Under The Sun #7:Stiff-Necked Fools

BobMarleyPastor Barry/ The Gathering Church  Under The Sun #7 (Ecclesiastes): Stiff-Necked Fools  To hear this message and others download our free app at The App Store by searching Gathering Connect.

Stiff-Necked Fool Proverbs 29:1-2, Acts 7:51-53

Confrontation is the thirteenth and final studio album by Bob Marley & the Wailers. It was released posthumously in May 1983, two years after Marley’s death from skin cancer at age 36. The songs on the album were compiled from unreleased material and singles  recorded during Marley’s lifetime, among them is Stiff Necked Fool.  This song by Bob Marley contrasts  “stiff- necked” (prideful) vanity with wisdom. Vanity is the excessive  belief in one’s own self.  Marley said that the world has the wrong interpretation of life because their understanding of it is based on the simplicity of their vain imaginations and not God’s revealed wisdom.  His song is actually quite biblical and sounds as if it came right out of the pages of Ecclesiastes or Proverbs (see Proverbs 29:1-2). The term “stiff- necked” was coined to refer to stubborn oxen that would not  respond to the plowing farmer.  Throughout the Bible  the figure of speech was used to express the stubborn, untractable spirit of a people not responsive to the guiding of their God (Exodus 2:933:3Deuteronomy 9:62 Chronicles 36:13Jeremiah 17:23). In the book of Acts, Stephen, the churches first martyr, called the religious Jews “stiff necked” because of their resistance of the Holy Spirit’s work through the prophets, angels and Jesus (Acts 7:51-53).  They resisted God even to the extent of murder.  

Bob Marley “Rasta Man”  February 6, 1945 – May 11, 1981, Philippians 2:8-11

Marley had been diagnosed with cancer in 1977, which spread from under a nail of his toe that was injured after playing football (Soccer). He was advised to have his toe amputated; but was “stiff- necked” and refused the advice sighting his Rastafarian faith which considers it a sin to have any part of the body ‘temple’ removed. He agreed to a skin graft, but the disease spread throughout his body.

Marley was raised as a Catholic, but became interested in Rastafari beliefs in the 1960s through his wife, Rita Marley’s, influence. The cult religion Rastafari began in Jamaica after the 1930 coronation of Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie I ( or Ras [prince] Tafari [to be feared] Makonnen), who was  considered by many to be the returned Christ.  The religion is a mixture of Biblical scripture,         mysticism, black pride, ritual ganja (marijuana) smoking and “vain imaginations”.  Rita converted to the faith after seeing Haile Selassie on his Jamaican trip. She claimed in interviews (and in her book No Woman, No Cry) that she saw a stigmata print on the palm of Selassie’s hand as he waved to the crowd—a claim that was not supported by other sources, but was used as evidence for her and others to suggest that Selassie was indeed their messiah.  After Marley formally converted to Rastafari he grew dreadlocks and introduced the religion to the world through his music.

In a 1967 recorded interview with the CBC, Haile Selassie denied his alleged divinity. In the interview Bill McNeil says: “there are millions of Christians throughout the world, your Imperial Majesty, who regard you as the reincarnation of Jesus Christ.” Selassie replied in his native language: I have heard of that idea. I also met certain Rastafarians. I told them clearly that I am a man, that I am mortal, and that I will be replaced by the oncoming  generation, and that they should never make a mistake in assuming or pretending that a human being is emanated from a deity”.  Selassie was assassinated on August 27, 1975 at age 83 following a coup d’état.

Despite having literal worshipers, Selassie himself was a Christian and member of the Ethiopian Orthodox church. “He always rejected the view that he was the second Christ,” explained the Reverend of Holy Trinity Church, where Selassie attended later in life. “He always remained a Christian.” Unlike many false prophets and messianic figures who have come and gone through the years, Selassie never claimed to be the Christ or God. He also never followed or led the Rastafari movement. It was the rare case where one was basically “selected” as messiah by a very “stiff necked” people who have the wrong interpretation of scripture and life because their understanding of them is based on the simplicity of their vain imaginations and not God’s revealed wisdom.  —at the name of Jesus that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess.” Philippians 2:8-11 

Although Marley sang and spoke about being a Rasta, many say he converted to Christianity before his death. Abuna Yesehaq ( Ah-bu-na  Yees-ha) , archbishop of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in the Western Hemisphere who died in 2005, said that Haile Selassie himself commissioned him to start a church in Jamaica to specifically preach to the Rasta community and turn them from the worship of him and towards worship of the true Jesus Christ of the Bible. He also said in that interview that he       baptized Bob Marley about one year before his death and spoke openly about Marley’s desire to become a Christian long before his death. “when he was baptized, he hugged his family and wept, they all wept together for about half an hour”, said Yesehaq.  Yesehaq later conducted the rites for the Bob Marley’s funeral. 

