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January 12, 2022 7:00 am
Today on the Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ. That's up to you to get your choice now after your school that it's interesting that he also says that there is a wide gate boy. It's really is, in effect, that's the way we were all on the foregoing, and it covers a multitude of philosophies and ideas covers all the religions are seat covers every possible religion in the world. Every philosophy of life. He could possibly have 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 how God's word meets our work vaccine.
Okay vaccine masks, social distancing, it's amazing we don't like to be told what to do.
We we want to choice in that Particular Way, God is very supportive of that God is all about you and I having choices you find it everywhere in the word of God. Deuteronomy 30. I have set before you this day life and good or death and evil. Therefore, you choose life so that you may live. It's a choice that your choice in Joshua 24 choose this day whom you will serve your choice. As for me and my house will serve the Lord in first Kings 18, Elijah, saying, how long will you hold between two different opinions if the Lord be God, follow him. If it's bell you follow him, but you have to choose over and over again the word of God. God says choose and he wants to make this about as clear and sobering as something possible. We make lots of choices by what I want to speak about today is probably the most important choice of your life by miles somewhat you open your Bibles to Matthew chapter 7 and will look at verses 13 and 14. We are coming to the end of the sermon on the Mount, and I said it's a very, very disturbing sermon, especially for the people who were alive when Jesus spoke because almost everything Jesus said in the sermon is not at all what they were ever taught. It's not what they were taught by their parents or grandparents everything he's talking about is diametrically opposed to the things that they were taught. If you remember right in the beginning of the sermon.
He said to them if your righteousness doesn't surpass that of the scribes and Pharisees, you never get into the kingdom of heaven. And I said I think that people gasped whenever dad because they viewed the scribes and the Pharisees as the single most religious group in their country Mesa. How in the world could I be more righteous than a scribe and Pharisee. So Jesus started the sermon he dealt with the Beatitudes and he said well blessed are happy are the people who are who are poor in spirit.
People who see themselves spiritually bankrupt. He said they could be happy. Blessed are those who mourn over their sin all easier internal things. He goes on after that and says blessed are the gentle with other people. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for God's presence in our life. He said blessed are the merciful and merciful to others and he said blessed are the pure in heart. Their motives are pure. The peacemakers who make peace between man and God, and happy are those when the persecuted because of their beliefs.
Then he went on, told his disciples, and these are just fishermen from Galilee.
You're the salt of the earth give the light of the world, and I can imagine the rest of the audience is. Wait a minute. These are just fishermen wise. He called them the salt of the earth and the light of the world. And then he took on this idea that the most important thing in your life is the inward reality and not external things at all. So he attacked the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. He said when you pray publicly to be heard.
That's hypocrisy. He said when you give the people and want everyone to know what you give. That's hypocrisy you see when you fast and try to make yourself look decimated.
That's hypocrisy. So he goes through this whole sermon last time he talked about. We need the low people in your love people by not judging people with the idea of the things only can job God can judge you up and then also that we have to treat everybody including our enemies. The way we want to be treated, which was called the Golden rule.
A lot of people, and especially even completely non-Christian people, philosophers have read the sermon and said we admire the ethics of the sermon. When we explain some Jesus didn't want anybody's admiration is not looking for an admiration. He's not looking for sick well that's interesting, that was really well said he doesn't care what is looking for some choice.
That's what is after.
So when he gets here to the end of this he's going to start talking about you have to choose the he said there be two gates will be two ways. There's two destinations. There's two trees.
There's two kinds of fruit there's two builders there's two foundations there's two houses is yet the choose, you must and so he says this. Starting in verse 13. What's interesting is he starts out and he says after all this, enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way his brother leaves the destruction there are many who enter through it. He starts off by saying here's the choice and is not even a choice in a sense, the word enter is a commandment it's an error is imperative in the Greek I command you. It's Aris tents at the point action I command you right now, make the choice, I command you to enter the narrow gate is interesting you can command someone to enter Jesus is yet but I it's because I realize what's at stake here.
There are two gates, and then he goes on after that and he says for the gate is small. The way is narrow that leads the life only a few find.
I hope by the end of the morning you feel the way I did when I do with this passage in this whole week doing with this passage it sobering. This is not like all I got a little biblical insight.
This is like that.
This deals with the destinies of human beings. This is these are very very profound words. There's no wiggle room. Minute call nine and Jesus is the one saying at the son of God and so he makes a statement and if you just read it at the service you know what he saying one of the criticism that you often get as a Christian when you talk to someone just how exclusive Christianity is extremely exclusive and is not popular in America America's a pluralistic culture.
