1 Corinthians 1:20 “Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?”
What is it about people who oppose anything relating to God? I have talked with so many people who think they have some intellectual superiority because they don’t believe in the supernatural. I was talking with an atheist physician who made a claim that scientists were able to replicate evolution in a controlled environment thus proving Creation wrong. I asked her what her references were and she cited a study that dated back to the 1950’s called the Miller-Urey experiment that produced essentially algae. Not only has science fallen dramatically short on disproving Creation, philosophically, the world has no answers for anything apart from God, they only have questions.
Psalm 53:1 “The fool says in his heart, “There’s no God.” They are corrupt, and they do vile deeds. There is no one who does good.”
The path of foolishness has more than one route for the fool, the process of a person denying any semblance of God takes a sizable amount of faith and very little imagination. To discount the supernatural complexity of life, the remarkable order, or the evidence is one thing for fools, but there is another issue altogether that is often overlooked.
The atheist claims that there is no God, a claim that disregards their own measure of knowledge. Since atheism denies the existence of God, the very thought would require absolute knowledge. To say there is no evidence for the existence of God in the entire Universe says they have knowledge of the entire universe. The most brilliant minds in history have recognized that we as a human race probably (which is a guess), have around .01% of all knowledge in all of the universe. Even the knowledge of what we don’t know is speculative since they don’t know enough to even estimate it.
The Fool makes claims that are overwhelmingly deniable.
The corruption of this world ultimately leads to their own ruin. The world thinks that they are going to eventually figure out the science that proves the world has no Creator…unfortunately for them, Creation declares otherwise.
Where does the wisdom of the world lead?
1 Corinthians 2:6-8 “However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”
The wisdom of the world leads to nothing.
There you have it, take all the science in the world, all the philosophies of the intellectual, all of the theories of the corrupt and they all lead to a meaningless existence. What a sad, sad, position to be in, many devote their lives to discovering the first transitional fossil, microcellular energy, or philosophical ideal that explains all of life and yet their work proves fruitless.
The wisdom of the world leads to death.
Psalm 1:4,5 “The ungodly are not so,
But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.”
After WWII, the former socialistic Soviet Union attempted to indoctrinate society with the notion that there was no God. They taught their children that there was no God and made it a crime to practice any form of religion. They kidnapped and tortured people who believed otherwise for years, and while many of their atrocities have gone unrecorded in history, some of them are all too familiar. Richard Wurmbrand wrote a book titled “Tortured for Christ” that documented the atrocities of this atheistic society that was built on the philosophies of Karl Marx. Stalin and later Lenin, who ruled over this satanic regime was feared by his countrymen and throughout his tenure was known to have murdered over 20 million people in the name of socialism.
Whether it was Marx or later on Friedrich Nietzsche, the world philosophies of these men had a lasting impact in Germany during WWI and WWII. Nietzsche was quoted as saying “Christianity remains to this day the greatest misfortune of humanity.” Marx was quoted as saying “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people”. It is no wonder those who bought into their philosophies of life found it lead down a path of genocide, heartless torture, and a drive toward world domination.
History has revealed the hopeless path of worldly wisdom, from every society, culture, and era, we see man attempting to explain the world apart from Christ.
Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
Lao-Tzu who founded Taoism around the 5th century A.D., influenced chinese culture by espousing the “ideal life” lived through Dao or Tao. Practicing awareness of self through self-meditation, He disputed conventional wisdom as inherently biased, and urged followers of the Tao to find natural balance between the body, senses, and desires, and urged individuals to achieve a state of wu wei, this freedom from desire was an early staple tenet of Buddhist tradition.
Rene’ Descartes who lived in the late 16th century discarded belief in all things that are not absolutely certain, emphasizing the understanding of that which can be known for sure. He was regarded as one of the leading influences in the Scientific Revolution — a period of intense discovery, revelation, and innovation that rippled through Europe between the Renaissance and Enlightenment eras.
Thomas Aquinas was a 13th century Dominican friar whos belief system holds that the existence of God is verified through reason and rational explanation, as opposed to through scripture or religious experience. This ontological approach is among the central premises underpinning modern Catholic philosophy and liturgy. His writings, and Aquinas himself, are still considered among the preeminent models for Catholic priesthood.
Ralph Waldo Emerson was an early 19th century philosopher and poet who was the father of the transcendentalist movement. This was a distinctly American philosophical orientation that rejected the pressures imposed by society, materialism, and organized religion in favor of the ideals of individualism, freedom, and a personal emphasis on the soul’s relationship with the surrounding natural world.
Immanuel Kant lived in the 18th century and defined the “Categorical imperative,” the idea that there are intrinsically good and moral ideas to which we all have a duty, and that rational individuals will inherently find reason in adhering to moral obligation.
He argued that humanity can achieve a perpetual peace through universal democracy and international cooperation.
