Vol. 33, No. 9 September, 2009
WHY DID GOD CALL THE RICH FARMER A FOOL?
“Thou FOOL, this night thy soul shall be required of thee.”
There are so many good qualities about this man that it may cause one to wonder “why.”
It is for sure that I am not the only one who has asked this question. I have heard and read messages by men of God who examined the life of this man with this question in mind. Today, let us look into his life and see the good, the bad, and the great failure. I believe that this is the second appearing of this man in the Scriptures.
“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 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).
1. HIS POSSESSIONS. v21-22.
(A) There is nothing wrong with
possessions. The Jews taught that possessions were a sign of Godliness and good health. But Jesus said that a man’s life “consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.”
“His ground brought forth plentifully.” Good fortune seemed to be his lot in life.It is believed by many, (myself included) that this man appears three times in the Scriptures. In all three instances his attitude toward possessions seems to be the same. Let’s see his first appearing before Christ…
“And when He, (Jesus) was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to Him and asked Him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God.. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding him, loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest, go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in Heaven, and come, take up the cross and follow me. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved, for he had great possessions.” (Mark 10:17:22).
I believe that this first meeting was when this man was much younger. There, he weighed his possessions against eternity and concluded that his possessions were much more important. Jesus was not interested in his possessions. He only showed this young man that he already had a “god.”
There is nothing in this passage, or elsewhere in Scripture that suggests that there is anything wrong with possessions.
The issue was that He had a “god” and his “god” was greed, as the text will reveal. He went away from Christ sorrowful. He evidently continued with his life the way it had always been.
(B) He evidently worked hard. Crops do not just automatically grow. He had to till the soil, he had to sow the seed, he had to weed and water. Any farmer knows that a successful harvest is the result of hard work.
(C) He evidently provided well for his family. This too is very good. We are plagued with “dead beat dads” who seem to care very little about their family’s health and welfare. They seem to be content on letting the family survive the best they can.” But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” (1Tim 5:8). This farmer provided well for his family.
(D) He prepared for the future. “I have much good laid up for many years. Take thine ease.” Nothing is wrong in planning for the future. We should do our best to see that when old age comes, or death calls us, whoever is left behind has been provided for.
(E) He also lived a good moral life. In that first meeting, when Jesus quoted the commandments, this man said, “All of these have I observed from my youth.” (Mark 10:20). Jesus quoted only the commandment that dealt with man’s relationship to man. He did not quote the first commandment (Thou shalt have no other god before Me’) because He knew that this man had a god. Everything about this man seemed to be good, but…
2. HIS PROBLEM…
“What shall I do?” Riches and wealth produce anxiety. Three things that make up his problem…
(A) Covetousness. “Take heed and beware of covetousness for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” (Lk 12:15).
(B) Selfishness. In this text, this man used “I” and “my” about a dozen times. There is no mention of others. No mention of the poor, his neighbors, or Lazarus at his gate. The spirit of self seeking is the spirit of this world.” Let’s get what we can, all we can, while we can.”
(C) Ingratitude. I suppose that I should have made this point (a) instead of point (c). Ingratitude is the base of all sin. Adam and Eve were not thankful. We inherit their nature. The Bible says, in the indictments against man in Romans 1, “Neither were they thankful.” (Ro 1:21) “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto Thy Name, O Most High,” “A brutish man knoweth not, neither doth a FOOL understand this.” (Ps 92:1-6)
Now, we may not be rich with great possessions, but we can have the same spirit about us.
3. HIS PRICE. He had to pay an awful price. Perhaps as he slept comfortably on his pillow, that voice was heard, “THOU FOOL, this night thy soul shall be required of thee.”
Some things he learned too late.
(A) The span of life. He thought that he had MANY YEARS. The Bible says, “The days of our years are threescore years and ten and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow, for it is soon cut off and we fly away.” So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” (Ps 90:10-12) Seventy to eighty years. And those years just “fly away.”
(B) The certainty of death. “As it is appointed to man once to die.”
To every one of us there comes an abrupt summons to leave everything behind. We know not that hour.
4. HIS PREPARATION.
So, why did God call this man a fool?
