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Happy are the Harassed, Part 2 B

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
June 5, 2020 4:00 am

Happy are the Harassed, Part 2 B

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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June 5, 2020 4:00 am

How should you respond when you’re persecuted for following Christ? John MacArthur considers that question today on Grace to You, as he concludes his study of Matthew 5 and “The Beatitudes.”

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It's Christ the world is after its Christ. The world is still trying to kill they can't get him go because he's not here so they get whoever stands at his place and speaks the same truth.

Just as the world pounded the nails into his hands because they hated his message still driving lives throughout their confronting the system with the same death because she reached renounce Christ. Or maybe you've read about the recent crackdown on churches in China here in United States.

Believers don't face that kind of intense persecution, but biblical teaching is being pushed out of the public square. In many communities while opposition to Christian beliefs flourishes behind the deceptive faade of tolerance.

Ever wonder how you should respond if you're being persecuted for being a Christian. Consider that today on grace to you as John MacArthur wraps up his series from Matthew five titled the Beatitudes and with the lesson. Now here's John we live in a day when Christianity like never before.

Is engaged in an act of self-glorification that must be repulsive to God. We are manufacturing celebrities faster than the world is that's not the way it is when our Lord said in acts chapter 1 verse eight. Your to be my witnesses. He said you are to be moved Monterey's mind. What martyrs there's a price to pay. Who is the beatitude directed to anybody who's a kingdom child how are we to be persecuted. Why will be confronted face-to-face and reviled in behind our backs will be slandered.

Why, let's look at why back to Matthew five why will they do this to us. If they were such nice folks, and I agree. Christians are the nicest folks in the world where nice folks because God lives in us and God's goodness and God takes our badness and gives us his goodness and so it's there, but why would this. The answer is simple.

Verse 10 says for righteousness sake. Verse 11 says at the end for my sake lesson.

There's two things.

The world doesn't want righteousness in Christ in John 15 in verse 18. Our Lord Jesus put it down as clearly as he could, if the world hate you. You know that it hated me before it hated you. John 1518.

If you were the world, the world would love its own, but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Verse 17 says I command you love one another, but the world doesn't love us, the world hates us the evil system hates us, say, why do they do that because were not of the world. If we were of the world it would accept us, but we confront the world. Now if you don't confront the world.

I'll never know. But if the world knows were not a part of the system. They'll hate us in verse 20 says a member the word that I sent you the servants not greater than his lord. If they persecuted me, there going to persecute you. If they kept my saying they'll keep yours also. Verse 21. All these things really doing to you for my namesake because they know not him that sent me see this. Don't know God. If I had not come and spoken to them, they should have not had sin but now they have no cloak for their sin be the hate of me hate of my father also find not done among them the works which no other man did. They had not had sin but now have. They both seen and hated both me and my father you know what Jesus came into the world and did she came into the world and he exposed there. What sin and then they had sin.

They saw us seeing in their lives they were confronted with the reality of sin. If Jesus hadn't gone. They could've glossed over they were doing a great job at saddling their conscience, their religion had literally close their eyes to the truth and in their blindness. They were blissfully marching on toward hell, Christ the blind, to settle it yourselves, and they saw their sanity hated them for them so they hated him.

It all comes to pass, just exactly as the Scripture said Psalms. They hated me without what a cause no reason. So the question why would they hate us owes no reason you you're really wonderful. Unknown mean I'm not so wonderful as I wish I were. But I'm not all bad, but is me. It's righteousness that's Christ you just I, just like he just be saltwater happens. So you're put salt in the wound stings just be salt going say anything just be salt just be righteous in a corrupt society was wrapped that's what's got to be say, but will not say what we are doing. I get out of this world. For we gotta poop a lot. Monasticism rains. Let's all get a habit become monks retreat build cloister study the Scripture no. In spite of this, I love it when the comforter is come.

Verse 26, whom I'll send it to you from the father, even the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the father, he shall testify of me. And he also shall bear what witness anywhere. He says don't bail out retreat. Don't pack up your tent does steal away the dark Knight to study the Bible till the rapture get out there and be Monterey smarter yet, I confronted people listen.

The coming of Jesus not only brought salvation, but it brought the manifestation of hate from those who love their sins and this did mean we turn our backs on the world. Admit we go right out there and confront the world we face the world ensure what's going to happen out today. What's been happening says in verse two of chapter 16 they'll put you out of the synagogue. The time will come, but whoever kills you will think he does.

God service in these things really do unto you because they have not known the father, nor me see this and you is that they don't know God and because they don't know God they don't know Christ and because they don't know Christ. They don't understand righteousness and because they are willing to accept righteousness. They want their sin and will not tolerate a confrontation at that point exactly what the Beatitudes are saying turn back now to Matthew the mysteries of in Matthew chapter 5.

