You Don't Need the Admiration of Others

The Cost Of Walking In Faith Will Be Losing The Admiration Of Others

Dan Franklin
Mar 6, 2022    42m
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We live in a culture that values the approval of others, so it may be scary to realize that the cost of walking in faith will be losing the admiration of others. But this message of hope reminds us that the rewards for walking in faith include the promise of eternal life and being righteous in God's eyes. Video recorded at Upland, California.

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Dan Franklin: [00:00:19] We're going to be spending today, and then the four weeks after today, in a series that we're calling The Cost of Faith. And in some ways, this is kind of timely, and not everybody, I know not everybody in here, but a lot of us in here are observing Lent right now. Which is not something that you have to do, it's not something commanded in the Bible, but something that a lot of us do in order to have this time of preparation for Good Friday and Easter, where we're giving something up in order to just increase our longing for God. So, we're recognizing when we do that that there is sort of a cost, that there's a price that has to be paid if we're really going to experience all that God has for us in Jesus, there's a cost to faith.

Dan Franklin: [00:00:59] And we're going to spend today, and then the four weeks afterwards, in a five-week series, going through some passages in Hebrews chapter 11, looking at how men and women walked by faith and what it cost them.

Dan Franklin: [00:01:11] And today for the scripture reading, it's just going to be one verse, I'm going to actually ask you to stand for it. I know you just sat, but we're going to stand for God's word as I read it for us. It's Hebrews chapter 11 verse seven, and I'll read it for us now, "By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith." This is the Word of God. You can be seated now.

Dan Franklin: [00:01:53] And as you can see, just one verse, some of you are like one verse, great, we're going to get out early. Don't count on it, we've got a lot that we get to talk about in this one verse, in not only introducing this whole concept of talking about what it's like to walk by faith, which in some ways you're like, all right, we're talking about faith, we talk about that every single week. You can't talk about the Christian life without talking about faith, and that's true, but we're going to zero in on it in some unique ways.

Dan Franklin: [00:02:20] And let me just ask in getting started in this, how many of you would like to have stronger faith in your life? Yeah, that's part of why we're here. You're like, I'm here because I want stronger faith, I want to grow in my faith. This series is going to walk us through the fact that if we really want that, if we say we want that, and if we really do want that, it's going to cost us something. And with each passage that we go through we're going to see a different way, that for a man or a woman to walk by faith, there was a cost. And just as a spoiler, the reward always outpaces the cost that we pay to walk by faith.

Dan Franklin: [00:03:00] So eventually we're going to get in Noah, in just this one verse, we're going to get to what it cost him to walk by faith, but first, we're going to ramp up to it a little bit by seeing how he got there. And so I'm going to have the verse up here, and just at different points, I'll have different parts of it highlighted because what we see right off the bat in here, is we see a call to faith that Noah received. In the first part of verse 7, it says, "By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen."

Dan Franklin: [00:03:29] Now, a quick note, here's why this is really important, this phrase here. If you have an open Bible to Hebrews 11, which I encourage you to do if you have a Bible on you, and you look back just a few verses, Hebrews 11 starts with a definition of what faith is. Which is important because we don't always know if we're talking about the same thing. But Hebrews 11:1 says, "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.". "Noah, when warned about things not yet seen.", this is playing right into the definition of faith.

Dan Franklin: [00:04:03] And if you listen to that definition of faith, it was two ways of saying the same thing, which is basically this, faith is when we live as if we're certain about something we're not certain about. Faith is not a blind leap, but faith is an unproven step. We walk by faith when we act, when we live, as if we're certain about something that we're not certain about. And by the way, I know we use these phrases in our culture today, people will talk about the fact that in our country we have people of faith. We have Jews, we have Christians, we have Muslims, we have other religions, we have people of faith, we are all people of faith. If you're an atheist, you're a person of faith, and let me tell you why, nobody can live without acting like your certain about things that you're not certain about. Nobody ever gets on an airplane and checks the credentials of the pilot beforehand, you act as if you're certain that the pilot knows what they're doing, even though you can't prove that.

