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June 1, 2020 8:00 am
Today on the Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhart challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ. God can do anything you should be able to do that God could do this. I read that he did not like any do this when you say one is either you're saying that God really Or what you're saying is you can do it not like I'm a survivor dog is joining us today on this additional Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana that's going pastor Bill Gebhardt now shows us God's word. Our world are not 12 hours in the day if anyone walks the day does not stumble because he sees the light of this world. If anyone walks in the night, he stumbles because he said the light is not physical and spiritual illustration. Jesus is what you guys know something you only can get work done during the daylight hours is the only time you can see any sin and spiritually speaking on the light of the world and I'm here we going to do it while here. Then he says something else. He said to them, our notice the pronoun. Our friend Lazarus is fallen asleep. You know that's a euphemism we see it all through Scripture. When someone died. Who knew Christ but he says our friend Lazarus is fallen asleep, but I go so that I may awaken out of asleep. Now you gotta love the disciples they think just like you do this, I was an syndrome board of these fall asleep. He's gonna wake up is MNU the city fell asleep, he fell asleep. Wake up I fall asleep every night I wake up in the morning using he fell asleep and wake up you will have to go. That's just the way we think. Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he was speaking of literal sleep now. I'm sure he probably didn't, but if there's any time in Jesus ministry where he rolled his eyes.
I think this was it a just just rolled his eyes like your I am with the most quote unquote spiritual man on the planet and I just told the nurse in there like what notice what he says then then Jesus said to them plainly, Lazarus is dead again I don't want to Michelle about sleep stuff again and I'll I mean the whole point of it is he just like you guys ever get anything he says Lazarus is dead and then he says something that shocking and I am glad you never see those words together very often.
He said Lazarus is dead and I am glad for your sakes that I was not there. What yes I'm glad for your sakes that I was not there so that I have a purpose in this is the purpose clause so that you may what believe that's why I'm not there when an interesting statement that is.
I'm glad I'm willing to let a loved one like Lazarus die I'm willing to let Mary and Martha grieve.
I am willing to let the disciples worry and be fearful. I am willing because I want their faith to grow.
Please understand, he thinks the way he thinks about them is the way he thinks about you and me. I am willing I am willing to wait. I am willing because I want you to be a person of great faith where statement while well therefore Thomas usually gets a bad rap. By the way, I don't think Thomas was so much a doubter. He was a realist is just one of those guys sit. Thomas, who was called didymus means twin. He said to his fellow disciples of let us also go, so that we may die with him. It's just straightforward to kill him. Thomas let's go notice wanting.
He's not a coward. He's not afraid he sees it as a realist. You see, that's often the case. So when Jesus came he says he found that he had already been in the tomb for four days. He waited to one day to come when they back.
There's a reason Jesus waited four days said this before but there's a rabbinic tradition at the time of Christ.
It's not biblical wasn't true, but it was the cultural rabbinic view of the teachers of the Jews, and that is that whenever a person died, their soul would hover around their body for three days up to three days and if any spark of life would come back. Remember not taken the but I know that any spark of life came back the soul would immediately jump right back into the body. So Jesus said, and on my site.
How long is that the three days. After three days of souls Gonzalo Jesus white four days I gonna want anyone to think that the soul was hopping around and he got all resuscitated and came right back in so he now goes now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about 2 miles off, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother, and Martha. Therefore, when she heard that Jesus was coming want to medium but Mary stayed at the house and Martha then said to Jesus, Lord, if you would been here, my brother died. Now I think right there. There's a hint of what happens. That's a hint of bitterness. She's in a pit. She's grieving.
She just lost a brother. She loves and is a little bitterness there. By the way, it's the word we so often use ourselves in it. Something happens or someone dies some terrible pit ran and what we say Lord if if if if a diagnosis had been sooner. Lord, if we were to guide counseling, Lord, if if if if you just would not Lord's our nature is not the words of faith, she that's not the words of faith. Think of how deep and how terrible the pit was for Job, a pit like no one else had ever faced before sense and out of the pit. He yells, even if he slays me. I will trust him while difference she does with all of us would do.
She knows Jesus on a personal level so ends up happening here. She then says this to Jesus.
Even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you she's I got she has faith is not.
It may not be great faith that she has faith in your thinking. Well I know what she's asking for right now. She says you can bring them back. That's not true. That is not what she's asking. She says, Lord, I do believe you and I do believe whatever you ask of God, to give you. I have faith in you. But it's not the bring Lazarus back. Are you sure guess two reasons.
Notice the very very first one is that right after this, Jesus says your brother will rise again. There is going to come back and she said yeah I know he was that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.
So when Jesus said he will rise again. She wasn't thinking you going to bring them back. She said in the last day I know will be resurrected. Also, the book on the verse 39 Jesus says remove the stone in the same Martha says, Lord, by this time there will be a stench for he is been dead for four days. She didn't believe he was going to be resurrected. Even then, so she's not saying to him, Lord, I know, whatever you ask. You bring my brother back.
