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May 6, 2020 8:00 am
Today on the Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhart challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ became not just give me a better version of you to be the best I got my being that we don't recognize each other right away and have is a having appointment is is that it's unimaginable what I'll be like you to be completely changed physically will be different in first John chapter 3, John says we will morally be will be like him. Perfect moral character joining us today on this additional Fellowship in the Word pastor Bonaparte fellowship in words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible Church, located in Metairie when Pastor Bill got for now is once again he shows us how God's word makes some Christians think of having a semi-mystical place. You might see a few people time to time but you realize when you are absent from the body present with the Lord.
That was somebody who knows Lord on his way up there. I know on life seem a couple to be present with the Lord and make such a difference this past week I read this amazing story. That was a story about Raymond Edmonton. I several years ago Raymond Edman was the Chancellor of Wheaton College in Chicago. Probably one of the finest Christian institutions in the United States and he was the chaplain up and he was doing a chapel service as the Chancellor of the school and in his sermon he spoke about meeting the Emperor of Ethiopia. Haile Selassie and what an amazing honor it was to be in Hallie Selassie's presence anyone on explained and that in the sermon that when you go under is present.
There's all kinds of protocol that you either follow so that you could follow the protocol perfectly so you could come into the presence of the Emperor of Ethiopia and as he was not making that point Dr. Raymond Edman fell over and died at the book as he was making that point he fell over and died a couple now while is more sobering for me than you even but but the point is you might've heard a man who did his funeral for him.
His name is Billy Graham and Dr. Graham said that the as he was speaking about being in the presence of an earthly number he found himself in the presence of the king of kings and the Lord of lords. What a way to go. I will have a death wish. But that is an amazing way to go, and when you really think about that death is fellowship with Christ. Faith enables us to face the reality of death.
See our faith should change our view of death is nothing to be afraid of your folks is absolutely nothing. If you get a hold of this and you're only give you so much peace, compared to so much turmoil that so many people face. Secondly, let's go back to Hebrews verse 16 chapter 11 he says, but as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one.
Faith will make you homesick for heaven. Faith will make you homesick for heaven. That's what he's telling us Faith sees the promise of heaven. Faith sees the values of heaven. You see what you're saying there is so interesting to me because in verse 13 he said all these died without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcome them from a distance and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on their they never saw the promises fulfilled.
Even Abraham you so he saw Isaac.
That's it. But what did God tell you can have this great land. The promised land which he never God is good, have all these people that follow him is. He's going to have a prodigy, as numerous as the stars of heaven is going to see the whole world changed because of him in his ceiling, but Isaac but something else about Abraham. It's interesting here it says that they confess that they were strangers and exiles on the earth that they were looking or seeking or desiring something else.
You see yourself that way you always say you will that I belong to this municipality and I live in this statement.
I'm part of this country. This nonmonetary from the word of God says you're next on your knee or citizen. I have that's really, really, where you live in effect in Genesis 23. Sarah had died and Abraham needed a burial plot so he went to these people and he said can I buy a burial plot here for myself and my wife in Mesa when you're the guy that they said is inheriting all the land and he said no. I'm just the next I'm just a name in here. I need to buy a plot for a burial.
That's how he saw himself amazing thing when you think about so Faith enables us to face the reality of death.
It also makes us homesick, he says, for heaven notice, then what else also. God says in verse 16 he says. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God is prepare the city for them. God is not ashamed to be called their God exit everything of God, having shame, but that's an interesting thought be a godsend you know Abraham yeah I was God. Maybe my more believable. You know, Bill yeah I was God. You see him not ashamed of his thinking that while I miss God. He said I love his perspective.
I miss God I miss God I'm his friend that's the amazing thing about the Lord. He said I am his God.
He said and I going on.
Making notices and I'm making a city form. Amazing faith enables us to face the reality of death and it also will give make us homesick for heaven and is ultimately faith to bring us home is our faith and bring us home to really have any idea how wonderful heaven is not you civil Bible doesn't tell us a lot about having extra.
I get that but it tells us enough that you and I should be just giddy happy of what heaven is like and what they can happen to us in heaven heaven in place for God fully reveals his character and his blessings turn with me to Revelation chapter 21 the first two verses. I love these verses John Wright. She said that I saw a new heaven and a new earth.
The first heaven and the first earth passed away, there no longer any sea. And then he says this and I saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. Don't miss that phrase you make. Normally when were talking about the imagery in heaven.
