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Sermon Series'

Life Under The Sun

Life Under The Sun

September 2013 - November 2014
Pastor Jon Kopp
Sun, Nov 16, 2014
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50 mins 25 secs
Speaker: Jon Kopp - In The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, C. S. Lewis provides a very picturesque and helpful picture for us of the fear of God. Susan and Lucy ask Mr. and Mrs. Beaver to tell them about Aslan, the lion in the story who is a picture of Christ. “He is the King of the woods and the son of the great Emperor-beyond-the Sea. Don’t you know who is the King of Beasts? Aslan is a lion—the Lion, the great Lion.” “Ooh!” said Susan. “...Is he quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.” “That you will, dearie, and make no mistake,” said Mrs. Beaver, “if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.” “Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy. “Safe?” said Mr. Beaver. “Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about being safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.” This morning, Solomon is going to share with us what life is all about. Fearing God and keeping His commandments. May God use His word to help us to recognize, reverence and make room for Him in our hearts and lives.
Pastor Jon Kopp
Sun, Oct 12, 2014
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48 mins 59 secs
Speaker: Jon Kopp - Everything about life under the sun is empty unless God is at the center of it. That is the final conclusion that Solomon makes about the meaning of life before he closes out the book of Ecclesiastes. But, before we examine the final conclusion, have you ever wondered how he got there? How did you find that meaning of life, Solomon? Because it seems like most of your life was wasted on pleasure, earthly thinking and vexation. In our passage today, Solomon puts a postscript on his treatise about life under the sun. And in these verses, he is going to tell us how he came to write the book. He gives validity for it, and in the process he shows us how he came to discover the meaning of life. And it is the same way for all of us. So, Solomon is going to show us that God alone gives meaning to life under the sun. But, how does he do that? How does God show us the meaning of life? In these verses, Solomon is going to answer that question for us, and in the answer, we will find the tools that God uses in men’s hearts to draw us all away from ourselves and our own wisdom to His final, stabilizing words of truth.
Pastor Jon Kopp
Sun, Oct 05, 2014
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48 mins 51 secs
Speaker: Jon Kopp - Life is good. And with that phrase, Solomon begins his closing statements in the book of Ecclesiastes. Which may surprise you, because Solomon is anything but sappy and sentimental. No one would ever accuse him of looking at life through rose-colored glasses. For much of the book, he has pointed out hardship and death and injustice and pain and difficulty. Which is what I believe gives him incredible authority to talk about the goodness of life. Leland Ryken says, “As in all great literature, [Solomon] earns the right to affirm [the positive] by doing justice to the negatives of life.” You could say it this way-- Solomon has been there done that, and lived to tell about it. And, at the end of it all, he says here’s what matters. Here’s what life is for: Life is for enjoying. God wants you to find true, lasting, deep, abiding joy. Solomon actually talks about it 17x in Ecclesiastes. This book is about joy. In fact, the Jewish people read an OT book every year at their feast of tabernacles. Do you know what it is? Ecclesiastes. Because, the brand of joy Solomon is after is the kind that is anchored to reality, not superficiality. Solomon pushes us toward a brand of joy that is true, lasting, and fully capable of withstanding the pressures of life. May God reveal to us all the path to truly enjoying life.
Pastor Jon Kopp
Sun, May 18, 2014
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53 mins 9 secs
Speaker: Jon Kopp - For our message this morning, we will be in Ecclesiastes 8 looking again at life under the sun. Solomon is going to point out for us today that life is full of frustration. Do you agree with him? What frustrations did you bring to church this week? Was it pressure at work or a conflict with your spouse? Perhaps you watched the news last night and our governments most recent choices have you in a funk. Life under the sun is often full of anxious, frustration toil and, when we really look at that toil, most of our frustration in it comes from something that is outside our control. Or, as we are going to see in our text today, someone that is outside our control. Solomon points to some of life’s frustrations this morning. Specifically, frustrations that surround those under authority. Which happens to be everyone. And he is going to show us that though authority can be frustrating (both human and divine), in the midst of it all, we don’t have to despair. We don’t have to give up. We can find hope in this frustrating life under the sun, and that hope is only found in the wisdom that comes from God.
Pastor Jon Kopp
Sun, Feb 23, 2014
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52 mins 6 secs
Speaker: Jon Kopp - This morning in our series through Ecclesiastes, Solomon says there is something about this world that haunts him. “There is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his evildoing.” Life doesn’t always play by the rules. It's not always fair. He has seen good people die young right next to evil people who die old. Have you ever wondered at the same scenes? The young, Christian mom dies giving birth while the hardened criminal lives to a ripe old age. It doesn't make sense, but it is the world we live in. It's been that way since sin first entered the world. Think of the first murder on our planet--Abel being killed by Cain. The righteous Abel died young while the murderer Cain married, had children, and, as far as we know, lived to a ripe old age. So, how do we deal with that? Because, that is exactly the opposite of what we would expect in a world that is governed by a good and righteous God. If God is good and righteous, shouldn’t the good and righteous live longer? Shouldn’t those who do what God wants get more than those who don’t? What is the answer to these questions? Once again, Solomon shows us the answer, and it is found in God Himself. We can't answer these questions with our own wisdom. We need the wisdom and righteousness that comes from God Himself. And Solomon is going to point us in that direction.
