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Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ by saying we realize this, that in the last days difficult times when Paul was writing this with me. He believes he's in the last and from a biblical point of view. We want and where in the last pastor are in the last days is this the end times are we close to the end times is this beginning that I answer has always been and always will be the same. I have no idea. Okay, I know this closer than we were. And that's all I know for joining us today on this additional fellowship of the word pastor Bill Gebhardt Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana.
Let's join Pastor Bill govern hours. Once again he shows us how God's word meets our work. I think we been in the cold here in New Orleans. Six or seven times this year for an all-time record and we got really nothing to show for it and I think were all grateful for that. But what a year. I mean, on top of everything that's been going on.
We have an election in a month and now you know all the stuff that's going on with that and how were going to cope and what were going to do, but I want to talk to you about something a little bit different this morning I want to talk to you about what's happening in our country what's happening in America and what's happening has very little to do with hurricane season very little to do with the economy very little to do with the pandemic and very little to do with the upcoming election. The changes that America is facing today and we are facing.
As Christians began in the Enlightenment and really started getting great momentum in the 1960s until the day we live in a post-Christian culture is very important for you and I do understand we live in a post-Christian culture. America is not a Christian nation.
It is post-Christian. The ramifications of that are enormous for us as believers Albert Moore writes this, he said the key issue is that the society is distance from Christian theism is the fundamental explanation of the world and as a moral structure of human society. Christian truth claims have lost all binding authority in our culture and the loss of that binding authority is the most important thing for you and I do remember for a lot of reasons this kind of exasperates Christians but I love it. Moore says when he says are truth claims have lost all binding authority in the culture in which we live.
We are progressively living in a secular state secularism is the ideology and secularization is the process the effect that it's having is all around us, but especially on young people tremendous changes now among America's younger people.
James White wrote a book called the rise of the nuns and is a great title and ON ES. The rise of the nuns and he said nuns are the ones who when you fill out any kind of form and it says religion in your regular religion in the right none so he said there's been a tremendous rise of the nuns he said up to 1990. The amount of the nuns who wrote none on a form was less than a percent as of 2018 when he wrote the book.
It's over 42%. That's the change that's America. That's was happening when reports of the challenge to Christianity does not come from other religions but from a rejection of all forms of religion are not thinking about religion and then rejecting it. Not thinking about her all that secularism. In fact, life way a Southern Baptist ministry did a survey and said that half of all Americans.
These are young and old. Now never once said wrote down in the survey that they ever wondered if they go to heaven half not a thought. I don't really care. George Barna said about half of young people are totally embraced by the post-Christian worldview. Things have really changed the bidding process of changing before the Enlightenment. It was a virtual cultural impossibility of unbelief. Everybody believed they might believe in a deistic God with a theistic one but everybody believed that after the post-enlightenment came the possibility of unbelief, but today in secularism and postmodern American. He writes it's almost impossible to believe that's the mindset of the average American. There is no personal God.
Therefore there is no authority to answer to.
Therefore there is no such thing as a moral standard or moral code is the country reliving Ernest Bogan Ford suggests the secular age writes checks. It cannot cash it claims to uphold human rights even as it undercuts any argument for human dignity and natural rights.
It invents new rights like same-sex marriage at the expense of fundamental white rights, like religious liberty. It claims to have a high human dignity about it and yet it aborts millions of unborn human beings from the womb, and he says in the pattern just goes on and on as the country reliving so I want to open your Bibles to second Timothy chapter 3 the sort of get a glimpse from God's point of view. Second Timothy chapter 3, Paul starts this chapter by saying we don't realize is that in the last days difficult times will come. Remember when Paul is writing this to Timothy. He believes he's in the last days and from biblical point of view. We watch and where in the last days not let me try to explain this way I get this question often especially this year because of all the things are happening to us. I get this question pastor are we in the last days is this the end times are we close to the end times is this beginning now.
My answer has always been and always will be the same. I have no idea. Okay, but I know this were closer than we were. And that's all I know, but so each generation can read something into this, but Paul is making his point. He said in the last days difficult times will come. Why because men will be lovers of self will be lovers of money.
He said the be boastful and arrogant revolvers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful one, holy, unloving, irreconcilable gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. That's quite a list that's a list if you want to know theologically what that list is that's a that's a theology of the depravity of man management and some theologians say man is totally depraved.
It doesn't mean everything. Man does evil, but it does mean that everything is cement at its essence is a depraved human being. And that's what the Bible teaches. And so what ends up happening is, he makes this list Chuck Swindoll. He writes this he said if the property were blue would be blue all over cut us and would bleed blue, he said, cut into our minds and you'll find blue thoughts, cut into our vision and there are blue images full of greed and lust cut into our hearts and there will be blue emotions like a true revenge and blame.
