Listen To The Sermon Here: “What Is The Good Life?”
Series “The Good Life”
Week One: What Is The Good Life?
Everybody wants to Live The Good Life. Wouldn’t you agree?
We spend our lives pursuing what we perceive to be the Good Life. We pursue the things we believe will make us happy, bring us joy, and make us fulfilled.
Who wouldn’t want to live a life full of happiness and joy.
When I ask people today what they believe the good life is, here are the responses that I get.
Big houses, nice cars, large bank accounts, a pretty wife or a good looking husband.
Even more sad, alcohol, sex, drugs.
Even worse, some would paint the good life as laying in a hammock 16 hours a day doing nothing then going to bed and sleeping 8 hours.
I believe we would paint these pictures because it is what we have been taught! It isn’t something we dreamed up on our own.
It is what we have seen and heard from the television, from the people we hang around, from teachers, you name it, people are spouting off about what the good life is.
Problem is, the people telling you this, they are not happy!
There are three enemies that stand in our way to living the good life.
The WORLD – the ways of culture & society that oppose the Lord.
The FLESH – the constant battle we will fight until the very end.
(Paul said he struggled with it, and that’s a good thing. The harm comes when we give in and stop fighting.)
The DEVIL – The problem is, Satan doesn’t have a red tail and he doesn’t carry a pitchfork. Fairytale, Santa Clause, tooth fairy, Easter bunny. We have placed Satan in the same category as these and we don’t take him very seriously.
John 10:10a 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
John 8:44 44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
How Do You Kill 11 Million People
LIE TO THEM
I recently read the book “How DO You Kill 11 Million People?” by Andy Andrews
In the book Andy is attempting to answer the question, “Does the truth really matter?”
Andy answers the question by asking the question, “How do you kill 11 million people?”
11,283.000 is the number of people killed by Adolph Hitler between the years 1933-1945.
Why month after month and year after year did millions of intelligent human beings – guarded by relatively few Nazi soldiers – willingly load their families in tens of thousands of cattle cars to be transported by rail to one of the many death camps scattered across Europe?
And the answer is YOU LIE TO THEM.
“According to testimony provided under oath at the Nuremberg Trials, the act of transporting the Jews to death camps posed a particular challenge for the man who had been named operational manager of the Nazi Genocide. Adolf Eichmann, known as the Master.”
“Eichmann went about the task as if he were the president of a multinational corporation. He set ambitious goals, recruited enthusiastic staff, and monitored the progress.” He charted what worked and what didn’t and changed policy accordingly, Eichmann measured achievement in quotas filled. Success was rewarded. Failure was punished.”
“An intricate web of lies, to be delivered in stages, was designed to ensure the cooperation of the condemned (but Unknowing) Jews.
First, as barbed-wire fences were erected, encircling entire neighborhoods, Eichmann or his representatives met with Jewish leaders to assure them that the physical restrictions being placed upon their community were only temporary necessities of war.
As long as they cooperated, he told them, no harm would come to those inside the fence.”
“Second, bribes were taken from the Jews in the promise of better living conditions. The bribes convinced the Jews that the situation was indeed temporary and that no further harm would befall them. After all, they reasoned, why would the Nazis accept bribes if they only intend to kill us and take everything anyway?”
These first two stages of deception were conducted to prevent uprisings of even escape.
“Finally, Eichmann would appear before a gathering of the entire community. Accompanied by an entourage of no more than thirty local men and officers of his own – many unarmed – he addressed the crowd in a strong, clear voice. According to sworn statements, these were his words.”
“Jews: At last, it can be reported to you that the Russians are advancing on our eastern front. I apologize for the hasty way we brought you into our protection; Unfortunately, there was little time to explain. You have nothing to worry about. We want only the best for you. You will leave here shortly and be sent to very fine places indeed. You will work there, your wives will stay at home, and your children will go to school. You will have wonderful lives. We will be terribly crowded on the trains, but the journey is short. Men? Please keep your families together and board the railcars in an orderly manner.
Quickly now my friends, we must hurry!”
The Jews were relieved by their explanation and comforted by the fact of so few armed soldiers.
They helped their families into the railcars. The containers designed to hold 8 cows, were each packed with a minimum of 100 human beings and quickly padlocked.
At that moment they were lost. The trains rarely stopped until well inside the gates of Auschwitz.
And this is how you kill 11 million people, YOU LIE TO THEM.
Hitler said this to his inner circle: “How fortunate for leaders, that men do not think.”
“Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.”
In Mein Kampf, Hitler’s autobiography, he wrote, “The great masses of people will more easily fall victim to a big lie than a small one.”
90% of the Germans stood by and watched. Mothers and fathers held their voices, covered their eyes, and closed their ears. The vast majority of an educated population accepted their salaries and avoided the uncomfortable truth that lingered over them like a serpent waiting to strike.
In at least one German town the railroad tracks ran behind the church.
Here is an eyewitness account.
“We heard stories of what was happening to the Jews, but we tried to distance ourselves from it, because we felt, what could anyone do to stop it”
Each Sunday morning, we would hear the train whistle blowing in the distance, then the wheels coming over the tracks. We became disturbed when we heard cries coming from the train as it passed by. We realized that it was carrying Jews like cattle in cars!
Week after week the whistle would blow. We dreaded to hear the sounds of those wheels because we knew that we would hear the cries of the Jews en route to a death camp. Their screams tormented us. We knew the time of the train was coming and when we heard the whistle blow we began singing hymns. By the time the train came past our church, we were singing at the top of our voices. If we heard the screams, we sang more loudly and soon we heard them no more.”
“Years have passed and no one talks about it now, but I still hear that train whistle in my sleep.”
How Do You Stop Someone From Living The Good Life?
Lie To Them.
Genesis Ch. 2: 8-9,
8 Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9 And the Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
(God created mankind, he supplied all that was good for us.)
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”
(God, the creator of mankind now says, look, eat anything you want, hundreds of trees in the garden, no doubt various kinds of fruit. Think about it, pears, plums, apples, mangos, peaches, you name it, it was there.)
Genesis Ch 3: 1-13
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
4 “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”
12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
DON’T EAT THE FRUIT!
When the Grass is Greener on the other side of the fence, there is always a SEPTIC Tank under it!
A New Definition of The Good Life
The Good Life is: Living by Faith In A Good God
John 10:10 (I read part of this verse to you earlier)
10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. (NLT)
12 There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death. (NIV)
“Blessed are those who hear the teaching of God and OBEY it.” NCV
The Good Life is: Living by Faith In A Good God