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How To Live In A Pagan Culture, Part 1

Fellowship in the Word / Bil Gebhardt
The Truth Network Radio
May 13, 2020 8:00 am

How To Live In A Pagan Culture, Part 1

Fellowship in the Word / Bil Gebhardt

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May 13, 2020 8:00 am

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Today on the Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhart challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ just live your life the same way they do know me know about this assimilated just like here's the strange and awful all the polls and surveys that have been that over the last 20 years, says this is what most Christians we assimilate right in the values of the culture become our the lives of the people out there be time the lives of the people in your almost every meaningful way. As I've said before, from child abuse to divorce etc. etc. just like there were not any different in that we reserve the fitting.

Just a similar that's not right either joining us today on this additional fellowship of the word pastor Bill Gebhart Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana Pastor Bill Gebhart now was once again he shows us how God's word meets our work times they are a chain.

If you're 30 years of age or older Americans changing is changing right before your eyes. You can see Jake in the change is not going to slow down. It will probably become even faster as we move forward. The floodgates have been wide open now in our country abortion and same-sex marriage and pornography slave trafficking transgender is him an explicit sexual education.

Our schools is all part. Now the American life and many of the biblical values upon which this country had been found are no longer being allowed to shape our laws or our lives. The Judeo Christian consensus. As the late Francis Schaeffer said, no longer shapes. America how you feel about the how do you feel about. Are you angry once in God and the reason for this.

It's very important question.

How you feel about will challenge you in a series here that you may not feel about the way that you should that you may be harboring some feelings that are not Christlike. In fact I would say not even Christian, God's people have always lived in cultures that are hostile to one of the only cultures when that's not happening is been American's first 200 years, but all over the world and throughout all history, God's people live in terrible cultures when used as a backdrop, we caught living in a pagan culture here, but I want to think of Judah and that they had to live in a Babylonian culture and now going to have to live in a Babylonian culture that they were enslaved in a Babylonian culture they had to make a march of 800 miles from Jerusalem all the way to Babylon, which is about 60 miles from Baghdad in Iraq and when I got there. Many of them were enslaved. They were about as mistreated as any group of people could be there. Despair was overwhelming. I want to give you just a picture that open your Bibles to Lamentations chapter 1 Lamentations chapter 1. It's one of the two books.

Jeremiah wrote he will Jeremiah big book Lamentations. A small book and I guess you can tell by the title. This is not a cheerful book. This is the book of Lamentations. Jeremiah is known as the weeping prophet. He cried a lot. He had good reason to. He saw that wasn't happening to his nation and his people. He starts out in verse one and he says how lonely since the city that was for people she's become like a widow who was once great among the nations. She was a princess among the provinces has become a forced labor. She weeps bitterly in the night and her tears on her cheeks. She has none to comfort her.

Among all her lovers.

All her friends have dealt treacherously with her.

They become her enemies. Judah has gone into exile under affliction and under harsh servitude.

She dwells among the nations she's found no rest. All her pursuers have overtaken her in the midst of distress.

The roads of Zion are in morning because no one comes to the appointed feast all her gates are desolate or priest or groaning her virgins are afflicted and to yourself is bitter.

Her adversaries have become her Masters and her enemies prosper. Then one more verse chapter 2 in verse 11. Jeremiah's response, my eyes fell because of tears. My spirit is greatly troubled.

My heart is poured out on the earth because of the destruction of the daughter of my people when little ones and infants faint the streets of the city. It's unbelievably tragic time for the when you read the history of this and will look to another verse. The Babylonians accrual and only conquered them in 605 and put them into captivity.

Babylonian soldiers and will find this in the Psalms. Babylonian soldiers took great delight in taking Jewish babies and then just by busting up on the rocks and killing they rape the Jewish women enslaved the Jewish people. This is about as bad of a culture as you could have find yourself in. I mean it's we can apply it but it's hardly what were once true in America but it is as bad as something could possibly be for them and so the important thing. The members that they had three options open to them and it's exactly the same three options we have as Christians living in a pagan culture that we live in now in a post-Christian postmodern America. The first option they had was the option of isolation… Have nothing to do with the culture, by the way, this always been the philosophy the Amish. I grew up Western Pennsylvania and a lot of Amish around us and the Amish live a completely segregated life. They stay away from the world completely.

They got the solution. The servant God was to be isolated. It's not.

It's never been that way that Jesus is very specific about that. In John 17 when he prayed he said father I pray that you don't take them out of the world.

You see, but I pray that you do protect the mother in the world. We can use isolation, not a reason they wanted to be isolated was her so angry up go with me now to the book of Psalm Psalm 137 Psalm 137 and you get a sort of the heart of the anger of the people of Judah how angry they were because of what they saw happening in verses eight and nine here you see says, O daughter of Babylon.

