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Summary: Life is full of tragedy—sickness, lost of jobs, lost of possessions, lost of health, and death. But the greatest tragedy in life is living a life apart from God.

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October 23, 2003

INTRODUCTION:

Cemetery Marker

Some time ago, a man was trying to trace his family origin. In the process of his research he visited several cemeteries collecting information from the markers. At one place he came across a monument with the following inscription:

Pause now stranger, as you pass by

As you are now, so once was I

As I am now, so soon you’ll be.

Prepare yourself to follow me.

Next to the marker, he noticed someone had placed a board with the following words:

To follow you, I’m not content

Until I know, which way you went.

BODY:

The Truth About Death

1. Death is inevitable

a. Hebrews 9:27 "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”

b. Genesis 3:19, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”

2. Death is impartial

a. It comes both to the young and the elderly

b. It comes both to a man and a woman

c. It comes to the rich and the poor

d. It comes to the educated and the less educated

3. Death is unpredictable

a. It takes us by surprise

b. It comes when we least expect it

c. It comes in the prime of life

d. Ecclesiastes 8:6-8, “Because to every purpose there is time and judgment, therefore the misery of man is great upon him. For he knoweth not that which shall be: for who can tell him when it shall be? There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it.”

Tragedies of life as Illustrated in the book of Job

1. Lost earning—Job 1:14

2. Lost possessions—Job 1:16

3. Lost health—Job 2:7

4. Lost friends—Job 2:11-13

5. Lost loved ones—Job 1:18-19

Greatest tragedy in life—Job 2:9

1. Lost integrity

2. Lost faith

3. Lost trust

4. Lost obedience

5. Lost God

a. The greatest in life in not the loss of employment, or the loss of material possessions, or the loss of one’s health, or the loss of friends, of the loss of a loved one.

b. The greatest tragedy in life is the loss of one’s faith.

c. The greatest tragedy in life is the loss of a personal God

d. There are some of us here who are no better than those who have died.

Lessons from Solomon’s life

1. Solomon spent most of his life establishing his kingdom.

2. He spent most of his time acquiring wealth and material possessions

3. He spent his life on women

4. At the end of his life, he realized that most of the things where he spent his life were meaningless

a. Wisdom is meaningless—Ecclesiastes 1:17, “And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit.”

b. Pleasures are meaningless—Ecclesiastes 2:1, “I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity.”

c. Toil is meaningless—Ecclesiastes 2:17, “Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit.”

d. Advancement is meaningless—Ecclesiastes 4:13-16, “Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king, who will no more be admonished. For out of prison he cometh to reign; whereas also he that is born in his kingdom becometh poor. I considered all the living which walk under the sun, with the second child that shall stand up in his stead. There is no end of all the people, even of all that have been before them: they also that come after shall not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and vexation of spirit.”

e. Riches are meaningless—Ecclesiastes 5:10, “He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.”

5. Solomon realized that at death everything losses their meaning and importance. Except for one thing. Finally, Solomon made this conclusion:

a. Ecclesiastes 12:1-7, “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them; 2 While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain: 3 In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened, 4 And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of musick shall be brought low; 5 Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets: 6 Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. 7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.”

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