By the way, who's the bright we are who we marry. Christ is the girl at Revelation 19. He's the bride and where the groom that's not what happens here God reverses it. He says I made this new city for you. This gigantic 1500 miles. By 1500 miles. By 1500 mile queue, whatever that means. He said is incredible, but he someone tell you how special it is. He said notice what he says. He says made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. The ladies I want you to be honest here. What day of your life. Did you look better than any other day I you never see someone is going be a bride said that I don't care how I look, that's a day where you're all adorned right and I'm fortunate not because I appreciate that the thing I'm staying with a girl and any care comes the bride music comes on he looks up the hall and I like C looks great. That's what God's trying to say here. You see, why did he make this city as a bride being adorned for her wedding for us. He said I made it for you. I made this include wing massive beautiful thing for you see that to me is that that to me is such an amazing thing for us.
We should be so excited about even takes a further it's not just on the macro like this while look at the sitting that's all for me.
He takes it to the micro told me to John 14 for moment same writer John this time Jesus speaking in John 14 Jesus first verse in John 14 is because he knows people like you and me who knows what were like notice he starts.
I do not let your heart be troubled. Believe in God believe also in me amenable really honest. See were troubled by. There are so many people and Christians that are just almost paralyzed because of their fear of dying. Don't be troubled. Please don't be troubled. Jesus is pleading with us. Don't be troubled by that. Don't let that bother you. He said let me explain. In my father's house are many dwelling places. He said if it were not so I would've told you and I going to prepare a place for you.
Now he goes in the macro, the new Jerusalem condo is father's house. This is my father's house there are a lot of dwelling places not communal living.
You have your own dwelling place, and he says and I don't I prepare a place for you. For you, for you. I don't prepare a place for you while and then notice expands that he goes on and says if I go and prepare a place for you will come again and receive you to myself, that where I am, there you may be also. I don't prepare this for you to come back and take you to take you to the place so you and I will be together using don't let your heart be troubled. What he afraid of using such a different perspective I think. So often we live our lives saying and I just hope that you know I'm good but there's some place called heaven, and I hope it's good for me. That's all the Scripture says it all.
It's her so much more. Psalm 16 verse 11 in your presence there is the fullness of joy at your right hand are pleasures for ever more reveals the presence of God the glory of God in Jesus priestly prayer in John 17. He's praying to the father. He says father I want those you have given me. That's us to be with me where I am and I want them to see my glory. I gently think I want to be with me and I want them to see my glory. See if you see all this in eyes of faith a minute tell you, you will be able to wipe the smile off your face. You see, that's why he's telling us that to encourage us in that way heaven is a place where God makes you completely new. Go with me to first Corinthians chapter 15 first Corinthians chapter 15 right near the end of the chapter. The whole chapters about the resurrection of Paul want to take a little bit further than that.
First Corinthians 15 beginning in verse 51. He starts out with the rapture verse and 51 he says behold I tell you a mystery. We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed if you happen to be here. You won't die during the rapture but you will be changed. He said in the moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet, the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed in an instant. He said this personal must put on the imperishable, the mortal must put on immortality. But when this personal wipe on the imperishable.
In this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about. The saying is written, death is swallowed up in victory. Oh death where is your victory over death, where is your sting were all going to be changed not just going be a better version of you. You get to be the best version of you are right that might mean that we don't recognize each other right away and have see I mean appointment is is that it's unimaginable what I'll be like, or you will be like this can be perfect. To be completely changed physically, you will be different in first John chapter 3, John says we will morally, we will be like him perfect morally perfect character and an inscription which is often, we will be spiritually perfect back to back to Revelation 21 for a moment. Revelation 21 the heavenly state versus three and four. I stopped in verse two, he said I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and he will dwell among them, they shall be his people, and God himself will be among them, and he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there were no longer be any death. There were no longer be any mourning or crying or pain. The first things he says have passed away. Perfect. No sorrow, no sin, and he doesn't say I'm going to do this from a distance and have the right, among them.
He said that's the way this going to work. Heaven is where we will also realize our destiny to worship God and of your toes are said this, I believe that the reverential fear of God mixed with love and fascination in astonishment and adoration and devotion is the most enjoyable state in the most purifying emotion a human heart could no talking about worship. John Calvin said the proper adoration of God is the primary purpose of our faith both right a warning from a debutante is reset. I can safely say on the authority of all that is revealed in the word of God, that every man or woman on this earth who was bored or put off by worship is not ready for a place of worship. When we worship you have life. It's a gift.
Your creature was given a gift. You got the gift of life, your personality, you have fought you have creativity.
