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Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhart challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ. Those people see those people may see us as the enemy.
We have to be very careful not to return the favor and I'm so afraid that I do so many Christians talk talk as though there joining us today on this additional Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhart Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana going faster Gebhart now is once again he shows us how God's word. Israel is the fig tree. He says I would find any fruit three years. He says behold, for three years I've come looking for the food in this big thing without finding any.
Cut it down. He says why does it even use up the ground. It's pointless a fig tree without things is point us and he answered and he said to him, let alone Sir. He said for this year to until I dig around it and he said and I put on some fertilizer on it. Maybe, maybe that would really help the word for fertilizer.
There is the word for manure. He said what.
Maybe that's what it needs and if it bears fruit next year, fine. But if not democratic, not in light of what Jesus said prior to this, what is it he's really trying to say what is the point of his parable is point is this. Everybody is living on borrowed time. Everybody lives on borrowed time. All of us. Some of us will have more than others, but were all living on borrowed time and so his whole point in this type of thing is that this tree is living on borrowed time should be cut down. But I'll let it go for little bit longer. You see, what does he mean he say Mr. Israel. He is saying to them, look, the only hope you have is me. I been here three years now and you're not responded there's going to be a time when you're not going to have the time to respond me. You see there's going to be a time when there's nothing else I can do for you now is that for Israel but that's true for everybody.
You see everybody in here and everybody out their lives on borrowed time. You see that's and how much of it I don't know. You see some of you will get from an earthly point of view. A lot of it and some of you will get a lot less but it's inevitable. And so the question of it is is that we need to see how essentially important Jesus Christ is. That's what he is saying because he's there but I'm saying how strategically important. We are because this is the message we have we have the gospel of Jesus Christ. You see the solution for that world out there and on a temporal basis at all. Think of how they try.
Think of the press conferences that are held we see something really terrible and have a press conference and I'm a tell you what's going to be done about this or even worse about every 2 to 4 years in election.
All my goodness yeah there's a lot of bad stuff out there but if you elect me streets will be saving really yeah because that's what we do, we just talk. Even something as wonderful. Just imagine all the medical research and that through all the medical research and the wonder of medical research we find in our lifetimes. A cure for cancer. When that be wonderful yes, but there's a reality were all going to die anyway whether they cure cancer or not you're still going to die were all on borrowed time. We keep thinking that the whole solution to the dangers of our society are things like you know what we can just get some gun control going that'll solve the issue even if there weren't any guns.
It's not going to solve the issue that all those people that guns are still going to die see it doesn't really matter. It's inevitable. We need to stop global warming. Okay, what if we stop at then we all die in the cold.
You see how easy it is to have this temporal mindset. You get so preoccupied with what is temporal and usually catastrophic that you forget the big picture of this thing. Melody forget the big picture but you forget, the only hope I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes the father but through me. You see that's who he is.
That's what's so important that's our ministry that's who we are turned to second Corinthians chapter 4 second Corinthians chapter 4 and listen how Paul spends this in a day. By the way that is very much like the day we live in morally and spiritually in the second Corinthians 4 verse one, the apostle Paul writes this, he said.
Therefore, since we have this ministry. The ministry of the gospel.
That's our ministry. That's what we do, he said. Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. Don't give up on this, but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness, or adulterating the word of God by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. In other words, I don't compromise with what the world is doing when I get to live the way the world is living he said.
And even if our gospel is veiled, he said it's billed of those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, so that they knew Mike night see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
We do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus as Lord, and he says, and ourselves as bond servants for Jesus sake, for God, who said light shall shine out of darkness, is the one who is shown in our hearts to give me says the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ poses I don't lose hardness. See, I don't want to give up on this.
It's kind of an interesting thing is, but that's the way it is. I know it's difficult but I don't want to quit Paul's world was very adversarial, Paul. Your world is becoming very adversarial to you if you stand for Christ. See our culture has degraded it is changed and it's abundant and you can see it everywhere.
I mean, the first thing our culture dating that steps is a totally disregarded sort of the Judeo-Christian ethic are basically the most primary biblical truths. A total disregard for that. That's long done culturally. Secondly when ends up having the culture is it then turns morality upside down. Once you have got rid of the standard of measure, then morality is turned upside down and we live in a culture completely upside down.