(A) He left God out of His life. No time for God. How do I know that? “The FOOL hath said in his heart there is no God. (Ps 14:1) God called him” Thou FOOL.” Let me ask; what’s the difference in one saying “there is a God,” but not serving God, or one saying “there is no God.” There is no difference. Both end up at the same place.
(B)) He prepared for time. “He thought within himself.” “I have much goods for many years.”
It is great to be prepared for life, but greater to be prepared for eternity. It is for sure that we will spend eternity somewhere. Believe me, you do not want to spend it in hell with the unsaved. Perhaps his intentions were good, but as someone has said, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”
(C) He assumed tomorrow. That’s poor preparation. As I have said, it is good and right to prepare for tomorrow, but we have no promise of tomorrow for our self. We just do not know. He thought he had many years, and prepared for many years. The Bible has many cautions, “Boast not thyself of tomorrow for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”(Pr. 27:1). James taught us to say, “If the Lord will, we shall live and do this or that.” (Ja. 4:13-15).
(D) He underestimated the value of his soul. That’s poor preparation. Matthew 16:26 asks two questions;
a. “For what is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?”
b. “Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”
The contrast in those two questions is not the body, but the soul. The body without the soul is not worth very much. Maybe a couple of dollars. But the soul is priceless. May I say unto you “Don’t neglect your soul!” Make sure that your soul is safe and secure in the Finished Work of Jesus Christ. He died for us that we might LIVE forever. I believe it was Missionary Jim Elliot who said, “He is no FOOL who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” There is no losing in Christ. I sincerely hope that if you do not know Him as your Saviour, that today, you will, by Faith alone, ask him into your life. Tell Him that you receive Him. He is there, wherever you are. Your soul is your most priceless possession. Your soul is YOU. Your body houses your soul for awhile. Don’t make the same mistake as this farmer made.
4. HIS PLEADING. The third appearing of this man is found in Luke 16:19-31.
“There was a certain rich man which was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus which laid at his gate full of sores. And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table; moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass that the beggar died and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom; the rich also died and was buried. And in Hell he lifted up his eyes being in torments and seeth Abraham afar off and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said Father Abraham have mercy on me and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue for I am tormented in this flame.”
Please take time and read all of that text in your Bible.
He is pleading for himself, but too late. This man came to Christ as a young man, full of the vigor of youth. He came to the right Person, at the right time, with the right question. He received the right answer. (Mk 10:17-22). He went away from Christ sorrowful. He went on about his life, building for time, not thinking about his soul. The second time we see him is when God said, “Thou FOOL! This night thy soul shall be required of thee.”
And the third time we see this man is in hell as he pleads for water.
He pleads for his five brethren. I never want to see them again! I do not want them to come to this place.
I believe that his pleading is for all lost men everywhere.
Christ refers to the Word of God, “They have Moses and the Prophets, let them hear them.” “Nay Father Abraham, if one went unto them from the dead, they will REPENT.” “And He said unto him, if they will not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”
God gave us His Word, the Bible, (KJB). We must come to God the Bible way. One did rise from the dead! He died as the sacrifice for our sin. He alone paid that awful price. We must believe His Word about the Vicarious death of Christ, His Burial, and His Glorious Resurrection, (Ro 10:9-13). “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the lord shall be saved.”
I must close this message. My space is running out. The invitation of God is open to you. God forbid that one day or night you hear that voice say, “THOU FOOL, this night thy soul shall be required of thee.” Don’t face eternity without Christ! May God bless you!
THINK ABOUT IT…The man in our text knew the value of his crops, but he did not know the value of his own soul. When that summons comes, and it will
come unexpected, unannounced, and unalterable, will you go immediately into the Presence of Jesus? Or will you join with this man and the multitudes who did not consider the value of their own soul?
THINK ABOUT IT, while you have time to Think About It. Perhaps this man said, “Some other time. But that time never came.
