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March 31, 2021 8:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ knowingly believes that our country anybody, more is better. You get more when you get what you want more one more is more is better. There was nothing in there, they believe, like some of us to any evangelicalism you have more because God and God blesses you get more and prosperity gotten all the way back then the ideas and you get more.
Now you can say I got wasn't tax collecting a prostitution that would not be believe that they do believe that you are blessed by God joining us today on this additional Fellowship in 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 Gebhardt now is once again he shows us how God's word world know that same book. I remember seeing some of us just spending the money. He said 34 years ago in America you would view the people who attended evangelical churches sheet 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 purchase 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 is look. 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. It's the shame that comes by being crucified. You see when you were going to be crucified with the Romans would do is strip you naked. Then I put whatever crime you committed against from around her 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 if you're 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 soul. 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 to make a career myself. I want to be somebody I want to accumulate a lot of stuff missing, you won't take one thing with you to the great nobody knows 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. He said you want life lose your life for my sake. That's life. That's the difference. A crisis that's in 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 not 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. You and 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. Paul said I have total joy. You could be dying at the I have total joy. Nonmember Paul is not a consumer. He's 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 in life are 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 you 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 even 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's are considered the elite know the one to lead Israel in the battle.
They have a great reputation.
He said that's me him 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 if Sprint Jewish mean something on the most Jewish men are never me some a Hebrew among the Hebrews and then he goes on a sin and asked the law, he sent him a 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 have 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 because you got understand. I was trained by a rabbi's name is the male you want a modern-day equivalent. I got my MBA from Harvard were jurors from I went to Harvard you see 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 zeal 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 and never did I know she is a sinner but that's a different issue is that I was blameless in the law. 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 Don you news any colloquialism you want, but Paul said that's what I think of my former life is a milk 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 that 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 he claims 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 what 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 and strengthens me. You 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.
Let me show you how hard this can be go with me now to Matthew chapter 19 verse 16 Matthew righteous.
He said, and someone came to Jesus and said rabbi, what good thing shall I do that I obtain eternal life would like me to do.
I like to go to heaven who would any said to him, why are you asking me about what is good. There's only one good and if you wish to enter eternal life of Jesus, playing with them. Keep the commandments. By the way what does Jesus know nobody keeps the commitment reason you want to go whenever July keep the commandments. Then he said to him, which ones the inference I think Jesus would say.
I think all but Jesus just plays along with the game. He said you shall not commit murder, you shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness. You need to honor your father and mother, and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.
All the horizontal commandments for me to do that. The young man said to him, all these things up When my still lacking no self-righteousness here is her. I got it I got it. These are located. See if you wish to be complete, go and sell all your possessions given the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven and come in here the words follow me, follow me going. All you can tell a consumer. This I've got an agenda I got money. You see the neighborhood living in you see the car I'm driving there is this not use have you seen my 401(k) when you're talking about is I just want to follow me she wouldn't do that, young man heard the statement he went away grieving here a lot of property. The consumer I'm follow you're not telling me have to give up my agenda.
Jesus said there is a site was truly I say to you, it's hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.
Again I say to you easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Why is that because a Richmond think she's finally a rich man has his own agenda for a rich man thinks I got it.
I'm highly educated.
I make a fortune. You see, I got everything I could possibly want. I have all the security at all the significance a man could ever need to slip my wealth. Look what I have in Jesus as the term look it's really hard for this to happen is like trying to get a camel through the eye of a needle. It's a Jewish colloquialism meets virtually impossible not read all the stuff you know know there's a little door by the gate and would try to force a camel through the door. If you squirm through the door.
That's a hard it was best. The Jews do. This is almost an impossible statement and the statement that it wasn't invented by the Jews.
The Persians had to statement 500 years earlier, except they didn't say a camel through the eye of a needle. They sent an elephant through the eye of the needle but it's the same idea. This is like impossible. Why is that because someone who is not consumer-oriented about his own agenda does not want to follow Christ is not he wants Christ on his terms. But he doesn't want the Christ in the reality of who he is and so what he says here then is interesting to me.
He says when the disciples heard this, they were astonished and they said with and who could be saved while why did they say that because they had a worldview just like you and I carry from the world we live in. Okay you know what if you never heard this before, the holders of unit when her words like this.
But here's the worldview they had that we have more is better. You ever heard you know anyone believes that our country anybody, more is better.
You gotta get more when you get what you want more and you get that you want more is more is better, but there was another thing in their culture, they believe, like some of us do in evangelicalism that if you have more is because God's blessing. And if God blesses you get more and prosperity doctrine all the way back then the ideas if you knew get more. Now you can say I got more through tax collecting a prostitution that would not be good.
You would believe that but they do believe that if you got more.
You are blessed by God.
So the people that God love the most, and in the Jewish culture who the rich and who gave the most money in the temple. The rich there so that that's why the disciples will then wait a rich man can be saved doing as though the most spiritual people we know, funny looking in them Jesus and look okay with people. This is impossible with God all things are possible, let's move on from here I can save anybody try to make a point. Then Peter here we go again, Peter said to them, behold, we have left everything and followed you. What's in it for us.
While this is Peter. When we get out of this one would never do that would Laura have been the church like 71 weeks in a row. Come on answer my prayer. I'm doing stuff for you here Jesus does not rebuke him this time. Jesus is not rebuke Jesus just goes on and basically gives a teaching he reacts to what Peter said Jesus then says this he said truly I say to you that you who have followed me in the generation when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you shall sit upon 12 thrones judging the 12 tribes of Israel is the when I coming in my kingdom. Y'all have your throne. That's future. Then he says and everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for my namesake will receive many times as much and will inherit eternal life. While with Jesus saying you're not sacrificing anything. Don't pretend you are in Mark chapter 10. A parallel passage, Jesus says, look, no one is ever given up anything for me that I have been given back 100 times as much when he said in everything in life. Now, hope, joy, peace, and a messianic kingdom. The disciples in eternity. He says you can't go wrong with this, you see, this is in sacrificial on your part.
This is beneficial to you.
You get everything I've come to give you life and to give it to you abundantly. You see him come to do that I can mark your life.
That way if you'll follow me and you don't have your own agenda. Think of these words of Jesus in the apply to you. In my father's house are many dwelling places he said were were not so, I told you is and I'm in a go and prepare a place for you, so that where I am, there you may be also. I've always been stunned by the firm.
He said there's a place right now on the door and says Bill, this is Bill's place in your names on the door not because of anything I've done. Are you done because of who he is, we get blessings in this life and we get blessings in the so what are we sacrificing here.
You see, what are we giving up that's Jesus whole point.
Notice the last thing he says is for many who are first will be last in the last to be first, the people out there that you think are success stories will not be successful in the people in here that say we don't have any success will be.
He said that's the truth. See you want the truth. With this because it's the truth that makes such a difference to a follower of Jesus Christ.
You see, are you a consumer or follower followers are dedicated to the Lord's agenda rather than their own followers are willing to pay any price to follow Christ followers are illustrated by the apostle Paul and followers are blessed in this life and the next. Who wouldn't want to be a follower of Jesus Christ. The sad part is, maybe most of us would rather be consumer, you have a relationship with Jesus you looking for help and comfort and direction. But all the focus of your life is your life you want him to help you with your agenda, but if you're a follower.
The relationship with Jesus is the most important relationship in your life. It defines everything you think and do. I think the best way to describe a follower of Jesus Christ of someone looks to Jesus and said I'll do anything any time anywhere at any cost for you to do that. You're a follower of Jesus Christ and the close of the words of John MacArthur. John says the believer in Jesus Christ will have blessings now. Blessings in the millennium and blessing for all eternity to be poor for the sake of Christ is to be rich indeed. And then he says these words are very famous. Jim Elliott missionary martyred by the Alta Indians in Ecuador whom he was seeking to reach for Christ Road shortly right before he was killed by them. He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. Sloppy fools must be followers of Jesus Christ, the spring father.
I'm afraid that one of the problems we run into, especially, is that we be confined ourselves being consumers and not even realize it. We still think of our own agenda. We still tap into the resources of your spirit in your word in the Lord Jesus himself to help us achieve what we want to achieve for ourselves what Jesus is saying is look you have to deny yourself and say yes to him, you have to take up your cross daily, and you need to follow him and don't think for a moment that you're just making all the sacrifices for him because it's not true you're simply following him and receiving all of the benefits that a follower has everyone in this room wants to have a life that's marked with hope and peace and joy. No matter what the circumstances on which they find themselves father that comes from being a follower. I pray father. Your spirit will convict us would need for your glory, and more importantly are good Christ pastor Bill Gerhart on the radio ministry of fellowship Lord, if you ever missed one of our broadcasting or maybe you just like to listen to the message one more time. Remember, you can Google a great website called one place.com that's one place.com 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 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 his radio ministry continuous protest on this radio station by supporting monthly with just a one-time gift 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 SBC Nola.org that SBC and oh LA.O RG at our website you will find hundreds pastor Bill sermon you can browse through our sermon archives defined servicers are looking for, or 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 listening and remembering all this absolutely free of charge. Once again our website is SBC Nola.org forecaster Bill Gebhardt and Jason Denhardt you for listening to fellowship in order