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The Foolishness of Preaching

January 22, 2007

Acts 4:13  “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with jesus.”

I Corinthians 2:14  “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishnes unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

As mentioned previously, I have a great deal of respect for those in the household of faith with a background in science or history who are able to contend for the faith; calling upon volumes of physical evidence and historical documentation to verify that “these things must be so.”  I have an overall “grasp” of various concepts; the result of a casual interest in astronomy and history, but to delve into the miniscule details of such is beyond me.  Nonetheless, when coming into contact with such a person who fourishes in such an environment, they are always fascinating to talk to.  Also, as mentioned before, every person has their appropriate gift of God.  The apostle Paul was learned above all of his contemporaries while Peter was a fisherman.  Both men were used of God to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ; not relying upon their own abilities, but by yielding themselves to God and just “doing as he said to do.”  Obediance is such an easy concept (trust and obey) and yet many of us wrestle with it daily. 

There is a natural tendancy to try and explain things from a physical standpoint.  When coming into contact with one who is a hardened athiest, the first inclination is to begin looking at the pillar of their faith: evolution, and pursue a discussion as to why amoebas cannot transform themselves into multicell organisms, develop a brain, learn to swim, grow legs, move onto shore, sprout teathers, and begin building nests in the clefts of the highest outcropings.  There is a time when such is warrented, ultimately, it’s the word of God that will not return void.  This is an established fact that’s every bit as prevailant as the laws of gravity.  

This process works both ways, as a hardened athiest will begin to analyze why they believe the bible to be a “relic from a bygone era.”  They will point to perceived inaccuracies, resort to physical evidence that would seem to go against the concepts of the bible, and a host of other things too numerous to mention.  They will tell you that the biblical account of creation simply can’t be possible.  After all.  How did night and day come about before there was a sun and a moon?  How did the earth bring forth vegetation before there was a sun by which photosynthesis could take place?  How can the earth be older than the sun when “the big bang manifesto” clearly states that stars are formed by the condensing of gaseous material which becomes massive enough for the fusion process to begin and planets are merely the concensation of matter from the surrounding dust cloud?  Hmmmmm?  If you resort to scripture, it’s viewed as a “cop out” by those who have all of the physical evidence on their side; or so it would appear.  (This perception plays a critical role in the strong delusions of the last days)

I Corinthians 1:26-29  “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:  But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;  And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:  That no flesh should glory in his presence.”

Comparing physical observations to spiritual happenings is like the old analogies of comparing apples to oranges or mixing oil and water.  spiritual matters don’t fit into the context of logic because there’s no mechanism to monitor spiritual events.  The universe itself is the result of a spiritual event; that being God said “Let there be” and it became.  There’s no formula to explain how God can fill heaven and earth.  There’s no way for a created being to even begin to understand how God can be “from everlasting.”  (I know that I use that statement a lot.  The concept of “from everlasting;” the more that I think about it, the more incredible it becomes.  It reveals just how incredibly awesome God is and just how irrelevant our so called “understanding” of the world around us is.)  Truly no flesh will glory in his presence because flesh cannot even begin to comprehend such a concept. 

It’s amazing that we live on a single planet, circling a single star, thats one of over a hundred billion stars that make up the milky way, which one of hundreds of billions upon billions of galaxies, each having an avrage of a hundred billion stars, and our learned folks have convinced themselves that they have a working knowledge of the cosmos.  If the biblical account of creation is accurate, all of this “understanding” as to how the heavens came to be, is “wrong.”  They assemble working models, discuss the workings of sub-atomic particles, ponder other universes, ponder the future of this universe, ponder how it’s possible for the cosmic inflation to be “picking up steam,” a fact that, in and of itself should seriously jeopardize the big bang theory, and they are “ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”  They peer into the heavens which boldly proclaim that “God is” and yet think within themselves that faith in the invisible God is “utterly ridiculous.” 

Such is the age in which we live; in fact there really is “nothing new under the sun.”  Paul addresses this issue in the first two chapters of I Corinthians, how the natural man cannot receive the things of God.  To such a person, the unknown God is just one of thousands of gods that men have set up through the ages as to have something to bow before. 

Romans 1:21-25  “Because that, when they knew God, they  glorified him not as God, neither were thankful,; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heat was darkened.  Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,  And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.  Wherefore, God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:  Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the creator, who is blessed for ever.  Amen.”

