Summary: Let's talk about how godliness holds promise for the life to come based loosely on 1 Timothy 4:8
Harry C. Meserve- A Christian has been defined as one who makes it easier to believe in God.
Last Sunday we talked about how godliness holds promise for the present life. Mainly want us to remember that godliness brings peace and contentment in this life, godliness brings freedom from sin and power to overcome temptations, godliness brings an escape from this life, we have a measure of unconcern for this life with its troubles and trials. How can godliness bring an escape and a measure of relief to this weary life? By letting us know that this life is preparing us for the next life. For the godly, this life is preparing us for eternity.
The Gentile heathen, who had no revelation from God except from the creation, always had an idea of an afterlife. Humanity has always had this belief that this life is not the end. The only ones who do not believe in an afterlife are those who have been taught that way. This idea that the grave is the end must be taught because it goes against our nature. The Gentile heathen always had this concept- “There must be another state in which the GREAT AND JUST ONE will rectify all wrongs — reward the righteous, and condemn the wicked.” They thought it proved that there would be another life; they could not, however, speak with any assurance. That is reserved for the Bible and faith. What was believed by the great thinkers of antiquity, has been brought to light in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Talked last Sunday about how living a godly life holds promise for the present life. Now talk about...
Thesis: Talk about how godliness holds promise for life to come
No such promise to the ungodly
1. Let’s say that we give into hedonism- the pursuit of fleshly pleasures. If it feels good do it
This idea, popular today, must ignore, at all costs, the idea of a day of Judgment. Must get enjoyment now because that is what life is all about. Only thing that matters is the present
Where do people get these pleasures? Sex, drugs, music, parties, money, possessions, power, popularity, anything that brings pleasure in this life. Where does all of this pleasure lead? Solomon talked about many of these pleasures and here is his conclusion: “Everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 2:11. “The heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.” Ecclesiastes 7:4, NIV.
Save some trouble and take to heart what Solomon says. Where does it lead? To bad health, to bad finances, to a bad name, and the only thing left is death which is a frightening thing. Immorality does not promise hope for the life to come. “But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.” Romans 2:5, NIV.
2. No, let’s not go that route but the route of being a good person.
Must have money so we can live comfortable life and that we can retire and pass on an inheritance to our spouse and family.
Must have a respectable job so that I can have a good name in the community. Must do some charitable work and some volunteer work in the community so that I can have a good name.
Must keep up my figure and my health so people will like me. Also I can enjoy my family and friends into my old age. I will deny myself and be disciplined so that my family is well off and I am well liked.
Where does this lead? Yes, a good life here (too much like Keeping up Appearances?) but what about the life hereafter. Keep thoughts of Judgement Day far away. Even so, trying to prepare a resume to impress God. I’m a good fellow and I did my part on earth so the Lord will let me into heaven. My good name and praiseworthy service will save me.
Without Jesus Christ, we are ungodly both those who live for pleasure and those who live to please others and build up a good name. Speaking of Gentiles, Paul said: “without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.” Ephesians 2:12, 13, NIV.
Invitation to salvation
II. Living for eternity
One brief life. “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” James 4:14, NIV.
Only this life to lay up treasures in heaven. ““Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21, NIV. Everything we see in the world today will one day either be rust or dust. Every material thing, even the nicest and finest of cars, the biggest and grandest of buildings: one day none of it will matter.