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TRANSCRIPTION | Sunday, April 3, 2022 | Meaningful Faith Series | Good Night or Good Bye? 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Last Sunday, we talked about how God can build your faith. And we looked at that through the life of Simon Peter. This morning will once again at some point in this message most likely reference. Simon, Peter, again, we're going to be in a little different vein of sharing your faith and how that can bring great meaning to your faith.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

And so I want to share with you one passage of text. It's Mark chapter 16. It's verse number 15. It's Jesus talking to a gathering of his disciples and his followers right before he's going to leave the earth and ascend to heaven. He leaves behind what is known as a great command. And he said, to them, go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

He who believes and is baptized will will be saved. But he who does not believe will be condemned, go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature boldly proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to every creature. Make sure that everyone knows about the good news of Jesus and His cross, every creature, the whole world. Today, the message will be titled Good Night or Good Bye.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Father, help me to preach. Help me to teach. With the special grace of the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Come into this moment, provoke every single one of us to our next step. Lord, let it be done in Jesus name. This Church said A. Heard the story of a little girl that went to kid's church, and on the way home she began to talk to her mom said, Mama, I've been thinking.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

And the mom said, About what? And the little girl replied, Well, my teacher this morning said that God is bigger than we are. Is that true? And the mom said, Well, of course that's true. So, well, my teacher also said that God lives inside of us. Is that true?

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

And the mom said, Well, yes, that is true. Well, Mom, if God is bigger than us and He lives in us, shouldn't he show through us And it's a great question that every single one of us need to spend some time evaluating, because the truth of it is that God is bigger than us, and God does live in us, and God most certainly does desire to show through.


Pastor Eric Gilbert

So the question then becomes, why does God not show through us as often as He would probably prefer or like? Why is it that sometimes you can spend years knowing someone and not recognize that they are a Christian? Maybe never even hear them testify of the fact that they serve Jesus Christ? As an avid follower, how could that be that you could be with someone around someone interacting with someone and God not show through?

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

I think that maybe one of the reasons is directly connected. The fact that we really just wish that God would show through somebody else, and that way we can stay a little timid and we can remain reserved and we don't have to get real aggressive with our faith. I wrote another story from a group of kids, and it was in regards to Billy.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Billy broke his leg and he was on crutches, but it was his birthday. And so as the teacher was trying to move Billy and his classmates over to a place where they could celebrate the party, she looked at little Noah and she said, Noah, you know, Billy's leg is broken. He's on crutches and he can't pack his cupcakes.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

So why don't you pack them for him? And Noah said, Well, I could, but I would prefer not to And the teacher looks back at no and says, Well, no, what would Jesus do Noah said he'd heal Billy's legs so he could pack them himself.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

And therein lies the problem is that most of us are waiting for God to use somebody else, to share faith, to be a witness, to give the good news of the gospel to Breaux, to boldly proclaim it in the workplace or in the sphere of influence. But there's a reality that God wants to use you. And I don't think that the world has ever been in our lifetimes more open to the gospel than it is right now.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

I get it. There's some persecution. There's some things that are challenging. There's some difficulties that Christians are dealing with. But when you begin to look at the statistics of the curiosity in regards to Christianity that is coming on the other side of this pandemic coronavirus, COVID 19, however you choose to refer to it. It can't be overlooked. In fact, when you start looking at some things that are going on in Christian websites, it gives us some really encouraging news.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

One Christian website that offers a chart that when you go on to that site, they can begin to converse with you about faith, about Jesus, about Christianity tells the story of a woman from Philippines who reached out and says, Please help me to not worry about everything. What's happening right now is really confusing. I've got a lot of doubt and I'm very afraid.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

The counselor then began to share faith, began to present the good news of Jesus And in just a few moments on the other side of this woman learning that the answer would not come through science, it would not come to government, it would not come through finances. But the answer could come through Jesus Christ. She accepted the Lord as her savior and began to serve him with her whole heart.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

The story of a 17 year old named Don she reached out to a Christian website chat volunteer, and she said, I'm not really a religious person, but I don't know who else to turn to. 45 minutes later, into a conversation of sharing faith in the good news of Jesus, Don gave her life to God and pledged to go public with that faith through baptism.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

