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June 6, 2021 5:00 am
This is on Solomon and I like to welcome you to our program today. You know it's a tremendous honor that God is given us to be on stations all around the nation bringing the truth of God's word as it is uncompromising and straightforward and I'm so glad you tuned in to listen and be part of that. Thanks again for your support and your generosity that keeps us on the radio and now let's get to the word of God as we mark the opening of Washington's newest museum. Its actual name is the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum down on the ball and there was a lot of hoopla but you know, of course, the museum is there to remind the world of the horrors that Nazi Germany did to the Jewish people killing in less than five years, over 6 million Jewish people and all that 5,000,001 1/2 million were children.
If you can imagine that.
I suppose when we think about persecution of a people, the Holocaust has to stand out as the quintessential example anywhere in human history of persecution and yet we need to remember that these were not the only people of ever been persecuted, but if you go back to history you will find the persecution is a very common thing in history was seen even today, and it doesn't even have to be ethnic, a lot of us here today may even be in a situation where we feel persecuted by her boss of our neighbor, or by some teacher. I feel persecuted by teachers or by may be a relative. Does Jesus have anything to say a few of us were being persecuted.
Of course he does.
Because Jesus has something to say to every issue of life that support what he says to us is this, that no matter how badly you're being treated here on the earth. If you're willing to come and give your life to me and trusted me. I'll give you peace that overrides any amount of persecution that you're facing here Jesus said Matthew 11 come to me all you who labor and are heavy laid were burdened down and I will give you rest. You'll find peace for your soul is Avalon that's great and that's good and I understand that but does Jesus have anything to say specifically about persecution, yes he does. And that's what were going to look at here in Luke chapter 6 verse 22. Blessed are you, Jesus said when people hate you when they exclude you when they insult you, and when they reject your name as evil a look at the kinds of things Jesus is talking about, he says. First of all, when people hate you meaning when they feel animosity towards you when they exclude you when they feel ostracism towards you when they insult you when they give you verbal abuse and when they reject your name is evil when they assassinate your reputation and your character. When people do this to you.
Matthew's gospel says Blessed are you when you are persecuted and this is persecution, ostracism, animosity, verbal abuse, character assassination is a lawn. It sounds just like what I'm facing is a what you're telling me is that God here promises me a blessing God promises to supernaturally bless me and reward me, if I'm willing to put up with that kind of treatment rights may be made look and says I am Blessed are you when men hate you and exclude you and insult you and reject you name it says that God is going to bless me what you mean maybe.
Well, wait a minute. We have to read the rest of verse right chemistry have public Blessed are you, Jesus.
When people hate you and exclude you and insult you and reject your name is evil here comes because of the Son of Man. You see all of us at some time or another in our lives are mistreated. That's nothing unusual and there is no intrinsic spiritual blessing in just being mistreated. God is not going to come along and give you some special supernatural blessing just because somebody is mistreating you in some area of life.
Usually it's your fault or my fault. This kind of blessing Jesus is talking about a supernatural blessing is for people who are mistreated, but they have to be mistreated for the right reason in order to qualify and the reason is because of me because of Jesus Christ because were not willing to deny the truth of the word of God because we are not willing to negotiate in an area where the Bible says there is no negotiation. When that's the reason that people are doing these nasty things to us. Then Jesus said, I'm willing to bless you with a supernatural blessing for taking a stand for me. See if you got a friend at work and a friend at work is treating you badly but if you can fix it by going to that friend and apologizing for the fact that you stole their idea and gave it to the boss and you got the credit when it was their idea and they feel you wronged them and did something unethical and that's why there may and that's why they're doing these nasty things to you, you're not suffering for Jesus is suffering because a you that doesn't qualify for Luke chapter 6 which Jesus is talking about here is suffering that comes because of our stand for Christ as their will on how my going to tell if I'm suffering for Jesus or from suffering because of me. Very simple. Your suffering for Jesus Christ is the only way you can bring the persecution you're facing to an end is for you to deny or to compromise some truth out of the word of God against anyone saying not a matter personally apologizing or changing your habits or doing something that's more sensitive and kind to others.
