Are You On the Right Side of History?

Learning The Importance Of Living For God And Not The World

Dan Franklin
Dec 12, 2021    40m
favorite_border
FAVORITE
We often worry about what others think about us, but this message reminds us of the importance of living for God and not the world. Walking with Jesus puts us on the wrong side of the opinion of people who never knew you existed, but living for the God who made you and saved you provides eternal rewards and pleasure. Video recorded at Upland, California.

More From This Message

Intro: [00:00:00] Hey, there. Thanks so much for checking out one of our messages here at Life Bible Fellowship Church. And we know there are two great ways you can connect with us. You can visit our website at LBF.church to learn more about all of our ministries and what we believe. And also, you can subscribe to us on YouTube to make sure that you don't miss one of our future videos.

Dan Franklin: [00:00:19] I'm going to start off this morning by reading the passage that we're going to go through in this final week of Strongholds. It's Hebrews Chapter 13 verses 11 through 14, so if you brought a Bible, or if you're using your phone to follow along in the Bible, you can go ahead and get there now because that's where we're going to be this morning.

Dan Franklin: [00:00:36] Hebrews Chapter 13 verses 11 through 14, "The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. 12And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. 13Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. 14For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come." This is God's word.

Dan Franklin: [00:01:20] And as Phil mentioned earlier, we're in our final week of this series that we've called Strongholds. And the title of the series is based on a couple of verses in the book of Second Corinthians, Second Corinthians Chapter 10 verses 4 and 5, and I thought it was worthwhile to read through those again to remember what we've been doing. In verse 4, the Apostle Paul writes, "The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds." And then in verse 5, he gives us some insight into what those strongholds are. He says, "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." Arguments, pretensions, thoughts, Paul, when he's talking about strongholds, what he's talking about is ideas, he's talking about beliefs, and specifically cultural beliefs, that become widespread. And if they're false, if they're raising themselves up against the knowledge of Christ, they're leading us into darkness and confusion. But the good news is that Paul says that those strongholds can be demolished, and they're demolished by the word of God.

Dan Franklin: [00:02:45] And so what we've done each week throughout this series, is we've talked about a different cultural idea, a different cultural belief that's widespread and that's widely held not just by non-Christians, but often also by Christians, and we've had it run up against what the word of God says so that we can have strongholds taken down and so that we can walk in the light of what God has revealed.

Dan Franklin: [00:03:11] And for this final week in the Stronghold series, the cultural idea that we're going to talk about is the belief that we need to be on the right side of history. This is a phrase that's become common, and what it basically means when you're talking about the right side of history or the wrong side of history, it means that we believe that one day people in the future will look back on us and we want to make sure that they look back on us with favor. That they don't look back on us and despise us because of where we stood on certain issues, but that they look back on us and approve of us based on where we've stood on certain issues.

Dan Franklin: [00:03:48] And over probably the last 20 years, this phrase has just become common vernacular, just commonly used in talking about where we stand on different issues. And I'll say off the bat, I think it's an understandable concern to have because we know that for all of us, we look back on certain people in the past and despise them because of where they've stood on certain issues.

Dan Franklin: [00:04:11] You can look back to World War Two, and Winston Churchill in England looking to rally the country to oppose Hitler and going up against the opposition of many of his fellow countrymen who just wanted to appease Hitler because they didn't see him as any big deal. Were they wrong? They were wrong. And we look back on them and we say, how could they get that so wrong? We look back on our country's history and we look at people who advocated for slavery or who advocated for segregation, and again, we look at them and say, how could they get it that wrong? We look back on certain people and we despise them because they were on the wrong side of certain cultural subjects. And so it's a real concern, it's understandable if you're saying, I don't want people to look back in the future and despise me because of where I stand, so I need to make sure that I'm on the right side of history.

Dan Franklin: [00:05:02] There's just a couple of initial problems with this, though, and the first is this, we don't know how history will look back on any of us. We can think that we do, but it's kind of weird right now for one person living right now to say to another person living right now, you're on the wrong side of history because they're not at this point. The only thing that they're on the wrong side of currently is public opinion. So let's have a little bit of humility to say, we don't know what future generations are going to say about us and how they're going to look back on us in certain subjects.

