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August 19, 2020 8:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word, Pastor Bill Gephart challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ.
Jesus makes it abundantly clear here. He says that the person who hears his word and believes in him has eternal life. It's a present tense. It means it continues. From this moment, you have eternal life.
You don't have the promise of eternal life.
You see, you don't have the wish of eternal life. You don't have the potential of in the future of having eternal life. You have in the present. Now. Eternal life. And by definition, that kind of life is eternal.
Thank you for joining us today on this edition of Fellowship in the World with Pastor Bill Gephart Fellowship and the word is the Radio Ministry of Fellowship Bible Church located in Metairie, Louisiana. Let's join Pastor Bill Gephart now as once again he shows us how God's word meets our world.
This past week, I found an article, a man in an airport.
He's writing. I covered a boarding pass.
I've spotted one in a gabardine jacket pocket of a gray haired man who sits to my left. He reads a paperback mystery novel. His eyes are at half mast. A cane leans against his leg. The moment his eyes fall shut. I plan to snatch the pass out of his pocket and scamper like a scalded dog into the concourse crowd and reappear just in time to board my flight. He'll never know what happened.
Desperate. As a mouse in a maze. My flight was canceled. The next one is packed.
If I miss it, I'm stuck here to tomorrow morning. Want to be passengers cluster like cattle in a waiting area. Corral, I move among them. Just moments ago, I begged the attendant, Get me home, won't you?
Anything airborne will do a 747, a regional jet, a crop duster, a hang glider, a kite. Any seat will do. Willing to sit in a party room if necessary. I slid a Starbucks gift card across the counter in her direction. She rolled her eyes unimpressed, as if only cars could briber.
Your name was on the stand by list.
Groen. The dreaded standby list. The equivalent of baseball tryouts on the field, but not on the team. Possibility, but no guarantee. Stand by. Passengers punctuate every thought with a question mark. And my condemned to a life of airport food with a sky club except my credit card.
Is this why they call an airport a terminal?
Ticketed passengers, by contrast, relax like a teacher on the first day of summer. They read magazines and some through newspapers, every so often, they lift their eyes to pity us. The stand by peasantry. Oh, to be numbered among the confirmed to have my very own seat number and departure time.
How can you rest if you aren't assured passage on the final flight home? How can you rest? If you aren't assured passage.
On the final flight home.
Question not only applies the people. One standby at our nation's airports.
The words apply to many, many Christians. Maybe some of you.
They live with sort of a deep seated anxiety about eternity. They think they're heaven bound. They hope they're heaven bound.
But doubt. Still floods their hearts and their minds.
There's God places on a standby list.
You see, the question is often fueled by our own behavior. Strong one day we the next. Sincere one day. Hypocritical the next. Believing one day, doubting the next.
Culture doesn't help us.
The cultures view of heaven and how to get there to us is simply a line and usually it's pretty low. And if you would only operate and live your life sort of above that line of mediocrity, you'll be fine in the next life. And if you're one of the few, the terrible, the awful who sort of live below the line. Then you will get heavens pink slip. Too many, then salvation becomes a matter of timing. You just hope that you're living above the line.
When you come to the end of yours. That never was, is not and never will be God's plan.
Open your Bibles, the John Chapter five. Gospel of John, Chapter five.
Just one verse, verse 24.
And he says in verse 24. Truly, truly. Every time he does that, he means this is of utmost importance. Truly, truly, I say to you. He who hears my word. And believes him, who sent me. Has.
Eternal life and does not come into judgment, but is passed out of death.
And into life. Jesus makes it abundantly clear here. He says that the person who hears his word and believes in him has eternal life. It's a present tense. It means it continues. From this moment, you have eternal life. You don't have the promise of eternal life. You see, you don't have the wish of eternal life. You don't have the potential of the future of having eternal life. You have in the present. Now. Eternal life. And by definition, that kind of life is eternal. You see, you have that right now.
And the first question I would want to answer is simply this what does it take to get a boarding pass? You see, what does it take to get the boarding pass?
Jesus says it right here. He who hears my word and believes in him was me.
Faith and faith alone. In Christ and Christ alone. That's the boarding pass. That's how we get it.