All these are gifts to you from God. He's created us and then when we sinned, he redeemed us many races in the dead he's blessed us. He loves us who want one worship God to give you that everything great in your life is a gift from God. He said that we will be finally able to worship God, and we have perfect fellowship. He says with him and with others. Chapter 22 of Revelation. In verse three. There we will serve God. He says there will no longer be any curse the throne of God and the Lamb will be in it and the bond servants will serve him as it would be good to do and have it were not playing harps. Okay, it's not floating on clouds to serve God.
Now the question might be, and I get this one will be going to do and I have no idea, but I can tell you this. It has limits and the limits of what we were doing heaven is can be limited by God's power and God's imagination.
That's the limit, which means there are no limits says we will serve him meaningful purpose meaningful purpose in life forever will serve God is not like were just sitting around waiting. It's not like that at all it says is bond servants will serve him everything I do in service for God now is just a fraction of what I'll do. Then Leighton Ford had a son named Sandy and he died suddenly as a very young man and he was a committed follower of Christ, and he made a difference. A lot of lives.
When a really young Christian dies, the response most of us have is the same as this missionary friend when hearing the news, a missionary friend wrote to the Fort and said the first thought I had is what a waste. Always feel that way if someone truly doing something wonderful may die. You know what a waste. What a waste.
He was God was using them in such a great way said, my first thought was, what a waste.
But then I thought were so worth bond.
Sandy's highest services just begun. You see is highest services just begun. It's not like it's over. It's just beginning a going to serve God forever. Heaven is a place of rest and reward in heaven is a place of glorification. That's what he tells us this wonderful place of glorification.
If you live your life with your destination in mind, it will change you as some kind of toy instead of being disappointed in your health or disappointed in your husband or wife, or disappointed in your job or disappointed in the way people act, you will be before joy you know the outcome you see you know what awaits you that perspective of keeping heaven in the crosshairs makes all the difference in the world in everyday life for you and for me and just like Apollo 13 needed to keep their eyes focused on their destination. We have to to and we do that our faith enables us to face the reality of death. Our faith will make us homesick for heaven and faith will bring us home. That's the point. That's what God tells us that much. Want to close with a illustration when Ronald Reagan was present United States George Schultz was the Secretary of State as Secretary of State, he would have to be the person that appointed ambassadors to different countries so we bring them into his office in his office.
He had a big giant globe, and then he would have them walk over the globe and it's a point your country, and he said they would always look in the glove it's been in point of the country that they're being assigned and he said all went well until Mike Mansfield who was a longtime senator was going to get an appointment as the ambassador to Japan and so he came in early walk Mike Mansfield over the globe and abundantly said now I want you to point to your country and Mike Mansfield said the okay. He said he turned global. I moved from Japan and point his finger on the United States of America and he said that's my country.
After that them sold said that I change the way I did this, he said I would tell every new appointee story of Mike Mansfield and I said don't forget that you may be in that country, but your country is the United States you are there to represent us to take our interest and never forget which country is really your country. That's what I'm trying to talk. Don't forget what countries your country.
You and I are citizens of heaven, we are viewed in the scriptures aliens in Excelsior, don't forget your country because you going to be there forever. The spring father so often we have lives filled with anxiety and stress because we get so preoccupied with all the circumstances of life brings us some of them are good father, many of them are not the painful, difficult, confusing, and will become so preoccupied, we become despairing and we have our lives filled with anxiety and worry were trying to figure out how can we adapt all these terrible things. The writer of Hebrews was trying to tell these people that one of the most important things we can do is have a different perspective, we have to look for and seek our country. The city of God, the one you created is the architect for us.
We are to be heavenly minded so that we can be earthly good.
More importantly father. We are to be heavenly minded so that we can cope with all the difficulties of this life. Father I pray for any believer who was really struggling with the fear of dying that they understand it's not an end. It's just the beginning. Just from this life to life for pretty these truths become part of glory for our good Christ bathroom never you ever miss one of our broadcast or maybe you just like listening to the message one more time. Remember the good 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 program, had Fellowship in the Word.
We are thankful for those who financially support our ministry and make his broadcast possible with all of our listeners to prayerfully consider how you might help his radio ministry. Continue with 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 is a sermon, the pastor will deliver during a Sunday morning service at Fellowship Bible church visit our website FPC Nola.org that FPC and of LA.O RG at our website you will find hundreds of possible sermon you can browse through our sermon archives defined sermon series you're looking for or you can search by title.
Once you find the message you're looking for. You can listen online or if you prefer, you can download the sermon on listening and anchoring. And remember all this absolutely free of charge. Once again our website is FPC Nola.org forecaster Bill Gebhardt countries and hard. Thank you for listening to fellowship in order