HUGH HEFNER WAS A MODERN DAY KING SOLOMON AND I TOLD HIM THAT OVER AND OVER (PART 19) Letter from 3-6-16 (Letters were inspired by the sermon series on ECCLESIASTES in 2016 at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH in Little Rock)

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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.

 Jake Sikes wrote:

Word Wednesday: Better Desires

Lets all be honest about the desires of our heart: they can be a beautiful thing, but they can also be daunting. Our fallen nature tends to send us on this trajectory of chasing things that aren’t as life giving as we think they are.

How many times have you woken up each morning, looked in the mirror, and just not been satisfied?

Our fallen culture does a really good job of pointing to the things you’re not in order to sell you what it believes you should be.

Wow, that sounds really familiar!

Snake?

Fruit?

Woman and Man?

5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. 

Genesis 3:5-7

I am not advocating that the church should hide itself from the culture of the world.

However, when navigating what our heart is longing for, I believe that we have to ask these questions:

What am I chasing?

Why am I chasing it?

Does this stir my affection for the Creator?

 What Are You Chasing

The gospel is God’s greatest locator of what our heart is invested in.

It’s painful, its awkward, its beautiful, and its fulfilling.

The book of Ecclesiastes is by far one of the greatest social experiments ever recorded…

King Solomon asks the Lord for wisdom, and Israel reaches an unprecedented height of power. (1 Kings 3:10)

He throws parties that put Jay-Z and Kanye to shame.

His sex life makes Hugh Hefner look like a gentleman.

His business and gift of negotiation would have told Donald Trump, “You’re fired.”

The world was at his feet. He had absolutely everything that the culture could offer in this world.

Yet he says this…

17 So I hated life, because what is done under the sun was grievous to me, for all is vanity and a striving after wind. 18 I hated all my toil in which I toil under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to the man who will come after me, 19 and who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will be master of all for which I toiled and used my wisdom under the sun. This also is vanity. 20 So I turned about and gave my heart up to despair over all the toil of my labors under the sun, 21 because sometimes a person who has toiled with wisdom and knowledge and skill must leave everything to be enjoyed by someone who did not toil for it. This also is vanity and a great evil. – Ecclesiastes 2:17-21

Freedom

He’s saying, “I did it all, and this experience still leaves me empty. Not only that, people have looked to me thinking this is the answer to life, and now I am leaving a pile of junk behind to a bunch of idiots.”

When God says that “nothing in this world will satisfy you like Me”… Its not a philosophical position, He means it.

God has given us many great gifts; food, sex, money, etc.

However, when the gift becomes the god, we tend to forget how much joy there is in even knowing the Giver.

Jesus tells the woman at the well, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become min him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14)

Jesus knows the woman is seeking something life giving; something that multiple men and relationships just haven’t given her. She is thirsty, tired, and simply caught in a cycle that she doesn’t know how to leave.

Yet Jesus asks the same question God has not stopped asking us since He asked our first parents:

Where are you? (Genesis 3:9)

 Where-Are-You

God knows your desires far better than you do, and His mission is not to take them away from you, but rather show you that they can be so much more.

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.” – CS Lewis.

 

Where is your heart?

What are you chasing?

What stirs your affection for the Creator?

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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.

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.

Image result for fellowship bible church mark henry

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

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March 6, 2016

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

Dear Mr. Hefner,

In your interview, “Q&A: Hugh Hefner,” in the Guardian are these words:

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
My life, probably!

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, and I thought of you today when I was listening to our sermon at church. Our pastor said, “Some people would read Ecclesiastes and just say EAT, DRINK AND BE MERRY because in the end it is all vanity. However, Solomon doesn’t endorse foolish choices and foolish living. Living foolishly does have consequences. Psalms 14:1 The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ The fool is the one who says I want to do it my way and not God’s way.”

If you remember the sermon THE PLAYBOY’S PAYDAY that I sent you from Adrian Rogers and it was based on Proverbs chapter 5 that was written by King Solomon to his son. DON’T YOU THINK YOU SHOULD PASS THIS ADVICE ALONG TO YOUR SONS COOPER AND MARSTON?  Here is a portion of that chapter below:

Marston Hefner

My son, be attentive to my wisdom;
    incline your ear to my understanding,
that you may keep discretion,
    and your lips may guard knowledge.
For the lips of a forbidden[a] woman drip honey,
    and her speech[b] is smoother than oil,
but in the end she is bitter as wormwood,
    sharp as a two-edged sword.
Her feet go down to death;
    her steps follow the path to[c] Sheol;
Keep your way far from her,
    and do not go near the door of her house,
lest you give your honor to others
    and your years to the merciless,
10 lest strangers take their fill of your strength,
    and your labors go to the house of a foreigner,
11 and at the end of your life you groan,
    when your flesh and body are consumed,

18 Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth,

19     a lovely deer, a graceful doe.
Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight;
    be intoxicated[d] always in her love.
21 For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the Lord,
    and he ponders[f] all his paths.