Dan Franklin: [00:05:11] Do you want to get even deeper? Some of you may have heard an interview that Elon Musk gave a couple of years ago where he surmised, he theorized, that reality, as we experience it, is highly likely a simulation, a simulation that either aliens or some higher being have put us in. Sort of like The Matrix, if you ever saw that, that that's what we're living in. Now, we can laugh at that and say that's silly, can you prove he's wrong? You can't, but you live as if you're certain. You live as if you're certain that the sun is going to rise even though you can't prove it. You live as if you're still going to be around next week to do what you're planning to do, even though you can't prove it. Nobody can live without acting like we're certain about stuff that we're actually not certain about. Faith is not a blind leap, but faith is an unproven step. And the question for all of us is not whether or not we will have faith, we will, it's where our faith is going to be.

Dan Franklin: [00:06:05] And Noah's call to faith was a warning about things not yet seen. And we know what that warning was because it shows up in Genesis chapter 6 verse 17, God speaks to him and says, "I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish." For many of you, you're like, yeah, we know, we saw Noah. We know, ark, flood, it's a famous story. And so God comes to Noah and speaks to him and says, I'm going to flood the earth. It talks beforehand in Genesis about how wicked and evil and violent the Earth was, and so God is the creator, God is also the judge. He says, I'm bringing judgment, and I'm going to bring judgment through a flood.

Dan Franklin: [00:06:55] Now, just the last thing on this before we look at how Noah responded. If just a guy had come up to Noah and said, hey, pretty soon there's going to be a flood that wipes out all life on the earth. Noah's response probably would have been, not likely. And the reason I bring this up is because faith often requires us to act as if for certain about something that's not only unproven, but that coming from any other source, we'd say not likely. Noah didn't simply believe this because some guy told him, Noah only believed this because God had told him. And if you're going to walk by faith, it means that there's going to be a lot of things that you're going to take as fact, that coming from any other source, you'd say, unlikely.

Dan Franklin: [00:07:40] Have you been reading through Proverbs, have you guys have been reading through this, some of you guys? Sometimes it's even just in Proverbs, you get to a Proverb, and it says, "A quiet answer turns away wrath." And don't take your own revenge, and that the better path is not to take revenge, but to forgive other people." And sometimes we read that and we're like, not likely. Faith is trusting God and acting as if we're certain that he's right, even when it seems unlikely, and that's what Noah was called to do.

Dan Franklin: [00:08:06] So let's look at how he responded, because, in the second part of verse 7, we get his response of faith. The whole thing, "By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family." And again, we say, yeah, we know this, we're familiar with the story, but just imagine this man in the middle of the desert building a boat. This is a weird sight, it's a strange thing to do, it wasn't an easy thing to do, it took him a long time to build it. Which gives us another, by the way, about faith, just to say, you know what, if we're going to practice faith, don't expect it to be easy. Don't expect the ask from God to be something that can just get done in a moment, Noah spent an extended amount of time building an ark in the desert, and it says that he did this in order to save his family. God had decided to judge the Earth, but he was going to take Noah, and Noah's wife, and then Noah's three sons, and each of them had a wife, and they were all going to be preserved through the ark.

Dan Franklin: [00:09:03] Noah built this ark for an extended period of time to save his family, but zero in on what it says before that, it says, "In holy fear.". Now, we talked a few weeks ago about the whole concept of the fear of the Lord, and that's something we don't really like in the United States in 2022, we are like fear of the Lord, maybe that's just an Old Testament idea. No, it's not, here it is, Hebrews is in the New Testament. The Old Testament and the New Testament, the fear of the Lord, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, it's the beginning of knowledge, it's the starting point in our relationship with God. And the fear of the Lord does include the element where we're afraid, where we tremble at the idea of being on the wrong side of God. But in a much broader way, what it also includes, is the idea that fearing God means we treat God as the most important thing in all of reality. There's no reality more important than that there is a God. Which by the way, I hope that the reason that you gather on Sundays for church is not because you're like, I need to know the rules. I hope the reason they gather is because you're like, I need to know God. The rules are far less important than the God who is speaking, treating God as the most important reality in existence. This is the calling of all of us, to treat God as the most important reality in all existence.

Dan Franklin: [00:10:23] If you read the Bible beginning to end, Genesis to Revelation, and read all the stories in between, you'll read stories of times that people encountered God in a powerful way, none of them responded casually, people fell on their faces, people started crying, people were sure that they were going to be killed, nobody casually responds to truly encountering God.

