It is sad how many people don't understand when God is speaking about those who are living a vain life. Most of these discussions are applied directly to a people who say they are the people of God. God even applies them to those who He calls His people before He destroys them because they refused to respond to the discipline of God.
I have heard more people quote from Ecclesiastes 7:20, Romans 3:10, 1Jn 1:8, etc .... The list goes on and on. Yet these people do not have context of the book and many times even the chapter. The result is foolish speculations, disputes about words, and controversial questions which God warns against those who understand nothing and are deprived of the truth. They advocate a different doctrine not agreeing with sound words (those of Christ) or the doctrine that conforms to godliness. (1 Tim 6:3-5)
Ecclesiastes 7:20 For there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and does not sin.
Rom 3:10-12 As it is written: "There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one."
As you can see, the statements from both Ecclesiastes and Romans are the same. Yet many people don't understand the context and teachings of God from his word both in the book where the passages are plucked and in addition for the case of Romans, the OT scripture from which the passage was taken.
Read Psalm chapter 14 from where some of the passages of Romans CH 3 are taken and you will see it talks about the "fool" who does not know God. Those in darkness who are excluded from God. Those who do NO good. They only do evil. Think of the moral atheist. This is how God sees them. Many people would agree in the eyes of man there are many moral atheist who do "good", the same good deeds you see Christians performing. But they don't understand when you still have a bad heart with wicked thoughts to go along with the good thoughts, you are defiled and still have a bad heart. This is discussed in the episode "God requires a new heart" (part 1 and part 2).
Psalm chapter 15 then contrasts the "fool" with the righteous man who DOES do good, and DOES NOT do evil. It is this man that will abide with God!
For 1 John Chapter 1, most people don’t know the first chapter is written to those in the church who are deceived and think they have fellowship with God even though they still walk with darkness in their life. They are so blind because they only know how to go and pick a single verse or two and not understand the whole chapter and the whole book. Go listen to the episode on 1 John and John 3:16.
Now, let me point out some things in Ecclesiastes that many people are blind to, because they don't seek to understand the principle teachings that God wants to communicate. They are attracted and can only seem to see the things that justify what they want to believe because they are unwilling to acknowledge that they may be deceived and not have fellowship with God.
Ecclesiastes: The book is written to point out all the vanities of the world. There are very few statements of God's truth, but many statements of vanity as viewed through the wisdom of the world. This is a reflection of Solomon’s life of vanity . At the very end we are left with the truth of God that is not vanity and is what we are to put our trust in:
Many people are ignorant of the fact Solomon fell away from God. Look below at the prayers offered for Solomon and the conditions. Then look at what God says about Solomon at the end of his life:
Prayer / Instruction for Solomon
1Ki 9:3-9 3 The LORD said to him, "I have heard your prayer and your supplication, which you have made before Me; I have consecrated this house which you have built by putting My name there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually. 4 "As for you, if you will walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that I have commanded you and will keep My statutes and My ordinances, 5 then I will establish the throne of your kingdom over Israel forever, just as I promised to your father David, saying, 'You shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.' 6 "But if you or your sons indeed turn away from following Me, and do not keep My commandments and My statutes which I have set before you, and go and serve other gods and worship them, 7 then I will cut off Israel from the land which I have given them, and the house which I have consecrated for My name, I will cast out of My sight. So Israel will become a proverb and a byword among all peoples. 8 "And this house will become a heap of ruins; everyone who passes by will be astonished and hiss and say, 'Why has the LORD done thus to this land and to this house?' 9 "And they will say, 'Because they forsook the LORD their God
1 Chronicles 28:9 "As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever.
1Ch 29:17-19 17 "Since I know, O my God, that You try the heart and delight in uprightness, I, in the integrity of my heart, have willingly offered all these things; so now with joy I have seen Your people, who are present here, make their offerings willingly to You. 18 "O LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, our fathers, preserve this forever in the intentions of the heart of Your people, and direct their heart to You; 19 and give to my son Solomon a perfect heart to keep Your commandments, Your testimonies and Your statutes, and to do them all, and to build the temple, for which I have made provision."
1Ki 11:4-12 4 For when Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart away after other gods; and his heart was not wholly devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been.… 9 Now the LORD was angry with Solomon because his heart was turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, 10 and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he did not observe what the LORD had commanded. 11 So the LORD said to Solomon, "Because you have done this, and you have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you, and will give it to your servant. 12 "Nevertheless I will not do it in your days for the sake of your father David, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son.
