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April 22, 2022 1:00 am
We all have experienced naysayers or even outright enemies. But for believers, we can expect to be persecuted because of our relationship to Christ. The better the world understands Christ, the more they will hate Him. In this message, we face the reactions as well as the reasons Christians face persecution. How should we respond when we’re attacked for believing in Jesus?Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)
Maurice White's race through a thicket of naysayers and outright enemies. In fact, Jesus said that believers would be hated by the world today how we should respond when we returned just believing in Jesus save the Moody Church in Chicago this with Dr. Sir clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line.
Master loser. It seems that attacks on Christians in the Christian faith are intensifying more and more that's right Dave. And when you think of this sermon that Jesus Christ preached to the disciples.
The discussion that he had with them in the upper room when you think of that. Consider all of the themes that are covered themes. You know, such as heaven, the Holy Spirit peace but also persecution Jesus made it very clear that because they hate me, they will hate you.
Now it's very important to emphasize that we should not hate back, but the fact is, we can expect resistance and Jesus prepared his disciples for that. That's why I wrote the book entitled prepare your heart for an uncertain future. It's really, in some sense an exposition of the upper room that covers all of these topics to give us encouragement to give us direction and to give us hope for a gift of any amount. It can be yours.
Go to RTW offer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337 prepare your heart for an uncertain future know if you are to stand at the corner of State and Madison and ask people what they thought of Jesus probably most would be very positive. People would say well he was a good teacher. He taught us how to love everybody knows that. And they probably think that he is a very very nice man. The problem is that if that's all that he was he would be a liar would be demeaning of him give you today and ask them that I don't ever want you to forget and that is this the better the world understands Christ, the more they will come to hate him. Is he the reason that Hollywood can come up with some movies and right people can write some books who are not believers and say wonderful things about Jesus is because they misunderstand him if they understood him they would reject centrality of his message because there are two conflicting philosophies with very little common ground. What Jesus loves the world hates what the world hates Jesus love when we speak of the world, we mean the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. It's that whole system of the world apart from God. The values of the world and as a result of that worldly people and that's another name for unbelievers have a certain set of values and they dislike very much the implications of the Christian faith. And what Jesus is all about at route to the conflict is between Satan and God FB Meyer said between such irreconcilable opposites as the church in the world. There cannot be but antagonism and strife.
Each treasures and seeks what the other rejects is worthless. Each is devoted to the ends that are inimical to the dearest interest of the other world and God did in fact it says that you cannot love the world and God.
Simultaneously, there is this conflict and today we see it in terrifying clarity in our text were going to talk about the relationship that we had to the world and were going to end with the optimistic knowledge that at the end of the day Jesus triumphs, and because he does we do to take your Bibles and turn to the 15th chapter of John's Gospel of John chapter 15 and what were going to do is to see this basic principle. Jesus just told the disciples that they were his friend and we too are his friends because he brings us into the inner circle and tells us the secrets of God having told them that what he saying is, and here's the basic premise now that the way in which the world responded to me is the way the world will respond to you to be a friend of Jesus means that we get the same reaction from the world as Jesus got healed, say in a moment that a servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you to do so. That's the direction that this message is going.
So what are the responses that we get from the world and how do we respond to those responses which is really the essence of our message today. First of all we will be hated by the world. I'm picking up it in verse 18 of John V. Gain if the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belong to the world that would love its own as it is you do not belong to the world but I have chosen you out of the world. That's why the world hates you. Well, let me say first of all, that the world is actually very apt to hate anyway. If you have values such as the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. Life there so much conflict in antagonism and jealousy in the trail that the world very naturally hates hatred. The potential of it is in every human heart. But why hate Jesus a couple of reasons. First of all because he exposed the world exposed that he himself said that he said I am the light of the world and people ate the light. Someone has said that when dirty men in all of us are dirty and that includes the women to speaking of mankind. I'm sure let's be equal opportunity employers. At this point someone has said that dirty people let's put it that way in the presence of Jesus. Either must get cleaned or they must reject him. You know people don't like someone who exposes them.
We've had instances here in the city of Chicago where people perhaps exposed what was happening in the fire department or a people expose what happens in a factory. When tires aren't made, according to specifications and those who are in charge. Absolutely loathe people like that and sometimes ostracize them or punish them because we're supposed to keep all of our little dirty secrets to ourselves. Jesus comes along and exposes all of us, and in his presence. We cannot stand. We must kneel we must bow we must say that my sin has found me out and none of us likes the process but none of us likes it, but the world absolutely hates it. Why did Cain kill label because his own deeds were evil and his brothers deeds were righteous and there is the antagonism going right back to the beginning. So Jesus comes along and exposes their sin. He also judges the sin of the world.
I'm picking it up now at verse 22, where he says these words if I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin.