But the only way you can fix the alienation between you and that a person is for you to deny the truth of the word of God, then your suffering for the sake of Christ. Folks were willing to take those Connor stands we are going no matter how nice we are about how gentle or how loving or how compassionate we are working to feel some backlash from the world because the world is not going to want to hear the truths of God that when that happens, Jesus said don't worry about it.
Don't worry about it.
Verse 23. Rejoice in that day and leave for joy. Jesus said when people mistreat you because of your stand for me. Rejoice and leap for joy while on, look what it says, because verse 23. Great is your reward in heaven.
Here's why. Great is your reward in heaven. See, even though God says that he is going to give us blessing in this life for standing for him. The real basis for our hopeless Christians is not in this life.
It's in the life to come. It's in heaven. Everywhere we look in the Bible. Folks, we find God holding out this promise of heavenly reward as a way of motivating us to be true to him in this life.
The Bible says that Jesus himself for the joy that was set before him.
You say, what joy, the joy being raised from the dead, the joy of ascending to the right hand of God the joy of being given a name that was above every name, so every kneel down every tongue will confess to that name for that joy. The Bible says, who for the joy that was set before him in heaven, endured the cross, you see, it was the promise of future blessing of the Lord that gave Jesus Christ. Even the strength to stand and do what needed to be done here on earth. Listen to Paul Paulson for our troubles here are achieving for us an eternal glory in heaven that far outweighs all our troubles, so then he says we are fixing our eyes not on the things that we can see which are temporal, but on the things that we can say which are eternal and even Moses. The Bible says regarding the disgrace that he suffered for the sake of Christ, not even worthy to be compared to the treasures of Egypt because he was looking ahead to his reward. There are some folks really don't like this kind of teaching they say no go is completely improper for us to be trying to motivate people to stand for the more nearby telling of the good to get a reward in heaven.
That's not right. I beg to differ with you everywhere I look in the Bible. I find God without apology telling us that this is the way it is.
And using this as a way to motivate us.
God wants us as Christians to think about heaven and God wants us as Christians to draw comfort from the fact that no matter how much people may persecute us down here for our stand for Christ. You and I as Christians are going to a place where nobody will ever persecute us again and more than that were God will reward us in eternity for being willing to be lightning rods for Christ in this world symbol on one of these rewards you got any idea I will have a clue, but I'll tell you this, when God gives out rewards you want and friends. We dare not minimize the present power of a future reward.
This is what inspired Moses and Paul and even the Lord Jesus himself and kept them going, and God offers it to us so that it will be something to motivate and inspire us to stand firm for him here because he's got some really special force there. If we do, that's our passage, but it leads us to ask the question, so what, that's right. Last week after one of our services. I had a lady come forward. She's a Jewish lady and she's not here this morning. She's from out of town. Don't try to go figure out who she is and say all I think I know who that woman was because you don't she's a visitor but she came forward and she said I got a question ask yes okay go fire. She's again all those people in the Holocaust. To me the museums being open this week and I said yes, sure. She said all those people that were so horribly mistreated and were treated like animals. I said yes she said are you telling me that everyone of them. The didn't know Jesus Christ as their personal savior is in hell today is that what you're telling me what you said. I said will mail it doesn't make me happy to tell you this, but in light of what God tells us in the Bible. Every one of them who did not know Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior is in hell today.
She said I permitted. I knew she was just searching for what to say and she said I am so offended. I can't believe that you would say that these were hard-working people. These were good people and these were people who love their children, and provided for their children and took a stand for their religion and you're telling me that there in hell because they didn't trust Jesus Christ. That is all that unsafe to me.
