Lyrics and Lies: Anthems
Life is Found In The Party
Jonathan Pokluda | 09.25.18
Sex, drugs, and rock n roll is supposed to be the epitome of fun, but is that really the case? Does living the rockstar lifestyle mean living your best life? Believe it or not, The Bible speaks specifically to this topic and we look to King Solomon, the wisest rockstar to ever live, for insight.
Life is Found In The Party
Sex, drugs, and rock n roll is supposed to be the epitome of fun, but is that really the case? Does living the rockstar lifestyle mean living your best life? Believe it or not, The Bible speaks specifically to this topic and we look to King Solomon, the wisest rockstar to ever live, for insight.
Porch, how are we doing? If we haven't met, my name is JP. It's a privilege to be with you. If you're tuning in from somewhere else, Fort Worth, Houston, anywhere around the world, El Paso, listening as you drive, we're so glad you are with us, worshiping, diving into God's Word with us this evening.
If we are friends on social media or anything like that, you know last week was my son's birthday. I have a son. He's 6 years old. His name is Weston. He just turned 6 years old last week. Last week was his birthday. We do birthdays big at our house. Anybody else do that growing up? Good. Like, five of you.
So he had a party. We went to NickelRama. Anybody been there? Awesome.
It's an arcade here in DFW where, basically, a nickel is a quarter, and we're cheap parents, so we went there. Here's what that meant. Every day last week he'd wake up. "Daddy, it's going to be my birthday. Daddy, I'm going to have a party." I'm like, "Dude, I know. I'm throwing the party. I'm paying for the party."
The next day, Tuesday, "It's coming. My birthday. My birthday party is coming up." I'm like, "I know, buddy. I know your birthday party is coming up." Then Wednesday, "Hey, my birthday party is coming up. It's coming up." I was like, "I know, man. I know." He's like, "Let's go through the invite list again." I'm like, "Well, you've got your cousins and our friends." Then Thursday, "Hey, my party is coming up."
If I'm completely transparent with you, this idea… He kept saying the same thing. "I can't wait for my party. I can't wait for the party." He's really describing me from 16 into my young adult years. That's basically how I lived life, whatever was going on. "I can't wait for the party." That's who I was. It started in high school. It was like, "Whose parents are going to be out of town? We're going over there. We'll hang out at your place."
Or we would do pasture parties. (That's pasture parties, not pastor parties. Those are different things.) So we'd go hang out in high school. Then college came around, and it was foam parties, frat parties, sorority parties. Who has the function? Then we'd get the fake IDs. We'd go to the club and the bar. It was like living for the weekend. In college you stretch out the weekend. It starts on Thursday night. That was college night. That's where the drink specials for the college kids were. So we'd go Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
Then I graduated from college, moved to Dallas, and it was just more of this. "I can't wait for the party." I would sit at my desk Monday just thinking, "I can't wait for Friday to get here." Start with the happy hour, and then the happy hour will turn into evening, and then we'll go to this bar to . It's kind of pre-game, and then we'll go to this club. There was a club in Lower Greenville here in Dallas, the bar scene. It was the Beagle. It's not there anymore. It's just where my heart was.
I moved five times all within one mile of Lower Greenville, specifically that place. My friend's sister was a bartender there, so I had this VIP card, which meant you didn't have to wait in all the long lines with those losers. You could go around to the side door, and you didn't have to pay a cover. The guy would wave you in, and you'd go in like a baller, and you'd have this booth. We loved that place. It was our country club, if you will. You'd get the bottle service there, the setup there.
I wasn't a believer. If we don't know each other, I wasn't walking with Christ at this time, but I remember the thrill of just thinking, "Man, I don't know what's going to happen." You look forward to the weekend. Y, and you get some drinks in you. You're dancing on the dance floor. Everybody is hot and sweaty. You're dancing with some girl you don't know, and even that's kind of fun and exciting.
You don't know where it's going to go. "She may go home with me. I may go home with her. I don't know. My friends may get in a fight. I might get in a fight." That thrill of, "Man, I just don't know. I'm carefree. I'm young, wild, and free." It's funny, because my family and I went back down there. We were eating down in Lower Greenville two weeks ago, and just driving through the parking lot was like, "Oh yeah, I remember. We got in a fight there one night."