Pastor Jon Kopp
Sun, Feb 09, 2014
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56 mins 6 secs
Speaker: Jon Kopp - This morning, we are continuing our series through Ecclesiastes: Life under the Sun. Solomon is going to surface two themes for us today. The good times and the bad times of our lives. Prosperity and pain. But, those things aren’t always as they seem, are they? Good times can be bad, and bad times can be good. Stick with Solomon here. Because, you’ve seen it too. Isn’t it that the best times of our lives with God come out of the most painful times? And more often than not, our lowest times with God come in our most comfortable times. God doles both times into our lives, and He wants us to please Him in both. So, here is the question that Solomon is going to answer today. If good times can be bad and bad times can be good, how can we live a life that pleases God? How can we live a life pleasing to God in our unpredictable world? Solomon is going to show us that pleasing God in this life requires something that we don’t have. Something that we are missing. And, the answer isn’t found in less pain or more prosperity. More good. Less bad. In fat, we don’t need different circumstances at all. We need something to help us navigate what we are already facing. Ultimately, what we need is something that only God can give us. His wisdom. May God show us His wisdom today.
Pastor Jon Kopp
Sun, Dec 29, 2013
Hits: 2530
51 mins 40 secs
Speaker: Jon Kopp - Over and over again in this book, Solomon has shown us that life under the sun--life lived without the connection of faith to the eternal God is empty. Vanity. It lacks lasting substance. And, with comprehensive precision, he proves that point. Wisdom, folly, work, leisure, money, possessions, success, power, pleasure, control and understanding, even friend relationships--everything is empty apart from a relationship with God. This morning, Solomon will continue his experiment. Ecclesiastes 5 shows us another empty activity under the sun, and it is quite unexpected. It is our worship. Solomon is going to point at our relationship with God this morning, and He is going to show us that even our worship can be empty and meaningless. Even the gifts we give God can leave us empty and frustrated inside. All is vanity, says the preacher --even approaching God with our gifts of worship can be vanity. And I don’t think that’s a novel concept. I think it’s something we’ve all experienced.
Pastor Jon Kopp
Sun, Nov 24, 2013
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49 mins 3 secs
Speaker: Jon Kopp - Ever since the Byrds grabbed Ecclesiastes 3 and turned it into a folk rock song in 1962, people have seen this list of occurrences simply as events that happen to people in their lifetime--events that can be turn, turn, turned however we need them to so that hopefully, there is still time for peace. That's the last line of commentary they added to Solomon's poem. “A time for peace--I swear it's not too late.” But, God’s word shows us something very different. God's word shows us that occurrences never just happen. Nothing is random. Every event of our lives comes from the infinitely wise and controlling hand of God! He brings it all. And like it or not, our lives will be a mixture of whatever easy times and hard times He chooses to send our way. There will be a mixture of mourning and laughing, of tearing down and building up, but we don’t decide which will come or when. "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven." But, we don’t always like that, do we? We want life our way. We'd rather be in control, or if we can't be in control, at least give us answers. But oft times, we don't get answers. God doesn't promise that life will make sense, but He does promise that He is at work to make all things beautiful in His time. May God give us grace this morning to trust Him and enjoy His beautiful plan in every mystery of our lives.
Pastor Jon Kopp
Sun, Oct 27, 2013
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47 mins 17 secs
Speaker: Jon Kopp - The book of Ecclesiastes tells us that in an effort to to find the secret to satisfaction, Solomon conducts the largest experiment of human experience imaginable. “Is there any gain to be found from life under the sun?” he asks. And this is a question we’d all love the answer too, isn’t it? Because, when we aren’t happy, what do we blame? Isn’t it always something we don’t have? I’d be happier if this person respected me more. I’d be happier if my husband or wife was more romantic. I’d be happier if I had a better car. More money. A better position at work. More time to myself. So, Solomon says, you know what. I’ll try it. I’ll try all those things. Yes. All. He is quite qualified to conduct such an experiment. He is “king over Israel in Jerusalem.” He has “seen everything that is done under the sun,” and he has “great wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before [him].” Solomon is qualified to look for the secret to satisfaction, and He’s going to shoot straight with you in a way that others can’t or won’t. Life under the sun is empty. But, is there satisfaction to be found? May God show us how we can make sense of the days of our short life under the sun.
Pastor Jon Kopp
Sun, Sep 29, 2013
Hits: 3608
49 mins 34 secs
Speaker: Jon Kopp - “Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity.” So begins and ends the book of Ecclesiastes. And on almost 30 times in between, the author exclaims that particular things are empty; things which are greatly valued by most people--work, education, pleasure, relationships, even life itself. How can such a bleak view of life be reconciled with genuine faith in God? Many even go so far as to charge this book with an atheistic outlook on our world. Does this book belong in our Bible, or should we just ignore it altogether? A cursory study of Ecclesiastes lays to rest the suspicion that it is atheistic. For starters, there are more than 30 references to God in the book, and they are not negative references. The author clearly believes in God, and urges his readers to fear God. To be sure, he comes to unsettling conclusions as he struggles with the contradictions and absurdities that life throws at us, but he comes to these conclusions as a believer. So, this morning, let’s learn from Solomon. Let’s allow his experiences and wisdom to point out the brokenness and crookedness of life on this earth, and may the grace of God lead us to the solution, the hope and life that is found in Jesus Christ. Life under the sun is vanity, but there is hope in the truth of God’s word!