Now, turn, if you would, to Mark chapter 7. We're going to come right back to Proverbs chapter 2, but go to Mark 7, and I want to just briefly touch on this scripture that I preached on this morning, where we talked about how the things that come out of the heart defile the man, the evil thoughts that proceed a lot of the sins that Jesus listed in this passage, and I want to preach on one specific sin that's in the list. This morning, when I preach out of Mark chapter 7, I really focused on the evil thoughts, the adulteries, the fornications. We touched on the thefts a little bit. Talked about covetousness and evil eye and those type of things, but the one that I'd like to focus on is there at the end of verse 22. Let's just read the whole little passage again.
Verse 20, "And he said that which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man, for from within, out of the heart of men proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, and evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and defile the man."
The particular sin that I wanted to focus on tonight is at the end of verse 22 there, foolishness. The sin of foolishness, and another way that we could phrase this, just in today's vernacular, is just the sin of being stupid is another way to put that. You know, the sin. I mean, that's what it means. Foolishness. The sin of foolishness. Jesus said, "All these evil things come from within and defile the man." That tells me that foolishness is an evil thing.
Now, go back, if you would, to Proverbs, and let's learn some things about foolishness, because sometimes, I think we don't realize that God commands us to learn. God commands us to gain knowledge. God commands us to gain wisdom. God commands us to gain understanding, and to be foolish, to be stupid, to be ignorant is therefore sin. Because we are disregarding God's command to learn, and God has also said that it is an evil thing to be foolish. The thought of foolishness is sin.
Now, look, if you would, first of all, at Proverbs chapter 1, beginning verse number 5, the Bible reads, "A wise man will hear and will increase learning, and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels, to understand a proverb, and the interpretation, the words of the wise and their dark sayings." Proverbs 1:7, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. My son, hear the instruction of they Father, and forsake not the Law of thy mother."
Now, chapter 1 here, we have this first admonition for us to want to hear and listen and learn and gain knowledge, and three words come up throughout Proverbs quite a bit, and those things are knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. Let me just start out by explaining to you what those three things are, and what their opposites are. Okay. First of all, knowledge is basically gaining information. It's facts and information that you know. Wisdom is when you put that knowledge into practice, and you actually use the facts and information that you know in order to make good decisions. Then understanding is you understand why those are good decisions, and why we need to do things the way God tells us to do them. So one way to explain would be that knowledge is the what, wisdom is the how, and understanding is the why.
So what would be the opposite of these things? These are Biblical terms that are used all throughout Proverbs, and really throughout the whole Bible. The opposite of knowledge in the Bible is ignorance. When you are unaware of facts and information. The opposite of wisdom is foolishness. See, the wise man makes good decisions. He does right things. He takes the information that he's learned and puts it into practice in his life. The opposite of that is the fool who makes stupid decisions and does dumb things. Then understanding, what would be the lack of understanding? Well, I guess you could say confusion, darkness, perplexity, not knowing what's going on.
So the one that I want to focus on, of course, is the sin of foolishness, wisdom. Now, you say, what is the difference between wisdom and knowledge? Well, there are a lot of people who know what's right, they might even understand what's right, but if they do what is not right, they are still a fool. Okay, because wisdom is when you actually apply the knowledge that you have. You've learned facts, you've learned information, and you put them into practice in your life. Now, look what the Bible says in verse 5. Let's go back and look at this. In Proverbs 1:5, "A wise man will hear and will increase learning, and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels."
According to this, one thing that will make you foolish is when you are not a person who likes to learn, because the Bible says in verse number 7, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction." So a fool is a person who doesn't want to be instructed, they don't want to learn knew things, they're not interested in understanding how the world works or why things are the way that they are. They just want to go through life ignorant. They don't really care.
Now, we as God's people, we as Christians, should be people who love to learn. This is what God demands of us. This is what God commands us to do. He says in the New Testament, "But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ." He's saying grow in knowledge, learn knew things. Constantly be gaining understanding. Now, first of all, in verse 5, it says, "A wise man will hear and will increase learning, and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels." See, one way to learn is to go to someone who can instruct you. To go to the right source of information, the right person who can teach you something.
Now, obviously, the Bible is our greatest source of knowledge. It's our greatest source of wisdom and understanding, but there are also people that teach us the Bible. You know, in Ephesians chapter 4, it says, "God gave some pastors, God gave some teachers." Why? For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. So a person who is wise, as opposed to being a fool, is one who would go to a church where there's a man there that can actually teach them what they need to know from the Bible. What should be the criteria for choosing a church? One of them should be am I learning something. That should be a great purpose of going to church, but so many people have lost sight of that, and they have this idea, well, church is just a place that we go just to worship the Lord, and they say it's a worship service, and we're going to the worship center.
Now look. I'm not against worshiping the Lord in the house of the Lord. I'm not against that. Of course, we lift up our voices and sing praises to God, but in the Bible, in the scripture, the house of God is also the pillar and ground of the truth, and it is a place where we go to be edified with knowledge til we all ... I mean, go to Ephesians 4 quickly, and just let me show you. Keep your finger in Proverbs 1, but let me just show you how the church is supposed to be an institution of learning according to the Bible. I mean, that's the purpose of having pastors and teachers in the local church. It says in verse 12, "For the perfecting of the saints," this is why he gave us teachers and pastors, "For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, til we all come in the unity of the faith and of the," what?
Pastor Anderson: Knowledge. So why do we have a pastor? Why do we have a teacher? Why do we go to church? Not just to worship the Lord, but also to gain knowledge. To learn information that we can then apply to our lives. He says, "Unto a perfect man, under the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, that we henceforth," verse 14, "Be no more children tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the slight of men and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, but speaking the truth in love may grow up into him in all things which is the head, even Christ," and on and on the passage goes, but we see there very clearly that the church is supposed to be an institution of gaining knowledge and learning.
Now, I believe that when you go to church on Sunday, when you go to church on Wednesday, you should be learning something that you did not already know when you walked in the door. I mean, if you're just going to church week after week after week after week, and you're not really learning anything new, something's wrong. You say, "Well, I've been in church my whole life. I already know everything." No, you don't know everything, and honestly, I could tell you people who've been in church 40, 50 years that learn something every time they go to church, because they go to a church that's faithfully preaching the Bible and teaching knowledge. This is a big book. I'm constantly learning new things. You should constantly be learning new things, but so many churches, they don't emphasize this aspect of knowledge and learning.
I've often asked people, "What did you learn today at church? What have you learned at church recently? What did you learn today?"
They, "Well, Jesus died on the cross and was buried and rose again."
I say, "Did you already know that?"
"Yes, I did."
Then you did not learn that. Okay, do you understand? Because learning something means I did not used to know this, now I've gained a new piece of information. Now I know something that I did not already know. That is learning. We, as Christians, need to be constantly learning. One place that we do that is church. That's part of why we go to church. That's why, if you go to church Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night, you're going to learn more than the guy who just shows up on Sunday morning. You're learning more. You're coming three times a week, you're getting a lot more teaching, a lot more knowledge, a lot more information. In fact, exactly three times as much, okay, than the guy who only comes once a week, you know, or three times a month or whatever. Okay.
Now, if you're there in Proverbs, look at chapter number 2. It says in verse 1, "My son, if thou wilt receive my words and hide my commandments with thee, so that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom and apply thine heart to understanding. Yeah, if thou criest after knowledge and liftest up thy voice for understanding, if thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures, then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God, for the Lord giveth wisdom. Out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding."
So a major source of our learning and knowledge and understanding is the word of God. It's the Bible. So not only should we come to church with an intent to learn something. Yes, to get motivated. Yes, to get fired up. Yes, to be encouraged, but also to learn something. Yes, to worship, but to learn something. To gain new information from the word of God. That's also how we should approach our Bible reading. When you approach your Bible reading, you should approach your Bible reading with the intent to learn something new from the word of God.
Now, a lot of people today have gotten the emphasis off of this in Bible reading, and it's just well, you know, you read the Bible as a daily devotional. You know, you're getting close to God. You're walking with God. Now, that's good. I'm not against that, but here's the thing. If you just want to read the Bible as a little devotional, just to kind of get something ... I heard somebody say, "How much should you read your Bible?" Read the Bible until you get something. Read the Bible until you get something out of it. Well, here's the thing. You probably don't have to read long to get something. I mean, you could ... Especially ... I remember when I was a teenager, that's about how I read my Bible. You know, I wasn't very spiritual as a teenager, and so my Bible reading usually consisted of opening the Bible and read it until I get something. Okay.
When I did that, here's where I would read from. I would always either go to Proverbs, because you get something fast in Proverbs. I mean, it's hard to read much in Proverbs without getting something. So I would always go to either Proverbs, or I'd go to the four Gospels and just go to the red letters. You know, because when Jesus is preaching, you get something pretty fast. Or I'd go to first and second Timothy and Titus, because those are just so jam-packed with great information. So that was pretty much my Bible reading as a teenager. Most of the time, I would either just read a few verses out of Proverbs, read a few red letters out of the Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, or I'd got to first and second Timothy and Titus. That was most of my Bible reading, and I did it as a devotional. I did it because I was told read the Bible everyday. Have a walk with God. Let God speak to you. Read it until you get something out it, and literally, I would do that, and then it's back to the video game. You know, back to whatever, TV, movies, whatever else. Not a very spiritual way to do it.
Here's the thing. If you change your viewpoint to say I'm reading the Bible to learn, and you actually want to learn the Bible and know you're Bible, then you'll actually read a lot of chapters, because in order to really learn the Bible, you're not just going to keep reading the same snippets out of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, First and Second Timothy, Titus, and Proverbs over and over again, but actually to learn the Bible, to have the knowledge of God, you'll read chapter after ... You know, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 chapters, and actually do some serious reading today, and it's great to open your Bible and read a few verses, get something in the day. That might be something that you do in the middle of the day or maybe first thing when you wake up in the morning or right before you go to bed, but we need to also be people who actually do some serious reading and actually learn the Bible. You need to read your Bible cover-to-cover at least one time before you think that you know much about the Bible.
There are Christians who've literally been saved for 10, 20, 30 years that have never read the book cover-to-cover even one time, and it's a disgrace. God said, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." Today, people are being deceived by the slight of men, and the cunning, craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, they're being carried about with every wind of doctrine. Reading a couple of verses a day is not going to prevent you from being carried about with every wind of doctrine. You need to dig and do some serious readings, and say, "Hey, I want to learn something. I want to learn what this book says. I want to know what Genesis is about. I want to know what Exodus is about. I want to know what Leviticus says. I want to know what First and Second Corinthians mean. I want to go through and do some serious reading. I want to understand it. I want to know it, and do some real learning of the Bible." That's where knowledge begins, by the way.