John, 316. God so loved the world that he sent his son that whoever believes in him. Right. Should not perish, but have what? Eternal life. What is that? That's the boarding pass. You see, that's the boarding pass. If you have that. Turn with me to John, chapter 11 in verse 25, Jesus talking to Martha.
Lazarus has died. Jesus shows up. Everyone's upset except Jesus, because he knows what he's going to do. But inverse.
Twenty five. Jesus says this.
In fact, let me go off of verse 20 for what Martha said. Martha said, I know that he will rise again in the resurrection of the last day. She believed he had the boarding pass. And Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life.
He believes in me, will live even if he dies and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.
Do you believe this? You see once again this affirmation of Jesus Christ. He who believes in me, even if he dies.
He will live. He is the resurrection and the life.
No wonder Peter said there is salvation and no one else, for there is no other name under having given among men by which we must be saved.
You see the ideas, what does it take to get a boarding pass and it's simple. It's faith and faith alone in Christ, in Christ alone. That sort of leaves us to the next question. But can't we still be put on the boarding pass? Can't we still be put on the Sambi list?
Can we have the boarding pass and then we don't have it? And now we're on stand by. We're waiting for another flight.
Emphatically, the answer is no. Turn back to John, Chapter 10. With me for a moment, John, Chapter 10.
Verse 22. At that time, the feast of that occasion took place in Jerusalem and it was winner. And Jesus was walking in the temple in the portico of Solomon.
Or he did much of his teaching and the Jews gathered around him and they were saying to him, how long do you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.
Now, that is a very, very funny question. He has told them plainly over and over again, he has done all kinds of miracles in their presence.
But they said, look, just tell us. We just did say it. And Jesus answered and said, I told you and you do not believe. The works that I do on my father's name, V's testify of me. But you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep hear my voice. I know them. They follow me and I give eternal life to them.
And they will never perish and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the father's hand. I and the father are one.
Notice what Jesus says to answer the question, what could we be put onto the standby list? And Jesus says emphatically, No, absolutely not.
He says they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. No one was snatched them out of my hand. No one will snatch them out of the father's hand. An amazing thing. Listen to what Paul writes in Roman, 80, says.
When an all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through him, who has loved us for, I am convinced that neither death nor life nor angels nor principalities nor things present, nor things that come nor powers nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.
You see, what is God saying here? What is Christ telling us? What is Paul telling us? Basically, it's hands off. This child is mine. God says. This child is kept by my power.
You see, there is no other power somehow so many Christians have this terrible, terrible idea that somehow I have within my own power the ability.
Titrated my boarding pass and end up on standby. You don't want.
You don't. I love the words of John MacArthur here. If you could lose your salvation, you would. Nothing could be truer than that if you could lose your salvation, you would lose your salvation.
It's all on the basis of what Jesus Christ has done and what he does for us.
There is no power exist, he said, could snatch you out of my hand.
I've said this over the years. But when we were seminary students, we taught fifth grade boys Sunday school class and we were at this verse. And so I decided to, at the fifth grade boys class that I would teach this principle of eternal security in the hands of God. And so I put a quarter in my hand and squeezed it shut and then challenge the fifth grade boys to see if they could. They could have the quarter, if they could get it.
And at. Fortunately, they didn't get it, but I forgot to say things like no biting, no pinching.
The point is this. That's the imagery that Christ had urine, his hands are in the father's hands. Now, you tell me on this Earth or any other created thing is gonna be able to separate you from that. You see, that's what Jesus Christ is telling you and me. I've given you that boarding pass.
You have that pass. Nothing is going to change this.
Which sort of leads us then to a third question.
Can I be sure that God will always honor the boarding pass? And the answer is emphatically yes. Come with me to Second Corinthians, Chapter one. Second Corinthians, Chapter one.
Paul making his case in verse 18. He's trying to make his case. Just how you can rely on the promises of God. And in verse 18, he says, but God is faithful. Our word to you is not yes and no for the son of God, Christ Jesus, who was preached among you, by us, by me and Silvanus and Timothy was not yes and no, but yes in him, yes in Christ. For as many as are the promises of God in him. They are always yes. Therefore, also through him is our Aymen to the glory of God through us. Now he who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God.
And then this phrase. Who has sued us? And gave us the spirit in our hearts as a pledge.
If you want to know, like, how can I be sure that I will never get that stand by, that God has absolutely guaranteed my boarding pass?
