Focus on the Future
Focus Sermon Series
Introduction: One of the greatest problems in our society today is the need for instant gratification.
Nobody is thinking about the future.
Everybody is in a hurry. It’s all about RIGHT NOW!
Over 70,000 people a year in the US die of drug overdoses.
They all had one thing in common – they were not thinking about the future; just the present.
Teenage pregnancies are a result of thinking only of instant gratification.
Abortion clinics are full of people that never thought past the present.
Diet plans promote “Lose 7 pounds in 7 days!”
Businesses offer 24/7 chat for their customers.
Social media provides instant outlets for emotional outbursts with immediate notifications of people’s response.
Instant gratification begets instant gratification.
Nothing as frustrating as no wi-fi. Having to re-boot your computer or reset the internet router.
Checking in to your flight 24 hours early so you can get better seating.
But in the Bible, we are constantly reminded to think past today.
We are urged to focus on the future – not just the present.
- Philippians 3:13 … forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
In this passage, Jesus points out the importance of having our focus on things beyond the present.
I. The Future of your Sowing
NOTE: The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully.
- 7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
- 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
He was consumed with a temporary sowing, and he reaped a temporary harvest.
He wasn’t concerned with a future harvest of anything important; just a carnal harvest.
He referred to his “fruits” in verse 17 and 18.
He was so preoccupied with a fleshly sowing and reaping that he didn’t think about anything else.
II. The Future of your Substance
The primary interpretation of this passage is the foolishness of covetousness.
Materialism is not a worthy life pursuit.
Jesus said, “A man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” (vs.15)
- Jim Elliot: He is no fool who give what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.
Jesus spent a lot of time trying to teach His disciples the importance of focusing on the future when it comes to material things.
- 22 – take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall put on…
- 23 – the life is more than mean, and the body is more than raiment.
- 29-31 – three times He said for them to SEEK eternal substance; the kingdom of God
- 32 – fear not, the father will GIVE you the kingdom
- 33 – sell what you have, give alms, provide yourself with TREASURE IN THE HEAVENS
- 34 – where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
- 19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
- 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
- 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
III. The Future of your Soul
I preach funerals for people all the time that never made any plans for future.
They live like they are going to live forever.
They never bought life insurance. (I’ve had a life insurance policy since I was 17 years old.)
Worse than that, they never developed a relationship with God.
They never prepared for death.
Their family does not even have anyone to call when they die.
No church – no pastor – no church family.
They lived their life with no thought of the future.
Notice this rich man in verse 17, He thought within himself, What shall I do?
And because he had nobody in his life that could teach him, or preach to him, or guide him, he answered his own question. He said, “This will I do..”
The problem with saying “This will I do…” is found in James 4:13-16:
- 13 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:
- 14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
- 15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
- 16 But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.
He is having a conversation with himself.
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU TELL YOURSELF!!
- 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
- 20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
God called him a fool for not focusing on the future of his soul!
He was good at providing for his earthly needs.
He was an expert at sowing to the flesh.
But now, …WHOSE SHALL THOSE THINGS BE WHICH THOU HAS PROVIDED?
- Mark 8:36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
Quote: Past successes and present satisfaction does not determine a secure future.