Dan Franklin: [00:10:45] And you know, something we've been talking about in the recent weeks, again, whenever we talk about Lent and what we're doing for Lent. I want to reiterate, you don't have to do anything for Lent, you're not disobeying if you just say, Lent, not in the Bible, don't worry about it. But what is in the Bible is fasting, not only is it in the Old Testament, but it's in the New Testament. And in Matthew chapter 9, Jesus expected his followers to fast, and the reason he expected them to fast is because he said, I'm not always going to be right here in the flesh with them, and fasting is a way of saying, I'm longing to be with Jesus. So some of you for Lent, you're fasting from social media, that's you saying, Jesus, I want you more than I want to go check my social media. Jesus, I want you more than I want to veg out on Netflix. Jesus, I want you more than chocolate. Jesus, I want you more than beer, Jesus, I want you more than any of these things, we're cultivating a longing for Jesus.

Dan Franklin: [00:11:40] We talked about this at the Ash Wednesday service, if you were here, but for our church family during the season of Lent, what we're inviting everybody to do, is to actually fast from food on Mondays. Now, some of you know this, some of you don't, but Monday evenings at 7:00, right in this room, we have a group of people that gather together and just seek the Lord in prayer. It's not been something we've talked about a lot from upfront, it's been sort of a grassroots thing of people just saying, we want to gather and seek the Lord in prayer. And so Mondays during Lent, what we're calling and inviting everybody to do, it to say here's the plan for Mondays for this church family. Monday, you get up, you eat breakfast, and then after you eat breakfast, you don't eat again for the rest of the day until after the prayer meeting that we have in here at 7:00. That we use the day to fast from food, to say, Jesus, I want you even more than I want food, and to focus our attention, and then to gather in prayer. Now, once again, you don't have to do this, but let me say, I think that you should do this.

Dan Franklin: [00:12:42] This last week, it just feels like our church has just got trounced. I feel like probably almost every one of us has felt it at some level, there's been something medical, there's been something physical, there's been something relational, where within your marriage or within somebody that you care about, their marriage is having trouble, kids aren't getting along with parents, that we're just getting hit on all kinds of levels. The enemy is playing with real bullets, and if we respond and shrug our shoulders and say, well, okay. We're not going to hold up very well. Us fasting, is like us saying we're playing with real bullets too, we are bringing all that we have to God and saying, God, we are desperate for you to cry out. In holy fear, he built the ark, because he set an example of what it looks like to treat God as the most important reality in existence. In holy fear, he built an ark in response to a warning from God.

Dan Franklin: [00:13:37] Now, we're going to get into where we're really going to camp out, we're going to get into the cost of faith in the middle part of this. A simple statement in the middle of verse 7 says, "By his faith he condemned the world." By his faith he, Noah, condemned the world. Now, I want to bring clarity to this, to make sure we understand what this is saying and what this is not saying. This is not saying Noah made the choice to bring about the flood, that wasn't Noah's choice. Whose choice was that? That was God's choice, God informed Noah of that choice. So what it's not saying is Noah decided that the Earth should be flooded. God decided that the Earth should be flooded. So it's not saying that, but what it does seem to be saying is this, by his very actions of building the ark, Noah's actions reflected that judgment was coming. So he condemned the world by doing something that communicated to the world, Judgment is coming.

Dan Franklin: [00:14:45] In Second Peter chapter 2 verse 5 we read, Peter refers to Noah, and he talks about him as a preacher of righteousness. And that's funny because if you read back through the Genesis account, we don't have any time that we have no talking to anybody about what he was doing in building the ark. It's true, he might have got up when the ark got tall enough, got up on some scaffolding, and just proclaimed everyone what was going to happen, we don't know. He's called a preacher of righteousness, and it said that he condemned the world through what he did. And the point of condemning the world was not saying the world is condemned and there's no hope, the point of condemning the world was saying the world is condemned, God is judging. And by the way, if you read the Bible, frequently when prophets came with messages of judgment, even if they didn't spell it out, the implicit idea was if you repent, things may change.

