TRANSCRIPT | Sunday, November 1, 2020 | You’re Gonna Make It 

 


 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Come on, somebody give Him praise this morning. He's worthy. He's worthy. We bless you, Jesus. Amen and amen. Anybody glad to be at church on a Sunday morning? Huh? You're even more glad about it because you got an extra hour this morning, right? Listen, if you can't feel good about church after an extra hour sleep, it's just probably not. Of course most of you are probably really hungry right now, right? Wait, is that right? I can't even keep up with how it goes forward and back. All I know is when they take an hour away, the guy that came up with that is probably not in Heaven. But the guy that gave us an hour he's probably at the right hand of the throne. That's all I know, all I know. Hey, so, so glad that you're here today. Gonna allow you to be seated. But I want you to look over to a couple people and let them know you are in the right place at the right time on a Sunday morning, amen. Hey, pray with me, would you? Father, we thank you so much for your presence. We're grateful that we get to have this moment, that Lord, you visit us in ways that are beyond our wildest comprehensions. You minister to us beyond this building, but especially in these moments of corporate worship. And so Lord, we do since you this morning, and we do thank you that you are willing God to come in heal bodies, deliver lives, save souls, we receive all of that and more to God. I just pray that you would meet us at the greatest point of our need today. Let it be done father in Jesus name, and this church said, amen and amen. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

You guys have been doing a lot in the community. Our church right now we're focused on three things above all else, seek the lost, make disciples, meet needs. And you guys have been doing that; you have been meeting needs in South Central Kentucky and beyond. I'd like to take a moment right before I go into the message and just show you a recap of some of the things that you guys did in October, and if they would guys roll that video. Give them a chance to see it.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

I got to hear this testimony, shared directly with our office staff, it said “Today is Saturday October the 24th. I am a disabled veteran, and I live in Colombia. Today a member of your church stopped by and offered a free hot meal. Their timing was perfect being so close to payday the cabinets are pretty bare, and I hadn't eaten yet today. I appreciate their efforts more than you know, Bless you all and stay safe in this pandemic”. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Come on. Thank God for the fact that we're getting to meet needs. I'm so thankful for the way that you guys are giving and making it possible for us to continue to meet needs. If you'd like to give today if you want to worship in that way, there's a variety of ways you can do it. I'm sure they can put some of that on the screen for you. You can mail your giving to PO Box 399, Columbia. There's a number that you can text to give too. You can go to 3trees.com. Or, they're given kiosks that are kind of set up around the facility today, as you exit, you can drop that in. You can give in the way that's most conducive for you and your family. The Bible says that God loves a cheerful giver. And God really likes it when that cheerful giver purposes in their heart what it is that they are to give. As you're thinking about what you're going to purpose in your heart, something that may help you is we're not done meeting needs. And as we go into November, we're going to be able to do Thanksgiving outreach. And the way it's going to work is we're going to be able to serve a number of families at every single location, and they will be able to come in and there will be a shopping experience set up for them. With dignity, they'll be able to come in and pick out what they would like to serve their family for Thanksgiving. And you can sponsor a family for $25. I think the actual number is $26. But for $25, you can sponsor a family. So, for $100, you can sponsor four families, and we want to help as many people as we possibly can. And so, think about that as you're giving today.


Pastor Eric Gilbert

 I want you to join me in the Book of 2 Timothy, and I want you to look with me at chapter number two. I'm going to read one verse, and just kind of drop an anchor there. And then throughout the course of the message, we'll kind of go back over it and build in the context around this verse. I had an epiphany while that video was playing. All morning long while I've been preaching cell phones have been going off. And I have thought what is wrong with these people today? This extra hour of sleep and they're decided to take their calls while I'm preaching. And during the video, I finally realized it was my phone, the whole time. Jimmy D the whole time it's been my phone. I was at a real, like real powerful. I preached for 45 minutes in Columbia. Please pray God forgive me. I never preach that long. felt like God was doing something in that room and I kind of just stayed with it. And we were at this real special moment and all of a sudden his phone's ringing, and I'm thinking somebody please kick that person out of here. So if everyone would please silence their, silence their phones. I'm old, and I'm slow but I'm worth waiting on I promise. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

