Mistakes Of A Successful Man


      1. Mistakes = "To err in recognizing; To err in the estimation of someone or something; To err in thought or in perception."
      2. Successful = "The favorable termination of something done, achieved, or attained." Note: We will be looking at the word successful only from the world’s viewpoint.
      3. Men = We will be looking at men, but the lesson is applicable to both men and women.
      1. Successful in worldly things.
      2. Successful in spiritual things.

    Note: We must make a choice in which area we want to be successful.


    1. SOLOMON:
      1. He was a powerful king to whom other nations were content to pay annual tribute.
        II Chronicles 9:23-24
        = "And all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom, that God had put in his heart. And they brought every man his present, vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and raiment, harness, and spices, horses, and mules, a rate year by year."
      2. He was exceedingly wealthy and was the wisest man known:
        1. The queen of Sheba had this to say about Solomon and his wisdom: II Chronicles. 9:3-8 = "And when the queen of Sheba had seen the wisdom of Solomon, and the house that he had built, And the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel; his cupbearers also, and their apparel; and his ascent by which he went up into the house of the LORD; there was no more spirit in her. And she said to the king, It was a true report which I heard in mine own land of thine acts, and of thy wisdom: Howbeit I believed not their words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the one half of the greatness of thy wisdom was not told me: for thou exceedest the fame that I heard. Happy are thy men, and happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and hear thy wisdom. Blessed be the LORD thy God, which delighted in thee to set thee on his throne, to be king for the LORD thy God: because thy God loved Israel, to establish them for ever, therefore made he thee king over them, to do judgment and justice."
        2. King Solomon had surpassed all other kings in wealth. II Chronicles. 9:13-14 = "Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred and threescore and six talents of gold; Beside that which chapmen and merchants brought. And all the kings of Arabia and governors of the country brought gold and silver to Solomon."
          II Chronicles. 9:22-24
          ="….. And king Solomon passed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom. And all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom, that God had put in his heart. And they brought every man his present, vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and raiment, harness, and spices, horses, and mules, a rate year by year."
      3. King Solomon’s great mistake was his marrying heathen women. I King 11:1-11 = "But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites; Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father. Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods. And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice, And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded. Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant."
      4. COMMENT: These women turned away his heart after other gods. Today marrying out of the church has led many away from the God of heaven to serve man made gods.

        1. Exodus 22:20 = "He that sacrificeth unto any god, save unto the Lord only, he shall be utterly destroyed."
        2. II Samuel 7:22 = "Wherefore thou art great, O Lord God: for there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears."
        3. I Corinthians 8:5-6 = "For though thee be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords, many.) but to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him."
    2. SAMSON:
      1. He was a war hero in fighting the Philistines.
      2. Judges 15:15 - "And he found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew as thousand men therewith."

        Judges 16:23 = "Then the lords of the Philistines gathered them together for to offer a great sacrifice unto Dagon their god, and to rejoice: for they said, Our god hath delivered Samson our enemy into our hand.   Judges 16:27-31 = "….. Now the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of the Philistines were there; and there were upon the roof about three thousand men and women, that beheld while Samson made sport. And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes. And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left. And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life. Then his brethren and all the house of his father came down, and took him, and brought him up, and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the burying place of Manoah his father. And he judged Israel twenty years."

      3. He was a strong man physically, but he was a weakling in the field of love and courtship.
      4. His downfall came as the result of loving and trusting an unworthy woman [Delilah in Judges 16: 4-20].
      1. This man was very young, religious and rich.
      2. Matthew 19:16-22 = "And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions."

      3. His name was known among men due to his wealth and proud of him.
      4. His mistake was that he loved material wealth more than the Lord.

      1 Timothy 6:9-10 = "But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."

      1. He was a very successful farmer, thrifty, and prepared for the future.
      2. Luke 12:16-21 = "And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."

      3. Worldly men would be proud of him, yet he was a fool. Why?
      4. His mistake was that he laid up treasure for himself, but was poor toward God.

      Matthew 6:19-20 = "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:"

      Mark 8:36-37 = "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"

      1. He was probably the pride of the community.
      2. Luke 16:19-31 = "There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead."

      3. He was clothed in purple and fine linen.
      4. He fared sumptuously every day.
      5. Yet his success was short lived. Why?
      6. His mistake – He neglected his soul – and was unprepared for heaven. He missed it.

      Matthew 16:26 = "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"

      Hebrews 2:3 = "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;"

      1. He had the honor of being one of the selected 12 apostles.
      2. Luke 6:13-16 = "And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles; Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes, And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor."

        COMMENT: It might even be said that at this time he was loved, admired and respected.

      3. He was selected among the twelve to be the treasurer.
      4. John 12:6 = "This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein."

      5. He made the mistake of allowing Satan to enter into his heart.
      6. Luke 22:3 = "Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve."

        1. Satan is too dangerous to entertain.
        2. I Peter 5:8 = "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour."

          II Corinthians 6:14 = "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?"

          Ephesians 5:11 = "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them."

        3. His mistake was:
          1. Turning traitor for thirty pieces of silver.
          2. Matthew 26:14-16 = "Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him."

          3. Committing suicide.

      Matthew 27:3-5 = "Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself."

      1. He was the Roman governor of Judaea.
      2. Matthew 27:11 = "And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest".  Matthew 27:22-24 ="….... Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified. And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified. When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it."

      3. He had power and prestige, which according to worldly standards he was successful.
      4. He made the mistake of yielding to public favor against his convictions. COMMENT: This successful man’s name has gone down in history as a moral coward.


    2. "One has achieved success who has lived well … laughed often … and loved much. Who has gained the respect of intelligent men, and the love of little children; who accomplished his task; who has left the world better than he found it whether by some improved work done, poem written, or rescued a soul; Who has never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty, or failed to express it; Who has looked for the best in others … and given the best he had; Whose life was an inspiration; Whose memory is a benediction; And who used life to prepare his soul for heaven."


Ecclesiastes 12:13 = "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man."

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