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January 11, 2022 12:01 am
Greed is more than an inordinate love for wealth. Most fundamentally, it is a lack of gratitude to God. Today, R.C. Sproul voices Jesus' warning in His parable of the rich fool.
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Jesus told a parable about a man who had a bumper crop a banner year but instead of blessing others with his wealth he had something else in mind. How can I find a place to store up all of this wealth that I've just received. I'm going to tear down my barns and build bigger bar. The last thing that was in his mind.
Ladies and gentlemen was thanking God when examining the parables of Jesus this week on Renewing Your Mind and you could be with us this particular parable is warning against greed. But there is more we can learn to join Dr. RC Sproul as he looks deeper into the parable of the rich fool. If you have your Bible turn to Luke chapter 12 RC will begin reading at verse 13. In this session were going to look at the parable of Jesus that is called the parable of the rich fool and we find it in the 12th chapter of Luke's gospel beginning in verse 13 read the parable. It's a brief one and then comment on it than one from the crowd said to him, teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me but he said to him man who made me judge or an arbitrator over you and he said to them, take heed and beware of covetousness for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses. Then he spoke a parable to them, saying, the ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully and the thought within himself, saying, what shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops so I said I will do this, I will pull down my barns and build greater and there I will store all my crops and my goods but I will say to my soul. So you have many goods laid up for many years.
Take your E's eat, drink and be merry.
God said to him, full this night your soul will be required of you, then whose will those things be what you have provided so is he who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God… Something of a hard-hitting parable that comes to us from the lips of Jesus. It was occasioned by this young man who approached him, saying, teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me according to the law of Deuteronomy in the Old Testament if there was a dispute over the division of an inheritance, a judgment on such a matter could be made to by a rabbi who in that case would serve both as a teacher and as an attorney and on this occasion, this young man comes to Jesus asking Jesus to arbitrate his situation and act in this case not as a teacher, but as an attorney to represent the best interests of one brother against the other, and obviously Jesus is put off by this man's request, here's a case where you have not only God incarnate, but truth incarnate teaching and is recognized as the supreme rabbi, but this man's only interest is not and what he can learn from Jesus but from what he can gain financially by Jesus. Siding with him in a particular case. He doesn't come and ask for a clear evaluation of the will and the legacy and asking him to make a just judgment resist tell my brother the Sherry's inheritance with me. A Western list.
Jesus as his representative in this case. And so Jesus responded by saying man who made me a judge or an arbitrator over you. Then he said to the mall take heed and beware of covetousness for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses. So before he gives the parable Jesus gives a weighty warning to those around them.
In light of this young man's request of him.
He says, take heed, be careful. Watch out beware of what of covetousness said on several occasions that I gave the following responsibility to my seminary students, I say. Suppose that the United States government would fall in the Constitution would be destroyed and you were enlisted to write a new constitution a new Bill of Rights and you however had this restriction you could only include 10 lawsuits that would represent the bedrock of the new Constitution for the new nation. What 10 laws would you include obviously you would want to prohibit murder. It's equally obvious, should be any way that you would do something to protect private property rights and have a law against theft and against stealing from your neighbor, but how many of you would include in the top 10 something like honoring your father and your mother or keeping the Sabbath day holy.
And who among you would list as one of the top 10 prohibitions to govern this new nation, a law against coveting very few people would think to put that in the top 10 but when God wrote the Constitution for his people.
A law against coveting was included in wonder why give any idea how destructive the sin of covetousness is to a community to a family donation lebensraum is what Hitler wanted unjustified.
His blitzkrieg into the surrounding nations of World War II because he wanted what they had. That war was initiated by a spirit of covetousness so much damage is done because of jealousy because of resentment because you have something that somebody else does not and so that person can rise up in jealousy and hatred toward you because they covet what you possess. People live, they still they cheat they slander, they get involved in all kinds of injurious practices because their hearts are coveting what somebody else possesses.
If you listen carefully to the rhetoric during every presidential election. You will see how the fires of class warfare are flamed by the candidates who promise that they will take from your neighbor and give to you what you lack and Christian people will even go to the polls and vote for policies like that asking the power of the government to be used, to take from your neighbor what you covet and give to you as a violation of one of the top 10 laws of God and God is saying here watch yourself. Beware, take, eat lookout for covetousness for one's life does not consist in the abundance of things he possesses. You saying the bumper sticker. He who dies with the most toys wins pretty hard to find a way to be more cynical than that. That's sick. But that idea has been pervasive among human beings long before our own contemporary culture and so Jesus with this warning throws along next to it. A story parable to teach his point. Here's how the parable goes the ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully at first of all, the reason why this man has so much possession at this point is because of what is been yielded to him by the ground, is for the providence of God that he has this bumper crop. As a former in the Scriptures tell us that every good and perfect gift that we received.
We received from the hands of God.
The Scripture also tells us in Romans one that the two most basic sins of the fallen. The human race are these 21 a refusal to honor God is God and second of refusal to be grateful. This honoring God in irreverence towards God and in gratitude towards God. Those are the most fundamental and foundational sins that define the lives of fallen humanity. Paul tells us in the New Testament the one we pray we should make all of our prayers for Thanksgiving.
But if we come before God in the spirit of Thanksgiving where acknowledging that we are not that he rose in terms of producing the benefits that we have receipt, but rather we have been recipients of his tender mercy and of his bountiful grace with this fella. If anything he fact mother Earth's. He had good soil had a good season of rainfall instead of droughts, famine, a bumper crop. He was already rich and now his riches were magnified exponentially by this tremendous bumper crop. Then he begins to talk to himself.
