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Say No To Cynicism, Part 2

Fellowship in the Word / Bil Gebhardt
The Truth Network Radio
September 15, 2020 8:00 am

Say No To Cynicism, Part 2

Fellowship in the Word / Bil Gebhardt

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September 15, 2020 8:00 am

Through today's circumstances, have you become cynical?

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Today on Fellowship in the Word, Pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ. Thanks for listening this Truth Network Podcast. Thank you for joining us today on this edition of Fellowship in the Word with Pastor Bill Gebhardt.

Fellowship in the Word is the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible Church located in Metairie, Louisiana. Let's join Pastor Bill Gebhardt now, as once again, he shows us how God's Word meets our world. Be hopeful. You see, be hopeful. That's such an important part for us if we're going to fight the cynicism of our own age.

I need to be hopeful. Go with me to Luke 8, verse 50. Next chapter.

Same idea. Verse 49, while he was still speaking, someone came in, he said, from the house of the synagogue official and said, Your daughter has died. Do not trouble the teacher anymore.

How bad a day is that? Now it's a child. My daughter's dead. But when Jesus heard this, he said, Do not be afraid any longer. Only believe. She'll be made well.

He offers it up front. Notice that back in verse 52, they were all weeping and lamenting for her, and he said, Stop weeping. She has not died.

She's just asleep. Verse 54, he says, Arise. In other words, be hopeful.

And then he acts. One of the things I say over and over again, redundantly, probably to the chagrin of a lot of people, but I keep saying the worst thing that can happen to you can't happen to you. The motive behind that is those are words of hope. The worst thing that can happen, you can't happen to you.

It can't. You see, I know from scripture, if I'm absent from the body, I'm present with the Lord. Just on the little basis of what I've read, it's probably better to be in heaven than here. I'm just guessing this, but I think it's probably better.

Exponentially so. That's the hope of it. That's where our hope is.

That's where the ultimate outcome is. Notice that Luke 13. Luke 13.

In verse 12. Again, he is teaching in one of the synagogues in verse 10 on the Sabbath, and there was a woman for 18 years who had been sick, caused by a spirit, and she bent double and could not straighten out at all. So you could imagine what she looked like. How's her life going? Eighteen years, she could never stand up. The pain she's in. When Jesus already called her over and he said to her woman.

You're free from your sickness. He hadn't done anything yet. He said, I got this.

He laid hands on her. Immediately, she was made erect and started glorifying God. The whole point is, God says, look, don't despair. The same God who sees the sparrow fall sees your life and mine. So the idea that I'm a child of God, Romans eight, 28, all things to work out for my good has to apply to every circumstance of life, including the ones we're in. It has to.

That's the way this works. So he said you need to be hopeful. That's what these are, just pictures of hope. Think of what he writes in Romans 15.

Paul says this. Now, may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. How do you measure how much hope you have? Let me ask you how much joy and peace you have. You don't have joy and you don't have peace, you don't have hope. He said, but the God is the God of hope. That's what God wants to give you here. And again, if you have hope.

You won't be cynical. We are to be gentle and cautious and we are to be hopeful. We are to be thankful.

We are to be thankful. I started reading through these and if you know much about the New Testament church, if you know much about the church at all, the whole New Testament church, except for the Thessalonians, none of them really had it all together. Thessalonians were probably the best church. The Corinthians, the worst church and everyone in between. Most of the letters that Paul wrote, except for Thessalonians, most of the letters were because they were doing or believing something wrong.

And then he wrote. But what's what Paul says? I'll go Romans one eight. First, I thank God, the God through Jesus Christ for all of you.

First Corinthians, the worst church. I give thanks to my God for you always. For Ephesians one, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you and my prayers. Philippians one, I thank my God in my remembrance of you always and every prayer of mine. Colossians one, we are always thankful, he said to God, the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we pray for you. Thessalonians one, we give thanks to God always for all of you.

You're constantly mentioning you in our prayers. Thessalonians two, we thank God constantly. Thessalonians three, for what Thanksgiving can we return to God for you? Second Thessalonians one, we always thank and give thanks to God for you. Second Thessalonians two, we ought to always give thanks to God for you. Now, notice he thanked God more for the Thessalonians than anybody else, which I find funny. He thanked God for everybody. He's thankful. He said to Timothy, I thank God as I remember you constantly in my prayers. I thank you for that.

Find Lehman four, I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers. Romans, Corinthians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians, Timothy, Philemon, Paul's giving thanks. Thankfulness keeps your hope alive. Paul says the Philippians in Romans, Philippians four, he said, in everything by parents supplication with Thanksgiving, let your request be now known to God.

I talk on that verse often. Whenever you're praying for anything like the pandemic to end, are you thanking God for it now? Do you thank God up front or are you going to wait to thank God when it ends? Now I'm ready to thank him.

