Is that your final answer?
Thesis: When the million dollar questions of life and death are asked who are your lifelines that will give you the right answer.
Introduction: The TV show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” has become a intriguing show to watch because of the individuals and the dependability of their lifelines. Yes, they are going for the Million-dollar pot but it’s interesting to watch and learn about the importance of lifelines to get to the grand prize “Which in essence is the myth that a million dollars will bring you happiness and contentment.”
In our lives we face many questions and we answer them sometimes right sometimes wrongly. In every scenario the answers we choose can either bless us or cause much us much grief and pain. Would it not be nice if at that moment in time the music started playing the lights started flashing and there was a booming voice from Heaven which stated, “Is that You Final answer Mike?” I believe if this occurred then I would make sure absolutely that my answer and response where right and correct. I would use my lifelines every time I needed to make an important decision.
I have discovered from catching this TV show that it’s very important to make sure that your lifelines are dependable. I have watched people lose because their lifeline gave them the wrong answer. I have seen the friend-or knowledgeable friend be wrong. I have seen the audience be wrong even though the majority voted for the wrong answer. I have seen eliminating ½ the answers help but it still does not give you the exact answer. I have also watched Regis talk people out of the right answer. So today I want to deal with learning how to make sure that our answer is right and correct in response to life’s questions that will come our way.
I. The first lifeline on the show is having that trusted friend who you believe is wise.
a. The individual is chosen by the contestant prior to the show so that at any one specific time they are stuck they can call and get assistance.
i. It’s important to make sure this person chosen has insight and wisdom.
b. I would like to suggest to you today that in life we have access to an individual like this.
i. In James 1:5 it states, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”
1. This text informs us that if we lack wisdom or insight we are to call upon the Lord and he will help us make the right choices.
ii. The Lord is the greatest lifeline you can have in receiving sound information and insight in answering those difficult questions in life.
c. Just like the contestant in the show needs to pick and choose a person with knowledge an insight so you need to do the same.
i. Wisdom only comes from Jesus Christ.
ii. Proverbs 3:5,6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your path straight.”
iii. Proverbs 2:6 “ For the Lord gives wisdom, and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.”
d. Also in the show the contestant had a personal relationship with this individual prior to asking the question and therefore the helper said yes I will help you win.
i. Why did this person choose their knowledgeable friend? Because they had a personal relationship with them and they knew that they had insight and knowledge.
1. Illustration – No Time for relationships
In his bowling book Bowling Alone, Robert Putman says the following statistics are indicators of the decline in community in America over the past 25 years:
Attending club meetings: down 58%
Family dinners: down 33%
Having friends over: down 45%
ii. Why did this person agree to help? Because they had a personal close friendship with them.
1. Because of their relationship they wanted to able to help their friend out.
iii. To be able to inquire and receive answers from a person who knows is the difference between winning and losing in the game show.
iv. The same is true for us in making right choices. Only our answers have to do with life and death.
v. The Lord desires to have a relationship with each of us. He also promises that if we do he will help us out with wisdom, knowledge and insight to give us the ability to make the right choices.
1. Proverbs 2:7-19
Proverbs 2:7 (NIV)
7 He holds victory in store for the upright,
he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
Proverbs 2:8 (NIV)
8 for he guards the course of the just
and protects the way of his faithful ones.
Proverbs 2:9 (NIV)
9 Then you will understand what is right and just
and fair—every good path.
Proverbs 2:10 (NIV)
10 For wisdom will enter your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
Proverbs 2:11 (NIV)
11 Discretion will protect you,
and understanding will guard you.
Proverbs 2:12 (NIV)
12 Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men,
from men whose words are perverse,
Proverbs 2:13 (NIV)
13 who leave the straight paths
to walk in dark ways,
Proverbs 2:14 (NIV)
14 who delight in doing wrong
and rejoice in the perverseness of evil,
Proverbs 2:15 (NIV)
15 whose paths are crooked
and who are devious in their ways.
Proverbs 2:16 (NIV)
16 It will save you also from the adulteress,
from the wayward wife with her seductive words,
Proverbs 2:17 (NIV)
17 who has left the partner of her youth
and ignored the covenant she made before God.£
Proverbs 2:18 (NIV)
18 For her house leads down to death
and her paths to the spirits of the dead.
Proverbs 2:19 (NIV)
19 None who go to her return
or attain the paths of life.
e. Because of their close intimate relationship prior to asking the million dollar they received help and some have won.
f. The same is true in dealing with difficult questions in life about happiness, security, contentment, peace, direction and the grand prize of winning the jack pot of eternal life.
g. It all is made possible by Wisdom and that is Jesus Christ and it only comes from the Lord but you must choose Jesus to receive the benefits.
i. Know Christ know wisdom, No Christ no wisdom!
T.S.- The friendship lifeline for life is Jesus Christ and he promises that if we choose a relationship with him then he will give us insight and wisdom in this life. The second lifeline is the privilege of asking the audience their thought on the right answer.
