Share This Episode
Fellowship in the Word Bil Gebhardt Logo

Talking to "Too Late" People, Part 1

Fellowship in the Word / Bil Gebhardt
The Truth Network Radio
February 23, 2021 7:00 am

Talking to "Too Late" People, Part 1

Fellowship in the Word / Bil Gebhardt

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 536 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

February 23, 2021 7:00 am

When Jesus speaks we should listen.

Wisdom for the Heart
Dr. Stephen Davey
What's Right What's Left
Pastor Ernie Sanders
Wisdom for the Heart
Dr. Stephen Davey
Cross Reference Radio
Pastor Rick Gaston

Today on Fellowship in the Word, Pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ. You see, it's never too late. No matter what the great decision in your life, it's never too late. The thief on the cross, it's never too late. One of the things that I am most joyful of is people in this congregation and men that I know in particular who've come to Jesus Christ in their 70s and 80s. It's never too late with the Lord.

It's never too late. That's what he is saying. 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. Over the years, and especially in the context of counseling, I have seen a look. I call it, it's too late look. Usually people roll their eyes, shake their head. Sometimes they purse their lips.

You've seen the look. You're talking to a friend on the verge of divorce and you say to them, can't you try one more time? And they give you the too late look. They roll their eyes, they shake their head. Your husband and your father haven't spoken for a couple of years.

And so you say to your husband, can we try one more time? And he looks away and he gives the look. The bottom falls out of your own personal economy and someone says to you, you can go back to school. You can learn a new trade.

And what do you do? You give them the look. It's too late. I'm too old. Too late to save a marriage. Too late to reconcile.

Too late to start a new career. The too late people are everywhere. In fact, there are a lot of too late people here this morning. And perhaps maybe you're a too late person.

And by the way, if you are, you're not exactly in bad company. There have been a lot of people that are too late. Abraham and Sarah. It's too late. We'll never have an heir.

Moses. I'm too old. This is too late.

I'm 80. There's no way that I can deliver a people from Egypt. Hannah. It's too late to give birth to Samuel. Zacharias and Elizabeth. It's too late for us to ever have a child like John the Baptist. Last time you remember.

Mary and Martha. It's too late to help Lazarus. It's just too late. And if you're not a too late person, you certainly have too late moments.

Where you express either verbally or non-verbally that from your point of view, it's just too late. And again, you're in good company. That's exactly what Peter did. And Peter, you would have thought in his too late experience with the Lord. Would have learned something he would never forget.

But he does. Open your Bibles to Luke Chapter five. Luke Chapter five. We're in a series that I've called Conversations with Jesus. We dealt with a skeptic, Nathaniel, and a religious insider, Nicodemus, and an immoral outsider, the woman at the well. We've also dealt with legalistic Pharisees and a conversation Jesus had with the devil himself. And last time we dealt with Jesus having a conversation for grieving believers, Mary and Martha. The context here in Chapter five and the scene is found in the first verse right at the end when it says the Lake of Gennesaret. It's really the Sea of Galilee or the Sea of Tiberius.

Different names. You know it. You're familiar with it. 13 miles by six miles.

Not large, but certainly not small. Today, it's kind of a sleepy place. There are tourists that go there every once in a while and look around. The Sea of Galilee is famous to us, especially Christians. But in the day of Christ, it was a hub.

There are people everywhere. In fact, one historian said at the time of Christ, there were nine different cities around the Sea of Galilee that had populations of over 15000 people. And whenever Jesus went there, especially in this case, early in his ministry, there are people everywhere.

And that sort of sets up the scene. He had just finished. If you look at verse 44 of the prior chapter, Luke says he had kept on preaching the synagogues of Judea. He had a ministry in Judea in the south, and now he's up at the Sea of Galilee. And now what happened that while the crowd was pressing around him and listening to the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret and he saw two boats lying on the edge of the lake. But the fishermen had gotten out of them.