Dan Franklin: [00:05:33] But also, let's just say we could, let's say we could figure it out, we could look into the future, and we knew exactly what future generations were going to say about us and about where we stood on certain issues. Even if we knew how people were going to look back on us, this is still a godless way of looking at the world. The fact is, that we need to all realize, is that we do not seek the approval of history, we seek the approval of God. We don't seek to win the favor of people who will live after us, we seek to live before the living God and whatever he says, and wherever that puts us, on different subjects.

Dan Franklin: [00:06:17] And here's what we all need to know, if you follow Jesus, if you walk with Jesus, I can guarantee you that there are going to be times where it will put you on the wrong side of public opinion, it'll put you on the wrong side of public consensus. And if we're going to walk with Jesus, we need to be able to withstand this temptation, this concern, this feeling, this pull, that I've got to be on the right side of history, which what we usually mean is I've got to be on the right side of public opinion.

Dan Franklin: [00:06:47] And so we've got a passage this morning, we've got a great passage in Hebrews Chapter 13. We've already read it through, and what we're going to see in these four verses, is we're going to see three profound truths that help us to be able to stay strong and resist the pull to feel like we've got to be on the right side of history, and the right side of public opinion.

Dan Franklin: [00:07:12] So the first profound truth, we're going to see it in verses 11 and 12, and the writer of Hebrews kind of builds to it starting in verse 11. He says this, "The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp." All right, so who feels like this is coming out of nowhere? You guys are like, what are we even talking about? And that's what happens any time you open the Bible to the middle of a chapter and just start reading, to some degree. But here's what you need to know, even if we have started at the beginning of Hebrews Chapter 13, even if we had started and read verses 1 through 10 before this, this would still feel like it's a little bit coming out of nowhere. Because in Hebrews Chapter 13, it's the final chapter of the letter, and the author is sort of rapid-fire giving final excerpts, exhortations, and final instructions.

Dan Franklin: [00:08:03] So Verse 11 is the start of this subject. But here's something, if we know this about Hebrews, this is going to help us with this passage. In the Book of Hebrews, the author is constantly contrasting the old with the new. He keeps talking about life under the Old Covenant, which is under the law of Moses, with life under the New Covenant, which is for those of us who have placed our faith in Jesus. And he keeps contrasting them, he says, all right in the Old Covenant, we had animal sacrifices, but in the New Covenant, Jesus is our one sacrifice, and we don't need to sacrifice anymore. Amen. Praise God. He says in the Old Covenant, we had priests who went between us and God, but now in Jesus, in the New Covenant, we have one high priest who connects us to God. He says in the Old Covenant, we had a Sabbath where we had the day where we would experience rest, but Jesus came, and under the New Covenant, we are in perpetual rest, every day is a Sabbath because we've been forgiven of all of our sins.

Dan Franklin: [00:09:03] He keeps going back and forth, the old and the new, and that's what he's doing here. Verses 11 and 12 are going to be a contrast between the old and the new, and he starts with the old and he says, let me tell you something about how the Old Testament people experienced sacrifice. The priest would bring the blood of the sacrifice into the temple, into the Most Holy place, so that atonement could be made because there needed to be a sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins. He says, but the bodies of the animals were buried outside the camp.

Dan Franklin: [00:09:32] And we're going to zero in on that phrase, outside the camp, because outside the camp was not where anybody wanted to be. The camp was the nation of Israel, the camp was the people of God, God dwelling in their midst, nobody wanted to be outside the camp. And the whole thing that he talks about here with the animals’ bodies being buried outside the camp is rooted in scripture. Let's look at Leviticus chapter 16 verse 27, speaking of the Jewish holiday, the Day of Atonement, and describes it this way, "The bull and the goat for the sin offerings, whose blood was brought into the Most Holy Place to make atonement, must be taken outside the camp; their hides, flesh and intestines are to be burned up." And they were taken outside the camp and buried outside the camp because they were considered unclean, and it wasn't appropriate for them to be inside the camp where people could be contaminated by something unclean.

Dan Franklin: [00:10:34] But if you read through the Old Testament, to this point, you're like, I'm not too worried about being outside the camp because apparently, the only thing buried outside the camp is animal bodies. But that's not true, because if you read through the Old Testament, this is a refrain, this is something that comes up again and again. I'll put up Numbers chapter 5 verses 2 and 3, which describes this. He says, “Command the Israelites to send away from the camp anyone who has a defiling skin disease or a discharge of any kind, or who is ceremonially unclean because of a dead body. 3Send away male and female alike; send them outside the camp so they will not defile their camp, where I dwell among them.” Outside the camp, and again, outside the camp was not where you wanted to be. Outside the camp means that in a sense you were considered unclean, and you needed to be out there so you didn't contaminate everybody else. Even if it was temporary that you were outside the camp, that sense of temporary rejection still set in. That you shouldn't be included in the polite society of the people of Israel, you need to be relegated to being outside the camp.

