Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday evening, August 11, 2002, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia.
THE LAUGHTER OF THE BIBLE
By Michael D. O’Neal Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church Albany, Georgia
Scripture Reading: Ecclesiates 3:1-8
Text: Ecclesiastes 3:4
Ecclesiastes 3:4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
Introduction: The proverb says that there should be a place for everything and everything in its place. I think it is even more scriptural and more important to understand that there is a time for everything and everything in its time.
Our text says that there is a time to laugh. Some Christians seem to think that it is ungodly to do that. Yet the Bible says that there is rejoicing in heaven. The Bible says that God laughs. The Bible says that God fills the mouths of His people with laughter.
One of the biggest ingredients of American life is its sense of humor. Unfortunately, most of the laughter of contemporary humor is prompted by the wrong stimulus and done at the wrong time.
I think it’s good to laugh:
At clean jokes
When enjoying yourself
When someone gets saved
When people are happy
Before and after a wedding
When someone needs cheering up (Proverbs 17:22)
I believe it’s wrong to laugh:
At filthy jokes
When people are hurting
When people do wrong
When it hurts those who are sad
When the subject is serious (salvation, witnessing)
When you are being instructed, corrected, or rebuked by an authority over you.
Some people laugh when they should actually be weeping. My youngest daughter somehow acquired the habit of laughing if she gets hurt! I’m not kidding! When you think she’s tickled with her jokes, you’re really giving her a headache!
One of our preacher boys once was conducting junior church. He was kidding around with them and thought everything was really going over well, because the kids were about to die laughing. He later discovered they were laughing because his pants were unzipped.
Others weep when they should be laughing. I want us to consider a few things tonight that the Bible says about laughter, and encourage you to laugh as God would have us to WHEN He would have us to.
I. THERE IS THE LAUGHTER OF DOUBT
Genesis 17:15-17 And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. 16 And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her. 17 Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?
This is a wrong laughter. Some people laugh
A. At the purity of God’s word
- Psalms 12:6-7; Proverbs 30:5
- Science and evolution
- Preservation of scripture
B. At the principles of God’s word
- Courtship and marriage
- Roles of man and wife in the home
C. At the prophecies of God’s word
- 2 Peter 3:3-4
II. THERE IS THE LAUGHTER OF DISDAIN
This is a laughter of scorn and despising.
In prophesying of the crucifixion of Christ, the Bible says:
Psalms 22:7 All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,
Some people laugh in disdain, scorn, and mocking:
A. At the work of the Savior
- Reality of the gospel events
- Salvation by grace through faith
- Eternal security
B. At the work of the Spirit
C. At the work of the saints
- Nehemiah 2:19
III. THERE IS THE LAUGHTER OF DOOM
Psalms 2:4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.
A. This will be a righteous laugh
B. This will be a royal laugh
C. This will be a revengeful laugh
IV. THERE IS A LAUGHTER OF DELIVERANCE
Psalms 126:1-3 When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. 2 Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them. 3 The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.
A. Because of a great pain ended
- Captivity to sin and Satan
B. Because of a great penalty avoided
- Hell and hopelessness
C. Because of a great power displayed
- 2 Corinthians 5:17
D. Because of a great pleasure achieved
- Escaped hell!
- Names written in heaven!