That's knowledge he saying she sizzled I have faith in you. Now it's interesting Jesus then says that her and this is the whole point of why Jesus set this up and delayed. He said I am the resurrection and the life you believes in me will live, even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Then you look to write your answers. Do you believe this.
That's his point is he John is broken up and the seven great I am statements. John's whole purpose of writing his gospel was that Jesus Christ is God incarnate, and so there are seven different times of Jesus says I am in Greek it's a go. I me, but I don't think Jesus said those words in Greek. I think those words he usually said in Hebrew which is agape that I am that I am the great God.
The name that no Jew would want to pronounce Jesus said I am remember the burning bush, Moses had whom I gonna save the said sent me and he says tell them that the Abe I am that I am sent you in the book of John, Jesus says I am the bread of life you eat of me you live. He said I am the light of the world.
There is no darkness in me. I am the gate of salvation.
I am the good Shepherd.
I am the resurrection and the life. He said I am the way and the truth and the life and no one will come to the father but through me and I am the vine and apart from me you can do nothing. Jesus makes all these deity statements and he said that's another case where he is proving his deity.
I am the resurrection and the life is not saying I know about a way to be resurrected. I know about a life I am that life, she said to him. Yes, Lord, I am believe that you are the Christ, the son of God, even he who comes into the world. She had faith. She's a lot like us in that way. She clearly had faith. No doubt about that now. What's interesting about it now is that when she had said this, then she went away and called Mary her sister and said the rabbi the teachers out there calling for you and Mary comes in they go through the same scenario once again and then something kind of interesting happens in verse 34 Jesus says, where have they laid him and they said, Lord, come and see. And then the shortest verse in the word of God is one word that Kyle says the cryo- man Jesus wept is not the normal word everybody else is weeping in this chapter and it's got a different word is Cleo, but this is the cryo-. It sort of a sadness. It just turns in good tears flowing Jesus weeping. Now the question be wise he weeping and only he's weeping just because Lazarus died in love. Lazarus but Jesus know something is me even before they ever went there. Didn't Jesus tell the disciples.
This is a good end in death. Jesus knew all along the reason they did. But I think what Jesus weeping about several things. One is he sees would send us. He sees would send us the people Mary and Martha, crying her eyes out friends and family are crying her eyes out. Lazarus had to suffer his disciples are terrified. He sees the repercussions of sin. He understands that and he also sees the probably just how little faith there is. They believe in him at a certain level, but not beyond that level. They are not people of great faith. Although they have some faith now. The Jews read it wrong us as the Jews were saying see how he loved him, but some of them said, could not this man will open the eyes of the blind have kept this man from dying. Also we always think that way, those are words of faith. Those are words of people without faith what God can do anything he should be able to do that. How many times you said that wealth God could do this and I read that he did that. Why can he do this when you saying one is either you're saying that God really can't do what he claims he can or what you're saying is, he can do it, but is not good. Not like I'm good because if I were God, this is what I do, there's none of those are words of faith for sure. So Jesus deeply moved within came to the tomb and he says now it was a cave in the stone was lying against the said remove the stone. Martha, the sister said please Lord, he stinks Jesus then said in verse 40 that I not say to you that if you believe you will see the glory of God. And so they remove the stone and Jesus raised his eyes.
I kinda love this section he said.
Father, I thank you that you have heard me.
I know that you always hear me, but because of the people standing around.
I said it so that they may believe that you sent me that's a great prayer.
I will talk out loud. Now God because now you know I don't have to talk out loud to you because you always hear me, but I talking out loud so they can hear me talking out loud so that they will know that I'm talking to you. What an interesting way of putting it. When he's finished. It said when it said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, Lazarus, fourth, while and of course we know what happened but you notice when you read that story how intentional this is this is in some kind of accidental freaky thing.
This is orchestrated by Jesus from the end.
And this is the pit. This is the pit for Lazarus the suffering and dying.
This the pit for Mary and Martha. They have to grieving the death of the brother. This is the pit for the disciples there, terrified that they're going to go back and be martyred with Jesus the pits of our lives are part of our story. There always going to be part of our story and always find ourselves in a pit. From time to time, the experience of it all is whether you going to become better or better and I'll be honest, knowing so many of you through all these years. It's astounding how many of you become bitter because of the pit.
Philip Yancey said this, the only thing worse than disappointment with God is disappointment without God see that's what comes under every disappointed one where the other. Nancy said it's far worse to be disappointed. Without God, those kind of pits the choice can make such a difference in growing your faith.