They were washing their nets. The crowd is so large and so pressing on Jesus, he keeps backing up. They keep coming forward to finally he finds himself right on the edge of the sea. And then he gets an idea and he sees the boats.

And so he decides, maybe one of those would help me a great deal. And it's said in verse three, he got into one of the boats, which was Simon's. And he asked him to put out a little way from the land, and he sat down and began teaching the people from the boat. When you compare that verse with what was said in verse one and listening to the word of God, just imagine what that would be like. We never get these.

Rarely do we get these type of things. The information. What was Jesus teaching? He was teaching the word of God. He's teaching the Old Testament. Could you imagine Jesus Christ just spending a whole morning teaching the Old Testament? You remember the men on the road to Emmaus and he taught them the Old Testament concerning himself. And they said, our hearts burned within us when we heard him teach the Old Testament.

Just imagine what that would have been like. And he's in a boat and he's in a boat of Simon's. Now, Simon had been fishing and he was fishing all night long. And he's tired.

He's really tired, but he's listening. So he says to Simon. It says, and when he had finished speaking, he comes up with this idea and he said to Simon, put out in the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.

That is not exactly what Simon wanted to hear. By the way, the deep water in the Sea of Galilee is one hundred and forty feet. That's really deep water.

That small lake. There's something else, though. Simon is introduced again. You see, I think perhaps you have never thought about this, but Simon was really called in stages. The disciples were called that way. In John, one was the first calling the first time he said, follow me. And then in Mark one in Matthew four, you have a second occurrence and this is the third occurrence. And it's not only for Simon Peter, but for James and John, the sons of Zebedee as well.

Jesus teaching the word of God. The last thing in the world Simon expected to hear was that put out in deep water and let down your nets for a catch. You don't fish in the daylight. It's not good fishing and certainly not deep water. You fish at night and you fish in the shallow water because the the coolness of the water, the ship come close. The fish come closer to shore. And by the way, their nets are only so long.

And so deep water fishing is very hard. And Simon's already had a very long, long night. Every single time that they cast, they'll say in a moment, every single time when they started to pull the nets and they realized they're empty. And so that morning, all he had, beside being extremely tired, was sore hands and an aching back. And so when Jesus said that, I know exactly what Simon did.

He rolled his eyes or he shook his head. It's too late. It's too late. Hey, I know you're Israel's Messiah. I know you're from Nazareth and a phenomenal carpenter, but I'm a professional fisherman. Not only am I a professional fisherman, my dad's a professional fisherman, my grandfather, my uncles. We're all professional fishermen. I know when to fish. This is my territory.

Notice Simon is very, very nice about it. He said, Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing. You see, there it is. Let me paraphrase it. It's too late. That's what he is saying. It's too late.

No disrespect, but it's too late. You say the same kind of things all the time. You're not fishermen now. Sobriety. I could never get sober. I've tried. I mean, I've tried.

I've been in and out of programs. I've tried. It's too late. I can't deal with it.

Solvency. Man, my debt is like an anvil hung around my neck. There's just no way I'm going to make it headway with this. I mean, I've talked to financial planners. It's too late. Happy marriage.

I've tried conferences, seminars, I read books. We went to a counselor. What a waste of money. I tried. It's too late. We're too late people. You see, it's too late.

You want me to get involved in what? Do you know how old I am? It's too late. This is too late.

We say it in a thousand different ways. And now the Lord is asking us to go fishing in the middle of the morning in deep water. Why would he do that?

Why would he do that? Because it's never too late for Christ. It's never too late for Christ. You see, that's the point. He knows what Simon's thinking.

He knows what they're all thinking. It's never too late for Christ. Well, you think we'd have learned that last week with Lazarus.

Four days dead. Too late. Never too late for Christ. You see, it's never too late. No matter what the great decision your life, it's never too late.

The thief on the cross. It's never too late. One of the things I am most joyful of us is people in this congregation and men that I know in particular who've come to Jesus Christ in their 70s and 80s. It's never too late with the Lord.