He who hates me hates my Father as well. If I had not done among them what no one else did they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen these miracles, and yet they have hated both me and my father while Jesus doesn't mean to say that if he had not come. These people would've been sinless.
What he's saying is, is that he is coming highlighted their sin is coming was a light that shone into the darkness and as a result, the sin was exposed, it became evident.
It it took it from under the rock so to speak, and it brought it into daylight. Jesus is saying that he has robbed the world of any excuse that they might have about their sin.
The Old Testament you see revelations of God. You see God coming sometimes in fury, and even in glory, but that's nothing in comparison to the New Testament where Jesus comes God, who in various ways and sundry times vacant time passed on to the fathers by the prophets. It says in the book of Hebrews as in these last days spoken unto us by his son, the blazing light of God's revelation was found in Jesus and now they have no excuse their sin is exposed. It is highlighted because of the coming of Christ.
So Jesus said don't be so surprised if the world hates us. Now what form should this hatred take should we be antagonistic with the world. Now we don't have to spark that kind of antagonism that exists there already is really the issue. Prayer in schools or even prayer before football games that antagonizes the world as it really the battle that should be fought.
I don't think that that's the battle that should be fought today.
I think that would be wonderful if we had prayer in schools of everybody believed in God and in Jesus, so that we can close the prayer in Jesus name, but some kind of a nebulous prayer, whoever you are up there. Please help us etc. that's that's not that's not really what we we ask, what would we ought to be doing. By the way is making sure that rather than fighting that battle that we have prayer in our churches, and that we have big prayer meetings and that we have prayer in our homes where we see God for that is, the battle fought well let me just look into your eyes today and I hope that no matter how far back you are sitting you can see at least my face is not my eyes because I'm speaking to you even as I speak to me. The battle is spot in every factory in every home in every bank in every place where you find yourself and you lived that life of integrity and you will not compromise and you will not participate in the things that the people there participating in and even though you are ill thought of and whispered about and called names you represented Jesus where he planted you and you say I will joyfully and that's a keyword now. I will joyfully accept the hatred of the world. Jesus said if they hated me they're going to hate you do why we get this idea. It's an American idea largely here in the West where democracy has been very hospitable to the Christian faith. We get the idea. Somehow, that the world is supposed to accept us and love us and think that we are just as cool as they are. And so what we do, we do everything that they do to make us think of how wonderful we are and we lose our witness.
Don't be antagonistic, but living a life of purity will always breed an unsettling view in the world many years ago I remember someone who got a $0.99 bag of potatoes but didn't pay for it because it was on the bottom of the shopping cart. The shopper happens to be someone who is related to me somewhat distantly. But the shopper knew that the bag was not being registered, but she just didn't say anything. She got home and she began to be convicted by the Holy Spirit. Christians are usually the world looks at a thing like that. They say you know that's really neat. I really pulled a good one over Dominic's Christians. Christians know but that's sin. So she went back and found the manager and told him that she had to pay the money and so forth.
And he said you know either. Either it's my lucky day or something is happening in this town because you're the second person is come today and and is done that happened that there were special meetings in a church and people were getting right with God and and that's the kind of righteousness, but his seat as she began to share with him what God was doing and how God was bringing about new integrity and honesty in the lives of people in his city she said, quote he was visibly shook see the world has so many sins and skeletons in their closets that when Christians become honest and open and trusting and dependable and will live lives of moral integrity and faithfulness the world begins its core and in the end they will hate us. Secondly, the world will persecute us were taking it a step further.
In our ratcheting it up. Their emotions of hatred now turn to actual deeds and you'll notice here Jesus emphasizes that I'm picking it up at verse 20. Remember the words I spoke to you.
No servant is greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.
If they obeyed my teaching, which they largely didn't. They will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. Jesus said that you can expect persecution and he did the Herodian's the Pharisees and the Sadducees, they all got together though they were individual enemies and antagonistic when it came to putting Jesus away laid aside their differences and says we have a common enemy and they sought him like a hawk as seeks its prey. So Jesus knew whereof he spoke. But what he saying here is that we can expect persecution because of spiritual ignorance. Notice that the text says they do this because they do not know the one who sent me. That's the last part of verse 21 is a crucial phrase you ever wondered whether or not you personally would have accepted Christ as Messiah or not. If you had lived during the days when Jesus was here on earth, often thought about that so easy to look back and criticize those people and say why didn't I see it, but the question that you have to ask is what you have seen it.
Not what Jesus is saying is this, that those who knew the father before he came in the Old Testament sense of the word.
They were in contact with God. Yes, they had offered the sacrifices but their hearts had also been given to God. Jesus said those are the ones who recognized him to be the Messiah when he came. If they would've known the father they would've known me, but they don't know me because they never knew the father.