I was with my wife, and I was like, "Oh, that's where some girl tried to pay your brother to take him home. Oh, and that's where Travis got so drunk he jumped up on top of a Porsche. That was not a good night." Just reliving these memories. They were flooding back to me from a time when I couldn't wait for the party. I'm not here to tell you, "Hey, I'm a pastor now, and I look back and it wasn't fun at all." It was so much fun. It was so much fun, like I imagine heroin is so much fun. It'll kill you, but it's so much fun. It has to be. People give their life to it.
So I'm not here to tell you it wasn't fun. I'm here to tell you maybe it was too much fun. Maybe that whole idea of, "I can't wait for the party…" What if I look back on those years of constantly showing up Monday at work and I can't wait for the party and see my whole life was passing me by? I wasn't living in the moment; I was just looking forward to the next party, the next thrill, the next excuse to do something stupid. What if my whole life was passing me by?
We're in Lyrics and Lies, this new series. David kicked us off last week talking about You're Perfect Just the Way You Are and how music is selling you that lie and the Scripture tells you something different. Tonight, the lie of the music we grew up listening to is that life is found in the party. It's the whole drug, sex, and rock 'n' roll, if you will, or drugs, sex, and rock star status. I have some songs I want to play for you.
That's how I was. You know, Monday.
It's the freakin' weekend
I'm about to have me some fun.
That's why we go there.
Sippin' on Coke and rum
I'm like, "So what? I'm drunk."
"I have an excuse now to do everything." Some of you know what I'm talking about. Some of you are like, "No, we can't do that. We're in church. What are we doing?" I know you're so uncomfortable. Praise God for you. The lie is that life is in the party. The Bible gives us this social experiment with this guy. Basically, the reason the Lord preserved this ancient text in Ecclesiastes… There was a man who had everything. He was complete and total rock star status. He had everything you think you want on steroids, times a hundred. This is King Solomon.
Ecclesiastes is one big social experiment, where he's basically saying, "Hey, I tried this to see if there was life there. Then I tried this to see if there was life there, and I tried this to see if there was life there." I think that in the back of our minds we all think, "Hey, if we had what Fiddy had…" This is the lie. "Hey, I want to party like a rock star." This is what he's selling. Post Malone is still selling it. Right? Rock star. "I'm Ppoppin' pillies." "I feel just Party like a rock star." You guys know what I'm talking about. It's still the message.
The truth is if you can't wait for the party, if you're living for the party, it's going to leave you despairing. It's going to leave you empty. It's going to leave you depressed. There's nobody who has continued to chase the party and found satisfaction. It hasn't happened. In fact, there's this one researcher from Sydney who studied 12,665 popular musicians, rock stars, rappers, if you will, to see if their lifestyle actually shortened their life, because that was a popular belief. Does it actually shorten their life?
She studied 12,665 of them. This is what she found. The average lifespan of a rock star was shortened by 25 years than the general public. The suicide rate among musicians she studied compared to the general population was up to seven times higher, 700 percent more likely to commit suicide. The homicide rates among musicians are eight times higher than that among the general US population.
So I want to look at how life is not found in sex, drugs, or the rock star status. We're looking at King Solomon. Post Malone actually wrote "Rockstar" about King Solomon. That was about him. (No, I'm lying. That's not true.) This guy had enough sex to make Hugh Hefner blush. He drank enough wine… In fact, he owned the distillery. He owned the vineyard. He owned the brewery. That's this guy. He wasn't just taking shots of Patrón; he owned Patrón.
Rock star status like Mick Jagger. He's the original Kanye. Solomon is the OG Kanye. That's who we're reading about right here. Ecclesiastes 2:1: "I said to myself, 'Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good.' But that also proved to be meaningless. 'Laughter,' I said, 'is madness. And what does pleasure accomplish?' I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly…"
1._ Life is not found in sex_. He talks about pleasure. Life is not found in sex. Fiddy says:
I'm into havin' sex, I ain't into makin' love
So come give me a hug if you're into gettin' rubbed.
Ludacris. Maybe you've heard of him. He says:
I wanna lick you from yo' head to yo' toes
And I wanna move from the bed down to the flo'.
I think he means floor. "Then I wanna…" Yeah, I can't even read that. I'm just going to stop. But he wants to know your fantasy.Solomon said, "Come now, and I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good." But that proved to be meaningless. The problem with this is experiencing pleasure will only leave you wanting more pleasure. Is that not true? Doesn't it just ratchet up a little bit every time? You know this. Experientially you know this. Nobody has ever experienced something pleasurable and been like, "Okay, I'm done. I don't need that for the rest of my life."