The story is told in regards to Christian websites that offer those chat opportunities. Three of the largest in the entire world have said that their traffic has dramatically exponentially increased since March of 2020. The global media outreach says that 170% increase in searches has transpired regarding the subject of hope. 57% increase in searches about fear. 39% increases in searches about worry.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

The University of Copenhagen says that the searches for prayer in their review shows that 75 countries have broken all time records. Researching that subject The world is confused. The world is curious. And we have the answer. And the answer is Jesus Christ, is the way he is the truth and he is the life. And I don't think that there's ever been a greater need for us to be intentional about sharing our faith.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

It is not a time for timidity. It is not a time for fearfulness. It is not a time to even be intimidated, if you will. It is time to share your faith. I want to give you just for very practical reasons why you should be intentional about sharing your faith. Number one, Jesus himself came to seek the lost.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

This passage in Luke 1910 says For the son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost as Jesus lives his life on earth. Like you can see that he makes sharing his faith a part of everything that he does He could go to a well and a woman could just be trying to draw water and he would turn it into an opportunity to share faith on a personal level.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

He could be traveling through a city and somebody could just be trying to get high enough to see him like a man named Zacchaeus. And he would turn that tree climbing moment into an opportunity to share faith. You see a religious Pharisee, a guy who dressed right and went through all the motions of a religious order coming to Jesus in the middle of the night.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

His name was Nicodemus. And he's like, I'm going through the motions. Something feels off. Something doesn't feel complete. It seems like something's missing is perhaps how the conversation transpired. And Jesus let him know. Marvel. Not that you must be born again for God. So love the world that he gave his only begotten son. That whosoever believes would not perish but have everlasting life.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

You understand that, John? Three 16 was delivered in the middle of the night while Jesus was talking to a religious man. Trying to help him explain what was really missing was not that he needed to go through another form of godliness or check another box come Sunday morning. But he needed a personal relationship with heaven and earth through Jesus.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

One of the most amazing things that I ever saw in my childhood transpired while I was playing middle school basketball. One of my favorite people was my middle school coach, and he coached me two years. And the difference between him the first year and the second year. Coincidence could not take the credit for it, but what had happened is that he had taught Sunday school for 15 years and one day as his pastor was closing the message and presenting the gospel, he came to realize that he had held on to a form of godliness, but he had never really known the power of salvation.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

And he got up out of his seat and he walked down an aisle, and he bowed at an altar, and he gave his life to Jesus. And when he got up, he was a different man. And he was no longer just talking about Jesus. He was walking with Jesus. He was no longer just referencing an explanation. He was walking in an experience to the point that a 13 year old boy could see the difference between year one and year two.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

I just wonder if you had that personal experience with Jesus. And if you have, are you being intentional about sharing your faith with other people? I was looking at how Jesus not only shared his faith, but No. Two Jesus expects his disciples to follow his example. In fact, in initial moments where Jesus is invited and people into relationship with him saying to them things like Matthew, four 19, follow me.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

He directly connects it to And you are going to become fishers of men. In other words, if you follow me, it is expected that you will be a part of inviting others to also follow me that it is a part of the initial moment of engaging in relationship with Jesus. One of my favorite text in the New Testament in regards to sharing faith is Matthew Chapter five, verse 14.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

It's a part of the Sermon on the Mount. It's a part of one of the most famous messages that Jesus ever preached. He's already told them that he is the light of the world, but now He looks out and he says, You also are the light of the world. You know that Jesus intends to shine through you. He's bigger than you and he's in you, and he wants to be seen through you to the point that when He exits the earth with his ascension on the other side of His resurrection, he didn't intend to take the light with him, but he intended to let the light shine through you And this is not just a message for seasoned adult Christians. This is a message for any Christian of any age. I don't care whether you're in elementary school, middle school, high school or college. God intends for you to be a light in your hallway. He intends for you to be a light in your classroom in history, to be a light in your locker room. He intends to shine through you and at some point, you got to make a decision that you're no longer going to be a Secret Service Christian.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