2 Timothy 2:3, “Endure suffering along with me as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” I want you to read it out loud with me for the sake of emphasis ready begin, endure suffering along with me as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. Just make eye contact with somebody and tell them endure,

endure, endure. Today I'm going to share something with you that was shared with me, at least a portion of it was by a mentor in the faith. And when he shared what he shared, it had such an impact on me that I've not been able to escape it since then. And even as I was preparing a message for this morning, it just kept stirring in my heart. So I'm gonna give you some of those things but also some things that I believe God is saying to me about our church and hopefully speaks to your life directly. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Father, I asked you to help me to preach to deliver your word. I pray, Father, that every spirit of hindrance and distraction will be bound, the Holy Spirit would be loosed, you would give me a special grace to deliver the Word. Show me where to pierce. Show me where to heal. Let it be done God as your Holy Spirit provokes every single one of us to take our next step in you whatever that might be in Jesus’ name this church said, amen and amen. 

 

I realized that we may all be at different levels of familiarity with the Bible, and specifically the New Testament. A man by the name of Paul wrote two-thirds of the books in the New Testament. Some of them were letters that he had originally sent to churches that he had either founded or had pastored at some point. Others were moments where he was writing to people that he was discipling in the faith. That is what happens with the books of Timothy. There is one letter to Timothy and then there is a second letter to Timothy. And the thing about that is that Paul looked at Timothy as one would look at a son. Paul was like a spiritual father to Timothy who became a spiritual son. It was a relationship beyond mentoring. It was a relationship beyond discipling. Paul took a personal responsibility for developing Timothy in the faith. And so when we read this verse, Second Timothy 2:3, and it makes a statement such as endure suffering along with me. It would be easy to just take for granted if you know the story of

Paul and Timothy, that Paul is saying this to an elite disciple, that he's saying this to a pastor, that he's saying this to a minister. But what I want you to get is that this statement is actually being made and is relevant to more than just people who are in pastoral or full-time ministry. In fact, in full context, this is the way that it reads 2 Timothy 1, “Timothy, my dear son, be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus,” verse 2, “You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses, now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who may be able to pass them on to others, endure suffering along with me as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.”

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

So what Paul is clearly pointing out, is that what is being shared here is not meant just for Timothy or just for people who are in pastoral or full-time ministry, it is meant for anyone that is trustworthy in their faith. In fact, what Paul desires is that this revelation would come to someone who is trustworthy in their faith, and then they would pass that along to other people. And what we see is that the central theme of what's being said, is we are going to need to endure. And Paul's not just saying, Timothy, there's going to be days when you don't want to pastor and you need to keep enduring. There's going to be days when you don't want to be in ministry anymore and you need to keep enduring. There's going to be days when you don't want to put up with the congregation of the church anymore, and you need to endure. He's going beyond that. He's implying to us that there's going to be moments just in our walk with God, moments when that we are following after Jesus Christ, when we're doing our best to endure as a believer that some part of us is going to want to quit. Some part of us is not going to want to take the next step. Some part of us is going to say I just can't deal with this anymore. I'm done. I'm out. I quit. And Paul's saying, I want people to know that they are to endure. Like what does it mean to endure? I think maybe the best definition of it is to endure means to make it. You know, the Bible says according to the words of Jesus, that he that endures to the end, the same shall be saved. Just look at somebody and tell them, you're going to make it, you're going to make it. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

There are going to be things you will have to overcome. There are most certainly going to be things that you will have to endure. But if you will choose to endure,

you will make it. But when I think about passing this revelation on to people that are trustworthy, and then them passing it on to other people, and the possibility of it becoming an exponential insight that we are to endure. I think that as much as I feel privileged to get to be a pastor, and I want to teach you guys to endure, the two people that I want to teach above all else on planet earth to endure are sitting on the front row over here. One of them is 15 and one is 13. One is named Natalie and the other one's name Dawson. They are my kids. And I want to teach them to endure. I want to see them make it. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

