Harold Bennett - Four Fools - Mudgee - 1995

Matthew 25:3, Psalms 14:1, Luke 12:20, 1 Corinthians 4:10. These verses speak about four kinds of fools. A fool isn't someone who lacks intelligence. He just lacks good sense and the ability to reason. In reality there are just two kinds of fools: there are fools in the eyes of God and fools in the eyes of men. Sometimes the fear of becoming a fool in the eyes of men drives people to become a fool in the eyes of God.

Matthew 25 is about the first kind of fool, that is the person who is religious, but not right. Psalma 14.1 is about the next kind, that is the irreligious fool, who doesn't believe in a God. Then Luke 12, we read about another kind of fool that is the person who goes and leaves his treasure behind him. Then we read about the fourth kind of fool in 1 Corinthians 4:10, the person who is a fool for
Christ's sake. We will either be a fool in the eyes of men or in the eyes of God, whether we like it or not. If we are going to be one, we want to be the right kind of a fool.

Matthew 25:1, this is speaking of the future. The Bible tells us in many places that God's people are the Bride of Christ and Christ is the Bridegroom of their souls and that is what makes the gospel story such a beautiful story of love. Revelations 19:7, you and I are on the earth today to make ourselves ready. One lady told us that the happiest day of her life was when Gordon asked her to be his
bride, but then a little later an in life a happier day yet came, when she was invited by the Son of God to be His bride.

I understand it was the custom in those lands for the marriage to be arranged and the bride and bridegroom were kept separate until the night of the wedding. The bridegroom on that night would go to the house of the bride to take her and her maidens through the streets with lamps in their hands to his father's house where the marriage was celebrated. All ten were wedding-going people. The
wedding to crown all other weddings is when the Bridegroom takes His Bride to Himself. The wedding for which this universe was created will be celebrated when Jesus returns to take His Bride unto Himself to love her and cherish her for all eternity.

At the midnight hour, the cry came. Midnight is the division of days, the end of one day and the beginning of another day. Midnight is the end of the day of preparation and the beginning of the day of realization. Midnight is the end of life's opportunities and it is the beginning of eternity, eternity's realities. Midnight hour came. It was like an awakening. Some speak of death being like a sleep, but that would be more like an awakening and people will see what they have and don't have and the moment of truth will have come.

The five foolish took their lamps and no oil and their lamps went out. They said, "Give us of your oil for our lamps are gone out." (Verse 8-9) Why wouldn't the wise give some oil to the foolish in their desperate time? There are some things you cannot give to another person. You can share a light. The five wise had shared a light but you can't give oil.

There are two things you cannot give to another person: you cannot give the breath of life and you cannot give the spirit of Christ. Some young sisters saw a man swept out to sea, saw him brought in and they pounded on his chest and they did everything they could to give him the breath of life but it was gone out. We cannot give to another the character and virtues of Christ, we have to
go and get those for ourselves.

I wondered what the oil was. I think the oil is submission. They were to go and buy for themselves. The wise went in and the door was shut. The foolish went to buy oil. They came back and they had it, and in eternity, everyone will have paid the price of submission. Everybody will have it. It is a price that is hard to pay in our lifetime. We have the price of submission, obedience, and
willingness. Some submit too late. All those ten virgins had lamps, something that would give them light, they had a Bridegroom. I can just imagine them, they were watching for the coming of the Bridegroom, but they should have been watching for oil. There are a lot of people on the lookout for the coming of Jesus, giving dates and times, but they should be giving thought toward their submission, because we are not ready until we have submission. They didn't have enough submission, their lamps were gone out. On Sunday morning when we are gathered together before the emblems, Paul told them (1 Corinthians 11) to examine themselves. When you eat this bread and drink this wine, examine yourself to see if you are partaking worthily. That is the time when we pray that prayer, "If there is anything I don't see, show me and I will be willing to change, if there is anything I am doing I shouldn't be doing, show me and I won't do it any more," so submitted and so obedient.