We'll just go tame. You get a massage, maybe. You get a massage, and it's a great massage, and you're done, and you're like, "Okay, that's it. I never need another massage for the rest of my life. That was it. That was the best." No. A week later you're like, "Dude, I've got to go back and get another one," because it just ratchets up. It just leaves you wanting more. Pornography does the same thing. I say it all the time. It's the lie of "One last time." You just fed something, and it grew, and now it's bigger and is going to devour you.
The club does the same thing. You love the thrill, the excitement, the fun of "Hey, I don't know what's going to happen," and it just leaves you wanting more for the next week and the next week. You have to keep going bigger and better, and pretty soon it's like, "Hey, these clubs here in Houston or in Dallas or around… We need to go to Vegas," because what happens in Vegas will haunt you the rest of your life. That's the truth.
I want you to know… I say it all the time. Sex is good. Sex is from God. God invented it. He made it feel the way it does. God inserted pleasure into his invention, his creation of sex. He did that. He put the nerve endings where they are. That was God's genius idea, but you need to know it will not satisfy you. It is not ultimate. I know you're thinking, "Well, that's easy for you to say. You're going to go home to your wife."
The reality is if someone in marriage experiences intimacy often, like really, really often, that's 0.625 percent of their life in marriage. So of 100 hours, that's what they're doing for a half an hour. There has to be more to marriage than that. Nobody is doing it more. If that's where meaning was, then who would have the best marriage? Porn stars would have the best marriage. We'd be looking at them and saying, "Hey, we need to follow their lead. They really have this marriage thing down."
That's not the way it works, because there's something so much more to God's gift of marriage than sex or intimacy through sex. I can prove it to you, because Solomon has a harem. A harem is a group of women to choose from. This is where it gets really weird with this guy. I think this is why creator God preserved this text. See, he has 700 wives, h. He's a polygamist, and he has 300 prostitutes. They all live with him, and they're all at his disposal.
Here's what that means: he can sleep with a wife two times a day for a year without sleeping with the same person. Then when he gets bored with wives, if he wants to go outside of marriage, he has 300 prostitutes at his disposal. He's not pulling up on his iPhone. He has the live-in pornography in three-dimensional image right there in front of him. It's crazy. You think, "But was he a Christian?" Well, Christ hadn't come yet. That's complicated, but here's the deal: he did know God. This was his downfall.
I believe this is why God shows us this. This is what ruined Solomon. This is what led his heart astray. He was not obedient to God in the wives he took, even that he had more than one. I think we think, "Man, if I just had everything I wanted I'd be happy." Do you know anybody who gets everything they want? They're dysfunctional. Usually they move toward a place of mental illness. They can't deal with society. They isolate themselves in deep, deep, deep sadness.
But we don't learn that lesson, do we? You came in this room thinking, "If I just had everything I wanted, I would be happy." Solomon wanted it, he did it, and he said it was meaningless. We can learn something here: that it's empty. When we're constantly looking for the next time we can experience pleasure to fulfill us, we become literally ill, and we start chasing weird pleasures. That's why we listen and laugh at things like Ludacris asking us what's our fantasy or 6ix9ine right now on the radio.
Let me tell you what's going to happen, because I see it all the time, and I love you. I love being here with you guys. I'm looking at you. I'm looking in your eyes, and I love that God has you here this evening, but here's the way this plays out. I'll just tell you, because I get to see hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of relationships. Dude looks at porn. He grows an appetite that's not just unholy; it's unhealthy. It's not that he wants sex; he wants the craziest kind of sex.
So he gets in a relationship with a woman. He convinces her that he's good husband material. They get married. He has expectations of her that she will never be able to meet. In fact, monogamy will never satisfy him, because he has been training himself for variety since the fifth grade. He has been able to dial up anything he wanted just by putting in a web address or a search engine request. Those expectations of that woman are going to crush her.
Women, you guys can be complicated beings in the way you think. Guys are simple. I'll just say it first person. I'm just kind of dumb. Like, A to B, just simple minded, but you guys, if something hurts you emotionally you're not into it anymore. Then that guy begins to abuse you, but he doesn't even know he is. He begins to manipulate you with his words, and you begin to endure some verbal abuse, but he doesn't even know that's happening.
