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THE HEART OF A FOOL - PART II

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord's Day Evening, October 19, 2003


"The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God" (Psalm 14:1). 


This morning I preached from Psalm 53:1,

"The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God" (Psalm 53:1).

Those are exactly the same words that we read in Psalm 14:1. When God says something once, we ought to pay attention. But when God says exactly the same thing twice, in two different places, we should pay even more attention.

The Hebrew word translated "fool" in this verse is "nabal." It means "stupid" and "wicked" (Strong). It is stupid and it is wicked to say in your heart, "There is no God."

I. First, it is stupidly foolish to say this in your heart.

Why is it foolish to think like this? Simply because there is so much evidence for the existence of God!

If you think there is no God, you think that in spite of the witness of God in nature. David said,

"The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork" (Psalm 19:1).

Dr. Ryrie says that "David reflects on the glory of God in natural revelation" in that verse (Ryrie Study Bible, note on Psalm 19:1). Dr. Ryrie says, "Day and night the created universe broadcasts its silent but eloquent symphony to the glory of the Creator" (ibid., note on Psalm 19:1-2). As that great hymn puts it,

O Lord my God! When I in awesome wonder

Consider all the works Thy hands have made,

I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,

Thy power throughout the universe displayed,

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee;

How great Thou art, How great Thou art,

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee,

How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

When through the woods and forest glades I wander

And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;

When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur,

And hear the brook, and feel the gentle breeze,

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee;

How great Thou art, How great Thou art

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee,

How great Thou art, How great Thou art!
      ("How Great Thou Art" by Carl Boberg,
         translated from Swedish by S. K. Hine, 1948).

"The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God" (Psalm 14:1).

If you think there is no God, you think that in spite of the witness of God in nature.

But you may also think that in spite of the witness of your own conscience. The Bible speaks of

"The work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another" (Romans 2:15).

Your own conscience bears witness to God. That's why you feel bad inside when you do wrong. That's why you feel good inside when you come to church. God is speaking to you through your conscience.

To be sure, the human conscience has been marred by sin. It does not work as it should. But nature too has been ruined by sin. Yet God still shows Himself through the sin-wrecked creation - and God still speaks through sin-wrecked consciences. Your very conscience, deep down inside of you, tell you that there is a God who judges sin and calls you to righteousness.

"The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God" (Psalm 14:1).

You must stifle and drown the voice of your very conscience to get away from God! If you think there is no God, you must think that in spite of the witness of your conscience.

Yet again, it is foolish to say in your heart that there is no God in spite of the witness of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said,

"When he [the Holy Spirit] is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment; Of sin, because they believe not on me" (John 16:8-9).

The  Holy  Spirit  Himself  bears  witness.  Jesus  said  that  "He  shall  testify  of  me"  (John 15:26).

There is a feeling inside your heart that you are a sinner, and that you need Christ to save you. That is the Holy Spirit of God reproving you of sin and testifying of Christ. You must not resist the Holy Spirit. You must believe in Christ while the Spirit of God is speaking to your heart. The Bible says,

"Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near" (Isaiah 55:6).

That's why you need to come to Christ now, while "he is near." You may never have another time quite like this. The Bible says,

"To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts"
   (Hebrews 3:7-8).

Don't harden your heart. Tonight, "if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts." "Seek ye the Lord while he may be found." Do it tonight! Don't wait! Don't put it off! Come to Christ while the Holy Spirit is witnessing to your heart!

Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling, Calling for you and for me;
Though we have sinned, He has mercy and pardon, Pardon for you and for me.
Come home, come home, Ye who are weary, come home;
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling, Calling, O sinner, come home!
     ("Softly and Tenderly" by Will L. Thompson, 1847-1909).

"The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God" (Psalm 14:1).

It is stupid and foolish to say this in your heart!

The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) was the first intellectual to say in a modern way that "God is dead." Nietzsche understood very well where the "death of God" left him - in an empty, sterile world - without hope. Nietzsche went insane searching for meaning in life without God. The reason more people don't go insane living without God is because they are not as honest with themselves as Nietzsche was. As an old rock song put it, "I can't live in a world without love." I can't live in a world without God! Come to Christ tonight and He will save you, your sins will be forgiven, and you will have eternal life!

"The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God" (Psalm 14:1).

It is stupid foolishness to say that in your heart!

The Hebrew word translated "fool" in this verse means "stupid" and "wicked" (Strong).

II. Second, it is wicked to say this in your heart.

"The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God" (Psalm 14:1).

The person who thinks that does so because he wants an excuse to live a sinful life. That's why David said, later in Psalm 14,

"They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one" (Psalm 14:3).

People who reject or neglect the reality of God do so because they want to live ungodly lives.

The Apostle Paul presented the gospel of Christ to King Agrippa. Agrippa almost became a Christian - but he resisted God. He said to Paul,

"Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian" (Acts 26:28).

He was almost convinced to become a Christian. But he held back. He was never saved. He  died  without  Christ.   He  has  been  separated  from  God  in  the  fire  of  Hell  for  centuries  now.

"Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian."

"Almost persuaded" now to believe;

"Almost persuaded" Christ to receive;

"Almost" cannot avail; "Almost is but to fail:

Sad, sad, that bitter wail, "Almost" - but lost.
    ("Almost Persuaded" by Philip P. Bliss, 1838-1876).

What keeps people from becoming real Christians? What keeps you from coming to Christ for salvation?

Is it because you want an excuse for living a godless life? Is it because you want to be "free" from the yoke of Christ? Jesus said

"My yoke is easy, and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:30).