America's real simple and this when you're in America you sick what everybody's opinion is the same. That's pluralism.
Or you could say this with all the roads lead to heaven.
They all work that's pluralism Jesus saying is untrue. Second member in a philosophy class University of Pittsburgh. When a professor said to me like the needle me quite a bit philosophy. He said.so you're saying that the only way to ever have eternal life is Jesus Christ. And I said well I'm not really saying that because I don't have that authority. But I said, the son of God is my Savior. He said, so if you have a problem have a problem with his words, but don't say you have a problem with my words. I'm just telling you what he said you see is an important thing.
What was interesting as we have several doctoral students at University Pittsburgh might in that class.
I was taken a philosophy and a break time 23 them come up on the talk to me about that. They gave very interested they were the typical philosophy kind of students I pony here guys. A little wire glasses, brilliant guys, very abstract in their thinking Mesa top. Tell me again what grace means.
What does that mean that you're talking about grace. But you see it is exclusive it is a nonexclusive because I wanted to be if it were up to me Waldo's events, but is not up to me is not for me to say that all so it is a sense very very exclusive. Now it's interesting that if God would've said in the Bible. There are 101 ways to go to heaven I preach among I preach all hundred one ways. There's all kinds of ways you can go. But he didn't say it's a some very different from that if we mistaken him was simply one verse I want you to hold your place and go with me to couple versus the first one is the book of acts chapter 4 and verse six the book of acts. Peter's preaching acts for verse 12. Peter's preaching and he says this and there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved. No other name just him there's no one else, no one else ever name by which we must be saved is not Socrates it's not Confucius it's it's not Mohammed there's no name given among men, except that name.
The name Jesus Christ that told me to the John chapter 14 and verse six John Fort John 14 and verse six. Remember, this is Jesus is going to go and be crucified. The next day. The disciples are upset and so he said don't let your heart be troubled. In the beginning and he says I'm in a go and prepare a place for you, so that where I am, you will be also. But as he moves down there. Thomas says to him, Lord, we do not know where you're going, how do we know the way. That's when Jesus said in verse six I am the way the truth and the life. And then these words. No one comes to the father but through me know if Jesus is who he claims to be the son of God. He's made this extremely clear. In fact, when Paul writes to Timothy in first Timothy 25. He says there is one God and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus, so you have one name, one way, one truth, one life, one mediator one gate is pretty redundant is just one she that's the point that is making Surinder back now to Matthew seven. So what does he say here you must enter singular.
You have to enter that alone. You have to make the choice alone. This is your choice. You don't get to go in groups. You don't get going because your family said no one gets and is a group you only get in and you notice what he said. He said the gates narrow and it's kind of an itching thing. The word standoffs enemies very tight, very small. Some of you after the service maybe go to Saints game today. I did get in one at a time. You have to go through the turnstile you cancer know there's a group of us were all going.
Each one of you click it go through one at a time. That's what Jesus say one at a time.
You have to choose a new going by yourself. You see in a few good when it doesn't mean your husband's and your children can mean anything. Every person has to going on their own.
Every person has to make that particular choice. That's what Jesus Christ is saying that's the choice that you have to make to the Pharisees saw very different than that the Pharisees thought the whole group goes in effect, the Pharisees were safe. Worked were children of Abraham.
You know that means we all going the whole group goes, it Jesus rebukes is not true at all fact that's why he said to them earlier in the sermon.
If your righteousness doesn't exceed a Pharisees, you won't even see the kingdom. You'll never get in and so the Pharisees were completely along about that. There's something else that he says near the end of verse 14 he says, and there are few who find it. When the world is that mean the word find is her bruschetta and means intentional looking. If the look for young coder. You don't go through the kingdom gate accidentally in all the son as an aside, Mexican arm over there and that's yet to find it it earlier in the sermon. He said, remember that dealt with all the things we worry about and he said one stop worrying. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all this will be added but you have to seek it. You see, you have to seek the kingdom of God. You have to find the gate that's up to you. You see that your choice now after he goes through all that. It's interesting that he also says that there is a wide gate boy is really wide and is easy in fact it's the it's the way we were all one before he came to Christ and it covers a multitude of philosophies and ideas covers all the religions of the world. Although seat covers every possible religion in the world.
Every philosophy of life that you could possibly have an there's a reason for older place with me. Go back to Proverbs chapter 14 and verse 12 Proverbs 14 verse 12. Solomon writes this, but it covers everything there is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. There's a way that seems right and there's all kinds of different ways of people think this would be right. That's what religion does she.
