What Kind of Fool Are You?
By Pastor Christopher W. Burke Sr.
This message was taken from an excerpt from the Baptist Examiner, which I thought would make a good sermon. It is not meant to be an accusation against any for being a fool, as Jesus warns against calling a brother a fool. But instead this message will provide descriptions of men whom the Bible says are fools in one way or another.
I believe that everyone of us can find ourselves somewhere in this message this morning. The question is, then, what kind of fool are you? We want to examine 7 kinds of fools in the Scriptures, and may we lay our hearts open before the Lord, and honestly seek to know where we stand in this matter.
What is a fool? Webster defines a fool as someone lacking common sense or judgment. In the spiritual realm it would mean someone who lacks good spiritual sense or judgment. This definition will work for our message this morning.
1. The first kind of fool we want to notice is the atheist fool (Psalms 14:1).
An atheist we know, is a person who professes that he doesn’t believe in God. Notice I said “professes”. Just like a person who professes to be a Christian, and to believe in God. The professing atheist might very likely be a hypocrite. He might be hiding from God, and therefore covering up or disguising what is really in his heart, and what he truly believes about God. This, in fact, is probably the case with most professing atheists.
I say this because I believe that everyone has an innate or intuitive belief in God. I don’t mean that everyone possesses even the slightest spark of saving faith, for no one has even the least amount of true saving faith by his nature. But on the other hand, I believe that God has placed in mankind, which he created in His own image, an inherent belief in his Creator.
I believe, as I have stated before, that people have to be taught that there “is no god”. That is why the former Soviet Union made atheism a chief part their school public curriculum. But, even with their regimented teaching of atheism, “free” Russia emerged as religious as every other nation on the face of the planet. If this isn’t proof that man has an inborn belief in God, then I don’t know what is.
The atheist fool, therefore, has to convince himself against his own inherent, God given inclinations, that there is no God. This kind of fool, beloved, is a fool in the first degree!
To convince oneself that there is no God, one has to find help from the devil’s toolbox. Yes, the devil has lots of tools to help fallen men to convince themselves that there is no God. And he will gladly let you borrow his tools! Lets notice a few of these.
1) The first, and perhaps greatest tool of the Devil is to deny the Bible, which is the Word of God.
The Bible is the book that God gave mankind to reveal Himself to us. If the Devil can convince people that the Bible is not the infallible, inspired Word of God, then half of his job is done.
To do this the Devil tries to show that there are inconsistencies in the Bible, which after thousands of years searching by the most intelligent men, they have been shown not to exist. The Devil also likes to point out the impossible claims of the Bible, everything from a literal 6 day creation, to the great flood of Noah, to the parting of the Red Sea and the stopping of the Jordan River to let Israel cross over, to the virgin birth of Jesus, and His death, burial and resurrection from the dead for the sins of His people, to His second coming for His people, and the end of this present evil world.
Now, don’t let the Devil fool you. He knows the Bible is God’s Word. And he knows that the Bible is true. But he doesn’t want you to know it.
2) The second tool of the Devil is to deny true Christianity in the lives of professing Christians.
This is one of his favorite tools. The Devil will tell you that Christians are no different and no better than anyone else. If God was real, then Christians would live a life that is different and more like the Bible teaches, than other people. Well, the Devil may have a point there!!! But, beloved, for every true Christian that walks the walk and talks the talk, there are another 100 who live like the Devil. So it is easy for the Devil to make Christianity appear to be a farce, by the way that most professing Christians live.
3) The third tool of the Devil, is to deny the power and work of God in His creation.
Why does God allow all the “bad” things to happen in the world? Where is God, and what work is He doing in the world to prove that He is real, and that He is what He claims to be in the Bible? If God is God, then let Him show Himself to be God. This is a powerful and convincing tool of the Devil, to atheistic fools who say there is no God.
4) And finally, the Devil will use the “evidence” of science to prove that God is not real.
This evidence is nothing more than a show of man’s ignorance of God and His creation. They say that the universe is 6 billion years old without any definitive proof whatsoever; that the universe came into existence by natural forces; that life evolved out of non-living matter; that intelligent life emerged without the power of an intelligent God; that the wonderful order of the universe evolved out of complete and utter chaos.
So the atheist is a fool in the first degree, because not only does he deny the existence of God, but he denies his very own soul of any hope of salvation that comes through personally knowing God.
2. The second kind of fool is the ignorant fool (Proverbs 1:7).
This kind of fool refuses to hear the wisdom and instruction of the Bible. What hope is there of repentance, or that is, of changing one’s mind, if they refuse instruction?
This kind of fool stops his ears at the truth. He will not let the truth so much as enter his ears. Now, what hope is there in God for a person who will not so much as hear what God has to say in His Word? There is no hope whatsoever, and that is why God calls all such people fools.
