I’m reminded of a story every time I preach from the Parable of the Rich Fool. A certain ungodly tavern-keeper who liked music decided to attend one of John Wesley’s meetings to hear the singing. He had resolved, however, not to listen to the sermon. He sat with his head down and fingers in his ears. But when God wants to speak to a man’s soul, He has His ways. A Fly flew on the man’s nose and when he attempted to drive it away, he heard nine words that changed his life. He heard Mr. Wesley say, “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” From that moment he had no rest in his soul. He returned the next night, listened intently, and was converted.
Jesus asked two rhetorical questions in the Gospel of Mark chapter 8, verses 36 and 37. “For what does it benefit a man to gain the whole world [with all its pleasures], and forfeit his soul? For what will a man give in exchange for his soul and eternal life [in God’s kingdom]?” The human soul is a priceless treasure; it is the real you. In fact, the Bible teaches that your soul is more valuable than the whole world! And yet, many people “sell their souls” for what surely are petty bargains.
The Bible teaches that we are body, soul, and spirit. We also see that a great price was paid for the soul, but not in an earthly sense, (1 Peter 1:18-19). The value of Something is determined by the price paid for it and by whom. Jesus Christ allowed himself to die on a cross for your soul. His death pays the penalty for the sins of those who believe in Him by faith. But just as the man in this parable neglected and lost his soul, it is possible for you to lose your soul forever. I want to share with you three reasons why many people will lose their souls in the end, based on the Parable of the Rich Fool. [A sermon by Rev. Roy Isaac. Used with permission. Scripture quotations are taken from the Amplified® Bible (AMP), Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. www.lockman.org)]
Read Luke 12:16-21
1. The Rich Fool had selfish Plans
This man’s life was busy with pursuing the comforts of this life and not pursuing God. He wanted to build bigger barns, but God brought in a new perspective. The rich fool won’t live to see them. In fact, he won’t even live to build bigger barns. He made plans only for this life but not what comes after. God was not in his life. He did not consider God at all. Hence Mark calls him the Rich Fool.
Jesus wants us to see things from the right perspective. In the gospel of Luke chapter 12 verse 15, He told the young man who came to Him: “Then He said to them, “Watch out and guard yourselves against every form of greed; for not even when one has an overflowing abundance does his life consist of nor is it derived from his possessions.” (AMP)
In Luke 12:24-30 Jesus advised us not to worry about earthly possessions. You can lose your soul if you plan for yourself alone. You were created to pursue a relationship with God; riches or sin can never satisfy your soul, (Matthew 6:33).
In the parable of the rich fool, God called the protagonist a fool. He had amassed great wealth but was poor toward God. Oswald Sanders said, “Nothing is wrong with seeking great things. But it is wrong to seek great things for yourself.”
Jesus reminded us of the need to remember God – the source of all our blessings. God wants us to invest in things that have eternal value. We must invest our lifetime, talent, and knowledge – in the work of His Kingdom, (Matthew 12:33). Live life in the light of eternity and we shall be greatly blessed.
All that the rich farmer has – will not go to him, and will not go with him. Life without God is meaningless. Man thinks he can find true fulfillment in this world – we want to have “plenty of good things laid up for many years” and then we can “take life easy; eat, drink and be merry” (Luke 12:19). But Jesus says true fulfillment can only come through a relationship with our God. “Security in life does not lie with barns but with God.”
2. The Rich Fool had Wrong Intentions
The chairman of the community charity called on a notorious miser. “Sir,” said the fund-raiser, “our records show that despite your wealth, you’ve never once given to our drive.” “Do your records show that I have an elderly mother who was left penniless when my father died?” fumed the tightwad. “Do your records show that I have a disabled brother who is unable to work? Do your records show I have a widowed sister with small children who can barely make ends meet?” “No, sir,” replied the embarrassed volunteer. “Our records don’t show those things.” “Well,” said the miser. “I don’t give to any of them, so why should I give anything to you?”
The rich fool was filled with pride and self-reliance – He was a self-made man. Charles Spurgeon said, “There are 2 sins of a man that are bred in the bone: self-dependence and self-exultation.”
Paul said these words in his first epistle to Timothy in chapter 6 from verses 17 to 18. “As for the rich in this present world, instruct them not to be conceited and arrogant, nor to set their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly and ceaselessly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous, willing to share [with others].”
King Solomon recorded these words in the book of Proverbs chapter 21 verse 26. “He craves all the day long [and does no work], But the righteous [willingly] gives and does not withhold [what he has].”
The real issue here is not your possession (rich or poor), the issue here is your focus— yourself? The command in the book of Hebrews chapter 13 and verse 16 is general. “Do not neglect to do good, to contribute [to the needy of the church as an expression of fellowship], for such sacrifices are always pleasing to God.” The problem today is the church is poor because Christians do not give to the Lord!
Here’s an illustration: A pastor stood before his church and said, “I’ve got some good news and some bad news. The good news is that the church has all the money it needs. The bad news is that it’s all still in your wallets.”
Remember, At the close of life, the question will not be how much have you got, but how much have you given. Not how much have you won, but how much have you done? Not how much have you saved, but how much have you sacrificed. Not how much have you honored, but how much have you served?
3. The Rich Fool had unacceptable Goals
The rich fool had set a good goal assuming that he would be around to enjoy his wealth – not knowing that that night would be his last. (James 4:13-14)
Here’s another story. The pastor was invited to dinner in the home of a very wealthy man in Texas. After the meal, the host led him to a place where they could get a good view of the surrounding area. Pointing to the oil wells, he boasted, “Twenty-five years ago I had nothing. Now, as far as you can see, it’s all mine.” Looking in the opposite direction at his sprawling fields of grain, he said, “That’s all mine.” Turning east toward huge herds of cattle, he bragged, “They’re all mine.” Then pointing to the west and a beautiful forest, he exclaimed, “That too is all mine.”
He paused, expecting the pastor to compliment him on his great success. The pastor, however, placing one hand on the man’s shoulder and pointing heavenward with the other, simply said, “How much do you have in that direction?” The man stared blankly for a moment, then hung his head and confessed, “I never thought of that.”
Just like the rich fool most of us don’t realize that we are just one breath away, one heartbeat away, or one accident away from eternity. Like the rich fool, no one is ever prepared for that moment until they have made peace with God, (Mark 8:36)
What if you heard those words: “Today, you will die.” Are you ready for that? Will you be able to give an account for the way you’ve raised or are raising your family? Can you give an account of what you’re doing with your talents and abilities? What about giving an account for the way you’re spending your time and energy? How about giving an account for what you’ve done with the money and wealth that God has blessed you with? Are you ready to give an account of the way you’re using your body and managing your appetites?
Someday, there’s going to be a knock at your life’s door. Death will be waiting outside. The music will suddenly stop. The frantic whirling of the dancers will cease. And you and I must answer the door. Soon thereafter, what we did with the gift of life will be required of us, (Hebrews 9:27).
When God entered, the rich fool realized that there was one thing he did not prepare. He made an excellent plan to store his crop, made a good plan to save up for the future, he made a plan to enjoy himself. In fact, he has done many things well but he did not prepare for his own soul. Death was not in his planning book. A person does not know when his or her time is coming. You can avoid being one of those people who lost their souls by, (I) Admitting to God that you are a sinner, (Romans 3:10;23); (II) Believing that Jesus died for your sins, (1 Peter 3:18); (III) Committing your life to Him as Savior and Lord, (Romans 10:9).
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