He asserted that the concepts of time and space, as well as cause and effect, are essential to the human experience, and that our understanding of the world is conveyed only by our senses and not necessarily by the underlying (and likely unseen) causes of the phenomena we observe.
There were so many more prominent people who rejected God’s standard of faith and reason. You may be asking, “why the short history lesson on philosophy?”
Each of these men founded ideas of life we see prevalent in society today. They are taught in colleges, they are revered among people who subscribe to a secular world view, and they have led many astray into aimless lives of hopelessness.
How do you know their lives were wasted in seeking to discover truth apart from God?
Look at how their lives ended….what were their conclusions?
Friedrich Nietzsche lay on a couch for two days without speaking a word and then uttered his “obligatory” last words: “Mutter, ich bin dumm (Mother, I am dumb).
Karl Marx—Go on, get out! Last words are for fools who haven’t said enough!
Oscar Wilde—“This wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. Either it goes or I do.”
Vladimir Lenin’s last words were much more mundane as he spoke to his favorite dog who had just caught a bird, saying “Good dog.”
Atheists are left with nothing at death…their last moments are worth noting the hopelessness apart from Christ.
Caesar Borgia (italian noble) : “While I lived, I provided for everything but death; now I must die, and am unprepared to die.”
Thomas Hobbs (political philosopher)–“I say again, if I had the whole world at my disposal, I would give it to live one day. I am about to take a leap into the dark.”
Thomas Payne, (leading atheistic writer in American colonies): “Stay with me, for God’s sake; I cannot bear to be left alone , O Lord, help me! O God, what have I done to suffer so much? What will become of me hereafter? “I would give worlds if I had them, that The Age of Reason had never been published. 0 Lord, help me! Christ, help me! …No, don’t leave; stay with me! Send even a child to stay with me; for I am on the edge of Hell here alone.If ever the Devil had an agent, I have been that one.”
Thomas Scott (Chancellor of England) “Until this moment I thought there was neither a God nor a hell. Now I know and feel that there are both, and I am doomed to perdition by the just judgment of the Almighty.”
Voltaire (famous anti-christian atheist):”I am abandoned by God and man; I will give you half of what I am worth if you will give me six months’ life.” (He said this to Dr. Fochin, who told him it could not be done.) “Then I shall die and go to hell!” (His nurse said: “For all the money in Europe I wouldn’t want to see another unbeliever die! All night long he cried for forgiveness.
Robert Ingersoll (known as the Great Agnostic): “O God, if there be a God, save my soul, if I have a soul!” (Some say it was this way: “Oh God, if there be a God, save my soul if I have a soul, from hell, if there be a hell!
David Strauss (leading representative of German rationalism), after spending a lifetime erasing belief in God from the minds of others said: “My philosophy leaves me utterly forlorn! I feel like one caught in the merciless jaws of an automatic machine, not knowing at what time one of its great hammers may crush me!”
Now, contrast these with the final words of believers in Christ.
“I enjoy heaven already in my soul. My prayers are all converted into praises.”
–Augustus Toplady, author of the great hymn “Rock of Ages,” who died at age 38.
“I have pain—but I have peace, I have peace.”
–Richard Baxter, 17th Century Puritan Theologian.
John Knox uttered these piercing words and then died, “Live in Christ, die in Christ, and the flesh need not fear death.”
Billy Graham notes that when the great saint Joseph Everett was dying, he said, “GLORY! GLORY! GLORY!” and continued exclaiming “GLORY!” for over twenty-five minutes until he was whisked away by angels to the gates of heaven.
August Strindberg, a Swedish dramatist who died May 14, 1912, left a legacy of forgiveness and redemption by dying with a Bible clasped tightly to his chest, saying, “It is atoned for.”
Stephen died a martyr’s death of stoning with these words, “Lord lay not this sin to their charge.”
Do you notice a difference in those who had the peace of God and those who didn’t?
1 Corinthians 1:21 “For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.”
You see, God takes people, messages, and philosophies the world deems ridiculous or “foolish”, and makes them the very root of Truth. Just like Jesus routinely reduced the attacks of the pharisees to foolishness, God tests man’s wisdom and has reduced it to ash. The wisdom of this age simply leaves nothing to stand on.
1 Corinthians 1:22-25 “For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.“
If you’ve gone through the public school system, a secular university, or have bought into the notion that science and philosophy explains all meaning to life—there is still hope.
Psalm 119:158-160 “I see the treacherous, and am disgusted,
Because they do not keep Your word.
Consider how I love Your precepts;
Revive me, O Lord, according to Your lovingkindness.
The entirety of Your word is truth,
And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.”
The Truth of God’s Word brings light to darkness and leaves peace with its adherents. When the day of your death approaches, your philosophy of life will be the foundation of your entrance into eternity and it will either be based on the Word of God or it will not.
There is no middle ground.
Jesus or the world. …it’s your choice.