I've given you all the story before, but it bears saying that the little boy is so proud of his police dog, at which point an officer walks by and says, Doesn't look like any police dog I've ever seen. Doesn't look like some really fancy, expensive, well-trained German shepherd. Instead, it looks like a mongrel who come off the back streets at which point the little boy replies, That's because he's in the Secret Service.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

And a lot of us Christians. Yeah, the how is it that people could know us for years? And not know that we serve Christ I told somebody about one of you the other day. They said, Oh, I didn't know they went to church I'm just joking. I didn't really. But it preaches so good that I just Lord forgive me in Jesus name I had some. Are you so worried? Was it me? Yeah, probably. No, I if it were easy, we got issues.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Like, people should know that you walk in relationship with Jesus and not just because you're some egotistical, self-righteous Bible thumper. That's looking down your nose and everybody else, but because you hold the love of God on the inside of you and it comes through every part of you. You shift atmosphere, change climates as a result of the relationship with Jesus, it's still somebody leave the Secret Service John chapter 20 verse 19, it says, Peace be with you.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

As the Father has sent me, I am sending you Jesus. Expel X for faith to be shared not only in you, but through you. Me give you a third reason very practically that you should share your faith. Nothing is more valuable than the human soul. Nothing. The human soul is so valuable that God would give the blood of His Son to save it.

 

Scripture says this once again Words of Jesus. Matthew 1626. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? Can I say it again? Is anything worth more than your soul?

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

One more time? Is anything worth more than your soul? See, some of us are going to have to stop waiting on the youth ministry to teach our kid that and teach it ourself. Because a lot of us have spent more time developing our son's jump shot than we have developing his understand. Understanding that there is nothing that is worth more than your soul.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

There's some of us that have invested tons of time into showing our child, our daughter how to be this or how to be that, and never really brought the reality. There is nothing more valuable than your soul. And I don't care what the world's offering you. I don't care what they're tempting you with. I don't care what they're trying to communicate.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

It's worth this. It's worth that. Nothing is worth more than your soul. It is the one download that we have to make sure that we get into our family, that we get into our children, and that we get into our friends and that we get into our community. This reality there is nothing worth more than your soul. So how is it that we are so reluctant to share our faith How is it that we can engage with family, talk about basketball, talk about weather, talk about farming, talk about Biden and Trump, and never mention faith How can that happen if the soul is the most valuable thing?

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

A human has hard the story of a street preacher who was preaching and he was preaching about the reality of hell, the reality of heaven and the need for Jesus At which point an atheist walked up, interrupted him. He said, Preacher, I don't believe in your God the preacher said, Well, why not? An atheist said, Because you don't believe in it.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

The guy said, I'm out here preaching on a stump trying to get the message. Of course I believe. He said, No, you don't. Because if you did, if you really believe in this place that you describe to be hell, you would crawl across broken glass from L.A. to New York to save even one person from go in there What we learned from that is that many times even the atheists are provoked in their ideology from the nonchalant, casual approach that Christians have towards their faith.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

And I believe that God is calling us out of a place of timidity and calling us into a place of power and love in a sound mind with an understanding there is nothing more valuable than the human soul that Jesus gave his life for Now, I thought about meaningful faith, and so we talked about a meaningful life this this year, 20, 22.

 

We talked about meaningful connections with God and others. And now we're talking about a meaningful faith, like where you live your life in such a way that you really feel like. Man, my faith has meaning. Now I get the privilege of the Bible in one hand, microphone in the other, and preaching the gospel to a lot of people.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

I'm really thankful for that. It's. It's the greatest privilege I have in all of life. And so in 21 years, no exaggeration, I've stood in a pulpit and preached in some capacity, another over 7000 times actually in 23 years. I started when I was 18 and I'm and I'm grateful for all the moments that at the conclusion of a service, you present the gospel and people communicate that they are giving their life to Jesus.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

They're going all in with Jesus. Nothing like it's so incredible. But I will admit that on a personal level, I found one thing more meaningful it is the height of the Christian experience. Once you are past that personal Born-Again moment there is nothing more meaningful than sitting one on one with a person and serving as a midwife. Spiritually speaking, as you introduce them to Jesus and they pass from death to life and become born again in the name of Jesus.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

