Big Idea

True joy is found in Christ.

Scene Setup

As long as Gatsby has lived in Long Island, he has been the talk of society. His lavish parties, free-flowing alcohol, and mysterious origins all feed the rumor mill surrounding his persona. Every weekend, hundreds of people from the city flock to his mansion to indulge in the extravagance of high society, free of charge. He hosts many important and interesting people in his large home, and is never short on company when he seeks it out. However, after his train-wreck affair with Daisy Buchanan ends in the death of a young woman and his own murder, it seems that none of those once “close” friends are anywhere to be found. The only person from his life who is present at his death is Nick Carraway, the writer who was Gatsby's connection to Daisy.

Topics

Joy, Betrayal, Friendship, Fulfillment, Money

Scene

Gatsby lies in his coffin, looking almost like he’s sleeping amidst the clamor of reporters and photographers trying to get the best picture of the once vibrant millionaire’s body. Nick stands above it all, on the staircase, desperately trying to get a hold of Daisy to come to the funeral. Nick realizes that of all the people there, only he was a friend to Gatsby. Angry with his cousin and the insulting opportunistic reporters, Nick snaps. He begins to scream at the crowd to get out of the room. The camera then shows the dark, empty mansion that was once the epitome of excess and excitement. Instead of music and people, the large entry room is filled only with funeral wreathes and a casket. Nick mourns the hypocrisy of the party crowd he once identified with, saying, “I rang, I wrote, I implored. But not a single one of the sparkling hundreds that enjoyed his hospitality attended the funeral. And from Daisy, not even a flower. I was all he had. The only one who cared.”

Application

Gatsby spent his entire life seeking to make something of himself. Riches, he thought, were the key to everything he hoped for. With money came power. With money came friends. With money came Daisy. But when it came down to it, his money didn’t accomplish anything he wanted. He died alone, in a big empty mansion, with just one friend by his side. The truth is, people only really liked him for his incredible parties and hidden persona. They were false friends (Prov. 26:24-26). When he stopped being able to provide those things for them, they stopped caring about him. The world promises us everlasting joy in wealth, power, and entertainment. But as Gatsby found out, those promises were not all they were cracked up to be. They don’t protect you from hardship, and they certainly don’t last forever. And as soon as they run out, you’re left alone. The Bible warns against this love of money, saying it is vanity (Ecclesiastes 5:10). However, there is joy everlasting to be found. It’s a fulfillment that is deeper than the promises of the world, and that will not forsake you in times of trouble. That joy is found in knowing you are loved: deeply, personally loved, by Christ. Romans 5:8 tells us that even while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. He created us individually for His specific purposes (Psalm 139:13-14) and knows us so well, that He could tell the number of hairs on your head (Luke 12:7). And a relationship with God through Christ offers ultimate fulfillment. Hebrews 13:5 promises that, unlike wealth and superficial pleasures, God will never leave us nor forsake us. He truly cares for us, and in a relationship with Him, we can find ultimate joy and satisfaction.

 

Where To Find


Scriptures

Proverbs 26:24-26

Hebrews 13:5-6

Luke 12:6-7

Romans 5:6-11

Ecclesiastes 5:10


Video Times

Start: 2:04:38

End: 2:05:42


Keywords

Joy, Betrayal, Friendship, Fulfillment, False Friends, Satisfaction, Money


Illustration Sermon General Warning

Language (indecent use of “hell”).

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