Judy Mowatt, a reggae and gospel singer who once sang backup for Marley said she spoke with her former bandmate and Marley’s wife, Rita, about the late musician calling out to Jesus Christ on his death bed. “When Bob was on his dying bed, his wife Rita called me on the phone and said that Bob was in such excruciating pain that he stretched out his hand and said, ‘Jesus take me.’ I was wondering to myself, ‘Why is it that Bob said Jesus and not Selassie’, “Then I met a friend who said his sister, who is a Christian, was a nurse at the hospital where Bob was before he passed on, and she led him to the Lord Jesus Christ. So when Rita saw him saying ‘Jesus take me,’ he had already received the Lord Jesus Christ in his life.” Mowatt soon found herself on her own spiritual journey.  

“The Song of Fools” Ecclesiastes 7:1-12, John 8:41-47, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, 4: 1-5, Romans 12:1-3, 2 Corinthians 10:3-6

As we read the “teachers’ words  from Ecclesiastes it reminds me of Bob Marley.  The day of his death actually birthed his eternal life with the true Christ.  His cancer (mourning) took him away from the “song of fools” making “his end better than his beginning” and the “patience” of his hearing the truth “better than his ‘stiff- necked’ pride” in his Rastafari beliefs.  The “old days” of Marley’s fame “were not better than these.”  The wisdom gained through Bob Marley’s cancer and that heartache led him to Jesus and away from his “vain imaginations”.  “Wisdom preserves those who have it”. 

It is amazing that one can sing a song of truth while living a lie, but many people do.  Actually, the most convincing lie always has a bit of truth mixed into it — Satan is the father of lies.  Jesus said that true believers will love Him (John 8:41-47).  The apostle Paul told us that a time would come when people would deny that truth to suit their own passions.  We as believers are to be patient and    careful about our own instruction as we correct others in love (2 Timothy 4:1-5). We are “careful” when we  do not conform to the pattern of this world and think soberly according to God’s word about who we are (Romans 12:1-3)—when we  take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3-6). Only then can we refrain from singing “the Song of fools”.

 

 

Under The Sun #6: A Sorrowful Portrait

3SelfPortraitWithFeltHat2Pastor Barry/ The Gathering Church  Under The Sun #6 (Ecclesiastes): A Sorrowful Portrait (Vincent van Gogh)  To hear this message and others download our free app at The App Store by searching The Gathering Connect.

Vincent (1853-1890) Ecclesiastes 6:1-6, Ephesians 2:1-9

Vincent” is a song by Don McLean written as a tribute to the most well-known post-Impressionist artist Vincent van Gogh. The song is also known by its opening line, “Starry, Starry Night“, a reference to van Gogh’s 1889 painting The Starry Night. McLean wrote the lyrics on a paper bag while sitting on a veranda in 1971 after reading a book about the life of van Gogh.  It was released on McLean’s 1971 American Pie album, and the following year the song became a hit first in the UK and then in the US on the Easy Listening Chart.

Today’s lesson in the book of Ecclesiastes brings McLean’s song Vincent to my mind because of the first verses in chapter six (Ecc. 6:1-6).  Vincent van Gough is the most well known post-impressionistic painters of all time.  In 2017 one of his paintings (Laboureur Dans Un Champ) sold for $81.3 million dollars,  yet he himself died largely unknown and in poverty.  Today museum exhibits of his work are attended by large crowds from all over the world, yet those same works were first exhibited on the day of his funeral outside of the little apartment he once rented (public areas of the Auberge Ravoux). His brother Theo organized the display on the public sidewalk for strangers passing by—some of the paintings were still wet from the brush of the prolific painter.

Born in Zundert, Netherlands, The son of a minister, van Gogh started working at age 16, when his uncle got him a job as a trainee with an art dealership, but he was fired in 1876. Afterward, he worked briefly as a school teacher in England then at a bookstore back in the Netherlands. In 1878, he went to the Borinage, a mining district in Belgium, and worked among the poor as a lay preacher. He gave away his belongings and slept on floors, but after less than a year on the job the religious organization sponsoring van Gogh decided he wasn’t cut out to be a pastor and dismissed him.

Vincent van Gogh did not have any children although he gave birth to more than 2,000 artworks, consisting of around 900 paintings and 1,100 drawings and sketches. Van Gogh did not begin painting until his late twenties, and most of his best-known works were produced during his final two years. He also produced 651 letters written to his brother Theo that suggest that he suffered from bipolar and borderline personality disorderVan Gogh’s distinct style vividly expressed his tortured mind and his deep loneliness.  Vincent failed in four relationships with women and a friendship with painter Gauguin that ended in a rage where he cut off his own ear.  Likely, that self-mutilating incident was the frustrating culmination of the news that his brother was engaged and would therefore be less able to continue funding Vincent’s artistic endeavors and limit his availability in their friendship.  Vincent was committed to a hospital where he spent two weeks in recovery and then returned to his “yellow house”, but his mental attacks continued and neighbors filed a petition against him.        Eventually, Vincent committed himself to an asylum for one year but he left wanting to be free of the institutional life.  Two months later the artist left his apartment one morning to paint in a wheat field and there shot himself in the chest with a pistol. Vincent managed to limp home, but died of his  injuries two days later, with his brother Theo at his side on July 29, 1890.  He was buried the next day. Ironically, His brother Theo would die six months later.  Theo’s widow, Jo van Gogh-Bonger, had Theo’s remains moved from the Netherlands and re-interred in France, where Vincent was buried. After Jo passed away, her only child with Theo, Vincent Willem van Gogh, inherited his uncle’s     artwork and eventually founded the Van Gogh Museum, which opened in Amsterdam in 1973.

In Ecclesiastes the “teacher”, referring to death, asks “Do not all go to the same place?  Believers in Christ know the answer to that question is “no.”  Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who       believed in His name, He gave the right to be called the children of God… (John 1:12).  We know that van Gogh had many problems and vices, but he also once had a deep faith in Christ.  He expressed this in paintings like The Good Samaritan, The Raising of Lazarus, The Sower and The Sheaf Binder. Vincent described Jesus as “the supreme artist, more of an artist than all others, disdaining marble and clay and color, working in the living flesh.”  “One cannot do better than hold onto the thought of God through everything” he wrote, “under all circumstances, at all places, at all times, and try to  acquire more knowledge about Him, which one can do from the Bible as well as from all other things.” The church had rejected van Gogh as a missionary and perhaps even as a parishioner but his brother ,Theo, also a believer in Christ,  and God never did. It is likely that God gave Vincent and Theo two days before his death for some reflection.  “It is by grace we are saved”  (Ephesians 2:1-9). 

Living a Legacy Matthew 5:13-16, Romans 7:21-25 

One of America’s founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin, once said: “If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”  God has created us to live with faith and passion and not ease and comfort, in fact the later most certainly will cancel out the former.  No matter what our lot in life may be we can positively affect people who know us or even come after we are gone if we do not live solely for ourselves on this earth.  Think of the benefit our founding fathers had on our nation and its posterity.  Think of the fathers of our faith and yes, most of all consider Jesus Christ (See One Solitary Life by Dr. James Allan 1926). Of course it was Jesus’ sole mission to seek and save those who were lost (Luke 19:10), but did He not call us to do the same (Matthew 5:13-16)To be sure, our lives are not as pure, and stained with many imperfections, but He will redeem all that we entrust to Him and only He can do it (Romans 7:21-25).  Even the sorrowful portrait of Vincent can bring beauty. 

“Who Knows?” Ecclesiastes 6:7-12, Philippians 4:11b-13, Revelation 21:4-7. 

Do you live to quench a sinful appetite that is never satisfied or will you be content with what you see that God has provided?  These are the parting words of the “teacher” to us today.  We can “not   contend with someone stronger” is to say, in the words of Doris Day (Singer/Actress 1922-2019), “whatever will be will be, the future’s not ours to see, Que Sera, Sera”.  