And you watch on a personal level, they're countenance change and you begin to recognize that a babe in Christ just came into the earth and that they're a new creature and their sins are being removed as far away from them as the east is from the West. And so I will forever be thankful for the opportunity to give the mass altar calls.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

But even if you never call yourself a public preacher, there is the opportunity to develop a sharing of your faith that happens in the cubical at work that happens in the aisle at Krogers or Wal-Mart. Through that, you share your faith and you watch people experience people having that experience. Louis Pasteur, a great scientist, had a lot of success in the medical field.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

He tried for years to come up with some kind of way to develop a cure for rabies. And finally, after many years, he felt like he just about had it just about ready to be able to provide that cure. But before he was going to release it to the public, he decided he would try it on himself. And it was while he was about to begin these experimental procedures that there was a beating on his door that came from a mother.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

She represented a nine year old child that had been bitten and had developed rabies. And she was scared out of her mind that that kid was going to die. And she pleaded with pasture. If he had anything that was even close to being able to help, please try. And so her son went through ten days of treatments and was completely delivered from rabies and did not die.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

He lived. Years later, years later, Pasteur himself was about to die. They asked him what he wanted on his tombstone, and he remembered the name of that little boy, Joseph Meister. And he said, I want three things on my tombstone. Three words. Joseph Meister, live Pasteur saved hundreds, if not thousands of lives. And the most meaningful moment he ever had in regards to Death to life was one little boy that lived Who is it that has lived because of your invite?

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Who is it that has lived because of you being willing to share your faith? What is that most meaningful moment in your own faith? Because a fourth reason for sharing your faith is that it is called the Great Commission, not the great suggestion. It is not a suggestion. It is a command. If you are a person in the military and you disobeyed orders, you would be court marshalled. Commands are given to be obeyed.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

It makes me wonder how many of us would be court martialed in the realm of our faith because we have this obeyed the command Some of you are saying, well, I would I would share my faith, but I'm just kind of shy and I would share my view, but I just don't really know what to say and I would share my faith, but I just don't really know the Bible well enough.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

I mean, they might ask me some questions I don't know the answer to and well, I would share my faith. But, you know, people kind of look at me based on my past and and they kind of view me in a negative way. All of that is lies from Hal Simon. Peter denied Jesus Christ at one point. Jesus even had to call him Satan.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

But on the other side of a salvation experience, we find him in chapter two being empowered with the Holy Spirit. He steps out on a balcony and he preaches a ten minute sermon and 3000 people get saved. And the way that Simon Peter is later described is that he's recognized for 13. I'll just read it to you. The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

For they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the scriptures, and they recognized that they had been with Jesus, they had been with Jesus, they had been with Jesus. Look at Mark chapter three verse 14. When Jesus first appointed the 12th, he told them that they might be with Him. He put that before preaching.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

He put that before healing people. He put that before casting out demons. He said, If you can just be with me, the rest of it's going to take care of itself. And some of us have had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We have been with him, and that sets us up for the empowerment of the Holy Spirit and Acts.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Chapter one tells us that when the Holy Spirit comes into your life, it is so that you can be empowered to be a witness for Jesus. So the Holy Spirit might gift you and the Holy Spirit might bring fruit to your life. But the number one reason the Holy Spirit wants to come into your life is to make Jesus famous through you.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

So He's bigger than you and he's in you, but he wants to be seen through you. The question is, will you will share the faith? And when we share the faith, Are we doing so under the unction and the power of the Holy Spirit? The Bible even goes as far as to say to us that if you get into a moment where they start quizzing you and you don't feel like you have the answers, that the Holy Spirit will bring all things to remembrance.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

All things to remember Peter and John were recognized as not being the smartest guys but they had been with Jesus as Jerry begins to play. I read this story about somebody sharing their faith and found it fascinating Sharing your faith may be simpler than you realize.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

It's a true story. It's a group of soldiers, and they were encamped around about Shanghai, China. Stirring the ministry of a man named Jonathan Goforth. One day a dog came into the camp of these soldiers and that dog happened to be carrying in its mouth pages from a book The soldiers took the pages from the dog's mouth and discovered that it was pages of the Bible. They began to read those pages. It included passages, to my understanding, like John three 16 selected passages like the Romans wrote.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