REMEMBER LOT’S WIFE
By pastor George Mills
Our Lord chose this incident in the life of Lot and his wife to give a picture of the times of the end. Why did He choose her? The 17th Chapter of Luke has other examples. Why her? Again, our Lord is much wiser than I. He knows all things. He knows the beginning and ending of all things, and everything in between. So He challenges us to “REMEMBER LOT’S WIFE.” I shall try to examine the days of Lot. I have stated in print and in preaching that there are no signs that precede the Rapture. Christ could come for His Church at any moment of any day. However, I do believe that the apostasy that began years ago will continue on it’s downward course. The attacks on the Word of God, versions, and versions, and versions, and more coming, to me is the clear sign of the times., (2Tim 3:1-5) (2Tim 4:1-5) The 17th Chapter of Luke deals with the Tribulation period and the coming of Christ back to the earth at the end of the Tribulation period, and not the Rapture.
Our Lord told us to examine the days of Noah, and Lot to see how the days will progressively worsen.
The days of Noah were days of violence, of home life corruption, of forsaking Marriage vows, (Gen 6:1-13, Eze. 16:49).
The days of Lot were marked by days of extreme sexual perversion. Homosexuality at it’s worse seemed to be the accepted lifestyle in the days of Lot. May I add this just now; God loves the sinner, but He hates the sin. There is still enough Power in the Gospel to deliver anyone from sexual perversion, or any sin that has man in bondage.
I see also in the days of Noah and Lot the Spirit of God was striving with man. Yes, He is still speaking to hearts, Gen 6:3.
These Texts serve to remind us of the Inspiration of the Scriptures. Things are just as God said they would be. But what about Lot’s wife? There was a command for Lot and his family to leave Sodom before judgment fell on those cities. “Escape for thy life, and LOOK NOT BEHIND THEE.” (Gen. 19:17). But His wife LOOKED BACK from behind him and she became a pillar of salt.”
Why Lot’s wife? What did she do to become one of the danger signs of the ages? First, some good things I see;
1. She was the wife of a man of God. Of course we would not know much about his spiritual life except for the writings of Peter; “God spared not the old world, but saved Noah, the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness…and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly. And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked. For that Righteous man dwelling among them, in SEEING and HEARING vexed his righteous soul from day to day.” (2Pet 2:1-9). The Bible says that Lot was a just man. He knew God. The best message I can find there is the fact that living in a home of a man of God, being married to, or being children of a righteous man does NOT make one righteous. Faith in God is a decision each one has to make for oneself.
2. She raised two virgin daughters in the midst of a corrupt and ungodly society. Please read Genesis 19. When the men of Sodom found that Lot had two visitors, they proceeded to capture them. They surrounded Lot’s house and shouted to Lot; “Bring them out that we may KNOW (sexually) them.” Lot then offered his daughters to the crowd in place of his visitors. “I have two daughters which have not known man.” Can you imagine that? In a society so corrupt, so filled with sexual perversion that God had to destroy those cities, a Mother managed to raise two virgin daughters. These are some things I find on her “good side.”
The command was to “Escape for thy life, LOOK NOT BEHIND THEE.” But she looked back and she became a pillar of salt. I guess one of our great problems of life is looking back. Jesus warned, “No man having put his hand to the plow, and LOOKING BACK is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Lk 9:62). If a farmer plows his field while not keeping his eyes ahead, each row he plows will be going in all kinds of directions making things difficult for sowing and reaping.
SHE LOOKED BACK IN UNBELIEF. God had said that these cities would be destroyed. She should have had her eyes straight ahead and her mind on God for fulfilling His Word as He said. May I ask, where are YOU looking? Are your spiritual eyes on the skies?
SHE LOOKED BACK IN REBELLION. She knew the Command of God. There was no mistaking. God’s Command is always clear. This was rebellion on her part.
SHE LOOKED BACK ON HER POSSESSIONS. In Genesis 13:5-11 it is stated that Lot had flocks and herds and tents. Lot would be a wealthy man of that time. All of her possessions were burning in the judgment flames.
SHE LOOKED BACK ON HER SOCIAL LIFE. It is recorded that “Lot sat in the Gate of Sodom.” (Gen 19:1) His position would be something like the Mayor of the city. She saw the temporal, not the eternal.
SHE LOOKED BACK AND BECAME AN EXAMPLE OF THE END TIME. God’s judgment has already been announced. “The wicked shall be turned into hell and all the nations that forget God.” But most of the population of the world is looking back. This world and this ungodly system, like Sodom is doomed. Yet so many look upon it with admiration.