“For who knows?”, asks the “teacher”.  God knows— the past, the present and the future so the wise will entrust their lives to Him. Have faith…He will weave the tapestry together (Romans 8:28)Let us forget all the vain philosophies of men: “the more the words the less the meaning”.  God’s word is simple: “Come near to God and he will come near to you” (James 4:8). The apostle Paul shared the “secret of being content”(Phil. 4:11b).”  It is not that we will live in ease and comfort, but that we can do all things through Him who gives us strength.  Thus, regardless of the “fairness of life” it is never meaningless when we trust Godand He makes “all things new” even in death (Rev. 21:4-7).  This is His promise for all who believe— for Vincent, for Theo and for you and me.

 

 

Under The Sun #5: Vows To God

              Shattered GlassPastor Barry/ The Gathering Church  Under The Sun #5 (Ecclesiastes): Vows To God (The Sacrifice of Fools)  To hear this message and others download our free app at The App Store by searching The Gathering Connect.               

The Sacrifice of Fools Galatians 6:7-8, 1 John 1:8-10, Ecclesiastes 5:1-9

When a politician tells their public that they pray for their arch enemy every day and then proceeds to attack him in every way— they are a fool.  When a priest says he loves God and then sexually abuses an altar boy— he is a fool.  When an evangelist says that he has come to serve and then fills his pockets full of money, his house full of treasures and his garage full of cars— he is a fool.  When a believer goes to church and participates in all the Christian activities and yet doesn’t change a thing in any of their actions— they are a fool, because God is no fool.  God is not mocked.  Whatever a man sows he will reap in return (Galatians 6:7).

As we begin reading chapter five of Ecclesiastes, the “teacher” reflects on the meaningless activities of religious phonies.  Why do they lie about their love and respect for God when they are only using “faith talk” to promote themselves?  Do they really believe their own lies or is it just that they have no respect or fear of God (Romans 3:12)?  There is a recognized syndrome today called False memory syndrome (FMS) that describes a condition in which a person’s   identity and relationships are affected by memories that  are factually incorrect but that they strongly believe.  Psychiatry calls this confabulation.  A memory  error defined as the            production of fabricated, distorted, or misinterpreted thoughts or memories about oneself or the world, without the conscious intention to  deceive. These defenses are actually being used successfully in our courts today.  Do some people exhibit FMS or confabulation regarding their piety?  Apparently so, but this will not be a good case defense on judgment day.  We may    deceive even ourselves, but God will not stand by and allow any man to call Him a liar (1 John 1:8-10). 

 The “teacher” gives us sound advice: “Guard your steps when you go to the house of God.  Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong.”  The purpose in going to “the house of God” (aka Church) is to listen and learn!   If you are here for any other reason today then you are bringing the sacrifice of a fool.  Even your pastor is here to learn!  I spend hours learning from God what I condense and teach to you.  I also hear from God through worship, prayer and talking to my congregation. None of us should ever dare come into this place thinking that “I am something special—listen to me, look at my gift, watch me, I have a position, love me!” We are all here to listen, give praise and worship God!  If you are here for any of those reasons and you do not know that you are doing wrong, then listen and learn…you are doing wrong!  

For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. Colossians 1:16              

The “teacher” continues by giving his readers a solid lesson in how to listen and learn in the house of God: 

  1. Don’t be quick with your mouth: We who lead in the church, in business, in politics, and in family & parenting need to shut our mouths and just listen sometimes. In fact, if you have   difficulty listening then you should especially shut your mouth and listen to God’s instruction.
  2. Don’t be hasty in your heart: In the words made immortal by Elvis Presley, “Wise men say only fools rush in”. The Bible teaches us to think before we act and to “count the cost” before we make a decision even when following Jesus (Luke 9:23). Once we make a decision our word is to be our bond.  “Anything more comes from the evil one (Matthew 5:37).”