Ecc 1:2-3 "Vanity of vanities," says the Preacher; "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity." What profit has a man from all his labor in which he toils under the sun?
Ecc 1:18 Because in much wisdom there is much grief, and increasing knowledge results in increasing pain.
Ecc 2:3 I explored with my mind how to stimulate my body with wine while my mind was guiding me wisely, and how to take hold of folly, until I could see what good there is for the sons of men to do under heaven the few years of their lives.
Ecc 2:8-11 8 Also, I collected for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I provided for myself male and female singers and the pleasures of men-- many concubines. 9 Then I became great and increased more than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. My wisdom also stood by me. 10 All that my eyes desired I did not refuse them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart was pleased because of all my labor and this was my reward for all my labor. 11 Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun.
Ecc 2:14-18 14 The wise man's eyes are in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I know that one fate befalls them both. 15 Then I said to myself, "As is the fate of the fool, it will also befall me. Why then have I been extremely wise?" So I said to myself, "This too is vanity." 16 For there is no lasting remembrance of the wise man as with the fool, inasmuch as in the coming days all will be forgotten. And how the wise man and the fool alike die! 17 So I hated life, for the work which had been done under the sun was grievous to me; because everything is futility and striving after wind. 18 Thus I hated all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun, for I must leave it to the man who will come after me.
Ecc 3:18-20 18 I said to myself concerning the sons of men, "God has surely tested them in order for them to see that they are but beasts." 19 For the fate of the sons of men and the fate of beasts is the same. As one dies so dies the other; indeed, they all have the same breath and there is no advantage for man over beast, for all is vanity. 20 All go to the same place. All came from the dust and all return to the dust.
Ecc 4:1-4 Then I returned and considered all the oppression that is done under the sun: And look! The tears of the oppressed, But they have no comforter-- On the side of their oppressors there is power, But they have no comforter. 2 Therefore I praised the dead who were already dead, more than the living who are still alive. 3 Yet, better than both is he who has never existed, Who has not seen the evil work that is done under the sun. 4 Again, I saw that for all toil and every skillful work a man is envied by his neighbor. This also is vanity and grasping for the wind.
Ecc 6:1-6 There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is common among men: 2 A man to whom God has given riches and wealth and honor, so that he lacks nothing for himself of all he desires; yet God does not give him power to eat of it, but a foreigner consumes it. This is vanity, and it is an evil affliction. 3 If a man begets a hundred children and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many, but his soul is not satisfied with goodness, or indeed he has no burial, I say that a stillborn child is better than he-- 4 for it comes in vanity and departs in darkness, and its name is covered with darkness. 5 Though it has not seen the sun or known anything, this has more rest than that man, 6 even if he lives a thousand years twice-- but has not seen goodness. Do not all go to one place?
Ecc 8:14-15 14 There is a vanity which occurs on earth, that there are just men to whom it happens according to the work of the wicked; again, there are wicked men to whom it happens according to the work of the righteous. I said that this also is vanity. 15 So I commended pleasure, because a man has nothing better under the sun than to eat, drink, and be merry; for this will remain with him in his labor all the days of his life which God gives him under the sun.
Ecc 9:2-10 2 All things come alike to all: One event happens to the righteous and the wicked; To the good, the clean, and the unclean; To him who sacrifices and him who does not sacrifice. As is the good, so is the sinner; He who takes an oath as he who fears an oath. 3 This is an evil in all that is done under the sun: that one thing happens to all. Truly the hearts of the sons of men are full of evil; madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead. 4 But for him who is joined to all the living there is hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion. 5 For the living know that they will die; But the dead know nothing, And they have no more reward, For the memory of them is forgotten. 6 Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished; Nevermore will they have a share In anything done under the sun. 7 Go, eat your bread with joy, And drink your wine with a merry heart; For God has already accepted your works. 8 Let your garments always be white, And let your head lack no oil. 9 Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life which He has given you under the sun, all your days of vanity; for that is your portion in life, and in the labor which you perform under the sun. 10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.
In summary, people need to first look at the entire book and the principles of what God is saying, especially when he contrasts the life of a fool or the old man vs the new man; wisdom of the world vs the wisdom of God. Sadly most people cannot give you an outline of the book from which the blaspheme the word of God by falsely holding to individual verses and vain/empty speculations or thoughts of men.
Either Kyle or Sam...just check the signature at the bottom of what you read.