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Summary of sermon by Erlo Stegen, 06 Apr 2014 I would like to speak about wisdom. Remember the man who planted and wanted to extend his barns because of the surplus. That very night God said to him, " Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided? So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich towards God." Psalm 90: 12 Teach us to number our days that we can attain a heart of wisdom. Wisdom is the topic that is on my heart today. Studd read a tract written by an atheist that changed his life and helped him to lead a life that prepared him to meet his God. The atheist touched on some truths. He said, " If I look at the Christians, it confuses me. Millions of people say they are Christians and claim to live like Christians. If I was a Christian, I would not live as they do. I would throw all the pleasures of this world aside and dedicate my whole life to God. I would consider all the things of this world as deceit. God would take preference in everything I did. I would work for Him alone. My thoughts would be on eternity. I would think about God and everything else would be worthless to me. If I could win one soul to Christ, I would suffer everything for that. My thoughts would be on eternal souls that live for eternity i.e. those souls that would later be in great distress. My main theme would be ‘what would it profit a man to gain everything and loose his own soul.’" That’s what Studd did. He went to preach in Africa and he died there in the jungle. Many others tried to do what Studd did but Studd sent them back because they couldn’t do what was expected of them. In Mozambique, my heart broke. People don’t have food or a place to stay. It’s a pity you can’t cut yourself into pieces so that you could help in different places. The dowry there is different. They give a pig, goat and some chickens. The houses are very small and you hardly see a girl who doesn’t have a child. One wishes the leaders didn’t just think of themselves. The people there need the gospel. Woe to us if we don’t wake up. That atheist said he would deny everything. Moses said, "Lord teach us to number our days so that we will gain a heart of wisdom." In Luke 12 we read about that man who was very wealthy but God called him a fool. So there are some here who are fools. Moses left the riches of Egypt and chose to suffer with the children of God. In Romans and Corinthians we read about those who claim to be wise but are fools and exchange the glory of God and go into all kinds of sins like homosexuality. If God is not the first and end of your life, you don’t know what you will end up in. That which was gain to me, I count as loss for the greatness of knowing Jesus. Are we prepared to be regarded as fools on this earth so that we can know His greatness? Someone said, "I gave myself to the Lord and my friends think I am mad but I don’t care." Then Paul mentioned all the things he counts worthless because of Christ. There were ten virgins. They all had their lamps but the bridegroom was longer than they expected and some of them didn’t have enough oil. They had no reserves. Ask yourself, "Do I have riches towards God?" How many souls have you won? You only think of boys and girls but souls don’t mean anything to you. Five of the virgins were foolish. We call ourselves Christian but we fight and slander each other and we are not filled with the oil of the Holy Spirit. That man who wrote that tract said," I wouldn’t live as the Christians do. I would forsake all." How many have you lead to Christ? What have you been busy with all these years? It would be tragic if God had to say to you, "You are a fool." because you only think of how much money you can earn. Or if you are at school, you should be winning the children to the Lord. We don’t know when we must appear before God. Uncle Joe told of an nyanga who was sick and Uncle Joe went to visit the man. Uncle Joe confronted him and asked the man where he would go if he should die? He said he would like to make right with God. Uncle Joe only spoke to him about the Lord. Uncle Joe left and then he got a call to say the man had died. Woe to that person who only thinks of himself. Think of this rich man who had such a bumper crop and said, "I have now enough to drink and be happy for a few years." But God said, " You fool." If you only think of money, the time will come when God says you are a fool. God said, "This night I require your soul of you." In Proverbs it says don’t pursue riches. When you die will God call you wise or a fool? In England, Winston Churchill could speak very well but he said, "What a fool I ‘ve been." What will you say when you die. He had so much. He was a political leader and I challenge the leaders of today. Moses said, "Woe to you if you haven’t been wise." In Amos it says,"Prepare to meet with God." God should be the only one ruling in your life. Studd left his wife and children and went alone to spread the gospel to the cannibals. He gave his riches to someone else. He gave a portion to his wife and she said,"Aren’t you giving everything to Christ?" He gave her 3000 pounds but she didn’t want to take it. What is the Lord’s must be fully his. You must give everthing to the Lord. Solomon prayed and God gave it to him. A beautiful, intelligent girl in America was tops in her class. She went to university. She was very popular at university and she was the best in sport and academics. She even won the beauty contest. The mother said,"We won’t miss that event and we will buy you the best dress." After attending the ceremony, the parents left and went home. After the main event the people stayed to party. When the parents walked in to the house, a telephone rang. The nurse had very bad news. The daughter was driving home and had met with an accident and was in a critical condition. They rushed to the ICU. The girl was conscious. The mother spoke to her,"My girl, we are here." The girl said, "Mother you taught me many things in life: how to hold a wine glass and smoke but mother you didn’t teach me how to die." But at that crucial moment the mother didn’t know how to pray or teach her about the Lord Jesus. They taught her all about the things of this world but they didn’t teach her how to die. I challenge you parents. You cannot sleep peacefully at night if you have a child that is not saved. All the worldly riches are there but none of the riches of heaven. Rather fail at school than fail the heavenly test. May each of you be wise and not a fool. Moses said, "Teach us to number our days so that we may gain a heart of wisdom." My question today is are you a fool or are you wise? Ask yourself that today. Number the days that God has given you. We don’t even know how many days are left. If you are not prepared to humble yourself, you are on the devil’s side and not on the Lord’s side. Remember the five virgins that were left outside.

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