This study in Ecclesiastes begins with a solid dose of reality. If we’re honest, our day-to-day lives can often feel stagnant and mediocre. Our toiling can seem pointless, and like Solomon, we may wonder if life is even worth living. Alistair Begg reminds us that only in Christ can our deepest longings be satisfied.
1The words of the Preacher,1 the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
2Vanity2 of vanities, says the Preacher,
vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
3What does man gain by all the toil
at which he toils under the sun?
4A generation goes, and a generation comes,
but the earth remains forever.
5The sun rises, and the sun goes down,
and hastens3 to the place where it rises.
6The wind blows to the south
and goes around to the north;
around and around goes the wind,
and on its circuits the wind returns.
7All streams run to the sea,
but the sea is not full;
to the place where the streams flow,
there they flow again.
8All things are full of weariness;
a man cannot utter it;
the eye is not satisfied with seeing,
nor the ear filled with hearing.
9What has been is what will be,
and what has been done is what will be done,
and there is nothing new under the sun.
10Is there a thing of which it is said,
“See, this is new”?
It has been already
in the ages before us.
11There is no remembrance of former things,4
nor will there be any remembrance
of later things5 yet to be
among those who come after.
12I the Preacher have been king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13And I applied my heart6 to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven. It is an unhappy business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. 14I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity7 and a striving after wind.8
15What is crooked cannot be made straight,
and what is lacking cannot be counted.
16I said in my heart, “I have acquired great wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me, and my heart has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.” 17And I applied my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a striving after wind.
18For in much wisdom is much vexation,
and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.
How has God been speaking to you through His Word in the past year? In Encore 2010, we’re highlighting some of the most requested messages from the past 12 months. With topics such as fear and anxiety, giving, attitudes, family, the church, and faith and salvation, there is encouragement from God’s Word for everyone.
|So Do Not Fear||Isaiah 41:10|
|A Biblical Approach to Anxiety||1 Peter 5:7|
|On Death and Dying||Ecclesiastes 12:1-14|
|Contentment or Corruption, Part Two||1 Timothy 6:6-10|
|Overflowing with Thankfulness, Part Two||Exodus 35:1-35|
|Asking God for Wisdom||James 1:5-8|
|The Goodness of God, Part One||Nehemiah 9:6-15|
|Redirecting Our Families||Nehemiah 9:38-10:39|
|Nature and Meaning of the Lord's Supper||Luke 22:17-20|
|The Baptism Debate||Acts 16:11-15|
|Three Facts True of Every Christian||1 Peter 1:1-2|
|Why God Sent His Son||Galatians 4:4 - Lamentations 4:5|
|Be Like Jesus|
When you teach a small child a new skill, it’s helpful to repeat it over and over. Likewise, as adults, we often learn best when we hear and apply a lesson or truth multiple times.
This compilation of our most popular messages of the year, chosen by our listeners, is designed to do just that: repeat the truths of God’s Word to us so that we can more fully understand the Bible and apply it to our lives. With messages on the meaning of the Gospel, God’s nature, spiritual warfare, trials and sufferings, and wisdom in relationships, this series will challenge all who listen.
|What is the Gospel?||Romans 1:16-17|
|The Power of the Gospel||Romans 1:16|
|About 12 Almost Christians||Acts 19:1-10|
|Are We Blind Too?||John 9:39-41|
|The Age of the Spirit||Acts 2:1-13 Acts 2:32-33|
|The Paradox of Christian Freedom||Romans 6:15-23|
|Spiritual Warfare||Ephesians 6:10-12|
|The Advantage of Weakness||2 Chronicles 20:1-19|
|Why Suffering||Job 16:7-17|
|The Biblical Role of Women||Titus 2:4-8|
|Teach Your Children Well, Part Two||Proverbs 22:6|
|Relationships||1 Peter 3:1-7|
Our most popular messages of 2012 are rich in both instruction and inspiration. For those seeking to strengthen their understanding and walk of faith, this series of messages from Alistair Begg points time and again to the One who provides both. Encore 2012 contains essential messages on the characteristics of true discipleship, the model for fatherhood, navigating life's difficulties, what it means to be a committed follower of Christ, and how Jesus fulfills God's purpose finally and fully. This series offers clarity and guidance to those desiring to live according to the will of God.
|A Christian Manifesto, Part One||Luke 6:20-27|
|A Christian Manifesto, Part Two||Luke 6:20-27|
|Divorce, Part One||Mark 10:1-9|
|Responding to Persecution, Part 1||Romans 12:14|
|Attitude Is Everything||Genesis 39:16-23|
|Prophet, Priest, King||Hebrews 1:1-4|
|One Thing You Lack||Mark 10:17-22|
|After Darkness, Light||Romans 3:21-26|
|The Calling of Committed Followers||Luke 5:1|
|And When I Come to Die||Hebrews 11:22|
|About Times and Dates, Part One||1 Thessalonians 4:13-18|
Once God rescues us from our sin, we can come to know Him more deeply by learning from His Word again and again. Encore 2013 presents a diverse collection of listener favorites from the past year. Spanning a variety of topics including the relevance of the Bible, church ministry, Christian character, and the biblical record of Jesus’ ministry, this series contains essential teaching that will navigate believers further down the road of their spiritual journey.
