The Man God Called A Fool
But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own all the things you have prepared?’
In this passage of Scripture, Jesus tells the parable of a rich man who had an exceeding abundant harvest. The harvest was so fruitful that his barn was not large enough to store the crops, so he decided to build a larger storehouse to hold his wealth. Jesus explains that the rich man chose to “take his life easy; eat drink and be merry”(Luke 12:19).
The parable says that very night would be the end of the man’s life. And while the man had made plans to build a new storehouse for his bountiful crop, he had failed to secure his salvation. God did not call this man a fool because he was wealthy or because he had made plans to store his harvest; God called the man a fool because he found security in earthly prosperity instead of eternal security. The man’s success had blinded him to the need for God in his life. You see, this man was thinking like the world thinks. He saw both his security and he worth in the things he had accumulated.
The Bible tells us that we are not to store up treasure on earth, but that we are to secure our treasure in heaven.(Matthew 6:19-20) So many times we can get caught up in what we think God forbids us to have, seeing God as some kind of killjoy who wants us to go without, when the reality is that He desires for us to prioritize our lives in such a way that we may have eternal significance.
Salvation is from our side a choice; from the divine side it is a seizing upon, an apprehending, a conquest by the Most High God. Our accepting and willing are reactions rather than actions.
In this same teaching Jesus asked another important question, “What would a man give in exchange for his soul?” What Jesus is saying is that we have to choose between the things of God and the things of this world. This is not that we live lives of poverty and never enjoy any of the blessings we can have in this world. As a matter of fact, God gave to Adam everything He had created. Furthermore we read that Abraham, Solomon, and many others possessed great wealth and possessions. Some read Luke 12 and think that the man’s failure was in building bigger. What we fail to realize is that you can be poor in the things of this world and still neglect taking care of your soul. What Jesus is teaching us is to consider the value of our souls and to make sure we provide for them in eternity.
Job tells us that we came into the world with nothing and we will leave it with nothing. All our accomplishments, all that we have gained, whether wealth or position or power will be lost when we die. Oh there will be those who may remember or we may leave behind things for others to use and enjoy, but for us their value ends with the grave. How sad it will be for those who had time for everything else but didn’t take time to prepare for eternity.
It is important for us to know that eternity is and that there are only two choices: heaven or hell. What we do in this life counts for there is no rewind and replay. Reincarnation is a myth and we only have one life to live and how it is spent will follow us into eternity. When Jesus asks us what would we give up for our souls, we ought to consider carefully how we will answer.
One of the deceits of the devil is procrastination. He never tries to talk us out of being saved, he just convinces us to put it off. Like the casino, he knows the odds are in his favor and at the end of the game he us usually wins more times than not. This is why Isaiah says we are to proclaim the day of the Lord is now and why the Bible teaches that now is the time for salvation. Satan works to get us so busy with all the things of the world- including good ones that we forget to care for our souls. Distractions come in all forms and not all of them are bad. Satan works to keep us focused on temporal things-temporary things at the expense of our eternal souls.
So what about you? Have you been born again? Have you personally received Christ as your Savior? Do you know that your name has been written in the Lamb’s Book of Life? What value have you placed on your soul?
The Apostle Paul stood before King Agrippa and preached the gospel of Christ. His passion and his words moved the king to a point of decision. As the king sat there he weighed his position, power and wealth against becoming a Christian. I think he realized that there would be a cost to following Christ. Standing before him was a man who had given up everything and was now on his way to Rome to be tried as a prisoner. After some moments of thought, Agrippa responds with one of the saddest sentences a man could speak, “Almost you persuade me.” I wonder how many will stand before Christ on that day of judgement and their response will be “almost, almost but lost.”
I urge us today, even those who are Christian, that we will guard our souls for the thief is waiting to “steal, kill, and destroy.” Our only security is to commit our selves, all we are, and all we have to Christ for He alone can keep our souls unto that day. I urge us to have a serious conversation with those we know and love about their eternal destiny and condition of their souls. May it be so that we all choose our souls over the trappings of this world.
I think that if we could get a tiny glimpse of heaven or experience the brush of the fingertips of the Holy Spirit, or hear the whisper of the voice of God, perhaps we would see the true value of our souls. You see God thought your soul was so valuable that He gave up His Son for it. The Son believed your soul was so valuable that He died for it. Can you believe that it’s so valuable that you need to give it to God for safekeeping? I truly hope so!
Dr. John Thompson