Beloved, how many people do you find in the world that fall into this category of fools? How many people do you meet and talk to that are willing to listen to the gospel of Jesus? The gospel is the power of God unto salvation unto everyone that believeth, but people cannot believe if they refuse to even hear the gospel. Even the worldly philosophers on Mars Hill in Acts 17, were willing to “hear” what the Apostle Paul had to say. Not many of them believed, but some did.
As the old saying goes, “there are none so blind as those who will not see”. If people refuse to open there eyes and take even the slightest glance, then they certainly will not see. If they will not open their ears to so much as hear the slightest Word of Truth, then they surely will never believe and be saved!
3. The third kind of fool is the industrious fool (Luke 12:16-20).
This man was a hard working and industrious sort, which in itself is not a bad quality. He was also very rich, which is highly admirable among people of the world. He also had an excellent retirement going for him, which is one of America’s most prized assets in life.
What but was wrong with this picture, as the people down south like to say? What is wrong with this picture is, that this rich, ambitious, industrious fool left God out of his picture entirely!
This man considered the future of his body in this life, but he didn’t consider the future of his soul in the life to come. He also assumed that because he was wealthy and healthy, that he had control of his life, and the length of his days. He didn’t consider that God is sovereign, and that He could take his life at any moment.
He was also a selfish, self centered person, who was only concerned about his own personal prosperity in this life, and he gave no consideration to God Who created him, and gave him all things in this life to enjoy. This man was unthankful to God, and returned nothing to God for all that God had given him and done for him.
Beloved, this man represents status quo America today. This man is like most American’s alive today, even like most Christians!
4. The fourth kind of fool is the self confident fool (Romans 1:21-23).
A man is a fool who leans on his own understanding. Who claims to know God, yet changes the truth and the glory of God into the glory of the creature.
This kind of fool make their own gods, and fashion them into gods of their own liking. They make their gods what they want them to be. They attribute power and honor and glory to the gods of their own making.
What is wrong with this picture? Well, the idol gods of the self confident fool, are like unto the fools that make them. They is powerless to save. They cannot help the fool anymore than they can help themselves. And one day the only true God of Heaven will destroy both the idol gods, and the fools that made them, and there will be none to deliver them out of His Hand.
Such are all those today, who from their own imagination, make a Jesus of their own liking, rather than learning about the true Jesus of the Bible. Their Jesus will meet them on their terms, and will accept them in their sins. Their Jesus doesn’t require repentance and true saving faith in the substitutionary work of Christ on the cross of Calvary. There Jesus is a beggarly Jesus, who did nothing for anyone, but hopes that everyone will just accept Him for salvation on their terms. Oh, I have bad news for them this morning!
5. The fifth kind of fool is the self-righteous fool (Proverbs 12:15).
This kind of fool thinks that he is right with God because of his own righteousness. He uses his own self as his standard of righteousness. He doesn’t see that he is a sinner. He thinks he is perfect, and holy, and righteous within himself. He thinks that God will accept him, and that God would in no wise judge him for his sins. Notice Romans 10:3-5) Like the Jews of old, these fools go about trying to establish their own righteousness, and will not submit themselves to God’s righteousness, which is the righteousness of Christ, which must be received by faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ for their sins.
6. The sixth kind of fool is the shameless fool (Proverbs 14:9).
These fools mock at sin. They laugh and make fun of their sins. They have no shame because of their sins and wicked ways before God. They have no fear of God’s judgment and wrath upon them for their sins. They mock and make light of hell. They say, “we want to go to hell”, “all my friends will be there”. Maybe so, but neither they nor their so-called friends will find any pleasure in hell. There will be nothing but pain, and agony, and darkness, and gnashing of teeth, and moaning and groaning and wailing in hell for all eternity.
Well, we have spoken of six kind of fools this morning thus far. And do you know what, these fools are all one in the same person. And do you know something else, we all were once this fool, even those of us who are saved by the grace of God. We all have said, “there is no God, we all have refused His instruction, we all have put the things of this life ahead of the things of God, we all have been self-confident and made gods of our own imaginations, we all have been self-righteous, and we all have made a mockery of sin. But this leads us to our last kind of fool this morning…
7. Seventhly & finally, we want to notice the Christian fool (1 Corinthians 1:26-29).
Are you one of the “foolish things” that God has chosen unto salvation this morning?
Are you one who has believed the “foolishness” of the gospel this morning, unto the saving of your soul? (Notice 1 Cor. 1:22-24).
The world calls us fools because we believe in Jesus, and love Jesus, and serve Jesus as Christians.
Some people even give there entire lives as fools for Jesus (Notice 1 Cor. 4:10).
What kind of fool are you this morning. I hope and pray that God will make you a “fool” for Jesus, even this morning.