Cut into our wills and your fine deep blue decisions and responses would be blue all over.
That's what it means to be depraved but notice that he says that this affects almost every aspect of how we behave, but also how we feel. That's why he uses the term lovers will be lovers of self as a player born the next passage I go to. But the whole idea is that's our culture.
How do you measure life, what you measure life by what our culture says is measured by us. We decide we decide everything we decide what's right will decide what's wrong, it's up to us. That's the culture we are the measure of all things. Then he says, lovers of money with that that sort of the American dream and that what makes America American army, all lovers of money, in fact, before we condemn the culture. Let me say this today in America we have a whole branch of evangelicalism that this is the central tenet of it. We have the whole prosperity movement church that basically says God exists so you can get all that you can possibly want. That's why there is a God so that you can have everything you want to sit there boastful and arrogant.
Revolvers are disobedient to parents. One interesting thing on the list but not in that culture and that culture that would've been like if you said that to the culture of the time it was written the people in the culture with a wide there's no way kids would ever be disobedient to their parents about our culture. If you said that in our culture.
What would we say so what of course everybody's disobedient yet that's America not in this list even goes on and he says that they are ungrateful and unholy when is the last time you seen a newscast and some of the new said they want to describe an action is unholy ever never never want. In fact, a very famous evangelical pastor has said I never use the word sin is negative and I'll never use that word, so I never tell people anything about sin. In fact, most evangelicals I believe don't see them see themselves as sinners, we see ourselves as mistake or I made a mistake. Now that's a sin.
He said that's the way the cultural be it will be.
He said unholy he goes on at the forms is treasured treacherous and reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure hedonist.
That's America, lovers of pleasure. America grabs hold of what feels good. It does not grab a hold of what is good. The question the standard by which we live is if it feels good do it. That's our country. That's the way they see things so the question comes down to how this happened. I mean, I know work started and all that but how did it happen so when you go with me now for the rest of the hour to Romans one Romans chapter 1 here the Bible or Paul will tell you how this all happened historically with the cultural can tell you how it happened. It all happened basically at the beginning of the Renaissance after the dark ages.
Middle Ages was a Renaissance, a celebration of everything that was culture that wears Greek that was Roman, that lifted man up. That's when I began, and then to continue to expand into what is called the Enlightenment and the Enlightenment is known for famous philosophers like Descartes, Spinoza can't those men and basically what those men did in the Enlightenment as they begin the challenge something from a philosophical point of view. Their conclusion although different, were similar in this way, is there anything really. That's true really anything that's true. That was the question out of the Enlightenment after we had that came the age of reason in the age of reason is as long as it's reasonable, it's likely to be true that they way eventually to modern secularism.
That's where we are today. What ended up happening in America over these last 60 years as it began to get a lot off a lot of momentum out of the 1960s because that was the beginning of the sexual revolution in America and so that's when American started thinking differently about everything and that's where the way how you feel about something is the only standard by which you can judge something so when Paul writes Romans one he starts in verses 16 and 17 and he said I'm not ashamed of the gospel which the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith as it is written, righteous man will live by faith, great, great verse. I'm not ashamed of the gospel. In fact the gospel is the only hope a man is the only means of salvation positive not ashamed of it. He said it is the power of God for salvation now which interesting after he says this explaining what he had written earlier in the same chapter he now goes in verse 18 to another revelation about man. He says for the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which was known about God is evident within them. God made it evident to them that when you first read that you think well what is he wise got so angry. Why, what's his wrath about this wrath of God. Well, it is against all ungodliness and unrighteousness, but there's something else added in verse 18, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness. In other words, what man does, especially in secondary, you simply suppress the truth, whatever is true, you say it's not true. I simply nodded we will not allow the truth to come forward and we live in a culture that is now turn this into an art form in virtually every area of life. And so he says because that which was known of God is heaven within them. God made it evident to them that the first thing God says is look you want to know better want to read you are no better is who you are is within you. Now if you do an anthropological study of man and it doesn't matter whether in the upper Amazon of the Arctic Circle, whether in South America or Europe. It doesn't matter. Anthropologists have realized that virtually all men everywhere have a sense of conscience and a sense of what's right what's wrong God, you would be yes I put it there. All men have no cultures differ in certain areas. There is no doubt about that but they have the sense there's a consciousness of being human not animal still have this kind of consciousness they don't they don't really try to rationalize what's right and what's wrong.