Dan Franklin: [00:15:38] Guys, remember another famous Bible story, the story of Jonah, another one that involves water. Jonah had a message, if you read Jonah 3, and you read Jonah's message to the people of Nineveh, his message is one sentence long. Maybe he elaborated on it, but what we get is one sentence, and that one sentence is, "Forty days in Nineveh will be overthrown.". He was running around the town, forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown, forty days in Nineveh will be overthrown. Forty days went by, was Nineveh overthrown? No. Do you know why? Because nationally the whole place repented and turned to God and God preserved them.

Dan Franklin: [00:16:16] So what that probably actually means is, that implicit within this, if somebody came knocking on Noah's door, or came to the ark, and said, hey, I want in, I understand, I understand why you're doing this. First of all, Noah wasn't building the ark in secret, people knew he was doing it, and apparently, people knew why he was doing it. So if somebody came knocking on his door and said, hey, I understand, and you're right, we've been terrible and we've been wicked and we've been godless, and we deserve to be judged, and I want to figure out if there's any way for me to get in on this salvation that God is going to bring through this ark. I can't say this with utter certainty, but almost certainly they would have got in on it, they would have been welcomed into the salvation that God is bringing because that's the pattern that we see in other passages. Noah built this ark with everybody knowing he was doing it, and everybody knowing why he was doing it, and he didn't have a single convert. He not only didn't have a single convert, but here’s also the point where we can, I think, make a pretty reasonable guess that Noah became highly unpopular. Because when you condemn people, do you become more popular or less popular?

Dan Franklin: [00:17:23] And here's the funny thing, and I'll say this on a personal level when I thought about the story of Noah and I thought of what it cost him, and the idea that it cost him his standing before other people, the place that my mind always went, was thinking it's because they all thought he was dumb. Like, people are just walking by, like, what is this idiot doing building an ark in the desert, what a fool, and that Noah lost standing because he was dumb. Now, that may be true, but I want to ask you, even in our culture today, you can get away with being dumb and people might still like you. they'll be like, yeah, he's got some weird ideas, not the brightest bulb, but he's a good guy. Here's what you won't hear though, you won't hear people saying, Oh, yeah, Dan, super judgmental, but he's a good guy. Because being judgmental is the number one sin in our culture.

Dan Franklin: [00:18:14] The reason why Noah lost face with people around him was not because they thought he was dumb, it's because they thought he was judgmental because his very actions were announcing to the world, the world is so wicked that God is judging it. And Noah stands as a reminder to all of us, that if we're going to walk by faith, it's going to cost us the approval of others, it's going to cost us the admiration of others, it's going to sometimes cost us friends, it's going to sometimes cost us strain and family relationships. Walking by faith in Jesus will cost you the approval of other people. And for some of you, you're like, no problem, I don't care what anybody thinks of me.

Dan Franklin: [00:18:59] Quick side note, if you're saying that, in my personal experience, chances are that's actually not a good thing. If you're saying I don't even care what people think of me, in my experience, what people normally mean by that is, hey, you know what, as long as I'm okay with me, it doesn't matter what anybody else thinks. As long as I can look in the mirror and be okay with who I am, I don't care what anybody else thinks. Some of you are teaching this to your children. Some of you are saying to your children, hey, if at the end of the day you can look in the mirror and you're okay with yourself, it doesn't matter what anybody else thinks. Stop teaching this to your children and stop believing it, it's not biblical, it's not true. You are not your judge; God is your judge. And living in freedom from having to please other people does not mean that we say, I've only got to please me. Who cares if you please you, you're not God? Living in freedom from the tyranny of needing to please other people doesn't mean that we only please ourselves, it means that we are performing for an audience of one, it means that we say, if I'm doing what God has called me to do, then I can deal with everybody else leaving me behind. So if you're sitting there being like no problem, I don't even care what people think of me. Check yourself, it might not be for the right reason.

Dan Franklin: [00:20:19] But what we do get here, is we get just a glimpse of somebody living this way. And we also get the reminder that for most of us, even though there are some of you that are like, I don't care what people think of me, the rest of us are like, I do, I do care what people think of me. Think just for a moment, just pause and think, how many things right now in your life would you be doing differently if you didn't care at all what people thought of you? Now I'm going to guess for most of us, it's a lot of things, there are a lot of ways that we would be living differently if we really weren't living in the fear of other people. Do you remember how Noah responded? In holy fear, he built an ark, he feared God. And do you know what the number one enemy to fearing God is? Fearing other people and fearing what they're going to say to you in the end.

