Notice that Solomon says he gave himself to the GOOD things of the world. He slipped in a place or two to do evil, but that was not his intention. His intention was to enjoy the good things.
“So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me. 10 And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour. 11 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun” (Ecc. 2:9-11).
Was he involved with the cares of this world? He says plainly that he gave himself fully to them. He gave his heart to any joy and he even mentions wine. He tried it all. Was there anything eternal in the things he tried? Did he enjoy them? His heart rejoiced in all his labor. Even work did not make him sad, but there was no eternal profit.
What about today? What is the difference between us and Solomon? Why did Solomon stop doing what he said he set out to do? He realized there was no eternal good in enjoying all those things. Notice he did not say there was no profit on the earth (under the sun). He talks about the profit of wisdom and of knowledge. There is much profit in wisdom. Does the sun shine on wisdom? No, the sun cannot shine on it because wisdom is a spiritual quality. Does the sun shine on purity, godliness, temperance or holiness? On the earth, the sun does not shine on those qualities because spiritual things are invisible. Then what was Solomon unhappy about? He was not happy with whatever the sun shined on—he was not happy with the earthly things. None of the earthly things were eternal.
- The Pharisee knew exactly what Jesus referred to when he said they could not love God and mammon (the material world).
- “No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him” (Luke 16:13-14).
- “And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods” (Luke 16:1).
Pharisees would not let go of this world, so God did not open their eyes. Will God open my eyes if I love this world? God has given a test and a commandment. We must make a choice. The Pharisees chose to love this world. If we are like the Pharisees, we will spend eternity with them. If we believe Jesus, what will we do? If we have faith in Jesus, what will we do? If we trust him what will we do? We will turn our minds away from all these temporary, earthly things toward things that will last forever (spiritual things). Most people will not accept this teaching. This is the very price everyone must pay, this is the entrance to the gate—the narrow gate (Matt. 7:13-14). Not many are able to go through that narrow gate.
Some who have tried to hold on to both lives want to change God’s word to read “love not worldliness,” nor the things of “worldliness.” However, the word our Heavenly Father used was not “worldliness.” His scriptures use the word “world” in several senses, including the people and the material world.
Demas’ love for this world caused him to leave God. Others also fell to the same temptation. They obviously failed to heed the warning in Romans 13:14.
- “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” (Rom. 13:14).
- “For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia” (2 Tim. 4:10).
- “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?” (1 John 3:17).
- “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: (Rev. 3:16-17).
- Gaining the whole world is not speaking about the people but about material.
- “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matt. 16:24-26).