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Consumer Or Follower, Part 1

Fellowship in the Word / Bil Gebhardt
The Truth Network Radio
March 30, 2021 8:00 am

Consumer Or Follower, Part 1

Fellowship in the Word / Bil Gebhardt

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March 30, 2021 8:00 am

Learn the difference between being a consumer of Jesus Christ and a follower of Him.

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Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhart challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ, you, the son of God, the sinless son of God, would you rebuke him back consumer PC that doesn't fit my agenda just doesn't fit so he reduced could imagine doing something like this but turning around and seeing his disciple, he rebukes Peter says get behind me Satan is the Christ.

Well, this is one of get behind me Satan where that come from.

Notice what Jesus said you are not setting your mind on God's interest in man's by the way, that's the mantra of the consumer. I want God to be for me what I want God to be for me to see I have an agenda and I want God to help me with my agenda.

That's why I want to have a lot of my life to help me with my agenda for joining us 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 pastoral Gebhart now is once again he shows us how God's word. Our world is some time ago I read a book title the book was called more nurse written by a man named Greg Hawkins in the book dealt with a mega church in Chicago that was trying to figure out why they were not creating committed disciples of Jesus Christ.

Why I would call them followers of Jesus Christ, they were not committing those they had hundreds of programs and hundreds of pastors and yet they were not creating followers. And so what they decided to do as a first step was they had someone in their church who did it for a living. They decided that they would minister a survey to figure out where their people were in this church. And so what they did is they did the survey to thousands of their people and then revealed to the congregation what groups they fell into and they thought that there would be three groups, but there were actually four. The very first group of people that were attending the mega church and Hawkins writes this he says in group 1 are people for the most part, believe in God but they are unsure about Jesus. The relationship with God is impersonal and some of them are actively seeking God or investigating the claims of Jesus while others have stopped direct the pursuit and yet continue to show up at our church simply going through the motions so they could be actively seeking or stagnant, they might typically describe themselves in this way. I believe in God but I'm not sure about Jesus my faith has no significant part in my life.

In group 2 are people who believe that Jesus is God's son and who are working on what that means to their lives. The relationship with Jesus is personal, but it's not very close. Most of them would say. I believe in Jesus and I'm trying to figure out what that means for me to really know him. Then in group 3, there are folks who have a close relationship with Jesus in which they look to him for help and comfort and direction. They have chosen to have him influence some of their daily lives.

They might describe themselves by saying I feel really close to Jesus and depend on him daily for guidance. That sounded good to me in and I was hoping most the people in our church would be in that category. But the manner conducted the survey said there's another group in that group is group, for that includes people who describe their relationship with Jesus as the most important relationship in their lives and say that it defines everything that they think or do. The big difference between group 3 and group 4 is that the people in group 3, Jesus is important to their lives. But the focus is still on their lives. While group 4 people have decided that their own lives don't really matter. Christ is become the center of their lives they have set aside the agendas for their lives and attempting to follow God's agenda for their lives when they finished the survey they did around the nation. They surveyed hundreds of thousands of evangelical believers just like us and when they finished it all here was their conclusion. The total amount of evangelicals who are what we call group for followers of Jesus Christ is 12%.

One out of every eight now most of them were in group 3, some of them were in group 2, but it was an amazing thing that only 1/8 evangelicals are followers of Jesus Christ. Hawkins writes he says this group sees my imagination.

Here is a group of people who most strongly resonated with the statement that Christ is the center of my life. My relationship with him is the most important relationship in my life. Every decision I make is connected with that relationship. These people are not to be admired only for their commitment to Christ. What is compelling about them is that they are the group who reports the highest levels of love for God and less predictably, they exhibit the fruit of the spirit, love, joy, peace, and patience and so one in measurably greater amounts than any other group. And even though they have set aside their own agendas their own lives. They are by far the most satisfied and fulfilled people they are living proof of Jesus words that if you want to gain your life, you must lose it. Think of the difference in the group. Three people are characterized by the idea that I love Jesus and I want a relationship and I need him for my life and so we add Jesus to my life.

I would call them consumers.

That's how they view it. I want to add Jesus to my life as I live my life and not wanting to help me my life group. For though. What I would call followers of Jesus Christ. The question this morning for you is simple. Are you consumer or your follower because is a tremendous difference not only in that category, but any idea what you get out of your faith in some ways I understand it when we all start out where all consumers to a degree when someone share the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The good news of Christ with you as a consumer. We want him you know we want we want to take advantage of what is done for us and we want we want to be able to have our sins forgiven because of what he's done and of course we all want to go to heaven and not go to hell. So we like this idea will only believe as a consumer, that Christ died for our sins. The irony is that when you read the New Testament, Jesus has a different expectation for you than that his expectation is that your follower of Jesus Christ and I want to tell you is not as easy as you think, open your Bible is the Mark chapter 8 verse 27 Mark chapter 8 verse 27 in verse 27 Mark writes this, he says Jesus will not along with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi.

