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June 26, 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 to accommodate one of each seven more by people that you want to be by the Lord even at bad that it almost always regret 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. Let's join Pastor Bill Gebhart now is once again he shows us how God's word. Our world was one of Hollywood's brightest stars in the Golden age of the 1930s. At that time, actors and actresses were owned by the studios and the studios would require them to make five, six or even more movies per year to give you some sense of Marlena Dietrich and how successful she was. Her fee in the middle of the Great Depression was $200-$450,000 per movie, in spite of her success and her claim she was a very, very conflicted soul bizarre might be a good way to put it. She lived for the approval and the applause of her fans.
She would invite Hollywood actors and actresses, producers and directors to our home and entertainment for the night would simply be this she had tape-recorded from her live performances on a stage ovations at the crowd had given her, and she would play the ovations for her guest not her performance, no music, no words just people clapping for her.
She was married only one time, they never divorced and separated but when she was married. She had many many affairs and she would take love letters from her lovers and given to her husband to read to let him know just how popular she was.
She had tragically approbation lost. In other words, she had to be approved of by people. Sadly, by the way she died alone at the age of 90. Paris, but in a certain way. She's a lot like many of us. In other words, many of us live for the approval of others as believers in Jesus Christ, we still live for the approval of others, and we fear the rejection of others. In fact we live in a day and age where this is become even a psychological term. We live in a day and age were we invented term called coal dependency. In other words, we have to to gain the approval of normally apparent what does the Bible say about that. What does the Bible call it what the Bible has a different way of referring to it. The Bible calls this need of human approval.
The fear of man Ed Welch in his book when people are big and God is small writes this fear in the biblical sense includes being afraid of someone but it extends to holding someone and being controlled or mastered by people worshiping other people putting your trust in people or needing people however you put the fear of man can be summarized in this way we replace God with people instead of biblically guided fear. The fear of the Lord, we find ourselves fearing others fear of man.
If you are on a chase to gain the approval of people and you fear the rejection of people you are in an endless treadmill and you will find you will never ever be fulfilled on they sue in an article called the fear of man said this, you have a thousand Masters instead of one to please you think. Fear of God is bad, it's nothing compared to the alternative fear of man is a cruel tyranny. It's exhausting. It's complicated and you're not nimble enough to pull it off of all these kind of personal fears that we have and we have dealt with several of them so far.
The fear of uncertainty in the fear of serious illness and the fear of failure and the last time the fear of loneliness. This is when I think a lot of us really have and we don't even want to admit even to ourselves.
The fear of man would you open your Bibles to Proverbs 29 because Proverbs is going to give a sort of a launching pad for this particular message. Solomon tells us what's wrong with the fear of man. Proverbs 29 and verse 25. Solomon writes this fear of man brings a snare, but he will trust in the Lord will be exalted. The fear of man brings snare now snare his trap. In other words you use a snare to catch animals enters two things about it. One thing it's almost always the case and and something that's often the case. One is the snare is always camouflaged. You don't put a bright shiny snare out, you know, and secondly hide in the leaves so that when someone unsuspecting walks by, they can be snared often. The snare was baited and it's interesting that Solomon says that's with the fear of man is when we are so worried about what people think about us.
We went there approval at almost all cost. And we do not want the rejection teenagers by the way, are much more susceptible to this. We've all been teenagers understand it. The fear of being rejected.
The fear of not being approved of by a peer group of boy it's not limited to teenagers at all. Saul, there's a time and saws as its king when he shifts from the fear of God to the fear of man, he loses kingdom in John chapter 12 it said that many of the believers in Jesus Christ, refused to confess Christ because they feared the Pharisees this morning though. I want to talk about one particular person is sort of a model of what the fear is and how we handle it. And that's the great apostle Peter. So would you turn with me to Mark chapter 14 Mark chapter 14 the setting is very famous. It's the night before the crucifixion, Peter is already done a few things. By the time we get of the story. I remember earlier on. Peter had said that Jesus looked if everybody in this entire group forsake you. Everybody not me. Not me.
I mean incoming second Leo whenever they came to arrest Jesus in the garden.
Peter said while I think I can handle this.
