¡°GOD CALLS THEM FOOL¡± By Pastor YAU
Text: Proverbs 9:10-12 November 10, 2013
1) The world adores the brain: Every year, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awards prizes to the best of human mind in recognition of their achievements in sciences, medicine, literature and social science. Although prizes awarded in recent years were more on political ideology, winners are still subjects of honor and respect. Each year, colleges and schools also award prizes and titles of honor to the top students of their graduating classes in recognition of their hard work and achievement. These people become elite in the academic and business world.
2) But God treasures the heart: ¡°Above all, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.¡± (Proverbs 4:23) Although all parts of a human body were created by God and each one is important such as a good brain and a sound mind so we could do our duties in practical life, it is the heart that formulates ideas, makes decisions, directs our moral life and receives inspirations from God. The Bible has countless listings on the importance of God and how He talks to and touches the hearts of men to receive his vision and instruction. It is in the heart we are connected with God, feel the love of God and respond to God's word and action.
Who are the people God calls them fool? There are five of them.
THOSE WHO DENY THERE IS GOD: (Psalms 14:1)
1) The root of their foolishness: ¡°The fool says in his heart, there is no God.¡±
These people deny the conviction of their heart in taking such a stand: They are fooled either by their intellectual or ideological stand. The best example may be the answer given by the former Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev, at a UN news conference when asked how could he prove there is no God. Under great frustration, he shouted angrily, ¡°God knows I don't believe there is God.¡± Even today, many in the atheist group deny God not because they can scientifically prove there is no God, but because of their hearts are blinded to acknowledge God. When people try to know God or deny God by their brain and not their hearts, they become fools because God is too big to live in their limited capacity of a human brain. They fool themselves by their brain.
2) The result of their foolishness: ¡°They are corrupt, their deeds are vile.¡± The word ¡°corrupt¡± means ¡°turned into useless from original purpose.¡± God didn't created them as atheists in the first place. God has same good purpose for these people. But when they turn their hearts away from God, departed from the purpose God has in them, they become corrupt and all they know is evil and live in vile life. Most of the vile theories and abominable acts come from these people who deny God and His authority over human being. Just look at how those who deny God live their life and the corruption they have done to the society, you know they are fools.
THOSE WHO INDULGE IN EVIL CONDUCT: (Proverbs 10:23)
1) They indulge in sinful pleasure: ¡°A fool finds pleasure in evil conduct.¡± ¡°Pleasure¡± in the Bible always links to ¡°gratification of the sinful desire of the fresh.¡± Gratifying the sinful desire of the fresh is a powerful weapon evil uses to entice us. Most people love to gratify their evil desire in disregard of God and his moral principles. Many of these people enjoy life in sin without any fear of judgment of God. In fact they play with fire and will certainly face judgment of God one day: ¡°For we must all appear at the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or evil.¡± (2 Cor 5:10) Many of these people think they are smart to enjoy life whatever they like, not knowing that they will be judged by God. God calls them fool.
2) They are unable to know wisdom: ¡°But a man of understanding delights in wisdom.¡± (Prov 10:23b) ¡°Wisdom¡± in Proverbs represents God and his word. People who love to indulge life in sinful pleasure cannot and will not know wisdom and the value of it. The holiness of God separates him from all evil and those who live in evil. It is impossible for those who finds pleasure in evil conduct to understand God and the value of God's word. Their heart and mind are fully occupied by evil and pleasure, and there is no room for God and his wisdom in them. Many of these godless people think they are smarter than those who believe in and revere God. But their godless nature prohibits them from knowing the true wisdom, the godly wisdom. They may have the knowledge of the physical world, but not the wisdom of the spiritual world.
THOSE WHO LIVE FOR RICHES: (Luke 12:13-21)
1) They spend life for riches: ¡°The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself: What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops. Then he said: That is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to myself: You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.¡± (12:16-19) This may be a snapshot of a long process this rich man had to handle his riches. All he cared was his riches and how to store in, pile up and enjoy them for himself. There are many today who live their life just as this rich man did: very busy making money for themselves, nothing and no one else. These people may be rich, admired by millions, live in extravagant life style and brag so much about that, but God calls them fool. Why are they fool? We will see next part of Jesus' parable.
2) They lost their precious soul: ¡°But God said to him: You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself? This is how it will be with anyone who store up things for himself but is not rich toward God.¡± (12:20-21) ¡°They are not rich toward God¡± means ¡°they are poor in the eyes of God.¡± There are two important reasons why this rich man was called a fool: a) He ignored God in all his endeavor in this story. Never once he credited all his riches to anyone, God's blessing of good weather and good ground and the hard work of his hired hands to bring in the crops. He believed that the riches he had was all his wise decision or luck. b) He ignored his soul, his eternal life. He believed he was in total control of all things of his life. He was a fool to think that way. He may be rich in the eyes of the world, but he is poor in the eyes of God.