He has questions.
What do I do now question was, not how can I use this wealth that I've received to enrich my neighbor, my community, my church rather how can I find a place to store up all of this wealth that I've just received. I'm going to tear down my barns and build bigger barns. The last thing he was in his mind. Ladies and gentlemen was thanking God. He had no concern of following the Old Testament law of giving to God, the firstfruits that he received from God. In other words, to apply it to our contemporary culture. This man never once even considered the possibility of tithing of giving back to God. One tense God had given to him as the law of God required of talked about that before and I know that the overwhelming majority of professing Christians in our day. Do not ties there just like this will there totally absorbed with the riches with their possessions, their possessions are so important to them that they would go to such extension of holding back God's fortune that they think nothing of actually robbing God himself.
And if you confront them about it will give you a host of reasons of why they do it will type well that's the Old Testament that doesn't apply to Danish microchips Old Testament but is not part of the ceremony lots not part of the dietary laws part of the moral law of the Old Testament, which is never abrogated, but if you want to read the Old Testament and New Testament which says you're in a much better covenant than you were then and the obligations of the benefits are even greater.
So the Old Testament people got off easy, then had to get 10%. We start at 10% and go beyond that.
No say well I can afford it.
I want to say in your living better standard of living is better than 99% of human beings ever live in the face of the earth. I want you to stand before God Almighty has given you the what you have and say to him I can afford it. The reality is you don't hi because your obsessed with what you have and you don't want to part with any other. It's a seriously and I'm say something to may make you never want to hear me again.
I worry about our carnage that I know their people in our current nation who profess to be Christians who don't and I just don't get it. I'm sure theologically that it must be five questions are capable of any sick and so why shouldn't they be capable of robbing God must be. But I really don't know how a Christian person can look at themselves in the mirror and refused to bring their firstfruits to the Lord. Sometime I'd like somebody in our church is not a tither was a professing Christian to say I may tell you why I don't like to hear if their thinking is because I really can't imagine. I think it's possible to tithe 10% and 20% and 30% and not be a believer and not be say I think it's possible to be safe and not ties barely possible.
There remotely, but I would say the odds are that if you don't, there's a very good chance that you're just like this person somebody who really is an unbeliever when it gets right down to this man is described in two ways. First of all, we are told that he's rich and Jesus does not say that being wealthy is inherently a bad thing.
What is bad is when your heart and your soul are tied up in your wealth and your material possessions. The other thing that is said about this man is far more significant.
That's the parable of the rich man, but it's also called the parable of the rich. What fool I was not mistake that word to be a fool in biblical categories does not mean that your unintelligent or that you're on educated even Aristotle made the observation that in the brain of the most brilliant man resides the corner of the full.
There's a difference between stupidity and foolishness and in biblical categories dear ones, the judgment of being a fool is not a judgment of intelligence.
It's a moral judgment, it's a moral judgment. The psalmist tells us it is the fool who says in his heart. He doesn't say it with his mouth but he says it in his heart that there is no God like this man gets the bumper crop and he starts talking to himself the last thing that he's concerned about is Scott.
He doesn't have the slightest interest in spiritual matters. Always a concern about what to do with my surplus while simple to tear down the barns that I have I not build bigger barns, and yet bigger barns so that I can store up all of my provisions against the rainy day and then I can say to myself, so beauty take it easy.
You got all the wealth stored up knowledge.
Bigger barns so you can eat, drink and be merry pagan formula, Paul mentions it cynically in first Corinthians 15 when he says if Christ is not raised from the dead, then we might as well just like the world eat drink and be merry in the apostle's is why for tomorrow we will die so we might as well have our party tonight because it's all over. Tomorrow and here comes the punch, but God said, you see, we have two parties speaking, we have the man speaking to himself beauties eat drink and be merry. Turn on you barns probative on in the next speaker in the parable is God and God looks at this man and he said you don't you understand that foolishness is the antithesis of wisdom and that the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. It's reverence for God, but this man had no reverence for God at all and God himself said you tonight, not next week, next month's nontenured tonight your soul is required. If you and obviously this man was not ready. Jesus elsewhere said what can a man give in exchange for his soul. This message got how God will know more about my thoughts, I what you can have all that I've stored in these bonds. I give all my wealth now go to say it's too late.
I don't want your money.
I wonder possessions. I want your soul right now so you lace up treasures for himself and is not rich toward God is like this man and what I wonder if Ella came up to Jesus and said, would you settle this Samaritans question though my brother to give me my inheritance. I wonder what he was thinking after he heard the parable, you know, I think.
I think he was sneaking. I don't think he wanted to push the point anymore because Jesus suggests that identifying him from the whole Jesus used parables to help us understand the kingdom of God help us think and act in a godly way and they let us know when we may have the wrong idea about God's kingdom as he did with this young man today. The series covers 12 of Jesus parables, including the prodigal son, the wise and foolish virgins and the talents like to send you the two DVD set when you give a donation of any about to leave your ministries. You can make a request email@example.com or if you prefer you can call us. Our number is 800-435-4343. Let me take just a moment to thank you for your support of this ministry.
Your gifts allow us to continue creating teaching series like the one for hearing this week. We rely on the regular, supportive friends like you and were grateful and again if you'd like to obtain Dr. Spruill series the parables of Jesus calls with your gift at 800-435-4343 tomorrow. RC looks at the parable of Lazarus and the rich man will hear one of the most sobering warnings, Jesus ever gave us Wednesday on Renewing Your Mind