He says, well, he said, I could say it in two easy words, but I'll tell you what he's done in No. Two easy words of the Holy Spirit of God. When you became a believer in Jesus Christ, when you put your trust in your faith in Christ and his finished work on the cross, the Holy Spirit of God in dwelled you. But here he says there's something about the Holy Spirit that unique. The first thing he says is that he sealed us. I love that he sealed us. Interesting. Frager's Sprogis is the word. An unusual word. The word literally means Cygnet. And it's amazing and a wonderful word, it was used by governing authorities, the highest governing authority, of course, in their world would have been the emperor of Rome. And when the emperor of Rome, one of the send something that he wanted no one else to ever see except the person he was sending it to. He would take it. He would roll it up. And then he would pour wax on the were on the seam of where that tube is put together. And then he would take his cygnet his ring that says Emperor of Rome. He puts it on. Paul picks right up when that says that's what the Holy Spirit is, do you and me? God has rolled you up there to be said he's mine, vice. I certify this one to be mine and I'm going to put my signature on it. The Holy Spirit of God.
And he's not only have sealed us with the Cygnet, but notice he also said he gave us the Holy Spirit as a pledge.
And again, another very interesting and wonderful word, and this particular word is Aqua nom and acromion means simply.
To advance advance payment. We used to call this earnest money. In other words, if you're going to do the deal, you have to give advance payment. I like to buy your house. Well, how I know that you're gonna be able to buy it. How do I know you'll be able to get financing? How about if I give you a check up front? That way to reassure you that I'm going to hold up my end of the deal. That's what God says is his holy spirit to you and me. He said, I assure you, the deal you see, I put my signature on, you see who has the authority to open up what God has put a seeing them on No one but God.
See, no one has that. And secondly. He gives us the Holy Spirit as a pledge.
The boarding pass has a signature on it, and better yet, God paid for the pass as we know what the cross.
And another thing about the pledge is God's promise that all the things that are to come. You see, that's the best thing about being a believer, not only you have the surety of heaven in a presence of God now. But I also have an inheritance. And I inherit a new due to everything that Jesus Christ inherits, and he inherits everything.
All of this is because of the work of God. That's how wonderful this boarding pass is to us. And there's even a little more. Go with me to Jewed, the book of Jewed, right near the end of your Bible, right before the Book of Revelation. I won't give you a chapter because there's only one.
So if you find the book, you're in good shape. The Book of Jud.
Just that first verse, jewed, a bond servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James. To those who are the called. Beloved in God, the father. And then this phrase and kept.
For Jesus Christ. Now, depending on your translation, it could say, and kept by Jesus Christ or we kept for Jesus Christ. Neither really matters. But notice who we are. We are kept. For Jesus Christ or we are kept more likely by Jesus Christ. You see, my boarding pass is secure by the power of God. And so is yours. Paul tells the Ephesians, I pray that you would know this surpassing greatness of the power toward us who believe. He goes on and says it's resurrection power. The power that gave guarantees your boarding pass is the same power that raised Christ in the dead. I wish you would get your your your thoughts around that. I wish that would become the conviction of your life. I wish you would see things from that perspective. Resurrection power keeps you. What does it take to get a boarding pass? Faith and faith alone and Christ in Christ alone. Can't we be put on the standby list? Absolutely not. You see, we're holding the hands in the power of God. Can I be certain that God will always honor my boarding pass? Yes. That's why he gave us the Holy Spirit to show how certain you can be.
You see an on and off salvation never appears in the Bible. Not once you never get an idea in a Bible that someone's a believer and then they're not someone's heaven born and then off to hell they go. You never, never see that in the word of God.
Why is that so important? Because of this, if there is no insurance. There is no peace.
You see, if there is no assurance, there is no peace.
And if there is no peace about you going finally home. There is no joy.
You live with the fear of dying. The uncertainty of it, and so many of us do exactly that.
You've been listening to Pastor Bill Gebhardt on the Radio Ministry of Fellowship in the Word, if you ever missed one of our broadcast or maybe you would just like to listen to the message one more time. Remember that you can go to a great Web site called One Place dot com. That's one place dot com. And you can listen to fellowship and the word online at that Web site. You will find out only today's broadcast. But also, many of our previous audio programs as well had fellowship.
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