Harmony Baptist Herald Number 7, Winter, 2007
The Lord Jesus Christ gave us a parable about a man who was a fool in the sight of God. Now for you to call me a fool would be bad enough, but to be called a fool by Almighty God is a very serious thing indeed.
Dear Reader, I urge you then to read carefully these few verses from God’s Word so that you may avoid being a fool in the sight of God. Here are the six short verses that give to us this very instructive lesson.
“And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:
And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?
And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.
And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” Luke 12:16-21
As we meditate on these verses let me suggest three reasons why this man was a fool. He was a fool in God’s sight because he did not remember three simple truths.
Let me briefly comment on the reasons that he was NOT called a fool. He was not a fool because he had riches. Wealth, honestly gained, is a gift of God and not of itself a sin. The Bible does teach us that wealth does bring many temptations to sin, and those who have it must be on their guard. It is easy to become proud, arrogant, and greedy, which all are indeed sin. (See 1 Timothy 6:9-10)
I might also say that this man was NOT a fool because he endeavored to make provision for his future earthly needs. The Bible encourages us to do so, by instructing us to learn from the ant who “provideth her meat in the Summer.” Proverbs 6:6
Let us now proceed to the warning of this text by showing to you the three things this man failed to realize, and thus why “God said unto him, thou fool.”
EARTHLY THINGS ARE TEMPORARY
Firstly, this man failed to realize the temporal value of earthly things. Even though it is not a sin to plan for our earthly future, it is foolish to think that this life is all that there is. To ignore the life beyond death is indeed foolish. How often do you think on eternity?
This man failed to realize that earthly goods or pleasures only last until death. Consider that we can not take anything from this world with us into the next. God‘s Word reminds us, “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.” 1 Timothy 6:7 The Holy Spirit also instructs us, “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” Hebrews 9:27
Consider also that everything in this world will be destroyed. Yes, my Friend, every house, every bank, every monument, in fact everything in this world that man has ever made or even looked upon will be destroyed by God’s fiery judgment. Peter tells us this by inspiration. “But the Day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; . . . And the elements shall melt with fervent heat, and the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. SEEING THEN that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be . . .” 2 Peter 3:10-11
This man was a fool because he did not remember and apply the truth that everything in this world is temporary. I trust dear Reader that this is not true of you. Everything you can see will one day be destroyed. Or if you die before that day, you will not take one single thing with you to meet God. Remember this truth and live by it, and you will avoid being a fool in God’s sight.
LIFE IS UNCERTAIN
Secondly, this man was a FOOL because he failed to realize the shortness of time. He talked about “many years.” God said “this night.” I fear that many reading these words are also guilty of this very thing. Have you considered that this day might be your last upon earth? If not, you are just as foolish as was the man of whom our Lord spoke. Every night on the news or in the daily paper we learn of those whose lives ended unexpectedly.
I recall a few years ago of hearing about a plane that crashed in Nashville, TN. Three persons died suddenly while sitting in their own homes. Two of these, I believe were sitting on the couch watching TV. Had they considered that their lives were about to end? I doubt it. This very day many will die on our nation’s roads, or will suddenly fall down of a heart attack or stroke. I would hope that all of them had thought about it and planned for it, but I fear it is not so. What about you, my dear Friend, have you considered that today might be your last upon this earth?
God’s Word says to those who live without regard to the shortness of life, “For what is your life? It is even a vapour (like steam), that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, . . .” James 4:14-15
WE ARE ACCOUNTABLE TO GOD
The third truth that this FOOL failed to realize was his accountability to God. Note the words, “. . . this night thy soul shall be required of thee.” From God we have “life, and breath, and all things.” God is the author and giver of life. Everything good that you have in your life is from His hand of grace and mercy. As the Creator and Giver of all things we are accountable to Him. As the Holy Scriptures declare, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” Heb. 9:27
This man was not ready to meet God. In fact he had not even contemplated that he must do so. How about you, my friend, have you thought about your accountability to God? Are you ready to stand before God?
The fear and dread of our judgment before God is due to our sin and guilt. It is certain that all of us are guilty sinners before a holy and righteous God. Is there any one who might read these words who can say that he is not guilty of breaking what Jesus called the greatest of all the commandments? “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength, this is the first commandment.” Mark 12:30
Think about these words for just a moment. To love the Lord God Jehovah [The God of the Bible, not any god], with ALL of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Surely not one of us would be so boastful as to say that we have even come close. Rather we use our strength, and mental abilities for sinful and selfish motives. We spend our days and nights in lustful and sinful pursuit rather than for the glory of God, Who made us and gives to us the ability.
This is so because as the Word of God teaches, we are born sinners, and go astray from the womb. “There is none righteous, no, not one. . . There is none that doeth good, no, not one. . . There is none that seeketh after God. For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:10-12, 23 Because we are the sons of Adam, we were born sinners and spend our lives in sin and rebellion against Him. This is why we must all die. This is why God’s just and holy wrath and anger are against us. As the Lord Jesus Himself said about all who do not repent of their sin and believe on Him, “is condemned already.”
But praise God, He also said these wonderful words, “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” John 3:17 Jesus Christ saves every sinner who comes to him in faith, repenting of sin. He can do so because He died for them. He took the sin, the curse, the condemnation, and suffered in their place, by God’s grace. Read carefully the following verses of Holy Scripture: “For he (God) hath made him (God the Son, Jesus) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Co. 5:21
“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:” 1 Peter 3:18
“By the which will (of God) we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” Heb 10:10
He rose again from the dead and intercedes on the behalf of all who trust upon Him alone for their salvation. He provides an eternal salvation as the Bible says, “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” Hebrews 7:25
Dear Friend, if you have not considered that your life here is short, and that one day, perhaps today, you will die and stand before God, and if you have not in repentance trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ alone for the salvation of your soul, then you too are a fool in the sight of God. But right now you can become wise. Turn from your sin and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ alone, as the one Who died and rose again for your salvation. I close with these words from the Bible. “All that the Father giveth Me (Jesus) shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”