Lot lost his wealth, his work, his witness, his Wife. His descendants became enemies of the people of God.
We do not know the name of Lot’s wife, but her influence is clearly seen in that period. REMEMBER LOT’S WIFE. A Pillar of salt is not a fit monument for a Mother.
REMEMBER LOT’S WIFE…
“Set your affection on things above and not on things on the earth.” (Col 3:2)
“The world passeth away and the Lusts thereof.” (1Jn 2:17)
“Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Mt 6:33).
The judgment of God did not fall on Sodom until Lot was safely out of the city. The Judgment of the Tribulation period will not fall on this earth until the Church is safely carried away. In our text today we do not see a Mother frantically trying to rescue, to make sure her family was safely out of the city, SHE LOOKED BACK.
REMEMBER LOT’S WIFE!
WELCOME HOME CAPTAIN SPEICHER
Today is Saturday, August 15, 2009.
Yukon Baptist Church is located one block west of the Jacksonville Naval Air Station. Last evening the remains of Capt. Scott Speicher were flown in to the Naval Air Station. His family and friends were there waiting for his arrival. All Military honors were given to welcome home this fallen hero. Capt. Speicher’s Aircraft was shot down the first night of the first Gulf war, about 18 years ago. His body was not found until about 12 days ago. D.N.A. test proved that this was definitely Capt. Speicher’s remains. Capt. Speicher was brought here to his hometown to be buried. Early this morning he is to be transported from the Naval Air Station to the Veteran’s Memorial in downtown Jacksonville where the Governor, Mayor, and other officials will speak. Then he will be transported by his home Church, Lakeshore Methodist, and then on to his High School, N.B. Forest High, and then to Cecil Field Naval Air Station where he served, and then to his burial sight at Jacksonville Memory Gardens. When I arrived for work at my office today citizens had already gathered at the edge of the highway along the funeral route. Flags were everywhere. I could not keep the tears from flowing as I watched the show of affection. People were along the route as far as I could see. At the time his funeral procession was to leave the Navy Base for the above mentioned route, I walked from my office to stand with the others, with my hand on my heart and tears in my eyes. My, what a sight! Dozens of Jacksonville Police Officers with blue lights flashing, the crowd cheering, weeping, waving our Flag. My, what a show of affection as citizens welcomed this man home, and rightly so. But I could not help but to think and wonder just how it will be in Heaven when one by one the Saints are welcomed Home. What a time that will be!
ANYWAY, WELCOME HOME CAPTAIN SCOTT SPEICHER!
FROM MY HEART
By Mildred Mills
CHRIST IS THE ANSWER
Satan is always on the job seeking to destroy anyone and anything that has to do with God. I have known this since the day I gave my heart to Jesus. But sometimes I become more aware of his evil doings and seems lately he has really gotten on my nerves to put it lightly. When this happens the Holy Spirit comes to my rescue and reminds me of the Scriptures I memorized years ago. One of my favorites is 1John 4:4;
“Ye are of God little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.”
Another favorite when Satan rears his ugly head is Romans 5:20;
“But where sin abounded, Grace did much more abound.” In other words,
“CHRIST IS THE ANSWER!”
I would like to share with you a precious poem written by Maxine Clark. I keep it on my refrigerator door to be read by all that may enter my little kitchen. Read it, copy it and put it in a place where it can be seen and read by others.
Sin can take a pure, sweet child
And fill his thoughts with wrong,
And form a thief, a gangster, or
A drunkard all life long.
Christ can take that same sweet child
And save his soul from sin,
And mold a life of usefulness
And service unto Him.
Sin can take an honest man
Give him suggestions sly,
Till slowly he does untrue things
Not really knowing why.
Christ can take a sin ruined life,
Forgiving all the past.
Transform it to a life of purpose,
Respect and love that lasts.
Sin can nearly wreck a home
And rob of all its joys;
But Christ can restore with faith and hope
For parents and girls and boys.
Sin can mar and leave its scar,
And brightest future blight;
But Christ can change a hopeless life
To courage and delight.
Christ can take all sin away,
But will the heart refill
With wondrous beauty of Himself
If we obey His will.
“Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ.”