And a lot of times I communicate with people who are older than me in ministry, and they've raised kids who maybe they're not in full-time ministry, but they're still serving the Lord with their whole heart. And I want to talk to those men and women and like, tell me what you did right. Like, tell me what worked. Like what is it that has caused your kids to also want to endure in their relationship with Christ. But I've also sought out pastors' kids, the kids of church staff, who are no longer in church and don't want anything to do with church. And I've sat with them on multiple occasions, and said, I'll buy your coffee, I'll buy your meal, I’ll pay you for your time. Literally had that conversation. If you will tell me where it went wrong. Like Did you see your parents do something? Did something happen in the home? Like, what happened to cause you to no longer want to be a part of following Christ? Being a part of a church? And over and over again those backslidden pastors kids have told me I just couldn't deal with the hypocrisy.

What do you mean you couldn't deal with the hypocrisy? I could not deal with the public portrayal of one thing and the private display of something else. And what I would learn from those kids is the thing that they struggled with was seeing people that they loved, not endure well.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

At the end of the day, when you publicly portray one thing, but you are privately displaying something else, the truth of it is you're not enduring well. You're not handling the battles and the struggles, and the trials well. And the result of that lack of endurance is that they become bystanders for a public portrayal of one thing, a private display of something else. And they're just like, you know what, I don't even want anything to do with that, because they've never seen endurance modeled well. They see people going through the motions. They see people holding to a form of godliness, but they know that it's shallow and that it's vain. And there's not real substance to it, that the authenticity of it is missing. And so the thing that I think we cannot miss this morning is that when Paul is talking to Timothy, he's not just talking about a pastor in a pastor's home. Like he is also talking to every single one of us. And I know that you are just like me, that if you could get anybody to follow you in your faith and to endure for the cause of Christ, you’d pick your kids. Can I get a witness from somebody? Like, I want my kids to make it. I want my kids to endure whatever it is that comes against them. I want my kids to remove the quit option and serve Jesus with their whole heart. Well, if that's the case, then I think that we're going to have to be willing to model endurance.
 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