Today at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH our teaching pastor Brandon Barnard delivered the message REJOICE AND REMEMBER based on Ecclesiastes 11 and 12 in the sermon series entitled BETTER THAN and I wanted to share a portion of that sermon with you today.

Ecclesiastes 11:1- 12:8

11 Cast your bread upon the waters,
    for you will find it after many days.
Give a portion to seven, or even to eight,
    for you know not what disaster may happen on earth.
If the clouds are full of rain,
    they empty themselves on the earth,
and if a tree falls to the south or to the north,
    in the place where the tree falls, there it will lie.
He who observes the wind will not sow,
    and he who regards the clouds will not reap.

As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb[a] of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.

In the morning sow your seed, and at evening withhold not your hand, for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good.

Light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to see the sun.

So if a person lives many years, let him rejoice in them all; but let him remember that the days of darkness will be many. All that comes isvanity.[b]

Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.

10 Remove vexation from your heart, and put away pain[c] from your body, for youth and the dawn of life are vanity.

Remember Your Creator in Your Youth

12 Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, “I have no pleasure in them”; before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars are darkened and the clouds return after the rain, in the day when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men are bent, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those who look through the windows are dimmed, and the doors on the street are shut—when the sound of the grinding is low, and one rises up at the sound of a bird, and all the daughters of song are brought low— they are afraid also of what is high, and terrors are in the way; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags itself along,[d] and desire fails, because man is going to his eternal home, and the mourners go about the streets— before the silver cord is snapped, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is shattered at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern, and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher; all is vanity.

King Solomon

FIRST, Live courageously and trust God completely.

A. Ecclesiastes doesn’t endorse foolish choices or foolish living.

B. This does endorse grace driven effort.

Titus 2:11-14 English Standard Version (ESV)

11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people,12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

William Borden’s life

Quotations taken from Borden of Yale, by Mrs. Howard Taylor, Moody Press, Chicago

