Wanting Something for Nothing
by Jeffrey W. Hamilton
Text: II Samuel 24:10-25
I. Have you noticed how many people want something, but are unwilling to put sufficient effort into obtaining what they want?
A. I keep hearing about the latest lotto figures. Hundreds of millions of dollars are available, for the meager cost of a few bucks.
1. Millions of people spend hard earned cash for a chance to win money for which they did not work.
2. Gambling is wrong because no goods or services are bought, only a chance to gain more than what you put into the system.
B. Wealth is not wrong in itself, but God teaches us to work for our wealth.
1. Genesis 3:19 - Man is condemned to work for his food.
2. Ephesians 4:28 - Working with your hands
3. II Thessalonians 3:10 - If you are unwilling to work, you don’t deserve to eat.
4. Proverbs 12:11 - Steady, low-pay work is more valuable than quick money
II. Yet there are other ways people look to get something for nothing. I have dealt with several young men who are quite happy to move in with a woman, but they are unwilling to get married.
A. Let me give you an example of a young man I met in New York. He started living with an older woman, but he didn’t want to get married. I met him after she left him for another man with more money. He was devastated.
1. He wanted a “wife and kids.” Someone for whom he could provide. Someone waiting for him when he got home.
2. In other words, he wanted the companionship and love without the lifetime commitment of marriage.
3. Of course, without a commitment the relationship did not last.
B. Marriage is for companionship - Genesis 2:18
1. But it comes with a price.
2. You give up your independence for the rest of your life. - Genesis 2:24, Romans 7:2
3. To have a companion implies you have to be companionable, even when you roll out of bed early in the morning.
a. A friend loves at all times, not just when it is convenient - Proverbs 17:17
C. Marriage is for sexual relationship - Proverbs 5:15-19
1. But it means having no one else - Proverbs 6:27-32
2. It means being available to fulfill your partner’s need even when you don’t feel like it - I Corinthians 7:2-4
D. Marriage doesn’t come free even though the benefits of marriage are far greater than its costs
III. Still others want religion without committing themselves
A. They almost become Christians, but they never take the final step, as if they are leaving themselves an escape route. Much like King Agrippa - Acts 26:24-29
B. Others become Christians, but they do not commit themselves
1. The disciples left everything to follow Jesus - Matthew 4:18-22
2. It is ourselves that we offer God - Romans 12:1
3. We must put God first in our lives - Matthew 22:37-40
C. We cannot “give it a try” when serving Christ
1. When we place conditions, qualifications, and reservations on our commitment, there is no commitment.
2. People who give it a try, bail out when things get hard.
3. Early Christians did not give it a try, they were committed.
a. In Rome, a policy was implemented where a token was given out to show you had made a sacrifice to the Emperor. Without that token, you could not shop in the market place. You could be arbitrarily stopped and arrested.
b. Matthew 10:38-39 - Take up your cross
c. From Foxe’s Book of Martyrs: “The causes why the Roman emperors did so persecute the Christians were chiefly these – fear and hatred. First, fear, for that the emperors and senate, of blind ignorance, not knowing the manner of Christ’s kingdom, feared and misdoubted lest the same would subvert their empery; and therefore sought they all means possible, how, by death and all kinds of torments, utterly to extinguish the name and memory of the Christians. Secondly, hatred, partly for that this world, of its own natural condition, had ever hated and maliced the people of God, from the first beginning of the world. Partly again, for that the Christians being of a contrary nature and religion, serving only the true living God, despised their false gods, spake against their idolatrous worshipings, and many times stopped the power of Satan working in their idols: and therefore Satan, the prince of this world, stirred up the Roman princes and blind idolaters to bear the more hatred and spite against them. Whatsoever mishappened to the city or provinces of Rome, either famine, pestilence, earthquake, wars, wonders, unseasonableness of weather, or what other evils soever, it was imputed to the Christians.”
d. Does it cost you this much to be a Christian today?
D. There is a cost to being a Christian
1. We cannot long for the old ways - Luke 9:57-62
a. The Israelites tried to have it both ways - II Kings 17:33
b. We cannot serve two masters - Luke 16:13
2. We cannot be distracted by worldly things, like Martha - Luke 10:40-42
a. In your grandmother or great-grandmother’s day, she used to get up on Sunday morning, cook a big breakfast for her large family, milk the cows, churn, clean house, kill and dress the chickens for dinner, dress the children, then drive with the family in a buggy or wagon five miles to worship services and was likely to get there early.
b. Today – when breakfast comes in cereal box, the milk, butter, and chickens come from the grocery store, and the distance to the meeting house is covered in minutes in an automobile – it is almost impossible for some folks to make it in time for Bible study.
c. What is the difference but a commitment to God?
d. David said he would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of God than to live a life of ease among the wicked - Psalm 84:10-12
3. We cannot become apathetic.
a. A double-minded man is unstable - James 1:8
b. Don’t become entangled in the world again - Matthew 13:20-22
c. Be steadfast and unmovable - I Corinthians 15:58
IV. What price would you be willing to pay for the salvation of your soul? For an eternal life in heaven?
A. We don’t get something for nothing.
B. But the cost is so little compared to the glory we can receive.