I heard about a marathon that takes place in Wartburg, Tennessee. It takes place at the Frozen Head State Park. It's considered to be the most difficult ultramarathon in the world. It's over 100 miles long, and you're given 60 hours to complete it. And over the course of the race, you will go up and down a total of 40,000 feet of altitude, which is the equivalent to climbing Mount Everest. And people come from all over the world to run in this marathon. And it is led by a guy by the name of Gary Cantrell. And if you looked up redneck in the dictionary, his picture is right there. He's the epitome of Kentucky, Tennessee, just backwoods bad boy. And the thing about him is that he has crafted a race to where that it's quite difficult to even get into it. But once people are in, there are folks who maybe are extremely gifted runners that come there and they struggle to even survive the race. There was one guy who had won basically every major marathon on planet earth when it came to these extreme marathons. And when he got into this particular race, he came in a little bit arrogant. He came with a little bit of pride, like I'm here to show you all what I got. Three days into the race, he collapsed. He could no longer endure. He was so overwhelmed with like exhaustion and fatigue that they basically had to rescue him. He comes back the second year, ready to prove that he can endure whatever it is that Gary and his race can dish out. Again, three days in, he becomes so disoriented that he loses track of which way he's supposed to be running. And he starts running the race backwards. And they disqualify him. He comes back the third time. This time, he's nearing the 60 hour mark. He's almost out of time to complete the race. But he's still going. He's just a few hundred feet from the marathon line, the finish line. And then right as he gets it in His sight, Gary blows the horn, the race is over. He collapses. And then he begins to crawl his way over to the finish line just so that he can put his hand across it. At this moment, Gary comes over and everybody's expecting that it's going to kind of be this sweet, sensitive moment. Instead, Gary just goes over and Pat's him on the back and says it's all right, buddy you can come back next year. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Like does that in any way relate to your walk with God? That there are these moments when you're like, God, I'm all in. I got this. Like I hear what you're saying to me. I'm ready to do this. And then like you're not even halfway through it, and all of a sudden you start to get exhausted. You start to get fatigued. You start to just think I don't even know if I want to take the next step. I think I'm just ready to quit. And then all of a sudden, you're like call in the rescue mission. Like anybody who knows how to pray, please pray for me.Or maybe you can relate to that moment where like, Alright God, I'm all in. I'm ready to endure for the sake of my faith. I’m ready to endure for the sake of the Gospel. And then here you take off, and before you know it, you're so confused you don't know whether you're coming or going, and you'll spend an entire season of your Christian existence running the wrong direction and not even realizing you were doing it. I can't get nobody to be honest on a Sunday morning. Listen, I have spent more than one section of my experience with God thinking that I was enduring some really tough stuff, only to realize I was running the wrong direction. Or maybe you can relate to that moment of like, I'm going to do it. I'm going to do it. This is my moment. Like I've finally have signed up and agreed to do this thing that God's calling me to. And yet you get the end in sight. And there's some kind of stumble, there's something that runs out of time you realize that you missed it. But here's the thing, God and Gary have this in common. As long as you're striving to endure, you can come back next year. And he'll give you. Some of you are really struggling to see God is the redneck, right? No. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Here's the thing, God will give you a do over if you are willing to sign up to run the race that He has called you to. And you may have fallen through disorientation. You may have fallen because of disqualification. You may have fallen just simply because you were exhausted and discouraged. I don't know what caused you to stumble. I don't know what caused you to think about quitting. But I do know My God, and He is the one who will say to you over and over again, that he'll give you another chance, and another chance, and another chance. If he could just find somebody who is willing to endure. Look at somebody and tell him you're gonna make it. You're gonna make it. When you read this verse, though, in full context, one of the things that Paul does, one of the things he does is he reveals to us the way that the enemy tries to get you to stop enduring. In 2 Timothy 2:3, “Endure suffering along with me.” But here's verse four, “Soldiers don't get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them.” Verse five, “And athletes cannot win the prize unless they follow the rules.” Verse six, “And hard working farmers should be the first to enjoy the fruit of their labor. Think about what I'm saying, and the Lord will help you understand all these things.” What Paul just showed us is there's three variations of the enemy's attack. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

And the first one you need to know about is the way that the enemy attacks the soldier to keep him from enduring. Verse four, soldiers don't get tied up in the affairs of civilian life or civilian pursuits for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them. The soldier must not be distracted. Most of us are so distracted in our spiritual journey that we don't even realize that there is warfare going on all around us in the heavenlies. We still think that we're battling against Beulah and Freddie.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