II. The second lifeline is that the contestant is allowed to poll the audience for their knowledge.
a. This one is always interesting because I have seen the audience be wrong.
i. It’s not always the best to go around polling everyone on a subject because they all can be wrong.
ii. For example in Exodus 13 When they went in to spy out the land Caleb and Joshua went out and said lets do it the other 10 (the majority said no way!) The majority was wrong!
1. KEY POINT-This is why I believe we need to use all three lifelines together in each and every decision in life.
b. But I would also like to suggest that I believe there is a crowd of people who can be helpful in assisting in confirming what the right answer is for those tough questions of life.
i. This group of people is called the church.
1. Matthew 16:13-20
Matthew 16:13 (NIV)
13When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
Matthew 16:14 (NIV)
14They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
Matthew 16:15 (NIV)
15“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Matthew 16:16 (NIV)
16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ,£ the Son of the living God.”
Matthew 16:17 (NIV)
17Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.
Matthew 16:18 (NIV)
18And I tell you that you are Peter,£ and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades£ will not overcome it.£
Matthew 16:19 (NIV)
19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be£ bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be£ loosed in heaven.”
Matthew 16:20 (NIV)
20Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.
2. The church is designed with people who have different gifts.
a. Romans 12:6 “We have different gifts, according to the grace given us…”
b. I Corinthians 12:4 “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.”
3. List the gifts and how we help each other out in decision making.
a. Texts of the gifts and definitions of the gifts. See Peter Wagners list.
4. The church is a support group that is placed here by God to help direct people to make right choices. In this group we find diversity and I believe this video clip will help you understand.
a. Video Clip from AACC class.
i. This clip is funny but also very accurate in describing how individuals will approach the same scenario differently and you know what God designed the church this way!
b. It’s important to recall that the church is God’s design to help to reach a bunch of people who are lost and wandering in darkness and lack the ability to make the right decisions in life.
c. He has equipped the Body with diversity so they can use their unique gifting to reach a diverse world for Him. We are not all the same in giftings but we are one in the Spirit and all our diversity is united for the purpose of helping others make the right choices.
i. Illustration: Lunatics Never Unite
A man went to an asylum for the criminally insane. He was a bit surprised to find that there were three guards to take care of a hundred inmates. He said to one of the guards, “Aren’t you afraid that the inmates will unite, overcome you, and escape?” The guard said “Lunatics never unite,” Locusts do. Christians should. If we don’t, we don’t know where our power is.”
d. We are placed here to unite so that we all can assist God in guiding people. He designed it this way.
e. Martin Luther said, “No man should be alone when he opposes Satan. The church and the ministry of the word were instituted for this purpose, that hands may be joined together and one may help another. If the prayer of one doesn’t help, the prayer of another will.”
ii. The difference between the church and an audience.
1. Charles Jefferson notes, “A sharp distinction ought to be made between an audience. An audience is a group of unrelated people drawn together by a short-lived attraction. An audience is a crowd. A church is a family. An audience is a gathering. A church is a fellowship. An audience is a heap of stones. A church is temple. Preachers are ordained, not to attract an audience, but to build a church. Coarse and worldly men, if richly gifted, can draw audiences, but only a man who is given to the Lord Jesus Christ can build a church.”
iii. Hebrews 10:25 “ Let us not neglect our church meetings, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other.” (TLB)
T.S.- The second lifeline for individuals is the church and its here to help us all make the right choices. The third essential lifeline is the gift of being able to eliminate half the possible answers.
III. The third lifeline is where you receive the choice of removing ½ the answers which increases you odds of getting the right answer. There are 4 answers and they remove two which gives you a 50/50 chance of getting one right.
a. This off course helps a lot. Especially if you think and answer is right and it survives to be one of the two. But once again it does not give you the answer it narrows down the possibilities.
b. I believe that in this life we have a similar help, which narrows down the field of what answers are possibly correct and which ones are blatantly not correct. This resource is called the Bible.
i. Illustration – We know the Enemy’s Plans.
ii. It’s amazing how the Bible narrows down the field of possible answers to those tuff choices in life.
iii. The Bible is there as a gift from God to be a manual to help us make the right choices. So we can win.
iv. What I find perplexing is how people do not want to use this vital lifeline in helping them to make the right choices in life.
c. The Bible is a sound investment. It will help you in answering your every need. It will supply you with insight and faith to believe. It will give you real life examples of its foresight. It will help you march forward to victory giving insight and direction every step of the way.
d. Deuteronomy 8:3 “He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”
e. II Timothy 3:16,17 “ All Scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Conclusion: May I suggest that you decide today to make the decision to approach every question in life with your three lifelines in place. Apply all three to the question you been asked and explore all three sources and I am convinced you will make the right choices that will make you a winner.
I know that these three lifelines will guide you into all truth and give you the ability to make the right choices, which will bring security, prosperity and contentment in life. And yes the grand prize of eternal life!
Altar Call: “How many desire to be attached to the three lifelines?” If you do then raise you hand where you are and lets pray! If you would pray for anything else today please come forward and the prayer team members will pray for you.