You can even birther faith it did in my case though and I were married when we were we first got married we decide when you have a large family and are the more the better and women of having four boys, but the first boy was helping very small but healthy next to boys within one year. They work together. They were separated but within one year. Both of them died at childbirth and up. I can still remember the first time thing in this center stuff doesn't happen. I was very young my early 20s I thought this kind of thing doesn't happen to should happen then the second one died and I can remember going to the funeral home for the second one, and sitting across the table from the director and up. He brought out he left the room and came back on a brought out put on the table to caskets to the caskets about this big and he said which one of these would you like to use and I just lost. I mean I just it just hit me like a ton of rock. There's a little person is can we put in a casket put in the ground and I can remember just being tested overwhelmed with grief because of the way I felt at that time I can remember thinking what Yancey said I can remember thinking I don't ever wanted to see I was in a atheist/agnostic and so I thought at that time.
You know what I want to go through these experiences in life without God. You see, I don't want to do that anymore. I've been with. I'm experiencing this without God. I want to do that again.
It was such a contributing factor that it was right after that that I prayed to receive Christ as my Lord and Savior. Not not because I would be able to avoid the pits but I never go through a pit like that again without God and can make a difference. It's and by the way was our temptation there to be better. Yeah, I hate God. What he did to me.
I hate a millennium forever. I could've done that, you know what I'd still going to pitch the rest of my life and I still go through without God blind, so grateful that I decided not to do that now. I want to end. On the one particular passage that I alluded to earlier, Genesis 50, Genesis chapter 50 right at the end of the book last chapter and again I want to read that verse, verse 20 after all the pits even through the first one put in by his brothers. Here's what Joseph says.
As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.
In order to bring about this present result to preserve many people alive you meant it for evil God meant it for good. That word meant sort of intrigued me. I want to know more about what that word meant. And so I looked it up in a Hebrew word study book by Spiros Zoe Artese and Spiros Sizer's Greek and Hebrew scholar, and he says what is interesting about that particular word meant. It means to weave. It means the weave together and what he is saying is, he says you will over evil against me, but God rewrote woe good. You see, that's an interesting statement. The very acts intended to destroy God's servant turned out the strengthen God's servant, and that's the case, so no matter what happens in the pit. It doesn't matter who, through UN doesn't matter how terrible was it doesn't matter how bad their intention was, no matter what they tried to weave into your life. The word of God says God says I will try to weave, I will weave in good in your life. From this you will be better you will be better. Your faith will grow. Maxim Kato then said Joseph story got will got worse. Long before Doug better abandonment led to enslavement, then entrapment and finally imprisonment. He was a sucker punched man.
He was sold out, mistreated, people made promises only to break them. They offered gifts only to take them back. He said it hurt worse swampland than Joseph was sends the life of hard labor in the Everglades. He setting yet he never gave up bitterness never staked its claim anger never metastasize into hatred.
His heart never hardened his resolve never vanished. He not only survived, he thrived. Joseph becomes the poster boy of a man of great faith you're all the phone. The pits your all and be thrown into pits during your life you have a choice would make when you hit the. You really going to trust God and do not you really can be drawn to God. Are you going to be repelled from God.
You really going to be better to be better but if you choose to trust God.
It's in the pits were your faith can really dynamically grow the spring father.
I'm sure that there are people here this very morning in a pit, some shallow, not too hard to crawl out of some so deep that I don't think I will ever get out and they face the same temptation that we all want to Joseph.
Do I become bitter in the spirit drive become angry drive become the kind of person that will not allow their faith.
The grow because they have to blame you have to hold onto it. Father, may we use the pit as an opportunity to trust you, doesn't mean the pit is painless, but it does mean the pit is a place where we can really grow and as we immerse in the pit. We will be better and we will be better for our faithful grown will be a good example for others. Most of all, will be able to bring glory to you. Father, we live in a pit filled world. We are surrounded by people who would gladly push us into the pit. Father, we don't have to stay thank you that even if they decide to leave it for evil, you will leave it for good father, what an opportunity for you to Lori and I have to go apart on the radio ministry of fellowship Lord, if you ever miss one of our broadcast or maybe you just take a listen to the message one more time. Remember, you can Google a great website called one place.com that's one place.com and you can listen the fellowship and the word online at that website you will find on with today's broadcast but also many of her previous audio programs as well Fellowship in the Word. We are thankful for those who financially support our ministry and make this broadcast possible. We ask all of our listeners to prayerfully consider how you might help his radio ministry continuous broadcast on this radio station by supporting us monthly with just the 100th support for ministry can be sent to Fellowship in the Word. 4600 Clearview Pkwy., Metairie, LA 7006 if you would be interested in hearing today's message in its original format that is is a sermon, the pastor will deliver during a Sunday morning service at Fellowship Bible church visit our website FVC Nola.org that FVC and oh LA.O RG at our website you will find hundreds pastor Bill sermon you can browse your sermon archives to find sermon series are looking for. You can search by title. Once you find the messenger looking for. You can listen online work you prefer, you can download the sermon and listen at your own. And remember, you can do all this absolutely free of charge. Once again our website is FVC Nola.org forecaster Bill Gebhardt and Jason Denhardt thanking you for listening to fellowship in order