With these points firmly planted in our minds we are to come to God to learn His word and direction for our lives. God is exalted (in Heaven) and we are not!  He is creator and we are the creation (on the earth). Let us not think too highly of ourselves (Romans 12:3)!  A dream comes (or goals are achieved) when there are many cares ( or much care has been taken), and many words mark the speech of a fool.  Ecclesiastes 5:3 

Let us not be those “Christians” who bring the sacrifice of fools to God’s house.  If we aren’t learning and applying anything from His word to our living then even offerings, worship and service is meaningless.  Let us fulfill our vows to God or not bother to make them in the first place. For He will hold us to our promise.  Don’t hate the “messenger” for this truth or argue your case with the one who brings the Word.  Just receive it! Too much dreaming (or goal   setting) and words—  especially  hasty ones, used in prayer and talking, show folly in the heart, low thoughts of God, and careless plans of our own making.  If we “fear God” our relationship with Him will not be meaningless and we will not bring the sacrifice of fools into His house. 

Riches are Meaningless Ecclesiastes 5:8-17, Luke 16:13-15

The “teacher” writes on with timeless observation that the poor are oppressed, officials are ruthless and kings reign— all because of the pursuit of money.  The lover of money never has enough, nor do the consumers who consume what they sell to get it.  Evangelist David Wilkerson once said: “If money is such a blessing then why did God heap so much of it upon the damned?”  The pursuit of money has killed more people than all the wars in the world put together…actually most wars were fought for money!   In summation, everyone comes without anything (naked) from the womb and departs this earth in the same way.  So living for the love of money is like “eating all your days in darkness with great frustration, affliction and anger”.  Why else would Queen Elizabeth I have groaned these last words before her death:  “All my possessions for a moment of time”, but then what did that say about her Protestant Faith?

Jesus told the money loving religious Pharisees that they could not serve God and money. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight (Luke 16:13-15). One could certainly say that the Pharisees made the “sacrifice of fools”.  They were so blinded by their love for money and pride that they couldn’t see God standing right in front of Him— in fact they crucified Him!

“Be Good” Ecclesiastes 5:18-20, Luke 18:18-19, Micah 6:6-8

The summation of the “teacher” is “to be good”.  Jesus made it clear that only God is good (Luke 16:13-15) which brings us back to our need for Him.  When we “fear God” and keep ourselves from making “the sacrifice of fools” we can appreciate what God has given and accept our lot in life.  Rather rich or poor or somewhere in-between we must glorify Him.  We were made for this reason and this alone is the only sacrifice that God requires of us (Micah 6:6-8).

 

        

 

Under The Sun #4: Lonely People

LonelyBeachOilPastor Barry/ The Gathering Church  Under The Sun #4 (Ecclesiastes): Lonely People  To hear this message and others download our free app at The App Store by searching The Gathering Connect.

America & Lonely People The Dan Peek Story

Dan Peek (November 1, 1950 – July 24, 2011) was an American musician and song writer best known as a founding member of the folk rock band America (1970 to 1977).  He wrote many of America’s hits including Lonely People which he and his newly wed wife (Catherine) wrote together in an     attempt to counter the hopelessness of the Beatles’ hit song Eleanor RigbyThe Band America    actually began in London where Dan Peek’s dad was stationed in the U.K. as were the father’s of his classmate’s, Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell who would also become his band mates.  While playing together one day the trio realized they had something special and formed the band  America, named so that people would know that they weren’t just three guys singing with phony American accents.  In 1971, the trio cut an album with some success, but later that same year they released the single    A Horse With No Name and became an immediate sensation winning a Grammy for best new musical artist in 1972. A trail of number one hits and records followed.

The fame, fortune, sex, and drugs gnawed away at Dan’s childhood faith. In a series of interviews Peek said, “I had a spiritual compass but I abandoned it completely.” He recalled a time in London when the band first formed. “ I got on my knees and I said, ‘Lord, if you’ll make this group a success, I will use it as a platform to tell other people about you”.  Within a year of praying that prayer, America had a number one album and a number one single around the world.  Peek said, “It hit me like a ton of bricks one day— Bam!, God answered your prayer. Now you need to live up to your end of the bargain! – I tried to share the Gospel with Dewey and Gerry. They weren’t interested. I tried to share it with some other people – they didn’t want to know. So, I just kind of withdrew into my shell as a heathen and then just became a practicing hedonist”. Fame was “like being a kid in a candy shop with a sweet tooth”, said Peek. “I had become a trash dump of chemicals.”

