HUGH HEFNER WAS A MODERN DAY KING SOLOMON AND I TOLD HIM THAT OVER AND OVER (PART 16) Letter from 2-14-16 (Letters were inspired by the sermon series on ECCLESIASTES in 2016 at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH in Little Rock)

HUGH HEFNER WAS A MODERN DAY KING SOLOMON AND I TOLD HIM THAT OVER AND OVER (PART 16)

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Over and over I have read that Hugh Hefner was a modern day King Solomon and Hefner’s search for satisfaction was attempted by adding to the number of his sexual experiences.

A Quest For Meaning  Series

Contributed by Jonathan Mcleod on Aug 16, 2010

[If you would like to receive a free sermon each week by email, please contact jonrmcleod@yahoo.com.]

LIFE UNDER THE SUN

I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind (1:14).

The Hebrew word for “vanity” is hebel. It literally means “vapor,” “breath,” or “wind.” In Ecclesiastes, hebel is used in a figurative sense.

Life “under the sun” (without God) is:

• FUTILE

Life is a treadmill.

• FRUSTRATING

Life is a chasing after wind.

• FLEETING

Life is a vapor.

What is crooked cannot be made straight (1:15).

We can’t fix life. We can’t change it.

SOLOMON’S QUEST FOR MEANING

How would you fill in the blank? “I’ll be happy when _________.”

Solomon was like Bill Gates, Albert Einstein, and Hugh Hefner all rolled into one. If anyone could find fulfillment from life under the sun, it would be Solomon. His search for meaning could be called “The Royal Experiment.”

King Solomon searched for meaning in the things we often put in that blank:

1. POWER

I the Preacher have been king over Israel in Jerusalem (1:12).

2. PLEASURE

I said in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy yourself.” But behold, this also was vanity. I said of laughter, “It is mad,” and of pleasure, “What use is it?” (2:1-2).

3. ALCOHOL

I searched with my heart how to cheer my body with wine—my heart still guiding me with wisdom—and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the children of man to do under heaven during the few days of their life (2:3).

4. WORK

I made great works. I build houses and planted vineyards for myself. I made myself gardens and parks, and planted in them all kinds of fruit trees. I made myself pools from which to water the forest of growing trees (2:4-6).

5. COMFORT

I bought male and female slaves, and had slaves who were born in my house (2:7a).

6. WEALTH

I had also great possessions of herds and flocks, more than any who had been before me in Jerusalem. I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces (2:7b-8a).

7. MUSIC

I got singers, both men and women (2:8b).

8. SEX

And many concubines, the delight of the children of man (2:8c).

Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines (1 Kings 11:1-3).

9. FAME (2:9)

So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem (2:9).

What was Solomon’s conclusion at the end of his quest for meaning?

Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun (2:11).

Two quotes from The Simpsons (not an endorsement of the show) demonstrate the vanity of life under the sun: (1) “The road to the Super Bowl is long … and pointless—I mean, when you really think about it.” (2) Homer Simpson says to Mr. Burns: “You’re the richest man I know.” Mr. Burns replies, “Yes, but I’d trade it all for more.”

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Many of the sermons that I heard or read that inspired me to write Hugh Hefner were from this list of gentlemen:  Daniel Akin, Brandon Barnard, Alistair Begg, Matt Chandler, George Critchley,  Steve Gaines, Norman L. Geisler, Greg Gillbert, Billy Graham, Mark Henry, Dan Jarrell, Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., R. G. Lee, C.S. Lewis Chris Lewis, Kerry Livgren, Robert Lewis,    Bill Parkinson, Ben Parkinson,Vance Pitman, Nelson Price, Ethan Renoe, Adrian Rogers, Philip Graham Ryken, Francis Schaeffer, Lee Strobel, Bill Wellons, Kirk Wetsell,  Ken Whitten, Ed Young ,  Ravi Zacharias, Tom Zobrist, and Richard Zowie.

 

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You will notice a quote below from Matt Chandler, and I also quoted Ravi Zacharias when I wrote, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term UNDER THE SUN — What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system and you are left with only this world of Time plus Chance plus matter.”