It's never too late. That's what he is saying. The second point is this.

He is capable of doing more than you could ever imagine. You see, maybe we should follow Peter's lead that even though he had that thought, notice what he says then. He said, but I will do as you say and let down the nets.

I'll do it. And when they had done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish and their nets began to break and they signaled to their partners in the other boat for them to come and help them. And they came and they filled the both of the boats and they began to sink. By the way, this isn't a P-rogue. This isn't a John boat. These are commercial fishing boats.

They're good size. They have crews on them. I remember when I first moved here, a man who was a Cajun who went to our church talked about the good old days and he said that they actually would catch at times speckled trout, so many speckled trout that the P-rogue would want to sink.

They'd just fill it. This is much bigger than that. Do you know how many times this kind of thing happens on the Sea of Galilee? Never. Peter knows that.

Never. They have so many fish. You see, the idea again is he's capable of doing more than you could possibly imagine. How did this happen? Luck. He was lucky.

We know better, don't we? The consensus is sort of like, well, he knew where the fish were. Clearly.

I like what Chuck Swindoll said. Maybe he created the fish and put them in the net. You see, would you be shocked by that? Did he ever work with fishes and loaves before? He fed 5,000 men and their families. Remember when there was taxes to be paid?

They paid taxes from a coin they found in a fish. One commentator said it this way, he knows what nobody knows and he can do what nobody does. That's why it's never too late for the Lord in your life. No limitations. His only limitation is his sovereign will.

What it is that he wills. And so please, when you speak of your addictions and your failures, your limitations, your lousy marriage, whenever you talk about that, your illness, whatever it is, please, please, don't say it's too late. It's never too late with the Lord.

Not ever. And you might be surprised at what he can do. Well, when Simon Peter saw that, he fell down at Jesus feet and said, Go away from me, Lord. I'm a sinful man. What a great response when the Lord intervenes in your life like that. How about this personal worship? Personal worship. He just falls at his feet.

Why? He's seen Christ now for who he is. And whenever you see Christ for who he is, guess what?

You see you for who you are. Anytime somebody is in the presence of God, it's the same response. Notice Peter's request, Lord, get away from me.

Please leave me. I'm a sinful man. The exact opposite, by the way, of why Jesus brought this event. He wanted to draw Peter closer to him. He wanted to change Peter's life.

He wanted Peter to stop this idea that it's too late. He says, for amazement had seized him and all his companions because of the catch of the fish which he had taken. Amaze meant.

That word, by the way, is Thomas, and it basically means wonder or shock. Let me ask you this. Are you amazed by Jesus Christ? More importantly, are you amazed that he's touching your life? Amazed.

You see, it's a good question to ask, isn't it? Because so often we're not amazed. Peter is amazed by this. Well, whenever this happens, not too late for the Lord.

He's capable of doing things we couldn't possibly imagine. Notice the aftermath. It says, and so were the James and John, the sons of Zebedee and the partners of Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, do not fear from now on. You'll be catching men.

He told him that before, by the way. He said, you'll be catching men. Yeah, you're going to be a fisherman, but you're going to fish for men.

The highest calling on earth, catching people with the gospel net of Jesus Christ. Because that's what they're called to do. That's why you're born, Peter. That's why you're here.

You know what, though? So often a one decision is not enough. How many times in your life have you said, from now on I'm going to be right with the Lord? Now I'm going to be right. I'm going to stop doing this. I'm going to start doing that. I'm going to do it.

I'm going to do it. How many times? You see, you start out well and you start doing it and then what happens? Sink right back. That's exactly what happens to Peter. Just a couple years later, this man who confessed Jesus Christ in the water denies Jesus Christ by the fire. He denies him.

Not once, not twice, but three times. He doesn't deny him to the Romans or to necessarily the authorities, but to a servant girl. His last denial could have within it a context of cursing the Lord.

