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June 22, 2021 8:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ. I don't know many Christians have ever told me it on more than happy with how I witnessed most of you prefer not to talk about. Not really at all is not really comfortable with, but it should be no it shouldn't be that way, you should be uncomfortable at all because he when he is asking of you might be a little bit different than what you think. It's time for 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 are Laura. Not only is the gospel to go over the world. But the gospel was to go across the street. That means us doesn't mean some of us it means all where to take the gospel across the street wherever it is that God has put us. I realize for some reason many Christians and maybe many of you get really uncomfortable with this is bothersome. It's like not really very good at that and ending at this image in your mind. I really can't share the gospel.
That way, because I come the Billy Graham people like Billy Graham will have the gift of evangelism is a little bit different, proclamation, and what God's calling all of us to do so want to start by looking at what God is calling us to do in acts chapter 1 and verse six.
These are the very last words that Jesus spoke these words he spoke before he ascended into heaven extremely important words for us.
The last things that he said so we get a context to it in verse six were Dr. Luke writes so many had come together. That's the disciples they were asking him, saying, Lord, is it at this time. You can restore the kingdom to Israel. Now please understand, the disciples still don't have any idea what the churches not at all, making thinking that Jesus is going to become Messiah establish the Davidic kingdom, Israel, and they said as you do that now. And Jesus said to them, it's not for you to know the times or Reeboks which the father is fixed by his own authority. He said you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.
What's interesting about that is not a commandment not commanding you, it's a reality it's a future indicative it means you are my witnesses, you will be my witnesses and when you stop and think about that.
What does a witness to testify.
What does he testify but he knows about what will in this case is about Jesus. There are all kinds of opinions all over the world about who Jesus Christ was someone say he was just a good teacher. He was a moral teacher something was just a false Messiah set we say, but when it comes to me.
I'm a witness for Jesus Christ and I testify, who I think Jesus Christ was. That's all that witness does and it's a very normative way in which that we evangelize or take the gospel across the street.
Let me illustrate this.
I want to go to first John with me. The first chapter of first John I three verses 60 years of passage, John was with Jesus, he said what was from the beginning when we heard what we have seen with our eyes. What we have looked in touch with her hands concerning the word of life and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify that he go and proclaim to you the eternal life which was with the father and was manifested to us when we have seen and heard and proclaim to you also so that you too may have fellowship with us.
Indeed our fellowship is with the father and his son Jesus Christ knows what John said you want to talk to you but what I saw when I heard when I did when I touched. I'm just going to tell you a minute testify who Jesus Christ is, to me he said if you believe what I'm telling you, you have fellowship with me and we have fellowship with God knows he's not talking about necessarily what you and I would call the same kind of thing. When we think of proclamation of evangelism is talking about something else now with interesting about that is, is that I think were so many of us, we end up so paralyzed by this we struggle with this. I don't know many Christians are never told me you know more than happy with how I witness for Christ, most of prefer not to talk about. Not really at all is not really comfortable with it, but it should be that way, it shouldn't be that way, you should be uncomfortable at all because he when he is asking of you might be a little bit different than what you think he's trying to do now doesn't mean you're good witness though. Limit three points this morning. The first one is this sharing always has to start with caring if you don't care. You won't share and unfortunately if you admit there are many of us at don't care. I'm going to have an blind morning. That's up other people do what they want.
I don't I don't really care. God really cares go with me to Luke 15 in verse one says what man among you if he has 100 sheep and has lost one of them does not leave the 99 in the open pastor and go after one which was lost until he finds it a watch. When he has found it. He lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing, and when he comes home because together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, rejoice with me, for I have found the sheep that was lost.
Now I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous persons who need no repentance. Don't forget where where's the rejoicing taking place in heaven because somebody was lost in the newfound not notice the second time there's a woman with a lost coin verse nine and when she found it she calls together her friends and neighbors same. Rejoice with me. I have found the coin which I lost in the same way I tell you there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents and then of course we move all the way to this idea of the lost son pick it up in verse 23 and bring the fatted calf kill it and let us eat and celebrate for this son of mine was dead, and is come to life again. He was lost and is been found, and they began to celebrate verse 32 but we had to celebrate, rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead, and has begun to live. He was lost and is been found. What happens when a person who was lost is found in heaven the party celebration. It's a celebration. He says the Angels are involved in the celebration when you came to Christ. There's a celebration that's how important it is and that celebration reveals to me just how much he cares. CS Lewis said that the joy is serious business in heaven. Just think of how often is rejoicing in heaven because someone came with me to Romans chapter 9 Paul says this verse one. I'm telling you the truth in Christ. I'm not line you semi conscious testifies with me in the Holy Spirit that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart while snow rejoicing that he has this great sorrow in his grief, for I could wish that I myself were accursed separated from Christ for the sake of my brother, my kinsmen according to the flesh who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption of sons, the glory of the covenants, the giving of the law and the temple service and the promises who are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh who is overall, God blessed forever. Amen with Josť. I care about Israel. How much does he care he said I would be accursed if Israel would come to Christ and be saved. I would be accursed. I would become anathema.
That means forever separated from God is wanting to give your life for someone but would you want to give eternity for someone but that's what Paul said he really really cares some snow back to the same question, do you really care setting so often were so apathetic about this don't really care that much doesn't really matter to us. The question is why don't we. I don't know exactly, but I can say this, Jesus said that if you took the whole Old Testament all the law, it would just hang on one verse. You are to love the Lord your God with all your heart mind soul and strength and love your neighbor as yourself. That would tell me that if I don't cares because I don't love God and my neighbor. I love me so I don't care that much.
We have to be careful thinking like that people it's just not the way we should think that all we should be completely different than that sharing starts with caring all of our excuses not to share have no biblical ground all this go back to Exodus 3 for moment verse 11.
You know the story Moses in the land of Midian and God appears to Moses he's been afraid 40 years tenant sheep, God appears to mine the burning bush. It wasn't that the boy spontaneously combusted.
That got most of the attention this one spontaneously combusted but never went out it just a there's a Moses goes over to God taking doesn't take her sandals off your hologram and which has a conversation.
I was Moses and Susie tells Moses look I want you to take my message get my people out of Egypt, and what Moses does verse 11 but Moses said to God, who am I that I should go to Pharaoh that I should bring out the sons of Egypt like no one he said I have no identity, whom I to do this. I think we think that we sometimes whom I to do this. Who is Moses is raised by Pharaoh's daughter, who has better connections and anybody that Moses well then he says in verse 13 Moses said to God, behold, I'm going to the sons of Israel and then you will say to me, the God of your father said sent me to you.
Now they may say to me what is his name what so I say to them. I don't have a message. I don't want to tell. We do this a little what I say so that's when God tells Moses about this.
You tell them I am sent you God through patient with them. We get the chapter 4 verse one then Moses said what they would not believe me or listen to what I say or they may say the Lord is not appear to you. I have no real authority monopoly whenever you share and witness to testify for Jesus Christ.
It doesn't mean someone's going to leave and you have to be slick with it, think about this like someone be able to speak from the heart of truth and get his message clear would anyone say it better than Jesus know what was the subject's x-ray light. Most of them believe in all why you're worried they don't believe you see you monopoly me.
So what was not done yet.
Verse 10 then Moses said to the Lord. Please Lord, I never been eloquent, neither recently in time past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I'm slow speech and slow of tongue and have any ability for small book of acts is that's not exactly true. Moses is reaching now I know what I meant to say see your educating Pharaoh's house and I'm pretty sure you speak fluent Egyptian and Hebrew perfect. Now I don't have any ability another excuse what all comes down then verse 13 he said to Moses again. He says please Lord, now send a message by whomever you will about descendent someone else as a lack of faith as we all do someone else until that's her someone else that's all they have to do. They can tell God send you my witness, I just want to testify. I understand you may not even like the people out there should be that way for even imagine stopping by Jonah in the story Dr. Jonah I want you to go to Nineveh in Assyria that's going to be East. Would you do that for me.
Jonah said I know I'm going to get a ship in the West. I go as far west as I can to Tarsus to Spain or Lakeview when you know the story you great great fish was bent. He's in the fish get spit back out again and reluctantly goes on his way to Nineveh when he gets the Nineveh hears his message 30 days are already dead. There. Now you ever think of that is the greatest way you can present believing in God. 600,000 people believed him greatest single day revival of all time. And the reason Jonah said. That way he hated the Assyrians it is hated. And so in England and yet they still repented and they still came Jonah teaches me that God will use you in spite of you can use you in spite of you because Jonah did eventually going to give a message and God did work thrown away the most disturbing things I've seen as a pastor of the last several years, as Christians were filled with hate. I don't know where we got it. I don't know why we got it but I'm telling it should be there. Christians hate we hate people we hate people that other political party.
We hate them. We hate it when I'm save sinners live terrible lives, we hate them why what you expect and unsafe center live like why do you hate them, there's only two kinds of people in the whole world brothers and sisters in Christ and the mission field. That's it hard to never before hatred toward anybody yet we do now because our culture is more postmodern, post-Christian. A lot of Christians have a very defeatist and kind of attitude. The world is changing it so bad going from bad to worse, and it's not just get worse and worse and worse.
What can you do against this world. I don't think that's exactly true. I think it's something you and I try to believed to justify yourself for not doing anything. I think that's what happens to research has nothing to do by the way, with church pew research is the think tank in Washington DC. They may have worldwide perspective of all social what we call sociology or social movements around the world and a gun some interesting research and I find it fascinating and research.
Start out by saying first evolved in Western Europe and in the United States there are fewer people right now at this particular time. They said to identify with religion. However, everywhere else in the world. Religion is growing everywhere in the world except Western Europe and the United States is not not going every mattress and it's not like that at all. They said that by 2060 Christianity will grow from 31% to 32% of the worlds population so they speculate the next 40 years of the more Christians then and are now at sister, and Muslims will grow from 24% 31% still 1% behind other talking Christendom might talk about the born-again experience. Hinduism in that same period of time ago for 15% of the worlds population on the 30% Buddhism ago from 7% of the properties will 95%, but how about this by 2060.
The people in the world and identifies agnostics and atheists will decline from 16% to 13% can be more than other none the less, 16% of them 13%. Pew research said that the most educated intellectual people on the planet are Jewish and Christian men interesting the most educated people are Jewish and Christian. Even in America. This will because secular movements afoot. It goes both directions morning. They said I find fascinating 40% of the children in America. Now the grow up in an agnostic atheist to counsel 40% of them become Christians as adults 40% the amount of kids to grow up in a Protestant home. That's the word he used that become agnostic or atheistic 20% so more kids are coming our direction and going there direction.
Don't be so pessimistic about the way the world is or how it's acting. It's not the case in all and the total secular country of China, the population of Christians in China has skyrocketed. They said it looks like to them over 100 million in a country that has no religious freedom. Nothing. No churches, not no networking notebooks no radio over hundred million come to Christ, so much so that the medicament of McGlocklin writes about this she writes about a guy named Finn gang gang. Great name is a leading sociologist of religion in China and he said that that we need to undergo a paradigm shift the to the scientific revolution as we adjust to the total failure of our secularization hypothesis are God the state is not working at all in any sense much academic discourse rest on the assumption that religion is withering under the scorching heat of modernization, secular humanism, he said, is seen as the share glamour we all can stand but he said this framework is completely crumbled.
We have to do something else. That's a totally secular scenario is that it's crumbled, there's nothing we can do about we know the reason for that.
They don't offer you anything. I mean, if someone is going offer you did them explain you what life is your protoplasm and soon you'll be manure and that's all the be the government protoplasm to manure there's life that's encouraging. It doesn't help.
How do you give people hope you had a given piece joy, meaning, purpose. We know what Jesus Christ does when he brings the table how much he offers us from that point of view. Secularism has no answers. You and I happen to believe in a manner set on the way the truth and the life no one to come to the father but through me and all he's asked us to do is good be a witness just testify my behalf go with me to first Peter chapter 3 in verse 15 will just look at that one verse, verse 15 he said, sanctified Christ as Lord in your hearts is writing to people, by the way to being persecuted were just starting to get that in America we can get a lot more that American the next 50 years. But there being persecuted you so here's what I want you to do actually sanctified Christ as Lord in your hearts set Christ apart. Live your life for the Lord, you see. Walk in obedience to him.
Then he says, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who ask you to give an account for the hope that is in you yet do that with gentleness and reverence we say it and say take some trash been on doors. He said if people ask you if they ask you to give a defense to make it give an account for what you believe, you testified it is testified that we live in a day and age.
By the way, were seen at right now with covert political crisis economic crisis and all that. A lot of people are getting a little frazzled to say the least.
Now if we sanctified Christ in our hearts we should be at all magic want to work every day and was a got bad it is out there that's fine you.
It's okay, Christ is still sitting on his throne. He still sovereign God I'm fine with this.
I don't really care whose office doesn't really matter to me.
Someone online summonses.
How can you feel that way I can you believe that you want me to testify. You see, you want me to tell you how.
That's all guides asked me to do is ask of me says Peter says give an account for the hope continue and it works especially when there's a crisis.
Let me illustrate it. Now go with me to the book of acts chapter 16, number say what Paul's condition is right now starting in verse 22. The crowd rose up together against them that Paul and Silas, the chief magistrate toward the ropes often and they proceeded in order them to be beaten with rods when it struck them with many blows they threw them into prison commanding the jailer to guard them securely and he, having received such a command through the many inner prison fasten their feet in the stocks. Now if that happened to you, your falsely arrested your putting in in in jail they put your feet in stocks. What are you doing see my lawyer, so everybody right as they were called it by midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to praise God all beaten up in nursing and praises to God are singing. The prisoners were listening to them. That's interesting that were listening only time it's ever translated listening is a different kind of listening is a lot listening going on the New Testament. But this word right here is of a different it's Epoque Rollo my Epoque, oh my, and it means to listen in a very different way. Very attentively and joyfully. Everybody's listening and they're enjoying what they're hearing a lot of things I gotta be doing is using what they did to these guys. They described and beaten with rods, apartments, stocks, and are singing. See the question in her mind, how they do that how do they act that way why one act that way so suddenly there's a great earthquake foundations of the prison house were shaken immediately all the doors were open, and everyone's chains 1000 and when the jailer awoke and saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword was about to kill himself because he would be executor of the estate. Listen at prisoners are in the inner prison with her feedstocks and all the sinners and earthquake and everything opens up what you think most prisoners know to do a run for and he's going be executed anyways is going to kill himself.
Paul cried out with a loud voice do not harm yourself, were all here who says stuff like forward.
Jesus Christ notice you will see a tension.
Paul's voice is a role here.
He called for lights and rushed him trembling before me fell done before Paul and Silas, and after he brought them out. He said sir, what must I do to be saved. No one act like you act so now, pausing to give his testimony.
Here's his testimony believe in the Lord Jesus Christ in your recent and he does that's evangelism the crisis created the question and Paul gave an account for the hope that tenant when we live a particular way making Christ Lord of our life in a fallen society. It's bound to lead to questions and all you have to do is testify.
You don't need to know the Roman road. You don't need for spiritual laws. You don't need any all you need to do is to testify.
What does Jesus Christ mean do you tell if you know enough to be saved. You know enough to tell them that's all you have to tell them you not to tell them a more you just get, testify to what Jesus Christ is meant to you.
Member in Matthew five Jesus said you are the light of the world sitting on a hill cannot be hidden, nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, it gives light to all who are in the house that he says this.
Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, they will glorify your fathers in heaven obligor for my father and from heaven because they end up converting when they see that that's why so much of our ministries or lifestyle sharing starts with curing our excuses don't stand any.
When any biblical ground and simply be a witness and testify for what he is done for you. That's it applies to all of us. You and I have an opportunity to be witness for Christ and suggest simply testify. Do you swear to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth about who Jesus Christ pastor Bill Gebhardt on the radio ministry of fellowship in the world. 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 in 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 programs as Fellowship in the Word. We are thankful for those who financially support our ministry and make this broadcast possible.
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