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When You're Rejected Because of Christ #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
April 21, 2023 12:00 am

When You're Rejected Because of Christ #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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April 21, 2023 12:00 am

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Christ yearned for those who wouldn't have Him. Christ sympathizes, therefore, and understands from His own earthly experience what it is like for you to yearn after a relationship and people will not have you. People will not have you because of your association with Christ.

We're so glad you've joined us on The Truth Pulpit with Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. Hi, I'm Bill Wright and as Don continues to teach God's people God's Word, we wrap up our series titled, When You're Rejected Because of Christ. Last time, Don offered the first two of four important principles that hopefully provide the encouragement you need to cope with spiritual rejection. You must remember the reality of your salvation and the reward of your salvation when the mockers inevitably show themselves in your life.

Today, our teacher will provide the final two principles. So, with your Bible in hand, let's join Don Green now in The Truth Pulpit. Well, Christian, let's go back and build in you even more of those things that would sustain you in the midst of rejection and persecution. You remember the reality of your salvation, what Christ has done, the possessions that are yours now spiritually in Him. You remember the reward of your salvation, that there is far better things yet to come. Thirdly, and this is where the doors of intimacy, as it were, kind of fling open.

And in this, good. In this, you see Christ in a new way. Having paid a cost of your own, you look back and you look into Scripture and you understand something about Christ and His earthly life. You see it with a new spectacle, with new glasses. You see it from a new perspective. You see it with a clarity that maybe you didn't before. You see His life, and then you realize what that means in terms of how He views you in your suffering, your rejection, your persecution, the loss that you have paid for the sake of following Christ.

What do you do thirdly? Thirdly, you remember the sympathy of Christ. Remember the sympathy of Christ. So have men rejected you for the sake of Christ?

Have you been despised for the name? Have you been isolated and alone? Perhaps in times past, you can remember looking back, times where you had to step out of a worldly environment or step out from amongst people who really had nothing to do with Christ. And you had to step out, and you stepped out alone. And you stepped out not knowing what the event would be, not knowing what the consequences would be, but you stepped out because you knew that that's what loyalty to Christ required.

Well, beloved, as you stand alone like that, remember the sympathy of Christ. Remember that you follow a Christ who Himself was despised and rejected by men. Look at Isaiah chapter 53. Isaiah 53. Christian, are you mocked?

Are you rejected? Has a wall of silence fallen over a relationship that you once held dear for the sake of Christ, for the sake of righteousness? Oh, then draw near to Christ today. Draw near to this One whom Isaiah prophetically said in Isaiah 53 verse 3. He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.

And like One from whom men hide their face, He was despised and we did not esteem Him. Do you feel alone for Christ? Oh, you're not really alone, are you? Christ is with you. He said, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Your brothers and sisters in Christ are with you. But I know that there's that sense in a relationship that's particularly near to your heart, and the isolation is there, and even as you remember these other realities, there's still a spot in your heart that says this is lonely. This is hard.

This is a cost that it seems like no one else can understand. Ah, beloved, but then go back. When you feel that way, go back to Christ and realize that Christ really was alone for the sake of obedience to the Father. He was alone on that cross.

He was despised and rejected by those who were at the foot of the cross, mocking Him, spitting on Him, delighting in the spectacle of His spilled blood. Alone. And realize that you're not alone, that you have a Savior who understands something what that's like. In fact, He understands far more about it than you do.

He's drunk more deeply from that cup than you ever will. And you go to Him and you say, Christ, I see it afresh now. I see your solitary punishment that you bore on my behalf. With no one there to support you. No one there to encourage you in a human sense.

And yet you went all the way through. You know. Remember something also, beloved, of His earthly life. That Christ knows something about those yearnings for people who will not have you. Christ knew that more deeply in His earthly human life, and Scripture records it for us.

Beloved, and I will go there for a passage in a moment, a couple of passages. Remember that Christ knew that He was coming to a world that would reject Him. He knew what lay ahead.

The rejection was inevitable. And yet we read Scripture and find that it still grieved Him. It still touched His heart.

It still affected Him. Look at Matthew chapter 23. Matthew chapter 23. And you get a window into the earnest desires of Christ. The sincerity of the offer of the gospel. Going out to all men. And we see that the root of rejection is not found in the attitude of Christ. It is alone in the attitudes of men who reject Him. In Matthew chapter 23 verse 37, it's a poignant passage.

And verse 37, He looks out over the city and He cries out, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her. How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her checks under her wings, and you were unwilling. He says, I would have spread my wings over you, but you refused. So many times I would have had you. So many times I would have welcomed you if you had only come, but you wouldn't. You refused.

