, James loves to use examples.
3. this time, he starts with the example and draws principles.
4. break down this statement, see the problem.
5. starts rather forcefully, “Listen up!”
6. wrong to plan? No!
7. but these guys are planning for the future in a godless vacuum.
8. set a specific date, (today or tomorrow)
9. use of future tense, emphasizes certainty. “we will go, spend a year, carry on business, make money.”
10. nothing in their statement that recognizes what James points out in v14.
11. don’t know, understand, what will happen tomorrow.
Il) Chandler family of four dies in terrible crash on loop 101 on their way to church, September 2006
12. we are contingent beings, dependent on a agent outside our world for our very existence.
13. our existence has no substance outside of the will of this incredible Being who calls Himself “I am” and who the Bible calls God.
PP) we are like the steam that comes out of a boiling teapot
13. but there are people who refuse to recognize that reality, the incredible frailty of our lives.
14. they prefer, even insist, on living in a world in which God is not welcome.
PP) Jan and I watched “Judgment Day..”
15. here is the bottom line for evolution, which is portrayed in this documentary.
PP George Wald Harvard quote concerning Creation: “I will not accept that philosophically, because I do not want to believe in God. Therefore, I chose to believe in that which I know to be scientifically impossible, spontaneous generation arising to evolution.”
Richard Lewontin quote. Both quotations deal with their absolute commitment to materialism and rejection of the possibility of God.
16. it is a very serious mistake, this arrogant refusal to recognize that our life and plans and present and future is completely dependent on the will of God.
17. and one day those vaporous life will end, and plans will be revealed for what they were; the arrogant statements of someone who both does not know, and cannot control what he does not know.
18. and all that self-confidence and pride will be revealed to be the vain imaginings of the fool who has said in his heart, “there is no God.”
19. the very foundation of sin in our lives is removing God from the equation.
20. there are no laws, if He exists at all He does not care and will not judge.
21. and v16 says this kind of boasting is evil. It cannot produce anything good.
II. Leaving God in the Equation
1. on the other hand, there are those into whose life God is welcomed.
2. it is the person who, according to v15, recognizes that his life is under God’s sovereign control.
3. does not mean he sits and waits for writing on the wall.
4. but every decision he makes, every plan he attempts, is made with the calm acceptance of the God factor.
5. God is the king of her life, not her.
6. she feeds her children well, takes them to the doctor
7. knowing that their lives, like hers, are ultimately in God’s hands and not hers.
8. they have been entrusted with those children, but they belong to God.
9. they can plan for their retirement, save for it, but they know they may not live to enjoy it.
10. they can hope their children are missionaries, but they may not be called.
11. but they also recognize something about those who are resistant to God.
12. they factor God into that understanding as well, recognizing that these people have been taken by the lie, and so they do not hate them.