Psalm 14:1, “The fool says
in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, their deeds are
vile; there is no-one who does good.”
Psalm 53:1 then adds, “The
fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, and
their ways are vile; there is no one who does good.”
Do the two passages sound
similar? They are. Psalms 14 and 53 are almost exalt duplicates.
Then too, the Apostle Paul quotes quite a bit from these two Psalms
in Romans 3. The repetition of the verses certainly attests to the
importance of the passages! Let’s look at the verses now in some
DAVID BEGINS THE PASSAGE
WITH THE WORDS “THE FOOL.”
The word fool in the Bible
means, someone that is lacking in common sense, understanding;
someone who is dull, sluggish, silly, stupid, foolish. The term
draws to mind a person that makes bad choices when it comes to God,
morals, personal habits, or eternity.
The Hebrew word that is
translated fool in the two verses that we are exploring today is
Nabal. One of the wisest women in the Word of God was named
Abigail. You may remember her as being one of David's wives. She
is known in Scripture for her uncommonly good sense. By contrast,
her first husband was named Nabal - or fool. He was an evil man. 1
Samuel 25:25 quotes Abigail as she refers to this mean-spirited
fellow, “Don’t pay any attention to that good-for-nothing Nabal.
His name means ‘fool,’ and it really fits him!” (The Contemporary
The Bible, in Psalms 14 and
53, gives 12 characteristics of a fool. Please notice:
• They say that
there is no God --- verse 1
• They live corrupt
lives --- verse 1
• They do vile
things --- verse 1
• They are without
understanding --- verse 2
• They ignore God
and do not seek Him --- verse 2
• They do not do
good --- verses 1 and 3
• They never learn
due to their ignorance --- verse 4
• They live in
ignorance of God --- verse 4
• They seek to
devour God's people --- verse 4
• They never pray
--- verse 4
• They are
eventually overcome with great fear or dread --- verse 5
• They frustrate the
plans of the poor --- verse 5
Jesus adds to this list in
Luke 12:19. The fool says, “You have plenty of good things laid up
for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” The fool
is totally caught up in the here and the now. He ignores his soul
as well as his obligations to God. Such an attitude is foolish.
Listen to the Lord's words in Luke 12:20: “But God said to him, ‘You
fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who
will get what you have prepared for yourself?’”
Scripture then goes on to
note several other characteristics of a fool:
• Proverbs 29:11
notes: “A fool gives full vent to his anger....”
• Psalm 92:6 adds:
“The senseless man does not know, fools do not under-stand....”
• Proverbs 1:7
declares: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but
fools despise wisdom and discipline.”
• Proverbs 1:22
likewise notes: “How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools
• Proverbs 13:19
then cries: “...Fools detest turning from evil.”
The fool is obviously a
person that is both evil and ignorant and is content to stay that
way. He wouldn't change even if he could!
NOTICE NOW THAT THE FOOL
SAYS, “THERE IS NO GOD.”
How many of you have ever
heard of Lloyd Thoren of Petersburg, Indiana? He operates a
Dial-a-Atheist phone service.
• Do you need an
• Do you need
something to inspire you?
Then just give Lloyd Thoren
and his "Dial an Atheist" service a call! Can you possibly imagine
anything more pitiful and hopeless than that? I think a root canal
would provide greater excitement.
Mahatma Gandhi, the late
spiritual/political leader of India, was once approached by an
atheist who had hopes of creating an anti-God society. Ghandi's
comment was, "It amazes me to find an intelligent person who fights
against something which he does not at all believe exists."
Calvin Coolidge, the former
President, once said: "It is hard to see how a great man can be an
atheist. Doubters do not achieve. Skeptics do not contribute.
Cynics do not create."
Along this line, Charles M.
Houser once wrote: "Atheism never composed a symphony. Never painted
a masterpiece. Never dispelled a fear. Never healed a disease.
Never gave peace of mind. Never dried a tear. Never gave an
intelligent answer to the vast mystery of the universe. Never gives
meaning to man's life on the earth. Never built a just and peaceful
world. Never built a great and enduring civilization."
An atheist complained to a
friend that Christians have their special holidays, such as
Christmas, Easter and the like; the Jews likewise celebrate their
national holidays such as Passover, Yom Kippur and so forth. He
then went on to say, “But we atheists have no recognized national
holiday. It's unfair! It's discrimination!” The friend, being a
quick wit, replied, “Why don't you celebrate April Fool's Day?”
