Tom Ascol | Life Without God - Ecclesiastes 1:1-2

August 14, 2022 00:39:00
Tom Ascol | Life Without God - Ecclesiastes 1:1-2
Sermons by Founders Ministries
Tom Ascol | Life Without God - Ecclesiastes 1:1-2

Aug 14 2022 | 00:39:00

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Show Notes

Pastor Tom Ascol begins a series on the book of Ecclesiastes. The message, entitled “Real Life in a Fallen World” based on Ecclesiastes 1:1 – 2, provides both an introduction and first lessons. A main point of the whole book is that life is complicated. Everyone sees life a bit differently due to their individual experiences, temperaments or circumstances. Ecclesiastes is a book that looks at life as it really is in a fallen world.

The book’s author opens with an expression of frustration; life without God is meaningless. It may be helpful to understand who the author is. He identifies himself as the “Preacher,” a translation for the Hebrew word “Qoholeth.” He is a leader and teacher of God’s people. The “son of David, king in Jerusalem” as well as the exercise in wisdom in the book leads to the likely conclusion that Qoholeth, the preacher, is actually King Solomon. Further, Solomon’s wealth and lifestyle enabled him to search and experience all the book claims of the author.

The book seems to have been written later in Solomon’s life after having sought meaning in pleasure, work, wisdom, and wealth. He found all lacking and desires his readers learn from his experiences. He recognizes, as we shall see later throughout the book, that apart from God all is meaningless. Since we, like Solomon in his pleasure, work, wisdom, and wealth, tend to view the world superficially, that is without much thought and reflection and certainly without an emphasis on God, we need exactly this type of biblical book. We need the message of this book today particularly give the “vanity” about which Solomon speaks.

The original word translated vanity literally means “breath” or “vapor.” This metaphor is used by Solomon to emphasize life’s meaningless without God; life is but a quickly disappearing vapor or breath. Since we typically do not think this way we tend to think neither of the brevity of life nor what follows death. Yet, throughout the book the author uses the expression “under the sun” to articulate the vanity of life without God. Indeed, vanity under the sun would be people’s natural understanding without a godly interpretation of life and its events. This is especially so since our fallen world brings circumstances which, without an understanding of God, would leave one to misinterpret events as random instead or God-ordered.

While it is true that the world is broken it is equally true that the world will be fixed. The conclusion of the book, still 12 chapters off, tells the conclusion of Solomon, the duty of mankind is to “fear God and keep his commandments.” Only then can we have a true understanding of life. Only then can we enter into a relationship with God that offers joy for this life and hope for the future. Only then can we obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. We ought, therefore, come to God through the work of Jesus on the Cross of Calvary.

This sermon was given by Dr. Tom Ascol on October 16, 2016 at Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, FL.

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