Dan Franklin: [00:21:11] Now, some of you are listening to this and you're like condemning the world, I don't want to condemn the world, and I don't think it's right for me to live my life sort of condemning the world. Just to bring clarity to this, if you want to condemn the world, if you want to live by faith and you don't want to condemn the world, being a person who condemns the world only requires you to try to live rightly before God. You know, we're not called to perfection, in the sense that God is not anticipating that we are going to live perfectly. Sometimes we talk about holiness, and what we have in our minds is, well, that means perfection, and I'm not perfect. Is anybody here not perfect? All right, some of you guys. We're not perfect. The call to holiness is not a call to perfection, the call to holiness is a calling to be set apart, it's to be different.

Dan Franklin: [00:21:57] That's why I hate that bumper sticker, Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven. If you have that on your car, take it off by the end of today, I'm going to go through the parking lot later with a screwdriver and just start removing it. Here's the reason why that bumper sticker is so wrong, it's true the Christians aren't perfect, but we are much more than just forgiven. And sometimes we even say that we're like, well, I want to non-Christians come around me, and I want them to see me and see my other Christian friends, and I want them to see that we're just like they are. We're just like they are? That's not our calling, our calling is to be holy, our calling is to be different. Our calling is to use money differently than the average person because we're being generous and sacrificial. It's to use our words differently than other people because we're not taking our own revenge, we're not striking back, and we're not lying. It's to approach sexuality differently than other people because we're not just saying whatever makes me feel good, but we're saying that there's restraint and there's holiness before God. We are meant to live differently than the people around us, and if you just live differently than people around you, even if you don't say anything condemning to them, they will feel condemned.

Dan Franklin: [00:23:10] Let me give you a quick story, this happened 12 years ago. My oldest son, Matt, was five years old, and he was about to play T-ball. And so I was at a parent meeting in this pizza place for the T-ball team, and we were waiting for it to start, so I struck up a conversation with the guy next to me. I just started asking him questions, asking him what his story was, and he started talking to me. And then as he talked, he really started to open up, which was kind of cool. He was telling me some pretty personal things, some difficult things that he's been through, and as frequently happens, when people open up and talk about tough things in their lives, the language got a little flowery. It wasn't like I was in a Quentin Tarantino movie, but still, it was like, all right, there were f-bombs flying here and there and it was okay. But I realized something as he was talking, I started to think, oh no, because I knew at some point in the conversation, he's going to ask me what I do for a living, and then he's going to feel really bad. And I knew this, and I started to dread it, and I started to think, well, maybe the meeting will start, and we won't find that, you know, like I was trying to think of some way out of this. But inevitably, after he talked for a while, he paused and he said, wow, I've really talked your ear off and told you all about me, and I know barely anything about you. What do you do for a living? And I said, well, I'm a pastor. I promise you, I'm quoting him exactly, he said, Ohhhh! And then he said, why didn't you tell me at the beginning that you were a pastor? I wouldn't have talked that way. And I told him, don't worry about it, there was nothing in my face, nothing in my body language, nothing in my words, that said, you shouldn't be doing this, but he felt like he shouldn't be doing it. All that it took was for him to get reminded that there exists in the world people who think that there's a certain way to live before God, and He felt condemned. Now by God's mercy, that didn't end up alienating us from each other.

Dan Franklin: [00:25:19] But a lot of you know, you don't have to be a pastor for this to happen, somebody finds out you're a Christian and they're like, oh, shoot. You know, you have this happen. Sometimes, it's not just a funny thing that you laugh off, sometimes it is something that alienates other people, that they say, I don't want to be around you anymore because when I'm around you, I feel bad about myself. And you might look at it and say, gosh, I feel like I'm gentle, I don't feel like I'm calling people out, and I'm just sort of not participating or maybe I'm not laughing at those jokes, or maybe sometimes I excuse myself if they're doing something else. I don't feel like I'm being super condemning to people, and chances are you're not. But chances are that the very presence of somebody who believes that judgment is coming is a reminder that judgment truly is coming. All you have to do is look to live a holy life, look to say true things in love, look to be kind, and look to be generous with your money, and people will feel the condemnation because they'll see the way that you're living and they'll realize they should be living that way, too. When we say, I don't want to condemn the world, we don't have that option. If we are truly walking with Jesus, we will be, amongst other things, a sign of judgment to the world around us, and that's going to lose us some friends.