When it comes morality fornication is fun. Sex is recreational homosexuality is normal. Abortion is good. Isaiah 5, 700 years before Christ. Isaiah said, they substitute bad for good.
They substitute darkness for light that's were cultures. That's what's happened. The third thing that happens after the dismissing of biblical truth and then the attorney morality upside on the third thing that happens is simply this, then the culture demands tolerance, it demands that you tolerate how it lives demands it. The only thing that our culture is intolerant of is anyone who is intolerant and have no tolerance for those people at all and never will before stepping. This is the one coming persecution. It will come. It's inevitable. That's what happened to Paul.
You see the persecution came, but Paul said I don't really care about that.
Notice in verse seven he says but we have this treasure that's the gospel in earthen vessels so that he said the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves possible is the only hope of mankind's world because it's in me is the treasurer of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It's in me.
It's an earthen vessel. Jesus is no longer here Paul says I'm here to proclaim his gospel. That's what I'm going to do. It's the same thing for us. We need to see just how strategically important.
We are in our world and by this way. This is a world that doesn't care too much for us. Notice what Paul then says in verse eight he said we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed.
We are perplexed, but were not despairing.
We are persecuted, but not forsaken, we are struck down, but were not destroyed, always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body the way you live. He said, are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh so death works in us, but life works in you that last verse means, and it's worth it. You see, if you said the Pope. You mean you're willing to give your life for these very people who are in it what he says here afflicting you, crushing you persecuting you striking your.he says yes more than willing. You see, because it's their only hope.
That's how he sees it. We need to see our world from God's perspective and we need to see how strategically important we are to our world and the last thing is this. We really need to see what the Lord expects of us turn with me to the sermon on the mount Matthew chapter 5. What does the Lord expect from us in this world that is marginalizing us disliking us eventually probably hating us and certainly then persecuting us how do we respond that verse 43 of Matthew five Jesus as you have heard that it was said, you shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. That's really engineers. A worldview. You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy not notice you have heard that it was said wow that's amazing.
Verse 38 you have heard that it was said verse 33. Again, you heard what the ancients were told, verse 27 he says you have heard what was said in every one of those cases.
Verse 21 you have heard that the ancestors were told in each one.
The responses Jesus is. But I say something else but I say something else. Each time now notice what the responses.
This is what they all believe this is what you teach your children.
You are to love your neighbor and you want to hate your enemy, where they get that. How does that work well hold a place in the back with me if you'd like to Leviticus 19 to verses in Leviticus, of all places. 19 Moses is writing.
And when Moses is writing.
He's writing to Israel it's a theophany, a stalking them at this stage about how they are to interact with each other and so in verse 17, Leviticus 19 Moses writes you said, you shall not hate your fellow countrymen in your heart you may surely reprove your neighbor, but shall not incur sin because of them. You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord. So what tradition became in the Pharisees took it.
Is that what God said to us in Leviticus as we are to love each other, and the implication of what God said is that means were to hate the other people he only said were to love each other so he God wants us to hate the other people so they built a worldview around that was astounding.
By the way the Pharisees truly did love that whole idea hating your enemy when they didn't have to be just Gentiles to them. They pretty much hated everybody in John chapter 7 large group of people said could this Jesus really be the Messiah. Could he really be the guy that claims to be an Pharisees said and and seven in verse 49 they called the common Jew. They said you know you're just the common Jew doesn't do the law your accursed which means forever cursed your accursed so they didn't like Gentiles and then in like almost all the Jews, they pretty much only love each other. That's how they took this whole idea that's a way of Pharisees all but I would imagine is I don't think a Pharisee would make a very good lifeguard I don't I don't think you could put them as a fireman, I don't think it come to your house.
You know, because the whole point of it is he only he had a very limited view. So Jesus says you have heard that it was said that you shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Those dying people out there those people living on borrowed time. Those people who in growing numbers hate us. Those people are our mission field. You see those people may see us as the enemy but we have to be very careful not to return the favor and I'm so afraid that I hear so many Christians talk and they talk as though there are enemy. One commentator wrote this with Jesus speaking about has to be our attitude no matter how of our environment no matter how threatening we love those who are enemies the worst Islamic terrorist. The most foul mouth anti-Christian person that irritates you the one who criticizes Christ in the is honors him into it literally causes pain for you what your attitude to be it's to be an attitude of love. Let me say it again to love them is to ardently and passionately and genuinely desire that they will repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved and that has to be the heart attitude that we take into this dying world.
