This week we have been talking about coming to our senses by making the right choices so that we are no longer walk the same road as the foolish. Ecclesiastes 10:3 “Even when the fool walks on the road, he lacks sense, and he says to everyone that he is a fool.” We do not want any part of the fool who says there is no God as we talked about yesterday. We also do not want to be part of those like the foolish Galatians. Paul said Galatians 3:1 “You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? 3 Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? 4 Have you experienced so much in vain—if it really was in vain? 5 So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? 6 So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Most of the church find themselves bewitched liked the Galatians were. The church began in the power of the Holy Spirit but over time, actually very quickly, power was only what human hands / flesh could make. That was not how it was supposed to be. Even though this has been happening to the church since Paul said he was astonished that they followed other gospels, nowhere does the bible say that after Paul there would be no more power. The only reason for the powerless church is rebellion against God’s word. The bible is very clear on God’s response to rebellion.
We also do not want to be part of the fool who says the bible is irrelevant for today, meaning God is irrelevant. There is no other book like the living word of God which is not a book. For example, Homosexuality which is an abomination before God is talked about in the Old Testament Leviticus 18:22 “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.” And it is also talked about in the New Testament. Paul made it clear 1 Corinthians 6:9 “Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” This is why so many have set the bible aside for their own reasoning, experiences and traditions. They say we know so much more today, meaning we know so much more than God. Probably not! The fool also says satan doesn’t have any power. Obviously he does, because the person who said this is greatly deceived. satan even told Jesus Luke 4:6 “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 If you worship me, it will all be yours.” satan has great power, especially in this abomination that causes desolation. 2 Thessalonians 2:4 “He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.”
Another area where men and women have become fools is the agree to disagree nonsense. They say we all believe in Jesus, but we believe differently. That is nonsense as there is only one way. When following other gospels, Jesus is not actually the Jesus you think you are worshipping. There is a church I know of in this area that says this in their statement of faith. “We are part of the Church in the city of … We are part of the universal and eternal spiritual body of Christ” It makes it sound like they are just part of the many churches in that city and the universe spreading the gospel. They do not specify which ones. By not specifying, they are basically saying any church, therefore the other churches must be teaching truth also. Then they go on to tell you very specifically what they believe as opposed to the others in the city and why they are not like every other church in the city. It is a very ambiguous (vague) and misleading statement. There statement of faith has other gospels in it which is probably closer to the truth as to why they say they are part of the church as most of the other churches also follow other gospels.
In the church today there are many travelling down the fool’s road as we just talked about in the above examples. So why is the title of today’s sermon called “Fools for God. Today we are not talking about becoming a fool as I described above but becoming a fool to others by following the bible with everything we have. Yes, we will appear to be fools for doing so and people may even think you have lost it for your commitment to God’s word. Paul said 2 Corinthians 5:13 “If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you.” They also said Acts 26:24 “At this point Festus interrupted Paul’s defense. “You are out of your mind, Paul!” he shouted. “Your great learning is driving you insane.” Jesus own family thought he was out of his mind. Mark 3:21 “When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.” So if people think you are a fool and you are out of your mind for following God’s word wholeheartedly, let them think that, as you are in good company. You can’t pay attention to what people think about you or even who they are. When we talk about what the bible states, people will be offended and will think we are foolish for believing but it doesn’t matter. Paul said Galatians 1:10 “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 2:4 “On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts.” It only matters what God thinks. They said about Jesus Mark 12:14 “Teacher, we know that you are a man of integrity. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.” So, if that’s foolishness, then become fools for God, for great will be your reward. Matthew 5:11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
A lot of the bible is considered foolishness, even the gospel message. Paul said 1 Corinthians 1:18 “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate. 20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.” 1 Corinthians 2:14 “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.”
In the one example I talked about homosexuality and I realize that many churches to their demise say God approves, even though God’s word states it is an abomination. Many have accepted this abomination as truth because the bible isn’t placed above reason, tradition and experience. Rejecting God’s word as irrelevant allows for almost anything. The bible says homosexuality is an abomination and you will not inherit the kingdom of God no matter how many in the church tell you differently. Here is where the problem lies. If you want to follow God, God in His mercy can heal you and you will be made new. If you do not believe God or the bible, then live your life but you will find out later that God is God and there is no other. The problem is that when we speak about this abomination, there has to be power from on high to bring healing, as it is not a matter of talk but power. Since God has turned His face from the church, we are not seeing that power but that does not mean we reject His word and replace it with our own; that would be foolish. Instead, we pray that God would turn His face to shine on us once again so that we would see healing and demons cast out. This next verse is amazing and shows us the power of God and why we should be praying that God will turn His face back to us. When Paul talked about those who would not inherit the kingdom of God, he went on to say 1 Corinthians 6:11 “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” So be foolish for God and believe what the bible actually says, even when many in the church do not.
Today we have to stand firm on the word of God. Don’t be the fool who says there is no God and doesn’t believe what the bible says. Be a fool for God but be wise in doing so. Proverbs 8:1 “Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice? 2 At the highest point along the way, where the paths meet, she takes her stand; 3 beside the gate leading into the city, at the entrance, she cries aloud: 4 “To you, O people, I call out; I raise my voice to all mankind. 5 You who are simple, gain prudence; you who are foolish, set your hearts on it. 6 Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say; I open my lips to speak what is right. 7 My mouth speaks what is true, for my lips detest wickedness. 8 All the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked or perverse. 9 To the discerning all of them are right; they are upright to those who have found knowledge. 10 Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, 11 for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her. 12 “I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion. 13 To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. 14 Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have insight, I have power. 15 By me kings reign and rulers issue decrees that are just; 16 by me princes govern, and nobles—all who rule on earth. 17 I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me. 18 With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity. 19 My fruit is better than fine gold; what I yield surpasses choice silver. 20 I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice, 21 bestowing a rich inheritance on those who love me and making their treasuries full. 22 “The Lord brought me forth as the first of his works, before his deeds of old; 23 I was formed long ages ago, at the very beginning, when the world came to be. 24 When there were no watery depths, I was given birth, when there were no springs overflowing with water; 25 before the mountains were settled in place, before the hills, I was given birth, 26 before he made the world or its fields or any of the dust of the earth. 27 I was there when he set the heavens in place, when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep, 28 when he established the clouds above and fixed securely the fountains of the deep, 29 when he gave the sea its boundary so the waters would not overstep his command, and when he marked out the foundations of the earth. 30 Then I was constantly at his side. I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence, 31 rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in mankind. 32 “Now then, my children, listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways. 33 Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not disregard it. 34 Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. 35 For those who find me find life and receive favor from the Lord. 36 But those who fail to find me harm themselves; all who hate me love death.”
There are two voices calling from the highest places. Listen carefully and choose wisely. Proverbs 9:1 “Wisdom has built her house; she has set up its seven pillars. 2 She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine; she has also set her table. 3 She has sent out her servants, and she calls from the highest point of the city, 4 “Let all who are simple come to my house!” To those who have no sense she says, 5 “Come, eat my food and drink the wine I have mixed. 6 Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of insight.” 7 Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults; whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse. 8 Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you; rebuke the wise and they will love you. 9 Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning. 10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. 11 For through wisdom your days will be many, and years will be added to your life. 12 If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer. 13 Folly is an unruly woman; she is simple and knows nothing. 14 She sits at the door of her house, on a seat at the highest point of the city, 15 calling out to those who pass by, who go straight on their way, 16 “Let all who are simple come to my house!” To those who have no sense she says, 17 “Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!” 18 But little do they know that the dead are there, that her guests are deep in the realm of the dead.”