D. L. Moody was a 19th century evangelist, educator and publisher. The Moody Bible Institute in Chicago is one achievement of his ministry.
Moody preached all over the United States as well as England and Ireland where he held evangelistic campaigns that attracted large audiences. In fact, his last sermon was in Kansas City, Missouri, November 16, 1899.
As a result of his bold style and passionate preaching his meetings were often attended by hecklers who violently disagreed with his teaching.
In the final service of one meeting, an usher handed Moody a note as he approached the lectern. It was from an atheist who had constantly criticized Moody. The evangelist, however, supposed it was an announcement, so he quieted the large audience and prepared to read it. As he opened the folded paper he found scrawled in large print only one word: “FOOL!”
Known for his quick wit, Moody looked up and said: “I’ve just been handed a memo which contains the single word – ‘FOOL’. This is most unusual. I’ve often heard of those who have written letters and forgotten to sign their names, but this is the first time I’ve ever heard of anyone who signed his name and then forgot to write the letter!”
Taking advantage of the unique situation, Moody promptly changed his sermon text to Psalm 14:1 “The fool has said in his heart, There is no God!”
The Hebrew word for “fool” is “Nadal”, which literally means “stupid.” It has nothing to do with intellect, but denotes impiety and moral perversity. The fool scoffs at God. He ridicules the idea of a Creator. He mocks Divine guidelines for his lifestyle.
Speaking of these fools, the Pslamist describes them this way: “They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good. The Lord looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.”
The depravity of that day is eerily similar to today’s culture. Roger Shouse was right when he wrote in his blog, “A society without God becomes drunk on pushing the limits of wrong. Drugs are in. Abortion is in. But God is out.”
“Our passage shows the natural bridge from corrupt and abominable deeds and a denial of God. Without God, every person becomes their own judge. Without God guilt is removed and wrong becomes right. Without God, our times do not become better but worse. More self centeredness. More apathy toward others. More misery. Less optimism and hope. More greed. More materialism.”
The Bible doesn’t debate the existence of God. Or even try to prove. It simply assumes it! “In the beginning God…” (Gen. 1:1). In fact, Psalm 14:1 may be the only verse in the Bible devoted to the atheist!
God’s existence is revealed in His inspired Cannon, the Bible. The Bible’s harmony, unity, accuracy of history, science and secular literature as confirmed by external archeological evidence, argue an indisputable fact: its author must be God!
God’s existence is demonstrated in the coming of Christ. Jesus said he came to show us the Father. His love. Mercy. Grace. And the Father’s plan for man’s salvation through Christ’s vicarious death on the cross.
I’m reminded of an atheist who once complained to His Christian neighbor about national holidays steeped in Christianity. “We don’t get any special days!” he grumbled. His friend thought for a moment and said, “How about April 1st!”
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman