"FOOLS FOR CHRIST"
I. PEOPLE FOR VARIOUS REASONS OFTEN MAKE FOOLS OF THEMSELVES.
A. Have you ever watched a person who was drunk make a fool of themselves?
1. They think that everyone is laughing with them when in reality they are laughing at them.
2. They will do things under the influence of alcohol that they would never think of doing if they were sober.
3. When told the next day what they had done, they get very embarrassed.
4. The god of drunkenness was Bacchus, so people are willing to be fools for Bacchus.
B. People have done foolish things for money.
1. I think of how people are willing to risk their lives for money.
2. Remember the name Evel Canevil.
3. Many have lost their lives doing foolhardy things just on a dare.
4. The god of money is Mammon, so people are willing to be fools for Mammon.
C. I think of the foolish things that people often do for pleasure.
1. Bungee jumping. I believe that it must be a great thrill, but how many have been killed in bungee jumping accidents.
2. People foolishly destroy their lives ingesting drugs for the thrill that they get.
3. The God of pleasure is Molech, so people are willing to be fools for Molech.
D. No one seems to pay too much attention to the folly of risking your life for these things. Some would even admire your courage, or your daring.
E. Let someone talk about being a fool for Christ and all kinds of voices are raised in alarm and scorn.
II. WHY WERE THE APOSTLES CONSIDERED FOOLS FOR CHRIST?
A. Because they were willing to give their lives for Christ.
1. Paul speaks of being appointed unto death.
2. It is true that the early Apostles with the exception of John all gave their lives for their testimony of Christ.
3. Through the centuries millions have followed their example and have given their lives for Jesus Christ.
4. Today in Muslim countries ministers are giving their lives for Jesus Christ.
5. In China many Christians suffer imprisonment or the confiscation of all their belongings for Jesus Christ.
B. The world looks at them and calls them fools.
1. They consider it foolish to give up everything for Christ.
2. To go to prison or go to death for the sake of Jesus Christ is considered sheer folly.
3. But Jesus said,
And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.
4. He knew that to follow Him would bring the animosity of the world.
5. Why is it that you can follow any other religious system and no one seems to mind? You are not considered a fool or looked down on.
a. In our public schools you can talk about Buddha, or Confucius, or Muhhamad and there is no reprimand, but talk about Jesus Christ and the A.C.L.U. is there ready to file suit.
b. You can become a citizen in Israel if you are a Muslim, or an atheist, but if you are a Christian you will be denied citizenship though both of your parents are of Jewish extraction.
c. Satan who is the god of and in control of this world is not concerned about the other religions for they are false. He has no problem with them. It is the truth that riles him.
C. I think of Jim Elliot the missionary who with his friends felt called to take the gospel to one of the most primitive tribes in the world, the Auca Indians.
1. The Auca's were known to kill all outsiders, especially white people.
2. Jim who turned down a Professorship to teach Philosophy at a Washington State University went down to the jungles of South America to work for Jesus Christ. He and his friends heard about this savage tribe who had never heard of Jesus and decided to share the gospel, with them.
3. Jim was corresponding with a friend in the U.S. and telling him of the elaborate plans to go into the Auca country to share the gospel. His friend wrote to Him and said, "Jim you are a fool to try to reach those savages."
4. Jim wrote his friend back, "No man is a fool to give up that which he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose."
D. Paul said that they were made a spectacle to the world and angels and men.
1. The world mastered by Satan hated Paul. He was beaten, imprisoned, stoned, ultimately beheaded for the cause of Christ.
a. The world would say that he was a fool.
b. But no man is a fool to give up that which he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.
2. A spectacle to angels.
a. The Bible tells us that the angels desire to look into the things of the gospel.
b. I think the angels are cheering us on whenever we step out in faith to be a fool for Christ.
3. A spectacle to men. Sometimes we find that even our own family do not understand us. They cannot understand our faith and trust in Jesus Christ. They call us fools.
a. Give your life in the service of your country and you are called a hero.
b. Give your life for the cause of Jesus Christ, and you are called a fool.
E. If loving Jesus with all of my heart makes me a fool, then I am a fool.
F. If desiring to serve Jesus with everything that I am, then I am a fool.
G. If trusting Jesus for everything makes me a fool, then I am a fool.
H. I am not ashamed of being a fool for Christ, I am proud of being a fool for Christ.
I. I used to have a man who was a great inspiration to me say, "Everyone is a fool for someone, you might as well be a fool for Christ." He was always challenging us to be daring in our ventures in faith, and to step out in faith for Jesus. "Be a fool for Christ." Though he long ago went to be with Christ, his words still ring in my ears.
III. IF YOU NEVER DO ANYTHING FOR JESUS CHRIST, NEVER WITNESS, NEVER GIVE SACRIFICIALLY, NEVER SPEAK OUT AGAINST SIN, YOU CAN BE EXCEPTED BY THE WORLD.
A. Paul was sort of rebuking them when he said, "We are fools for but you are wise. They had the type of Christianity that seeks to adapt to the world but does not seek to convert the world."
1. It is quite possible that your friends in school do not even know that you are a Christian.
2. Or your associates at work do not know that you are a follower of Jesus Christ.
3. They may just look at you as a good moral man or woman.
B. Paul said, "We are weak, but you are strong."
1. You consider us sort of weak in that we have to share our faith.
2. You are strong, you have such great faith, you don't have to share it.
C. "You are honorable, we are despised."
1. This is the attitude the world takes toward us.
D. Paul then lists the things that he endured for the cause of Christ.
1. Even to this present hour, we hunger and thirst.
2. We are naked and buffeted.
3. We have no certain dwelling place.
4. We labor working with our own hands.
E. He speaks of the attitude of the world toward him.
1. Being reviled, we bless.
2. Being persecuted, we suffer it.
3. Being defamed, we intreat.
4. We are made the filth and offscouring of the world.
F. Having said all of these things Paul then asks them to follow him.
1. What have you given up for Christ lately?
2. What sacrifices have you made?
3. What persecutions have you endured for your faith?
G. Last week we talked of carnal Christians, babes in Christ, and I think of what a baby I am.