The Man God Called a Fool
The Man God Called a Fool
Text: Luke 12: 13-21
“Then one from the crowd said to Him, ‘Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.’ But He said to him, ‘Man, who made Me a judge or an arbitrator over you?’ And He said to them, ‘Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.’ Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. 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.’” “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ So is he who lays up treasures for himself, and is not rich toward God.”
The Apostle Paul said to Timothy “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn away from the truth, and be turned to fables.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4). The time has come when people claiming to be followers of Christ and of God do not wish to hear the hard words of God. You no longer want to hear that you need to tear down and pluck up the errors and sin in your lives. Many of you only want to hear the things that make you feel good. You only want to hear teachers and preachers that will tell you what you want to hear. But there are times when God has to speak a hard word.
In the text that I read from Luke, God called this man a fool.
Consider with me the times that God calls a man a fool
1.) God calls you a fool if you think all that you have belongs to yourself.
2.) God calls you are a fool if you think that all you have you got by yourself.
3.) God calls you a fool when you think what you have will last a long time.
4.) God calls you are a fool when you think you are guaranteed tomorrow.
In the first place you are a fool in the eyes of God when you think that all of your possessions belong to you alone. In the text before us this farmer produced a bumper crop. His barns were already filled to the full. He had no where to put his new harvest. We see that this presented him with a problem. Verse 17 says, “And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’” Now to a farmer that is a problem. If you can’t get your crops out of the field to proper storage they will eventually rot in the field. However, this problem was just the man’s surface problem. He had a problem that was even deeper than that. This man’s real problem was selfishness and covetousness. As far as this rich farmer was concerned, he wasn’t about to share anything with anybody. You can see his selfishness in what he says: “I have no room to store MY crops…I will pull down MY barns… I will store all MY crops and MY goods…I will say to MY soul”. He thinks that all his worldly possessions are his own. He had a problem that went way down into the very depths of his soul. Many of you today have a problem that is bugging you but it’s not your real problem. The problem is a deeper problem. The greatest problem is that your soul is empty and you need Jesus. You may have problems in your marriage! You may have problems in your finances. But that may only be a surface problem. The real problem may be that your marital problems are related to the absence of Jesus as king in your marriage. The problem with your finances may be that you chase after all the material things of this world. But you don’t follow the Bibles guidelines for finances. But your real problem is down deeper, it’s a problem of the soul. This man’s real problem was not the surface problem that he states. This man’s problem was a problem of the soul. He was selfish! He was greedy! Again, notice what he says in the Scripture “What shall I do, since I have no room to store MY crops?… I will pull down MY barns and build greater. And there I will store all MY crops and MY goods, and I will say to MY soul…” He thinks that everything that he has from his soul to his material possessions belongs to himself and to himself alone. How long has he had this problem? A long time. This man didn’t need the crops that he had! He already had barns to the full and overflowing with last years’ harvest. Did he need the harvest he had just brought in? No. He was going to keep it all for himself. He wasn’t about to share it with anybody. He could have given that whole crop to the poor or his workers and never missed it. He could have left the whole crop in the field and said to the town ‘Go help yourselves’. But the man had a deeper problem. He was selfish. All he could think about was himself, He thought it was all his. God called this man a fool.
How about you? Do you think that all that you have is yours and yours alone? You’re not about to share any of it with anybody. Do you have more than you could ever possibly need? You have money stored up in banks and CD’s and the stock market. The more you get the more you want. You’re never satisfied with your abundance. You have all the latest movies, the latest DVD’s, the latest audio equipment. You’ve been to all the hip concerts but it’s not enough. You could give away 4/5ths of what you have and you wouldn’t miss it at all. There are Christians who are just as guilty. You think everything you have belongs to you. Some Christian brother or sister comes to you with a need but you’re not willing to help them. God gives wealth for the purpose of helping others who are in need, especially those who are of the household of faith first. It’s time for the church to set its eyes upon the Kingdom of God. It’s time for the Church to get its eyes on its purpose and spread the Gospel into the community around us It’s time for us to get serious with God. It’s time to get up. It’s time to arise from sleep for the day is dawning. The last day is upon is. The Day of judgment is over the hill. It’s time to sound the trumpet. It’s time to sound the alarm. Some of you are lost without Christ. This man in the parable was a wealthy man. God isn’t against wealth. But he does say that “he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God’ is a fool.
Secondly, a man is a fool in the eyes of God when he thinks that all he has he got by himself. Luke 12:16-17 says that “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops? So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods.’” I! I will pull down MY barns. Can you see that man pull down those barns by himself? Can you see that man building all his brand new barns by himself? Can you? Can you see that man single-handed putting all that grain in his new barns by himself? But isn’t that what he said? “I will tear down MY barns. I will put up my crops.” I am a self-made man. I have made me what I am. I did all by myself. Nobody, nowhere helped me get where I am. I pulled myself up by my bootstraps. Good Old Boy! But God said he was a fool. Nowhere does this man thank any one for what he has? He doesn’t thank his workers and he doesn’t bother to thank God for any of it. Why? It’s because he thinks that he got it all by himself.