And so he gets out a sword in the cuts the ear off one of the temple guard and milk us know what a fisherman is doing with the sword will never know. I imagine was some old rusty heirloom and on the family then carry swords, but Peter already done these things notice him standing up for Jesus.
Jesus though said to Peter. And I deny me and find out why because of the fear of man. You see, there is a reality to the fear of men, even someone like Peter fears people verse 53. Mark writes this may lead Jesus away to the high priest and the chief priests and the elders and the scribes they all gathered together, and Peter had followed him at a distance right into the courtyard of the high priest and he was sitting with the officers and he was warming himself fire, so you have the setting number 66 and as Peter was below in the courtyard. One of the servant girls of the high priest came and seen Peter was warming himself. She looked at him and she said you will also were with Jesus the Nazarene, now that's an interesting setting because first of all, she's a servant girl in John's account.
We understand she's not just the servant girl. She's the doorkeeper.
The doorkeeper is the second lowest servant that foot washer is a low servant.
The doorkeeper is the second lowest that usually by a young girl, teenager, and she's there all G doesn't stand at the door and greet people know there's a lot of things unusual about this. First of all, young girls don't ever talk to older men were strange. I servant would never talk to another non-servant in public. It's amazing that she would even addressing the other thing it gets stranger here is that Peter is a fisherman. Now he's a little out of place in Jerusalem, but Peter is away higher social standing than she is and that is afraid and any fears or when she says that to him.
He denied it and he said it. I neither know nor understand what you're talking about and he says and he went out onto the porch under the portico. This was an unexpected fear he didn't expect this of all but notice his first impulse. Why is he afraid because of the setting you see who's there people.
What kind of people. People that belong in the courtyard of the high priest people who are around the temple, the very people that came to arrest Jesus is afraid he's afraid of people and so he says that this girl I don't even know what you're talking about. The snare is set now we move to an from an unexpected fear to an understandable fear. The servant girl saw him and began once more to say to the bystanders. Hey, this is one of them. But again, he denied it. Now other people involved. You see Peter's like now they all know now is just turn out one of them of this is understandable.
Peter's by himself in this particular setting, but now there's a group.
By the way, when you fear a group what we call that peer pressure. If you are the group. That's the way works. The fear is not defensible, but it surely is understandable. Almost everything I ever did as a teenager that was really really stupid was always the result of the peer group. I wasn't creative enough to think of something really stupid, but I was certainly afraid enough to be accepted to go right along with the group that's really it is. And so when teenagers are faced for example with this idea that somebody is going to offer you cigarette a drink, a pill and a teenagers mind right now you have to weigh everything now I have to wait, wait a minute, depending on how reactor why be respected, will I be included. Why be accepted when we status be in so many times they make really foolish decision why this person from a peer group. I mean there's real pressure from peer groups. I member years ago. Hearing of a study that was done and what they would do as they would bring a person one person into a room of about 20 at a time.
Now that person thought they were just one of the 20 me all bright and at the same time and then they would just simply put up on a chart or board up two lines to start with one line in this long in one line say this long. They would point to this line and they would say. Now how many of you think that's the longest line. The other 19 are instructed to put their hand up in three out of every four cases the person they brought in, put their hand that wouldn't even close. Why would you do that, because the acceptance people I want to be rejected by people and want to be criticized by the group. Sometimes I think we really have such a terrible idea.
We actually think that the group really knows what it's talking about Arnold Toynbee said one thing you can count on, the majority is almost always assuredly wrong. Peer pressure, understandable fear and then I'm surprising fear. Notice what happens after little while while the bystanders were again saying to Peter, surely you are one of them for your Galilean to either tell by the stress you could tell by his accent and belong in Jerusalem. Notice now you have an unsurprising fear because now the whole group was talking in John 18, one of the people in the group said. Didn't I see you in the garden where Christ was arrested.
Now think of this Peter's point of view these people. Someone in this group solemnly cut off and offices here in my dream I was his cousin, a brother, I don't think Mel dislikes me. You see, I don't think that's the case at all. Peter, this is really understandable fear. This is threatening the differences. First, the girl then a group. This person has an agenda. This person is testing Peter so notice Peter's response but he began to curse and swear, I do not know this man it you're talking about that word curse and anathema to small anathema to so is a word like anathema meaning curse and on the new O is the word to swear his repeaters really doing. I swear to God I don't know what you're talking about. I swear on everything holy. I don't know this guy. I swear my mother's grave I don't know him. Just imagine when we do that is afraid of people's figures want to be rejected by these people. That's Peter.