  In 1904 William Borden graduated from a Chicago high school. As heir to the Borden family fortune, he was already wealthy. For his high school graduation present, his parents gave 16-year-old Borden a trip around the world. As the young man traveled through Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, he felt a growing burden for the world’s hurting people. Finally, Bill Borden wrote home about his “desire to be a missionary.”1
One friend expressed disbelief that Bill was “throwing himself away as a missionary.”
In response, Borden wrote two words in the back of his Bible: “No reserves.”
Even though young Borden was wealthy, he arrived on the campus of Yale University in 1905 trying to look like just one more freshman. Very quickly, however, Borden’s classmates noticed something unusual about him and it wasn’t that he had lots of money. One of them wrote: “He came to college far ahead, spiritually, of any of us. He had already given his heart in full surrender to Christ and had really done it. We who were his classmates learned to lean on him and find in him a strength that was solid as a rock, just because of this settled purpose and consecration.”2
During his college years, Bill Borden made an entry in his personal journal that defined what his classmates were seeing in him. That entry said simply: “Say ‘no’ to self and ‘yes’ to Jesus every time.”3
Borden’s first disappointment at Yale came when the university president spoke in a convocation about the students’ need of “having a fixed purpose.” After that speech, Borden wrote: “He neglected to say what our purpose should be, and where we should get the ability to persevere and the strength to resist temptations.”4 Surveying the Yale faculty and much of the student body, Borden lamented what he saw as the end result of an empty, humanistic philosophy: moral weakness and sin-ruined lives.
During his first semester at Yale, Borden started something that would transform campus life. One of his friends described how it began: “It was well on in the first term when Bill and I began to pray together in the morning before breakfast. I cannot say positively whose suggestion it was, but I feel sure it must have originated with Bill. We had been meeting only a short time when a third student joined us and soon after a fourth. The time was spent in prayer after a brief reading of Scripture. Bill’s handling of Scripture was helpful. . . . He would read to us from the Bible, show us something that God had promised and then proceed to claim the promise with assurance.”5
Borden’s small morning prayer group gave birth to a movement that soon spread across the campus. By the end of his first year, 150 freshman were meeting weekly for Bible study and prayer. By the time Bill Borden was a senior, one thousand of Yale’s 1,300 students were meeting in such groups.
Borden made it his habit to seek out the most “incorrigible” students and try to bring them to salvation. “In his sophomore year we organized Bible study groups and divided up the class of 300 or more, each man interested taking a certain number, so that all might, if possible, be reached. The names were gone over one by one, and the question asked, ‘Who will take this person?’ When it came to someone thought to be a hard proposition, there would be an ominous pause. Nobody wanted the responsibility. Then Bill’s voice would be heard, ‘Put him down to me.'”6
Borden’s outreach ministry was not confined to the Yale campus. He cared about widows and orphans and the disabled. He rescued drunks from the streets of New Haven. To try to rehabilitate them, he founded the Yale Hope Mission. One of Bill Borden’s friends wrote that he “might often be found in the lower parts of the city at night, on the street, in a cheap lodging house or some restaurant to which he had taken a poor hungry fellow to feed him, seeking to lead men to Christ.”7
Borden’s missionary call narrowed to the Muslim Kansu people in China. Once he fixed his eyes on that goal, Borden never wavered. He also challenged his classmates to consider missionary service. One of them said of him: “He certainly was one of the strongest characters I have ever known, and he put backbone into the rest of us at college. There was real iron in him, and I always felt he was of the stuff martyrs were made of, and heroic missionaries of more modern times.”8
Although he was a millionaire, Bill seemed to “realize always that he must be about his Father’s business, and not wasting time in the pursuit of amusement.”9 Although Borden refused to join a fraternity, “he did more with his classmates in his senior year than ever before.” He presided over the huge student missionary conference held at Yale and served as president of the honor society Phi Beta Kappa.
Upon graduation from Yale, Borden turned down some high-paying job offers. In his Bible, he wrote two more words: “No retreats.”
William Borden went on to do graduate work at Princeton Seminary in New Jersey. When he finished his studies at Princeton, he sailed for China. Because he was hoping to work with Muslims, he stopped first in Egypt to study Arabic. While there, he contracted spinal meningitis. Within a month, 25-year-old William Borden was dead.
When the news of William Whiting Borden’s death was cabled back to the U.S., the story was carried by nearly every American newspaper. “A wave of sorrow went round the world . . . Borden not only gave (away) his wealth, but himself, in a way so joyous and natural that it (seemed) a privilege rather than a sacrifice” wrote Mary Taylor in her introduction to his biography.10
Was Borden’s untimely death a waste? Not in God’s perspective. Prior to his death, Borden had written two more words in his Bible. Underneath the words “No reserves” and “No retreats,” he had written: “No regrets.”

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SECOND, Enjoy life fully and thank God for today.

A. Rejoice in the years you have and remember they come to an end.

B. Rejoice in your youth and remember that judgment comes to all.

C. Remove worry and live wisely.

D. Remember your creator in all things.

Jeremiah 2:12-13 English Standard Version (ESV)

12 Be appalled, O heavens, at this;
    be shocked, be utterly desolate,
declares the Lord,
13 for my people have committed two evils:
they have forsaken me,
    the fountain of living waters,
and hewed out cisterns for themselves,
    broken cisterns that can hold no water. 

Matthew 6:33 English Standard Version (ESV)

33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

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 Chris Rice wrote this great song, “Life Means So Much”

Every day is a journal page
Every man holds a quill and ink
And there’s plenty of room for writing in
All we do is believe and think
So will you compose a curse
Or will today bring the blessing
Fill the page with rhyming verse
Or some random sketching

Teach us to count the days
Teach us to make the days count
Lead us in better ways
That somehow our souls forgot
Life means so much
Life means so much
Life means so much

Every day is a bank account
And time is our currency
So nobody’s rich, nobody’s poor
We get 24 hours each
So how are you gonna spend
Will you invest, or squander
Try to get ahead
Or help someone who’s under

Has anybody ever lived who knew the value of a life
And don’t you think giving is all
What proves the worth of yours and mine

Teach us to count the days
Teach us to make the days count
Lead us in better ways
That somehow our souls forgot
Life means so much

Every day is a gift you’ve been given
Make the most of the time every minute you’re living

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: Today is the 23rd letter I have written you and most of the letters have been based the FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH sermon series on Ecclesiastes. How much of your life HUGH has been lived to satisfy your own desires and how much spent telling others about where true wisdom can be found? At least tell your sons about the wisdom of Proverbs 5 and warn them of the pitfalls of the Playboy lifestyle!!!

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