There's the idea religion is what can man do for God. The God was so impressed that on the basis of man's actions to get to go to heaven and all the religions have a different to do list and all them a different way of possibly doing this and that's why you have such tremendous religious diversity in the world really been thousands of religions in the world all them sort of seeking the same thing but all them based on the same idea can man do see what do I need to do the nurse religion that is within Christendom and nurse religion outside of Chris number there everywhere. Then her sleep and by the way America right now.
I think one thing no one would call America without a religious nation is not were not really steeped in religion but were steeped in something else were steeped in what I called earlier pluralism a certain form of morality talk almost any American and from the gospel of Jesus Christ and what that means and what you going to tell you they'll tell you the same thing. They all believe as a group that I'm fine because God's going to grade on a curve. That's the way this works. Look I'm not Hitler. You see, I'm not a serial killer.
I'm a pretty good guy and so God will look on his infinite wisdom see as a pretty good guy and I would never condemn that guy. There's a few people to need to do, but not most people.
Most of them are pretty good people. Now you can talk to and guess what, if they talk to their friends. What a difference a same thing were all good people, and God can allow all the good people when one are based on our behavior was word of God say there is none righteous, no not one lot. None there's none righteous, known not one all sinned and fall short of the glory of God. All the wages of sin is death. What we want, see, and they thought they may handle the law well enough that the law would allow them to go when the rich young ruler Jesus said what do I have to do what you have to do to be saved and Jesus and do the law because I've done it while that's why James in the book of James wrote said if you violate one part of the law. One element you're guilty of the whole. So whether you have 1 million violations of law or one you're guilty Jesus to go further. He said you say in the sermon, the Mountie did you say that thou shall not murder. I say if you've ever been angry your murder. You saved us and not commit adultery but I say if you've ever had lust in your heart you are you are a sinner. So Jesus said if your brother had a simple thought your sinner James that if you ever violated one aspect, the lawyer guilty about all. So how many good people are there.
You see, you kick God.
God's not going to grieve a grade on the curve and if that's what you believe is could be a sad reality of really difficult one for you because he's not grading on the curb. He's absolutely holy, you see the dozen grade on the curve is not going to work that way no one is good enough. Even the agnostics in the atheist.
I remember reading an atheistic writer and he said this.
If there is a God. I don't believe he could ever condemn me to help if there is one because it's pretty clear that he didn't create enough evidence for me to believe in. And so that's I know his fault, so he never condemn me to help, but the God say in moments when he created enough evidence did he say there without excuse because I gave them consciousness.
They have a conscious of, right along with the number game creation without so he said there without excuse. We see in almost everybody believes that there really involved in a religious group or moral group or philosophical groupings, a way world to be all fine.
It's going to work well.
That way, one commentator wrote this he said there have always been, but to systems of religion in the whole world. One is God system of divine accomplishment. The others man system of human achievement.
One is the religion of God's grace. The others religion amends works. One is a religion of faith in the others religion of the flesh.
One is the religion of a sincere heart and the internal and the others religion hypocrisy and the external within man system are thousands of religious forms and names but they're all built on the achievements of man and the inspiration of the devil himself. Christianity, on the other hand, is the religion of divine accomplishment in the stands alone is true, but that's bothersome to us.
We don't really like that we wanted a different way so he also says there is a wide path notice affected Matthew seven he said the way is broad that leads to destruction. The gate is wide. It's like wow it's easy to be on this path the owner with all your friends and all your family and the culture is an easy thing to be on but it's in this catastrophic and I don't know about you but that really bothers me to understand the scope of this when someone gives the gospel and I hate when this happens you not trying to get someone to to come over to your side of an argument you not trying to get someone to join your church. That's not what you're trying to do you're doing with the eternal destiny of a human being that's what you're doing with were people going to be forever you see where that going to happen and in our heart. It's exactly what we want. Let me illustrate this the jury how much you want and I want I been here a long long long time I've been involved in countless funerals. Some people in the church.
Lots of people the church some people at the court. Some people way out on the periphery. I've never been to one funeral ever where there was an assurances given that the deceased is now in heaven. Not once. Now that's some coincidence, and it by the way, think about it for yourself. Think of the people you've known and loved and died, drawing heaven see what I mean, how we think about this.
Why is that because we want them to be there. It's emotional to us. I don't want to condemn anybody you cease a week.
It's an amazing Jesus said few and many but ironically, the fewer apparently all of us and everybody we ever knew or bought involved with the few that's a really difficult thing for us to pass through giver on the radio ministry of fellowship in the world. If you ever miss 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 at that website you will find on with today's broadcast but also many of our 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 broadcast on this radio station by supporting us monthly. Fourth is the one time support for ministry can be sent to Fellowship in the Word.
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