He's just following what he has fed his heart since the fifth grade. I see it all the time. I picked on the guys, but, girls, you do the same thing. So many of you are addicted to pornography. You've been feeding your heart unnatural desires. It has been growing inside of you. So what happens is girls tend to give sex to get love, and guys give love to get sex, and it's a really bad exchange, because the love you're offering is counterfeit. It's not real.
You're like Fiddy. He's into having sex; he ain't into making love. He doesn't even know what love is, guys. He'll never experience love. He's going to die having never experienced love, and that's a really, really, really sad thing. And do you know what we do? We let him teach us. We bob our heads to it. We let him be our instructor, feeding us lies.
Solomon says, "Laughter is madness, and what does pleasure accomplish?" Then he says, "I tried cheering myself with wine…" Now he's moving on to this idea of, "Hey, how can I experience pleasure?" He's talking about laughter. I like laughter. I like funny people. If you're funny, let's hang out. Let's be friends. Call me up afterward. I love to hang out with people who make me laugh.
But when laughter becomes ultimate to you, when your emotions become ultimate to you, first, that's a sign of immaturity, but when you're chasing the next time you can experience happiness through laughter, what you do is you begin to supplement it. You want to feel good, so you get high. You smoke something, you snort something, you pop something, or you drink something, and then that becomes a normal part of your life.
2._ Life is not found in the next high_. Fiddy says:
You can find me in the club, bottle full of bub
Look, mami, I got the X if you into takin' drugs.
Party rock is in the house tonight (woo)
Everybody just have a good time (yeah)
And we gonna make you lose your mind
Everybody just have a good time…
One more shot for us (another round!)
Please fill up my cup (don't mess around!)
"I tried cheering myself with wine." Can I tell you something? I like a nice glass of wine. True story. Sometimes, not very often, every now and then… In fact, this past weekend my friend had a birthday party, and we went over. It was a dinner, and they had an expensive bottle of wine in the middle of the table. I didn't pay for it. I don't pay for it, but he did. So I had a glass.
Can I tell you something? I think it was God honoring, like Communion, like fellowshipping with other believers, celebrating someone's birth, having a glass of wine. I don't have any problem with you having a glass of wine, as long as you know what the Scripture says about it. I don't think it's a sin. That's not my message. That's not what I'm here to tell you, but you having three glasses of wine might be a sin.
You needing a glass of wine might be a sin. Have you ever done that? You come home and you're like, "Oh, rough day. I need a glass of wine." You need one? Really? Oh, you want to use it. You want to use that to alter the way you feel. That might be a sin. That could be problematic. Let's talk about that for a minute. So some of us move to this place where we don't even realize… People will say, "Well, alcohol is not really a big deal for me." Really? Then stop.
"Drinking is not a big deal for me." Oh, it's not a big deal for you? Great. Never do it again. Because if that's hard, then let's agree it's a big deal for you. That matters. When something is not a big deal for you, you can just say, "Oh, I don't need to do that anymore. I'm done with that." I think the why is really important. If you drink for a feeling, like if you don't want to go somewhere because there's not an open bar there or you want to go there because there is an open bar there…
Like, "Hey, do you want to go to this wedding?" "I don't know. Is there alcohol?" All of a sudden you're like, "No, I don't really want to go." You might have a problem. You may need to consider that. That is an act of worship for you. Here are four things that I think are really helpful directly from the Scripture, that you can drink if… You can write these down. You can drink as long as no one is offended by it (1 Corinthians 8), as long as it doesn't cause anyone to stumble (Romans 14)…
That just means if somebody is there and they're going to get drunk or be more inclined to get drunk because you're there, then you don't do it. If someone is there and they'd be offended by you drinking, then don't do it. Don't even consider it. As long as you don't get drunk (Ephesians 5:18), and as long as you do it for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). Whether you eat or drink, whatever you do, do it to the glory of God. If you can do it to the glory of God, then praise him, but if you can't, then don't. Don't do it.
I'm just going to tell you that you going out there to drink so you can do something you wouldn't be courageous enough to do sober…that's not you doing it to the glory of God. That's problematic. Stop it. It's not God honoring. Can I tell you something? It's not an excuse. "I was drunk" is not a good excuse for anything. I don't know when that became okay. All of a sudden, your boyfriend cheated on you, but it's okay because he was drunk. What? Are you serious?
Is that what you're going to tell God? God is going to look at you in the face and say, "Hey, why didn't you follow me down there?" "Oh man, I was drunk." "Blame it on the a-a-a-alcohol." No, that's not going to go well for you. It's not an excuse. Let's be honest. So many of you get drunk so you have an excuse to do things you don't have enough courage to do when you're sober.