If you come to Christ you will find that true. It is no great burden to be in church when the doors are open. Sure, it may be a new way to live, but it is a pleasant way to live. I spent the first 13 years of my life without ever entering the door of a Baptist church. Next year I will have been a Baptist for 50 years. I have found it an easy and pleasant way to live. And so will you! His "yoke is easy, and [His] burden is light." Do not let this new way of living keep you from Christ! Come joyfully into the full program of the local church, and don't ever look back.

The children of Israel wanted to go back to Egypt. They said,

"We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick" (Numbers 11:5).

They remembered the tasty food they had in Egypt, but they forgot that

"The Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour: And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage"
      (Exodus 1:13-14).

If you want to be a Christian, you must not be like them. When Satan comes and reminds you of "the pleasures of sin for a season" (Hebrews 11:25), you should also remember that the Devil made you serve him with greater rigor than the Pharaoh of Egypt! Remember the unpleasantness of sin. Remember the loneliness and heartache of your former life without God. The "pleasures of sin" are only "for a season." They don't last. In the end you will have a mouthful of gravel and a ruined life. Come quickly to Christ, and be saved. Come joyfully into the local church and live for God. Do not let wicked thoughts of leaving the Christian life turn you into a God-denying fool.

"The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God" (Psalm 14:1).

It is wicked to run away from God. Don't do it! Surrender your life to Christ - and do not turn back.

Jesus said,

"Remember Lot's wife. Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it" (Luke 17:32-33).

Lot's wife started to follow him out of the wicked city. But she thought of all the wonderful things she had back there, and the enjoyment of them. She turned back toward the sinful city. The fiery brimstone fell on her and burned her alive. The Bible says,

"But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt" (Genesis 19:26).

She wanted to save her old way of life - but she lost it. And Jesus said, "Whoseover shall lose his life shall preserve it." If you lose your old way of life, your soul will be saved for all eternity. But if you go back to your old life, you will lose your precious soul in the fire of eternal damnation.

"Remember Lot's wife." Do not let the thought of leaving the local church, and going back to a life of sin, keep you from finding Christ. Don't do it! Press on until you find Christ. And then press on until you cross the river, and enter Heaven itself - and your journey is complete!

I am bound for the promised land, I am bound for the promised land,
Oh, who will come and go with me, I am bound for the promised land.
   ("On Jordan's Stormy Banks" by Samuel Stennett, 1727-1795).


The Christian life is a new way of living. Come quickly to Christ and be saved. Come joyfully into the local church and live for God. Do not let wicked thoughts of leaving the Christian life turn you into a God-denying fool.

"The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God" (Psalm 14:1).

Do not let unbelieving relatives or friends turn you away from God. Jesus said,

"A man's foes shall be they of his own household"
   (Matthew 10:36).

When you become interested in Christ, your own relatives who are Catholics, Buddhists, or of other religions, may try to persuade you to go back to their way of living. Pressure like this often comes to those who are thinking about becoming Christians.

Non-Christian "friends" often try to get you to go back to their sinful life-style. You must resist the pressure to conform to their wickedness. The Bible says,

"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers"
    (II Corinthians 6:14).

"Come out from among them, and be ye separate"
     (II Corinthians 6:17).

Do not let non-Christian "friends" pull you away from finding Christ! Many people are held back from God by the fear of man. Do not be afraid of what others think of you. They may say that you are becoming "too religious" or that you are becoming "a fanatic." Let them say it. Nearly all true Christians have had people say these things to them. Remember the old saying, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me." Do not be held back from God by fearing what others may think.

And then, many people hold back from believing in God, and trusting Christ, because they are looking for a certain emotion or "feeling." They have a preconceived idea that they must have a certain feeling to prove that there is a God. They think they must feel a certain way to be sure they have come to Christ. This is really very foolish. Emotions and feelings are never reliable. Faith in Christ goes beyond feelings. You may feel "bad" one minute and "good" the next minute! This is no proof of God at all. Come to Christ without any feeling and He will save you from sin. I don't think that the thief who was crucified next to Christ had any feelings, except for the pain of the nails in his hands and feet. But he trusted Christ anyway. He said, very simply,

"Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom"
     (Luke 23:42).

And Jesus told him,

"To day shalt thou be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:43).

Simple trust in Jesus saved him, and you can be saved the same way.

"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life" (John 3:36).

The only feeling you should have is the feeling that you are guilty of sin. If you feel guilty of sin, even a little guilty, come to Christ and He will save you.

"The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God" (Psalm 14:1).

Do not be a fool any longer! Come with simple faith to Jesus, the Son of God, and He will wash away your sins with His Blood, and save your soul.

Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling, Calling for you and for me;
Though we have sinned, He has mercy and pardon, Pardon for you and for me.
Come home, come home, Ye who are weary, come home;
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling, Calling, O sinner, come home!
    ("Softly and Tenderly" by Will L. Thompson, 1847-1909).


(END OF SERMON)

Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Psalm 14:1-7.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:

"How Great Thou Art" (by Carl Boberg,
      translated from Swedish by S. K. Hine, 1948)/
"Almost Persuaded" (by Philip P. Bliss, 1838-1876).

THE OUTLINE OF

THE HEART OF A FOOL - PART II

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

 

"The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God" (Psalm 14:1).

(Psalm 53:1)

I.   It is stupidly foolish to say this in your heart, Psalm 19:1;
Romans 2:15; John 16:8-9; 15:26; Isaiah 55:6; Hebrews 3:7-8.

II.  It is wicked to say this in your heart, Psalm 14:3; Acts 26:28;
Matthew 11:30; Numbers 11:5; Exodus 1:13-14;
Hebrews 11:25; Luke 17:32-33; Genesis 19:26; Matthew 10:36;
II Corinthians 6:14, 17; Luke 23:42-43; John 3:36.

You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
at www.rlhymersjr.com. Click on "Sermon Manuscripts."