So when you think about it. The fear of men when steep doors there's a reality of the fear people, even people like Peter.
There's reasons for the fear people. You see, there are reasons why did Peter do this widely fear people. I think there's a lease foreigners many other reasons, probably, but for Peter at least 41. Is this Peter overestimated himself.
He truly overestimated himself even if they all forsake you, Lord, encounter me what is that Sprite you see is pride where Peter has a problem he needed to see his own weaknesses. I believe that's why the Lord orchestrated this Peter needed to see his own weaknesses. In the see himself for who he really was.
You see, Peter was like many of us. He was really good at talking the game but inside he was not quite ready yet.
In fact, notice how this turns out.
In verse 72 is is immediately a rooster crowed a second time Peter remembered how Jesus made the remark them before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times and he began to weep.
By the way, when you fear people more than you fear the Lord. When you accommodate and want to be accepted more by people than you want to be approved by the Lord, you can have bad bad consequences. It almost always regretted in Peter certainly did regretted and one of the reasons that Peter fell for this. The reason for fearing man. One was. He was full of himself, but there's a second one here and that is found in Matthew chapter 26. Go with me to Matthew chapter 26 the same night. Jesus is going to the garden first. Jesus is on the cusp us of the single greatest event of all time. The cross of Calvary. He also knows what it's going to be.
He knows they will be arrested and brutalized, but he doesn't fear that he knows that he'll be crucified physically by the Romans, but he doesn't fear that he also knows that he will be separated from God and he will be judge for the sins of the world and he will scream Eloi, Eli Lamas, about 70 and he has tremendous trepidation about that. It says that the sweat droplets of blood. This is his greatest moment of need.
You know, I imagine the 3 1/2 years that they spent with Jesus.
He was always meeting everybody else's need. But Jesus, he was so strong, so perfect. Let me what he had visited his moment of need. The watch what happens. And it will start in verse 37 he says and he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee that's James and John, and he began to be grieved and distressed.
And then he said to them, my soul was deeply grieved to the point of death remain here and keep watch with me.
I need you at this moment. I need you anyone a little beyond them and he fell on his face and he prayed saying my father if it is possible, let this cup pass from me of yet not as I will but as you will. Apparently he did this for an hour.
I imagine he repeated it over and over.
That's the anguish and he came to the disciples, and he found them sleeping sounding the one hour that he needed them. They were sleeping and he found them sleeping and he said to Peter, so he says you cannot keep watch with me for one hour. Keep watching and keep praying to present tense. Keep watching and keep praying. Why that you may not enter into temptation. What temptation the snare you see the fear of man as a snare. He says that you need to be praying that you are following the attempt at exactly what happens. The Peter I noticed that what Jesus says after that, he says the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.
The second reason beside the overestimated himself as Peter's failure to pray he didn't keep praying about the way there's a relationship proud people pray very little.
Proud people pray very little. Why, what is prayer dependency on God as a Perez every time you break your depending on God. You see, when I pray I depend on God to do what I can't do. You see, that's dependence. Prayer is naturally humbling.
I don't believe Peter was praying. Prayer keeps us in the dependent state.
Peter should have heeded Paul's words, let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. Peter thought he stood but he didn't take heed and he fell, but is not be too judgmental be really careful when you say you know I would never do whatever that was. I would never do that.
Usually it's after you heard something that another Christian did.
Why would never do that to keep, lest you fall.
You see, I don't have much power that the reason that the theologians call it total depravity is at its total depravity. You see, apart from me you can do nothing I can do all things through him who strengthens me see that's the scenario but not the Peter Peter was full of himself powerful when he failed to pray. Another thing we learn both of movement in the account. We read is Peter was following Jesus from afar.
If you're going to go to be with Jesus in his time of great need. When they arrest them and be with Jesus, Peter is not as Peter's going to follow from afar.
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