|The Bible: An Overview||Luke 24:27|
|Why Bother With The Bible?, Part One||2 Timothy 3:14-17|
|How to Ruin a Church's Effectiveness||Ephesians 4:25|
|The Pulpit: Its Powers and Pitfalls||1 Corinthians 1:18-2:5|
|Characteristics of Christian Love, Part Two||1 Corinthians 13:4-7|
|The Weakness of Power||2 Chronicles 26|
|A Warning Against Laziness||Proverbs 24:23-24 Proverbs 26:13-16|
|Holding Firmly to the End, Part One||Hebrews 3:1-19|
|Grace and Forgiveness||Mark 2:13-14|
|Sabbath Controversy||Mark 2:23-3:6|
|That's What Friends Are||Philippians 2:19-30|
|Compassionate Shepherd||Luke 7:1|
Does the Gospel speak to all of life? Our compilation of listener favorites from 2014 answers that question with a resounding “Yes.” In these messages, Alistair Begg explores God’s power to redeem and keep His people, His faithfulness in good times and bad from generation to generation, and the clarity with which His Word speaks into all of our circumstances and relationships. This series provides essential reminders that the basics of the Christian faith are the foundation upon which all of life is built.
|The Use and Abuse of Words||James 3:1-12|
|Alienation, Reconciliation||1 Peter 3:18|
|Becoming A Christian||Luke 5:12-13|
|The Biblical Basis For Baptism||Acts 2:36-47|
|The Patience of God||2 Peter 3:1-18|
|The Faithfulness of God||Lamentations 3:1-24|
|God's Faithfulness in Affliction||1 Peter 4:12-19|
|The Full Armor of God||Ephesians 6:13-18|
|True Living||Ecclesiastes 1:1-2:11|
|A Memorial Forever||Joshua 3:1-17 Joshua 4:1-24|
In triumphs and trials, in strength and weakness, in the smallest of details and in His eternal plan – God is always at work in and through the lives of His people. Encore 2015 collects listener favorites from the past year that provide Gospel insights from both Old and New Testaments in messages from Alistair Begg. Whatever circumstances we are facing, the messages in this series will remind us that God’s Word gives guidance for all people everywhere, calling us to develop our relationship with Him.
|The Priority of God's Word||1 Thessalonians 5:27-28|
|Passing on the Truth, Part Two||2 Timothy 2:1-2|
|When Trials Come, Part One||James 1:1-3|
|The Power of Weakness||2 Corinthians 12:1-10|
|Gideon, The Weakest & The Least||Judges 6:1-40|
|Mindful, Mighty, Merciful||Luke 1:46-56|
|Zechariah’s Song||Luke 1:67-75|
|Happiness Revisited||Psalms 32:10-11|
|The Unseen Hand of God||Esther 6:1-14|
|Seeing, Caring, Thinking, Praying||Matthew 9:35-38|
|The Other Man's Grass||Exodus 20:17|
|Good News for Lawbreakers||Romans 3:20-21|
Turning from sin and turning to Christ are marks of a converted life, but what does life look like after conversion? Encore 2016 brings together a collection of listener favorites from the Old and New Testaments to answer this question. In these messages, Alistair Begg explores how knowing God changes everything. Our relationships, words, deeds, and even our private thoughts are affected by accepting the truths of the Gospel. In addition to Gospel narrative, this compilation provides Biblical guidance on topics such as marriage, longing, submission, discipleship and church membership, showing us that a commitment to follow Christ is a commitment to bring all aspects of our life under His loving authority.
|I Take You||Genesis 2:24|
|How To Avoid Marital Failure|
|A Word to the Wise||Ecclesiastes 1:1-18|
|Eternity on My Mind||Ecclesiastes 3:1-15|
|Look and Be Amazed!||Habakkuk 1:5-2:1|
|The Fatherhood of God|
|The Birth of Jesus Christ, Part One||Luke 2:1-5|
|Preaching the Gospel from Ruth||Ruth 1:1-22|
|Submitting to God, Part One||James 4:7-10|
|Saying No to Slander||James 4:11|
|An Ill-Conceived Rebuke||Mark 8:31-9:1|
|Membership Matters||Romans 12:4-5|
|A Call to Commitment||Romans 12:1-2|
At a time when truth seems increasingly difficult to find, the 21st-century Christian must look to one place for guidance: God’s Word. Encore 2017 brings together a collection of listener favorites that point us to the Bible as we seek to connect with a lost and broken world. Whether we’re facing anxiety, struggling with laziness, or simply trying to be a better spouse, God’s Word offers a wealth of wisdom and encouragement. In these messages, Alistair Begg emphasizes the centrality of Scripture as it reveals God’s character, purpose, and plan for the lives of His children. With an identity rooted in what Christ accomplished on the cross, believers can confidently share the Word of God and help the perishing come face-to-face with their Savior.
|Bring Out the Book||Nehemiah 8:1-12|
|The Genealogy of Jesus||Matthew 1:1-17|
|No Place For Truth||Acts 17:16-34|
|The Danger of Deception||2 John 1:7-13|
|The Baptism Debate||Acts 16:11-15|
|Being a Wife-God's Way||1 Peter 3:1-6|
|Being a Husband-God's Way||1 Peter 3:7|
|A Warning Against Laziness||Proverbs 24:23-24 Proverbs 26:13-16|
|All Your Anxiety (The Cove)||1 Peter 5:7|
|An ART Lesson||Colossians 1:21-23|
|God of the Exiles||Daniel 1:1-21|
|Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God||John 6:35-40|
|Evangelism-Dealing with Difficulties, Part Two|