THE STUPID FOOL – What They Tell Themselves, part one
Great Commission Church
In Proverbs, there are three kinds of fools: the insensitive fool (dull); the stubborn fool (disrespectful); the stupid fool (wicked)
Psalm 14:1 To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none who does good.
Psalm 14:2 The LORD looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God.
Psalm 14:3 They have all turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is none who does good, no, not one.
Psalm 14:4 Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge, who eat up my people as they eat bread, and do not call on the LORD?
(1) He reverse-evangelizes himself.
“The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” (v.1a)
What is evangelism? It is telling someone else that God exists, that He rules all creation, and we are accountable to Him.
illus: Joseph enters the bookstore…“Someone told me if I came here, I could find out how to get my life right.”
The Bible treats the statement “there is no God,” as an irresponsible gesture of defiance, not as a sincere but misguided conviction.
The stupid fool reasons: “There is no God, therefore I am in control of my life.”
There’s even a reverse-plan of salvation: (Psalm 10 key words – “SAID IN HIS HEART”)
Nothing to worry about
Psalm 10:6 He has said in his heart, “I shall not be moved; I shall never be in adversity.”
“I still have my whole life ahead of me…lots of ‘living’ left to do. I will get serious about God later.”
Luke 12:19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.” ’
Luke 12:20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’
My secrets are safe
Psalm 10:11 He has said in his heart, “God has forgotten; He hides His face; He will never see.”
“If I ignore God long enough without anything bad happening to me, He must have more important priorities.”
Prov 15:3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.
Heb 4:13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.
No judgment awaits
Psalm 10:13 Why do the wicked renounce God? He has said in his heart, “You will not require an account.”
“Even if God disapproves of my lifestyle, there are millions of others who are worse. After all, God is love. He won’t punish me.”
Rom 14:11 For it is written: “As I live, says the LORD, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.”
Rom 14:12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.
Why I am not an atheist: (I owe the clarity/wording of these thoughts to Tim Challies from his blog)
(1) Because God determined I would not be
It’s not that I have any spiritual, intellectual, or philosophical inclinations within me that nudge me toward God.
Rather, I have all the makings of a very convinced atheist—an inclination away from authority and toward independence, a questioning mind, and a restless spirit.
But God chose to reveal Himself to me and to draw me to Himself. In His own way and for His own purposes He revealed Himself, His existence, His goodness, His power, and I responded with faith. Ultimately, I am not an atheist because God showed me himself.
(2) Because of what I believe and the decisions I have made
God works through, not apart from, human agency and ability. And in that way, I am not an atheist based on evidence I have observed and conclusions I have made.
I see evidence for God in existence
The fundamental question every person needs to answer is this: How is there something instead of nothing?
We all need to grapple with the question of existence, with the reality that there is a world, that there is a universe, that there is something.
Existence is impossible, or at least so very improbable, that every person must at least consider that maybe existence owes to one who preceded it, one who transcends the limits of space and time.
Try as I might, I simply cannot account for existence in any other way than through the prior existence of a God.
I see evidence for God in design
There is extraordinary orderliness in creation. This universe follows laws and patterns; it behaves in consistent ways.
I see no reason to allow or even imagine that something as orderly as this universe came to be without some kind of agency, without an orderly Being injecting His order into it.
When I think about stars and creatures and chromosomes and electrons, I can’t help but see the fingerprints of God.
When I look at the sheer wonder of a blazing sun, of a flower in full bloom, of a human eye, I do not see chance or randomness but design, order, and purpose.
Where there is art there is an artist, where there is something there is a someone, and where there is design there is a designer.
I see evidence for God in humanity
When I look at all that exists and all that reflects design, one thing, one creature, stands above it all.
Human beings transcend everything else in sheer wonder and ability.
Only humans ask the great questions about meaning and purpose and what lies beyond.
It seems clear to me that human beings were made to reflect someone or something else, to exist for a higher and bigger purpose. It seems clear to me that humans were made by and for God.
I see evidence for God in the Bible
And then I see evidence of God in a book, in the Bible. I see it in its words, in its wisdom, in its form, in its coherence, in its frankness, in its truthfulness.
I have read holy texts from other religions—the Koran, the Book of Mormon, New World Translation.
They are so unsurprising, so unfulfilling, so very human.
I have read the Holy Bible and found a book that is so unexpected, so deeply challenging, so entirely other. The Bible is so different from everything else, every other book, every form of human wisdom, that I must conclude that it came from beyond us.
The Bible displays the mind and heart of God and in that way provides wisdom for this world from beyond this world.
I am not an atheist because I cannot be. Both the evidence and God himself have drawn me away from it. Both the evidence and God himself have led me to declare that God exists and that his Son, Jesus Christ, is the Savior of this world.
illus: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, native of Nairobi, Kenya – journey from Muslim Brotherhood to secular atheist to Christian in 20 years…the 9/11 attacks jolted her from Islam…Bertand Russell’s essay, “Why I am not a Christian,” extricated her from religion and belief in God altogether. “It was a relief to adopt an attitude of skepticism towards religious doctrine, discard my faith in God and declare that no such entity existed. Best of all, I could reject the existence of hell and the danger of everlasting punishment.” So, what removed her from atheism? She said that, as an atheist, she thought she would lose the fear of death/afterlife. But to no avail. Also, the resurgence of great-power authoritarianism/expansionism and rise of global Islamism threatens to destroy civilization. “I ultimately found life without any spiritual solace unendurable…Atheism failed to answer a simple question: what is the meaning and purpose of life?” She then declares, “We can’t withstand [the governments of] China, Russia, and Iran if we can’t explain to our populations why it matters that we do. We can’t fight woke ideology if we can’t defend the civilization that it is determined to destroy. And we can’t counter Islam with purely secular tools.”