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December 9, 2021 7:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ.
This is awful suffering is terrible but it's not see is this the way it works to face the second the second death exponentially worse than the first. The first step is basically the separation of my soul and my body recall physical second after separation from God forever netted more than once died more than once. The only 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 pastor Bill Gever now is once again he shows us how God's word. Our world is a legal term it means to provide legal test to provide legal testimony that will hold up in a portable.
He says make a difference to give an account in one things for sure if you are doing one through three of what Peter said your Nyberg news. If you don't feel that you don't consider yourself blessed.
Your panicked and troubled and you don't acknowledge Christ as Lord.
But the circumstances, I'm pretty sure you're not gonna be able to give an account for the hope that sin you, because I'm pretty sure there's not much hope a new you have to do these things twice each year, when we talk about this time of year we talk about missions and outreach and data taking the gospel across the street and around the world and supporting it is, is it.
It's good. I mean, it's good to support financially it's it's it's needed that I want to tell you something applying it in your own life is infinitely better. It's just much much better.
You see, there are so many implications in this little part of one verse one implication is this apparently the lost are always watching and then interesting. Lost are always watching.
They want to see you see most of the time. I think when the loss looks at us besides a gob are hypocrisy. They basically say that these are people who are just talkers, they just talk the possible lighters and talkers and that's all they want to do is to talk.
In other words, we we often lack credibility with those who are watching us, there's another implication here. You have to have a relationship the lost people mean you have to you have to have a relationship with lost people. That's what Christ was talking about when he said look I meant to leave you in the world.
I just don't want you out of the world, but you need to be in the world so often. As Christians our whole.
Our whole mindset is isolate ourselves as much as we possibly can from them.
You see, and then we sort of get her what was called historically, the holy huddle and that's great for that for the huddle, but that's awful for the lost. You see, when he talks about that. You need to let your light shine. You can put it under a bushel.
You need to be salt and if salt isn't salty anymore.
It's useless. He's talking about us. He says we have to be able to make an impact. We have to be in the world to make that impact so we have to have relationships. The other thing you said there was always being ready to see that's up to us. That's a choice you make. God will not force you to do this will prompt you with his spirit. And if you take the step of faith will empower you but he won't make you you don't have to share your faith with anybody ever. That's completely up to you. Apparently Peter is speaking to everyone so God is not looking for ability. He's looking for availability.
You see, sooner or later in your life and in mine as well.
All of us individually and sometimes collectively suffer the system waste that he said no ways that people on the outside watching you. You see, you may even be asked, how can you go through this when you're suffering and still in a sense, have these kind of qualities like your harmonious and sympathetic and brotherly and kindhearted in your humble or not vengeful you're peaceful how do you do this that's what is called the open door. It's not me, it's Christ. You see, that's the opportunity that I have. We are blessed to become a blessing so often. I think nowadays, even when it comes to apologetics, review apologetics is arguing we see that's what we do.
We argue with other people about our faith. But notice the end of the verse.
He said that you give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence with gentleness and reverence. We do it and so many times like a combative way like it's heavyweight championship fight he hits me. I had him that's not apologetics, and certainly not Christ by way guess that's why in a sidebar. I love Ravi Zacharias simply because of the way in which he interacts with other people. He gives everybody respect. He has a gentleness about him, but he certainly gets his point across. It would be good for us to follow that you see suffering is our greatest platform.
It is itself greatest platform because it makes what we say, authentic, everybody knows that and that's why he is.
That's what he is saying here to them.
Suffering is our greatest platform for the gospel, by the way it should.
Isn't that what the gospel is based on isn't Christ suffering.
By the way, unfairly, with chum tremendous unfair suffering is the basis of our faith. Suffering vanquishes ulterior motives. Are you sure yes why do you think that the eulogy the money Williams did one so far across the country. Why why so many for that suffering you see suffering all those things were settings suffering. If he had no suffering and set them the same exact thing is somebody else's funeral but died at 98. No one would've listened people listen when we suffer, what an opportunity that is for us, consider yourself blessed. Don't panic, don't worry acknowledge Christ as Lord and share your hope with the lost and then in verse 16 he says, and keep a good conscience, so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. Don't let mistreatment and unfairness change your integrity don't you see we do this all the time. I'm amazed at how we do this and what did he say and do whatever you do don't do that when a slander you for the very thing they think that you are and you're not don't slander back will watch political campaigns in our country right now were somebody says something about it to someone else any other person comes back with her own slander and then gets on national TV and says, but he started it. He said it first, what kind of credibility is what did you think the people that do that. How did you feel now take that to our faith. He says don't don't do that.
That very thing.
A baseline if you let them be put to shame, because that's not the way you are. You see, you don't have to slander and fight back because you win in the end he said that's what happened, you win in the end, many will come to Christ and that amazing I love the part of Peter Brodeur. He says those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. You know who might've told Peter that Paul is that I persecuted him I had of them down.
I arrested my ashamed that I think that's a Peter has in mind. I'm so ashamed.
When I did touch by the gospel's amazing statement there something else to one should now go with me to Revelation chapter 2 and I went to Cedar Christ to speak on the same subject as Peter and see the parallels verse eight. This is the letter to the church of Smyrna. Smyrna is a unique place. By the way, murder and Smyrna of the same member of the wise men came in a game praised her Smyrna say maybe it's the houses places murder when Jesus is buried there's murder. It's kind of an interesting thing.
It's got the sorrow and death idea around it. What's really interesting in Isaiah chapter 60 when the second coming of Christ comes.