NOW LET'S LOOK AT THE
WORDS “NO GOD” IN OUR TEXT
As you look at the Psalms
in question in some of your Bibles, you may notice that the words,
"there is" are in italics. What does that mean? Can anyone tell
me? When words are in italics in Scripture, it means that those
words were not in the original text. The words were added by the
translators so as to help make the meaning of the passage clearer.
Let us leave “THERE IS” out
of the two verses that we are studying and see what happens: “The
fool says in his heart, ‘NO GOD’”.
• Simply, No God,
• No God for me,
• No God in my life,
• No God in choices,
• No God in my
• No God in my
• No God.
• Rather, I am going
to have my own way.
• I am going to do
as I please.
• I am going to have
• I am going to live
as I want to live!
Such a man or woman no
longer has a sense of being under some kind of moral authority. He
has discarded God and His Holy Word therefore he is out on a
spiritual limb all by himself. God is no longer there so he is free
to do what he wants.
The atheist therefore
thinks in his heart that there is no Judge,
• no Final
• no Governor of the
• no Providence
ruling over the affairs of men.
The scriptures are correct;
such an individual is corrupt as well as vile. He or she is a fool.
I want to now share with
you Psalm 53:1 once again. This time from The Contemporary English
Version: “Only a fool would say, ‘There is no God!’ People like that
are worthless; they are heartless and cruel and never do right.”
Such a person says, “no God.” Such a person is truly a fool indeed!
PLEASE CONSIDER WITH ME
FOR A MOMENT THE END RESULT OF SUCH A CONFESSION.
Walter Hooper, who was C.
S. Lewis' personal secretary, laughed when he read the following
epitaph: "Here lies an atheist, all dressed up with no place to
go." Lewis, however, did not completely share in his laughter. He
responded soberly, "I'm sure he wishes now that were true." Hell, my
friends, is a sobering reality for those who do not believe.
Denying the existence of
fire does not keep a man from getting burned by its flames so
doubting the existence of God will not stop the Judge of all the
earth from destroying the rebel who breaks His laws. The sin of
atheism is a crime which much provokes heaven, and will eventually
bring down terrible vengeance on the fool who practices or proclaims
it--even if only in the secret confines of the heart!
On an episode of Barney
Miller, the popular situation comedy that's still watched in
syndicated reruns, the police captain Barney got into a conversation
with one of his detectives, Dietrich, about the existence of God.
"Barney, do you believe in God?" he asked. Miller said, "Well, I've
always thought that there was something out there." "Not me," said
Dietrich. "We are all probably the result of a big accident of some
kind." Barney said, "But what if you are wrong, and you wake up
down there in an afterlife and have to explain yourself? What will
you say?" "Oops," replied Dietrich.
What about you? If you were
to stand before God today, what would you have to say? To bet your
life against the possibility of God's existence is a fool's gamble.
To deny the existence of hell is but a fool's hope The Bible says
that it is a “fearful thing to fall into the hands of an angry
God.” I am certain that facing Him at the Great White Throne
Judgment with eternity on the line is going to draw forth a greater
response of anguish than "Oops."
The poet therefore penned:
"On earth are atheists
many, In hell there is not any."
SO, IS THERE A GOD?
The truth is, the fact of
God is so obvious that the Bible doesn't even try to prove it. The
Book simply opens with the declaration “In the beginning God
John 1:1 adds: “In the
beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was
God....” God was, is, and ever will be.
I want to briefly share
with you EIGHT SIMPLE ARGUMENTS for God's existence. I could give
you more but I will limit myself this morning:
1. CREATION AND
The creative works of God
declare that He exists. The world, it's order, it's beauty, it's
laws all declare that there had to be some sort of master plan, a
master designer that was behind it all. That designer was and yet
Isaiah 40:26 declares:
“Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these stars, The
One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name;
Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power
not one of them is missing.”
He prescribed their orbit.
He set them in the heavens, and although they are great in light and
number, they nonetheless ever move as He commanded!
Earlier in that same
chapter, He again speaks of His greatness in comparison to His
creation. Verse 12: “Who has measured the waters in the hollow of
His Hand, and marked off the heavens by the span, and calculated the
dust of the earth by the measure, and weighed the mountains in a
balance, and the hills in a pair of scales?”
In verse 28, He then
answers His own question. “Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth--THE
The Apostle Paul therefore
wrote in Romans 1:20: “Since the creation of the world God's
invisible qualities -- His eternal power and divine nature -- have
been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that
men are without excuse.”