And on the way he questioned his disciples and he said to them, by the way who do people say that I am who do people say that I am now we know this in Matthew 16 he said to someone other occasions and he says they told him St. John the Baptist. Others say you're Elijah but others are one of the prophets, and he continued exhibit who do you say that I am and Peter answered and said to him you are the Christ, the Messiah. Christoph means Messiah. You are the Christ. Now this is interesting because this is Mark's adaptation.

That's all Peter says in Mark you the Christ. No member Matthew says you're the Christ the son of the living God and Jesus said to Peter upon this Petross I will build my church.

Now here's what's interesting who wrote John Mark. Mark your John Mark that you wrote it, who dictated Mark Peter, this is Peter's gospel notice that Peter didn't say he's going to build his church on me when W temptation. I mean if you build on me on the predinner. He doesn't say a word about.

In fact, he has no reason to because this is not necessarily a high point in Peter's life as you see in just a moment Jesus and said to them, he warned them to tell no one. And he begins the teacher, and here's what Jesus says, he said the Son of Man must suffer many things be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days I will rise again. So the only time you said as he said this several times throughout the Gospels, but he says look I want to tell you what's going to happen here. I'm going to suffer many things I'm going to be rejected by all the spiritual leaders. I'm going to be killed, and then I'm going to rise on the third day, but he was he. Mark even emphasizes a different notice the next verse, and he was stating this matter plainly not agreement have to be added except that Peter said put that in. So I have a hunch Jesus Don submits get this straight again.

I going to suffer. I'm going to be killed by the leadership of Israel, and I am going to rise on the third day, you got that you understand that consumers don't have a different agenda.

Watch what happens next. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, he's the son of God take what would you review the son of God, the sinless son of God, would you rebuke him do that consumer you see that doesn't fit my agenda is that doesn't fit so he rebukes Jesus. I could imagine doing something like this but turning around and seeing his disciple, he rebukes Peter and says get behind me Satan while while Peter Sager, the Christ. Well this is wonderful get behind me Satan order that come from. Notice what Jesus says, for you are not setting your mind on God's interest, but man's by the way, that's the mantra of the consumer. I want God to be for me what I want God to be for me. You see, I have an agenda and I want God to help me with my agenda. That's why I want to have God of my life to help me with my agenda.

Jesus rebukes in the harshest terms imaginable. You see, Peter said, look, he's the Messiah he's coming back. He and his Messiah of Israel. Guess what is going to do is going to throw the Romans and he's going to set up his messianic kingdom in Jerusalem and is going to roll the whole world from Israel and I'm going to get a great spot. I'm one of the 12 is to be great. Jesus is man's interest is not God's. That's the dilemma being a consumer you see I know what I want you know that same book. I remember hocking same sum that was just stunning to me. He said 34 years ago in America you would view the people who attended evangelical churches as sheep who wanted to follow the shepherd in their under shepherd but today he said we turn them shoppers.

That's what they do, they shop. I want to find out who has some for me.

I want to find out what church has up for me that's what I want to have an agenda. Can you meet my agenda. The trouble with that is you move from follower to shopper anyway. Jesus rebukes it on the harsh harshest terms possible notice. Peter started out a set exactly the right thing.

He said what all of us would say you're the son of God, the Christ. You see, but notice where he ends up going he actually rebukes the son of God. It's hard to imagine Jesus as Lord. Let me make this clear. Verse 34 and he summoned the crowd and the disciples and said to them, he said, look, don't think Ramon I'm just talking to Peter and don't think I'm just talking to apostles bring the crowd in. I want everybody to hear that.

That includes you and me is let me teach something here.

He said if anyone wishes to come after me. That's a follower. If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

Now they were aware what this meant. This meant two things to them. That must've really bothered. These people have all seen people crucified. The most famous way of dying in the world, the most horrible way of dying in the world. They saw people crucified. It's a shameful, terrible thing to be crucified but is not just the pain of the crucifixion is the shame that comes by being crucified. You see when you're going to be crucified with the Romans would do is that strip you naked. Then I put whatever crime you committed against Rome around your neck. Then you would take the crossbeam of the cross and you would carry it through the town to the site where your crucified. The shame was on imaginable to the Jew. That's why Jesus said you have to take up your cross. Luke writes daily now he did say happy get up on the cross. He said you have to take up your cross, you have to be willing to experience the shame of being a follower of Jesus Christ. You also have to be willing every going to follow him that I'll follow him everywhere even to my grave if I have to, but I will follow him. His point in verse 435 is whoever wishes to save his life will lose it. Whoever loses his life for my sake and the Gospels will save it.

He said look what does it profit a man to gain the whole world loses the best option.

Life is the follow me now you don't think that you think that your agenda I got my life to live. I got my plans. I know what I'm going to do and I want Jesus to help me with my plans. I want to make a career myself. I want to be somebody I want to accumulate a lot of stuff. Listen you will take one thing with you to the great will be no stuff in a generation or two, you're completely forgot that you were ever alive that's in reality that's what Jesus is saying that's reality.

