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Understanding Doubt - Part 1

Fellowship in the Word / Bil Gebhardt
The Truth Network Radio
February 24, 2022 7:00 am

Understanding Doubt - Part 1

Fellowship in the Word / Bil Gebhardt

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February 24, 2022 7:00 am

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Today on Fellowship in the Word, Pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ. You see, when do we doubt and why do we doubt? Who do we doubt? Do you ever feel like the Lord really doesn't care about what's going on in your life?

Why doesn't He care? Some of you I know because you've told me, you know, I just don't know how much the Lord loves me because of what's going on in my life. Or some of us doubt in the sense of what's true and not true.

Hey, I read this passage and that can't be true, is it? We doubt for a lot of reasons and we end up with the same kind of thing. His response here is I do believe, help my unbelief. Thank you for joining us today on this edition of Fellowship in the Word with Pastor Bill Gebhardt. Fellowship in the Word is the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible Church located in Metairie, Louisiana.

Let's join Pastor Bill Gebhardt now as once again he shows us how God's Word meets our world. There is something that almost all of us have done on an occasion and it's often something that we won't readily admit. For many of us, we feel guilty because we have it. And for some of us, it causes us to even question our faith. It is moments of doubt. According to the dictionary, doubt means to be uncertain about or to hesitate to believe or to struggle to believe. You see, the reason we don't really want to talk about it too much in our mind, somehow faith and doubt are polar opposites.

And many of us think that a believer who has doubt is a walking, talking oxymoron. But the Bible has a very different picture of doubt. Moses doubted God. Gideon doubted God. Elijah doubted God. Jeremiah, he doubted God. And in fact, when you get to the New Testament gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke and John, whenever they are dealing with a doubting person. It is always a believer.

Just like you and me. Open your Bibles to Mark Chapter nine, Mark Chapter nine. Verse 17. And Mark writes this, he says, and one of the crowd answered him.

Saying, Rabbi or teacher. I brought you my son. Possessed with a spirit which makes him mute. And whenever it seizes him, it slams him to the ground and he foams at the mouth and he and he grinds his teeth and he stiffens out. And I told your disciples to cast it out, but they could not do it. And he answered them and he said, oh, unbelieving generation. Notice he's turning toward them. He says, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him to me.

Kind of an interesting way of handling it. And they brought the boy to him and he saw him. And immediately the spirit threw him into a convulsion and falling on the ground, he began rolling around and foaming in his mouth. And and Jesus asked the father and he said to him, how long has this been happening to him? And he said from his childhood.

So we can infer he's likely a teenager. It is often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if you can do anything. Take pity on us and help us. Jesus response. If you can.

If you can. You're asking me, you're talking to me and you say, if you can. Just imagine that from Jesus perspective, it's not exactly what you'd expect from the Lord. But his whole point is, do you have any sense of who I am here?

Who I've been claiming to be, and then you say, if you can. By the way, we'd never do that, would we? We would never say, Lord, if you can, this is what I'd like you to do. What Jesus tells him is what he tells us. I always can. You see, I always can. He said, if you can, he said all things are possible to him who believes.

And immediately the boy's father cried out and said, I do believe. Help my unbelief. That sounds like you.

That sounds like me. I do believe. Help my unbelief.

Wow. He's doubting. He's struggling. He either has believing doubt or doubting belief. You see, he wants it to be different and so do we. And we struggle in these very same ways. You see, when do we doubt and why do we doubt? Who do we doubt? Do you ever feel like the Lord really doesn't care about what's going on in your life?

Why doesn't he care? Some of you I know because you've told me, you know, I just don't know how much the Lord loves me because of what's going on in my life. Or some of us doubt in the sense of what's true and not true. Hey, I read this passage and that can't be true, is it? We doubt for a lot of reasons and we end up with the same kind of thing. His response here is. I do believe. Help my unbelief. Now, the problem is, is this guy is sort of just a passerby.