Dan Franklin: [00:11:47] We don't do this really today, but any of your parents ever had a kid playing outside, rolling around in the dirt and in the mud, and they start to run Back in the house, and before they get to the house, you stop them and you say, take off those shoes, leave them outside, don't make everything dirty by bringing that inside. Outside the camp was where unclean things were, and so that all leads into the new.

Dan Franklin: [00:12:14] We're moving from the old to the new, verse 12, "And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood." Outside the camp, outside the gate, Jesus was treated as an unclean thing. John chapter 19, verse 20 doubles down, just supports what the author of Hebrews is saying here, is saying that when Jesus was crucified, he was crucified near the city, near the city of Jerusalem. And if you're near the city, you're not inside the city, you're outside the city. And he's drawing this parallel, he's saying the unclean things were put outside the camp, Jesus wasn't even thought to be worthy to be executed inside the camp, he was outside, outside the city gates. He was treated as somebody who is unclean, treated as somebody who was to be rejected, treated as somebody who wasn't worthy of being engaged in polite Israelite society.

Dan Franklin: [00:13:17] And this all leads to the first truth that the author really wants us to get when we feel that pull of saying I've got to be on the right side of history, I've got to be on the right side of public opinion, he wants to make sure that we know that our Savior was on the wrong side of history. Our Savior, Jesus, was quite literally God-forsaken. Have you ever used that phrase? This God-forsaken place where there's nothing to do, or this God-forsaken building that nobody's lived in for years. Jesus was literally God-forsaken. "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Jesus was rejected and crucified and put outside of the city and treated like an unclean thing.

Dan Franklin: [00:14:04] And here's the deal, here's what I want to make sure we don't miss from this. If there's nothing else that we should take from what the author of Hebrews is saying right here, we should take this, the masses can be horrifically wrong. When Jesus was crucified, they were literally chanting for his death. And when there's a death threat that happens with somebody today in our society, we take it really seriously, it's like a school is shut down, or a place of employment is shut down, and people are investigated. Jesus had people chanting for his death. Jesus did something unique and that said he united the Jews and the Romans who didn't agree on very much, but they all agreed that Jesus needed to be put to death, they chanted for his death. And we need to all take in and make sure we remember just how wrong the masses can get it.

Dan Franklin: [00:14:56] Jesus was on the wrong side of public opinion, in a way you could say he was on the wrong side of history, but I want to make sure that we don't forget that there was another opinion about Jesus out there. Let me read Philippians chapter 2 verses 6 through 11 for us, speaking of Jesus, it says, "Who, being in very nature a God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature b of a servant, being made in human likeness." Which is what we celebrate in Advent, the Son of God being made in human likeness, "And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!" Rejected by the masses, but there was another opinion about Jesus. "Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Now real quick, the opinion of the masses and the opinion of God, which opinion won? Jesus is fully exalted; we are still singing his praises today. Let's not forget just how wrong the masses can get it, and let's make sure that as people who trust in God, we are not bullied by the masses into just going along with what's the consensus?

Dan Franklin: [00:16:30] And by the way, just to clarify, what I don't mean by this is don't be bullied by the masses, just go with your gut. We don't go with your gut, your gut is probably wrong, too. I'm not saying when the masses say one thing, you're going to say, I'm going to ignore all scientific proof and all evidence, and I'm just going to go with my gut. What instead you're saying is, when it's the consensus of the world and the word of the living God, I'm going to trust that God's got it right and the masses have it wrong. Romans chapter 3 verse 4, Paul says, "May God be true, and every man be a liar." We trust in God because our Savior was considered to be on the wrong side of history, that's the first profound truth that we get to grab a hold of.

Dan Franklin: [00:17:16] And the second one connects to it, because it connects to how we respond to it. So we see in verse 13, not only was our Savior on the wrong side of history, but for us, our path is on the wrong side of history because our path is to go join Jesus where he is. Verse 13 of Hebrews chapter 13 says, "Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore." Let us go to Him, once again, outside the camp. Who wants to be outside the camp? Nobody wants to be outside the camp, outside the camp is when you're excluded from the life of the people of God, when you're excluded from polite society. Nobody wants to be outside of the camp, but the author of Hebrews says that's where Jesus is, and that's where we're going. We're going to be willing to be considered unclean by going to where Jesus is.

