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September 21, 2021 8:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ. The vast majority of the people on the planet any time soon after Genesis gets going to the book of Revelation are anti-God. There is always only a small group of people that are God's people. Never has a numerical superiority ever because God doesn't see it that way.
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 going faster now is once again he shows us how god's word world many years ago.
challenge was given to literary giant ernest hemingway to use his handwriting. genius. he was asked to describe a human life with just six words insightfully and sadly, hemingway wrote this for sale baby shoes, never worn. certainly, a description of a human life.
many years later, an online magazine picked up on what the hemingway challenge was to ask readers to describe their lives in six words. just a few of them.
one tooth, one cavity life scroll cursed with cancer blessed with friends.
i was not written by a wise old grandma but a nine-year-old boy with thyroid cancer. the psychic said i'd be richer maybe they would've been if they didn't waste their money on psychics tombstone won't say had health insurance. not a good christian trying thought i would have more impact with the response to became the follow-up to a book that was published was this one. not quite what i was planning to describe you like.
not quite what i was planning john hartford decided to take that challenge and apply it to some biblical characters and he does so with great insight abraham left her head. baby still laughing, jonah. no storm overboard well regurgitated, yes nola hated the rain. love the rainbow mary manger pain, joy, costs, pain, joy how insightful the rich young ruler jesus called left sad still rich zaki has climbed a sycamore tree short for happier. the apostle paul damascus blind suffer right change world and then orbach says this, but i think all the biblical characters could've written not quite what i was planning i thought about that. if i was to describe a life yours and mine. i would probably describe it this way, god opens doors god closes doors. that's pretty much a description of my life. in fact, over the centuries, christians have viewed their lives as god opening doors and god closing doors. ironically, by the way, almost all of this is a misinterpretation of a particular passage.
let's look at that passage, revelation, chapter 3, the ascended glorified christ is addressing the church of philadelphia in revelation 3 and verse seven, john writes this and to the angel of the church in philadelphia write. he was holy he was true, who has the key of david opens, he says, and no one will shut, and who shuts and no one opens, says this i know your deeds. behold, i happy foot before you an open door, which no one can shut, because you have little power, and have kept my word and not denied my name. that's what sorta started god same, provided you an open door, but when you look at this.
it's pretty easy to see that is a particular application to this what the lord is saying to the church of philadelphia is because you have been faithful. i am going to give you boundless opportunities, unlimited choices to serve me. that's what the open doors about it's about serving the lord and it's backed up by the word of god. in acts 14 and verse 27 luke says that god opened the door of faith to the gentiles in first corinthians 16 nine god opens a wide door for paul to keep teaching in ephesus in second corinthians 12 got opens a door so that paul can share the gospel and truax as in colossians 43 paul was in prison and yes, the church at colossae to pray that god would open a door so that he could continue to teach the word of god in every one of those cases it's serving god. however, whenever i dealt with people. it's almost never about serving god. when people come to me and they want to know if god's opening or closing a door, it's virtually never about serving god. it's almost always about the agenda for their own life in their own plans. it's like this pastor. i don't know if god is opening the door for us to move. i don't know god is opening the door for me to get engaged. i don't know of god is a it's almost always an agenda that we have, rather than service for god. i think christians have a very murky nonbiblical view of god, opening doors and i want to address that the day is a start a series on open doors. we have a lot of murky views us christians. i remember someone told me this once will pastor you know that the bible says when god closes the door. he opens a window may have heard, the bible doesn't say that that was mother superior and the sound of music that's who said that is not unusual. i mean we do this and you're probably as guilty as the rest of us in giving scripture credit. it isn't due my thinking. when he was fired by chicago bear said as the scriptures say this too shall pass. the bible doesn't say that god will never give you more than you can handle.
the bible doesn't say that in fact god almost always gives you more than you can handle. god moves in mysterious ways, not in the bible as an old hymn that was written so as we look at this.
i want to talk about open doors because there's so much confusion, i start thinking after all these years of experience talking to you that christians have a view of open doors. that's more like superstition. it's more like magic. it's more that kind of thing. and what we usually do is weeks talk about open doors and close doors, and almost always it's like to get god to sort of work into our agenda. that's not very very good to do kind of things you hear is this you know if god wants me to go to that school. the sun will come up in the east tomorrow.
god wants me there.
you can't break up with me. god already told me you're the one you know god opened the door for us to buy a 40,000 square-foot mansion on the beach so that we could host small groups once a month.
i'm not so sure god's opening those doors you see when we try to treat god as a ouija board or a magic eight ball.
i think we violate the relationship we are to have with god. i think the question is how do i make doors. part of my faith journey and not an exercise in superstition because i am convinced that god opens and closes doors, but he has a very particular agenda. when he does so what i want to deal with this morning are some myths about open doors. the first will be fine and zechariah chapter 4 zachariah the next-to-last book of the old testament zachariah chapter 4 and this is one we don't admit but i think many of you feel this is the myth my life is too insignificant for god to be opening and closing doors. my life is too insignificant for god to be opening and closing doors. i think that the reason for that is the we see ourselves in the wrong way. we sort see god as this massive gigantic ceo of the biggest operation that exist and then we see ourselves a sort of like part-time night janitors in some remote area and that the ceos not really that interested messy opens and closes doors. yeah, i mean the apostle paul, your martin luther, billy graham and guys like that any open doors, but not for me that's dangerous dangerous thinking nose and zechariah 4 verse nine it says the hands of zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house, and his hands will finish it and then you will know that the lord of hosts has sent me to you.