He's a hanger on. We don't know anything about him. And you could say, well, who knows what this guy really believed in the first place? You see, but I've been walking with the Lord a little bit longer than that.

And I feel so guilty about the doubt that I have. So what I'd like to do is to move from a man like this that we could interpret as a person who barely knows the Lord. To somebody that the Lord said is pretty much unparalleled when it comes in his standing before God. Turn with me now to Luke Chapter seven. Luke Chapter seven. And now we're going to deal with John the Baptist. John the Baptist, an amazing human being. And we're going to see that John, just like this father. Has doubt. And the good thing about John's doubt is that it allows us to see inside of doubt and maybe see the reasons why we may doubt.

So it should be very insightful for us. The doubt of John the Baptist. Verse 18. The disciples of John reported to him about these things and summoning two of his disciples, John sent them to the Lord and said. Are you the expected one or do we look for someone else? Now, if you even have a basic understanding of the New Testament, all you have to look at that and scratch your head.

What? Why would John the Baptist say that? Are you the expected one? I mean, this is John the Baptist. This is John, the son of Zacharias and Elizabeth. This is John, who leaped for joy in his mother's womb when she got close to Jesus in Mary's womb. This is John, who grew up in the extended family of Joseph and Mary. This is John, who knew all about Bethlehem and the angels and all the stories. This is John, who is a great prophet, the first great prophet since Malachi. This is John, who is a herald of the king. This is John, who took a Nazarite vow. He abstains from the wine of anything with alcohol.

He doesn't cut his hair. He sets himself apart. And he says, I'm completely set apart to God. This is John, who baptizes the Lord Jesus Christ. And when he sees him, he says, Behold, the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. This is John, who said, He must increase while I must decrease.

It just doesn't seem possible, does it? He says, Are you the expected one? Harukh Minas is what he says. Harukh Minas, are you the expected one?

What does he mean by that? Turn with me back to Luke chapter three. Luke chapter three.

And notice the scene. Again, John. Verse 16. John answered and said, As for me, I baptize you with water, but one is coming who is mightier than I. I'm not fit to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

His winnowing fork is in his hand to thoroughly clear his threshing floor and to gather the weed from the barn. He will burn up the chaff with an unquenchable fire. Notice in verse 16, but one is coming.

Same Greek word. He says, This is the coming one. He makes this statement. Are you the coming one?

Are you the expected one? How could he possibly be doubting? Well, I think there are four reasons that John could possibly be doubting. And each one of those are very important for you and I to understand, because almost for sure, one of them touches our lives whenever we doubt the love of God, the goodness of God, the truth of the word, whatever it is we doubt.

The first thing possible reason is this. We often doubt when we're facing personal tragedy. We often doubt when we're facing personal tragedy. John is in prison. He's awaiting what is likely and turns out to be, but he doesn't know at this stage, execution. Where is he at? He's underneath Fort McIris, east of the Dead Sea in the wilderness.

It's owned by the Harrods. He finds himself there for a very good reason. John had this almost incurable disease.

He told you exactly what he was thinking, and he really didn't care what you thought of it. That's John. Notice what happens here back in Chapter three. It says here that in verse 18.

So with many other exhortations, he preached the gospel to the people. But when Herod the tetrarch was reprimanded by him because of Herodias, his brother's wife, and because of all the wicked things in which Herod had done, Herod also added this to the mall and he locked John up in prison. This isn't Herod the Great. This is the son of Herod the Great, known as Herod the tetrarch or Herod Antipas. He's a small time guy. He has a very limited kingdom.

Galilee and Perea. And the acorn didn't fall very far from the oak tree. His father was crazy and evil and he's just like his dad. And John points it out. Now you'd say, well, wow, this how bad could it be? I guess he it looks like he married his brother's wife.

Yeah, and that that was bad enough in and of itself. But you got to understand, Philip, his brother, married his niece. Herodias is his niece. And so he marries his own niece. And then Antipas or Herod Antipas, he then takes her and steals her from Philip and he marries his niece.

Kind of an incestuous thing going on. John points it out. And when he points it out, he finds himself in prison.

Now, you know, the kind of the rest of the story. Herodias, she hated John. Herod Antipas, he probably didn't like John, but he was afraid of John.

That's what we learn on Mark six. He's afraid of John. And in fact, he said he used to love that he listened to John speak.

He didn't believe anything he said, but he loved to listen to him speak because he spoke with such passion. And so what ends up happening is a young girl named Salome dances for Herod Antipas and a lot of other dignitaries. Now, that would be Herod Antipas's grand niece.

Herodias' daughter, his half grand niece. And so she dances and historically or traditionally talk about the dance of the seven veils. Most commentators would believe it was some kind of extremely erotic dance that she did. And he was so impressed with what she did. And so were the other dignitaries. He was so moved by it that he said, I'll give you anything you want.

Anything. In fact, in Mark six, he said, I'll give you half my kingdom. Because I was so that was such a dance. So you can just imagine what the dance was like. Yeah. On top of being everything else, he's yes, that's right.

He's likely an idiot. You know, you're going to give half your kingdom away. So then what ends up happening? She doesn't say anything. She goes to her mother. And she said, this is what Herod said.

What should I do? She said, I'll tell you what you do. You say you want John the Baptist's head on a platter. That's what we want. And so that's exactly. What they get in Mark six, we learn that the executioner comes, beheads John, brings his head on the platter to the party. Says later than John's followers came and bury the body.

Quite a response. John didn't know that was exactly going to happen, but you can certainly see what happens here. Think about it from John's perspective. John is preparing the way for the Messiah. He is the voice of one crying in the wilderness.

We know that he's not just a prophet, but a herald. And he's preparing the way for the Messiah of Israel to come. Now, he's kind of gets separated from Christ completely.

At this stage, Christ is about 60 to 80 miles away from away from John. And he finds himself not only separated, but he finds himself in a prison. Now, he remember, John said, I came and baptized you with water, but he's coming and he's going to baptize you with what? He said, with fire.

And John says, let me tell you what it's going to be like. He's going to be like he's going to go to a threshing floor and he's just going to take all you and he's going to separate the wheat and the chaff. And when he's done separating the wheat and chaff, he's going to take the chaff.

That's most of you guys. He's going to take the chaff and he's going to burn it. He's coming. And John's the herald. But John's in prison. So John's whole view is, wait, I did all that and this is kind of what I get?

This is where I'm at? I mean, I'm going to be the herald. I'm the guy who blows the trumpet, in a sense, and in comes the king. That's just like a lot of us. Over the years, there have been so many people that will have some personal tragedy hit them. And they'll say with tremendous emotion, Pastor, I've tried to always walk with the Lord. I've tried to do the right thing. I've tried to really be faithful. And then I get this news. You see, I get this news. How can that be?

How can I do? You see, when you think that you really are walking with the Lord and you're doing the right thing and then something like this happens, personal tragedy, it can cause you to question the doubt God. For example, the antithesis of that, the thief on the cross. The thief on the cross, he knows why he's there. In fact, he says to his friends, hey, we're getting exactly what we deserve. And then he says, Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom.

And the Lord said, this day you will be with me in paradise. Notice the thief on the cross never said, well, I just can't believe I'm in this place. I just can't believe I'm being crucified. I just don't understand how this could happen. See, the thief on the cross didn't have any expectations.

But if you're a believer who have felt that you've done right by the Lord, you have a lot of expectations whether you want to admit them or not. You see, how do I walk with the Lord and then I came home from work and she wasn't home? I don't even know where she went. I mean, she's just gone. How could that be?

Why would that happen? You see, that happens to us all the time. I have walked with the Lord. I have been getting myself trained.

I am ready to serve the Lord even in a bigger capacity. And I just got this diagnosis. I got this terrible diagnosis.

I got this terminal diagnosis. How could that be? Why would he do this to me?

Why doesn't he love me? I've always been generous. I try to help the cause of Christ everywhere I can. And now my whole business is going upside down.

