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Parable of the Rich Fool

Luke 12:16-21


Long before there was Coronavirus, there was Affluenza!


Why is it that when life is going the best and we have the most, that we act the most foolishly?  When supplies are ample, or we are celebrating a great victory, or someone praises us—we take such opportunity to show what we’re really made of. 


Why do we show our foolishness at such inappropriate times?  We’re sinners.  Meanwhile, God is perfect.  He is wise, and we are foolish!  Yes, and when times are good is when we can come down with a good case of “Affluenza!”  To be affluent is to have much, but beware, it can be a curse, or at least can lead you down the wrong paths.  Don’t get me wrong, I believe God wants to give to us richly, but in the right perspective which is not often present!  Our God is so good to us…and so we receive the benefits, but often we forget the “Benefactor.”  [the One Who gives all to us.]  "Affluenza" is the disease, the love of money is the root cause, and this story of Jesus is the cure!  But first…


The Bible speaks of a number of fools.

  1. The unbelieving fool. Psa 14:1 “The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God.”
  2. The ignorant fool. Prov.1:7 “fools despise wisdom”
  3. The self righteous fool. Prov. 12:15 “the way of a fool is right in his own eyes”
  4. The mocking fool. Prov.14:9 “fools mock at sin”
  5. The self sufficient fool. Rom.1:22 “professing themselves to be wise, they became fools”
  6. The Christian fool. I Cor. 4:10 “we are fools for Christ sake.”
  7. The Rich Fool. Luke 12:16 “thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required.”


Truly, the love of money is the root of all evil.  But God has help for us today…


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[back to today’s text]


Notice the progression:


MAN’S WEALTH   (v.16,17)

leads to man’s will


MAN’S WILL   (V.18,19)  “I will

  1. I will pull down my barns.
  2. I will build greater barns.
  3. I will store my produce.
  4. I will say to my soul.
  5. I will eat, drink, and be merry.

Proverbs 1:32
…the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.

Man’s wealth leads to man’s woe


MAN’S WOE  (V.20)  “ but God said unto him”

  1. The woe of being a fool.
  2. The woe of sudden death.
  3. The woe of losing it all.
  4. The woe of divine judgment.


He received the benefits but forgot the benefactor.


Four Reasons Why God Called the Rich Man a Fool:



  1. Never thanked God for anything.
  2. He left God out of his life altogether.


  1. His interest was in things, and possessions instead of people.  Love people, use things, not the opposite.
  2. He ignored the second commandment. “love thy neighbor


Ill.--The chairman of the community charity called on a notorious miser. “Sir,” said the fund-raiser, “our records show that despite your wealth, you’ve never once given to our fund drive.” He replied, “Do your records show that I have an elderly mother who was left penniless when my father died?” fumed the tightwad. “Do your records show that I have a disabled brother who is unable to work? Do your records show I have a widowed sister with small children who can barely make ends meet?” “No, sir,” replied the embarrassed volunteer. “Our records don’t show those things.” “Well,” said the miser. “I don’t give to any of them, so why should I give anything to you?”


The rich fool had the wrong attitude toward God, others, and also…


  1. His thoughts were on retirement and ease.
  2. He ignored the fact that one day he would need others.
  3. He forgot that God is the owner of all he had.


Let’s take some testimonies of what we’ve learned about money, and how it applies to life and spirituality…

(Deuteronomy 8:18) But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.


(Jeremiah 9:23-24) Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD...


(Matthew 6:21) For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.


(Matthew 6:24) No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.


(Mark 10:23-25) And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.


(1 Timothy 6:9) But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.

(1 Timothy 6:10) For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.


Not only was his attitude wrong toward God and others, and toward money and life, but also…


  1. He lived as if there were no eternity.
  2. He lived as though he were going to live forever on earth.



1. We Are Fools When We Do Not Give God The Credit For Things He Has Done.

2. We Are Fools When We Make Plans But Leave God Out.

3. We Are Fools When We Live Only For the Moment.

4. We Are Fools When We Store Our Treasure In The Wrong Places.


Who else does the Bible say is a fool?

1. He Who Trusts In His Own Heart. Prov. 28:26.

Proverbs 28:26
He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.

Romans 1:22
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.


2. He Who Is Always Right. [In His Own Eyes.] Prov. 12:15.

Proverbs 12:15
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.

Proverbs 14:16
A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident.


3. He Who Despises Wisdom and Instruction. Prov. 1:7.

Proverbs 1:7
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.


4. He Who Is Soon Angry. Eccl. 7:9.

Ecclesiastes 7:9
Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.


5. He Who Slanders Others. Prov. 10:18.

Proverbs 10:18
He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool.


6. He Who Mocks At Sin. Prov. 14:9.

Proverbs 14:9
Fools make a mock at sin:


7. He Who Talks A Lot.

Proverbs 29:11
A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.

Ecclesiastes 5:3
…a fool's voice is known by multitude of words.

Someone once said, "Better to keep your mouth closed and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."


8. He Who Minds Others’ Business.

Proverbs 20:3
It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling.

Proverbs 26:17
He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears.


9. He Who Says There Is No God. Psa. 14:1

Psalms 14:1
The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.

If you aren’t saved, all you must do is believe!  Believe the truth of the gospel… [share]


What should believers do?

Proverbs 9:6
Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.

It has been said, "Never let a fool kiss you and never let a kiss fool you."

Ephesians 5:15
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise.

Let’s realize what an ample job God has done in blessing us.  We are truly rich.  And God wants us to be rich in wisdom, so when you come to the mountaintop and things are going great, what a great time it is to lean on God and realize all we have is His…don’t reveal our truly foolish, sinful colors!

1 Corinthians 4:10
We are fools for Christ's sake…


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