Those Who Are Perishing
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18)
According to a recent article, twelve people have died climbing Mt. Everest this year, with nine of those deaths happening over an eleven day period. “Mountaineers have suggested difficult weather conditions, a lack of experience and the growing commercialization of expeditions as contributing factors….” According to Live Science, one of the leading causes of death on Mt. Everest is a phenomenon known as “altitude sickness,” which occurs when the brain and body do not get a sufficient amount of oxygen.
Dr. Eric Weiss, a professor of emergency medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine and founder and former director of the Stanford Wilderness Medicine Fellowship told Live Science, "The marked reduction in barometric pressure and oxygen you get has very deleterious effects on the brain and the body." There have been reports of people with altitude sickness who refuse the oxygen they need to survive. Their brains cannot process their need for oxygen due to their lack of oxygen. Their need for oxygen is foolishness to them because they are perishing and they don’t even know it.
It can be the same with people who refuse Christ, like those to whom Paul is referring in 1 Corinthians 1:18. People like Richard Dawkins, an ethologist and the current unofficial leader of the Atheist religion. Spend only a few moments watching him debate with apologists and it becomes very clear that the message of the cross is foolishness to him. The fact that Jesus is the only way to salvation is foolishness to some. As Oprah once said about a woman’s claim that Jesus is the only way to heaven, “There couldn’t possibly be one way.” The fact that you can’t earn God’s forgiveness, that it is freely given when we repent, is foolishness to some.
What may be foolishness to some is the power of God to those of us who are being saved. So even if it sounds like foolishness, we go forth with that power and we bring the message of Jesus Christ to those who are perishing.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.