Summary: How should we live in this awful and terrible time? We can live like the world, or we can live according to God’s instruction.

October 15, 2002

I. Introduction:

A. Review of previous topics

1. Sunday night—we are living in an awful, terrible, and sublime time

2. Monday night—we are hanging by a thread. We are basically living on a life-support system.

3. In view of all of these, tonight, we ask the question—what must we do?

B. Again, the answer to this important question is found in the word of God.

C. Let’s begin our study with a prayer.

II. Body:

A. Two reactions to human condition

1. Worldly reaction

a. Hoarding, stockpiling, amassing the wealth of the world

1) Luke 12:18, “And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.”

a) Amassing of wealth beyond our need

1) The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) reported in 1998 that the world’s 225 richest people now have a combined wealth of $1 trillion. That’s equal to the combined annual income of the world’s 2.5 billion poorest people.

2) The wealth of the three most well-to-do individuals now exceeds the combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the 48 least developed countries.

3) Microsoft CEO Bill Gates has more wealth than the bottom 45 percent of American households combined.

4) According to Trusts and Estates Magazine, August 2000, Forty-five percent of America’s millionaires are younger than age 55.

b) Exceeding in our consumption of the world’s resources

1) In 1998, 20 percent of the world’s people living in the highest-income countries accounted for 86 percent of total private consumption expenditures while the poorest 20 percent accounted for only 1.3 percent.

b. Take it easy

1) Luke 12:19, “And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.”

a) Procrastination

1) I will serve God after I am married

2) I will go to the church when I have already attained my ambition

3) I will serve Him when I have already purchased my dream house or dream car.

4) I will be serious about my spirituality when I have done my studies.

5) I will worship Him after I have explored the world.

6) I will accept Him when I am retired.

b) Take the easy road

1) Matthew 7:13, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.”

2) I will accept Him when it is convenient for me.

a. Paul’s defense before Festus, King Agrippa, and his wife, Bernice.

b. Acts 26:28, “Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.”

c. Almost, but not persuaded

d. Almost, but not saved

e. Almost, but not forgiven

2) Amos 6:1, “Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountains of Samaria, which are named chief of the nations, to whom the house of Israel came.”

c. Eat, and drink

1) Luke 12:19, “And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.”

2) 1 Corinthians 15:32, “If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? Let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.”

a) While we in the rich "north" worry about dieting, 35,000 people starve to death every day.

b) It is estimated that it would cost $17 billion ($17,000,000,000) a year to provide food, water, education, health and housing for everyone in the world. World spending on military equipment in 1992 was $954 billions!!

d. Be merry

1) At $438 billion in 2001, the United States was the largest market in terms of overall entertainment and media spending. It is projected to expand at a 5.5 percent CAGR through 2006.

2. Reaction from God’s people

a. Watch and pray

1) Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

2) Luke 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

a) W--Words

b) A--Actions

c) T--Time

d) C--Companions

e) H--Habits

3) What is prayer? And why is prayer vital to us?

a) Signs of the Time, January 29, 1902, “Prayer is the opening of the heart to God as to a friend.”

b) Messages to Young People, page 248, “The strength acquired in prayer to God will prepare us for our daily duties. The temptations to which we are daily exposed make prayer a necessity.”

c) Testimonies to the Church, volume 4, page 536, “There is need of fasting, humiliation, and prayer over our decaying zeal and languishing spirituality. The love of many is waxing cold.”

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