We don't understand that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but we wrestle against principalities and powers of the air. And we're sitting bingeing on Netflix, not understanding that the hordes of Hell are doing everything they can to kick down the spiritual back door and come in and run through our family. And it's not that you shouldn't have a few moments and that you shouldn't get some time to be able to rest and relax and chill out. But the thing that I would say to you is, you cannot be so distracted that you miss the fact that you are ordained and called of God to be a soldier. And you may be a single mom, or you may be a single dad, but God intends for you to step to the front of that door of your home and endure some things that Hell is going to bring against you because Scripture never said there wouldn't be a weapon formed. And Scripture never said that the gates of Hell wouldn't send something after you. What Scripture did say is that no weapon formed against you shall prosper, implying you must endure. What Scripture did say is the gates of Hell shall not prevail against you, implying you must endure and there's going to have to be an endurance that comes to your walk with God that says I'm not going to give in, I'm not gonna give up, I'm not gonna give out. I may get knocked down, but I'm going to get back up again. I intend to endure. Because as for me in this house, we have removed the quit option. Gonna make it. So is it possible that the enemy has you distracted? I have watched men that God had called to be incredible leaders in their homes become so distracted with hobbies, that they never teach their kid to pray. There's nothing wrong with the hobby. There's nothing wrong with the fun. There's nothing wrong with the activity but don't become so distracted that you lose the place that God has called you as a spiritual military representative in your place of influence. So much more I could say. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Let's look at the second one. The second one is and athletes cannot win the prize unless they follow the rules. The athletes must not get disqualified. You do realize the enemy wants to disqualify you. There's several things we could talk about on that front, but one of the ways that the enemy disqualifies us is through unforgiveness. Jesus said unless you forgive, I can't forgive you. He also implied that you would not have your faith go to its full extent of moving mountains unless you could deal with the unforgiveness that the enemy will try to bring into your heart. The enemy will get you so mad at somebody, gets you so upset at somebody, that all you can think about is vengeance. All you can think about is getting them back. All you can think about is getting even, and you become disqualified from the race that He was calling you to run where He was going to put a crown on your head so you could bring it to heaven and throw it at His feet someday and say not mine, yours, Lord. The enemy wants to do everything he can to disqualify you. He wants to get you to step into things that disqualifies your influence in your spheres, such as your home or your business. It's not by accident that every time somebody steps one foot on a platform in a church, that the enemy then starts trying to do everything he can to disqualify them and to discredit them, because the enemy knows if he strikes the shepherd, he can then scatter the sheep. So he'll disqualify whoever he can. Because if you see one person fail to endure, it's amazing how it becomes our excuse to no longer endure.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

I should have shared this earlier in the message. But I remember there being a moment when I was visiting Atlanta, Georgia, and I was doing ministry, and we were downtown. And we were just trying to help some kids that were on the streets there. And on this particular day, the reason that they were on the streets is because they were coming to experience a Marilyn Manson concert. And the way it worked is you would buy a ticket in and then there were no assigned seats. Once you got in the room, you could pick whatever seats you want. And so they had showed up like 6,7,8 hours in advance. And they had walked, like literally lined up around blocks to get in this building. The building was a former church that had went out of business; they still called it the Tabernacle. It had crystal chandeliers and pews in it. If you're not familiar with Marilyn Manson, he's extremely dark and tends to have satanic overtones. And I was ministering to one young boy and what we were trying to do, we were just going through offering them water, and talking to them hearing their stories, looking for opportunities to share the Gospel. And with this particular young man like he had a stench, unlike anything I had ever smelled. I mean, the boy had some stink. And I'm trying to like figure out what is causing this smell. He's wearing this black trench coat head to toe. He eventually takes off the trench coat while I'm talking to him. It reveals a black sleeveless shirt, and his arms, he had taken cigarette lighters out of vehicles, and he had burned holes in his arms. Some of them were fresh, but many of them were old and infected, and they were oozing. That's where the smell was coming from. I said tell me like, why? Why have you done this to yourself? He said to prove that I can't feel pain. That's the number one example of somebody who is coming apart on the inside with pain. I said tell me something, why are you at this Marilyn Manson concert. Like why do you follow Manson? He said because he tells the truth. So what's the truth that you don't, you don't have to feel pain? No. What's the truth? The truth is that all Christians are hypocrites. I said wait a second. You, you don't know me. You don't know if I'm a hypocrite or not. He said I don't have to know you, I know my parents. As I talked with him and learned about his parents, what I discovered is that they had not endured well. And their lack of endurance led to hypocrisy behind closed doors. And it had scarred his relationship with God. What had happened is the enemy had done everything he could to disqualify the influence of spiritual leadership in that young man's life. 
 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Where is the enemy trying to disqualify you? It doesn't matter if it's right, if they disqualify you or not. It's not fair that the court of public opinion gets to disqualify people. But the Bible does tell us to abstain from the appearance of evil. The Bible does tell us not to let our good be evil spoken of. The Bible gives a ton of information about how to make sure you got more going on on the inside than you do on the outside. The point is, the enemy is always going to try and disqualify you, you have to know what he's trying to do, so that it doesn't happen. Or at least it is limited. And you say, well, preacher I've already been disqualified, and I've made mistakes, I get it, get back up again. Just because maybe you've been disqualified, or maybe you've been distracted is not an excuse to lay on the ground with your face in the mud. Get back up again. And maybe from the previous disqualification, you can give incredible insight on how to avoid it the next time. Some of the most life changing moments in my ministry came from people who missed it not from people who hit it. I was 18 years old, I started preaching. By the time I was 19, or 20, I was getting the privilege of preaching all over the place. In one day, a guy called me and he took me for a ride. He put me in his vehicle for two and a half hours, I didn't even really know where we were going. And what he shared with me Is he had previously in his life been a very prominent minister. And he started showing me all the ways that the enemy bluffed him into getting disqualified and took away his influence in many instances. He says if you'll watch this, this, and this,, those things will never happen to your life. One of the most life changing moments I've ever had was when I sat down with a woman who had been married to a man who had a national ministry and lost it. And she said to me, if you'll do these three things, you'll make sure the enemy never disqualifies you in that way. And on and on and on again in my life, I've learned from people who even were disqualified, but they got back up again. And they said, I'm gonna endure, and I'm going to teach somebody else how to even endure where I made my mistakes. Look at somebody and tell him I'm going to make it. I'm going to make it. Y’'all stay with me?