Here's the thing. There are other areas of knowledge even outside of Biblical knowledge. There are other facets of study and other areas of knowledge. For example, in your job, there are certain technical skills that you gain for your job. Let's go around the room some jobs that people have. Okay. You know, Richard Miller, what would you describe your job as?
Richard Miller: Graphic designer.
Pastor Anderson: He's a graphic designer. Okay. You, you're working in landscaping. He's doing locksmithing. Okay. You know, computer guy right here. What are you, tech support?
Speaker 4: Programmer.
Pastor Anderson: Programmer, computer programmer. All right. I thought you were some kind of a tech support guy. No? That's an Indian. That's in Pakistan. Okay. Nevermind. You know. Okay, you know, for a long time, I did electrical work. So you see a diversity of jobs here. Okay. There are avenues of knowledge that have to do with these jobs. A landscaper is going to study different types of trees, different types of plants, how to trim them, how to deal with them, different seasons of the year. You know, there are all different species that he's going to learn about. You know, a locksmith is going to learn about cutting all the different keys, he's going to learn about electromaglocks and card-reading access systems. A graphic designer is going to study things that have to do with computers. He's going to study art. He's going to study advertising. A computer programmer is going to know about math, he's going to learn about different software, hardware, all these different types of issues. An electrician is going to have to deal with math. He's going to have to deal with just physically how to bend the conduit, geometry.
Okay, all of these different jobs, they contain skills and knowledge within that profession that's not necessarily going to be found in the Bible. Now, the Bible's going to give you principles of how to do a good job and be a good employee, but if you're smart, you will increase learning. You will increase knowledge in other areas of life, also, okay? So the guy that succeeds at his job is the guy who doesn't just learn the minimum, show up, clock in, and just do his job. It's the guy who after work opens books, learns about fire alarms, learns about locksmithing, learns about landscaping, learns about computer programming, and studies and gains knowledge.
Honestly, I can say this. When I was doing alarms and when I was doing electrical work, I was never the fastest guy with a screwdriver. You know, I wasn't ... You know, some guys are just real fast and real handy and everything, and my dad was an electrician, he was like that. He could spin the screwdriver super fast and just really coordinated, just really good at it. I was never the fastest guy at pulling wires and everything, so I always tried to gain more knowledge than the other guy, and that's how I was going to excel at my job was by learning more, gaining more skills, gaining more knowledge. That's what a wise person will do. They'll try to learn more.
There are all different areas of learning in life. Our children that are homeschooled, and you know, hopefully, you're homeschooling your children, because honestly, I personally don't believe in the public school system. I think it's ungodly, but you know, even if your kids are in public school, hopefully, you at least teach the Bible to your children. At least teach them other advice for their life and some kind of training, but we do homeschool our children. Hopefully, you're not unschooling your children. Okay. Who knows what unschooling is? Unschooling is when people basically say, "Oh, we're homeschooling," but they don't really teach the kids anything. You know, "We're homeschooling," but they just don't go to school and they don't really learn anything, either. They're just kind of playing and freestyle.
It is important that you teach your children especially how to read at a young age. Teach them how to read, and try to instill in them a love of reading. Especially reading the Bible, but reading other books as well. There are other subjects that we teach in homeschooling. For example, in homeschooling, they learn science. They learn history. They learn English. They learn mathematics, and they learn studies about countries of the world. They learn about all the different 50 states. These are pieces of learning and knowledge that are going to help them later in life to be an educated, intelligent, well-rounded person that can get a job, succeed, provide for their family, and so on and so forth. Or in the case of the girls, that they could grow up and be an intelligent person for their husband to talk to, and also so that they could homeschool their children and teach their children and instruct others and just be wise and intelligent and smart. These are a good thing.
Now, reading books besides the Bible can be a good way to gain knowledge and information, but here's what we always have to keep in perspective. The Bible's real clear, for example, in verse number 7 of chapter one, we could go to many different places, but the Bible say, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction." You see, when you have education or instruction and knowledge that ignores the fear of the Lord, ignores the word of God, it's not going to create a person who is Biblically a wise person. For example, a person could be wise according to this world, but the Bible says, "The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God," and the Bible says, "Of the unbelievers and the atheists of this world that professing themselves to be wise, they became fools." We see a lot of so-called intelligent, educated people making a lot of really stupid decisions, doing a lot of really foolish things, because really, true knowledge and wisdom and understanding comes from the word of God.
Once you have a basis in the word of God, once you've done a lot of study in the Bible and you know your Bible and understand your Bible, then when you read anything else, you're looking at it through the lens of God's word, because God's word always must be your final authority. So you know, let's say you open a history book and you read about history. Well, you're looking at history and you're comparing what you read in that history book to the Bible, and saying okay, this is right, this is wrong. You know, you open that science book and you compare it to what the Bible says and say this is right, this is wrong, and so on and so forth.
