5 February 2001

"In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou has hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight"-Luke 10:21 Last week we discovered the "wise and prudent" that Jesus here condemns to be those people who have no interest in Christ or His cross. At first, this seems like a paradox. We are to preach the cross, yet there are those we may encounter that will declare the nucleus of our message as "foolishness". Many questions arise in our hearts as, I am sure, it did in the hearts of those to whom Jesus spoke. Are we not to preach the cross? How does one become a "babe" that Jesus here elevates above the wise and prudent and thanks the Father for? And what is a "babe" anyway? What should our position be concerning evangelism? Is God fair to do such a thing? First and foremost, we must recognize the sovereignty of God. He does not have to reveal Himself to anyone! It is by design, by His divine wisdom, that He is hidden in His own creation and He will reveal Himself to whoever He pleases(Luke 10:22;Mat. 11:27). In his book, "The Pleasures of God", John Piper writes, "This means that God's wisdom designed that humans would not know God through their wisdom. Now we know the reason for this. If humans found God and knew God by their own native wisdom and intelligence, they would be able to boast that they had penetrated the distance between God and man. They would have overcome the distance between God and man. They would have overcome the distance not only between finiteness and infinity, but also between sin and holiness. To prevent this kind of boasting, God did not design the worlds this way."(p. 277). By inspiration, Paul wrote it this way, "the world by wisdom knew not God". Man, can neither prove nor disprove the existence of God by telescopes, space ships, test tubes, chemicals, digging, diving or any other natural means. God designed it this way. So, how does man come to know God? It can't be by preaching because this is foolishness to some and not to others. Though I may introduce man to man and they will have made a new acquaintance, I do not have the ability to introduce man to God. I may declare Him, yet the "wise and prudent" will think me to be a fool and say, "who is this you speak of". Have you never spoken to a blank face? It can't be by creation, the beauty of nature, because the fool lives in this beautiful creation and he has said in his heart, "There is no God". Now we come to the thrust of Christ's message. There is something different, spiritually different, between the "babes" and the "wise and prudent" and we will tell you about that next week! Come and worship with us at Harmony Primitive Baptist Church. Singing begins at 10:30 each Sunday morning followed by preaching at 11:00. By His mercy and grace, Neil Phelan, Jr., Pastor