Before you begin your Bible study, as a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, be sure you have named your sins privately to God the Father.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (Known, Unknown and Forgotten sins) (1Jn_1:9)
You will then be in fellowship with God, Filled with the Holy Spirit and ready to learn Truth from the Word of God.
"God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in Spirit and Truth," (Joh_4:24)
Quartet of Fools
There is no more beautiful sound in all the world than four people blending their voices in perfect harmony. Reversed, the most sorrowful utterances, emanate from voices clashing in a discord of sound. Such is a quartet of fools described in the following paragraphs: three members cannot sing, cannot harmonize, yet the fourth produces the finest harmony in the world!
The first member of the quartet is the atheistic fool.
The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God...” (Psa_14:1)
The ancient Hebrew language makes no distinction between the heart and the head as a source of thought. Correctly paraphrased this verse should read “The fool has thought in his mind, there is no God.”What is this “mind” that says there is no God? An insignificant thing called human intellect, a mind with it's finite limitations does not perceive God and therefore says, “God does not exist.”
There are five methods of perception to acquire human knowledge. The first is known as occultism --- through demon influnce by means of the old sin nature. The second is known as rationalism, the pursuit of knowledge by reason alone. The third, empiricism, this is the pursuit of knowledge by observation and experimentation. The fourth is human faith, this is how we learn most things --- by what someone tells us, and we believe it. And fifth Spiritual faith, the “assurance of things hoped for”, the conviction of things not seen. (Heb_11:1) Though faith is the most commonly used method of perception in the world of everyday experience, saving Spiritual faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and growth by faith in His Word are extremely rare. (1Co_2:1-14)
The atheistic fool uses the wrong means to learn of God; he utilizes rationalism instead of faith. Yet, faith is the only tool with which to dig into the realization of eternity, the only path leading to Knowledge of God, the only means of eternal Salvation. The Scripture specifically states.
Believe in the Lord Jesus and you shall be saved... (Act_16:31)
Inscribed on the front of the mantle of the ancient Hind’s Head Hotel at Bray, England is the legend: “Fear knocked at the door. Faith answered. No one was there” It was written during England’s darkest hour, the battle of Dunkirk, and typifies the potency of national faith. The power of Spiritual faith directed specifically toward the uniquely born Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, establishes an eternal relationship with God. The atheistic fool needs that faith which “comes from hearing, and hearing by the Word of Christ.” (Rom_10:17) Faith is the key to the fool’s problem.
There is one question that needs to be asked of this fool: What is he going to do with, (Joh_3:36)?
"He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey (The Command to believe in) the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." (Joh_3:36) cf. (1Jn_3:23)
The second member of this quartette is the rich fool.
And He told them a parable, saying, "The land of a rich man was very productive. "And he began reasoning to himself, saying, 'What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?' "Then he said, 'This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 'And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry."' "But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?'(Luk_12:16-20)
This man was rich in material goods, but his false sense of values made him a fool. His deadly philosophy of eat, drink and be merry could not satisfy the immutable demands of a just and righteous God. Building larger barns to store his earthly wealth could not solve the problem of his eternal future.
Whether consciously or subconsciously, every man has established in his mind a scale of values. Have you ever thought to yourself, “Suppose my house was on fire and I could retrieve only one or two articles from the consuming flames? What are the possessions that I would bend every effort to rescue?”
This type of thinking indicates the subconscious development of a scale of values. Every man’s scale of values includes material and philosophical considerations. However, most people have a false scale of values because they omit Spiritual matters. Such is the story of the man who owned an automobile and desired to purchase a number of accessories for his car, although he lacked the necessary money. He sold his car so that he could buy the accessories. Likewise, people sell their souls in order to have the accessories of life.
Have you ever seen a baby with a dollar bill in his hand? A dollar has a definite; monetary value, but to the baby it is just another toy. Where Spiritual things are concerned, many people are babies with a dollar bill in their hand.
One of the most suggestive paintings by George Frederick Watts is entitles, Sic Transit. Translated from the Latin, sic transit gloria mundi means, “So the glory of the world passes away.” http://www.georgefredericwatts.org/Sic-Transit-large.html
The passing glory is portrayed in the utmost simplicity. Upon a casket lies a shrouded figure. All is silent in this chamber of death. The long, horizontal lines of the painting give the impression of intense stillness; the very heart has ceased beating. Here, life is over forever. What, then, does life amount to? What does death mean? These are the questions the still figure impresses upon us. On the ground around we see all that the world had accredited to him: plumed casque, shield, spear, and gauntlet denote the warrior. “He has loved,” says the rose; “He has traveled”, says the scallop shell. “He has been honored,” says the ermine coat that once adorned him. He is not without culture, for surrounding him lies the musician’s lute and the book of the scholar portray that he has drunk of the rich wine of life. Now he is dead, and all these things lie around him unused and useless. Death terminates the accessories of life. Before death’s clutching hand the material and the superficial things of life disintegrate.
