Pastor Barry/ The Gathering Church Under The Sun #13 (Ecclesiastes): The Conclusion of the Matter To hear this message and others Plus Sunday live-stream download our free app at The App Store by searching gatheringconnect.
Jesus Is Just “Alright” Luke 19:29-40, Zachariah 9:9
“Jesus Is Just Alright” is a gospel song written by Arthur Reid Reynolds and first recorded by Reynolds’ own group, The Art Reynolds Singers, on their 1966 album, Tellin’ It Like It Is. The song’s title makes use of the American slang term “all-right”, which during the 1960s was used to describe something that was considered ‘cool‘ (lit. awesome/ great). The song has been covered by a number of bands and artists over the years. The Doobie Brothers‘ version of “Jesus Is Just Alright” was first released on their second album, Toulouse Street, in 1972. The band first heard The Byrds version and loved the musical “roller coaster ride” of the sound and “just had to add it” to their album. It went on to become a U.S. hit, peaking at No. 35 on the Billboard Hot 100 in February 1973. Although none of the individual band members were religiously inclined, the song went on to become very popular among Christians during the early 1970s, particularly those within the hippie counter culture that were involved with the Jesus movement.
Funny thing… The Doobie Brothers just did the song cause’ they liked the groove but it became a hit because people loved and wanted to praise Jesus! That reminds me of a line that Jesus rebuked the Pharisees with when they told Him to shut up the crowd that was praising Him as He entered Jerusalem on that first Palm Sunday over 1,983 years ago:
“I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
So… If the Doobie Brothers didn’t make that song a hit then the Rolling Stones might have done so (pun intended). What I’m saying is that if the King of kings wants praise He will have it no matter who or what it comes through! So give your King praise church right where you are— in America and throughout this world —rather the church buildings are closed down or not—people of God cry out praise —because Jesus is more than “alright!” He is King of kings, Lord of lords and maker of heaven and earth. He is the Alpha and Omega, the First and Last, the beginning and the end, The Chief Shepherd and Savior of our souls, the Rock of our salvation and the Lion of the tribe of Judah. Praise him! For He the Resurrection and the Life, the soon and coming King, and He alone will judge the nations! Praise Him church! Praise your King!
As we read the scripture about that historical and glorious day, we see that Jesus orders the days events: He sent his two disciples ahead to find a colt and He told them what to say, because He is King of kings— regardless of what king Herod of Jerusalem thought of himself. There is a lot of godless entertainers, pundits and politicians, scientists and educators, movie makers and book writers, billionaires and kings, magistrates and masses who think a lot of themselves today too. There are many who hate Christians, our Bible and the all-powerful Jesus we serve. Some so called “Christian theologians” (Jesus Seminar and other progressives) even attempt to strip Jesus of His deity, but they forget that Christ is the Eternal King.
The events he ordered that day were to fulfill an 520 year old prophesy in Zachariah 9:9: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey. NKJV They threw their cloaks on the road and waved palm branches because that was the cultural way to welcome a king. They shouted “Hosanna” (lit. Greek: “save us”) because they needed a savior (John 12:13). God knows we need a King and Savior today too!
A King and a Savior Ecclesiastes 12:9-14, John 3:16– 17, John 1:9-12
Now, I have not forgotten, today we finish our 13 week study in the book of Ecclesiastes which ties in beautifully with our need for a king and a savior. Solomon was a good king—for awhile. Solomon was a wise king, the richest and wisest king that ever reigned (1 Kings 10:23-24)—for awhile, but Solomon was a man who lost his way like all of us (1 Kings 11:1-6, 9-11). Of himself at the time of his writing, he said: “The teacher was wise, imparted knowledge, found just the right words that were upright and true…for the people”. Solomon described his wise directions for the people as “goads” (a corrective stick used for driving cattle) and “firmly embedded nails” (which hold an object firmly in place) given by “one shepherd“ (king). He lovingly called his readers “my son” and warned them not to add to his writings or to study anymore on the subject of what he wrote—the meaning of life. The further study of such things would just “weary the body”. He knew this well because he lived all that he wrote. But just as a child never follows all the wise advice of his parents, or the animal its good master, so the sinner goes his own foolish way despite good advice. Solomon’s conclusion to his readers is simple: “Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind” for in the end He will judge all things. But we don’t like that conclusion do we? Especially we “self-made Americans.” But the fact is we are not self-made. God made us and His commands are given for our well being. You see, all the earthly kings from Saul to Solomon, from Jeroboam to Zedekiah, failed to keep God’s commandments and therefore lost the people and the land God gave them— and so goes America and the rest of the world— but God so loved the world (John 3:16-17) that He came down to show us truth and to save us from our own sin and rebelliousness.
On that Palm Sunday, God wrapped in human flesh, ordered the days events to be rightfully proclaimed the prophesied Messiah (anointed one of God) and King, but He also came riding on the back of a “beast of burden” to be a “lamb for slaughter”, a sacrifice for our sin— a savior for all who would call upon His name (John 1:9-12).
Jesus Weeps Luke 19:41-44, John 3:18-21, Philippians 2:8-11
While the crowd paraded around Jesus He wept over what was “hidden from their eyes”. He knew the same crowd would shout “crucify” in only a few days because that is what a sinful mob does when rallied by the Devil they refuse to believe in. Jesus wept over what would happen to the Jews for their actions. There are always grave consequences to rejecting God as He has revealed Himself. In 70 A.D. Rome would build an embankment around Jerusalem and destroy the city and its great temple—not leaving “one stone upon another”.
God so loves the world that He provided one way out of sin’s punishment, but those who reject Jesus will be condemned (John 3:18-21). One day every knee will bow and every tongue confess that He alone is Lord (Philippians 2:8-11). The coronavirus is physically concerning, but sin is a virus that has eternal consequences that will absolutely take the life of every person on this earth who is without the remedy —who is Christ Jesus alone. “Cry out” to Him!