Summary: This was my Easter Sermon on April 1st. It looks at the how not believing in Jesus Christ and in His resurrection is foolish, and what foolishness really entails.
Having Easter on April 1st, that is, April fools day, is kind of a dream come true. I’m actually living every pastor’s dream, and that is to be able to use the word, “fool,” in a sermon, and not get in trouble for it.
Why is it such a big deal? It’s because of what Jesus says about calling someone a fool.
“But I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment; and whosoever shall say to his brother, ‘Raca,’ shall be in danger of the council; but whosoever shall say, ‘Thou fool,’ shall be in danger of hell fire.” (Matthew 5:22 NKJV)
“Raca” was used as a word of contempt. It means you are calling them a worthless idiot. And taking them to council would be in our day the same as taking someone to court for defamation of character.
And yet as bad as that may be, to call someone a fool, that is calling them stupid, wicked, and vile is far worse and the consequences are far more severe, and that is the danger of being tossed into the fires of hell a result.
Now, maybe you can see why pastors shy away of using contemptible language and calling someone a fool. And this isn’t something that I will do even here. But what I will do is use what the Bible says, and that is we’re all foolish, and that there is no one that is immune from being foolish, or immune to foolishness.
The Bible speaks of a number of things that make a person foolish.
• Not believing in God, or an unbelieving fool. “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” (Psalm 14:1 NKJV) This is why April Fools Day has been suggested as the national holiday for atheists. Let me just say that since science declares that they haven’t discovered all there is to be discovered, then isn’t it foolish to say there is no God.
• Rejecting godly wisdom, or the ignorant fool. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Proverbs 1:7 NKJV)
• Being self-righteous is also foolish. “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise.” (Proverbs 12:15 NKJV)
• It is also foolish to mock sin, that is, think it’s more of a joke and that those who think differently are the fools. “Fools mock at sin, but among the upright there is favor.” (Proverbs 14:9 NKJV)
• Being self-sufficient is also foolish. “Professing to be wise, they became fools.” (Romans 1:22 NKJV)
• And then you have the angry fool. “Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, for anger rests in the bosom of fools.” (Ecclesiastes 7:9 NKJV)
• The slandering fool, “Whoever hides hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander is a fool.” (Proverbs 10:18 NKJV)
• The talking fool, “A fool’s voice is known by his many words.” (Ecclesiastes 5:3 NKJV)
We chuckle at some of these, because we know some people who fit these various descriptions, but more likely we winced at their mention, because we see ourselves in far too many of them.
Let me just say that to be foolish is no joke, because being foolish could very well mean our lives. This was King Saul’s take when once again his life is spared by the very man, David, which he is trying to hunt down and kill.
“I have sinned … I have played the fool and erred exceedingly.” (1 Samuel 26:21 NKJV)
We see this foolishness lived out by King Saul based upon our own definitions above.
First he thought he could go around God’s word and do what he thought was right by offering up a sacrifice to God, when this was only to be done by a priest. Listen to his rationalization. “I felt compelled, and offered a burnt offering.” (1 Samuel 13:12b NKJV)
Next we see him foolishly telling the men not to eat anything until he got his victory, not God’s, and therefore they weren’t able to take advantage of the victory, 1 Samuel 14.
And the coup-de-gras was his disobeying God and then lying about it, 1 Samuel 15.
This whole idea of foolishness costing us our lives is seen in Jesus’ story of the Rich Fool. His ship was coming in, his harvest was well beyond what even he could have expected, and so he was going to expand his operation, but Jesus said, “Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?” (Luke 12:20 NKJV)
It’s not that he was about to get rich; rather it is about how he was going to use his newly acquired wealth, because he left God out of the equation.