After a fall or jump (he couldn’t remember) from a cliff at his million dollar home in Malibu, and later (after recovery) kneeling in prayer there, he cried out to God, repented for the life he was leading, and re-committed his life to Christ. Peek said, “Within months everything was gone”. His house burned down in a fire, he left the band, America and he and his wife moved to the mid-west where Dan pursued a new career as a Christian music artist releasing All Things Are Possible in 1979, Doer of the Word in 1984 and Electrovoice in 1986, which included a remake of “Lonely People” where he changed some of the song’s lyrics to reflect his Christian faith. Peek spent much of the 1990s in semi-retirement, occasionally recording at his home in Bodden Town, Grand Cayman Island. In the years before his death, Peek released music via his website.  Dan Peek died in his sleep (of fibrinous pericarditison July 24, 2011, at age 60 in his home in Farmington, Missouri . He was survived by his wife Catherine, both of his parents and five siblings. Dan and Catherine had no children but many children of God surely came from his ministry and their life together.

Note: In 2004 Dan Peek released an autobiography entitled An American Band: The America Story

Oppression, Toil & Loneliness Ecclesiastes 4:1-8, Luke 4:18-19, Matthew 11:28-29, John 15:5, 13-15, Romans 5:1-11

As we come to chapter four in our study of Ecclesiastes we find King Solomon reflecting on the oppression being suffered by man on this earth.  Tears without comfort and abuse without remedy. Solomon’s conclusion was that the dead were happier than the living and that it would be best to never have been born at all.  He also saw that hard work (toil) and achievement sprung from one person’s envy of another and that even with both hands full (plenty) there was no fulfillment in life.  What Solomon discovered was that oppression comes from within and without.  It is a state of being.

Dan Peek speaks of this same “state of being” in his autobiography. By all appearances he had and accomplished everything but felt immense oppression.  He relates that the achievements of his band America was the result of mean spirited competition between him and his band mates to write the next hit song.  The endless touring and concerts had become an exhaustive burden.  Dan Peek could certainly agree with   Solomon at that suicidal point in his life— “There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother…Their was no end to his toil and his eyes were not content with his wealth…meaningless—a miserable business!”.  

Solomon and Dan Peek alike were “lonely people” even though they were surrounded by many   people and things. They were lonely and oppressed (mentally distressed) because their relationship with God was not right.  Indeed, some historically oppressed victims and slaves never expressed the disparity here that    Solomon did in all of his splendor.  Harriet Tubman (Slave & civil rights heroine), Corrie Ten Boom (Holocaust survivor, author & speaker), and Richard Wurmbrand (Imprisoned minister, tortured survivor, author and founder of Voice of the Martyrs) are all Christian examples of people who testified that their relationship with Christ, even in extended times of immense oppression, toil and loneliness, found peace with God.  In Jesus’ own words He came “to set at liberty those who are oppressed” (Luke 4:18-19). He came to “give rest” to those who toil (Matthew 11:28-29). He came as a friend to the lonely—to “remain” with us always (John 15:5, 13-15).  As the Apostle Paul said to the church in Rome: “we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” and “God’s love poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit” and believers “have now received reconciliation” (Romans 5:1-11).  The “peace” that delivers one from such mental and spiritual oppression can only come through Christ.  Dan Peek’s testimony is a fine example of that truth.

“Two are better than one” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

The logical passage above makes good physical sense.  Two are certainly better than one; however, the “cord of three strands” which “is not quickly broken” is ironically a reference to three.  Our God is three in one, a Trinity—Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  He alone can not be broken and nor can His promises to those who belong to Him.  God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?  Numbers 23:19  A true friend is good to find and a good spouse and children are a blessing, but a relationship with Jesus Christ is eternal and unbreakable.  He will “never leave us or forsake us” (Hebrews 13:5). 

The “Real King”  Ecclesiastes 4:13-16

Solomon tells a story that reflects the constant fickleness of fans (aficionado or supporter).  People will  always move from one “king” (famous person) to another younger successor, but will always be unsatisfied.  King Jesus is the only one who should sit on the throne of our lives.  All else is truly “meaningless, a chasing after the wind”.  Dan Peek later changed the words of his song, Lonely People and re-recorded it (Electrovoice 1986). He ended all of his concerts with it thereafter. He concluded: “Don’t give up until you drink from the silver cup , He’ll never take you down, He’ll never give you up, but you’ll never know until you try”.  To any who feel like giving up…please don’t.  Let us introduce you to Jesus.  He is the “real King!”