But now, the midnight hour had come and they found they were religious and not right, because there wasn't enough submission in their lives to make them ready. "They that were ready went in ... and the door was shut." Some of our sisters were at the airport a while back and a certain plane was just pulling away, they had locked the door. A man in a business suit came running along the
corridor calling out, "I need to be on that airplane! I need to be on that airplane!" but the door was shut and so it will be for many when that midnight hour comes. It will be too late and "they that were ready went in." (Verse 11) The wise paid the price of submission to get ready, but those that stayed out, they paid and paid and paid, they submitted, but it was too late. I hope we won't be the kind of fool that is religious and not right, religious, but not ready enough. All readiness depends on the depth of submission we have in our vessel.

Psalms 14:1, the irreligious fool. This kind of person has gone beyond even the devils. This is because in James it says, "The devils believe and tremble." We have often heard that nothing cannot become something without a creator and that something cannot become something living without a God and something living cannot become moral without a creator. It doesn't matter how many centuries a person goes back, nothing can become something without a creator. Something cannot become something living without a God. No matter how hard scientists have tried, they cannot create life, only God can make something living and something living cannot become something moral without the Creator. One horse might have plenty of food and the horse beside him might have nothing and be starving and has no feeling of compassion that way. God has put something in you and me that is moral.

I was thinking about what we heard one time. Someone had asked these kind of persons how the universe came about. There was a Big Bang Theory, a cosmic explosion and out came the universe. I was thinking if I were to put a stick of dynamite in my suitcase, after everything settled down, I wouldn't expect everything to be in a neat order in my suitcase.

Someone else told about talking to a doctor, a brain surgeon and asked him if he believed in a God and he was one of those kinds of fools. He didn't believe in anything he couldn't detect with any of his 5 senses. They asked him if he'd ever seen a brain, showed him a brain. He said, "yes," he believed in that. They asked him if he had ever seen a mind. They hardly know what a mind is, but
everybody believes in a mind. This kind of person would believe in laws, but no lawgiver, all kinds of laws, laws of chemistry, physics, music, mathematics. Where there are laws, there is a lawgiver. They would say there is no such thing as cause and effect. They would believe that there is design, but no designer. They look out into space and say there is motion, but no motivator, planets moving in harmony, wonderful motion and no motivator.

As General MacArthur, in World War 11 days, said, "In the fox holes ... there are no atheists," but there might be this kind or fool, who says, "There is no God," when everything is going well, but in moments of extreme dangers, on the battlefield when the bullets are flying, there are no atheists, but praying men, who call upon God, who never called upon Him before, because there is
something about our soul when we don't know where to fly, like a bird to its nest, the soul turns to God.

There is a reason why there is this kind of fool, because if there is no Creator, we are not responsible to anyone and we can be our own god and if this universe happened by chance, there is no purpose, they are not responsible to anyone, so they can be their own god, but in a lost eternity there isn't this kind of fool either. In a lost eternity everyone is a believer and everyone sees it so clearly, sees their Maker and the purpose that He had for their lives, that he missed.

Luke 12:18-19, the words of Jesus when He spoke about that rich farmer. He was sitting, calculating. His opinion about himself would have been, "I am wise, look at the shrewd business-manager I am! What a good farmer I am, I am wise and I am rich," and the neighbours down the road would have thought, "Look at what a good farmer he is and a prosperous businessman and how wellspoken and how well he keeps up his farm" and they would have thought, "He is wise and he is rich." That would have been the neighbours opinion of him, but there are three opinions concerning all of us: our opinion of ourselves, others' opinion of us, and God's opinion. God said, "He is a fool and he is a pauper." My opinion of myself might be far out of line and the neighbours opinion of me might be very much out of line with reality, but God's opinion is never out of line.

I can just see that farmer. He is sitting there in his home calculating and he is thinking he has been a great planner, knows the laws of the harvest, a great builder and he thought within himself, he was a great thinker. Even though he was a great builder, a great farmer and a great thinker, he made some mistakes. He mistook his belly for his soul. He thought (Verse 19), but you can't feed your soul on what you feed your belly. Then he made another mistake. He mistook earthly treasure for heavenly treasure. Earthly treasure is going to be left behind, but heavenly treasure is ours forever. Then he mistook time for eternity. Time isn't many years, eternity is many years. Time is just a few short years. He might have even brought in a master builder, calculating, figuring the barns, the many years, all his goods, but in all his plans and calculations for many years, he forgot to calculate and plan for eternity, and while he was saying, "Many years," the Lord was saying, "This night thy soul shall be required of thee."

