Summary: What is wrong with the pursuit of pleasure? Answer: It will become a tyrannical god – an idol that will never satisfy – it will never bring eternal meaning to your life.
“What is wrong with pleasure?”
Ecclesiastes Pt. 2
Illustration: My timer is set for 30 minutes again: You may be thinking, “How many people will die in the world in 30 minutes?” The answer is 3,240 people. But here is a major problem - It is estimated that only 7% of the world’s population is ready to go to Heaven. That means 3, 024 go to Hell every ½ hour in the world. But if this is wrong and we flip it then means 216 people every 30 minutes are going to Hell. (Info based off of the following website Biblehelp.org):
If you were to ask, "How many people die on an average day," you would get a wide variety of answers. Typical answers would range around 300 to 5,000 people. Surprisingly, over 150,000 people die every day. On average, 1.8 people die every second.
What is the spiritual destiny of these people? Obviously, no one really knows for certain how many people are going to Heaven and Hell. We can, however, come up with a ballpark estimate. There are many comprehensive studies that break the world’s population down by religion. If you compare these belief systems with the Bible, you’ll have a basic idea as to how many people believe in the Biblical plan of salvation.
Based on these studies, it has been estimated that only 7% of the world’s population is going to Heaven (1.68 per second). Even if this research is wrong and 75% of the world is going to Heaven; we still have 38,000 people going to Hell every day.
I realize that some of you are thinking that it is morbid and inappropriate to talk about this. You’re thinking that talking about this topic in public shows a lack of sensitivity. Yes, in a sense I guess it does appear morbid. It is, however, necessary. It serves a very important purpose.
The Cancer Society tells us that over 160,000 Americans will die this year from lung cancer and 40,000 will die from breast cancer. We are also told that almost 3 million people worldwide will die from AIDS this year (Biblehelp.org).
Thesis: What is wrong with the pursuit of pleasure? Answer: It will become a tyrannical god – an idol that will never satisfy – it will never bring eternal meaning to your life.
Scripture Text: Ecclesiastes 2:1-11:
1I thought in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good.” But that also proved to be meaningless. 2“Laughter,” I said, “is foolish. And what does pleasure accomplish?” 3I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly—my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was worthwhile for men to do under heaven during the few days of their lives.
4I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. 5I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. 6I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. 7I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. 8I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired men and women singers, and a harem as well—the delights of the heart of man. 9I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me.
10 I denied myself nothing my eyes desired;
I refused my heart no pleasure.
My heart took delight in all my work,
and this was the reward for all my labor.
11 Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done
and what I had toiled to achieve,
everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;
nothing was gained under the sun.
The pursuit of pleasure will never satisfy the human soul because it will always cause you to want more of it.
Our author talks about its lure and unending fulfillment and warns us about chasing after it.
We live in a society today that says the following: “If it feels good do it – then do more of it and more of it and you will then find true meaning in life!” But this is a lie and many have testified to that fact.
We find this message being flashed on the TV, Movie screens. It comes across in advertisements in papers, magazines and even from the radio and the internet. You see it on t-shirts, bumper stickers, bill boards. It is blatant and even subtle but you hear it promoted even in musical songs. This whole belief system trails us back to the Greek who coined and modeled the term “eros.” Which means, “We might as well live to party because that’s all we get out of life!”