2. THE NATURE OF
Man could not have thought
up a God that is perfect. Look at the gods of the ancient Greeks
and the Romans. They all had faults, sins, vices, but only on a
larger than life scale. Man does not have within himself the moral
capacity to have come up with a sinless and holy God.
• Look at the
existence of the conscience -- is that a product of evolution?
• Imagine a human
being coming up with the idea of self-denial or cross bearing.
• What man could
have thought up The Ten Commandments?
Moral law implies a moral
lawgiver and moral governor of the universe. Who might that be if
there is not a God?
BELIEF IN GOD
The great majority of men
in all ages and places have acknowledged the existence of God. God
has placed such a conviction in man. He has declared His being from
the beginning by that which He created. Man believes in the
existence of God because God has left His autograph everywhere!
• Look at the
• The sunsets,
• Animal life,
• A garden,
• The heavens on a
bright starry night,
• A mother’s love,
• The complexity of
If a person can see all of
these things and not see God, then he or she could also LOOK ALL
OVER THE SKY AT HIGH NOON ON A CLEAR DAY AND NOT SEE THE SUN!
HUNGER FOR GOD
Mankind is in a never
ending search for God. Look at all of the religions, the substitutes
that we human beings have come up with. There must be a supreme
being that has placed that hunger there and that is capable of
meeting that hunger when people turn to Him and meet His terms for
reconciliation and fellowship.
While in Romania some time
back, evangelist Luis Palau told a television reporter: "The
experience since World War II of atheistic governments in Eastern
Europe was essential because many people felt, ‘We tried religion
and it didn't work, so let's try atheism.’ But these past forty
years have proved that a nation without God can not flourish.’
Palau added, 'The experiment we call atheism' was worth it because
it proved to this generation once and for all that the human soul
clamors for God.'"
As I love to say, history
is really "His Story!" The record of events in the whole of history
gives overwhelming evidence of the existence and providence of God
in the rise and the fall of nations, the preservation of the races
such as the Jews, and the innumerable events which had no natural
explanation other than it was an act of God!
Millions of people down
though the ages have had personal encounters with God. He has saved
them, delivered them, healed them, or performed some other grand
miracle in their lives.
• Read the story of
John Newton who wrote "Amazing Grace."
• Read the account
of the conversion of Billy Sunday, the baseball player turned
• Read The Cross and
the Switchblade by David Wilkerson and read of the conversion of
Nicky Cruz, the former gang leader in New York City.
Jesus did it! There is no
other plausible explanation! Multitudes can testify of changed
lives by simple faith in God.
If Jesus Christ has saved
you and you can testify of His miracle working power to transform
lives, then I want you to stand up right now. Each and every one of
you is a walking, talking witness to the existence of a great and
gracious God! You may be seated.
While this is true among
Christians, not one infidel, agnostic, or atheist can boast of any
benefits whatsoever from their unbelief! Not one!
Listen to this true
account: The wife of an alcoholic spent years living in total misery
until someone gave her a Bible and she became a believer in Jesus
Christ. The lady found much comfort in reading the Word and in time
it became her most treasured possession. Her husband, though,
sneered at her newfound religion. He mocked her and tried to get
her to turn away from her faith. One day he came home drunk,
snatched her Bible from her hand, and threw it into the lit
fireplace. He shouted, "Now we'll see what will be left of your
precious Bible!" The next morning the fellow had sobered up and he
decided to clean out the ashes from the previous evening's fire. As
he did so, he noticed a few pages of Scripture had not been burned.
His eyes fell upon Jesus' words in Matthew 24:35 which state:
“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass
away.” He was startled as he read the message. In time, the Holy
Spirit used this experience to convict him and to bring salvation to
his sin-hardened soul!
The Bible is God's Book!
Look at it's beauty. Consider it's many prophecies. Meditate on
it's amazing historical and scientific accuracy. If you do so with
a pure motive, I promise you, you will see God written out on every
8. THE LIFE OF
Jesus--the holiest man who
ever lived--testified that their was and is a God.
• He submitted to
• He declared that
He had seen God.
• He was spoken to
• He prayed to God.
In fact, Jesus and God were
so intertwined that Jesus was to note that “If you have seen me, you
have seen the Father.”
Do you believe? I
AS I CLOSE OUT THIS
SERMON, I want to share with you a true story borrowed from the
pages of The Reader's Digest. It's an account about a man in
Manhattan by the name of Marcel Sternberger.
Marcel Sternberger was a
creature of habit. He used to take the 9:09 Long Island Railroad to
Woodside every morning. When you live in New York, you begin to
live like a machine. Everything is like clock-work. Even the
delicatessen man learns just three words: "Thank you, Next." Like
rote, life goes on.