You devastated one. How blessed will be the one who repays you with the recompense which you have repaid us. How blessed will be the one who seizes and dashes your little ones against the rock they didn't want to be just mad they wanted to get even that's what the psalmist are saying I'm angry about this. I want to get even with these people.

They been terrible things lost and I pray that terrible things happen to them as well. The stranger sons that's been the voice of a lot of Christians in order talking the same way, lots or the pastor emeritus now in the great Moody Church in Chicago writes this. Some Christians in our culture wagged her finger, pronouncing doom on offending sinners. They are angry at those who stole the country. The liberalism taught in the schools, the media, which is too often is rife with violence and sex of the property and the politician to constantly push for legislation that undermines our faith and our tradition are values then says yes we might have righteous indignation as we see our culture destroyed.

But if our anger spills over into our Christian witness and only fuels the stereotype of the world already has of us. Yes, we are called to expose the sins of the world but we are to do it with redemption, with humility, with compassion, with courage and with tears that's on the way some Christians feel some Christians it's them against us we hate them because they hate us. But that's not the way the Lord is another way you can do with the culture when you're living in.

It is pagan assimilation. That's the easy road. All you do is this become like they are just live your life the same way they do no be no bumps in the road just assimilated people just like they are. And here's the strange part in our culture.

All the polls and surveys of the been done over the last 20 years, says this. That's what most Christians do we assimilate right into the culture the values of the culture become our values the lives of the people out there be time the lives of the people in here in almost every meaningful way. As I've said before, from child abuse to divorce etc. etc. were just like they are not any different than their and that way we sort of fit in well we just assimilate but that's not right either of the Lord.

The third possibility is infiltration without contamination infiltration without contamination. That's God's way. That's what God says you need to infiltrate the world but not be contaminated by the world you need to be in the world but you don't want to be of the world and I want you to see what God says to this nation of Judah considering how horrible their experiences. I want to go now to Jeremiah chapter 29 Jeremiah chapter 29 and 29 these are the words that God gave Jeremiah to send a letter from Jerusalem all the way to Babylon to be read to the Jewish people know I am certain is not the letter they wanted.

I am certain he said. God said, I've had enough of these terrible pagans and obliterate them all to take all the spoils and come back to Jerusalem have the greatest days of your life, that's nobody's it and say that practice is something very different. Starting in verse five, he tells them and he tells us that when you live in the midst of a pagan culture. I want to do six things I want to take six steps. This is what I want as God for you to do in a pagan culture. The first one is found in verse five. Build houses and live in them, plant gardens and eat the produce that so now just live your life as good a job just settled on a moving and just have your light weight. We got your understand Judah were Jews were in babbling. Yeah, just get your house get your garden and settle down. It doesn't seem to make any sense to us is a no see. I want you to infiltrate that culture. That's what I want to suggest by your house so you gotta make a life for yourself. Russell Moore, the southern Baptist wrote this. He said our call is an engaged alienation, a Christianity that he says he perseveres the distinctiveness of our gospel while not retreating from our calling as neighbors, friends and good citizens. So God's answer to our problem living in a pagan culture says yet. I just want to live your life in a normal way. So I want settlement just live your life okay secondly notice what he says next is this take wives and become fathers and sons and daughters and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands that they may bear sons and daughters and multiply their he says and do not decrease build strong families. I want to settled on not wanting to build strong families that doesn't seem right. I thought we were going to get even with these people. I thought we should get after them… I want to build a strong family.

I talked to Christians who said things to me like this. I don't think I'd ever want to have kids in this culture. I don't want to have any good because a culture so bad is no God says is what you say. You see, I don't want to have them. I just don't want I don't have to be reason this terrible time.

Something God is telling us here and that's this strong families can survive paganism. Strong families can survive paganism.

That's what he say you have a strong family. You survive the pagans see that's what his point. It also guarantees of future seed for God. Notice he said I don't want your numbers to diminish.

If anything, I like him. The increase see in our country.

The family is the place to expose and overcome the values that are taught in schools. That's the family, Tony Evans, the African-American pastor in Dallas Texas has raised his kids now, and by the way there. Pretty impressive list of kids there involved in all kinds of Christian ministry national ministries. Other kids went to public schools is how can that be and Tony said that Lois that's his wife. He said Lois and I would spend some time every single day deprogramming them, we would ask what they learned that day in school and then we would re-instruct them as to what the truth is well and it turned out okay. They turned out great for the Lord. Now I know what this requires of you time interaction. You see, but he said look, God's right, strong families, commitment, paganism is not like another pagan out of the war over children. No teacher out there can have the influence over child that you can if you're the parent that's the point. That's what God is saying, go ahead and build a strong family. He said look is not a quick fix, but will changes culture.