You see, that's not what he says. No, you're thankful. As a matter of fact, in Ephesians and I'll just read it, Ephesians, chapter five and verse 20 said, always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even our father, always giving thanks for all things. What does that include? How often should we give thanks and how what does it include?

Always giving thanks for what all things. What do you mean, a pandemic? You mean you mean economic uncertainty? Yeah. Everything. I thank God. Why? He got it. I got this. You see, this this is an interesting thing, how this works in our lives.

In First Thessalonians five, he says, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances. Doesn't really matter. This pandemic has produced all kinds of different medical opinions. All kinds of economic difficulties.

All kinds of problems for the government deciding how they give stimulus to the economy and they have all kinds of different ideas on that. Lying politicians come out and tell us all kinds of different things all the time. You see. And you and I should be thankful. Are you? You see, do we thank God in the middle of this? I'm not sure we do, but the problem is, if I'm not thankful in my heart all the time to God. I'm very vulnerable to cynicism.

I'm just very vulnerable to it. And I mean, I understand it used to be at one time, even in our country, the news was reported as I know you think this is crazy news. All a newscaster does is tell you the news.

There's no there's nothing else. Just tell them the news. But no one does that now. Someone has to reinterpret the news to tell you what it means. And so depending on what channel you are on, you hear a completely different versions of the same thing. And you know what that makes you, if that's what the voices are, you listen to cynical. You become cynical. You see, it really doesn't matter which side of the aisle says what all that matters is what is God said?

That's all that matters. But somehow we have got ourselves right in the midst of this. And it's amazing thing to see just how cynical Christians have become. Cynicism looks at reality and calls it phony. That's what a cynic does. I look at reality. I say it's all phony.

You ever said that or thought that? Come on, it's all phony. But cynics don't do anything. They're full time job is cynicism.

That's their job. I'll be cynical about everything. That's who I am. But thankfulness and hopefulness, they look at reality and they rejoice that we are in God's care.

They see reality for what it is. Beware of men. He said, you beware of men. Back to Genesis three for a moment where we started. You know what happened after the fall? The judgment of God came. Once he believed the cynicism of the serpent. The judgment came.

We call it the fall of man. And everybody got judged. Eve got judged. The serpent got judged. Adam got judged. I mean, there's judgment for this. But there's something else here.

Hmm. Adam and Eve, you know, went and hid. You know what that story is like, but I want you to see verse 21 of Chapter three. The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife. And he clothed them. He showed them what the judgment was.

But he didn't show them something else that's even more important. What love is. What an Adam and Eve feeling.

Shame, guilt, hiding. The Lord made garments. Of skin. That tells me first he had to kill a couple of animals. And then can you imagine the Lord now he can do it any way he wants, but just imagine this picture. Can you imagine the Lord sewing his garments? He's sewing two garments up of skin for them so he can cover them. The catastrophic fall of man and God's love intercedes and says, yeah, I'll make garments for them. His love covers their shame and guilt.

Do you ever think of this? God allowed his own son to be stripped naked. So you and I could be clothed in righteousness.

The exact opposite of what happened with Adam and Eve. He allowed his son to be stripped naked, mocked and crucified so that you and I could be clothed in righteousness. That's the love of God. God is not cynical in the face of evil. He loves in the face of evil. And so we should be.

The last thing I want to say is this. We must stay close to Jesus. You know the story in John 15. Jesus said, I'm the vine, you're the branches.

You know that. And he says, you need to abide in me. You stay close to me and you will bear much fruit. But apart from me, there's nothing you can do.

You can't. You have to stay close to me. And when circumstances are as difficult as these circumstances are, this is a time where all of us should be really thinking, how close can I stay to my Lord? The circumstances we are living in are very distracting.

They're hard for us. And if we let it, we'll let cynicism come into our own heart and take over. Now, what's interesting about that is that's why these kind of crises produce that kind of problem. The last verse I want to look at is in First Samuel, Chapter 17. First Samuel, Chapter 17, a chapter of the Bible that you've been familiar with since you've been young. If you grew up in the church, it's the famous story of David and Goliath. And I can't imagine how many kids have been taught the story of David and Goliath.

But it's an amazing story on a whole bunch of different levels. And I just want to show you something here. Does Goliath pose a threat to the armies of Israel?

Incredibly so. In fact, they're terrified. He starts out on one side of the valley and they're over here and he taunts them. He moves down the valley. He taunts them. He moves across the valley. He taunts them.

He's at the base of the other side going up and taunting them. And then David comes onto the scene. These guys are terrified.

This is as frightening to them as something could be. So you see what ends up happening. When you get here, what he says in verse 28, that's where I'll pick it up. Now, Eliab, his oldest brother, heard when he spoke to the men.

