I recently read this illustration on a sermon illustration website and thought I would share it with you.
“Many years ago a man conned his way into the orchestra of the emperor of China although he could not play a note. Whenever the group practiced or performed, he would hold his flute against his lips, pretending to play but not making a sound. He received a modest salary and enjoyed a comfortable living. Then one day the emperor requested a solo from each musician. The flutist got nervous. There wasn’t enough time to learn the instrument. He pretended to be sick, but the royal physician wasn’t fooled. On the day of his performance, the impostor took poison and killed himself. The explanation of his suicide led to a phrase that found its way into the English language: ‘He refused to face the music.’ When pushed to be an authentic person, he reacted violently and failed the test.”
When you are forced to “Face the Music,” how do you react? As I preach through the book of Acts (in chapter 17 now), I am attempting to contrast the reaction of the Jews in Thessalonica to the Jews in Berea. How their reactions to the Word of God were so different! The Thessalonian’s reaction can best be described as “scoffing” or “scorning.” They rejected God’s reality and substituted their own. When you are confronted with Biblical truth, do you find yourself scoffing at God’s standard because you do not want to change your opinion? That is what the Thessalonians did. Part 2 of my message will about being a Berean scholar and not a Thessalonian scoffer. Here are some verses to keep in mind to gage your reaction.
Proverbs 15:12 – A scorner loveth not one that reproveth him: neither will he go unto the wise.
Romans 1:21-22 – Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.
Proverbs 22:10 – Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.
Proverbs 24:9 – The thought of foolishness is sin: and the scorner is an abomination to men.
Philippians 2:3-4 – Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
Proverbs 1:22 – How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?