So God's word always has to be the beginning of knowledge. The beginning of wisdom. The beginning of understanding. The beginning of knowledge, but learning is something that should take place in all areas of our life. In our job. Children need to learn their schoolwork. We need to just constantly be learning things that can help us live a life according to wisdom. Now, the Bible tells us here that we should seek for understanding and knowledge as we would seek for hid treasure, or as we would seek for money. Now, what if we were just handing out free money three times a week? You know, Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night, show up and get paid. You know, people would come. There'd be a line out the door. If we just said, "You know, we're giving out $100 bills on Sunday morning at 10:30, Sunday night at 6:30, and Wednesday night at 7:00. You show up, you receive $100 bill." People would come up by droves. People would be trampling upon one another.
Why? Because people today, they value money above knowledge and above wisdom and above understanding, and they will basically make sacrifices and take time and energy to seek after money, but they have no desire to seek after learning and knowledge and understanding. When in reality, what you get at church Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night is far more valuable than giving you $100. By the way, the information that you learn at church will also give you the power to go out and get the $100 also, because if you look what the Bible says in verse number 13 of chapter 3, look at Proverbs chapter 3, verse 13. It says, "Happy is the man that findeth wisdom and the man that getteth understanding, for the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies, and all the things that thou canst desire are not to be compared under her." Verse 16, "Length of days is in her right hand, and in her left hand, riches and honor." So does wisdom have the power to give you wealth and riches? To give you length of days?
You say, "Well, how could I get length of days from wisdom? Or how could I get riches and honor from wisdom?" Well, okay, what's the opposite of wisdom again? Foolishness, right? Okay. Well, what about ... Do you think it's very smart to ... Do you think it's wise, for example, to smoke cigarettes? It's a foolish thing to do. Is it wise to take drugs? No. So here's the thing. This is maybe a very basic example, but if you have wisdom that says I'm not going to smoke and I'm not going to do drugs, do you think you're probably going to live longer than the guy who's smoking and taking drugs? So you see how wisdom is imparting unto you length of days in that situation?
For example, if you learn something about nutrition and you learn something about eating. You know, the Bible talks a lot about eating. The Bible talks a lot about nutrition. The Bible talks a lot about food. Okay, but a lot of people are foolish about what they eat. So knowledge would be when you actually understand what food is made out of. I'm just trying to give real-life examples here. Knowledge. What would knowledge be? Okay, what's in the food? Where does food come from? Where is it made? What does it contain? What is protein? What is a carbohydrate? What is fat? What is high fructose corn syrup? What is sodium benzoate? This knowledge could then lead to wisdom, which would be putting that knowledge into practice saying, okay, I'm not going to eat McDonald's. I'm not going to eat highly processed, refined foods that come in a box that are frozen dinners and everything that's all pre-made and filled with preservatives, filled with artificial color, artificial flavor, chemicals, and devoid of real nutrients.
So knowledge is when I understand what good food is and what bad food is. What nutrition my body needs and what food is harmful to my body. Then wisdom would be okay, I'm going to make some choices based on that information that I have. Let's face it. People who eat healthier food, on average, are going to live longer and healthier and more productive lives, and they're probably going to make more money, because they're going to be able to think more clearly. For example, I just read a study a few weeks ago that said that people who are X amount overweight, they make this much less money than people who are the weight that they should be. It was just a study of many thousands of people, and it just said people that are healthier, they just make more money.
Then you see that some people go out, and they basically just eat the worst garbage, and it's not even necessarily that they're just saying, "Well, I know this is bad, but I'm going to eat it anyway." Some people just eat junk without even thinking about it. I mean, would you agree with that? That there are some people who just go to Arby's and Jack in the Box and McDonald's and Burger King, and they just don't even think about it. They just eat it, and that's just what you do, but they are shortening their lives. Look, it's a fact, friends, that diabetes, Type II Diabetes is on the rise, heart disease, cancer. Much of this stuff is nutritionally related. It has to do with people having an utter disregard for what food goes into their body.
Just having some basic knowledge about nutrition, and some wisdom in the choices of the food that we eat, and some of it, you know what it comes down to is eating things that don't always necessarily tickle your taste buds. Okay, because sometimes ... I mean, I'll face it. If I were to drink a Coca-Cola or something, it's going to taste good, right? Who thinks Coca-Cola tastes good? I can't even remember the last time I drank a Coca-Cola. It's probably been years since a Coca-Cola has passed my lips. Not because it doesn't taste good, but just because I look at it and it's just not really doing anything for my body that I want it to do. It's just not going to make me live any longer. It's not going to make me think anymore clearly. It's not going to help me avoid any diseases, and the Bible says that we should eat for strength and not for drunkenness. That we should not just be a glutton that just eats whatever.
So what I'm saying is that a lot of people, they just, oh, it tastes good, so I'm just going to eat it, whether it be McDonald's, whether it be just drinking tons of sodas and eating tons of snack cakes or Little Debbies or Twinkies, HoHos, just whatever's the worst food.
Some of it might take some discipline, but the wise person's going to say you know what? I'm going to eat carrots, I'm going to eat celery, I'm going to eat a cucumber, I'm going to eat foods that maybe aren't as exciting as a chocolate HoHo. I mean, obviously, yeah, if you put in front of the average person a chocolate HoHo and a Coca-Cola, and then you put over here a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and you offer that to a child, they're going to probably take the HoHo and the Coca-Cola, because they're not wise. Because they're a kid. Because they're born foolish. Because they have to be taught and grow. Hopefully, when you're an adult, you'll actually make some wise decisions and say I'm going to eat stuff that's good for me. I'm not just going to destroy my body with things that I know are going to cause Type II Diabetes, that could cause my arteries to be clogged up, that could cause heart disease and these type of things.