Don't think for a moment. Why would you think that's life. That's not life.

You said you want life lose your life for my sake. That's life.

That's the difference a crisis accident between a follower and a consumer but interesting to me is the apostle Paul understood this.

He understood that following Christ is not sacrificial following Christ is beneficial. Go with me now to Philippians chapter 3 Philippians chapter 3 in verse four know understand the context. Paul wrote this.

You have to understand what it's about and where eroded from he's in prison and is waiting for the Emperor of Rome to decide whether he lives or dies. You either give him one of these are one of those that's it.

Now here's the theme of the book. It's not what you and I would make it when I would make it. Woe is me. What was me.

Please pray please pray woe is me whoa is me.

The theme of the book of Philippians is joy pulse that I have total joy. You could be dying at the I have total joy, nonmember polls, not a consumer is a follower so long. Notice what happens here.

Paul says, although in verse four I myself might have confidence in the flesh.

He said if anyone has a mind to put confidence and I far more look if you want to talk about living life out there in the real world. I have unbelievable confidence. I I can brag about it. You see, I can really brag about my life. I could do that if I wanted to his limits. Let me explain. He says I want to and understand I've been circumcised on the eighth day male Jewish boy typical of the Jews.

But guess who that eliminates all the Gentiles in the world.

I'm a Jew with the chosen people of God. Gentiles are not. I'm Jewish, but he doesn't stop he said I'm of the nation Israel. I'm of the tribe of Benjamin neighbor me say this before. If you're the tribe of Benjamin. You're from the best tribe in Israel the Benjamite are considered the elite. They're the ones who leave Israel in the battle. They have a great reputation.

He said that's me. I'm from Benjamin. That's my heritage. I'm not just Jewish I'm from Benjamin is not done he said I'm a Hebrew of Hebrews, you can be more Jewish than me. Paul said it's being Jewish mean something on the most Jewish men.

You never meet is on the Hebrew among the Hebrews and then he goes on the sin and asked the law. The cinema Pharisee. Now you hear me say this in the past, and some of you may not hurt if you were a Jewish mother at this time and you had a little girl, you would pray she would marry a Pharisee.

Now they have a bad reputation because we look back over the centuries in history and see what they're like.

But if you were Jewish at the time. These are the most righteous men in Israel from your point of view. These are moral good men. And he said yeah I was a Pharisee, but is not even any Pharisee. In fact another passage that I was the Pharisee of all the Pharisees got you got understand. I was trained by a rabbi's name is in the mail. You want a modern-day equivalent. I got my MBA from Harvard were jurors from I went to Harvard. You see, have the best credentials you could have. I was trained by DeMeo the greatest rabbi in Israel, he trained me to be a Pharisee to keep the law goes on and says, and as the seal I was a persecutor of the church and as the righteousness which is in the law as found blameless. No one ever came up to me and said you violated the law. I never did I know is he is a sinner but that's a different issue. He said I was blameless in the law. Is it so if you want to say you should really invest in this life.

He said I had it all. But notice them when he says whatever things were gain to me these things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.

More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ, my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and I count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ that were rubbish is not a great word. The word, it really is is even less great is gone you news any colloquialism you want, but Paul said that's what I think of my former life is a look yet understand. I walked away from my heritage, my family, my education, my career my position in society. My agenda I walked away from all that but I'm not. I'm not unhappy.

I walked away I can't at all but done everything we say is life indeed.

He said that's not life. They have to understand. Here he has a piece that explains beyond all comprehension lies in prison.

He is a joy that has nothing to do with the circumstances, and if you look over chapter 4 verse 13 he makes a life verse there in verse 13 of chapter 4, he says I can do all things through him who strengthens me theirs is power, right before that, by the way, guess what he says. I run how to be content.

He said you know when I'm content always doing I'm joyful always when you have peace always has nothing to do with circumstances.

I run the secret of contentment. You see, with the secret of contentment.

Yes it up if you put me in a palace I'm content you put me in a prison. I'm content that describe you.

She does that describe you because it describes a follower of Jesus Christ. I wonder secret what is it I can do all things through him strengthens me see that's what Paul was saying. I've learned that secret, I am a follower and it's difficult for us. I think sometimes to understand pastoral government on the radio ministry of fellowship Lord, if you ever miss one of our broadcast or maybe you dislike listen to the message one more time.

Remember, you can Google a great website called one that's one and you can listen the fellowship and the word online event website you will find on with today's broadcast but also many of her previous audio programs 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 his radio ministry continuous broadcast on this radio station by supporting us monthly with just the 100th support for ministry can be sent to Fellowship in the Word. 4600 Clearview Pkwy., Metairie, LA 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 that FVC and oh LA not to Argie at our website you will find hundreds pastoral sermon you can browse through our sermon archives defined sermon series are looking for. You can search by title. Once you find the messenger 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 is FVC for pastoral gift card unseasoned of heart.

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