I'm going to be bankrupt. This happened. Personal tragedy can cause us to doubt God. It did John the Baptist. Secondly, another reason we can doubt God is popular influences.

Popular influences. John is a victim, as all the disciples were, of misconceptions about the Messiah of Israel. They all saw him the same way. He is a conquering Messiah. You see, he is going to come, and he is going to, as John would say, clean the threshing floor up.

He's going to get all you guys, and he's going to throw Rome out. That's what's going to happen. That was his expectation.

But that didn't happen. There's another popular misconception, and that is, now, at the time of Christ, it was even more extended, but there was this idea that before Messiah comes, there will be other prophets who come. Now, we know from the Old Testament that Elijah will come, and that's one thing.

But there was also popular beliefs that one, two, three, or four prophets would each come in succession, and then the Messiah will come. Remember in Matthew 16, Jesus was the disciples, and he says, who do the people say that I am? And they said, well, some of the people say you are Elijah. You see, and others said, no, no, no, he's Jeremiah. See, Elijah will come.

That probably was John. Now Jeremiah is coming. That's who Jesus is. Others said other prophets. See, in other words, there could be a whole succession of prophets, and then the Messiah. So notice what John says. Are you the coming one, are you the expected one, or should we be waiting for someone else?

In other words, are you one of the prophets that come before the Messiah? Popular influence. Think of the culture we live in, some of the influence we get from out there.

Have you ever heard this? Well, if there is a God, and this God loves you, and this God can do anything, then how could he let that happen? How could a God who loves you allow that to happen? You see, if there is a God out there, really, why would anything like this happen in the world? You get this kind of thing all the time. In other words, it begins you to doubt the goodness of God.

Why does those things happen? You see, why would God allow that to happen? And if you're within the context of the church, you can run into all kinds of things, but one of the things you could run into is this whole health, wealth, and success theology. If you think about that way that works, if you're a child of God, this is what you should be getting. You see, you should be unbelievably healthy, not immortal, but almost.

You should have the kind of money that you don't need a wallet, you need a wheelbarrow. And everything you touch should turn to gold. You're a success. Jesus wants you to be a success. But then reality hits your life.

You're not really that healthy. You're pretty much middle class, lower middle class, upper middle class, and you're fighting it. You see, and everything you touch hasn't turned to success.

In fact, it's turned to something else. You see, when you believe that kind of thing, and you're influenced by that, you end up extremely doubting. You see, you doubt, I feel so sorry for people in that particular culture because the whole idea is they're blaming themselves. Why? Why doesn't God love me like this?

Why am I not prosperous? Why? And so they doubt. You've been listening to Pastor Bill Gebhardt on the Radio Ministry of Fellowship in the Word. If you ever miss one of our broadcasts, or maybe you would just like to listen to the message one more time, remember that you can go to a great website called OnePlace.com. That's OnePlace.com, and you can listen to Fellowship in the Word online.

At that website, you will find not only 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 this radio ministry continue its broadcast on this radio station by supporting us monthly or with just a one-time gift. Support for our ministry can be sent to Fellowship in the Word, 4600 Clearview Parkway, Metairie, Louisiana, 7006. If you would be interested in hearing today's message in its original format, that is as a sermon that Pastor Bill delivered during a Sunday morning service at Fellowship Bible Church, then you should visit our website, fbcnola.org. That's F-B-C-N-O-L-A dot O-R-G. At our website, you will find hundreds of Pastor Bill's sermons. You can browse through our sermon archives to find the sermon series you are looking for, or you can search by title. Once you find a message you are looking for, you can listen online, or if you prefer, you can download the sermon and listen at your own convenience. And remember, you can do all of this absolutely free of charge. Once again, our website is fbcnola.org. For Pastor Bill Gebhardt, I'm Jason Gebhardt, thanking you for listening to Fellowship in the Word.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-31 15:40:57 / 2023-05-31 15:50:22 / 9

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