What happened? You see, what Jesus wanted from Peter in this incident is for Peter to go from a too-late person to an all-in-now person. Look, Peter, don't say it's too late. Let's go all-in now, but I want you to be fishers of men.

I want you to do what I'm asking you to do. And then after he denied Jesus Christ, you know what Peter thought? It's too late. The Lord can't use me now.

It's too late. It went right back to a too-late person. Turn with me now to John 21, the Gospel of John 21, right near the end of the Gospel. Now, you'll remember that after Jesus Christ had appeared from the dead and through resurrection twice to them, he told them on the second occasion, he told them that, Go to Galilee to a mountain, and I will meet you there. Well, they get to Galilee, but there's no mountain. Peter doesn't want to go to a mountain. He's doing what we often do.

He's preoccupied with feeling sorry for himself. So Peter decides to do what he knows he wants to go fishing. And after these things, Jesus manifested himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberius. And he manifested himself in this way. Simon Peter and Thomas called Didymus and Nathaniel of Cana and Galilee and the two sons of Zebedee and two others. The disciples were there.

There were seven of them there. And Simon Peter said to them, I'm going fishing. And they said to him, we also will come with you. And they went out and got into the boat. Oh, and it was night.

And that night they caught. Zip. Nothing. Deja vu over again. You see, they're going to experience the same thing. By the way, here's a principle you have to understand. If you, on your own accord, through your own willful actions, don't learn an important lesson that the Lord has for you, he's likely to bring it about again. That's just my experience. You can experience it again and again and again.

He's very patient when it comes to us. Now. Verse four, but when the day was now breaking, Jesus stood on the beach and yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. And so Jesus said to them, children.

You do not have any fish, do you? And they answered, no, no. And he said to them, cast the net on the right hand side of the boat and you'll find a catch. Now, I would imagine many of the other guys, especially not James and John and Peter, you know what the other guys probably did at that moment? Roll their eyes.

Sugarhead. We've been in left side, right side, front side, back side. We've been on this side of the lake, that side of the lake. Nothing. But maybe Peter or James or John said, I think you had to cast it in.

I think I remember something like this happening before. And so they do. And so they cast and then they were not able to haul it in because of the great number of fish. And therefore, he says that disciple whom Jesus loved, that's John, said to Peter. It's the Lord.

You got to love John. You know, Peter, I'm telling you, that's the Lord. And so when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put his outer garment on. And for he was stripped for work and he throws himself into the sea. He's like, that's the Lord. He just throws himself in. He always, always, always acts before he thinks with everything he does.

You might be that kind of person. Great emotion. Great zeal.

Not a lot of wisdom sometimes. But the other disciples came in a little boat for they were not far from land, but about 100 yards away, dragging the net full of fish. So Peter went 100 yards after a night of fishing. And by the way, the kind of clothing they had when you're in the water, I have a hunch that's going to drag you down.

But Peter had the zeal. So when they got out of the boat. And they got on land, they saw a charcoal fire already laid. And fish placed on it.

And bred. There's already fish on the charcoal fire. Now, by the way, it's not their fish.

They're bringing their fish in. Where did he get the fish? Was he just lucky? Was it a coincidence? Did he know where the fish were? Or as Chuck Swindoll might say, did he create the fish on the charcoal fire?

I don't know. Jesus knows things no one else knows and he can do things no one else does. But notice what he's doing. He's giving him breakfast.

Now, please understand there's a little background to this. He told them that for as long as they lived, I will provide for you. And so here they are at post-resurrection and he says, how would you like breakfast? I told you I would provide for you.

Tells us the same thing. You've been listening to Pastor Bill Gebhardt on the Radio Ministry of Fellowship in the Word. If you ever miss one of our broadcasts or maybe you would just like to listen to the 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 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 the 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 of 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 / 2023-12-22 16:02:43 / 2023-12-22 16:12:20 / 10

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime