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July 29, 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 know no conditions to God's love whatsoever is an amazing thing. Your goodness can't win God your badness can't lose God all you can do those resist. It is a fact. And so he says will separate us from the love of Christ. What a tremendous question who will separate us from the love of Christ joining up 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 pastor Bill Gebhart now is once again he shows us how God's word. Our world is this past week I was reading a book by sky just standing title and kind of intrigued me. The title was reimagining the way you relate to God and one of the parts of the book he writes about meeting with college students, Christian college students at a large university except the students were different. They met in a an underground safe house during the week they called it the house of despair and they were struggling tremendous struggles and difficulties with the life of faith in this world and so the group was known for being abusive of alcohol, drugs, promiscuous sex and wrong language that was the way the group was known and so what happened with just then he is. He wanted to ask them a series of questions so we did the first question he asked was how many of you were raised in a Christian home and virtually every kid there put their hand and then he asked him how many of you attended a Bible centered church and they all put their hand up again. That was intriguing to woman. So he began to have discussions with them and questions and he found something out that really alarmed him. Not one single student that he interviewed or talked to not want ever said to him, even when he tried to leave them in questions. God loves me not want. He writes this then he says I did not blame the students for this failure. Somewhere in their spiritual formation.
They were taught, either explicitly or implicitly that what mattered was not God's love for them, but how much they could accomplish for God. That night I finally understood why they call it the house of despair.
He goes on in the book and said, we begin to doubt God's love for us two different ways.
One, when we are the victims of evil whenever something terrible happens to us is catastrophic to us. We begin to doubt whether God really loves us or not. And then secondly he says when we are the agents of evil. In other words, I've done something so terrible that God couldn't possibly love me anymore.
It's interesting that when we think about the first one. God never promised us in the word of God that we would live a life untouched by evil. In fact, in the word of God were reminded over and over and over again that evil was pervasive. It's everywhere. It's all around us and it will affect each and every one of us. The other thing is in the word of God.
We see over and over again that there's nothing you can do that could ever possibly separate you from the love of God me just give you examples Adam and Eve. Now you talk about somebody who did something's gonna catastrophic this is it.
They said and that's why you sent and that's why I sent.
That's why we all sin.
That's why everybody sends and always has an enormous consequence on the human race.
And God never stop loving them. God shows up and says Adam where are you. I want the relationship. He tells Eve look I love you so much of it or put a plan in the play.
What I'm going to do here is through your seed. I'm gonna win you back to me and we know that seed is Jesus Christ. Think of Noah. You don't hundred years building the ark and he gets to have his whole family on board when it's all done or finally delivered everybody else is gone. Noah goes in a drunken stupor completely naked in front of his family, but got Loving on it. Everything that he said to think of Moses. Moses even before he got involved in ministry murdering Egyptian and then at the end of his ministry got so upset with the way the people were and if you read the book of numbers on the why, but he got so upset he struck the rock. Remember, with the stick and there were consequences to us in but not to God's love. In fact, when Jesus Christ shows up on the Mount of Transfiguration. The two characters that show up with him or who Moses and Elijah finger David Amanda scribe just after God's own heart. What kind of man was David White committed adultery. But it's worse than you think you know I committed the adultery. Then David orchestrated the murder of her husband Uriah the Hittite David went on, even after he was King and God said don't take a census. And David said I think I'll take it anyway. I never stopped loving David and all think of Peter. You see, we think of that or something to Peter. He denied the Lord to servant girl three times. I don't know years, I have no ideal years and finally the last time. The implication is. He swore and I don't know who that blankety-blank is remember Jesus reconciled with the Manas Peter do you love me. Because I love you you think this is paramount to us as people living as sinners in a fallen world, God loves you. He always has. He does right now. He always will.
This is so important to God because it changes everything about your life when you finally were convinced that that's true for you open your Bibles with me to Romans chapter 8 Romans chapter 8 and verse 35 versus 35 to 39.
To me, might be the greatest versus ever put together. In the Bible.
If you really think about these verses, at least for me it gives me goosebumps these verses imply something so amazing, so astounding, so wonderful that I can bring my life on these verses is an interesting thing.
This is a infomercial. This is a sales demonstration. That's what is remember way back when. And they had this is a while for you, but they had crazy glue, remember that and had a guy in a put a dab of glue. One night on a construction helmet and then they die hung from a beam they just hung the guy from a beam with a dab of glue any any idea was this glue it and by the way, argues that since then. I don't think I think there is a big magnet in the helmet and that's I was hanging there but the truth idea was a little drop of this stuff and the only place that stuff works like a by the way is it in your fingers but the whole idea was it makes all the difference in the world. If you just use this that's repulsing here is make all the difference in your life. God loves you. He always has. He always will. There are no known conditions. The God's love whatsoever is an amazing thing.
Your goodness can't win God's love.
Your badness can't lose God's love all you can do though is resist God's love. It is a fact. And so he says who will separate us from the love of Christ. What a tremendous question who will separate us from the love of Christ. In fact team of that is so important him notice verse 39 when he says, nor height, nor depth, nor any created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus. Nothing can separate us nothing not send out adultery, not murder, not denying, not anything.
In fact, he's going to say it's way bigger than that. It's way bigger than that because of the greatness of God's love for us. Nothing can separate it. This might be the very best message in the entire word of God. He doesn't say that we have to sort of hang on to God's love, so that you keep on hanging on to us.
So it doesn't matter. It doesn't say that God's love depends on how much I love them back is of that will matter all is going to love you the same way you don't earn it. You don't maintain it. You don't deserve it but he loves you perfectly and permanently reminds me of the verse. The Paul wrote to Timothy when he said if we are faithless, he remains faithful he cannot deny himself. These are extraordinary words and the reason Paul writes them as he knows us.
Paul knows what were like be honest, are you skeptical love might be lots of people are why people stop loving you might have people in your life that stop loving you.
Happens every day. I mean people take in that they write their marriage vows on vanishing Inc. it's gone, you find that friends walk away your children become irreconcilable.
We know when the human level that no matter what people say how unconditional it is.
There's a condition by which they often stop loving us so we translate that into the kingdom of God and we say God I know you'll stop loving me if Paul says there is no with. There's nothing like that at all. He said even the depths of your suffering will change God's love for you at all. See he gets it.
He knows what were like and be honest. If you are really suffered in this life and the thought never crossed her mind, God, why don't you love me. Why do I have to suffer like this. Other people are suffering like this.
Why do you not love me as much is you could pulses don't ever get that thought in your mind. He says who will separate us from the love of Christ. Then he gives seven thing seven words he said were tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword what any of those things. Stop us absently not the reason Paul picks those seven words as they all describe Paul deposit. I'm an expert on these I been through all these and a lot more. In fact, in that first Corinthians 11 and on we find out by the apostle Paul that he had five beatings of 39 lashes.
The idea was the 40 lashes would kill you. He was beaten 5×39. Three times he was beaten by Rod's. He was imprisoned frequently. He uses the word to Walt to describe a lot of his life. He did hard labor. He had sleeplessness dishonor lies and deceit said about he lived in poverty. He was stoned and left for dead.
He was shipwrecked three times robbers persecution. He was bitten by a poisonous snake. He had thirsting cold and hunger in 10 years and the time he wrote these words, the sword takes his life and be heads. Paul knows what he's talking about your talk about somebody you understand suffering. Paul knows that and Paul says Chris clearly as he can possibly say it nothing separating me from the love of Christ. None of this ever separated me at all. He then goes on. He thinks the next verse. He suggested it is written, he said, for your sake we are being put to death all day long we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered in wonder while he got an Old Testament person just docketing their and it is interesting possible.
That's if you want a reason why I'm suffering so much is because of the cause of Christ. However, Paul is very particular about what verse he uses here he's quoting Psalm 44.
But he doesn't tell you any of the other verses because he doesn't want to. The other verses speak a lot to our weakness. This speaks to the fact of why we may suffer older place her in the back to Psalm 44 with me for a moment. Psalm 44 and I want you to see the way the people acted then because it's exactly the way you and I are very capable of acting first three verses are to give us the setting psalmist writes this of God.
We have heard with our ears are fathers of told us the work that you did in their days in the days of old.
You he said with your hand drove out the nations, and then you planted them. You think of the peoples and then you spread them abroad, he said, for by their own sword, they do not possess the land and he said, in their own arm did not save them but your right hand and your arm in the light of your presence for you favored them.this is kind of funny there suffering. There really getting the daylights beat out of my foreign enemy so they say God we have a question in the days of old that you take care of us in the days of old.