There are so many gleanings from this passage of scripture.  Basically, man was designed to have a relationship with God and that relationship was severd in the garden of Eden.  As a result, folks have tried to fill the void with anything and everything imaginable.  Only God can fill the void within a person and only through Jesus Christ can a person have that personal relationship restored.  This is where the foolishness of preaching comes to play.  It doesn’t subscribe to the wisdom of the world, and yet it is the power of God.  It is truth going forth that cannot ever return void.  When a person hears about Jesus Christ paying for their sins with his own blood, they will either accept it or reject it.  In any case, that persons life as been altered and they will be judged according to what they did with the truth on the last day.

The babblings will go on and on in the world.  Men will continue to scan the heavens, looking for the silver bullet that will verify all of their hopes.  Folks will go on being lovers of their own selves and seeking happiness through every form of “ism” that one can imagine.  We are at the time when these things are coming to a final confrontation.

If you’ve ever read the book of Job, you’ll know that God removed the hedge from around him, that his faith might be tried.  (trials of your faith work patience)  There was no physical event that signified the removal of that hedge.  Job didn’t hear a loud bang and say “uh oh, I think the hedge is gone”  Likewise, when the Restrainer is removed, there won’t be a physical monitoring of the event.  Yet it will allow the man of sin to come into power and institute his alternate plan.  Folks who are so opposed to the gospel; who go about placing together extravagant writings as to why they are “athiests and happy to be so” will fall for the strong delusions to come.  Likewise, the half-hearted christian will be totally unprepared to stand in the days to come. 

There is one thing that I really am concerned with and it’s why every saint of God absolutly MUST establish their heart.  The arguements of those that know not God can be very persuasive to one who’se not born again.  In the days to come, the gospel of Jesus christ is going to be characterized by those who reject the truth as completly irrelevant.  Matthew 24:24 tells how deceitful these times will be.   There will be false signs and wonders that will seem to once and for all “disprove” the gospel.  Standing up for Christ in these times will be like one proclaiming that the earth is flat.  If someone came up to you and told you the earth is flat, you would probably think that they were a little “nutty.”  This is the extent that I believe the strong delusions will be. 

We will have to literally stand by faith and have that close personal relationship with Jesus who has promised to be with us always; even unto the end of the world.  This should not be a fearful time if you’re saved, but it should cause all of us to draw as close to the lord as we can.  His grace will be sufficient for any situation that may come our way.  I used to be fearful of such things in earlier years, but now, the peace of God that really does pass all understanding abides in my heart.  Ths same should be true for all who are in Christ. 

Remember Steven in Acts chapter 7.  He was brought in before the council where he testified of Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Ghost.  When he was done testifying, he saw the heavens opened and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.  He didn’t see this when he was testifying or when he was ministering to the saints in chapter six.  But when the time of his departure was at hand, Gods grace was sufficient right on time.  Such is the case for all who love not their own lives unto the death. 

I Corinthians 1:21  “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”

I need to wrap this up.  I believe in my heart that the Restrainer is already beginning to be removed.  Not a direct revelation, just a belief.  Folks are being saved today, but not in the numbers of past generations.  An analogy would be that of a ship, representing the door of grace, having loosed it’s moorings and beginning to pull away from the pier.  A person wanting on board would have an increasingly difficult time jumping the space between the ship and the dock.  This space represents strong delusions.  Any reader of this; if you don’t have a relationship with Jesus, please don’t wait any longer.  You have no idea as to just how dangerous the game is that you’re playing. 

Revelation 22:16-17  “I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches.  I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.  And the Spirit and the bride say, Come.  And let him that heareth say, Come.  And let him that is athirst come.  And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

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8 comments

  1. It is always best to use scripture when preaching or contending with an atheist. But, as always, the help of the Holy Spirit is needed to inform us as to which scripture to use. There can be instances when the wrong scripture is used in a certain situation for a certain person. Only God knows what they’re prepared to hear at that moment.

    For instance: Psalm 14:1 “The fool has said in his heart ‘There is no God.'” Those words may cause someone to reject any information you have to give, while with another person it may be exactly what will open their heart to the the Spirit.

    When discussing things with a science oriented person, I usually take them to Job and ask them how it is that he knew the earth was round, or how rain is formed, way before the finest minds on earth had figured that out.

    It is imperative to know the Word of God, through much study, so that the Spirit can give us the correct scripture, and we will instantly know what to say and why.

    2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to shew yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”


  2. Besides using scripture with an atheist, I would also ask that you consider relationship. Not just telling them, preaching at them and them moving on. If at all possible, be friends. Keep in contact. See how they’re doing, in a caring friendship. Even if it seems to be one sided, keep in contact. I cannot help but think in the long haul, Jesus will speak to that person’s heart through you, as you are faithful and obedient.