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

I got one more for you. The third one is that it is the hard working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. It's the hard working farmer who ought to get the share of the fruit that his work is paid off for. But I think what's being implied here is he didn't get it. And growing up around farms and farmers, I think I know why. You see the farmer must not be overcome with discouragement. Because farming can be extremely discouraging. You ever noticed how many folks they'll start up farming in about three months later, they're done with it. I grew up watching my daddy and my grandpa do hard work on a farm, keyword watching. And I remember

the toil that went into working the land. And sometimes a storm or, or big winds come through and right before you're about to enjoy the fruit of it just gone. And yet you think plant again.

plant again. But when you've planted multiple times, and there's been things that have messed with the effectiveness of the seed, it's easy to get discouraged, can I get a witness?

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

But Jesus helped you with this. You just may have not seen it yet. Jesus talks to us about a farmer who is planting seed in Mark 4, and Jesus points out there's going to be four types of ground, and three of them is going to fail. There's only going to be 25% of the soil that will actually receive the seed and do something with it. But he says if you can find that 25%

it will give you a 100 fold return on everything that is put into it. And so many times when we're trying to plant seeds, and we're sowing seeds into the people that maybe work with us, or we're sowing seeds into our teammates, or into our students, or into our small group. Like it is so easy to get discouraged because you just don't feel like there's any return. But I came to tell somebody, there's one piece of ground right over there in somebody's heart, and if you'll just keep sewing, God will do more with that than you can wrap your mind around. In the first service of the day and Campbellsville I  was speaking and while I was preaching, the service kind of got to a moment where folks were getting a little bit excited. And I looked over and on the second row, there was a fella, he had his hands in the air, and he is like, whoa. And I was like, Yes, I'll take him with me all day long. And then I looked at him again, and I recognized him. And I'm like, that's Mike Bruce. And that name may not mean anything to any of you. But Mike Bruce’s story is that he did not darken the door of a church for 35 years, unless it was a funeral or a wedding, and even then he didn't want to go. But people in his family kept planting seeds, planting seeds, planting seeds, planting seeds. And one day his heart got right, and the soil was still just right. And now he sets as close to the front as he can every time the doors are open. And he's serving in every single possible opportunity. And he's got one of the biggest smiles you'll ever run across. And he has saved from the top of his head to the soles of his feet. And I don't know who you're discouraged about sewing into, but maybe God's calling you to endure, and he keeps sewing and to keep planting.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

One of the things that they teach you in trying to understand churches is that there's a very real statistic that in the world of church, less than 25% of the people pay all the bills. Think about that for a minute. But then think about it again. It can be really discouraging if you look at it from one set of lenses. But when you look at what Jesus said would happen. Jesus said, if you can just find one in four soil that really get it, you're going to see a hundredfold return. You ought to thank God that you gave him your heart. You ought to thank God that you said, Lord, you can have whatever you want from me. Lord, I'll be yours. I'll be totally and completely committed.

