Sermons

Summary: Building on the Right Foundation, Being God's Temple, Our Work for the Kingdom

PAUL: A FOOL FOR CHRIST - Becoming a Fool

April 15, 2018

1 Corinthians 3:18 (p. 794)

Introduction:

There was a time, right before I left Louisville to come to Lexington I was meeting with a young man named Nick at Starbucks every week…He was dating my best friend’s daughter and Nick was a committed atheist. He would call himself an agnostic… “saying I just don’t know.” But he had a serious anger towards God. Nick had grown up in a rigid legalistic religious home…He’d been constantly reminded of Hell, but shown very little love and grace…He’d been baptized when he was 11, but only out of extreme coercion from his grandfather, a preacher. When Nick was 18 he left home for college…and he ran as far from those Hell fire and brimstone roots as he could get.

He loved to meet and talk about religion and the Bible, but mostly it was to argue and defend his secular point of view. Nick was smart…He liked to debate. He would tell me the most influential book he’d ever read was called, “The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins.

I made a deal with Nick that I’d read it…if he’d read Josh McDowell’s “Evidence that Demands a Verdict.”

I kept my end of the bargain…Here is how this book and it’s author are promoted on Amazon:

A preeminent scientist - and the world’s most prominent atheist - asserts the irrationality of belief in God and the grievous harm religion has inflicted on society, from the Crusades to 9/11.

With rigor and wit, Dawkins examines God in all his forms, from the sex-obsessed tyrant of the Old Testament to the more benign (but still illogical) Celestial Watchmaker favored by some Enlightenment thinkers. He eviscerates the major arguments for religion and demonstrates the supreme improbability of a supreme being. He shows how religion fuels war, foments bigotry, and abuses children, buttressing his points with historical and contemporary evidence. The God Delusion makes a compelling case that belief in God is not just wrong but potentially deadly. It also offers exhilarating insight into the advantages of atheism to the individual and society, not the least of which is a clearer, truer appreciation of the universe’s wonders than any faith could ever muster.

This book is 464 pages that focuses mainly on why God cannot exist and why Evolution or Natural Selection is a much more rational answer to human existence.

This “preeminent” scientist spends his life and work trying to intellectually prove that God doesn’t exist…That God is the delusion of the masses.

My young friend Nick did not want to believe in a God who could send people to Hell…so he chose the wisdom of Richard Dawkins and Stephen Hawkings who said,

“What I have done is to show that it is possible for the way the universe began to be determined by the laws of science. In that case, it would be necessary to appeal to God to decide how the universe began. This doesn’t prove that there is no God, only that God is not necessary.”

You see both science and faith require a belief system in things we cannot completely prove…the difference…and it’s not intellectual…is that one requires a relationship…If we are accidents of science I am accountable only to myself…If I am created by God then I have been created for a purpose…And we know that purpose is to have a relationship with Him.

No wonder the Apostle Paul writes: “Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may be wise.” (1 Cor. 3:18)

We do not need to put our intelligence on the shelf when it comes to loving God and following Christ, but God’s Word clearly says there is a difference between knowledge and wisdom.

I. KNOWLEDGE WITHOUT GOD MAKES A PERSON ARROGANT

Clearly Richard Dawkins and Stephen Hawkings are learned and intelligent men. My young friend Nick was sharp as a tack…but their knowledge was used as a rejection of God and His Word, not a foundation for a relationship.

The Apostle Paul…who studied under Gamaliel, and other great teachers of his day said, “The Wisdom of this World is foolishness in God’s sight. God catches the wise in their craftiness. The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise are futile.” (1 Cor. 3:19-20)

Paul wrote to these same Corinthians…some who had extensive knowledge about the Law of Moses…and said, “We all possess knowledge, but knowledege puffs up while love builds up. Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know. But whoever loves God is known by God.” (1 Cor. 8:1-3)

Knowledge without discernment of the Holy Spirit equals a secular view of everything including creation…watch this short interview between Ben Stein and the scientist and author we mentioned before, Richard Dawkins.

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