There is one question we would ask this fool who would build greater barns,“For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?” (Mar_8:36)
The third member of this quartette is the shameless fool.
Fools mock at sin... (Pro_14:9)
This fool feels no guilt of sin. Sin, that infection which has destroyed man since the beginning of time, is a cancerous plague which infiltrates every portion of our being, destroying our Spiritual fiber and the eternal life tissues of our souls. Sin brings the barrage of God’s judgment upon us and no slit trench of human philosophy and reasoning is a defense against His Divine judgment.
The Scripture presents three important facts concerning sin. First, sin is universal.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Rom_3:23)
Indeed, there is not a righteous man on Earth who continually does good and who never sins. (Ecc_7:20)
Second, sin is judged by a just and righteous God.
For the wages of sin is death... (Rom_6:23)
Therefore, just as though one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned. (Rom_5:12)
Third, sin is remedied by the atoning death of the Lord Jesus Christ on Calvary’s cross.
But God demonstrates His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died
(As a substitute) for us. (Rom_5:8)
Hence, we would ask the shameless fool one question: “How can he neglect so great a Salvation:”
The fourth member of the quartette is the Christian fool.
We are fools for Christ’s sake. (1Co_4:10)
This statement was written by a man named Paul. Who was Paul? He was formerly Saul of Tarsus, a man who had every advantage in life including, wealth, education, prominence and ability. But one day, treading in the dust of the Damascus road, Saul met the Lord Jesus Christ. From that moment he became the Apostle Paul, a man who devoted the rest of his life to spreading the Gospel of the grace of God which is faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ As Paul traveled about the world in the service of the Lord, he suffered many unbearable hardships—flayed with the biting stings of the Roman lash, bruised with stones cast from self-righteous Hebrew hands, drifted in the deep for a day and a night only a ship’s plank from death, robbed, hungry, thirsty, cold, naked and exhausted. Why was Paul a fool, willing to suffer these things? Because he realized there was a God; because he recognized the awfulness of sin; because he had come to the cross of Calvary; because he had found eternal life, and because he realized the harmony of joy and peace in his life. And so it is with Christians today! To us, the Lord Jesus Christ is God’s only begotten Son who died on Calvary’s Cross for our sins, rose again from the dead, and now sits on God’s right hand interceding on our behalf. To the Christian,
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God. (Rom_8:28)
Every circumstance of life has a pattern and purpose. Life is full of “the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension” (Php_4:7)
Look at the birds of the air, they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. (Mat_6:26)
During a shelling from Japanese naval vessels off the coast of Guadalcanal, a member of the First Marine Division sought shelter in a trench. While running for the trench he saw a lonely bird sitting on a palm tree log unconcerned with the tremendous chaos caused by the Japanese bombardment. Huddled in his field fortification, nerves quivering with the detonation of each shell, the Marine began to consider the fate of the poor bird exposed to the storm of solid lead. Several hours later when the Japanese had departed and he came out of his shelter, a tragic scene of devastation met his eyes. Lying about in the grotesque attitudes of death were many of their former comrades. Where several trucks has stood before, only a few bent and twisted bits of steel lay smoldering in the ruins. Homes had been obliterated, trees had been uprooted; the landscape was literally changed as a result of the Japanese shell fire. In spite of the havoc and destruction, the same bird was sitting on the same log with not even a feather ruffled. In like manner the Lord Jesus Christ takes the Christian through the shelling of life undisturbed.
Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your father. But the very hairs of your head are numbered. Therefore do not fear; you are of more value than many sparrows. (Mat_10:29-31)
To the Christian, man's foundation of wealth, intellect, and power are insecure, but God's foundation, Jesus Christ, is abiding, immoveable, ageless. The attacks of intellectual termites cannot crumble this foundation; hurricanes of mundane anxiety cannot prevail against it; the acid of ridicule cannot dissolve it.
For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (1Co_3:11)
So, here are four fools for your consideration: the atheistic, the rich, the shameless, and the Christian. The question for you is, “Where do you fit into this quartette?”