That's, how we parted is the one that's careful when I'm supposed to make people walk out of church angry will more people walking out here offended and mad. I agree the folks listen. There is a big difference between our being personally offensive and the offense of the cross is a difference between our being personally offensive and the offense of the cross and if you're not sure you understand the difference. I'm gonna explain it to you right now. You see, the Bible says that we are not to be offensive. People, for example, in Colossians chapter 4.
The Bible tells us that our conversation is to be full of graciousness. The Bible tells us in first Peter chapter 3 that were to be always ready to give an answer to people who ask about the hope within us. But with respect, and gentleness. We are not to be offensive. People however no matter how kind how gracious or how nonoffensive personally.
We try to be the message that we are giving out the message of the cross is an offensive message it offends people say why.
The reason is that it rankles their product. Human pride says I can do it I can make it. I don't need any help on okay I got the whole thing under control. I can handle my own problems. I can work my way through this. I can deal with it.
Whatever God is asking of me. I can take care of it. I don't need any help from the outside. I'm okay leave me alone message were giving out says you can't fix it. You're not okay everyone of us is a sinner and the site of a holy God, and no amount of works that you can do. Consistent any help from the outside. We all do. And the reason Jesus Christ came and died on the cross and shed his blood was to pay for the penalty of our sin that we can't pay for ourselves were helpless but the only way for our sin to be forgiven and paid for is for us to stop trusting ourselves admit that we need help and embrace Jesus Christ and what he did for us. Now that offends people's pride and folks, there is no way for us to escape the offense of the cross. If we are going to remain true to the word of God that we can escape the offense of the cross.
If we want to change the message of the Bible were to remain true to the word of God. There is no way to remove the offense of the cross from the message you and I had to deliver our friends and our neighbors and our relatives and we understand the offense of the cross explains why people treat us the way Luke chapter 6 of the gonna treat us. It explains why when we tell people the truth of the gospel.
We get ostracism rejection what he wanted. Jesus says here in the end of chapter 6, verse 23 for this is how their fathers treated the prophets all God's real prophets were treated in the same way when they told people the truth about God and the truth about themselves and the truth about their sin.
People didn't like it and people reacted the Very Way, Luke six says they're going to stay with Jeremiah doing minimal well and didn't feed them for days. They stone Zechariah to death. Jezebel ran a lodge out of town traditions as they sought Isaiah in half. You know these magicians who come in the book the lady in the box in a foreign half and influence. The lady comes out is only one feasible when they did this to Isaiah. He cannot do, please. They nailed Jesus Christ to the cross and the people in our world today when we try to give them the same message of a treatise the same way and it's really not you that they hate. If a message and I been trying to deliver to mankind. Ever since mankind began that they hate.
And as long as you keep trying to deliver the same message.
People don't keep responding in the same way know I'm old enough that there are some things in life that I regret. I regret that I didn't tell my father that I loved you more before he died.
He's dead and been gone for years but I regret that when he was here.
I didn't take the time to telling more how much I felt about how much I appreciated.
I regret that I didn't get to my mother's burial service down in Portsmouth, Virginia last fall when it was held civil in a long wait a minute. You should've been there, why didn't you go there, well I'll tell you why my mom has one sister. Why, that's all. No brothers, one sister, my aunt obviously when my mom passed away. My aunt took it upon herself to coordinate all of the events of the service that you not understand the Jewish funeral is different than a Gentile funeral. We come here to a church or funeral home.
We have a big service and then we got a fairly small graveside event. Jewish people do it the other way around. They have a very small graveside event and then somebody opens their home and all the friends all the relatives.
All the neighbors.
Everybody who knows the person that passed away comes in and they all schmooze and they eat and they console themselves is called sitting Siobhan Hebrew survives a word which means seven and tradition is that you do this for seven days you received friends for seven days for my aunt deliver the message to me through my stepfather. She didn't call me or so, but I was not welcome at her house where they were sitting Shiva if I want to come to the grave.
