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The Disciple and the World

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
September 19, 2023 12:00 am

The Disciple and the World

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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September 19, 2023 12:00 am

The world despised Jesus to the point that He was crucified on the cross. In John 15, Jesus warns His followers that the world will hate them, too. That warning applies to those of us who follow Him today.

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Tuesday, September 19th. As people who are in the world, but not of the world, disciples shouldn't be surprised by those who don't know Christ to be hostile to our faith. Stay with us as the discipleship series continues. Would you turn please to John chapter 15. We're going to begin with verse 16 and read through verse 27. John chapter 15, we've been talking about the disciples and this morning the disciple and the world, his relationship to it. And in this first part of the 15th chapter, he's talking about the vine and the branch and beginning in verse 16, he talks about his commission to those disciples.

He says, ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you and ordained you that you should go and bring forth fruit and that your fruit should remain that whatsoever ye shall ask of the father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you that you love one another. If the world hate you, you know that it hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love his own, but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hated you.

Remember the word that I said unto you, the servant is not greater than his Lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also, but all these things will they do unto you for my namesake because they know not him that sent me. If I had not come and spoke unto them, they had not had sin, but now they have no cloak for their sin. He that hateth me, hateth my father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin, but now have they both seen and hated both me and my father. But this cometh to pass that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, they hated me without a cause. But when the comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the father, even the spirit of truth, which proceeded from the father, he shall testify of me.

And ye also shall bear witness because ye have been with me from the beginning. Now when Jesus launched his ministry, he set forth to meet human need. And you and I would think that a man, the Lord Jesus Christ coming to a people who were looking for a kingdom and having him offer the kingdom of heaven that they would have accepted that, but they did not. We would think that people who were living in darkness and under the weight of darkness would have welcomed the light, the proclamation of light that Jesus offered, but they did not. We would think that people who were living under the guilt of their sin would have welcomed forgiveness and the pardon of their sin, but they did not. We would think that people who were weary and worn with life and tired with life would have welcomed the rest and peace and happiness that Jesus offered, but they didn't.

You would think that people who were enslaved by their religion and all the laws and legalism of it all would have welcomed a faith of liberty and freedom, but they did not. And I think in the life of Jesus and man's response to him is the proof that man's heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. The Lord Jesus Christ set out to meet human need and primarily the need of forgiveness and cleansing from their sin. And yet, except for a few people who chose to follow him and a few people who were willing to believe in his spiritual kingdom that he was coming for, most people said, no, that's not really and truly what we want. And they rejected him, despised him, ridiculed him, and ultimately crucified him on a Roman cross. Now, when I read that and realize what Jesus was saying to his apostles here, because the morning following this night, he was going to the Roman cross. He was going to be crucified, buried, and then was going to rise and then ascend. And then was coming the experience of Pentecost. And in spite of all of his teaching, all of instruction, all of his proclamation, all of his healing, and all of his miracles, the one thing he did not want those disciples to be disillusioned about was this, that simply because they were to be ordained of him to share the good news that every man needs, wherever he may be, whatever his situation, Jesus did not want them to go forth under the false illusion that they would be accepted, that people would love them, would rejoice about what they had to say, everybody want to be healed, everybody would want the good news, and that the whole world would come to Christ and just be one glorious millennium for the rest of eternity.

Now, you would think that what he had to offer men would say, sure, I want to be forgiven. Sure, I want to be part of that kind of kingdom. Sure, I want to be living in rest. Sure, I want peace. Sure, I want healing.

Sure, I want sight. Sure, I want to know who God really is. But man does not want to know the truth. Even when he's faced with it, he shuns it, he resists it. He quenches the work of the Spirit. And so in this passage, in this 13, 14, 15, 16 chapters, 17 chapters of John, here is our Lord instructing his disciples before the crucifixion. And it is interesting what he said to them concerning their relationship to the world. Jesus is saying to us this, that the disciple has a very distinct and unique relationship with this world system. Now, we said the world system is society under the control of Satan. The world is not, we're not talking about this old ball of earth that we call the world.

We're talking about the system politically, governmental wise, economically, socially, whatever you call it, the whole system that controls our way of life. He says that a disciple is going to have a very distinct relationship with that world. And in this 15th chapter, beginning in verse 16, he described what that relationship is. And we said a disciple is one who is accepted Jesus Christ as Savior, yielded to Jesus Christ as Lord and one who has made himself available to Christ that he may reproduce himself through the disciple in the life of the other person. Now he says that being the case, a disciple ought to be able to understand fully what he can expect if he attempts to live the life of discipleship in his school, in his office, in his home, in his community, in his business, wherever he might be.