Then Israel commended the landing you drove all the people out did you fight for them.
Not the way it used to be. Notice there suffering in their wondering why are we suffering when other people were not see the implication to what our text.
This is simply this.
Got it seems to me like he used to love those people. But you love us anymore because that's not happening to us all.
Now pick up verse 22 in verse 22 it says, but for your sake we are killed all day long we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. That's a Paul quoted just that verse. Paul quotes that verse were dying for a very but what's what happens after the verse.
Paul doesn't focus part. He says arouse yourself. Why do you sleep the Lord away. Do not reject us forever.
Why do you hide your face and forget our affliction, our oppression for our soul has sunk down into the dust. Our body cleaves to the earth rise up your help redeem us for the sake of your loving kindness while God, are you asleep, you see should you do some force out of your love, your loving kindness, your Hasid should should you take care of us others.
Be honest, if you really suffered every other thought, why me what I have to go through this, other people having to go through struggles or something about me you love me anymore why mind so much pain. How do I get paid for this. Where are you, by the way, are you sleeping so most blast me what they say. But the whole idea of it is she somehow when we are suffering enough we feel as though God's not loving us. That's what Paul's writing about a Roman city because it's never going to be the case.
Let's go back to Romans eight because after he does this he then says in verse 37, but in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through him love this. That's a great verse, but for some of us it doesn't help you see I read the end of the book. I say this all the time. I did everything it we went just a great thing about being a Christian read in the book we went. Ultimately we went each and every one of us went. You see that's attornment in that wonderful thing. We were more than conquerors. We went yes I know I know I but I don't want to win, then I want to win now.
Right now this is when I went away.
I want to win today I want to win tomorrow. That's what I want to win, you ceases not to have to have this perspective, I think you understand this if this offends you, I'm sorry. The truth does, but barring the coming back of the Lord and rapture the church world and a guy every single one of us were dying something out there is going to kill laws.
Our bodies are going to die.
You know what that's okay. See, that's okay because I tell you what won't I God's love for you and his love for me that's never going to happen.
You see, that's a completely different kind of thing. Paul's going to go into this right now. Verse 38, I am convinced don't miss those words. I am convinced here's the question for you. Are you Paul says unconvinced.
My experience with you over all these years. Many of you are not just not convinced Paul says I am convinced what God's love matters. He sees always love me always will I get that I'm convinced of it. Then Paul breaks down in the five different comparisons. Then if you go back to some of you have English grammar. Most of you won't remember these are called mannerisms Americanism is when you take extreme things and you go from Mr. this and implies everything in between. That's what is going to do is going to five mannerisms to cover what he wants to cover in these everything when he's done. There's not a hypothetical situation you can insert say what we wait, I have a question. What about this guy loves you. He always has and always will. We know mannerisms. If a pharmacy summons, an expert on the subject.
I say he knows this subject from a to what to see and would you know that I know that he knows the subject there mannerisms in Scripture take the psalmist said God will forgive our sins and place them as far as the east is from how far is that you see how far as these from the West using that's a mannerisms and means there's of the commissions are are no conditions. It covers everything so is going to do five mannerisms here is the first one he said God is going to love you.
He said no matter what.
Nothing can change that.
Not the crisis of death nor the calamities of life. The first thing you said, I am convinced that neither death nor life must something about that for a moment, I am convinced he said that death and life not tell me all the other things it can occur outside of death and life. That's all you have right to have death have life. He said he I'm convinced that nothing in death and nothing in life can changes. I'm convinced this to be true. It's an amazing statement. He understands death. He starts with that is earning worse for us. I think the hardest thing about being a pastor is watching what death does the people heartbreak. It's rough is no and especially if somebody dies from our point of view out of time they die young, they die a tragic way is heartbreaking to watch people. Death is an amazing thing when you think about it from that point of view, it's absolute it's uncompromising.
It's the great and final separator when someone dies or did is a terrible thing in his heart for us to do with it.
But God says that doesn't separate my love at all, not in any way. That's why the Scriptures by the way it says in a certain thing you never die is egregiously psalmist that even though I go through the valley of the shadow God says no definite or separate. Not ever have to build up our you ever missed one of our broadcast or maybe you just like to listen to the message one more time.
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