Isaiah says that he will bring with him gold and incense number is in the second coming is different than the first Anissa Smyrna. This is one of the few churches that has really nothing against it all but boy are they being persecuted. Smyrna is this small place that actually built the first temple to worship ember. They were the first non-Rome place in the world to build a temple to worship the emperor. This is emperor worship.
Now you can understand what ended up happening. Christians would not worship the emperor they would respect pamper, but they would not worship him. They would not say he was God and so they got tremendous pressure and persecution put on them because of that. So Jesus wants to speak to them. He says that the angel of the church in Smyrna write the first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life, says this film is that see if I was going to say what does that mean that me just say it one word, hope, hope identify with Christ you knew Christ.
This is the first and last. Everything is in between him by the way, he was dead. Now is alive. You see, that's all hope it first starts out with a description of himself that gives hope. He said I know your tribulation and your poverty couldn't find jobs couldn't work, ostracized tremendous persecution by the way, this is now a lot later than when Peter wrote 30 years in the persecution is way up.
Not only do you now go to the Coliseum and fed the wild animals and they are crucified boiling oil and things like that but they actually established at this time what they called the rack and the rack was 8 feet high and about 2 feet wide and they would strap your ankles to it in your wrist to it, then it would crank it and they would just keep cranking it into eventually pulled. Arms out of socket and then eventually they would tear your limbs off with and that's how you would die.
That's what's happening these people. This is an in the future for them. This is now for them.
So he says I know your tribulation and your poverty but you are rich. You see, how does the world look at them poor.
How does Christ look at her rich you see they have laid up treasures in heaven, to be rich forever. He says you have real wealth they don't.
They just think they do. He then says this, he says, and the blasphemy by those who say that they are Jews and are not, but a synagogue of Satan. That's the Lord's view of those who were leading the charge to get these people. He says to them, do not fear what you're about to suffer. Does that sound like Peter exactly the same.
Don't be afraid to not fear what you're about to suffer. He says behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for 10 days now. What does the 10 days mean I don't know. It could be 10 days, but I think what I know is what he saying to you how long will suffer exactly as long as my sovereignty allows you to and not a day longer. You see I am the first and last.
You see, this is my creation you'll suffer.
He says for 10 days, not 10 days of suffering in a certain way would seem excruciating. He says for 10 days he says but here's what I ask of you.
Be faithful until death. Be faithful. It's exactly what Peter is saying in a different way. Consider yourself blessed.
Don't panic, don't worry acknowledge Christ as Lord. Share your faith with the loss. Keep a clear conscience is to be faithful until death is is and I will give you the crown of life. All the Romans were big on crowns. They love crowns is that I give you a crown that they don't have the kind of life, but a crown in your head that never will come off as a crown of life. He said I'll see this.
He said he who has an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches, and then he says this he who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death. He said by way know you think this is awful. The suffering is terrible but it's not. You see, is this the way it works, you're not going to face the second death.
The second death exponentially worse than the first. The first step is basic in the separation of my soul and my body we call it physical debt. The second death is separation from God forever. He says you won't have that in that interesting thing in Scripture. If you're born once you die twice if you're born twice. You only die once.
That's why Jesus said you have to be born again, he scission up to face the second half.
By the way, no matter how bad the rack seems no matter how bad it seems to be crucified, or how bad it seems to be fed the lions is not even comparable to be separated from God forever and you won't be. He wants them to be faithful.
We can see an ever-increasing chasm between our postmodern culture and what we call biblical values more and more were learning that they don't like us, and somewhere down the road. Persecution may become the norm and that will be a great time of hope for the church in the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ want to think of this out of persecution of the early church came the apostle Paul out of that persecution came. The apostle Paul Russell Moore, contemporary scholar, said he is in a conversation with Carl Henry Carl Henry the great biblical scholar and apologist of yesterday and he asked him if he is worried about what he sees happening within the culture of America and will that have it be a destructive thing to the gospel of Jesus Christ into our church and he said that Henry just looked at him puzzled and so of course not.
He then said, who knew that Saul of Tarsus would become the great apostle to the Gentiles, he says. Who knew that the agnostic professor would become the great philosopher CS Lewis, Russell Moore said.
I took these words the hard here's what he wrote. He said the next Jonathan Edwards might be the man driving in front of you with a Darwin fish bumper. The next Charles Wesley might be a profanity spewing hip-hop artist right now. He said the next Charles Spurgeon might be managing an abortion clinic right now these are the next Augustine of hippo might be a sexually promiscuous cult member right now.
Just like come to think of it the first Augustine of hippo was.
He said the next Billy Graham might be drunk or hung over right now because that's the power and the hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
You see, that's what can be born out of persecution. The Lord himself said I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. This will happen.
Jesus will build his church, by the way with you or without you.
You will but no matter how bad it seems to you.
If you are ready to give an account for the hope that is in you, it will be with you. It will be for his glory in a B for your good for spray father. My prayer is simple, just for each and every one of us to understand that whenever we individually or collectively find ourselves suffering.
This is an incredible platform for us. First of all, it's a great opportunity to deepen our relationship with you and to grow spiritually. Secondly, though father it's a tremendous opportunity for us to share the hope that is in us to be able when were asked by others. How can you do this, how can you feel this way we can talk about the reality of Jesus Christ in our lives when an effective way to lead others to Christ. Father, I thank you that even though there is plenty of tribulation and trial and suffering in this world, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is overcome. Praying his pastoral number on the radio ministry or fellowship Lord, if you ever miss one of our broadcast or maybe you like listening 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 program at Fellowship in the Word.
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Once again our website is SBC Nola.org forecaster Bill Gebhardt, Jason Denhardt, thank you for listening to fellowship in order