And lest anyone, lest anyone have a false idea of the true life of the disciple, Jesus says to them, beginning in verse 16, you have not chosen me, I have chosen you, ordained you that you should go and bring forth fruit and that your fruit should remain that whatsoever you shall ask of the father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you that you love one another. And then he changes it all. Suddenly he says, if the world hate you, you know that it hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love his own.

But because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hated you. Now, first thing I want you to notice he said to them is this. He said, first of all, the disciple is one who is chosen out of the world system. Now, what does he mean by that? Simply this, that God expects the life of the disciple to be a life distinct and unique and different from the life of the rest of the world. The world system is caught up in a secularistic materialistic air. They think in terms of materialism.

They think in terms of security being in what they can see and feel and touch. But he says, I've chosen you out of that. Your life is to be different. He says, you are a peculiar people set apart. Now, if that be true, we can expect that because the Lord Jesus Christ has saved us and chosen us out of the world to be his disciples that our lifestyle will just naturally be different from the lifestyle of that which he chose us out of. Now, if he expected you and me to live like the rest of the world, that verse would never be in the Bible. He says, he didn't say simply that I chose you. He says, I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hate you.

Now, the verse simply implies that his choosing us out of the world system puts us in a position and a lifestyle whereby those wherein we fellowship with, the way of life that we once had, those who continue in that way of life will not understand the new choice and the new lifestyle that we have. Now, friend, don't miss this. The world is going to challenge you to compromise your conviction. They're going to say, now, look, you can't be perfect. You say, yeah, that's right.

I can't be. And after all, you don't want to turn people off by your testimony. No, you really don't. And after all, you've got to give, everybody's got to give a little.

Now watch that. Give what? Give a little what?

You don't have to give anything. Now, if the Lord Jesus Christ is loving through you, you can love anybody on any level of life, whatever their problem, but to give a little by the world means accommodate yourself to them and sort of attempt to make them comfortable. Two things involved here.

First of all, we're going to be tempted to make the world feel comfortable in our presence. Now, my friend, that's not what Jesus did. When he sat down at a feast, what happened? Immediately they were divided.

Those who were for him and those who were opposed to him. Now, I hate to have to say this, but it's the truth. You and I ought to be so absolutely and totally committed to Jesus Christ. So filled with his love, so filled with his goodness and mercy and forgiveness that wherever we go, we are like light exposing sin, like salt stinging, at the same time, a comforter, one who understands, one who's willing to take time to share the love of Christ within our heart.

But I'll tell you, he says we're going to be tempted to compromise our conviction. And it's awfully easy to say, well, after all, it's tough working here when you're a Christian, you're the only one here. Only Christian in the whole office. What am I supposed to do? Brother, you're supposed to shine like light.

You're supposed to be like salt. And we will be tempted to make them comfortable. Now, if you came to church week after week and I just preached to you some little dilly, God loves everybody, I know you've been great all week. And I know you're going to be good all week long. And I know that everything is just going to be wonderful. You'd come about three Sundays and say hogwash. There's nothing going on there.

There's nothing happening to my heart. Now wherever Jesus went, he spoke love, but he reproved sin. And here's what I want you to remember. In your social life, in your home life, in your work life, whatever it might be, you're going to be tempted to accommodate the world and get them feeling a little bit more comfortable. Now watch this, the devil will say, now look, if you give a little, they'll come with you. And after a while you just win them by becoming like them. And that's the devil's life.

You know why you don't win the world by becoming like them? Now remember this, and I've seen this happen in my own life in the past, and I've seen it happening in people's lives today. When you are living for the Lord Jesus Christ, a life that is absolutely unquestionable, and you begin to give a little bit and accommodate the world and to grow a little bit like them to get them on your side, you know what happens?

Immediately what happens? Do you know that you frustrate the unbeliever? Because he's already got this picture of the kind of fellow you ought to be, and you're living that, and you bother him. He hates that. He resists that. He doesn't like it. But when you begin to move in his direction, on the surface he may say, great, deep down inside he is frustrated. Now watch this, because in his mind he knows that you're what he ought to be like. And somehow, out here living in sin, he looks back at your righteous life and says, one of these days, that's what ought to be. Not now. I know that's what I need.

I don't like that now. And while he's out here living in sin, deep in that lost man's heart, he's got a little hope that, brother, here's a guy who believes what he says. Here's a fellow who's anchored to something, and regardless of what happens, he's still anchored to that.