A lot of it, sometimes, could be financial, but honestly, sometimes eating healthier can be just as cheap as eating junk, because a lot of ready-made foods cost money because they're ready-made. Going out to eat costs money, when you could make things at home out of real, fresh ingredients. You could make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Dave's Killer Bread. I saw Garrett eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on Dave's Killer Bread, which is a really healthy, organic bread, and it actually tastes good. Because a lot of healthy bread, it tastes like garbage. I don't care how Biblical the name is, that Ezekiel 4:9 bread is the grossest thing I've ever ... Who thinks the Ezekiel bread is nasty? That stuff is horrible. This message has been brought to you in part by Dave's Killer Bread, because that is a healthy bread that actually tastes good, finally. It takes great.
Obviously, even better than that is home-baked bread. When my wife bakes bread and everything, that's even healthier. You say, "Well, what are you talking about food? Get off that subject, Pastor Anderson. Talk about something else." I will talk about something else, but that's just a pretty good example right there of how your life could be lengthened just by getting some knowledge, then using some wisdom and understanding, and applying that to your life. It could add length to your days, and it could even add money to your wallet, because just people that are healthy are going to make more money, and they're going to spend less money at the hospital and at the doctor on all these health problems. Look, it's not popular to say this, but a lot of our health problems today in America are because of our lifestyle in America.
Again, obviously, even if you have a healthy lifestyle, you can still get sick. You can still get disease. You'll still have problems. I'm not saying that it's all lifestyle-related, but you know and I know that all of these things are on the rise, and there's more disease and there's more unhealthy people because of our lifestyle in America. You know the Standard American Diet, also known as SAD, Standard American Diet, is devoid of nutrition. People aren't eating fruits and vegetables. They're not eating seeds and nuts. They're not eating good meats, good healthy meats that God has given us to be received, but instead, they're eating just a lot of processed junk, and they have labels with all kinds of chemicals and molecular formulas on the side of the box, and it's hurting us.
If you're wise, maybe you'll pick up a book and read it. Maybe you'll put some knowledge into practice in your life and make some decisions about eating that would actually be good for you and healthy for you, and so on and so forth. That's just one example, but I could give other examples, too. Not to even talk about being physically active, and not just sitting in front of the TV, sitting in front of a video game. What is it with all the adult men that play video games in 2014? The Bible says, "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child, but when I became a man, I put away childish things." It's almost an epidemic today.
I'm constantly hearing about people that I know that are just really into gaming, and they're adult men in their 30s, in their 20s, in their 40s. It's ridiculous. Grow up. Do something with your life, but let me tell you this. Every time that you sit down in front of the TV to just watch TV, every time you sit down in front of that video game to just play a video game, you are choosing ignorance. You are choosing foolishness. Every time you sit down and pick up the Bible and read it, you're choosing knowledge, you're choosing wisdom. Every time you stay home from church to fool around with whatever, play a video game, watch TV, hang out with friends and talk about meaningless things, you are choosing ignorance and stupidity and foolishness, and when you make the choice to go to church, when you make the choice to read your Bible, when you make the choice after you're done reading your Bible to pick up another book and read and learn something that's going to help you in your life, you're choosing knowledge. You're choosing wisdom.
Honestly, this is a choice that we make almost every day. The difference between people that are smart and the people that are stupid is not just genetic. I don't believe that reason why some people are really smart and some people are really stupid is just genes. It's just genetic. I don't believe that for one second. I believe it's because people that are smart spend their time reading, and they don't spend their time watching the idiot box, and they don't spend their time rotting their brain on a video game. Do you really think that playing a video game is making you smarter?
Video games are addictive, and adult men today, married men, who should be out working and providing for their family, or should be out learning skills so that they can excel in their job, who should be reading the word of God so that they can be a spiritual leader, so that they can preach the word of God to their family, so that they can teach the word of God to their children, which is the responsibility of every father, and shouldn't just be put on the local church. Oh, the pastor's going to teach them everything they need. You need to teach them in the home the word of God, but you need to learn the doctrine yourself and the knowledge yourself, so that you will be able to teach your wife, so that you'll be able to teach your children, so that you'll be able to lead your home, make money, pay the bills, excel as a husband, excel as a father, excel as a worker, excel as a church member, and you're playing a video game.
You say, "Well, I just need to unwind. I just need to blow off a little steam," but that video game's doing nothing for you. It'd be one thing, and I'm not saying video games are a sin, because I'm not going to add to the word of God, and that ... The Bible never says, "Thou shalt not play a video game." So I'm not saying that video games are a sin, but let me say this, if you're playing a video game for an extended period of time, you're neglecting something else, and that is sin. When the Bible's commanding you to gain knowledge, increase learning, get instruction, and you're just playing and fooling around all the time, now you're failing to do what God told you to do. That does become sin. I don't know anybody who plays a video game once a month for a half hour. I mean, do you think that's what these gamers are doing? I mean, they get off work, and they start playing that video game. Then Saturday is spent playing that video game.