Dan Franklin: [00:18:15] And by the way, let's not miss, so the book of Hebrews almost certainly was written to Jewish Christians in the first century. And if you were a Jew in the first century who put your faith in Jesus, probably what you thought was going to happen is that pretty soon all Jewish people were going to put their faith in Jesus. Because Jesus was promised and the Jewish Scriptures, he was the Jewish Messiah, he'd come to the nation of Israel. So if you put your faith in Jesus as a first-century Jew, you probably thought pretty soon the whole nation is going to come to believe in Jesus. But some years go by and you begin to realize that's not how things are trending, the nation as a whole has rejected Jesus. And you start to realize, also, not only has the nation as a whole rejected Jesus, the nation as a whole is rejecting Christians. The nation as a whole is considering Jesus to be unclean, and the nation as a whole is considering Christians to be unclean, in particular Jewish Christians who are seen as sort of traitors or apostates.

Dan Franklin: [00:19:13] So what the author of Hebrews is saying here, this is very real, there is real bullets going on here with these first-century Jewish Christians. Because when he's saying to them, Let's go outside the camp, what he's basically saying is, be willing to be on the other side, on the wrong side, of your entire nation. Be willing to be outside of your own countrymen, and maybe your own family being. Be willing, be to be called not a true Jew because you've put your faith in Jesus. The whole idea of the reproach that he's talked about, the disgrace that he talks about, is very real to them.

Dan Franklin: [00:19:50] And let me just highlight for that, he says, "Let's go to him bearing the disgrace he bore." Let's go to Him and going to him basically means we're going where Jesus is, we're trusting him, we're putting our faith in him, we're willing to publicly be identified with him, saying he is our Lord. That we don't just believe that Jesus was a really gifted teacher, and we don't just celebrate Christmas because he was this unique human being that showed the world what love is, we believe Jesus is Lord. We believe that Jesus' death covered all of our sins, we believe that Jesus' resurrection really happened, and we believe that one day the physical feet of that same Jesus are going to come back down on this earth, and he's going to be the final King. We go to Jesus. And going to Jesus also means this, it means that we embrace everything that he said as if it's true, and it also means that we are willing to repeat the things that he says and to say that those things are true. That's what it means to go to Jesus, and we all just need to know if we're going to stand with Jesus, and if we're going to say that what Jesus said is true, then we will end up bearing the disgrace that he bore.

Dan Franklin: [00:21:04] We've already talked about this a little bit, but Jesus bore disgrace, he was treated as if he had something to be ashamed of. Most prominently on the cross, where criminals were executed, but also throughout his life. Jesus was accused of being a glutton and a drunkard. Now a quick question, was he? No, he wasn't a glutton, and he wasn't a drunkard, but he hung around enough of them that he just got guilt by association. He was called a glutton and a drunkard, not only that, he was called a friend of tax collectors and prostitutes. Now, was he? Yeah, in that case, he was, very much the accusation stuck. And he wasn't a friend of tax collectors and sinners because he just endorsed a loose lifestyle, it was because he was bringing God's grace to the most broken people in the world and showing how desperately we all need God's grace.

Dan Franklin: [00:22:00] Jesus was even accused of being demon-possessed. He was casting out demons, and some of the Pharisees said, well, the only reason he's able to cast out demons is because he himself has a demon in him. In fact, listen to what Jesus said in Matthew chapter 10 verse 25, he said to his disciples, "It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul..." Which is a demon's name, "...how much more the members of his household!" In other words, he's saying to his disciples, and he's saying to all of us, if they called me names, how much more are they going to call you names? We go to Jesus, and we anticipate that we are going to bear the disgrace that he bore. We know that living for Jesus is going to put us on the wrong side of public opinion frequently