Let's learn from Solomon for a minute. This dude partied. He partied more than any of you party. That's the truth. He would have 15,000 people over for dinner every night. At one of his parties, he invited… This is straight from the Scriptures, 1 Kings 4. He invited everyone in the kingdom over. What he had for dinner that night… He served 22,000 cows. Not 22,000 fillets…22,000 cows. This is a true, literal story. This actually happened. I can't even get my head around that. You say, "Well, why does that matter? Why would we know?"
God is showing you, "Hey, you never partied like this guy, and he's telling you it was meaningless. It is meaningless." You're saying, "No, man. You don't understand. We partied big, JP. I was the president of my fraternity, and one time we got this keg." Solomon is laughing at you. He makes your party, your little foam soiree, look like my 6-year-old's birthday party, and there was no keg there. It was community and family and friends, and that's what he makes your party look like. He's saying, "Hey, it was meaningless. There wasn't life there. It's going to leave you empty."
So you drink to try to escape reality, but the problem with that is reality is still there when you're done. The problem with that, friends, is you never learn to deal with reality. Okay, he broke your heart. Now you have to go get wasted. Really? What if you learned to deal with a broken heart? Life is hard. Do you know what people who get wasted to deal with broken hearts do? They grow up to be moms who get wasted to deal with broken hearts or hard days or rough days at school or when the kids aren't listening. That's what happens. That's where it ends up.
Nobody grew up saying, "Hey, I really want to be an alcoholic when I grow up," but so many people do. Why? Because they dealt with a breakup with a glass of wine, two, three, four. Oh, you didn't think about that, did you? Oh, you didn't know that's where that goes. That's where that goes. That's where it leads. Ephesians 5:18 says, "Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit…"
What if you took that breakup and leaned into God and said, "God, I hurt so badly right now. I don't think I'm going to be able to sleep tonight. I'm not going to want to get out of bed tomorrow. I hurt so badly. In fact, I'm tempted to go get high. I'm tempted to go get drunk. I'm tempted to go hang out with my friends and do something stupid. God, Holy Spirit, would you help me?" What if you did that?
What does it mean to be filled with the Spirit? In context, what does alcohol do? It removes your worries. It numbs you to life. What does the Holy Spirit do? When you trust him, he removes your worries and leads you to life. I don't know if you guys have seen… This is always played out in movies. Limitless is a show and a movie. It's like this super- drug that at first you think there are no consequences to it.
What I'm trying to tell you is there's always a consequence. There's always a hangover. Life is always waiting for you. You pop
BY 'Sandi Rhodig'
NOTE: 'These are two different names for the same drug, so I changed the way it was shown to reflect that.']
X, or Molly, because you want to feel good. You do Molly because you want to feel good, and you don't realize it's draining your brain of serotonin, and then your brain is not producing enough serotonin and it's leaving you depressed or putting holes in your brain.
You like coke. People give their entire lives to coke. I've sat with people up here trying to tell me, "No, but THC doesn't have drawbacks." I would just say you're a fool. Show me the last person that getting high made them a better follower of Jesus Christ. I'd love to meet you if that's you. I'll be up here afterward. We can chat.
Verse 4: "I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards." When he says he built houses for himself… Here's a picture of his house. Every house that has ever been on MTV Cribs could fit in that house. That is Solomon's palace. It took 13 years to build it. You're like, "Well, that's just because it was a long time ago." No, no, no. It took seven years to build God's house, the temple, which was extremely extravagant. Thirteen years to build Solomon's palace. When he says he built houses, it's next level.
"I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them." He's saying, "I have a 12-car garage but only 6 cars." "I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees." He made reservoirs. Can I tell you something? Do you know what's crazy about this picture of the reservoirs? That's taken today. Do you know what's crazy about this text? It was 3,000 years ago. His pools are still there. It's stamped geographically. This man actually lived.
You can go to secular websites, search "The richest man who ever lived," and secular websites, which deny the Bible, will tell you it's King Solomon, because his pools are still there. You could go to Bethlehem, travel about five miles northeast, and you're going to see the pools of Solomon. What did he use them for? To water his vineyards. He had vineyards, gardens. Like the arboretum? Like the daddy to the arboretum. I know you have a succulent you're trying to keep alive. The dude had vineyards. Vineyards, this guy.