One family in a time so settle down. He says build strong families.

This going to get worse. Now look what he says verse seven, seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile. What yeah seek the welfare of the culture try to make the culture better if I got word welfare is a word you know you don't know a lot of Hebrew but you know this word shalom peace it it means well-rounded peace offers a good translation.

He said seek the welfare of the culture.

While I hate the culture.

Yes, he gets welfare get involved. See if you get involved politically be involved. If you want to be a problem with nonprofits get involved. You see in whatever way there's a need out there. See what you can do assault like meted seek the welfare of the culture is Jesus and be so be like in the culture people in the neighborhood said me and I know I'm a Christian, but that couple down there. While those are special people she seek it.

Try to make it better not use the Babylonians. They have killed their relatives see wasn't like oh no they take away our right to pray in school. They took on the 10 Commandments in the town square. This is unlike that this is slavery. This is they conquered our nation to destroy our temple McCarran is 800 miles away.

God's is yeah seek to make the culture better will see in the weeks ahead. That's exactly what they did.

They made a better while maybe they were alone in this. They want a culture more pagan than babbling was the paganism of Rome more depraved than babbling was the depravity of Rome. Guess what the early church did.

They made it better.

They live their lives and made it better in 300 years they won the Roman Empire not because a great preaching. And oh, the Crusades, they just live their life in a certain way and a tremendous impact on the people in which they lived. While so get involved in the cultures welfare settle down. Build strong families, and then he says this he says and pray to the Lord on its behalf except for in its welfare. You will have welfare for thing he said to do is we need to pray for who for them to pray for them. Should we pray for them. Now I know what you're thinking and I would do. I know we supposed to pray and pray for our leaders so I always pray for the leaders of my party really how much. Doing for the others when I don't like them. You understand that that's the distinction of Christianity. No one talks like this. These are my words are the words of Jesus.

Nobody but Jesus would say, love your enemies, that's what he said love your enemies, he said, pray for them who would do that Jesus would please ask us to pray for them.

See, it's hard not on my list for so long. I get so involved I never get to them so we need to pray for them, hold your place and go with me to first Timothy chapter 2 first Timothy chapter 2 in the New Testament verse one Paul writing he says. First of all, then I urge you that entreaties and prayers and petitions and thanksgivings be made behalf on all men, but how many men are we suppose we pray for their and who does that encompass everybody and he says something else. It's a little bit tough. He said entreaties that's emotional prayer. Prayer petitions at the request and then he says, and Thanksgiving. Thanks for them yes for everybody in the culture God's point of view. This makes good there are only two kinds of people in the world.

That's all is not nationalities in God's point of view is not racist there's just two kinds of people there say people are lost people say people should be praying for the loss. That's we should be doing is he says you need to pray for them. Notice he says be specific reason for Kings, who are in authority. By the way, just in case you want to know who's king when Paul writes this narrow he's no friend of the church used to have garden parties people wax over Christians in like them and like the party with people that were being burned alive. Pray for him 20 said wow he said looking.

Be specific. Pray that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. Nothing wrong with praying of saying hey let that Lord I pray that the culture leave us alone and be nice if it does, by the way, let me just say this, I think you know it as bad as our culture seems there are not many places on earth that are better to be a Christian and then this one. There just are not and never have been. This is about as good a place as Christians could ever operate especially in the sense of the government staying out of our lives almost everywhere. It's not been that way has a stop, the church, but I just want you to know that and then he says this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior. Why, who desires all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth. Your best chance to lead them to Christ. He said, is to pray for. That's a very important aspect pray for our neighbors to pastoral apart on the radio ministry of fellowship Lord, if you ever miss one of our broadcast or maybe you dislike of the sum of the message one more time. Remember, you can Google a great website called one that's one and you can listen to Fellowship in the Word online at that website you will find on today's broadcast but also many of her previous audio program 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 with radio ministry continuous broadcast on this radio station by supporting us monthly with just a 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 will deliver during a Sunday morning service of fellowship monitored visit our website FVC that SBC and oh LA.O RG at our website you will find hundreds pastoral sermon you can browse through our sermon archives defined sermon series are looking for. You can search by title. Once you find the messenger looking for. You can listen online or if you prefer, you can download the sermon and listen at your own. And remember all this absolutely free of charge.

Once again our website FVC forecaster Bill Gebhardt and Jason Gebhardt. Thank you for listening to fellowship in order

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