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July 6, 2020 8:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ disciples in John 16.
A little while, and you will not see that again a little while you will see me as a fat, it terrifies many of us more than anything else. Your believer is joining us today on this additional Fellowship in the Word pastor know your part. Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana when Pastor Bill Gebhardt now is once again he shows us how God's word means Columbia as America's first space shuttle first mission launched on April 12, 1981, 27 more missions followed her final mission became a national tragedy.
See a piece of insulating foam about the size of a small briefcase peeled off during the launch and punctured one of the shuttle's wings because of the intense heat of reentry the gases and superheated gases are able to penetrate the wing which caused the catastrophe. All seven astronauts perished debris fell as many of you know, all the way across the state of Texas and across the Louisiana see the shuttle broke up 207,000 feet above the earth. The damage done at the launch doing the mission flight director John Howell polled said this, he said you know there is nothing we can do about the damage to the thermal protection system if it had been damaged.
It's probably better that they do not know what happened. I think the crew would rather not know, don't you think it would be better for them to have a happy successful flight and die unexpectedly during reentry then to stay on in orbit, knowing that there is nothing to be done until they ran out of air, the plight of the Columbia Center resembles my plate and yours. You see, were flying through space on a cursed planet and we been doing since we were launched at birth and might, the Columbia none of us will escape all of us will die.
The profound difference between them and us is this we know were going to die and they didn't you know, we may know were going to die, but we not really comfortable talking about it already. We never really want to talk about death to us us like an obscene word people don't die they just pass on a go to a better place.
They departed this life we have all kinds of ways of saying it. In fact, this we got final website they gave you a list of over 200 ways you could say that someone died without ever mentioning death or dying in the past when I spoke on death have often used the famous Woody Allen quote what is hardly a man of any virtue whatsoever.
But what is the fellow that said, it's not that I'm afraid of dying. I just don't want to be there when it happens. He also apparently said this, he said not want to live on in the hearts of my countrymen. I want to live on in my apartment. You see, I think it's because we have such an enormous fear of death that we airbrush it. We just pretend it's really not there we go to great lengths to avert life's final and clearest reality. So when I'm in this series on personal fears and we have dealt with all kinds of subjects we dealt with uncertainty and serious disease and failure are fear of loneliness or fear of people are fear of depression the last time the fear of the perfect storm. But you know none of those fears are universally held as our personal fear of death because it's such a universal principle Joe Bailey in his book the view from the her said this death is the great leveler of the mighty and the lowly. It plays no favorites. It cuts no deals dearly farmer and sells executive live in that shadow with Nobel Prize winner and prostitute mother infant teen and old man to her stands waiting for the surgeon who transplants a hard as well as the hopeful recipient for the funeral director as well as the corpse. He manipulates death will spare none of us so that's what I want to do. I want to take on the subject of death this morning with the Bible is our guide.
I want to pull death out of it sort of dark murky shadow its hiding place and into the light of God's word, the Bible doesn't at all. Try to avoid the subject of death. It's virtually in every book of the Bible almost in every chapter over 900 times the word death or dying is used in Scripture.
So let's begin at the beginning, let's go to Genesis chapter 2 Genesis chapter 2 verse 15 God is speaking to the single occupant of our planet Adam in verse 15 it says the Lord God took the man and he put them in the garden of Eden to cultivate it and to keep it in the Lord commanded the man and said, from any tree of the garden you may freely, but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die. Please understand.
In that context that I wasn't even sure exactly him what death was. It never seen it but we know from Romans chapter 6 and verse 23 that the wages of sin is death.
We know that Lucifer is trying to get Adam tempted to fall, which he did in Romans 517, Paul said by the transgression of the one that's Adam death has rained in Hebrews chapter 9 sort appointed to us. The writer of Hebrews says it is appointed for men to die once, but after that is the judgment you see the countdown for your death begins the moment you were born. In fact, all of us are dying right now it's just the process that reality terrifies many of us and was so interesting to me is the Scripture seem almost paradoxical about it.