That was my business or all the family and friends would be gathering for the rest of the day. I was not welcome persona non grata you know you would think a time like this when it's your mother that you put aside differences but not her salon. What the world did you ever do this. She would do something like this.
Did you/her tires did you sabotage your husband's career. Did you attack her children. Did you poison her Footage of noticeable. I do any of those horrible things.
All I did was to tell this woman several times over the last 22 years the Jesus Christ as the Jewish Messiah that apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ. She's lost and that her rabbis are leading her straight down the road to hell.
That's all I told she called and said none of that's coming into my house, you're not welcome. Look, I know how to make peace with my aunt's easy. All I have to do is call my aunt and say you know what I was wrong about Jesus Christ. He's not the Jewish Messiah. I was wrong about where you stand as a Jewish person in relationship to God, you're in great shape. No problem.
I was wrong about this Christian thing and I was wrong about Helen. I was wrong about the need for personal faith in Jesus Christ.
I was wrong about all you're doing fine and you know what we'd be good friends.
I can do that because that means denying Jesus Christ. I can't do that and so I missed my mom's funeral, but it's okay because the Lord knows and you know what folks is a very searching comment right here in Luke six that I want you to look at Stella. Verse 26 woe to you, Jesus said when everybody speaks well of you because that's how their fathers treated the false prophets we slyly treated the real prophets, but this is how they treated the false prophecy of false prophet will say anything you want to hear in order to get into your good graces and have you like him so if everybody speaks well of you.
Jesus said something is wrong. If you're really standing up for me and bearing the message for me and telling people not what they want to hear but what I need for them to hear the truth of the word of God, the truth about salvation, the truth about their sinfulness. The truth about their need for Christ. Somebody somewhere is not going to like you. Somebody somewhere is not little appreciate what you're saying.
Somebody somewhere is to make it their business to try to shut you up woe to you when everybody talks well about you so I have a question for you.
Searching? Can you think of anybody in your life. Anybody who's alienated from you today simply because you've told them about Jesus Christ you've told them the truth about their personal need for Christ and salvation you think of anybody anywhere who exacts what they have against anybody. I'd like to suggest to you if you can't think of anybody that's a problem because if you and are telling enough people about Christ the way we should want to run innocent people like this somewhere so long. What is this you masochist I need to try to convince us. God wants us to be masochist we should go out here looking for persecution. Is that what this is all about.
No, not at all.
God did not call us to be masochist God called us to be true to his word and when we are folks we won't have to go looking for persecution, it will find us. We'll get plenty all by yourself. You won't have to go looking for it and when it does find you. Jesus calls us to stand firm for his truth and he promises us that if we will not only will he bless us in this life, but he'll lay up some exciting rewards force of the life to come. As Christians, I hope that you got a long-range view of your life. Another short range.
I hope that your farsighted, not nearsighted, farsighted person says you know this life is just a vapor just like this going to be gone. And then all the things that people didn't mean to me because I tried to stand for Christ will make one bit of difference. It'll just be a fading memory. But the rewards of heaven that I learned by standing for Christ will stay with me forever. Member what Paul said. I'm not looking at the things that are seen because they're gonna go on working for the things that are unseen, eternal, I thought many times when I get to heaven. It's not my aunt was going to open the door to heaven and invite Mia. So my aunts was going to sit me down and say no long. Let's conduct a performance review and see how you did down there is Christian know Jesus Christ is going to be the one to do all that is all I have to make a choice between being true to Jesus Christ or getting along with my aunt which is the smart choice friends I got a poster at home on the wall and that serves as a good reality check for me. It says this work for the Lord. The pay may not be great but the retirement benefits are out of this world that you like that sometimes when I'm feeling beaten down and feel like giving up just like you feel sometimes when I'm saying I don't know if this is worth it. I look at the poster and I say God it's worth it, but spring heavenly father, thank you for reminding us today of issues that we need to be reminded of