Dan Franklin: [00:22:49] Now an important point of clarification, sometimes we can end up being on the wrong side of people, and we assume that it's because we're standing for Jesus and it's not. We want to make sure the disgrace that we're burying is his disgrace and not disgrace over something else. So right now in our contentious world, you could be somebody that's saying, you know what, I'm willing to be on the wrong side of people, I'm willing to have people mad at me, and so I'm going to tell everybody who's unvaccinated, you've got to go out and get vaccinated. You're not doing your job, you're supposed to protect other people, so if you're not vaccinated, go out and get vaccinated, and I don't care who gets mad at me, I don't care how many friends I lose, I'm willing to bear the disgrace of Jesus over this. You are not bearing the disgrace of Jesus; you're bearing the disgrace of being a 35-year-old hall monitor that can't leave other people alone. Don't blame this on Jesus. And just before you clap, let's talk about the other side. So if you're on the other side and you're like, oh, I cannot believe my friends are getting vaccinated, this is so dumb, this experimental new vaccine. I'm going to make sure everybody knows that if you got vaccinated, you just went with the crowd, you're just a sheep, you just listen to the government. I'm going to make sure all of them, I don't care how many friends I lose, I don't care what it cost me, I'm going to be willing to bear the disgrace of Jesus. You are not bearing the disgrace of Jesus, you're bearing the disgrace of being a jerk, don't blame this on Jesus.

Dan Franklin: [00:24:21] Now, with that said, if you do go to Jesus, you will bear his disgrace, even if you're as kind and compassionate and gentle as you can possibly be. In fact, I'll say this, and this is a little bit sad to say, but even if all you do is tell the biblical truth to other people who claim to be Christians, you will end up bearing the disgrace of Jesus because you'll fall out of favor pretty quickly.

Dan Franklin: [00:24:52] I remember, this was probably about five years ago that this happened, but I ran into somebody who at the time was a part of our church family. And I knew there was kind of some chaotic things going on in his life, and he updated me and said that he and his wife were separated, it wasn't going well, it was probably headed towards divorce. Which he kind of said, yeah, I think she wants this, and I've been trying to hold on and make things work, but she's just been really difficult, so I think divorce is the way to go. And he sort of looked at me as if like, right? And I said, well, no, that's not what I think. You may end up in a situation where you don't have a choice over the matter, but I think you will always regret it if you don't fight with everything in you to keep your family together, that's your calling as a man, that's your calling as a believer. And he kind of said, yeah, yeah, I hear you, and then went on to talk for another five minutes about how that probably wouldn't work, and his wife really probably wanted to get a divorce, and she was making things difficult so that he would pull the trigger. And he sort of looked at me and said, I guess I should probably just go ahead and do it. And again, he looked at me as if, right? I said, well, nothing's changed for me in the last five minutes, so no, I don't think that's right. I think you will always regret it. You will always look back on it with regret, if you don't fight with everything that you have to hold your family together, that's your God's calling for you as a man, that's God's calling for you as a believer. And we went through this routine probably four or five times, each time, him getting more and more frustrated that I wouldn't cosign his divorce.

Dan Franklin: [00:26:18] Here's what we need to understand, even if you're just telling the truth to other Christians, saying, hey, you know you shouldn't be sleeping with him, you're not married. Hey, you shouldn't be doing that, you shouldn't be getting drunk in this way. Whatever it is, you shouldn't be treating your parents in that way. Whatever it is that you're saying to them, eventually you are going to fall out of favor for people if you're just telling other people who claim to be Christians the Biblical truth, let alone when you're talking more widely, when you are proclaiming the Gospel, it is Good News, and it's also offensive news. Because for anybody to embrace the Gospel, they have to let go of some of the strongholds we've talked about earlier. They have to let go of the belief that they are a good person, and they have to let go of the belief that their biggest problem is that they don't love themselves enough. They are going to find out that they are filled with self-love, that they are not a good person, that they need to be rescued by the Son of God, that they needed the Son of God to die a bloody death to bring them forgiveness of sins. If you simply tell the truth of what Jesus has said, you will end up on the wrong side of public opinion.

Dan Franklin: [00:27:23] And a quick side note on this also, this is the way that you can know who your true friends are. Your true friends are not the people who just tell you you're right, your true friends are the people who are willing to lose their friendship with you by telling you the truth. And by the way, when your friends just go around telling you that you're right about stuff you're not right about, they're not doing that because they love you, they're doing that because they love themselves and they hate conflict. As a conflict avoider, I know this game. Don't think that oh they just love me so much, they couldn't tell me this hard truth. No, they love themselves so much that they couldn't deal with your displeasure. This is how you know where your true friends are, that they're willing to tell you hard truths and risk losing your disfavor. If we just walk with Jesus, we'll end up on the wrong side of public opinion,

Dan Franklin: [00:28:20] Which again, as we look at that, we might say this isn't a very inviting picture that's being painted so far. Like, let's go to Jesus, and we're going to suffer disgrace, we're going to have reproach, we're going to be rejected, we're going to be put outside the camp and be told that we can't participate in polite society because of these views that we hold. We're going to be called gullible, we're going to be called bigoted, we're going to be called judgmental and holier than thou, all that will happen, so why in the world would we do it?

