LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT MEETING (AUGUST 18, 2020)
THE CHALLENGING MINISTRY OF TRANSFORMING FOOLS FOR HEAVEN
Psalms 14,15 & 53
Ministers and preachers have the challenging ministry of transforming people (fools) for heaven. “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, THERE IS NONE THAT DOETH GOOD”. This is another way of saying ‘all have sinned and come short of the glory of God’. If all are fools and show foolishness by denying God, “who [then] shall abide in [His] tabernacle? who shall dwell in [His] holy hill?”
POINT ONE:THE PROFESSION OF THE GODLESS FOOL
The contents of Psalm 14 reveal the profession of the fool, which include his;
- Perversion (verse 1),
- Passivity (verse 2),
- Pollution (verse 3),
- Prayerlessness (verse 4),
- Panic (verse 5),
- Practice (verse 6) and
- Prevention from destroying the people of God (verse 7).
(i). The Depravity and Degeneration of Fools
Psalm 14:1; Proverbs 19:2,3; Romans 1:19-22,28; 1 Corinthians 2:14
“The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good”. Their hearts are depraved, deadened and darkened by sin. They are degenerates because they do not have salvation. Fools do not have the knowledge of God. Though they see His manifest works and providence, they do not perceive Him. Thus, they deny His existence, presence and power. The reason for the denial is that “they did not like to retain God in their knowledge”. When they think about His personality, purity and the punishment He would bring on them, they prefer to block Him out of their minds. Therefore, “God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient”.
(ii). The Delusion and Destructiveness of Fools
Psalm 14:1-5; 52:1-5; Jeremiah 17:9-11; Romans 3:10-19,23
Fools are people who do not have God in their thoughts, mind, will and action. They are deluded and think there is no God. Therefore, they think there is no judgment day or repercussion for their actions. Although they choose to live the way they like, “Destruction and misery are in their ways”. They do not know the way of peace because they reject the God of peace, the peace of God, the Prince of peace and the Holy Spirit who brings us into the kingdom of God.
(iii). The Destiny and Damnation of Fools
2 Samuel 3:33; 1 Samuel 25:25a,37,38; Luke 12:16-20; Acts 12:21-23; Matthew 23:17,19,28,33
Everyone who thinks and lives like a fool will die “as a fool dieth”. Although fools would not acknowledge God, He dictates and controls their destiny. He has the final say about their lives. The Pharisees never thought they were foolish. But Jesus referred to them as “fools” who are spiritually “blind” because God was not really in their minds. Those who continue like them until the end of their lives cannot “escape the damnation of hell”.
POINT TWO: THE PERCEPTION OF GOD’S FATHOMLESSNESS
God is great, eternal and fathomless. This Psalm reveals;
- The personality of God (verse 1; John 4:24; Luke 24:39) – He is a Spirit, and fools refute His existence because they cannot see Him;
- The perception of God (verse 2) – He sees, understands and perceive everything;
- The prescience of God (verse 3) – that is, the foreknowledge of God about all things and all men;
- The patience of God (verse 4; Ecclesiastes 8:11,12) – He patiently waits for sinners to repent;
- The power of God (verse 5a); He has power to scatter and destroy the enemies of His people;
- The preeminence of God (verse 5b) – He has the ability to overcome or judge anyone;
- The performance of God (verse 6) –He is able to grant an individual, a family, a nation and the whole church victory, and deliver from captivity.
(i). The Divinity and Distinctions of God
Psalm 53:2; Daniel 2:18-22,28,44; Hebrews 9:24; 1 Peter 3:22; Revelation 11:3,13
God exists and He is eternal. He is divine and resides in heaven. The righteous pray to the God of heaven. He is our Creator, Father and Redeemer. Those who have known Him through Christ will live forever with Him in heaven. He is Almighty, Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Omniscient; He is good, just and faithful – a covenant-keeping God; He is righteous and holy.
(ii). The Discernment and Discovery of God
Psalm 53:2-4; 139:1-12,23,24; Hebrews 4:13; Revelation 20:12
God discerns. He sees and knows everyone, and takes record of what we do. Therefore, our prayer should be, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting”.
(iii). Their Dispersion and Our Deliverance by God
Psalms 53:5; 92:7-9; Zechariah 7:12-14; Psalm 53:6; Jeremiah 29:11-14; Ephesians 4:8,11-13
The righteous acknowledge and pray to God in their difficulty, affliction or persecution and He comes to their aid. Whilst fools are dispersed, God delivers His own, re-gathers and help them recover everything they had lost.
POINT THREE:OUR PREPARATION FOR THE GLORIOUS FUTURE
Ministers of God must not degrade or cast aspersions on the fool. Rather, we are to persuade them that God exists and turn them from their folly unto Him. We should make them to walk in the way of the wise so that they will eventually get to heaven.
Psalm 15 contains,
- A pertinent question (verse 1);
- The prevailing quest (verse 1);
- The powerful quickening (verse 2);
- The practical qualification (verse 2);
- Preventing quackery (verse 3);
- Preserved, pure quality (verse 4);
- Peaceful, perpetual, personal quietude (verse 5).
In these five verses are profitable questionnaire we must use as checklist in our preparation for a glorious future. There are three things to note:
(i). The Pureness and Perfection of His Heavenly Habitation
Psalm 15:1; Deuteronomy 26:15a; 2 Chronicles 30:27; Revelation 21:2,10,11,18,21-27
Heaven is a “holy hill” that is pure, perfect and undefiled. “And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, ormaketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life”.
(ii). The Permeation of Purity in Holy Hearts
Psalms 15:2-5a; 24:3,4; Matthew 5:6-10; 1 Peter 1:14-19; 1 John 3:1-3,8-10
Righteousness and purity permeates the heart of a saved, sanctified believer who is preparing to get to heaven. Thus, he lives an upright life and possesses the nature of Christ. We must be pardoned, pure and have the power of the Holy Ghost for effective and fruitful service. To get to heaven, purity of heart is a necessity. “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”
(iii). The Purposefulness and Perseverance of Hopeful Heirs
Psalm 15:5b; Acts 11:23; 1 Peter 1:3-5; 2 Peter 1:3-7,10,11; 3:17
Believers are joint-heirs with Christ who would inherit the kingdom of God. Therefore, we must resolve to do away with anything that may turn us from the path that leads to heaven. It takes “purpose of heart” to be saved, sanctified, holy and prepared for heaven. To get to heaven, we must persevere and remain steadfast until the final day. As we await the imminent return of our Lord, we must reach out to people in our communities and bring them into the Kingdom.