They were into religion. They were not into knowing God with all of its implication.
And so Jesus said that one of the reasons they can persecute you is because of spiritual ignorance. They don't know the father, though they think they do, and therefore they don't know me you know were living at a time when we hear that word said a lot tolerance political candidates may say something like, you know, I really believe in religious tolerance for all religion. I want you to be very wary of that hidden behind that sanctimonious slogan is concealed a deadly book because the way that is interpreted often times it really means that I believe so much in religious tolerance that I don't think you have a right to witness to anyone about their faith because faith should be entirely private and all who often under the guise of tolerance. You have the withdrawing of religious freedom. I saw this most clearly when we were in China way back in 1984 those days and things that change somewhat now, but perhaps a little bit but in those days there was no what we call freedom of religion that we did go to church and churches were constantly monitored by the state and so more than when we complained to the tour guide and said that why don't we have freedom of religion in China. She said something very interesting. She said we do have freedom of religion in China and then she said the people in China can be as religious as they want to be within their own minds. Words within your mind.
We can't control that. Yet you can be as religious as you like. Therefore wary where we have freedom of religion, and she might've added were totally tolerant to people of all religions because you can accept any religion that you want in your mind, and I don't want to be melodramatic, but my dear friend, not until religion is confined to the human mind will some of the enemies of religion in America be satisfied. What are we going to do about it. Will Jesus tells us that it's okay okay it's been predicted, but I want you to notice that we are persecuted because of spiritual ignorance and also because of spiritual deception. People are deceived.
You'll notice in chapter 16 the same thought continues and he says in verse two they will put you out of the synagogue.
In fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think that he is offering a service to God and they will do such things because they have not known the father nor knee while it was their thinking they're doing got a service, this is Pastor lutes are one of the things that we have to grapple with is this when people believe a lie is the truth to them. That's why it is that in this world. There's so much deception. Sometimes it's genuine deception.
People are absolutely committed to their lies and you and I must recognize that we also can fall for deceptions. That's why we have to stay close to God's word. We need to spend time in fellowship that we might have wisdom to be able to discern that which is true and that which is false. Jesus prepared is hard for an uncertain future. That's why I've written a book on the upper room discourse so that you and I might have some guidance for the very difficult days ahead when the enemies of religion are surrounding us and when we are living in a collapsing culture for gift of any amount. This resource can be yours. Go to RTW offeror.com or you can call us at 1-888-218-9337 I'm going to be giving you that contact info again so that you can get a pencil, write it down, but at the same time I want to thank you in advance for helping us financially, you frequently have heard me say that running to win is in 20 different countries for different languages. All because of people like you go to RTW offeror.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337.
As a matter of fact you can call right now.
It's time once more for another chance for you to ask Pastor lutes or a question about the Bible or the Christian life trying to understand God has raised philosophical questions for a long long time. Linda is a Remington when listener was trying to come to terms with some of these dilemmas.
She writes if God abhors evil. It is omniscient.
Why then did he create Satan if he knew what Satan would do, why even have such an angel doesn't not follow then that God has a bit of evil in himself, Linda, first of all let me commend you for asking. The big question. One thing I can say about your question is, it is not a small one.
It is really at the heart of the mystery that all of us have struggled with, namely God knowing all things knowing how they will all turn out why old is evil. Why Satan what's the big deal. Well Linda, I thought about this for many many years.
In fact, I've done some writing about it and I've concluded that there is no way to answer it.
Apart from the fact that God has a hidden purpose that he is accomplishing. I do know that that purpose in the Bible is very closely connected with his own glory. He is working toward something else other than our own happiness other than the happiness of this cursed planet God has something in mind, and when Satan rebelled even God could have simply chosen to confine them to another planet or to annihilate him. God had so many different options but God decided that he would let this world be a stage on which the issues of good and evil, right and wrong would be played out, and he also ordained that on this stage, Satan would be a being with a tremendous amount of power but at the same time that power would always be limited and be subject to the will and the permission of God, and someday I do believe Linda were going to be able to understand it so much better than we do now. So at this time. All that we can say is, all things are of God to him for him from him, to him be all the glory because his purpose is marching toward something bigger, better, more awesome, more glorious than we can even imagine. Thank you Dr. Blitzer for tackling one of those really big questions if you'd like to hear your question answered. Go to our email@example.com and click on ask Pastor lutes or or call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us have run into when 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614. We can't expect to always run a smooth race of life. When confronted by persecution.
There will be bumps in the road. Next time I'm running to win. Join us for more details on facing oppression and outright hatred with the courage only the Holy Spirit can give. Don't miss the conclusion of a courageous heart to heart all of us will need in the dark days ahead for Dr. Erwin lutes or this is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the teacher