Dan Franklin: [00:28:46] The author of Hebrews gives us a third beautiful truth and tells us that there is hope that leads us to this. He says, Our Savior is on the wrong side of history, our path is on the wrong side of history, but our hope is in the King of history. Our hope is not that one-day future generations will look back on us with favor, our hope is that the King of all history will bring his final reward. So Verse 14 says, “For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come." We even talked about this a little bit last week, the idea that we're exiles as Christians, we're scattered around the countries. Those of us in the United States, we're exiles in the United States, which means that sometimes we live in the United States as if we don't really belong here and we feel out of place in the United States.

Dan Franklin: [00:29:41] He says. "Here we don't have an enduring city." And again, think of this, speaking to first century Jewish Christians who are saying, maybe I just go back to Judaism, and maybe I just go back, my family would welcome you with open arms, I'd get to participate in the life of my country, it probably is the better path. And Paul is saying now hold on, remember, we don't have an enduring city here, we're living in a passing world right here. But he says, "But we're looking for the city that is to come."

Dan Franklin: [00:30:10] And this isn't the first time the author of Hebrews mentioned this, back in chapter 11 verse 10, speaking of Abraham, he says, "For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God." Six verses later in verse 16, when he's talking about all of the believers in the Old Testament he says," Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them." We are looking ahead to an eternal city, we are looking ahead to an eternal home, which means that we live our lives now, anticipating that the final reward that's brought for us will outweigh anything that we've lost along the way.

Dan Franklin: [00:31:05] Many of us in the church during this advent season have been going through a devotional by Matt and Lauren Chandler, my family has, and I know a lot of your families have also. And if you're going through that, one of the passages that we read just this last week was the angel's announcement to Mary that she was going to have a child. I don't know if you've spent time really taking in the stakes of that statement to Mary. Because we rejoice and we think, hey, when you get a pregnancy announcement, a lot of times you're excited about it, not when you're an unmarried woman in first-century Israel. You think, now, even in our very permissive culture in Southern California, in 2021, still, if somebody gets pregnant and they're not married, that there still can be some stigma that goes along with that. In first-century Israel, it was much, much more severe.

Dan Franklin: [00:31:55] So, Mary, when she gets this announcement, you got to believe she knows she's going to be despised. She knows that there's going to be some disgrace, there's going to be sneers, there's going to be whispers, about the fact that she got pregnant before she and Joseph were married. In fact, there's Biblical evidence that some of the sneering and some of these whispers continued not just while she was pregnant, but throughout her life, where the Pharisees referred to Jesus as somebody who was born in sin. Mary had a sense, you've got to believe that she had a sense, this is what I'm about to experience, I'm about to experience being despised by people around me. And yet, she has the faith to say, I am the Lord's servant, let it be done to me according to his word. She has the faith, in essence, to go to Jesus in this moment, and to know that there's going to be public disgrace that comes along with that. How in the world can Mary do that? I think there's two reasons.

Dan Franklin: [00:32:59] The first is this, I think Mary was a young woman of faith who knew enough about God to know that any loss along the way that you suffered when you're following him is more than made up for. She believed the basic thing that was said in Hebrews Chapter 11 verse 6, that in order to go to God, you've got to believe that he exists, and you've got to believe that he is a reward or of those who diligently seek him. I think Mary looked at this and said I don't know all the ins and outs of this, but I know who God is, and I know that he rewards those who walk with him by faith. I think that's the first reason why she could do it.

Dan Franklin: [00:33:33] And the second reason why I think she could do it is, because just think about Mary's life for a second, no doubt there were the sneers, and no doubt there were the whispers, and there was difficulty that she faced. But do you know what Mary got to do for the next 33 years? She got to be with Jesus. She got to be with Jesus day in and day out, she got to hear his voice, she got to experience his wisdom, she got to see his power and his miracles, she even got to experience his deep, compassionate love because some of his last words on the cross were telling the Apostle John to take care of her after he was gone. She got to be with Jesus day in and day out.

