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Summary: Many believers still ride the fence of faith.

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How to Stop Riding the Fence of Faith

July 9, 2006 FBC, Chester Mike Fogerson, Pastor

Introduction:

A Video clip from National Lampoon’s Vacation

1 They got lost several times, St. Louis

a "Are you sure you know where you’re going?" Clark says, "Yes"

b "Roll ‘em up, kids"

2 At the beginning of the walk with Jesus, "We’ll follow you everywhere."

a Then Jesus says...

aa Kids, be honest...don’t cheat

bb Students, don’t have sex...keep yourself pure

cc Adults, go the faithful way and bring up your children in the nurture of the Lord.

b Have devotions, regular worship...are You sure, Lord? That’s kinda hard.

aa Says to spouses, "Be willing to turn the other cheek, stop being so judgmental."

bb To kids, "Don’t be lazy, listen to Mom & Dad, do your chores."

c Real followers of Christ follow no matter what!

B The crowd in Jerusalem epitomized spiritual fickleness (essence of the text in a sentence)

1 They went from one extreme to another

a Praise/crucify, one day up, next day down, one day on His side, next day against Him.

b ’I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. 16 ’So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. Rev 3:15-16 (NASB)

2 Many believers still ride the fence of faith (essence of the sermon in a sentence)

a When it looks like praising/serving Him is going to benefit us, we say "Hosanna"

aa Marriage on the rocks, racked by disease, life is hard...praise the Lord.

bb Church/God’s people is where we are because it benefits us.

b When it looks like it’s going to cost us something, we cry Barabbas.

aa Sing, "Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross. Lift high His royal banner, it must not suffer loss."

bb When things don’t go our way... we lower the flag.

C I pray we’ll decide it’s time to serve the Lord no matter what (objective).

1 Rain/shine, good/bad, up/down

2 What needs to happen for you to stop riding the fence of faith? (Probing question)

3 Let’s look at 4 folks in the Bible and see what we can learn from them.

I Job-yet will I serve Him. Though He slay me, I will hope in Him. Nevertheless I will argue my ways before Him. Job 13:15 (NASB)

A Job had suffered through the worst heartaches life had (has) to offer.

1 He was well-acquainted with loss.

a Financially bankrupt, short on friends, lost all of his kids.

b Though He slay me, I will hope in Him...

aa Hebrew "yachal": wait with expectation, be patient, waiting for the passage of time.

bb Job was going to serve God no matter what.

2 Job’s wife says, "Curse God and die!" (Job 2:9) We laugh, but it’s a common attitude.

a If we face a little opposition in our walk with God we’re ready to quit.

b If the preacher doesn’t do what we think he should, go to another church.

c If we’re not asked to do something, our feelings are hurt.

d In essence...we curse God and die.

B Thank God Job did not quit!

1 God blessed Job’s determination to serve Him no matter what...He’ll bless you, too!

2 Too many of us are like Job’s wife ( we all have a little of her in us).

C (IL)

II Samson-fence sitter.

A Samson was a huge, bulging man that God had anointed with tremendous strength.

1 He killed a lion with his bare hands, lit a field on fire by setting 300 foxes with their tails burning, took a donkey’s jawbone & killed 1,000 men.

a The Spirit of the LORD came upon him mightily... Judges 14:6 (NASB)

And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him mightily...Judges 15:14 (NASB)

aa Samson’s strength came from his personal relationship with God.

bb When he denies that his strength is from God, he breaks his vow. So he told her all that was in his heart and said to her, "A razor has never come on my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother’s womb. If I am shaved, then my strength will leave me and I will become weak and be like any other man." Judges 16:17 (NASB) The Lord leaves him. She said, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" And he awoke from his sleep and said, "I will go out as at other times and shake myself free." But he did not know that the LORD had departed from him. Judges 16:20 (NASB)

cc Then Samson called to the LORD and said, "O Lord GOD, please remember me and please strengthen me just this time, O God, that I may at once be avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes." Judges 16:28 (NASB) (Confession/repentance)

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