Lord says you will be persecuted.

You go to be persecuted. Verse 10 verse 11 verse 12 and you say the same thing. But let's be monastic. Let's retreat nope verse 13. Stick around, folks, you are the salt of the earth.

Verse 14 to the light of the world. Don't go anywhere. Men don't light a lamp for another bushel.

It put on a lampstand, so let your light so shine what where before men see people even though there's a price to pay. We can't bail out.

Be faithful well. Sure the world doesn't like knowing Colossians 124 member that I'll skip some of the thoughts and just to be this one. Colossians 124 you remember that thought, who now rejoice in my sufferings for you and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh and we just take that much of faucet every time somebody beats me up really getting after Christ is in me that resented the truth that I represent that they resent right it's Christ the world is after its Christ. The world is still trying to kill they can't get him though because he's not here so they get whoever stands in his place and speaks the same truth. Just as the world pounded the nails into his hands because they hated his message so the world is still driving the nails into the lives of the believers who are out there confronting the system with the same message that you know me not try to make war.

I'm not trying to make enemies all over the place. But I'll tell you one thing I believe in saying what's right saying it went on to be said where it ought to be said. To whom it ought to be said not worry about the concert for his sake. All I hear the apostle Paul. Oh, that I may know him and the fellowship of his. What suffering see you says I'll take those blows in Matthew 10 and over again in Matthew 24 those great text about the fact that he says you going to be hated for my sake, you going to be hated for my sake, who kingdom people how persecution why, for his sake. When one very persecuted well. Verse 11 Blessed are you when when hot time. What is it mean it means whenever whenever this is not mean blessed are you are always being persecuted now. Whenever it happens.

Blessed are you, is not the idea that we are going to be incessantly unmitigated late persecuted and unceasing stream of persecuted that was a true and false time that wasn't true in Christ time. There were times when Christ enjoyed the respite of the family time with Mary and Martha and Lazarus. There were times when Jesus retreated to the Mount of olives are wonderful times with the 12 in Galilee. Now it is going to be incessant, unending, unceasing, but whenever hot time. Whenever it happens, then God will be there to bring his blessedness to bear upon that willing soul. He always makes it bearable. Disney Ellison, beloved, whatever happens, we don't seek it will seek it when a martyr complex, but we don't run from it either, and when we get in the middle of the we don't compromise well persecution is followed in the text by promise. Glad for that was the promise.

Blessed are they were persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven, blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and so forth. Blessed, blessed because theirs is the kingdom, listen, beloved, whatever we would forfeit in this world we would gain a million fold in God's kingdom right whatever physical thing was that eternal reward would infinitely compensate blessed he says twice he says it emphatically, repeating blessed, blessed again because those who would willingly stand up for Jesus Christ will know the blasts of obedience and the blessedness of being a part of God's eternal kingdom.

I think of so many illustrations of this Joseph found it to be true. Joseph was persecuted by his brothers for righteousness sake. He ended up in a dry well in the desert, despised and hated, and God picked him up and made him the Prime Minister of Egypt. All it took was a little patience. Jeremiah was thrown into a slimy dungeon because of his righteous life and quicksand was all around, engulfing him and God lifted him up and made his name as honorable as any man who ever lived as a prophet of God. Listen, if you're willing to pay the price now God says the glory which shall be revealed is in comparable double blessed are the persecuted for theirs is the kingdom, and all that the kingdom could possibly contain you say what kingdom is he talking about, I think, is talk about all the concepts involved in the kingdom. I think he's talking about here and now the living King dwelling within us reveals and gives to us the fullness of kingdom life spiritually, I think he's talking about a millennial element. There's coming a time when the physical fulfillment of kingdom life will belong to us in that wonderful recruiter, and I think he's talking about the eternal kingdom, when, where, face-to-face with the son of God and glory forever. I think he's got all here. I think he's saying all the kingdom can possibly convey all that there can possibly be of God's great and glorious gift to compensate for our struggle will be ours. You see here in the then and there. Tolerance one of fulfillment people listen. We are so shortsighted when I want to protect the moment instead of giving all the way to God and secure forever and eternal weight of glory. Listen, the kingdom is the gift of the Beatitudes.

If you note the first beatitude began with the promise. Theirs is the kingdom of heaven in the last beatitude ends with the promise. Theirs is the kingdom of heaven, and what it's really saying to us is that the major promise of the Beatitudes. As you become a kingdom citizen now and forever, and the ones in between are just elements of kingdom life no matter what the world does.