They run by instincts, a very different kind of thing. But man he said because your conscious you should have known you in the image of God created you my image. I can see how even that is been taken from a secular point of view and said the God know you didn't see no you didn't just basic couple molecules in a pod and it just kept working themselves together with some mysterious way, and outcomes. You that's what's really happening. That's really the true and so what ends up happening is he goes on.
He says there it's evident to them. And then he gets the verse 20 says. For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes, his eternal power and his divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through that which is been made there without excuse. So God second wave revealing himself. The menaces look at creation.
Amazing. Now think of this. We know so much more by creation than they did didn't have any idea. No sense of the universe. Nothing. I mean, I saw the sun is the main like the moon is a secondary life. They saw the stars as little lights and that's pretty much it. Think of the creation now billions of galaxies with billions of stars, so far, the immensity of it is beyond our imagination uses. Yeah you look at that it's not just on the macro. It's on the micro as well. Human cells, you see the whole idea of our DNA and the gene all these issues are amazingly complex and in fact in our world. There's a whole group of scientists, not a Christian scientist not Julie signed this not Muslim scientists who say this looks like creative design to me. This has to be design. There is just no way this just happened and they get ostracized and criticized by our culture because that would mean further. Someone behind this and we don't want anybody behind this under any circumstances, and so were going to reject that and so they find themselves persecuted. It's an amazing creation. I read a book not alone go from from man named Hugh Ross who is a Christian astrophysicist and he talked about the uniqueness of earth and I can remember the exact amount but it was in the hundreds he went through hundreds of details instead of every one of these details were perfectly exactly the way it is to be no life on earth. I mean one after the other after the other and was yet every one of them is perfect and that's why we have life is an amazing thing to see. I mean think about at this point if you take our Milky Way galaxy to bring galaxy and lots of stars sons. Just a small middle little bit smaller than average start in the Milky Way. As you know, you see pictures of it spinning, but it's also not only spinning it spins it 140 miles a second every second.
The whole galaxy mood spends 140 miles but it's also moving as a whole unit hundred 90 miles an hour per second every second hundred 90 so it spinning is moving now. Think of all the way.
The little dot of our son about around that that we little planet called Earth and more spinning and more spinning at a thousand miles an hour that's why you think the sun comes up.
A single Zumba were spinning at a thousand miles an hour and were orbiting the sun at 66,000 miles an hour now the Milky Way is spinning its moving through the universe. They are spinning a thousand miles an hour and its moving 66,000 miles.
How you doing your motion sickness. If you anything. I mean you don't fill thing I mean is all happening. It's all relative returning and feel anything. The immensity and the complexity of creation is something. In fact, in Psalm 19 one. This is what the psalmist says the heavens are telling of the glory of God and their expanse is declaring the work of his hands more you look at it the more you see God's hand on his just on and on and on and you can read book after book of people who are creative designers just trying to figure this out. I remember real book written by BP is a microbiologist is talking about Darwin's Black box and he talked about the evolution of an eye, and his view was the ask all of his scientific friends approve among but he said something without an I cannot evolve and I attempted the complexity when I can't be done.
He never got to take her by the way, wrote the book about 20 years ago, but the point of it is simply this. If you look at the complexity of creation to the conscious demand both in the macro and micro of creation, you find God's is a giving without excuse of giving a testimony of who I am. Psalm 14 one says the full was said in his heart there is no God metal post I'd want to say now.
He says this for even though they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. There's a digression for things and Evers got this thing on is interest distal to the creation of the conscious look at the complexity of human beings is noticed on a man's got a me thanks and pastor broke your heart on the radio ministry of fellowship, nor if you ever missed one of our broadcast or maybe you just listen to the message one more time. Remember the good a great website called one place.com that's one place.com and you can listen to Fellowship in the Word online at that website you will find on with today's broadcast but also many of our previous audio program at Fellowship in the Word. We are thankful for those who financially support our ministry and make this broadcast possible. Yes, all of our listeners to prayerfully consider how you might help his radio ministry continuous broadcast on this radio station by supporting us monthly with just a one-time gift support for ministry can be sent to Fellowship in the Word. 4600 Clearview Pkwy., Metairie 7006 if you would be interested in hearing today's message in its original format that is is a sermon, the pastor will deliver during a Sunday morning service at Fellowship Bible church visit our website FVC Nola.org that FVC and oh LA.O RG at our website you will find hundreds pastor Bill sermon you can browse through our sermon archives to find sensors you're looking you can search by title. Once you find the message you're looking for. You can listen online or if you prefer, you can download the sermon and listen at your own. And remember all this absolutely free of charge. Once again our website FVC Nola.org for pastoral go-cart injuries and thank you for listening to fellowship in order