If you had asked this rich farmer about the atheist down the road, he would have said, "That man is a fool," but this rich man believed in God, but lived as though there were no God. He would say, "That atheist who doesn't believe in the Word of God is a fool," but the rich farmer lived as though not a word of the Bible were true. Of course, we have a soul, but that rich farmer lived as though his soul would never be required of him, but God said, "Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee." That man wouldn't have neglected his crops or his farm, the buildings were painted the fences kept up. Nor would he have neglected his flocks and herds, because he knew if he neglected his animals, they would turn into a worthless investment. But he neglected his soul. It is the easiest thing in the world to go to a lost eternity: just neglect your soul. So the Lord said, "This night thy soul shall be required of thee." In that night, no man has power to retain his spirit. He was counting on many years, had plans for many years.

A while ago, I read about the number of fatalities in the United States and, in that year, there were 15,000 fatal automobile accidents. People would get in their automobiles that day and have plans for what they would do that day, the day all mapped out before them and wouldn't know that their plans would be interrupted before that day was over and their soul would be required. That man had to go off and leave his treasure behind him. That is why the Lord said, "Thou fool." To work and toil and put in the hours for treasure and then you have to go off and leave it behind: "Thou fool." That is why people find it so hard to leave their treasure behind, but God's people are going on to their treasure and that way they can be among the wise.

I Corinthians 4:10, in the eyes of the world, Paul was a fool. He turned his back on all his prospects, to preach the gospel as a homeless preacher, to labour for the souls of men. He had no certain dwelling place, he became poor for the Master's sake, leading a wandering life. In the eyes of the world, not only the thing he preached was foolish, but the manner in which he did it was foolish.
The older brother used to tell about when he heard she gospel in Scotland. His parents didn't believe it. His mother and father pleaded with him not to go, but it was all to no avail. Finally, the dad told the mother, "Let the fool go." "We are fools for Christ's sake."

When Paul was in Athens, they said, "What will this babbler say?" (Acts 26) Festus said, "Much learning doth make thee mad." I am a "fool for Christ's sake." I Corinthians 1:23, "The Jews require a sign and the Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ ... unto the Greeks foolishness." It seemed just foolishness to the Greeks that One could save, Who couldn't save Himself from the cross. It seemed just foolishness that One, Who was condemned on Calvary's cross could justify them and it seemed foolishness that One, Who seemed so weak, was on Calvary's cross, the strongest and what seemed the greatest defeat was preached as the greatest victory.

Paul said, "We are fools for Christ's sake." If you are going to be a fool, be the right kind of a fool. Don't be a fool in the eyes of God. Be a fool in the eyes of men. I thought of Noah, when the Lord told him to build an ark in a world where it had never rained. He was a preacher of righteousness who told people, "If you don't get in this ark, there is no hope." He worked many years on the ark and people would pass by and say, "You're a fool."

Moses (Hebrews 11), "Chose rather to suffer affliction ... than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season." He could've been a millionaire in Pharoah's palace and had the culture and riches of the courts of Pharoah, but he looked at God's people, who were at their best then and thought, "I want a place among those people." They would've thought, "He's a fool," for doing that.

Joshua, when he entered the promised land and the city of Jericho was walled up to heaven and the Lord told those people to march around it 6 days and on the 7th they did it 7 times, following the ark, the priests bearing it and on the 7th day the walls will fall down. Those people looking over the walls of Jericho would've thought, "What a ridiculous bunch of people." They just kept on walking, bearing a testimony, looking ridiculous, but it came to pass, just as the Lord said. So we are going to be a fool whether we want to or not! Don't be the religious fool that is religious and not right. Don't be the kind to take your own way and say, "There is no God." Don't be the kind that goes off and leaves his treasure behind him, believes in a God and lives as though it's not true, but this year, if someone considers you a fool because you read, you pray, you serve God, you don't need to hang your head in shame, because there are those of this world, who will be a fool for the ages of eternity and will weep and wail because they were afraid to be a fool for Christ's sake and the wisest person amongst us will be a person like Paul, who as happy to be "a fool for
Christ's sake."