zechariah this profit is talking is talking to the people. zerubbabel came back into the land after they were in the babylonian captivity to rebuild the temple and the temple that they rebuilt was what they could rebuild. it's extremely small and modest. it didn't compare to solomon's temple and all in effect when the people saw it being built, they cried because they viewed it as so insignificant, but then noticed what god says in verse 10 for who has despised the day of small things he said these seven will be glad when they see the plumb line in the hannah zerubbabel is talking about the perfect eyes of the lord. he says these are the eyes of the lord which range to and fro throughout the earth. god will be happy. you see there's a big problem that we have we have this terrible tendency to try to major things and assume that god measures and like we do.
it's never that way. by the way, if you just do the casual reading of the bible i think you find something out. the vast majority of the people on the planet any time soon after genesis gets going to the book of revelation are anti-god. there is always only a small group of people that are god's people. he never has a numerical superiority ever because god doesn't see it that way if i do remember elijah the prophet was complaining about that and said the god you know i'm the only believer in israel you see on the only one who hasn't bothered me the bill on the only one. lord and basically god said thomas shot up god said there are 7000 will not bother need a bill that's on the planet.
how many believers are on the planet 7001 and god's okay with that. you see, you going to really understand that with god. there's no such thing as he has the major leagues and then he has the minor leagues and some of you probably thinking i'm way down the minors and other big time christians and all that but god doesn't see any of that. that's not the way he operates at all, think about a young man who stood barely just a young boy any he hears that there's this great speaker coming one of claims to be messiah is good. have a open-air form and speak and so he says with mom mama i want to go and hear him and she's it will go ahead only the minute she said but you need to pack your lunch so they put a few lows and a few fishes in a bag that worked out 5000 fed. it was significant. it wasn't anything. last time i talked about the widow who walked up to the offering on in the temple grounds and gave a penny and jesus pointed out to his disciples and remember what he uses the scriber gift. he says she has given more than any of them. why is that because god sees things in a very different way.
you see, god sees your life as intricate to god's plan as any life on this planet. none of us are insignificant.
we all have different roles. you see this whole idea that my life is so insignificant that god would not be involved in opening closing doors with me is simply not true. there is no endeavor. that's so big that it doesn't need god's help and there's no project so small that it doesn't generate god's interest. don't despise small things. the second myth we find in ephesians chapter 1 ephesians chapter 1 and this is usually when i get involved in someone's facing a decision in the myth is this.
if i can't tell which door to choose something is wrong.
if i can tell which door to choose something's wrong here. yes, there is something wrong you're thinking.
you see, we view doors in such a different way than god does. as i said, god opens and closes doors so that we can serve him and that we can spiritually grow and mature. that's why opens doors. nobody says here in ephesians 1, verses three and four, he said, blessed be the god and father of our lord jesus christ who has blessed us that you and me, who is blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in christ, just as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world. that's an amazing statement from god's point of view, so i know when i believe i know that day, god chose me before there's a physical creation. the same with you. that's an amazing thing can get my thoughts on that too easily and then he says this though, just as he chose us before the foundation of the world, why, why did he do that, that we would be holy and blameless before him. that's why jones so that would be holy and blameless. what's the holy means set apart. that's all it means and means set apart that we would be holy and blameless before god. in other words, god set us apart to be a people for him and he did everything needed for us to become those people turn with me to romans chapter 8 for moment. romans chapter 8, a very famous verse, especially the one before the verse i want to look at romans 828 you all know that when i am sure. and we know that god causes all things to work together for good to those who love god, and those are called according to his purpose.
or that's a hard verse to figure out a certain times in your life that's averse it's interpreted in rearview mirrors you have to go down the road a ways and sometimes i think you have to be in heaven before you fully understand. but then he says in verse 29 for those whom he foreknew he also predestined so those he foreknew he also predestined don't want to get into that discussion, but i want you to see why he did it. he says for those he whom he foreknew he also predestined to become conformed to the image of his son so that he would be the firstborn among many brethren will oversimplify god has one agenda for your life and is relentless with it. he wants to conform you to the image of his son and he will heal do as much of it as he can in this life, and then he would do it. finally, in the heavenly state, but he will do it.
that's god's agenda for you agenda for me is that i serve him and he conforms me to the image of christ.
he has me spiritually grow and mature. that's what the doors are all about. that's what god is trying to accomplish when he opens doors closes doors or offer stores. you see, we often think if i can tell which door to choose.
there's gotta be something wrong with this. this is, it's important for us to go through that process. if you have a child. the child is so four years old, as a good parent. do you think you should make most of the choices for the child. i hope i did. yesses yes yes child. 14. should you make most of the choices for the child or should you make some of the choices for the child. see, it's not easy child 24. i imagine that people saying most of 14 are still going to say most the 24 but that would be in error. you see, what is that what happens the child matures. you want the child to make more more choices. that's the whole idea of parenting that's launching. you want the child that and that's why by the way, when this is become an art form the teenage years. that's an art form because how much slack do i believe in the line there. some parents say no slack just a choke collar and i'll hold him and her other parents and say all your 13 and they unleash you, and then to say go live your life over the long, but eventually as they mature. you want them making their own choices. cartridges exactly the same way. one of the most important things for us as we grow spiritually. so we make choices. you see, if you signal god and make every choice of my life every single choice that being ridiculous and foolish but you know what that is.
that's fatalism is not much of a point of being alive see the whole idea is that if i can't tell which door to go through something is wrong is not necessarily true path to the radio ministry of fellowship lord, if you ever missed one of our broadcast or maybe you dislike the method one more time.
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