Honestly, I saw a comic that somebody put up said, "I want to grow up and be married to a guy who plays a lot of video games said no little girl ever." I don't think it makes your wife respect you more when you play a lot of video games. I don't think she's like, "Oh, honey, your score in that video game was just amazing." I don't think she goes and gets together with her girlfriends and brags about how you beat Contra without losing a single life. Again, I'm dating myself, because I don't know the new games. When I was a kid, it was Contra. Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, Start, anyone? Anyone know what I'm talking about? The Konami code, right? Get 30 lives. You know what, some of us played Contra so much, we didn't need the 30 lives. Because I played Contra one time, start to finish, okay, all 8 stages, without even getting hit once. Didn't take a single bullet.
Now, who here thinks that that's really impressive? No one. Okay, who here thinks that my wife is really impressed by that right now? That I made it through 8 stages of Contra without even getting hit once. So not only did I not need the standard 3 lives that you're issued in Contra, and what do you get, 4 continues? So about 12 lives. I didn't need the 120 for sure. I went through without taking a single hit, and you know what? That profits me nothing today. No one cares. It doesn't matter. It doesn't.
What I'm saying is your wife is not impressed by your video game achievements. I'm not impressed with your video ... You're not impressed with my video game achievements. I could tell you, if I wanted to, that I made it to level 15 in Tetris. I could tell you that, if I wanted to, but it wouldn't matter, would it? You wouldn't care, because it's stupid. Because it's a game, and you know, okay, yeah, play a game every once in awhile. We have a lot of board games. We like to play board games, but I'm not even going to build my life around a board game. We need to just realize that if we're going to be smart people, as God commands us to, if we're going to increase knowledge and increase learning and gain wisdom and gain understanding, we're going to seek after it, we're going to dig for it as for hidden treasures, that means we're going to dig into this book, we're going to learn the Bible, and then we're going to learn other areas of knowledge, too, to just expand our knowledge and skills so that we can be a great Christian father, husband, church member, parent, etc.
This is what God is telling us to do in regard to knowledge. Now, go, if you would, to chapter 4. That was in chapter 3. We saw chapter 1, chapter 2, chapter 3. Go to chapter 4. It says in verse 5 of chapter 4, "Get wisdom. Get understanding. Forget it not. Neither decline from the words of my mouth, forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee. Love her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principle thing, therefore, get wisdom, and with all they getting, get understanding."
Notice that phrase. "Wisdom is the principal thing." Meaning it is the number 1 thing in life. Wisdom will save you money in life. How much money do people waste because they lack wisdom and they make stupid financial decisions? How many health problems do people get because they lack wisdom about food, and they make stupid eating decisions? How many times do people waste years of their life in a false church or a false religion or under stupid preaching because they didn't read this book? You know what got me out of a false church? You know what got me out of a liberal church? Reading this book, and I read this book and said, "You know what? What I'm reading in this book is completely different from what I'm hearing in this church." That's what leads you to start looking for something else.
Why? Because knowledge, wisdom, and understanding gets you out of a bad church. Knowledge, wisdom, and understanding will save you money, save you health. Look, how many marriage problems could be avoided just by getting some basic knowledge about marriage? Wisdom in regard to marriage, understanding about marriage. You say, "Where am I going to get it?" First of all, from the Bible. Preaching on marriage. I have an audio CD back there on marriage that is literally, out of all the sermons I've preached on marriage, and it's not for sale, it's free. We never sell anything here. That CD back there on how to have a great marriage, that is literally the product of me being married for many, many years, studying the Bible for many, many years, learning, studying, listening to other preaching, reading the word of God, just things that I've learned the hard way in my own marriage. I mean, there is so much information on that CD that I consider to be gold. It's all Biblical. It's all straight out of the word of God, but a lot of people will make a lot of mistakes. I made a lot of mistakes in my marriage just because I just didn't know. Just because I just didn't have the wisdom. I didn't have the understanding.
You can just go through so much pain and suffering and waste so much time doing things the wrong way. I mean think about at your job. Have you ever just done something the wrong way at your job and just wasted hours and hours and hours and hours, and then somebody show you, "Oh, you just do it like this." Then all of a sudden, it's just easy. It's just easy. Sometimes, just taking the time to learn how to do things right and get the knowledge before you do a task. It's like before you put something together, like reading the instructions, for example.
What I'm saying is that having knowledge, having wisdom and understanding will save you a lot of time, lot of money, lot of pain, lot of mistakes. I mean, I talk to people all the time who screw up their life, and they're just like, "I didn't know. I had no idea that this was what God said in the Bible. I had no idea that was a sin. I didn't have any idea that I was supposed to be doing that," but it was all in the Bible all along. They could have just read it any time. Or they could have been at a church that was a Bible-preaching church and learned all kinds of things, and so really, wisdom is the principle thing.
I mean, when it comes to, and I've said this often, too, is that people who are successful in business, and obviously, that's not our goal, the Bible teaches that we should not desire to be rich and so forth, but people that are successful in business and successful in the world and have money, if you were to literally take all those people's money away to where they had nothing, if you gave them a few years, they would make all that money again, and they would become wealthy once again. Because they know how to do it. You see what I'm saying? Because it's just they have the knowledge. Yes, it is a worldly knowledge and a worldly wisdom, but that just goes to show you. They have the skills, the knowledge, the wisdom, the understanding. They could get back where they were, because they know how to do it. Other people don't know what they're doing.