I don't I don't know whether you're wrestling with distraction. One of the reasons I preached for 45 minutes in Colombia, It was one Joker I was after. I want to tell you all this, I ain't gonna tell them alright. One dude. And I felt like a doctor searching for a pulse. He was so distracted.

And I knew usually the most distracted person in the room has the most destiny. The pastor of our largest campus was a teenager, sitting on the back row, disrupting a service that I was preaching at in the middle of a revival. And I stopped preaching, I called him out, told him to sit down and shut up. Not that mean. Pastor Johnny, are you in here? Pastor Johnny's not with us today, I don't think. It was pastor Johnny's church, and his son was on the back row being disruptive. And this is what I said to him. I said, young man, you've got more destiny than anybody in this room, because the enemy has seen to it that you are the most distracted.

And little did I know he was gonna move in with me. But what a blessing it's been.

And now to be in relationship with his father and have him serving across our campuses.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

If you've been struggling with distraction, it's a sign of your destiny. It is a sign of your destiny.

It's the enemy trying to discourage you. Is he putting stuff on the side table that would disqualify you and your influence? I challenge you to hear the last part of this passage. It’s the last thing I'll give you today. They're going to play some music. 2 Timothy chapter 2:7, “Think about what I'm saying, the Lord will help you.” It even talks about how He'll bring understanding. Struggling to endure, hey soldier, the Lord will help you. Struggling to endure, hey athlete, the Lord will help you. Struggling to endure, hey farmer, the Lord will help you. So whether God's speaking to you about continuing to fight the fight, or He’s speaking to you about continuing to run the race, or He’s speaking to you about continuing to plant the seed, endure, endure. Make it. Refuse to quit. I've satt with so many people over the last seven or eight months who just want to quit. Just want to give up. I've probably been with 50 different pastors in the last five weeks.

And I hear him I sense here, discouragement, I want to quit, I want to give up. I would say to you endure. Onward and upward. Onward and upward. Onward and upward. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Father, you're calling somebody onward and upward. I thank you that I get the privilege of just sharing your Word with some trustworthy people. And I pray God that however it is you choose to use them that they will exemplify the onward and the upward. Do it Lord. Somebody that's got their face planted in the mud, just come pat them on the shoulder Lord. Let them know they still got a race to run, and you're not done helping them figure it out. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

One of the things I've had people do today is pray for the hardest person you know.

Like if there's somebody that's that Mike, Bruce fella, 35 years out of church, and you think they're done, not ever going to happen. Pray for them right now. Pray for them right now.

And the thing I've sensed in every single building, and I sense it here, too, is I think there's at least one somewhere. You would say if you want me to pray for the hardest person I know. It's me. And your hearts gotten really callous, and it's gotten really cold.

And there's a lot of reasons for that. But God wants to take some of that intestinal fortitude that's come as a result of you dealing with life's tough hands and put it to use in His Kingdom.

When Jesus got ready to pick disciples, He didn't go hang out with the pretty boy choir, choir folks. He went down to the pier and the harbor and he found a bunch of jokers who were hanging out with rough, tough fishermen, tax collectors who knew what it was to be the scorn of society. And those boys they didn't get it right immediately. Three to five years in some encounter with the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, lions couldn't eat them, fire couldn't burn them, and water couldn't drown them. And the only way they knew how to describe them was those that have turned the world upside down have come here also. May God get some of that in Kentucky. He wants you. Father, I thank You for Your Grace. I thank You for Your Grace. Sing over us Jaron would you.

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