David was checking things out. And in Eliab's anger, he burned against David and he said, why have you come down? He said, and with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your insolence and your wickedness of your heart, for you have come down in order to see the battle. Let me ask you, see a touch of cynicism there?

Everywhere. Where do you leave your few sheep there, David? I know you've got terrible motives. I know why you're here. You see, that's his brother he's talking to. That's exactly what he says. He has cynicism here. David says, what have I done now?

I just ask a question. He ignores it. It's a general answer to his brother. But notice what happens down in verse 34. In verse 34, David said to Saul, your servant was tending his father's sheep and when a lion and a bear came and took a lamb from the flock, I went out after him and attacked him and I rescued from his mouth. And when he rose up against me, I seized him by his beard and I struck him and I killed him. Your servant has killed, he says, both the lion and the bear. And he said, this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them.

Why? He taunted the armies of the living God. What's David saying? I walk with God. I walk with God. We often think, how could a young teenage boy kill with his own hands Goliath? How about this?

How many young teenagers you know that have a slingshot can kill a bear or a lion? Do you ever think about that? David said, yeah, I killed him. I stay close to God.

He said, this is just an uncircumcised Philistine. God's already done things for me in my past because I stay close to God. We'll be all right. How many people thought David was going to be all right in this? David and God. I think everybody on Israel's side, when they saw David walk down into the valley, said there's a dead man walking.

This kid has no no chance at all. Goliath certainly thought he had no chance. He trash talked him and insulted him. By the way, David spoke right back with the same trash talking and the same insulting. Notice then verse forty seven. He said, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord, he said, does not deliver by the sword of the spear, for the battle is the Lord's and he will give you into my hands.

Or our hands. That's the cry of Israel, the battle is the Lord's. He said, I know that.

I love what he says when he says this. You know that the Lord does not deliver with a sword or a spear. You see, to be delivered by the Lord is all that really matters here.

I think maybe misguidedly, we say, no, the only way to be delivered with a good vaccine. Then we'll be delivered. You might be delivered to a long life that ends up in hell.

I don't know if you call that deliverance or not, but the battle is the Lord's. You see, how long will this last? Just as long as the sovereign God is going to allow it to last.

What will be the outcome? Just exactly what the sovereign God decided it will be. And you and I should not become cynical about that. We should become thankful and hopeful. And use this time to walk closer and closer with our Lord. We are to be gentle and cautious. We are to be hopeful and thankful.

And we are to stay close to Jesus. Our culture has always been cynical. But the circumstances of the day have made cynicism an art form among all of us. And I've had enough conversations with enough Christians to know that all of you that I've talked to are vulnerable to the same kind of cynicism. A child of God does not want to let cynicism dominate his heart or her heart.

We just don't want to fall into that temptation. We need to be sensitive to our own cynicism. We need to be sensitive to when we hear cynicism being spoke to us. And we need to be more sensitive when we speak cynicism to others because that does not glorify God. Let's be gentle and cautious, helpful, thankful, and walk just about as close to Jesus as we can. So that's my confession on my own cynicism.

Pray with me. Father, I think so often we struggle. So often I think we justify our cynicism by saying that we're just being discerning. But, Father, if we were just discerning, we would not give off an attitude that is so cynical. My prayer is that we just look into our own heart, understand our own thought process and the way we speak to others. Father, these circumstances, especially in this media-driven world we live in, really has tremendous potential to draw each and every one of us to become cynics. But as children of God, Father, it's our responsibility to be hopeful and thankful, to be gentle and cautious, to walk as close to you as we can for your glory and our good in Christ's name.

Amen. If you'd like to receive a message one more time, remember that you can go to a great website called That's and you can listen to Fellowship in the Word online. At that website you will find not only today's broadcast, but also many of our previous audio programs as well. At 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 this radio ministry continue its broadcast on this radio station by supporting us monthly or with just a one-time gift. Support for our ministry can be sent to Fellowship in the Word 4600 Clearview Parkway, Metairie, Louisiana 7006. If you would be interested in hearing today's message in its original format, that is as a sermon that Pastor Bill delivered during a Sunday morning service at Fellowship Bible Church, then you should visit our website, That's F-B-C-N-O-L-A dot O-R-G. At our website you will find hundreds of Pastor Bill's sermons. You can browse through our sermon archives to find the sermon series you are looking for, or you can search by title. Once you find a message you are looking for, you can listen online, or if you prefer, you can download the sermon and listen at your own convenience. And remember, you can do all this absolutely free of charge. Once again, our website is For Pastor Bill Gebhardt, I'm Jason Gebhardt, thanking you for listening to Fellowship in the Word.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-13 23:07:31 / 2024-03-13 23:16:03 / 9

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