My friends no matter what the world does. It can never affect the possession of Christ kingdom that is ours now and forever. So the persecution is going to be there and when it's endured willingly the promises ours were part of the kingdom, and all that the kingdom could possibly do will be ours, so the persecution bears with a promise and that means a lot to be a posture that we take in persecution as a final point. What should be our posture. What should be our attitude. If this is true verse 12 rejoice, you say reject Christ last rejoices. Kyle means be glad really be glad and then if that is enough. Yesterday I best be act seemingly glad which is not only asked that it literally means jump and skip and shout for joy. So you gotta be kidding. Jump and skip and shout for joy going on, being persecuted use you like it had nothing you say will, why should I be so happy about that since I like a big deal to me. Well, these two reasons are to be have gotten reasonable one. Verse 12 great is your reward in heaven. Listen people, great is your reward in heaven. Let me take some heaven is how long how long is heaven forever.

How long his ear a vapor that appears for a little time and vanishes away James long as long as you're not very long getting shorter all the time. What are you investing order Jesus and lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust doesn't corrupt more thieves don't break through and steal. Don't later. This is here now God heavens forever. Great is your reward in heaven.

And I love the word great because the word great really means what it says liked a lot of those words in the Bible when God says great he means great Follis abundance its use in Ephesians 240 talk about abundance its the fullness of reward and you say well I don't know why you are be suppressed. People say that light you and I don't serve the Lord's or my love, you don't serve reward us and I did make the system up. I serve my love. He chooses reward me, that's his wonderful pleasure and argue about that.

By the time I get to heaven I will be proud. Anyways, I'll take it all give it right back in humility see nobody proud people never will be all perfect and so we can handle reward you understand that is why Lord and give it to us here mess us up some awful floor chooses to do it. That's his own choice and wonderful motive pulses. I've been doing what I've been doing all my life serving the Lord.

With that in mind.

At the end of second Timothy when he kinda gives a swansong he says I know there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge to give to me at that day and not to me only, but all them that love his appearing. He says there's nothing wrong with me long to see that day a lot wrong with me long to see that crown. If that's the Lord's gift of love to me. I took the gift of salvation. I'll take that one to and then the second thought I just going to be this. This is absolutely fabulous. Second reason you're to be glad is because they persecuted the prophets who were before you say will. So what and how does that relate they persecuted the prophets before me was to be happy because they had the same problems I got. Misery loves company why I'm not the only one I got this. I'm glad you guys got to at the idea though know all the ideas this you are in pretty classy company. The idea they persecuted the prophets of God, and if they persecuted you this to me is the climax of the Beatitudes and what he is saying is this, if you have any doubts about your salvation. If you have any questions about one year in the kingdom. If there is persecution in your life from unbelievers you will know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you belong to God because they'll be doing to you exactly what they did to God's call to prophets.

Fantastic truth telling. When persecution comes in me. I just say one on the child. Lord I know I stand in the ranks of the prophets see the world doesn't persecute people who who aren't the prophets of God who don't speak the message of God.

In Matthew chapter 21 in verse 33 we find it is a great text through here a parable talks about a householder planted a vineyard and put a hedge around and dug a winepress bill tower lease to tenant farmers went too far country.

This of course is God and he he sent his servants to the farmers. These are the prophets in Israel course of the tenant farmers and the farmers took the servants, and beat want to kill another install another.

They sent other servants and they did the same and to them in here. They are killing the prophets persecuting the prophets. This is what they did but they were everyone.

The messenger of God over in chapter 22 find a similar situation in chapter 22. Rather, in chapter 23 list skip and look over to chapter 23 verse 31 wherefore, are ye witnesses against yourselves that you are the sons of them who killed the prophets so then the measure of your fathers you serpents, and generation of vipers, how can you escape the damnation of hell go ahead and do it is.

Go ahead and kill me. You knew are no different than your fathers did listen. They killed the prophets. They killed the prophets all along through the history of Israel. They killed the prophets and kept killing the prophets as FastCompany folks you reach to 11 chapter Hebrews verse 32 on old what a catalog it says all these people suffered this and suffered this and suffered this and suffered.

This, of whom the world was not worthy and then Jesus wonder of wonders says to the crowd that day unto us all down through history. If you follow me and you preach my truth and live my truth and the world persecute you reach your eyes that you can be confident that you belong to the righteous line that is descended to you from the prophets themselves. Persecution that is a verification that you belong to a righteous line here is the believer security here is the climax of the Beatitudes.

He offers them salvation and then tells them how they can know when they have listened doesn't come from some theological prescription.

Your security doesn't come from knowing that you made a decision way back when your security comes from knowing that you are living a confrontive life in the midst of an ungodly world and you are being persecuted for righteousness sake.

