OceanSide church of Christ
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HOW MAN DESTROYS HIMSELF (2)
Victor M. Eskew
A. Man’s destruction comes in many forms.
1. Losing cherished relationships
2. Losing positions of power and influence
3. Physical harm to one’s body
4. Loss of health
5. Loss of wealth
6. Ultimately, the loss of one’s soul
B. How man destroys has many causes. Last week we looked at some ways this is done.
C. Today, let’s continue to look at some of the ways man brings his own destruction.
I. MANY DESTROYS HIMSELF BY LAZY, IRRESPONSIBLE LIVING
A. The Bible exhorts men to work and provide for themselves.
1. Exodus 20:9
Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work.
2. I Thessalonians 4:11
And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you.
3. II Thessalonians 3:2
Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quiet-ness they work, and eat their own bread.
B. Those who do not work, but are lazy and irresponsible should suffer the consequences thereof.
1. II Thessalonians 3:10
For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
2. The writer of Proverbs told of the lot of a slothful man (Prov. 24:30-31).
I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; and, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down.
C. Sadly, our nation has rescued many from destruction by its many welfare programs.
1. NOTE: We are not opposed to helping those who are truly needy.
2. We are opposed to rescuing the lazy and irresponsible.
a. One pregnancy out of wedlock could be a mistake. Two, three, four, and five are not.
b. Recently Fox News aired a story about Jason Greenslate.
1) 29 year old California surfer and musician
2) Trained as a recording engineer
3) He receives $200.00 per month in SNAP benefits, that is, food stamps.
4) His daily routine: “Wake up, go down to the beach, hang out with my friends, hit on some chicks, start drinking.”
II. MAN DESTROYS HIMSELF BY SIN
A. Sin, as we all know, is the transgression of the law of God (I John 3:4).
B. Single sins and habitual sins can bring destruction to man.
1. Examples of individuals whose single sins harmed them.
a. Adam and Eve partaking of the forbidden fruit (Gen. 3:6-24)
b. Moses smiting the rock rather than speaking to it (Num. 20:10-12)
c. David’s one night affair with Bathsheba (II Sam. 11:2-3; 12:7-12)
d. Gehazi’s covetousness for the things of Naaman (II Kings 5:20-27)
e. The sin of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11)
2. Habitual sins also bring harm.
a. Multiple affairs by a man or a woman
b. Addictions to alcohol, drugs, gambling, or pornography
c. Schemes that involve such things as theft or extortion over a long time.
C. Two verses:
1. Numbers 32:23
But if ye will not do so, behold, he have sinned against the Lord: and be sure your sin will find you out.
2. Isaiah 3:11
Woe unto the wicked! It shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him.
III. MAN DESTROYS HIMSELF BY PRIDE AND STUBBORNNESS
A. Two “classic” passages on pride:
1. Proverbs 16:18
Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
2. Proverbs 29:23a
A man’s pride shall bring him low…
B. Pride can be defined as “swelling, arrogance, and haughtiness.”
C. When a man is full of pride he trusts himself, human wisdom, human power, human resources, and wealth and riches.
D. There are many examples of pride destroying individuals in the Bible.
1. Satan (I Tim. 3:6; Matt. 25:41)
2. Pharaoh (Exo. 7-12)
3. Saul, the king of Israel (I Sam. 15:16, 22-26)
4. The nations of Israel and Judah (Isa. 28;3; Jer. 13:9)
5. The Jews of the first century (Acts 7:51-60)
E. I have been amazed by the arrogance of many in the church today.
1. Members refuse to adhere to God’s law.
2. Members do not live faithfully in their service to God.
3. Members try to find ways around what God has authorized.
4. Members believe in their heart that God’s way does not work.
IV. MAN DESTROYS HIMSELF WHEN HE FORSAKES CHRIST’S WAY
A. In the New Testament, the Christian religion is referred to as “the way” (Acts 16:17; 18:26; 19:9, 23; 22:4, 24:14, 22).
1. It is the way of God.
2. It is the way of righteousness.
3. It is the way of salvation.
4. It is the way to heaven.
B. There some who begin to walk on the way, but, in time, they forsake the right way of the Lord.
1. Judas had a place on the way, but forsook it (Acts 1:25).
2. Ananias and Sapphira walked upon the way, but left it (Acts 5:1-11).
3. Demas also left the way (II Tim. 4:10).
4. Several of the seven churches of Asia were close to forsaking the way and were warned to repent (Rev. 2:5, 16, 22, 22; 3:3, 19).
C. Peter gives us a description of one who turns from the way. It is not a pretty sight (II Pet. 2:20-22).
For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have know the way of righteousness, than, after they had known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and, the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
V. MAN DESTROYED HIMSELF BY HIS BAD DECISIONS
A. All of life is a series of decisions.
1. Initially, some may make choices for us.
2. Eventually, we are the ones who make our own choices.
a. Who we will date
b. Where we will go to school
c. What we will study
d. Who we will marry
e. Where we will live
3. Every choice has a consequences attached to it.
B. Some who have made bad choices.
1. Lot when he chose the well-watered plains of the Jordan (Gen. 13:10-11).
2. Rehoboam when he sided with his young counselors instead of with the older men (I Kings 12:13-14).
3. The rich man who went away sorrowful (Matt. 19:22).
4. Pilate who refused to uphold justice in the case of Jesus (Matt. 27:24).
C. Ephesians 5:15-17
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
A. The conclusion of a lesson always leaves the audience with choices.
1. I do not need to change, and I will continue to follow the right ways of the Lord.
2. I need to change, and I will do it now.
3. I need to change, but I will wait.
B. Can you imagine how sad it will be for the one who came to know the way of righteousness, but turned from it?
1. It would have been better not to have known.
2. The latter end is worse than the beginning.