Dan Franklin: [00:34:20] And to me, it's such an amazing parallel of how we think of our lives now. We take this in with sobriety, and we say, you know what, if I'm on the wrong side of public opinion, that's going to be hard, I may lose friends, I may lose job opportunities, I may not get invited to certain things, I might be called certain names, there's going to be some losses along the way, but I trust that God is more than able to make up for those losses. And also, if I go to Jesus, you know who I get to be with every day? I get to be with Jesus. Have you ever experienced in just a moment of your life, really experienced in the deepest part of yourself, that you have been forgiven because of what Jesus did for you? It's overwhelming. it makes us cry, it gives us joy, when we experience the love of Jesus in that profound way. You ever experience the power of Jesus in your life, that you prayed for something that seemed impossible, and you saw him come through in a triumphant way? We get to walk with Jesus. We get to walk with Jesus in his wisdom, and read the word, and be amazed at his knowledge and by his insights, we get to be with Jesus every day of our lives. Even if the entire world is against us, we get to be with Jesus.

Dan Franklin: [00:35:41] We recognize that right now we're not going to experience being at home in this world, but we know that we have hope for the future, and we know we have Jesus with us in the present. Brothers and sisters, don't live under the tyranny of needing to be on the right side of history. Don't live under the tyranny of needing to try to get future people that don't currently exist to look back on you and approve of you now. By the way, and this might feel deflating, do you know what history is going to say about you? Nothing, nobody's going to remember you. The idea, the audacity of thinking, man, in 30 years after I'm dead, what are people going to say about Dan Franklin? Nothing. Maybe I'll have, God willing, I'll have some grandkids around that are like, oh yeah, I remember him. Nobody's going to remember me, nobody's going to remember you, very few of us are going to be remembered in any way by history. We are running on a hamster wheel trying to get the approval of people that don't yet exist, and we'll never know our names.

Dan Franklin: [00:36:47] And it might even feel like, well, gosh, that's harsh, history is going to forget me, nobody's going to remember me? Well, somebody's going to remember you, somebody knows every hair on your head, somebody knit you together in your mother's womb, somebody knows your name, somebody knows your darkest secrets and the worst things that you've ever done and still loves you profoundly. Are you going to live trying to get the approval of not yet born people who will never know you existed, or are you going to live looking to experience the pleasure of the God who made you and saved you and called you?

Dan Franklin: [00:37:29] Here's what I want to do before I close in prayer. I'm going to ask you just go ahead and bow your heads now, and we're just going to take a couple of minutes of quiet. Maybe there's some way that you need to obey right now, the command in Hebrews 13, and go to Jesus. Maybe there's a problem that you've been trying to work out on your own strength. Maybe there's a prayer request that you've given up on. Maybe there's a conversation with somebody that you need to have and you don't want to because you know you're going to get their disapproval when you talk to them about it. But what I want to do right now, is we're just going to take some quiet minutes and think and prayerfully go to Jesus about whatever you need to go to Jesus about.

Dan Franklin: [00:38:47] Father, thank you for the privilege of coming to Jesus. Father, please help us never to be ashamed to be associated with Jesus, but always to take pleasure in the idea that we would be put in the same sentence as him. Father, forgive us of the times that we've chickened out, and we've loved the approval of other people more than loving your pleasure in us. We pray that you empower us, by faith, to be willing to bear the disgrace of Jesus, knowing that your opinion is the only one that counts. Father, we pray that you bring about miraculous transformation in our lives. We pray that the light of Jesus will shine all the more brightly because we don't shy away from being associated with him. We pray in our great Saviors' name, Amen.

Dan Franklin: [00:39:38] I'm going to ask you just to close our service, I'm going to ask you to stand as I read a word of benediction over us. And as I do that, you might have already noticed, we got some elders, and we've got some people who are going to be on either side of the stage, maybe for you, part of going to Jesus today is that you need to go to talk to a brother or sister in Christ and pray about what's going on with you.

Dan Franklin: [00:39:57] But let me read just a few verses after our passage, a benediction from the Book of Hebrews, chapter 13 verses 20 and 21, "Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Amen. God bless you the rest of this Sunday.



Recorded in Upland, California.
Read More

Previous Videos in this Series

View all in this series
Life Bible Fellowship Church
2426 N Euclid Ave
Upland, California 91786
(909) 981-4848