"I 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. I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired male and female singers, and a harem as well—the delights of a man's heart.""I'm looking for satisfaction everywhere, and I'm coming up empty." He's the ultimate rock star.
3._ Life is not found in rock star status. I know Fiddy says to party like a rock star. We talked about what Post Malone says. There's this club called the _27 Club. Anyone heard of it? It's a very exclusive club. It's a very famous club, but it's not a club anyone wants to be a member of. It is a list of rappers and rock stars who have died at the age of 27. There's a crazy amount of them. Mac Miller just missed it by one year at 26.
Who's on the list? Amy Winehouse, Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison. They all died at the age of 27. Why? Because they partied like rock stars. They did what you think you want to do, and it killed them. Do you see why a loving Father would sit up here and say, "I want something better for you"? I know that's fun. It's Satan's fun. It's the Enemy's fun.
You're going to get hooked to that kind of fun, and you're not going to be able to enjoy normal life. You're not going to be able to sit and be content at your desk on Monday, because you're going to be looking forward to the party, and you're going to be dysfunctional and depressed and you're going to have to take something to feed your brain, to stabilize the serotonin, because you're constantly looking for the next party. God is saying, "I don't want that for you. I want something better for you."
We all think if we just had [fill in the blank] we would be happy. None of us are ever going to have more stuff than Solomon, yet he says it doesn't lead to happiness. He had the nice house, the vineyards, the gardens. He has 30,000 employees, 30,000 people who work for him, and he's not a company. That's like the amount of employees Tesla has, but he's a person, and they work for him.
He has herds and flocks. You have a little Yorkie or a Goldendoodle. That's cute. He has herds and flocks, this guy. He has singers. That's this time's equivalent to the iTunes. You have like 7,000 songs in your iTunes. You have the new Ariana Grande album. That's cute. He has Ariana Grande hanging upside down in his living room, singing to him. That's this man. He has access to the actual singers.
He has gold and silver (verse 8). His income is a billion dollars a year. Not his net worth; his income. A billion dollars a year. That's $2,000 a minute. That's $200,700,000 per day he makes. Two million dollars a day this man makes, and he says it's meaningless. It's empty. Maybe you don't want to listen to Solomon. Let me give you some other people to listen to.
You could listen to Brad Pitt. He said to Rolling Stone, quoting from hisa movie Fight Club, "'Man, I know all these things are supposed to seem important to us—the car, the condo, our versions of success—but if that's the case, why is the general feeling out there reflecting more impotence and isolation and desperation and loneliness?'
If you ask me, I say, 'Toss all this; we gotta find something else.' […]
I do not have those answers yet. The emphasis now is on success and personal gain. I'm sitting in it, and I'm telling you, that's not it. […] I'm the guy who's got everything. I know. But I'm telling you, once you get everything, then you're just left with yourself. I've said it before and I'll say it again: it doesn't help you sleep any better, and you do not wake up any better because of it." That's what Brad Pitt says.
Tom Brady, 2005, in a 60 Minutes interview. He has five Super Bowl rings, four-time Super Bowl MVP. He's married to a Victoria's Secret model, and he says, essentially, "There's got to be something more. This isn't it. This isn't where life is found. There's got to be something else." Russell Brand said, "You can't make yourself happy with the acquisition of material objects or even through romance or anything."
Jim Carrey said, "I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it's not the answer."
See, those people are infinitely better off than you are, not because of what they have but because they know it won't bring happiness. We still sit in a place where we don't have it, and we think we're going to work hard tomorrow for it, and we can't wait for the party this weekend. They're saying, "Hey man, that's not it. That's not it."
There was a club in Lower Greenville called the Sugar Shack. Anybody remember the Sugar Shack? No. Good. It was there. It was kind of the hot spot. This one particular night it's full, like past fire code. Everybody is in there. There's a DJ in there. Everybody is drinking, dancing, jumping up and down, jammin' at the DJ. What happened is the floor fell out. It caved in. People got hurt, like fell from the second floor.
It was kind of when God was doing a work in my heart, and it ministered to me, because I thought, "That's what we're doing." We're partying. We're dancing. We're numbing ourselves. We're listening to songs. We're not even understanding what the words we're feeding our hearts are actually saying, and it's like the trapdoor is just going to fall out. We're going to dance all the way off the cliff. We're going to party all the way to hell. God is going to be like, "Why did you do that?"
"I don't know, God. I was drunk."
"Why didn't you pursue me?"