And when that comes, you know, not only will you be reward in heaven. But you stand in the line of prophets of God, who through all of history receive the same kind of reaction in Luke chapter 21 we find in verses 12 and 13.

The statement, but before all these says our Lord. They shall lay their hands on you and persecute you, driving you up to the synagogues and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake. They're going to do it to you but will listen to that next verse, and it shall turn to you for a testimony.

In other words, the bill will become a testimony to you that you belong to God, that great it will be a great security to you listen the world can't handle our kind of life are kinda living they can't stomach it. They can't handle it. It's not acceptable to them. They don't understand it, poverty of spirit runs counter to the pride of an unbelieving heart. The repentant contrite disposition that mourns over sin is never appreciated by the callous, indifferent, unsympathetic world, the meek and quiet spirit that takes wrong is not quick to strike back is regarded as pusillanimous and and harassment against the proud militant, resentful spirit characteristic of our world. The craving after deeper spiritual blessing from the Lord is a rebuke to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, as is a merciful spirit to the hardness and cruelty of our world and purity of heart contrast sharply and painfully with hypocrisy and corruption and a peacemaker cannot be tolerated by a contentious antagonistic world agent. That's exactly why they react the way they react me close with these thoughts. A great tribute was once paid to John Knox great Scottish preacher. This is what he said of Knox.

He feared God so much that he never dared to fear any man. What about you, what are your priorities listen to what you say to yourself what rings true about you and your mind and your heart. You understand what the Beatitudes are saying it isn't the rich isn't the proud isn't the frivolous of the fears of the full or the cunning or the warlike or the favorites of the earthly kings that enter the kingdom is the poor, the meek, the sorrowing, the hungry, the sincere, the peacemaking, the persecuted they enter and the proof of their citizenship is that they are hated by the world you belong.

You're listening to John MacArthur here on grace to you. John is pastor of Grace Community Church, East Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary both in the Los Angeles area today. He wrapped up his study of the Beatitudes. Well, when you realize that the gospel is a call to deny yourself to hunger for righteousness and humble yourself. It starts to sound like being Christian is nearly an impossible thing John does it concern you that by presenting the gospel. In this light. People are going to reject it that you're going to turn people away from the gospel that they desperately need. Well first of all I don't ever worry about that because my responsibilities tell the truth you if you if you're trying to make sure people are defended, then you can tell the truth right because the truth is what you just said offends them self-denial, the rejection of their own desires and everything they love know in that I don't ever think about somehow taking out the offensive part of the gospel. The demanding part of the gospel because that is the necessary foundation for the gospel. You have to recognize that the condition you're in, you may like it. You may prefer that you may want to hold onto it, but it's sending you in a direct line to hell and eternal punishment. My love for you my compassion for you.

My desire to show you mercy makes me tell you the truth about the direction you are going so that the most loving thing I can do is confront you at the very point where God confronts the sinner and that is at the point of his sin and evil desire, and the desperate condition he's in us the judgment of God looms over his head and he he's headed for eternal punishment. So I don't want to change that because it's that terrifying reality concerning the truth that drives people in the direction of the good news right so that's the point.

You have to show the condition of the sinner in order to make the good news, good news can't change that at all. But we've seen the Lord doing that, essentially, in this study of the Beatitudes and we've seen what these Beatitudes are, how deep and rich they are a lot more than most people think just superficially looking at them.

The Beatitudes reveal these foundational truths about the eternal qualities of being a true Christian and now this study is complete for us, but it's available from Grace to you.

That means you can listen over and over again let the truth sink in saturate your thinking with them and see your life and others transformed this series on the Beatitudes comes in 10 CDs you can order them from Grace to you. You can also download the messages from our website Jide and friend.

The Beatitudes point the way to happiness. That's unshakable even when your world is falling apart, to go over these profound teachings from Christ at your own pace, pick up a copy of John study titled the Beatitudes when you contact us today. Call our toll-free number 855 grace or go to Jide

John said this series comes in a 10 CD album and it makes a great gift, but you can also download this study, free of charge at our website. In fact, all of John's sermons from 51 years of pulpit ministry are free to either read or download at Jide TY.and if John study of the Beatitudes has helped you grow spiritually. Maybe it's helped you understand the true way of salvation clearer than you did before.

Would you let us know we'd love to hear from you, so jot a note and mail it to Grace to you. Box 4000 panorama city, CA 91412 or send us an email at that's our email address now for John MacArthur in the entire grace to you staff, I'm Phil Johnson reminding you watch grace to you television this Sunday on direct TV channel 378. Check your local listings for station and then be here next week when John launches a look at how you can resist compromise and cultivate righteousness in a series titled the integrity factor next Monday.

Another half hour unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on grace

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