So what I'm saying is we as God's people need to put a very high premium on knowledge. How do we do it? Number 1, read the Bible with a goal of learning something and gaining knowledge. Go to the word of God and say, "I want to learn something."
I like to pray this when I read my Bible. "Open thou mine eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law." I pray to God to show me something from the Bible, and then I read copious amounts of the Bible. Read lots of chapters, try to understand it, try to learn. I try to read the parts of the Bible that I know the least about, and I say, "I just don't feel like I know this book very well. Let's read it a few times. Let's learn it. Let's gain knowledge and understanding."
Go to a church that teaches you knowledge where you learn something. I've heard some rip roaring sermons that were really dynamic, but you didn't really learn much. That's fun for awhile. I've heard preachers like that, and I thought, "Wow, this guy is awesome. I love this guy's preaching." Maybe download a few of his sermons, or maybe go hear him preach a few times, and then you start realizing, you know, this is really lean on content. I'm not really learning anything. I mean, it sounds great. It's exciting. Woo, yeah, all right, but it's kind of repetitive. It's kind of just shallow of information. I would go to the church where I'm learning the most. Where I'm actually gaining knowledge. Because knowledge is so critical. Wisdom is so critical. Understanding is so critical. I would choose a church based on that, and I would also make gaining knowledge a priority in my life. I would actually devote some time to it everyday.
So first of all, obviously, we're supposed to read our Bibles everyday. The Bible commands us to read our Bibles everyday. We should read enough to learn something and gain some knowledge, but you know what? It's also good, sometimes, to just gain knowledge in other areas. Just to be a lifelong learner. A lot of people, they just go to school and they learn stuff in school, and then the rest of their life, they just don't learn anything. One of the great things about homeschooling is that it actually keeps women learning lifelong. I mean, my wife is constantly learning all kinds of new things, because she's homeschooling the children, and in the process of teaching them, what does the Bible say in Romans chapter 2? "Thou therefore that teachest another teachest thou not thyself also." Whenever you're teaching something to someone else, you learn it also. As she goes through the science and the history and the math, she's maybe reinforcing things that she's learned in the past. Also learning new things and gaining knowledge and being a lifelong learner.
I can honestly say I am always, me personally, always, at all times, I am always studying something and learning something other than the Bible. Now, obviously, I love studying the Bible. That should always be the principle thing. That's the beginning of knowledge. That's where it should all begin, but I am always, at any given time, you can ask my wife, there's always some other area of study, some other thing that I am learning just in order to keep the knowledge flowing and then remain wise and to learn new things. Because I consider this a way to succeed in life, and a way that God could use you more by exercising your brain, and not just vegging out with mindless activities.
I'm not against sports. I'm not against taking some time to relax and fool around and leisure and recreation, but you know what? You shouldn't just have mass amounts of leisure and recreation in your life, and you're never learning anything. You're not going to succeed at your job if you're just coasting. The way to succeed is by taking the bull by the horns and getting something done.
I was just looking through my library at just some books that I've been reading lately, or books that I like, okay, and these are just things that I just study and learn just in order to gain knowledge. I have a lot of books like this book. This is a foreign language book. So sometimes, I'm studying ... For example, you could learn how to speak Spanish, and you could actually use that to win people to Christ in this area that speak Spanish. That's something that will make you smarter. Studying Spanish.
This is a book that I really like called The Gulag Archipelago, okay, by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. It says on the cover, "This is the best non-fiction book of the 20th Century," and this is a book about the Soviet Union, and the prison-industrial complex of the Soviet Union, and you know what? If every person in America had read this book, our politics in our country would be a completely different place, because people have no understanding of how prisons work. They have no understanding of politically where we're going by embracing Socialism and the big government model that, you know, but we could learn from the mistakes of the past of the Soviet Union right here from The Gulag Archipelago. This is probably one of the most important books that was every published in the 20th Century. You could learn a lot from that book.
These are other history ... This is a book on archaic words from the King James Bible. So it goes through every word in the King James Bible that's a supposedly archaic word, and it explains how ... It explains what it means, where it came from, and how it's not archaic, but it gives modern examples of usage. This is a book that's very educational. This is a book on survival: The Ultimate Survival Manual. This tells you how to survive in the woods. You say, "Why are you showing us these books, Pastor Anderson?" Because at least if I sat ... Instead of sitting in front of the TV, instead of sitting in front of a video game, if you just wanted to relax and have some entertainment, at least if you read a book like this, you're actually gaining knowledge and information that could actually help you succeed in life.
This could help you understand difficult words in the Bible. This could help you understand politics and government. This could help you understand a foreign language. This could help you to understand what to do if you're ever in a situation where you're stranded somewhere. This could save your life to know some of the things in this survival guide. All kinds of books, and that's just a few books, but I read books all the time. Why? So that I can be an intelligent person. So that I can have knowledge. Because why? A wise man likes to learn, want to increase learning, attain unto wise counsels, learn things.