And what happened is, as they read through it, they came to the knowledge of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. And those soldiers got saved through the ministry of a dog What they didn't know is that Goforth, the missionary, what a name for a missionary, is over there picking out these pages and training that dog to go where it's commanded.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

And when he couldn't get in there himself, he said, I'm still going to preach the gospel if it's got to come through a dog's mouth, I'm going to find some way to get the gospel to the people who need to hear it the most. I got to get the gospel to the people who need to hear it the most.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

So he that win it souls is wise. When's the last time you saw wisdom for winning a soul? Because the Bible says for his lack of wisdom, God will give it to all men liberally. And a lot of us are trying to figure out how to get rich and how to keep our marriage together and how to raise our kids.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

When's the last time you saw God for wisdom on how to win a soul You might be shocked at how simple He will make the sharing of faith There's a lot more I want to say and a lot more I want to encourage you but I'll leave you with one thing You understand this is a good not gospel, right?

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Because because for the Christian death is just to sleep to be absent from the body means that you become present with the Lord that separates you from an eternity in torment.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Suffering separates you from an eternity in a place that was never created for you to start with. The Bible says, according to the words of Jesus, l was created for the devil and his angels. And the only reason that anybody stands up there is because they choose to reject what Jesus has done to get them out of their It's a good night gospel that when you close your eyes on this world, you open on the other side of the gates of hell.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

As a father who was dying, he had spent many years serving God. As He lay on his deathbed his first child came lying down over kissed his daddy, and daddy said Goodnight Second child Kane leaned down over Daddy kissed him. Daddy once again, said goodnight. The third child came, kneeled down over Daddy. Daddy said Goodbye.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Which point the third child jumped back and said, Dad, I don't understand. You told the other two good night, but you're telling me goodbye. The father in broken voice in his last breaths, explained the gospel that there's only one way that it becomes a good night gospel and not a good by moment is that you have to accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, and that gives you the promise of Heaven for all eternity.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

I want to ask that every head to be bowed and that every hour would be closed. And I'm going to ask you this morning, just to be honest with the Lord Have you ever had that personal moment with Jesus to where that it was more than just go into a church service or just going through the motions of a worship gathering, but where you really, truly said, God, I see what you did for me on the cross I see that you took the wrath for human sin and put it on your son so that I wouldn't have to die, so that I wouldn't have to know an eternity in eternal darkness, but that I could no life and life everlasting. I could no heaven.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

So Jesus right now I lift my hand and I surrender my life to you. I'm done living my own way. I'm done living after my own agenda. I'm done chasing my own ambition. Jesus. Today I want to become a true and real follower of you. And even right now, I begin to confess my sins. I begin to admit the places where I've failed, the places where I've come up short and God, I just pray that those sins would be removed from my life and my records and that they would be placed on the cross of Jesus would I thank you for salvation I Now, if that resonates with you, if that speaks to you, if you need that moment, please be bold Scripture tells us that we can boldly come before the throne of grace. Right now the enemy's lying to some of you is telling you you need to get this fix. You need to get that fix. You need to get this worked out. You need it that it's a lie. You don't get good to get God. You get God to get good. If you could fix it, you wouldn't need him. We need him cry out to Jesus as your Savior. Acknowledge Him as your Lord. Pledge your life to Jesus Jesus. Father, we come to you right now and we thank you that you will make us a new creature. We thank you that you'll forgive us of our sins.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

We thank you that you'll give us clean hands and a pure heart and a renewed mind. Thank you, God, that you'll make us as sure for heaven as if we were already there. Thank you, Lord, for the blood that wipes away our sin in Jesus name. This church said, Would you stand with me to your feet all over this room?

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

I want to say this to you. If you prayed that prayer just a moment ago, it's not a small thing. If you felt the Spirit of God dealing with you. It's not a small thing. And I would just encourage you. Please tell somebody, confess it to somebody. Hey, I went all in with Jesus today. I'm following Jesus from this point forward, the next step for you is public baptism.

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