Image result for ravi zacharias ecclesiastes

 

In the next few weeks I will be posting some letters that I sent to Hugh Hefner that were based primarily on the sermon series BETTER THAN which is a study in the BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES done by our pastors at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH in Little Rock in 2016.  Our teaching pastors here are Mark Henry,

Image result for fellowship bible church mark henry

Ben Parkinson

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and Brandon Barnard.

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Today’s letter is based on a sermon by Brandon Barnard.

February 14, 2016

Hugh Hefner
Playboy Mansion  
10236 Charing Cross Road
Los Angeles, CA 90024-1815

Dear Mr. Hefner,

Today is Valentine’s Day and I am writing you about the sermon we heard today at church because it was on a subject that you know so much about. In an interview with the Guardian there was this question about your guiltiest pleasure and you responded that it basically was your whole life. Q&A: Hugh Hefner

Hugh Hefner
Hugh Hefner: ‘My guiltiest pleasure? My life, probably.’ , Friday 20 November 2009

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
My life, probably!

It may be ironic but today our teaching pastor at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH Brandon Barnard named his sermon IS THERE VANITY IN PLEASURE? (2-15-16, Valentine’s Day!!!!).
If there was one word to describe your life the word PLEASURE is probably that word. As you know I have written you every week since October of 2015 in the hope that you will be willing to reflect back on your life of pleasure UNDER THE SUN like King Solomon did and see what proper reflections your life has rendered. Francis Schaeffer has rightly noted concerning you that your goal  with the “playboy mentality is just to smash the puritanical ethnic.” In fact, in your own personal life you definitely have gone the opposite direction of Puritanism.
I have made the comparison throughout this series of letters between you and King Solomon (the author of the BOOK of ECCLESIASTES).  I have noticed that many preachers who have delivered sermons on Ecclesiastes have also mentioned you as a modern day example of King Solomon especially because you both tried to find sexual satisfaction through the volume of women you could slept with in a lifetime.

Ecclesiastes 2:8-10 The Message (MSG)

I piled up silver and gold,
        loot from kings and kingdoms.
I gathered a chorus of singers to entertain me with song,
    and—most exquisite of all pleasures—
    voluptuous maidens for my bed.

9-10 Oh, how I prospered! I left all my predecessors in Jerusalem far behind, left them behind in the dust. What’s more, I kept a clear head through it all. Everything I wanted I took—I never said no to myself. I gave in to every impulse, held back nothing. I sucked the marrow of pleasure out of every task—my reward to myself for a hard day’s work!

1 Kings 11:1-3 English Standard Version (ESV)

11 Now King Solomon loved many foreign women, along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the people of Israel, “You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love. He had 700 wives, who were princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart.

Francis Schaeffer observed concerning Solomon, “You can not know woman by knowing 1000 women.”

Here are just a few points from Brandon’s sermon today from Ecclesiastes chapter 2:

The path of pleasure can be better than not having pleasure but if it doesn’t find its end in Jesus then it is meaningless and another dead end. 

ECCLESIASTES 2:1-11: 

I said in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy yourself.” But behold, this also was vanity.[a] I said of laughter, “It is mad,” and of pleasure, “What use is it?” I searched with my heart how to cheer my body with wine—my heart still guiding me with wisdom—and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the children of man to do under heaven during the few days of their life. I made great works. I built houses and planted vineyards for myself. I made myself gardens and parks, and planted in them all kinds of fruit trees. I made myself pools from which to water the forest of growing trees. I bought male and female slaves, and had slaves who were born in my house. I had also great possessions of herds and flocks, more than any who had been before me in Jerusalem. I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I got singers, both men and women, and many concubines,[b] the delight of the sons of man.

So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me. 10 And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil. 11 Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all wasvanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.

Solomon also wrote in Proverbs 14:13

Even in laughter the heart may ache,
    and the end of joy may be grief.

In other words, if it doesn’t find it’s end in God then it will not ultimately satisfy. The WESTMINSTER CATECHISM states, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” 

C.S. Lewis noted:

If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and earnestly to hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I submit that this notion has crept in from Kant and the Stoics and is no part of the Christian faith.  Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak.  We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by an offer of a holiday at the sea.  We are far too easily pleased.