And if I ever get to the place that the bottom drops out, I know there is somebody I can go to who's got an answer. Did you know for God's disciples to move in the direction of the world frustrates the world, disappoints the world? When deep inside, in spite of their animosity and hatred, you are their only hope that when the bottom drops out, there is somebody to go to that can show them the way. And yet they'll hate you at the same time. You see, he said, we wouldn't understand that, but we're to live a life like light and like salt.

Next thing I want you to notice is this. We'll be tempted not only to accommodate the world, make them feel comfortable, but I think we'll be tempted likewise in this area of our spiritual lives. Not only to accommodate them, to make them feel comfortable among us, but we will be tempted to veil the light of the Lord Jesus Christ within us in order not to upset the world. Now listen, my friend, when you partake or whatever it is, and I'm not going to name any one thing because if I do, you'll say, well, that cuts me out. I'm talking about anything that is questionable in the life of the believer.

Now watch this. When you partake, participate, indulge in, when you become a part of anything that is questionable, it is like putting a silk veil over your face. Your countenance is not quite so clear. And what the world wants is for you to veil your face just enough that your radiance and your temperament and your spirit feel life does not cut through and antagonize them and perplex them and convict them and expose their sinfulness. Last thing I want you to notice is this, that the disciple, the disciple is going to be comforted even in the world. Look at that 26th verse. But when the comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the spirit of truth which proceeded from the Father, he shall testify of me.

Look in chapter 14 of John, two or three passages you should not forget. Sometimes it's going to be difficult. You're going to think all your friends are gone, nobody in your office will speak to you, they don't invite you to anything. They drink, they carouse, they carry on, they think you're a square.

It may be at school, it may be in your home, in your community, on your block, nobody invites you to the parties, that's all right. Or just maybe they don't like your testimony, they don't like the way you live. Listen, in verse 16 of John 14, I will pray the Father he shall give you another comforter that he may abide with you, how long?

Forever. Even the spirit of truth whom the world cannot receive because it seeth him not. Neither knoweth him but you know him for he dwelleth, listen, he dwelleth with you, walks by your side, and shall be in you, indwelling you. I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you. Now my friend, if you and I live the life of a disciple, the world is going to hate us, and we are going to drop away from some friends, we're going to lose some acquaintances fast if we really begin to live like we ought to live. And he says that's all right, now you make your choice my friend, had you rather have the Lord Jesus Christ walking by your side as your friend, living within you as your eternal friend, or have a bunch of folks who are just around you claiming to be friends who are doing nothing but dragging your life down. His whole promise in that 26th verse is simply this, and that is that whatever you need, the comforter, that is the one called to walk along beside us, will be there.

He says I will never leave you comfortless. Now let me say something to college students and high schoolers. There are going to be times when you're going to have to make a decision in your life, and I suppose this is just the truth for single adults and married folks, in fact it's true for everybody, there are going to be times when you're going to have to make some very, very crucial decisions. And you know when you make that decision you could lose your job, you could lose your friends, you could lose your influence with some people, you could lose your prestige, you could lose your promise, you could lose a lot of things. But let me tell you something you can't ever lose being obedient to God.

You can't ever lose the presence of an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, loving, forgiving, helpful Father who is committed to being everything you need, every time you need it, whatever the circumstance. My friend, when I weigh what the world has to offer me against what the Lord has to offer me, there's no comparison. It is the Lord Jesus Christ versus the world. It is his friendship versus the friendship of the world. And he says, know ye not that the friendship of the world is a destroyer, the fellowship of God?

You can't court the world's favor today. You can't court the world's favor and be a disciple of Jesus Christ. He says, two verses and then I close, he says in James that fourth chapter, speaking of the world, he says, verse four, chapter four, ye adulterous and adulterous is, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world's system is the enemy of God. Do you think that the scripture saith in vain, the spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? And then going over to first John chapter two for a moment, one of the passage there, he says in verse 15, stop loving this old world system.

Neither the things that are in the world, if any man love the world system, the love of the father is not in him. For all that's in the world system, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life is not of the father, but is of the world. And listen, this old world system is passing away and the lust thereof are passing away, but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever, which is to say, my friend, to yield to the world, to accommodate to the world, to walk in the way of the world is to walk in a way that does not satisfy, does not fulfill.

And you're a 10 time loser every time you drift in the direction of the world. Not easy to be a disciple. It means he's chosen you out of the world, commissions you to go back into the world to share him.

It means you're going to have a head on collision with the world. It means you're going to be challenged to compromise with the world, but it likewise offers the promise that he will be in you to comfort you in your ministry in this world. Thank you for listening to The Disciple and the World. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by intouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-29 19:47:58 / 2023-10-29 19:56:36 / 9

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