Scripture Testimony on Fools

(From the New Testament) (Concluded from p. 23.)
A BELIEVER without wisdom.—There is another word rendered "fool" which occurs but once in the New Testament. We find it in the exhortation, "See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools" (or as those without wisdom), "but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise" (or without mind), "but understanding what the will of the Lord is." (Eph. 5:15-1715See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. (Ephesians 5:15‑17).) These solemn words are addressed to God's own people, and a dreadful thing it is for believers to be "as fools" in the sense of this exhortation.
Suppose a man on New Year's Day had one sovereign given him for each of the ten hours of the day during the year-three thousand six hundred and fifty pounds in all, and that he was told not one penny more should he have during that year. How devoid of wisdom would he be if, seating himself by the river's side, he should take out his wealth and then throw the sovereigns one by one into the water. If he thus flung them away we might well say to him, "Dispose of your means not as a fool, but as a wise man!" Let us turn these three thousand six hundred and fifty sovereigns into hours, and we shall see that each of us during the last twelve months has had at least that number of working hours entrusted to him. How have we spent them? How many a golden hour has been foolishly flung into the River of Time by being wasted and idled away! "Redeeming the time." Save every moment, use each passing hour for God, because the days are evil. Has this been true of us? Ah! we are too much like the spendthrift, flinging his wealth into the river. It will be a bitter thing to come to the end of our life, and to feel we have wasted it. Oh, to be wise! We shall have to give an account for each hour of our lives. How are we spending the present moment? We appeal solely to God's children. Are we thinking for, working for, living for eternity? Every hour spent, save at our Lord's bidding, is misspent. Every hour spent, save in wise and willing obedience to His will concerning us, is a mistake for eternity. Christian, you often pity the folly of the man of wisdom and of wealth who thinks and works for time only; see then to it that you spend your golden hours for glory and for God.
The fool who becomes wise.—With these solemn warnings before us against folly, we find God bidding His people become fools; and we turn now again to the word "fool" used, broadly speaking, in the way we use it in English; that is, as a term of reproach and contempt. But if God so bid us become fools, need we say it is not in the sense of folly in His sight; no, but folly in the sight of men. Fellow Christian, "The foolishness of God is wiser than men." (1 Cor. 1:2525Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. (1 Corinthians 1:25).) What God esteems, man despises; what God magnifies, man contemns.
“If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise," is a pungent word to each of us. There is no mode of learning true wisdom more difficult than that of unlearning what we think is wisdom. How many a Christian remains but a babe in the knowledge of God, because he abides wise in the wisdom of this world. But the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God, and therefore if what we regard to be wisdom, is really but foolishness with God, how can we get on? And the more learned a man is, the more difficult it is for him to become like a little child.
A fool for Christ's sake.—For Christ's sake the apostle and his companions were fools. (1 Cor. 4:1010We are fools for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honorable, but we are despised. (1 Corinthians 4:10).) To be hungry, to be buffeted, to be defamed and despised, was but the path of a fool in the eyes of the world. To be beaten with rods, to be imprisoned, to be stoned, and to suffer countless ills for an end unseen (save to faith), was, in the eyes of worldly Christians, want of common sense. But for Christ's sake the apostle was gladly a fool. Would to God there were many such fools for Christ's sake! Such living examples are unanswerable.
We cannot have the world's wisdom and God's wisdom. They cannot co-exist in the soul. "For Christ's sake" is to the world madness. To seek out the poor and the sick, to care for the dying, to spend and be spent for souls, is to the world infatuation, and a career of fanaticism. Be it so; and God grant a great increase to the number of such infatuated people. To live for the unseen, to have the soul ahead of time, to dwell in the realities of eternity, to have Christ as our object, is sheer nonsense to the world; yet this alone is wisdom, wealth, and bliss. Gad give each of us, who are Christ's, to be "fools for Christ's sake." Can we wish each other a better wish than this?
Foolish questions.—Ere closing this paper we must add the warning, which comes at the end of the Apostle Paul's writings to us, as to occupation with foolish questions, for there is nothing more detrimental to spiritual growth than this folly. That man who builds on the sand is a fool for eternity, and that saint who occupies his mind with foolish questions is a fool in the light of eternity. Satan at this day has decoyed hundreds of saints from their real wisdom, which is living for God and eternity, by getting their minds to be full of questions about things which are the pet controversies of the hour. Dear young Christian, if you had lived thirty years on this earth as a believer, you would know that every few years Satan raises up a fresh crop of foolish questions to keep God's saints from doing God's work. When these foolish and unlearned questions, occupation with which has completely spoiled so many a Christian, are worn out, Satan has another crop ready to keep people's minds going. Keep clear of all such questions, which only gender strifes, and be a fool yourself for Christ's sake. Do not shrink from the shame of having your friends call you foolish for not knowing all the things with which they are occupied.
Be a fool for Christ's sake; be out of the fashion of the hour for His sake; be careful to have His Name and glory ever before you. Busy yourself with God's work, with the souls of men, with God's Book, and God's glory. Serve God, live with God. Be wise for eternity!