Sermons Archive



6 MARCH 1994

By Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor


John 14:6
1 Corinthians 1:18-21
2 Thessalonians 2:7-12

We live in a world that God has created with many things to show us who He really is.

We have the sunlight by day and artificial or reflected sunlight by night.

We have no problem seeing during the day, but at night is becomes more difficult.

Though even on the darkest night, there is usually some light evident somewhere, isn't there?

Now suppose that someone blindfolded us with a very thick black cloth – so thick that no light could penetrate it.

And also suppose that we were led into a dark room – a room so dark that there wasn't even a pinpoint of light visible after we took off our blindfolds.

Now, even in this immense darkness, we would still know about light; and that it still existed outside of the room we found ourselves in, wouldn't we?

Of course we would!

Additionally, we would also know that we were led into this darkened room through a doorway somewhere in that room.

So, if we cautiously move to a wall and then around the perimeter of the room, we will eventually find the doorway and be able to go back out into the light.

This is the state in which true believers often find themselves.

We know the Lord and the inner light He imparts to us, but we often find ourselves in spiritually dark places.

But no matter how spiritually dark a situation may be, inside we know that the light of the Lord is still beyond the problem before us.

Not so with the unbeliever; for the unbeliever is like a person who was born in darkness, as if in that extremely dark room, and who never saw the light – any light.

Thus, when such people in adulthood find themselves in a dark room, such as the one we just talked about, they don't even look for the doorway to the light; for they don't believe it's there and, additionally, most of them don't believe us when we tell them about the door or the light.

This is why Paul said what he did in our preparation verse for this morning, 1 Corinthians 1:18.

18. For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Paul really separates the believers from the non-believers.

He says that anyone who does not believe the word of the cross, the gospel message, is a person who is perishing, meaning that they are already heading toward hell.

And what is even worse, they consider the truth to be foolishness; thus rejecting the very cure that can save their souls.

Listen to what Paul continues to say in verses 19-21:

19. For it is written,
"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
And the cleverness of the clever I will set aside."

20. Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

21. For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.

In other words, if the people of this world think they are so smart and so wise, and that they are absolutely sure that the word of God is unimportant for them, and even foolishness to be involved with it, then by the power of such foolishness, God will save the believers, leaving the so-called wise people to perish in their wisdom.

There is but one way to the Father, and that way is through Jesus Christ (John 14:6):

6. Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.”

So it doesn't matter how many other ways people convince themselves that they can get there, they will still perish in their wisdom.

The problem is that the so-called wise people of this world are listening to the wrong voice – the voice of Satan.

And for some strange reason, they believe him, and not God.

They fail to see the falseness of the spirit of Antichrist, for they are all in and of the same darkness.

Let's turn to another passage of Paul's, 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12, and note how he explains this situation.

7. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work;

The mystery being that the enticement of sin seems to be greater than the enticement of righteousness; yet at the same time, unrighteousness is limited in its effect and is made to be considered as if it’s acceptable.

Why do you think that this happens?

Paul answers us:

only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.

Satan is smart and cunning. If we truly saw the full effect of the world's unrighteousness, many more people would turn away from it, and Satan would lose some of his followers; so he restrains his evilness, and packages it in pretty wrappings.

8. And then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;

9. that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan [meaning the Antichrist and his followers], with all power and signs and false wonders,

10. and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.

And the world continues to disbelieve such warnings, and considers us foolish for believing them and for doing our best to live as Christians.

11. And for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false,

12. in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.

That's a pretty sobering thought, isn't it?

There is a point in time in each evil person's life when the Lord says, "I've had enough!"

Then the Lord allows such people to stew in their own juices, basting themselves with their own wisdom; and without any further inner warning from the Holy Spirit, they die in their sins.

But for those of us who have “eyes to see and ears to hear,” everything is revealed.

We can plainly see the wisdom and majesty of the Lord in all of His creation.

We rejoice in receiving the love and word of the cross, and we no longer wonder at the truth, but only at the extent of God's love.

And we delight in partaking of the bread of life and the cup of salvation, no matter how foolish the rest of the world thinks it is.


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