Most believers spend their time trying to curb their desires. C.S.Lewis points out that desire for pleasure is not too strong but rather too weak.  This is what Solomon comes to realize at the end of his life and that is the vanity of pleasure is the vanity of pleasure if it ends in the pleasure itself,  if  it doesn’t make itself to God. But if the pleasure makes itself to God then it is everything to us. What is your desire for Christ right now because only He can truly satisfy. We need to pray for God to intensify the desire in our heart for pleasure and joy because real joy is found in Christ. 

THE QUESTION BECOMES: DO OUR PLEASURES TERMINATE IN THEMSELVES OR LEAD US TO PRAISE AND GLORIFY GOD? 

Matt Chandler observed:

For the unbeliever, he eats his fillet. He drinks his Cab, not out of a box, and then he makes love to his wife. He enjoyed all of that. For the believer, they eat that steak, and they’re like, “Man, God is amazing!” and it rolls past the steak. He drinks the Cab responsibly, and it rolls past the Cab. He enjoys his wife. She enjoys her husband, and it rolls past to the Giver of those gifts. It doesn’t terminate on the gift. It rolls past them.

The unbeliever can’t do that. An unbeliever will never cut into that fillet and go, “Man, God is good!” They’re not. They’re just going to be, “Hey, I love steak. I can pay for it. Awesome.” Right? The believer enjoys the gifts of God in a different way than an unbeliever, because we’re acknowledging where it came from. The pleasure rolls past the experience and into the giver. It doesn’t terminate on the experience itself. Worship is wrung out of the heart of a believer at a meal.

HUGH, I HAVE QUOTED FROM MATT CHANDLER’S SERMONS BEFORE TO YOU. TAKE A MOMENT AND LOOK AT THIS QUOTE FROM HIM AGAIN. Don’t you see that Solomon was right  when he observed life UNDER THE SUN without God in the picture and he then concluded  in Ecclesiastes 2:11

Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained UNDER THE SUN. 

Notice this phrase UNDER THE SUN since it appears about 30 times in Ecclesiastes. Francis Schaeffer noted that Solomon took a look at the meaning of life on the basis of human life standing alone between birth and death “under the sun.” This phrase UNDER THE SUN appears over and over in Ecclesiastes. The Christian Scholar Ravi Zacharias noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term UNDER THE SUN — What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system and you are left with only this world of Time plus Chance plus matter.”

The answer to find meaning in life is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.com, http://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, Box 23416, LittleRock, AR 72221

PS: This is the 18th letter I have written to you and again I have taken an aspect of your life and responded with what the Bible has to say on that subject. Today we looked at your quote that indicated that your whole life had been about the issue of PLEASURE and then we looked at the VANITY OF PLEASURE without God in the picture.

C.S.Lewis

FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH LITTLE ROCK teaching pastor Brandon Barnard and his wife Julie

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Four Spiritual laws and the Roman Road

The Four Spiritual Laws

by Matt Slick

If you’ve gone through a discussion with someone and you want to present the gospel message in a simple and systematic way, the well-known, “Four Spiritual Laws,” can be of help. They are simple, to the point, and use Scripture to convict, convince, and convert. They are:

  1. God loves you:
    1. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life,” (John 3:16).
  2. Man is sinful and separated from God.
    1. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Rom. 3:23). “For the wages of sin is death,” (Rom. 6:23). “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God,” (Isaiah 59:2).
  3. Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for man’s sin.
    1. “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me,” (John 14:6). “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us,” (Rom. 5:8).
  4. We must individually receive Jesus as Savior and Lord.
    1. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,” (John 1:12). “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved,” (Rom. 10:9). “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God,” (Eph. 2:8).

The Roman Road

Another list of verses usable in the same way as the Four Spiritual Laws is the “Roman Road.” The advantage to these seven verses is that they are all in the Book of Romans. Sometimes this is an advantage when you don’t want to flip through a lot of pages.

  1. Rom. 3:10, “As it is written, ‘There is none righteous, not even one . . . “
  2. Rom. 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
  3. Rom. 5:12, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.”
  4. Rom. 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
  5. Rom. 5:8, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
  6. Rom. 10:9-10, “if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”
  7. Rom. 10:13, “For whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.”

I recommend you put the Roman Road in your Bible. Go to Romans 3:10, underline it, and write Romans 3:23 next to it. Then go to Romans 3:28, underline it, and write Romans 5:12next to it, and so on. That way all you need to do is memorize where you start: Romans 3:10.

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