"It was fun."
So life is not found in sex, life is not found in the next high, and life is not found in being a rock star. It's crazy, because my story is I was at the Beagle 17 years ago. I was there. I was upstairs in this club, the one where I had the VIP card. I bumped into a friend from college, and I asked, "What are you doing this weekend?" She said, "I'm going to go check out this church." I said, "Great. Pick me up." She did.
I went in and sat in the back row, and I just began to wrestle with, "All right. I've always said I believed in God, but the truth is I've always done what I've wanted to do. I slept with whomever I wanted to sleep with. I drank whatever I wanted to drink. I snorted whatever I wanted to snort. I smoked whatever I wanted to smoke. I've never worshiped this God. I've always called myself a Christian."
I had to come to this place where I realized, "You're not a Christian. You can say you're a Christian, but you're not a Christian. You're not doing anything Christian. You're just saying you're a Christian." I said, "All right. Well, who is God?" I began to wrestle with it. I began to research it. "Is it the Hindu god, the Buddhist god, the Jewish god, the Islamic god?"
I kept tripping over the character of Jesus Christ and the beautiful news of the gospel, that I don't have to pay for my sins because Jesus paid for my sins on the cross, that he died for my sins, that God raised him from the grave. What Solomon is trying to tell you, friends, is something really important: nothing in this world is going to satisfy you. He says, specifically, "nothing under the sun." If nothing under the sun is going to satisfy you, you have to go beyond the sun. There has to be something else out there.
You have to hear me on this. Wherever you're at, you have to hear me on this. It is time right now, today, tonight, for you to begin to pursue God with reckless abandonment. He is the only thing… It says in Ecclesiastes 3 God has set eternity in our hearts. You have a void, an eternal hole in your heart that only God can fill. If you chase the things of this world, you're going to end up empty. Verse 24:
"A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind."
He's saying, "Hey, Fiddy can gather all my stuff, and Cardi B and Nicki Minaj and 6ix9ine… They can gather up all my stuff, and do you know what's going to happen? They're just going to hand it to the righteous, those who are going to be with me in my kingdom forever and ever and ever. They can collect it here in their little 76 years or 27 years, 26 years or so, whatever they have. They're going to collect it, and then they're just going to hand it to my children to enjoy it with me forever."
I told you tonight that the lie is that life is in the party, but the truth is that life is in the party. The only party I know of that's bigger than the ones Solomon threw is the one that is going to happen with Jesus, in his presence. It's a party. This is the metaphor we see in the Scripture. It's a party. In Isaiah 25 it says there's going to be drinking and feasting, the best wine you've ever had. It says vintage. Can you imagine vintage with God? This is next-level vintage. That's from the Bible.
It says there's music and dancing there (Luke 15). It says there's passion there, worship (Revelation 14). There are a lot of people, but it's friendships without flakiness or hurt. It's just true love. Like you see them across the room on the dance floor and it's not weird, like, "He hit on my man" or anything like that. It's like, "Oh, how are you doing? I missed you." It's a reunion like one you've never seen. This is 1 Thessalonians 4.
Your grandma, your grandpa, your great-grandparents, the ones who have gone before you, your parents, siblings…you're all there together, the family of God. It's this party, this forever kind of party, pure, unadulterated joy, a joy you've never experienced, candidly, the purest kind of joy, like the most free anyone could be. No shame, no hurt, no sadness. It's a party. Live for that party. You go to bed tonight, wake up tomorrow, and say, "I can't wait for that party. How can I live for that party?"
It starts today. You don't have to wait to be there, to live filled with the Spirit. Holding this world loosely, knowing you're going to be with God forever. That's all that matters. What else is going to matter a hundred years from now? How many shots you took, if you had sex or not, who you had sex with, what you did, how much fun you had? A hundred years from now, what's going to matter? Live for that party. Let me pray that you would.
Father, would you help us do that? It's so easy to get trapped by the worries of this world. You know that. You tell us not to. Father, you're such a good God to us. You're such a good Dad to us. It says in your Word that you desire to give good gifts to your children. Father, would you give those good gifts tonight?
I pray that you would show us that we've been worldly tonight, that you would convict us of sin tonight, that you would show us where life is found. Jesus, your Son, said he came that we might have life and have it to the fullest. Would you help us to experience the fullest life we could have in him? Father, would you show us that now as we sing to you? Would you stir our hearts' affections for you, God? It's in Jesus' name, amen.