First of all the Scriptures introduce the idea of death and why we die. But then the Scripture say we don't have any reason we have to fear death and yet does anything seem more frightening to so many of us. The word death in Scripture simply means separation.
That's what it means.
It means there's a separation. Physical death is the separation of your soul and spirit from your body.
That's called physical death. That's why Jesus but right before he was the die physically on the cross, said father into your hands I commit my spirit. Jesus knew that now be a separation between the solar spiritual nature, and his body so this physical death.
There's also spiritual death. And that's our separation from God that happen immediately when Adam sinned. That's what Paul speaks about with the wages of sin is that we are spiritually separated from God. Maybe surprisingly to some of you there is 1/3 death in Scripture. Ironically, it's called the second death at the final judgment.
Revelation chapter 21. The writer John writes in Revelation that there will be a second death for those who have no relationship with God in a put into the lake of fire. Now let me try to help you with this of the idea of some simple math that may help you let me say it this way. If you've only been born once you're going to die twice, but if you have been born twice you're only going to die once. If you can follow that that was an algebra nexus logic to the Scriptures talk and so many positive ways about that because of the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. In Luke 16 Jesus refers to death is being carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom in Luke 23 Jesus tells the thief on the cross this day you'll be with me in paradise. Paul describes death as being absent in the body and present with the Lord more than a dozen times in the New Testament death is describe the sleep had temporary status of the body for which it will one day be awakened in a resurrected and new body.
Paul says that to die is gain.
Since we will be with Christ, and it's far better to be dead than the live one on earth. When we die our bodies with this earthly tent. Paul writes of the Corinthians will be destroyed but we want her to building from God, not made with humans hands but made with God's hands. Jesus said to his disciples in John 16.
A little while, and you will not see me and then again on the little while you will see me.
You see, death is a fact. It terrifies many of us more than anything else, but we don't have to fear your believer in Jesus Christ. The one fear that you shouldn't have, is the fear of death this morning when you before reasons for that, for reasons.
The first one is fine. In Hebrews chapter 2 the book of Hebrews in the New Testament, chapter 2 verse 14.
This is what the writer of Hebrews writes pieces. Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood speaking about us. He said he himself, speaking of Jesus.
He said also partook of the same. He became man. It says so that through his death he might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil and might free those that's us who through fear of death were subject to the slavery all their lives.
The first reason we shouldn't fear death is the Prince of death has been defeated. That's what he saying the prince of death has been defeated.
You know, if you just casually look at Scripture from Genesis chapter 3 until they good Friday when Christ was crucified in the resurrection on Easter Sunday. Lucifer was kinda winning when it came to death. I mean, it's finally he was dying. People were dying all the time because of sin. Jesus Christ changed all that and now is powerless. Notice it says that he is defeated, which is an interesting thing you see things whole strategy is to get people to dive in a sense of the relationship of God. That's what he was after any new what did it. He knew that sin would anything that is contrary to God's will.
By the way, that's what happened to him. Remember, he decided basically to the greatness and the beauty of his own creation through five different I will is in the book of Isaiah that he thinks maybe I should run this place and he was judged and separated from God. So when Adam showed up and be he decided the way I'm going to handle this is the same weight was had with me. I'm going to get them separated from God. I will separate them from God and they will die. You see, they will die. They will die spiritually. Now he was unaware probably that they were also going to die physically, but he was aware that they would die spiritually because of the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross is not the case anymore. You see, you can't be separated from God. Now if you put your faith in Jesus Christ. You see, you can't be so.
He says the Prince of death has been defeated. What's his mission.