Dan Franklin: [00:26:31] You know people talk about cancel culture, cancel culture is not new, it's definitely on steroids now, but this has been going on for a long time. That if you are just looking to live with Jesus, people are going to decide they don't want to be around you anymore because they feel the hint that judgment is coming. Now I recognize in talking about this, this is a big ask right here, what we've got, this is a big cost for saying, hey, we want to live by faith. We all raised our hands at the beginning, I want to have stronger faith. And then we find out what's the price tag on stronger faith, and the price tag is that I've got to lose friends, that I've got to sometimes be perceived as somebody who's condemning others, that I've got to put on the altar of sacrifice to God any relationship that I have, even family relationships, that they might be alienated because I'm walking with Jesus and other people feel condemned. That's a big thing to ask, so the payoff better be pretty big too. So we're going to talk about the reward of faith.

Dan Franklin: [00:27:29] Now, here's the deal, if you have an open Bible and you're looking at verse 7 in your Bible, right before verse 7, there's a statement in verse 6 about faith. It says, "Without faith it is impossible to please God. Because anyone who comes to him must believe two things, they must believe that he exists. that's a good starting point, and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. We're going to be talking for five weeks about what faith costs us, and sometimes it's going to feel like a gut punch. but the reward always outpaces what we sacrifice.

Dan Franklin: [00:28:05] So we look at the last part of verse 7, it says, "By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith." Noah lost something, but Noah inherited something, he inherited the righteousness that's in keeping with faith. And just look at that last part of the phrase, righteousness that's in keeping with faith, heir, we're just like, wow, that's like the most Christian sentence ever. We've got heir, we've got righteousness, we've got faith. we've got all these buzz words, what in the world does this mean?

Dan Franklin: [00:28:38] Well, in figuring out what it means, we get some help into something that was said about another man that a long time ago lived by faith, Abraham. There's a verse, it's Genesis chapter 15 verse six, I'm going to put it up here in a second. And it said to Abraham, it's quoted twice in the New Testament, it said to Abraham, at a point when God had made a promise that was hard to believe. Abraham was old, his wife was old, they hadn't been able to have any children. God said you're going to have descendants. Abraham, in his head, thought hard to believe. but I'll believe you. And here's what Genesis chapter 15 verse 6 says, it says, "Abraham believed the Lord." Belief, faith, same thing, "Abraham believed the Lord and He, God, credited it to him, Abraham, as righteousness." Abraham practiced faith, and God counted it as righteousness. If you're looking at the last part of verse 7, you see a lot of parallels here. Noah inherited righteousness because it was in keeping with his life of faith, living by faith leads God to count you as righteous.

Dan Franklin: [00:29:51] Now, it is a little bit of a hard concept for us to get, because what it's not saying is you are righteous if you live by faith. What it's saying is if you live by faith, God will act as if you are righteous. Let me try to give an illustration of how this might work. All right, so imagine you're a high schooler, for some of you it's easy because you are high schoolers. But imagine you're a high schooler and you're sitting in your class, and your teacher is coming by and explaining that he's about to give you a test. And he says, I've been given the same test for decades and it's the hardest test that I give, it's our hardest test that you'll take at this school, nobody in the entire history that I've given this test, decades and decades of doing this, nobody has ever aced this test, nobody's ever got 100%. But here's what I'm going to do for you guys in this class, I'm going to say that if any of you, let's say there's 25 in the class, if any of you gets 100% on this test, if any of you aces it, I'll give 100% to the whole class. So you get down to business, you take the test, it is really hard, but the teacher grades it right then and there and is going to start handing it back. I know teachers don't really do that anymore, but it works for dramatic effect in this illustration. Just imagine he's going to the desk, he's handing it to people, and you know, and it's low scores, he's going to be coming up to you soon. And in your mind, you're just thinking right now, you're like, man, what if I did it? Like, what if I got 100%, they're going to carry me off on their shoulders, they're going to chant my name, we'll all got 100% and it will be wonderful, and you're waiting. And your teacher comes by and plops it down on your desk and it says 68 out of 100, you're like, oh, okay, and then he just keeps going. But eventually, he gets to one of your classmates and he stops, and he says, you know, I can't believe this is happening right now, after decades and decades, somebody finally got 100%. One of your classmates aced this thing and got 100% on it, and do you guys know what that means? I said what that means, everybody gets 100%. So he goes over to the spot where he records the grades, and next to your name what should he write? He should write 68. But what's he going to write? He's going to write 100, you get 100%. Did you earn 100%? No, but you had it counted as if you had got that same grade that your classmate had.