Look, obviously learning the Bible is number 1, and the most important thing, but all knowledge, as long as we're not getting the knowledge of evil, or the knowledge of sin, but when we gain knowledge about just all practical areas of life. I mean, even King Solomon ... King Solomon was a man who excelled in wisdom, was he not? Was he the wisest man? What did Solomon talk about? He talked about animals, he talked about plants. He actually spake all kinds of proverbs that had to do with business, that had to do with ruling a kingdom, that had to do with politics. He talked about literally thousands of species of plants. From the hyssop that springs out of the wall to the cedar of Lebanon. He knew about plants, he knew about animals.
Gaining knowledge is something that Christians should be known for, and unfortunately, a lot of Christians are known for being ignorant and stupid. Isn't that what the atheists make fun of us and they say, "Oh, you guys are a bunch of backwards, you're a bunch of uneducated idiots." I mean, isn't that the common stereotype about Christians? Especially about a Fundamentalist. "Oh, you're a Fundamental Baptist. Yeah, they're not very intellectual." Now look. No matter how smart you get, they're still going to say that. Why? Because just as their wisdom is foolishness to us, our wisdom is foolishness to them. Because the Bible says the natural man receiveth not the things of the spirit of God, they're foolishness unto him, but then also, it says the wisdom of the world is foolishness with God. So they're always going to call us stupid, but you know what, the sad thing is a lot of times when they accuse Christians of that, and when they accuse Fundamental Baptists of that, a lot of times, they're right. Because there are a lot of really stupid Christians, and a lot of stupid Fundamental Baptists.
You know what? That is not right, and that is not something that we should have as a badge of honor. I've even heard, literally, some preachers, "Well, I'm just an ignorant old, you know, but I've just been saved by the grace of God and I'm just a backwoods old boy, but I just know that Jesus saves." Well, no, you need to know something beyond that, okay. If you're going to pastor a church, learn more than that. Know more than that. Know the Bible backwards and forwards, and be able to instruct and help your people in other areas of life, and just be a wise counselor unto mankind, and not be one that just says, "Well, I'm just not, well, I just don't read. I'm just not ..." You know what? There's a word for people that don't like to read. Foolish people and ignorant people. That's what they are. Because reading's not an option. God commands us to read the Bible. "Well, I just don't like to read." Well, you're just stupid then, and you need to just force yourself to read and stop being a fool and stop being ignorant.
"Well, there's other ways to learn things, like watching the History Channel" No. No. It's a proven fact that you don't learn as much from watching videos as from reading. Okay? Can you learn something from a video? Yes, but you learn more from reading. You learn far more from reading. It's a fact. It's been scientifically proven every which way. Yeah, people are going to criticize us and call us ignorant and foolish, but let it not be true that we are backwards and uneducated.
Look, notice in my sermon, I didn't say, "Go down to the State University to get educated. Go take a college class." You're not going to, that's not the way to learn things, folks. I've known so many people who graduated with a four-year degree in this and that, and they don't know anything about it. You gain knowledge by picking up a book and reading it. You gain knowledge by going to someone and being trained. You get training in the local church, you get training as a locksmith technician. You learn from a guru or a mentor or whatever you want to call it, or you learn from reading a book yourself. That's where you get knowledge from. That's where you get learning from.
Pastors need to stop being ignorant. We need to know the Bible. We need to be intelligent people, and you know what? We should try to lead our congregations, and parents should try to lead their children to exalt knowledge, because the Bible exalts it, and the Bible puts wisdom on a pedestal, and the Bible puts a premium on these things, and says these are important things, and that's the culture that we should have in our church and the culture that we should have in our homes and the culture that we should have as Fundamentalists and Christians. You don't have to be dumb to be a Fundamentalist. There's nothing about being a Fundamentalist that contradicts knowledge and wisdom and understanding and intelligence. In fact, the more you study the word of God, the more you're going to become a Fundamental Baptist. If you're actually saved.
Speaker 5: That's right.
Pastor Anderson: If you have the Holy Spirit living inside of you. So let's not shy away from learning things and studying things. Let's seek after knowledge and make that a major pursuit in our lives, and decide ... I want you to decide in your mind right now, "I want to be a smart person, because foolishness is a sin." Did you hear that?
Pastor Anderson: Brutishness, foolishness, ignorance are sinful. The Bible says, "I will not have you to be ignorant, brethren," and we need to decide in our hearts, I want to be an intelligent person. I want to be a smart person. I want to know the Bible. I want to know how to be a good husband. I want to know how to be a good parent, and whatever my job is, whether that's plumbing or electrical or carpentry or whatever, I want to learn that job and get good at that job and I want to continually keep learning, and not just do the same job for 30 years and not learn anything new, and then wonder why I'm not advancing.
Let's bow our heads and have a word of prayer. Father, we thank you so much for the book of Proverbs, Lord, and we thank you for giving us the ultimate textbook, the Holy Bible. The ultimate source of knowledge, Lord. Help us to read it every single day. Not just to gain some little tidbit, Lord, but help us to actually dig in and do some serious reading in your word every single day to actually gain knowledge of your word, and Father, please just help us to be intelligent people in all areas of life. Help us not to just be unable to perform simple math, Lord. Help us not to be totally ignorant of where countries are located on the globe and just have no clue what we're talking about in an intelligent conversation, Lord. Help us to actually be people who are lifelong learners, and those who consider knowledge, wisdom, and understanding to be high priorities in our lives. Lord, help us to find the time to do these things by cutting out some of the worthless activities in our lives, Lord. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.