You see, I think we really struggle with this. I don't think Jesus is ambiguous here at all. I say to you will love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you not watch so that you may be the sons of your Father who is in heaven. In other words, Jesus said if you say you are a child of God.
Act like a child of God see if you're saying I'm a child of God, then act like one. Like your father.
He says so that you may be sons of your father is in heaven. For he causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good and he sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Common grace could be to farmers in the middle of Nebraska with a huge crop and one is a devout atheist and the other is a devout believer but when the rains come. It actually helps both fields. God says that's the way I act there's common grace here he sees us as look if you love those who love you, what reward you have for that. In other words, everybody loves people who love. I think the easiest thing in the world would go. He says don't even tax gatherers do the same.
Now that's the lowest form in their culture even tax gatherers love each other. He said if you greet only your brothers, one more you doing then others don't. Even the Gentiles to the same. Therefore, you are to be complete, mature, perfect, as your heavenly father is this part of who we are. It's in our spiritual DNA. It's what were to be about.
You see, how does God love people. That's the way we are to love people and that's all people. One is general goodness general goodness that's what you're saying. That's what the rain is in the sun.
General goodness common grace. You see, that's what we are be about.
It's not like oh I like to go really hope that people cross the street because it I think they go to a church like ours. I must say nothing wrong with that but the say hey man, I thought my neighbor he doesn't have any anything good to say about my faith or my Lord, I don't think I'm going to help this fellow and be careful that you see. It's just in a sense, general goodness. Secondly, we have to have compassion. You see, the only reason you're a Christian it's got a compassion on you positive moments while we were still at enmity with God. While we were still his enemies what he do he sent his son, why the die for you. He had compassion on you even when you were his enemy. He had compassion on you. That's what we have to be weird to be people of compassion and then we have to be people who have the courage to warn people said we have to warn them like this temporal scene they have to hear the gospel this past week I read something was astounding to me. 120 out of every 121 Americans believe when they die they go to heaven. 120/121 you see now. Jesus brought us the way leads to destruction, and narrow is the gate and find eternal life, and only a few find it now. Either the polls long or Jesus is wrong, then we have to tell them it's our responsibility to tell you that's what we have to do. That's the way we have to act.
We live in a society.
I'm like anything in the past we see everything.
The question we have is how should we then live. We need to see our world from God's perspective dying people living on borrowed time lost. Secondly, we need to see how strategically important we are to our world, no matter how degrading our culture is its hope is Jesus Christ. We need to see that. And thirdly, we need to see what the Lord expects of us. He expects us to love on.
That's his expectation. He expects us to have general goodness and compassion the courage to warn them in the love they give them the gospel.
You see we can review the world's only hope. Those are my words or Jesus you see it always going to be worthwhile because simply as little growth there is no other name given among men by which we must be say. That's what it means to be a Christian we need to live that way the spring father, I fear that we have two completely long reactions to the world in which we live. I think for some of us were so tempted so insecure and have such a desire to fit into our world that we compromise every value that we have were willing to compromise in the sense of the we can fit in with those who lost the only problem father is that we never got around to the greatness of Jesus Christ.
There are others of his father, who hate the world because it hates us we see people in the world as who view us as their enemy and we want to in our flesh, view them as our enemy father. I know that it would be extremely difficult in my flesh to love people who are dedicated. For example, margarine Christians father you love them.
That way Jesus Christ loves and that way. So what I need to do is submit my spirit to the Lords and need. 11 the same way. Father, we live in a world that is getting progressively more difficult to be a believer in Jesus Christ. I just pray father that we don't fall into one of these two terrible ways to react. We find ourselves father saw light and out of our love and compassion for our neighbors were willing to do anything to bring that same mercy and pastor Bill Gebhardt. The radio ministry of fellowship in the if you ever missed one of our broadcast or maybe you just like the message one more time.
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