Again, Sternberger used to
get on this 9:09 train to Woodside every day. One day he didn't do
it. He decided to go and visit a sickly friend who was dying. He
wanted to pay him a visit because he knew he wouldn't be around that
much longer. As a result, Marcel hops a different train - a train
that he had never ridden before. As he gets on another man gets up
hurriedly to leave. This leaves a vacant seat which Marcel manages
to get. Sitting next to him is a man who is reading a Hungarian
newspaper. Marcel Sternberger, being of Hungarian descent himself,
eventually strikes up a conversation with the fellow. He asks the
stranger what he is doing in New York City. The brother replies
that he is in the city looking for his wife.
"What do you mean, you're
looking for your wife?"
The stranger then said,
"Well, my wife and I used to live in Dubreken in Hungary. During
the war, I was taken away and made to work in the Ukraine burying
the German dead. In time I managed to escape and run back to
freedom. When I returned home, I found that my wife had also been
taken away by the Nazis. One of the neighbors said they thought she
had been taken to Auschwitz and, therefore, she would have been
killed in the gas ovens."
Someone else told him that
they thought that the Americans had arrived in time to save some of
the prisoners and had taken some of them to America. His wife might
have been among those that were rescued. He said, "By a long shot,
I'm hoping my wife is here."
Marcel Sternberger kept
listening to this story. The more he listened, the more familiar the
account sounded to him. He asked, "What is your wife's name?"
The stranger said, "My
wife's name is Maria. My last name is Paskin. It's Maria Paskin."
Sternberger took out his
wallet and found a dog-eared piece of paper. As he looked down he
saw the name Maria Paskin with a telephone number. He had met the
lady at a party some time back. She had shared with him the same
story that he had just heard. For some reason, he made a note of
her name and number. Marcel then said, "Look, I want to do
something for you now. What is your name?" He said, "My name is
Bela Paskin." Sternberger then said, "Bela, get off with me at the
As they got off of the
train, Marcel went over to a phone and called the number on the
dog-eared piece of paper. After many, many, rings a feeble voice
answers the phone. Marcel asked if he was speaking to Maria Paskin
and she said that he was. He then went on to say, "Maria, my name
is Marcel Sternberger. We met some weeks ago." She said that
remembered him. He said, "Can you tell me what your husband's name
is?" Rather shocked, the lady answered, "My husband's name is Bela
Paskin." He said, "Can you tell me a little more about him?"
Again, the two stories were identical. Sternberger said, "just a
moment, I think you're about to witness one of the greatest miracles
you will ever see." Then, as Marcel held on to the receiver, he
called Bela Paskin into the booth and he said, "Would you please
speak to this person?"
In about 10 seconds or so
Bela's expression changed. His look was beyond description. He
then started to scream as the tears profusely poured down his
creeks, "It's Maria! It's Maria! It's Maria!"
Marcel Sternberger took him
away from the telephone and hailed a taxi. He was going to go with
his new friend to be a part of the moment when he decided that the
occasion was to sacred for him to witness. So he put Bela Paskin
into the cab, paid the taxi driver, told him where to take him, and
sent him on to the reunion of his dreams.
Listen to the way the
writers of The Reader's Digest end this article: "Skeptical persons
would no doubt attribute the events of that memorable afternoon to
mere chance. But was it chance that made Sternberger suddenly
decide to visit his sick friend, and hence take a subway line that
he had never been on before? Was it chance that caused the man
sitting by the door of the car to rush out just as Sternberger came
in? Was it chance that caused Bela Paskin to be sitting beside
Sternberger reading a Hungarian newspaper? Was it chance or did God
ride the Brooklyn subway that afternoon?"
Was it chance? I will
leave that for you to decide. However, let me say that that the God
that we serve is a God that does things like that. He is a great
God; He is an awesome God!
I also submit to you that
it is distinctly possible that the same God who orchestrated the
events that brought Maria Paskin and her husband together has
likewise ordered the events that has resulted in your being here
this morning. I submit to you that the God who is, is the God who
is seeking to speak to and minister to your needs right here today
Won't you respond to His loving hand?
“If our greatest need had
been information, God would have sent an educator.
If our greatest need had
been technology, God would have sent us a scientist.
If our greatest need had
been money, God could have sent us an economist.
But since our greatest need
was forgiveness, God sent us a Savior.”
That Savior came, bled and
died for me, for you. If you have not accepted Him into your heart,
please do so today. Don't leave here a fool. Don't say, "No
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