    My girlfriend, a dear friend, was not in church for a long time and we ate lunch together almost 3x a week (we worked together in the same office). I could not witness to her. I could NOT; it was weird. Well, I got pregnant, had a baby and left the office. Guess what happened after *I left*? She started going back to church.

    True story–so scripture, yes, and long relationships, YES!


  3. Thanks Chris D I know where you are coming from as my household is unsaved. I pray for them fervently, and strive for opportunities to witness verbally. Most of all, however is to be the best dad and the best husband that I can be. Such is true for any who don’t share in our faith. To love them with the love of Christ. My wife is not an athiest, but is disillusioned by much. This situation keeps me on my knees and ever watchful of my actions 24/7 Its incredible, the way that the Lord uses us, imperfect and striving as we are, to proclaim his truth to a lost world. II Timothy 2:24-25 is a very telling piece of scripture.


  4. Thanks Cumby for pointing out the verse in Job where the curvature of the earth is mentioned. You’re insights are always appreciated, even when my responses are in reverse order. I read through a number of athiest blogs. Some seem to be really contemplative about things; seriously searching, while some are notably hostile to the gospel. Just as no two christians are the same, so too are there no two identical athiests.


  5. Another good post. We are in the beginning of a great time of deception and false signs and wonders, both out side and inside the “churches” or better said, releigious movments that are apostate , and we ned to be so close to Jesus as never before.

    Better a simple man filled with the Holy Ghost walking in the love and power of Jesus Christ than great intellect and education but a darkened heart.

    May the Lord The Lord bless you timbob, as you love, and are a witness to your family. I pray for their salvation, that the Father would draw them…
    Our God is faithful, he loves them and we stand with you in faith , for them to come to know Him!

    Every blessing to you,

    Susan


  6. Hi, I have a bit of spare time and as I have only just recently discovered you, I decided to do some backtracking of your posts…I am kind of not into writing huge posts Just stick to my little sonnets…I used to attend Church every Sunday, a few years ago, prior to this there had been a huge gap with attending…now I have stopped completely…I could not cope with nor understand the falseness of church goers, who would sin all week,and on Sunday ask for forgiveness..I myself have found a closeness to God without Sunday Church…my whole self, my heart belongs to Him..My family believe in God, however He is furtherest from their minds…some friends, give no thought to Him at all, I like to keep my friendships with them because one day they may see and hear him though my actions…I do have one friend who believes I am a heathen because I am a non Church goer, which used to upset me…doesn’t anymore, because God knows the truth…
    I don’t do a great deal of blogging,and try to keep to inspirational ones or those that are Christian, I have to say what you write is very thought provoking……Amen to your words


  7. Good morning Carol, or afternoon in your case. I really like your site. I have a real love for poetic wordings and you are definately gifted. Thanks for dropping in.


  8. Could not sleep tonite-3 am. Lying there and got to thinking about the verse in Cor. 1 “through the foolishness of preaching” and found your site. Carol’s response sort of caught me. I do hope I express my thoughts at this hour in a loving manner. The thought or rather the action to leave the Church based upon the hypocrites there, as we have and will always have that reputation…was first of all understood. Personally, I would leave first of all due to a preacher who cannot preach rather than the congregation, but many of us who grow closer to God seem to find ourselves more contented with His Word, a cup of coffee, a notebook and an astoundingly great time alone with the wonderment of it all. But…….God did not put Christ through all that He had to go through to be the cornerstone and foundation of what? Yes, His Church. Churches do the best that they can even as I left a mega to an assembly of country folk numbering 45. I have learned they are all His New Testament Plan and we who have been called into His family must not fall prey to Satan’s plan to fail to be apart of it. Yes, I prefer my couch or the parks and I know God is there, but if you are seeking the very Heart of God, then you, me and all will need to turn and do it His Way. It is inside of us that is wrong, not in the church. Those people you disagree with or stopped going on the count of…please remember that through that foolishness of one man before us hammering out sermons to those in front of him? Not all those people, though they may claim to know him, do know Him. But they are the ones receiving the preaching which is how God ordained that His Word would travel to our hearts. Be patient with them. They will get it if they keep going. Take that loner attitude that I am so acquainted with and figure out some place in the Church to put it. And when that attitude persist-the only way out of it is to tell God you need to come back and make your heart receptive to His Heart-the Church. Since January I hope this prayer has already been answered. That is all I had to say. Thanks.



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