Dan Franklin: [00:32:13] This is what's going on here in this, Noah was not righteous. If you go back and read Genesis 6 through 9, you'll find out, yeah, he had some flaws, he had some missteps, he had some sins, he had some failures. If you read the story of Abraham, you'll find out Abraham was not righteous, he had all kinds of times that he fell short. Neither of them were righteous, but in God's book, next to each of their names, it said righteous. And it was because not of their perfect lives, it was because of their faith. Righteousness, which goes along with eternal life, eternal life is not achieved, it's received, Noah inherited eternal life.

Dan Franklin: [00:32:58] Although even that sentence that I've got up there, it's not 100% right, because your eternal life was achieved, just not by you, there was somebody else that got 100% on that test. God looks at you and, you know, I mean 68 might be generous for all of us. If we get 68% on our lives, on how righteous we are. Whatever your score was, God was like, here's how you did. And you were like, I'm dead. And then along came our champion, along came the Son of God, born of a virgin, living a perfect life, sacrificially dying for all of our sins, victoriously rising from the dead. He got 100, and God looked at you through your desperate cry of faith, and he said, righteous. And that means if there are people around you, imagine you got that 68, some of your classmates are like 68, what are you, an idiot? I mean, I got 78, 68, that's pathetic. You say I didn't get 68, do you know what I got? I got 100. It doesn't matter what you think, it doesn't matter if you think that I'm dumb, it doesn't matter if you're right or wrong about whatever critiques you have about me. It doesn't matter if somebody else thinks that you're a loser, it doesn't matter if somebody else thinks that you're dumb, it doesn't matter if somebody else thinks that you're wasting your life, it doesn't even matter if some of the accusations are true and that they're like, hey, in the past, you were a liar, you cheated on your wife, you did these different things. And you might say, you know what. that's all true. but in God's book, it doesn't say adulterer, it doesn't say liar, it doesn't say rage monster, do you know what it says? It says, righteous, I am in with God, I have peace with him, and I have eternal life to look forward to.

Dan Franklin: [00:34:44] Noah inherited eternal life, and here's what I want to make sure that we all know, eternal life doesn't start when you die, eternal life starts right now. You are in the family of God; you get to know God. Just think about this, this is a small thing, but just earlier in this service, we all prayed, we prayed together. And just think about this, do you know what happened when we prayed? God listened to us. God, you're not getting it, God listened to us. If we as a group decided, hey, we want an audience with the President of the United States, are we getting that audience with him? No way, we're not important, we don't get a hearing with the president, we wouldn't get a hearing with the governor, with the mayor, who knows, they might be like three weeks from now you can come in. We prayed, we, and God listened, and God acts on our prayers, and God pours out his grace and his wisdom. We're told to boldly approach the throne of grace and get all the mercy and grace and help that we can handle. We have eternal life right now, and by the way, we get to live in the freedom of knowing that regardless of what anybody else thinks of us, we live in the joy of knowing that we're children of God.

Dan Franklin: [00:36:07] We live not only in that freedom, but when we walk by faith and obedience, even though sometimes I think we secretly wish like, gosh, I just wish that God would get off my back and that I could be free and do whatever I want. That's not freedom, that's slavery. We got real freedom when we walk with Jesus because we get liberated by the things that destroy our souls.

Dan Franklin: [00:36:29] Noah sacrificed the good opinion of all the people around him, but do you know what he gained? He gained God. And our calling is to go into faith, willing to say any relationship, any person, any job, whatever is going to happen, I am willing to deal with the fallout of the fact that there may be people that reject me because I walk by faith in Jesus. But do you know what I get? I get Jesus, I get closeness with him, I get to read his word, and I get to pray, and I get to know that God is listening, I get to walk by the Spirit as He brings new levels of freedom. How sad if we were held back from that because we were too busy thinking about what other people thought of us.