No one in this world has gotten where they are without somebody’s help. Either their daddy left it to them in a will or somebody bought their first product. The bank may have loaned you the money. A business partner may have given you the idea for your business. Someone along life’s road gave you a helping hand. Nobody ever popped out of their mother’s womb and began to do everything by themselves. Somebody fed you. Somebody taught you math or business principles. Nobody in this world can honestly say “I am a self-made man or a self-made woman!” If God hadn’t sent the right amount of rain to this farmer in this story this man never would have produced a crop. Or if God hadn’t kept the man healthy, he wouldn’t have had the strength to work the fields. He thinks he got it all on his own. Do you? God says that you’re a fool.
A third way in which a man can be a fool in Gods’ eyes is to think his possessions will last a long time. In Luke 12:19 is man said, “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.’” This man actually believed that all the things he stored up in the barn would last for a long time. What if a hurricane came through his crop tomorrow and destroyed the crop and leveled the barns? Then where would all of it be? What if he came down with some terrible disease that nobody could cure and he had to sell of his goods and all of his land to pay the doctors to come and take care of him? Then where would it all be? “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years”. God said that he was a fool! A fool! There are people that are sticking money away in the bank. They’re buying stocks and bonds to make an eggs nest for themselves so that they can say to themselves ‘Oh, now you can take it easy. You can have a good time. What if you get cancer tomorrow? Or what if the stock market crashes like it did in the 30’s? Tomorrow you’ll be broke. In the 1930’s many jumped out of thirty story buildings killing themselves cause they lost everything. Where a man’s heart is, where a man’s heart is, if your heart is in the glamour and the possessions of this world; if your heart is in the glitter and the lights of this world then your heart is in the wrong place and God says that you are a fool! Again I say there is nothing wrong with preparing for the future but is that where your heart is? Where is your heart? Is it on the latest rock star, who tomorrow will no longer be at the top of the chart? Just a passing flicker in the night! Chasing butterflies! Chasing fireflies! You ever chase them things? They are fun to chase. You catch some occasionally. But you will never catch them all. Chasing the fireflies of this world. But one day you’re going to wake up and your hands will have a little of that florescent glow that’s left after you catch it. And that’s all. The Lord said that this man thought that ‘he had many goods and that it would last a long time.’ God called this man ‘a fool’.
Finally God calls a man a fool when he thinks that he is guaranteed tomorrow. In Luke 13:19:the man said “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.’” This man thought that he would be alive tomorrow. He thought he had the guarantee of another day. Scripture says “You do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” (James 4:14).The Psalmist said “As for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.” (Psalm 103:15-16). The Apostle Peter quoting the Prophet Isaiah said “All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, but the Word of the LORD endures forever.” (1 Peter 1:24-25). All your plans for your life can go up in smoke or crumble at the trembling of an earthquake. Your life is here today and gone tomorrow. This man was so convinced that he had a long time to live. He made all kinds of preparations for this world. But he had made no preparations for eternity. He failed to provide for the world to come. He made all the right steps in the eyes of the world. He was a shrewd businessman but he was not prepared to meet God. And the Lord said to him, “You fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?”
Do you dare believe that you will be here tomorrow? Do you give any thought to the fact that this day might be the last you ever live? Are you so busy preparing for your future in this world that you have given no thought for eternity? Are you so wrapped up in the pleasures of this life that you give little or no thought to your sins against an eternal God? You put off again and again speaking to God about your eternal soul. Charles Spurgeon once wrote a sermon entitled ‘One More Night with the Frogs’. It is based on the story of Pharaoh in the book of Exodus. The plagues had devastated the land. The plague of frogs was everywhere. Frogs to eat, frogs to drink, frogs to bathe in, frogs to sleep with. Frogs were everywhere. Pharaoh wanted Moses to get rid of the frogs. So Moses asked Pharaoh ‘When?’ Pharaoh responded ‘Tomorrow!’ Pharaoh wanted one more night in his sin; one more night in his rebellion against God, one more night of shaking his fist in God’s face.
Some of you are just like that. You want one more night in your rebellion, one more night in you sexual debauchery, one more night in your drunkenness, one more night with the frogs. You do not have the eternal perspective. What will you do when God says to you, “You fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?” “Prepare to meet your God.”
We have seen four times in which God calls a man a fool. A person is a fool in the eyes of God if he or she:
1.) thinks all he has belongs to himself,
2.) thinks what he has he got all by himself,
3.) thinks what he has will last a long time,
4.) thinks he has a guarantee of tomorrow.
No man wants to be called a fool; certainly not in the eyes of men. If you don’t want to be called a fool in the eyes of men, do you want to be called one in the eyes of God? If you live your whole life long and die without Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, then you are the greatest fool of all! If you die saying “No!” to the savior of the world, then you are a fool. If you reject His payment for your sins and the gift of eternal life, if you refuse to believe His promise that He has transformed you through the blood into the image of Christ then you will die a fool. Better to be a fool in the eyes of men than a fool in the eyes of God. Come today and surrender totally to Him.
Sing the hymn: Only Trust Him