Now that I think is pretty good at it. He can't separate me from God, but by the way, he can constantly constantly try to make me afraid of dying and I think it works a lot of people a lot of believers have a real fear what they think, that happen when they die. I think you still winning in that sense, but his power over death. He has none. How do you be so sure that that's going to be the case would turn with me to John chapter 11 the gospel of John chapter 11 and in the context of this is death. Lazarus has died, Jesus speaking to his sister Martha and what would Jesus says in verse 25 of chapter 11 of the gospel he said to her I am Yahweh. I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even if he dies, he who believes in me will live, even if he dies, even he who believes in me will live spiritually, even if he dies physically and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.
That's his work.
They will never die but then he asked the most pointed question possible you believers. You see, that's a fact. The fact is, he is the resurrection. The fact is, he is the life.
The fact is that he or believes in him will live, even if he dies, and the fact is that everyone who lives and believes in him will never die. Those are all facts that none of those will help you and miss you believe that's why Jesus asked the question, do you believers you see, we don't have to fear death, the Prince of death has been defeated and the power of death. The second point is the power of death has been destroyed. Turn with me now to first Corinthians chapter 15 the apostle Paul devoted this whole chapter to the resurrection. This whole chapters about death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ and how significant it is and he says all kinds of interesting things he says in verse 26 the last enemy that will be abolished is death, but I want to pick it up when he is speaking over in verse 54 in verse 54. Paul says this but when this perishable and Diaz will have put on the imperishable. That's what we have when were born again into the family of God, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, death is swallowed up in victory over death. He says, where is your victory over death, where is your sting. The sting of death is sin, the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God who gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul was saying that the power of death is been destroyed. Notice he uses a picture sting. Oh death where is your victory.
Oh death where is your sting. I can tell you where it is death left it sting in Christ. That's the sting of death. Jesus bore Lenski the great Greek commentator says this death is not merely destroyed so that it cannot do further harm. While all of the harm which it has wrought on God's children remains. He said the tornado was not merely checked so that no additional homes are wrecked while those that are wrecked still lie in ruin death and all its apparent victories are undone for God's children. What looks like a victory for death and like a defeat for us when our bodies die and decay shall be utterly reversed so that death dies in absolute defeat and our bodies live again in absolute victory. What a great thing that he's insight that he has, by the way it's it's consistent throughout Scripture in Revelation 21. There will no longer be any death in the new heaven and the new earth.
In Romans eight 3839 Paul said that even death cannot separate us from the love of Christ. It cannot separate us from the love of Christ.
Even in the Old Testament was know what Isaiah right 700 years before Christ, he will swallow up death forever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces the rebuke of his people. He will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken. Isaac Josť contemporary of Isaiah said this. Oh death, I will be your plagues “ I will be your destruction. I will ransom them from the power of the grave and I will redeem them from death.
The power of death is been destroyed, the Prince of death is been defeated in the process of death has been described in terms me on John 14 gospel John chapter 14 very famous passage by the way, the context of this is simple. Jesus knows two things. The one thing he knows that he knows he's going to die physically tomorrow. The other thing he knows his disciples are also going so he wants to comfort them right before he dies. Right before they go into that grieving process so notice what he says in verse one. Do not let your heart be troubled, he knows it will be. Do not let your heart be troubled.
Believe in God believe also in me. He's is in my father's house are many dwelling places. If it were not so I would've told you, for I go and I prepare a place for you and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going remember Thomas struggled with this Lord. I don't know the way but notice what Jesus said the process of death is being described. It's right there. He says if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself.
That's what Jesus said, often, and I gotta be honest there were years in my own ministry where I interpreted this and said Jesus is talking about the second coming, and he does talk about the second coming on occasions but I don't believe that's what is talking about here.
I don't think that would make any sense of the site was in this context, the you here is not just for all universal believers at the second coming. The year was particularly for the disciples and then for us when we die.
I believe that he is saying this I go and prepare a place for you and I will come again and receive you to myself, so that where I am there. He made I believe that's the description of what happened comes after you broke your heart rate humans.
Fellowship Lord, if you ever miss one of our broadcasting or maybe you dislike the message one more time.
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