THOSE WHO IGNORE THE WORD OF GOD: (Matthew 7:24-27)
1) They ignore the real foundation: ¡°But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.¡± (7:26) Contrast of the one who hears the words of Jesus and put into practice like a wise man who built his house on the rock, the words of the Lord Jesus. But this foolish man ignored the words of the Lord and built his house on the sand. The rock or the sand is about the foundation one may build his house or his life. Today, still many people, including Christians who are building their houses, life, on the sand instead of on the rock. Those who do not practice God's word are not building their life on solid foundation but on sinking sand. How much do you value the word of God in your life? How do you rank the value of God in your decision making and choices? If you are building the life of your family, marriage, children and everything you see as important, what is the foundation on which you are building?
2) They suffer terrible consequences: ¡°The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blow and beat against that house and it fell with a great crash.¡± (7:27) Contrast to the one who hears the words of Jesus and put them into practice, even the same rain, same streams and the same winds beat against that house, ¡°it did not fall because it had its foundation on the rock.¡± (7:25)
Too many people, including many Christians, don't believe there is a close correlation between if their practice the word of God in their life building and the outcome of it if they don't. Remember, besides salvation which Jesus had paid our price, all aspects of our life, we are responsible to ourselves. Don't be fooled to think God doesn't know or doesn't care how you live your life. He does and he cares. Where you are building your life will be judged at the end of your life. Make no mistake. Don't be called a fool by God.
THOSE WHO ARE UNPREPARED FOR THAT DAY: (Matt 25:1-13)
1) They don't care to be prepared: ¡°The kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise however took oil in jars along with their lamps.¡± (Matt 25:1-4) This parable is about the second coming of Jesus Christ, and the morale is he expects that we are all well prepared to meet him when he comes. Should the Lord tarries a little longer and we can't wait to see on that glorious final day, we will see him when we die in this world. This is a very serious matter for all of us: Are we well prepared to meet the Lord either when he comes back or when we die and go to heaven? Look at how you live your life and see if you are doing anything to prepare yourself to see the Lord? If you should die today and go to see Jesus, what will you say when you see him? Don't you ever think you still have time and will do some preparation a little later. Listen to what the Lord says: ¡°Keep watching because you do not know that day or the hour.¡± (25:13)
2) The unprepared will be shutout: ¡°The virgin who were prepared went in with the bridegroom to the wedding banquet, and the door was shut. Later the other also came. ¡°Lord! Lord! Open the door to us.¡± But he replied: I don't know you.¡± (25:10-11) There are different interpretations on being ¡°shutout,¡± ranging from losing the eternal life to losing the joy and glory of being in the presence of the Lord in heaven. The morale is being prepared is important for all who claim to be God's children and if you are not, the loss you may suffer is beyond your imagination. Why would you want to be a fool in this very important matter of your spiritual future? All of us need to see that there is a consequence the way we live as Christians in regard to our future destiny in heaven. Besides salvation which was paid in full by the Lord Jesus, all other blessings in heaven are rewards of our endeavor. As Paul says: ¡°I have fought the good fight, I have run the race, and I have keep the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day---and not just to me, but also to all who have waited for his coming.¡± (2 Timothy 4:7-8) Will you receive such a crown when you see the Lord that day?
APPLICATION OF TRUTH:
1) You don't have to be a fool: ¡°Forsake the foolish way and live, and go in the way of understanding.¡± (Proverbs 9:6, KJV) There will always be foolish people around us, but that doesn't mean you need to be one of them. You can and need to choose understanding of God's instruction. Look at yourself in the mirror of the Bible and see if you are one of those whom God calls fool. It is not just a bad name, it is about your spiritual future in heaven. Why not get prepared by acknowledging God and live by his word, stay away from sin and its pleasure, live your life more than just making money and enjoy life in this fleeting world but prepare to meet the Lord when he comes or when you go to see him. You need to wise up for your own good.
2) Don't you think you are lucky: I am talking to those who are not in the circle of Christians. Don't you think that you are lucky because you are not a Christian so you are not a fool. Read the first group of fools, those who say in their heart: There is no God. These are the first group of fools in the eyes of God. Everyone of us will need to meet God either when Jesus comes back or when we die. There is no other way to excuse yourself not to meet God. Be wise to make that important choice: Believe in your heart, acknowledge in your mouth that Jesus is Lord and you will be saved. (Romans 10:9-10)