I said in my heart, Go to now, I will prove you with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity.…
I. WHAT ARE THE PLEASURES OF SIN?
1. They are present pleasures; now and here; not in the dim distance; not in the next world, but in this.
2. They are varied and many: adapted to every taste, capacity, age, condition.
3. They fall in with the desires and cravings of our carnal nature.
4. They possess the power to excite in a wonderful degree, — the fancy, the mind, the passions, — ambition, lust, pride, etc.
II. WHAT ARE THE PLEASURES OR REWARDS OF CHRIST'S SERVICE?
1. They are real and substantial, not fictitious and imaginary or deceptive.
(1) A good conscience.
(2) A contented mind.
(3) Rational enjoyment and satisfaction.
(4) Elevation of being.
(5) A quiet, growing consciousness of God's approval.
(6) A sweet sense of living and breathing in a sphere of sanctified thought and life, illumined by the sunlight of Heaven, and vocal with the joys and harmonies which proceed from Calvary.
2. They are not all in the future. No small part of them are here, and enjoyed day by day. Heaven is the ultimate state of blessedness, the final reward in Christ's service. But heaven is begun in every reconciled, sanctified soul at once and progresses to the consummation.
3. Christ's service is soul-satisfying. It touches, elevates, expands, gives dignity to, and harmonizes and gladdens man's highest nature.
4. The pleasure, the reward of Christ's service is enduring. It fears no death, knows no end. It is perpetual, everlasting, ever augmenting.
(J. M. Sherwood, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity.