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August 10, 2021 8:00 am
Today on the Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ that America is becoming something you and I would never imagine. The question is how that affect me after he's one of the only group of Christians in the whole world to ever live in a country that supported Christianity supported almost nowhere on earth is that ever happened.
Christians have been in a minority in a persecuted minority virtually everywhere in the world and now is happening here kind of outraged by I guess as an American I can be sad about that as a Christian I don't need that.
I think I could even be a little bit optimistic. 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 Pastor Bill Gebhardt now again he shows us God's word meets our work this weekend will be a lot of celebrating in a lot of different ways.
I heard the about 35 to 40 million people on the highway. I'm grateful I'm not out there about 3 to 4 million people flying and I'm also grateful about on the plane, but this will be a time of barbecues and that family and that fireworks, parades, and all because something happened in 1776, and so we celebrate the actions of people we've only ever read about books and I it's amazing that when you think about what their life was like compared to ours. No electricity, no indoor plumbing, no super Walmart all those kinds of things and these people still have the gumption and the gall to actually challenge the most powerful country on earth at time in England and what's amazing is that when you think about why they did this they were oppressed. There's no question about that. They were misrepresented they were taxed unfairly. But what really is the real reason behind it wasn't the tyranny of the king.
The real reason behind the whole thing was they wanted to worship and freedom.
The whole reason we have a country is because that ironically I think in the way our country is going. That'll be eventually erased from history in our country and they won't talk about that anymore. They wrote these words, we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as America on this day I celebrate. I'm grateful for the fact that the pursuit of freedom for self-governance and worship in our country was founded by these people.
I'm also very thankful for the fact that them, they acknowledged at least a sovereign creator not only in the documents but on many of the memorial shall find in Washington DC. I'm also thankful for all the sacrifices made in the price it was paid to keep us free, not those who just won the Revolutionary war. All of those who have given their lives for freedom. Since then, I guess I put it this way. I am grateful to a sovereign God that he has allowed me to live in this place I would hope you are to but the times are changing. I mean, there really changing few lived here long enough the country the way it is right now is not at all the country that you grew up in there things constantly changing in America back in the 1970s and 80s. Men like Francis Schaeffer said that America is now going to begin living in a postmodern, post-Christian world and all of us is not guidance and exactly what that means but then seemed too bad to me. But it's different now. Schaeffer already saw what was in play and where this would end up going you can think of just a couple areas look at America's view one something like marriage.
See marriage, not that long ago, and marriage today. Time magazine did a survey they asked the question is marriage completely obsolete is marriage completely obsolete today. Among adults in America 40% for the 10 said yes it's completely ops with younger people in their 20s what they said was that over 64% said it's obsolete. We should be done with it.
In 1960, not that long ago, 72% of all adults were married today, 52% of all adults are married with 20-year-olds in 1960, those in their 20s, 68% of all those in their 20s, were married today, 26% of those in their married in 1969, two out of every three Americans that living together is a sin. Now, two thirds of all Americans say living together.
Scrape it just shows you this the way things have changed. Now a piece of good news. I know I've said it and I've apologize for now, but everywhere I readily said 50% of all couples divorce.
You may have heard, that's that unforeseen you may have heard of for me but doubt 50% and so the New York Times, of all places decidable the research, we want to see if that's true or not true. And so what they came up with was interesting that what they found was there's never been a time.
There's never been a time they said when the divorce rate was higher than 41% for the whole country's never been 50 and four religious people.
Christians, they mean everything under Christendom. The divorce rate is never been higher than 35%. So I guess that be a little better. So marriage is not what it once was moral behavior but a barometer of our culture. These are just things that I've read in the last couple weeks and are many more but I want to bring them up, cheating in school and cheating at the university level is higher than it's ever been in artistry with this tells you something about students and probably the technology they now have available to them that openly cheat hi CBS did a study of Americans are what we thought of politicians. This is interesting of all politicians. The question was asked on how many politicians by percentage do you think are solid moral people, 12% American people said 12% of all politicians are moral people while 9% of Congress, by the way, which you ended up worse than anybody else, but that's extremely low. I mean you think in Cali. One out of every 10 people who run the politics is a moral person. Everyone else's not.
I mean that is extremely negative. As you know, pornography is an all-time high. It's beyond belief. What Americans are spending in pornography right now, sex slavery, especially with children all-time high. Human trafficking all-time high sexually-transmitted diseases among teenagers all-time. I suicide among teenagers all-time high. Something going on country. From that point of view. Just this last week I was reading an article about school board meetings and they have now turned into so much so violent that a lot of scoreboards cancel their meetings because it could get the people they were afraid it would attack each other and they said there's a couple reasons.
For one, was covert. Strange that sound kids were educated at home and for the first time parents realized what was in the curriculum. So I made a lot of parents pretty upset, but the one that was the hot issue now was that they want to have a national program in grammar school to teach grammar kids young kids enjoy in the normalcy of transgender is amazing. A lot of parents are not to put up with it there really upset with this whole idea I'd heard this last week of 11-year-old girl who said that she wanted everyone to know she identified as a lesbian. She's 11. I thought about when I was 11, I do definitely identified as gay is only like boys. I didn't even want to be around the girl I Damon I have any understanding how to get how to little kids decide things like this I mean the way our cultures changed.
I mean I want to work on another word in the last two weeks. Word was binary. I didn't even know what that meant, sexually. I mean I knew would buy settlement but binary is you.
You can change genders as you wish your not anything it's like how how is this happening in the way our culture works there so many signs in our culture that America is becoming something you and I would've never imagined it to become.
The question is has that affect us many answers easy, not at all.
It has no effect on us.
Nothing changes for you and me see one of things we've been very fortunate. One of the only group of Christians in the whole world since the time of Christ today that have ever lived in a country that supported the Judeo-Christian ethic supported Christianity supported the church almost nowhere on earth is that ever happened. Christians have been in a minority and a persecuted minority virtually everywhere in the world. And now that is happening here were kind of outraged by it, and I guess as an American I can be sad about that, but as a Christian I don't need to be in fact I think I could even be a little bit optimistic. So does our influence change in the country like this, I say no I want to go to Matthew chapter 5 Matthew chapter 5 in verse 13. The sermon on the Mount right in the beginning of the sermon on the Mount, one of the things he Jesus says in the Beatitudes. It's interesting.
This is the ends of the Beatitudes in chapter 5. What he says in verse 10 and 11 and 12. He says blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness. Theirs is the kingdom of heaven were blessed means happy happy other people to get persecuted. Now do you feel that way if we get persecuted in this country you happy should be. Notice what he says next.
He then goes on and says blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. I don't miss the last part of that phrase Jesus saying when people insult you and persecute you because of him. You should be happy when they insult and persecute you because of you that's a different story. You see, the idea is Christian and I think some of the stuff in our own country be brought onto ourselves.
He says rejoice and be glad your reward in heaven is great in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
It's always been this way worry about persecution. Now he tells us what our influence should be.
He says you are the salt of the earth. But if the salt of the earth becomes tasteless.
How can it be made salty is no longer good for anything except to be thrown and trampled underfoot by men.
He doesn't say. I need you to become the salt. He said you are the salt. This is an elective or choice for you. You're the salt salt is put in is a lot of reasons written about it, but the salt pointed primarily to preserve things anything you or the preservation of any culture you the preservation you see of America and the way it is. You need to be salty is in effect. If you're not salty to be no good at all your good absolutely. From that point of view, good for nothing. One of the things it's happening. It's a little bit tragic is that in our country. Jesus tells us first.
He said the world will hate you, and then he gives us reason is because he first hated me. Jesus was never popular in that sense, phenomenal, sinless but not popular. So he tells us were going to, we could be hated but like he said in Matthew five here hated for his sake, you and I can be hated because you're a follower of Jesus Christ. The world will not embrace that say it's wonderful but my question is among the church. If you were to ask the world in a survey why they don't like us, what would they say what I hear most often our culture right now is the world basically says I hate them because their haters not because a foot. I've never heard anyone say because they follow Jesus never heard, and I know I Jesus. They say their haters that's kind of want us to see that's what he says, of whom to be salt we have to have influence in the world.
Secondly, our mission hasn't changed. The great commission at the end he tells us here's what you can do in this world need to go make disciples anything in the world who speak in a by the way, is a world that is while much, much worse than ours are the moral culture of Greece and Rome.
Unbelievable. I mean was just unbelievably bad. The religious culture of Jerusalem of Jude Judaism.
At that time incredibly intimidating.
Jesus had more harsh word for the religious leaders and anybody when he was alive but he says look you still let go make disciples in acts chapter 1 verse six he said you are my witnesses. Both in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, even to the uttermost parts of the world so our influence hasn't changed in our mission hasn't changed at all, and it shouldn't because nothing in America can interfere with your freedom. Nothing you see, there is a freedom that you and I have that is good as America is, it never was and never will be any worse. Close as this freedom, you and I this is the unchanging freedom that the Christian has so what I want to do is I want to go to John chapter 8 the gospel of John chapter 8 verse 12.
Let Jesus speak on this issue of freedom in verse 12. In this discourse.
Remember Jesus speaking to his religious leader enemies.
These are the ones who are trying to trap and these are the ones who eventually will get him crucified.
And Jesus is interacting with them. This is called the third discourse of the gospel of John in verse 12 he said. Then Jesus spoke to them and said I am the light of the world. He who follows me will not walk in darkness, but you have the light of life. And this is one of the great I am statements in John were Jesus that I am the light of the world. I told you when I hear the light of the world to see Jesus light shine through you and I now as he goes on, Jesus says, with interesting he said in verse 28.
He said when you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am in a says he in my Bible. There's no he in the text at all that's in italics in your Bible. It's just he said when you lift up when you crucify the Son of Man and I think universe is resurrection. The well when you do that, then you will know I am seven times in the Gospel of John. He says I am in Hebrew, Yahweh. This is one of the great themes of the gospel of John, Yahweh, the burning bush. Remember with Moses whom I can tell Israel that you sent me here. The southern you tell them Yahweh sent you. I am that I am. That's God's name Jesus again is my name. He said when you see a lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am and I do nothing on my own initiative, but I speak the things a father is taught me and he was sent me is with me is not left me alone for a always do the things that are pleasing to him at that moment than it says, and as he spoke these things, many believed in. He's been speaking for a long time but as he brought this the culmination people believe in him that what's that what's that happens. So Jesus was saying to the Jews who would believe if you continue in my word, then you are truly my disciples of mine and you will know the truth and the truth will make you what free while you follow me, you'll know the truth.
The truth makes you free to go. Sony says they say to him by the way, when you start talking about stuff like this. Religious people never get it's just like if you start talking about grace they don't get.
I just can't understand it's a look. His enemies said to him what we are Abraham's descendents have never been enslaved to anyone how is it that you could say you will become free… Funny what they say were Abraham sent. We've never been not knowing is everything were always free weight weight one to go as the Roman soldier of see those silly soldiers here.
These enrollments your property wrong wrong taxes you that's what you have so what you're trying to fight right now you're in bondage and you're pretending you're not.
See that's what they said to them, so Jesus said to them, truly, truly, I say to you everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house where the son does remain forever. So if the son makes you free your free indeed.
So what the Jesus that you and I are free of sin free were free of sin that you see yourself how many of you see yourself as of you're victimized by said see that I'm trying I just can't get over the hump is Jesus lying. You see, this is interesting. What does he mean by this.
What he means is this one thing's for sure. You and I are free from the penalty of sin.
That's called justification.
Your free from the penalty of sin. What is the what are the wages of sin is death separation. God eternal judgment. You're free of that you called justified by God in Romans your justified people soon as you came to Christ, you are free from the penalty of sin.
The second stage of your life is called sanctification. That's how we live our lives.
That's were living in right now and we are being freed from what the power of sin in our lives and as you know it's tough working is quite a job for us to go through this one day will be ups in the body present with the Lord and that's called glorification and were free from the presence of sin. But right now were in sanctification now want to explain it more from a theological point of view. So go with me to Romans chapter 6 Romans chapter 6 verse one what shall we say then I went to continuing sin, that grace may increase. Now this is funny in Its Own Way, Paul makes a statement that no matter how much sin accumulates there's always more than enough grace to compensate the more sin the more grace so Paul anticipates what some people may think for then why don't we send more. If that's true… Keep sending and neglecting to give us more more grace said that made Edwards a good deal. He's happy were happy everybody's happy. But post an answer that that's not true that's not the case at all. But is that true that grace overcomes all sin, all sin, yes matter how many broken apart.
If you ever missed one of our broadcast 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 that 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 with all of our listeners to prayerfully consider how you might help his radio ministry. Continue with broadcast on this radio station by supporting us monthly. Fourth is the 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 of the sermon, the pastor delivered during a Sunday morning service of fellowship monitored visit our website FVC Nola.org that FVC and O LA.O RG at our website you will find hundreds pastor Bill sermon you can browse through our sermon archives defined sermon series are looking for, or you can search by title. Once you find the method you're looking for. You can listen online or if you prefer, you can download the sermon and listening room.
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I'm Jason Denhardt. Thank you for listening to fellowship in order