Dan Franklin: [00:37:14] I want to do something that we don't always do in our services, in a minute, I'm going to invite an opportunity for public response. Which we don't always do, because sometimes we're like, people are intimidated to do some kind of public response. Maybe it's appropriate to practice it on this week because what we're saying is, don't worry about what other people are thinking of you, you live by faith before God. And so here's what I want to say, some of you have been living holding back, sitting on the fence, and holding back because you're like, the cost is too high of what people will think of me. And you know exactly what God is calling you to do, you're not in the dark about it, you know what God is calling you to do, but you're like, I just can't do it, I just won't do it. I'll do lots of other things, but I won't do that. You may be on the fence right now, and today may be the day for you to say, you know what, it's time to get off the fence, it's time to make a public statement that I am going to follow Jesus and walk by faith and walk by obedience, even if it costs me the approval of people around me.

Dan Franklin: [00:38:19] And here's what I want to say, because in a second, I'm going to ask some of you to stand, whenever we do something like this, I know what's going through most of our minds, it's like, oh, if I stand, people are going to think that I'm that I'm not very good or that I'm just really struggling. Just so you know, if you stand, people are probably going to be like, wow, that's really brave, I wish I was that brave. But even if they weren't, this is something before God right now for you to decide.

Dan Franklin: [00:38:42] So here's what I want to do, if right now you're saying, you know what, it's time to take a stand, and it's time to stop sitting on the fence, and it's time to decide that I'm all in with Jesus, that I will walk by faith and not be held back by the fact that I'm afraid whether what other people think of me, I'm just going to ask you to stand where you are right now so I can pray for you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for standing.

Dan Franklin: [00:39:15] Now, here's what I want to do also, there may be some of you in here that you don't have that 100 next to your name right now. But you came in here today saying that maybe you haven't put your faith in Jesus at all because where you're at, you're saying the cost is just too high, either the cost to my personal freedom or the cost of what other people will think of me. Jesus is inviting you to be an heir of righteousness. Jesus is inviting you to be a child of God. So I want to give out the invitation, also, if right now you're saying, you know what, today is the day for me to put my faith in Jesus, to cry out in faith for forgiveness and redemption, and to be a child of God. If today is your day to put your faith in Jesus for the first time. I want to invite you to stand because I want to pray for you also.

Dan Franklin: [00:39:15] All right, with all of us right now, I want us to bow our knees, and let's go before God in prayer. Father God, thank you so much that the reward that you give for us walking by faith is much greater than anything that we lose. But we confess before you, it doesn't feel that way. I just think of my brothers and sisters standing right now, and Father, I know that the terror that some of them are probably feeling of saying this just feels like too much. And not only the terror of thinking what other people will think but the terror of saying this is just going to be another failure, where I say I'm going to do something and that I'm not going to do it. Father, I pray that you give such comfort right now that each person standing will know that Jesus is standing right beside them, that they will know that the Holy Spirit is delighting in what's happening right now. I pray that you lead them out with such power that it would be like an addiction that they never want to go back from, that they'll see the thrill of walking by faith and the joy of walking with Jesus, and they'll never want to go back.

Dan Franklin: [00:41:25] Father, I pray for each of us, and I pray for those in this room who are in some way on the fence about whether or not to put their faith in Jesus, Father, I pray that you overcome whatever obstacles are in the way and that you lead us to that faith that comes only through Jesus. I pray this in His name. Amen. Amen.

Dan Franklin: [00:41:47] And I'm going to ask all of us to stand right now for a final benediction. And as I do this, we've got some folks, pastors, elders, members of our prayer team on both sides of the stage, you can see there's a bunch of them. If you stood, my encouragement to you is, you need to tell somebody what specifically God's calling you to do. That may be one of these prayer team members, that may be a best friend, that might be a parent, that might be your life group leader, you need to go public in some other way so that somebody is a partner with you. And the people that come up here, they get such joy in getting to pray with people about what God is doing.

Dan Franklin: [00:42:23] But let me just read, as a benediction for us, a verse that I already read. Hebrews chapter 11 verse 6, "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." Amen. Amen. God bless you the rest of this Sunday.



Recorded in Upland, California.
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Life Bible Fellowship Church
2426 N Euclid Ave
Upland, California 91786
(909) 981-4848