You stood apart. You distanced yourself from my love and from the invitation of the gospel so many times. And to Jerusalem, He says, now it's too late.

Behold, your house is being left to you desolate. What I would have you see here in the context of which we're speaking here today, beloved, is this. Is that Christ yearned for those who wouldn't have Him. Christ sympathizes, therefore, and understands from His own earthly experience what it is like for you to yearn after a relationship and people will not have you. People will not have you because of your association with Christ, because of your commitment to righteousness, because you won't go with them in the same kind of excess that they knew you for before you were saved. And you say, I would have you. Even, I would give my love, I would give of myself freely to you.

No is the response. And humanly speaking, and in the sense of human love and compassion, you, ah, ah, that hurts. At that point of hurt, beloved, don't give in to the despair, don't get your feelings hurt, don't be angry, don't retaliate, don't do any of those things. Go immediately to Christ and say, Lord, you understand what this is like.

You wanted to gather them like chicks and they said no. Look over at Luke chapter 13. Luke 13. You see, there's a sympathy that Christ has with us. Christ doesn't merely appoint these sorrows for us to walk through as part of the platform that He gives us to glorify His name with our earthly lives.

He doesn't just appoint it and then step back, fold His arms across His chest and say, let's see how you deal with that one. That's not the spirit of our Lord at all. He understands with sympathy, with consolation. He receives you when you bring the sorrow to Him. Look at Luke chapter 13, verse 34.

Once again, Christ says, oh, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her. How often I wanted to gather your children together just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings and you would not have it. All I want you to see is the desire that Christ expresses that was in His own heart toward a stubborn, rebellious people who would not have Him. And He said, I wanted it. I wanted you to be with Me, but you said no. Understand as He speaks to Jerusalem, understand that the responsibility and the culpability of that is on you. You will bear the consequences of your own sinful desires. It's not because I wouldn't have you.

I wanted it. And beloved, I know for some of you, you look at relationships and say, oh, I want that, but they won't have it. Only point we're making here, Christ knew that feeling. Christ knew that desire. Christ knew that lack of fulfillment on a human sense when He stiffed armed away and people stiff arm you away and say leave me alone. I have nothing to do with your Christ. You say, but I love you, but I care about you.

You say as they have their backs walking away from you. Oh, beloved, what I want you to see is that Christ knows that rejection by personal experience. And therefore, He sympathizes with you when you endure a lesser experience of it for His sake. Of course He's sympathetic. Of course He cares. He knows what it's like and He understands that you're going through that for the sake of His name. And all of a sudden, as we said, it's as if the French doors of intimacy have been pulled back, opened up, and Christ says, yeah, now you get it, don't you?

Come in and rest with me for a little while. One last passage on this, Matthew 19, verse 41. Matthew 19, verse 41.

Out forever on the idea, on the suggestion that Christ is indifferent, that Christ is uncaring. Verse 41, when He approached Jerusalem, this is Luke 19, verse 41. When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, if you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace, but now they have been hidden from your eyes. What was the heart of Christ?

Luke 19, verse 41. What was the heart of Christ like in the midst of that rejection by His own people? He wept over it. He sobbed. His compassion was real. This was no false emotion. He knew that their own stubborn refusal was going to cost them their souls.

Beloved, if our Lord knew something about that, then what's that mean for us today? Today when people reject you, send you away, give you the employment pink slip, won't answer your calls, decline your desires to talk with them. Say, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. They say, when that happens, and you're feeling the weight of, but this is someone I love and care about, and I can't do anything about it. Today when people reject your love, reject your testimony, reject any relationship with you.

Let's make it all real simple here. When that happens, remember that your Savior sees, and your Savior understands, and your Savior's arms, as it were, are open wide and say, come and pour out your heart to me, for I've been there. I know. I knew this was coming for you.

I appointed it for you. Now draw more closely to me. Draw more closely to Christ. When the days are weary, the long nights are dreary, you can know, good, your Savior cares. Look at Hebrews chapter 4.

Hebrews chapter 4. As you're turning there, one of the things that this does is it also liberates you from those constant second-guessings of things that you said or did in the past. Maybe if I'd done it a little differently, maybe it's my fault.

Well, maybe you've been a pain in the neck and you've lost relationships over that. That's something different. But when it's for the sake of Christ, this liberates you from wondering, maybe I should have done something differently. Jesus said this is part of the warp and woof of discipleship. And when you're in the midst of that, beloved, when your family members won't return your calls, when they say the harsh and vindictive things that they know are going to wound you, come to Christ.

Remember his sympathy. Hebrews chapter 4 verse 14. Writer of Hebrews says, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens.

Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore, let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. In that isolation that you feel, beloved, go to Christ with the confidence and promise of his word that he is receiving you with a sense of compassion, with mercy, with grace, with the intention to fully welcome you, bless you. As he said in Matthew chapter 11, come to me, all you who weary and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Let the occasion of the rejection be that which gives you and in which you find the certainty and the fulfillment of his promise to give rest to his people and their sufferings, particularly when, he says, when people insult you and speak all kinds of evil against you falsely on account of me. He knows he cares.

You can trust him. Well, there's a final thing that we would say, and we'll just say this by way of introduction and save the rest of it. Remember the purpose of your salvation, the purpose of your salvation. And at this point, we would pivot into Matthew chapter 5 verse 13. I'm not going to discuss the verse really here today except to just make this known to you, just to remind you sometimes there are perspectives that we need to understand, to have a defining perspective on the way that we think about our salvation and what it means to be a Christian in a lost and dying world. You need to know what the purpose of your salvation is, beloved.

And I say this gently, but I say it hopefully with clarity so that it can sink deep into your heart. Jesus Christ did not save you so that you would be popular with men. Christ did not save you so that unsaved men would adore you and welcome you and think that you're someone great. That wasn't the purpose. They rejected Him.

They reject us. You see, you have a greater purpose in the world than having your own ego stroked or finding your emotional satisfaction in human relationships. That's not the point of your salvation, beloved. The point of your salvation is something completely different. It is transcendent.

It is far greater than that. It is not about you. It's not about you. Verse 13 of Matthew chapter 5, Jesus says you're the salt of the earth. But if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It's no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You're the light of the world.

A city sit on a hill cannot be hidden. Salt and light here, as we're going to see in the weeks to come, are metaphors. They're word pictures to give you a sense of the purpose of your salvation and why it is that you exist as a Christian in this world. It is not for your sake. It is not so that you can maximize everything that this world has to offer.

Not to maximize the applause of men because you know from sad personal experience, a lot of times the men don't applaud for you. Your purpose is something different. As we're going to see, your purpose is to be as salt to the world.

Salt used as that which prevented decay in meat and helped it not to rot. Christ uses you, uses your godly life in order to help retard the spiritual decay of the world. Collectively, that's the impact that the church has. Individually in your sphere of relationships, that's the impact you have. You act as a restraining influence against sin. That is different from having people like you.

Say, ah, okay, so it's not about being liked after all. I have a different purpose. Therefore, I can shape my affections and desires according to the real purpose rather than what I thought I wanted. Remember the purpose of your salvation when rejection comes. Light speaks of truth and understanding, of manifesting in a positive way the truth of the gospel, the truth of God's Word, the supremacy of Christ, and you shine light in that sense. You see, beloved, the purpose of your salvation and these human relationships with which we framed our time here together today, the purpose of the relationships is not primarily for your benefit.

It's not primarily that people would love you even. You have a spiritual purpose having been purchased by the commander in chief, purchased by his blood, says you will be a citizen in my kingdom in this foreign hostile territory. And as you live out and as you pursue the character of the Beatitudes, here's what's going to happen. Here's the purpose. You'll have a restraining influence on sin and you will testify to the truth of the gospel. And as people accept or reject us along the way, that is subsidiary.

It is secondary. It is incidental to the greater purpose for which Christ saved you. Remember the purpose of your salvation. You know the value of Christ.

You know something of the value of his blood. You love him for having saved you. You loved him for having secured your eternal future. You love him for his presence. You love him as your shepherd. You love him as your king. You love him in all of the manifest offices that he bears toward you.

Prophet, priest, and king, author of the word of God, sender of the Holy Spirit. And you say, oh, he's given me so much. Nothing on this world could ever attract me away from Christ. And so, what we've described here is that which comforts your heart, the reality of salvation, its future reward, the sympathy of Christ, the purpose of your salvation. All of that informs the way that you respond to that rejection. All of it gives you comfort. All of it gives you confidence.

All of it gives you motivation to transcend it. And as you think through those things, beloved, then you start to realize, I've been saved for something different. I've been saved for a kingdom that's not of this world. And I'm glad to belong to Christ.

And whatever price I pay for belonging to him, I gladly pay. Today on The Truth Pulpit, Pastor Don Green has completed our series, When You're Rejected Because of Christ. Given the sympathy of Christ and understanding the purpose of your salvation, you should be better prepared to cope with the rejection that does inevitably come with a commitment to Jesus Christ. And Don, it's especially tough on younger believers, isn't it?

Well, Bill, it certainly can be tougher on the younger generation because of the nature of our culture and the different pressures that are brought to bear upon them by their peers. But if you're a young Christian, let me encourage you to do a couple of things. Number one, be sure to keep your mind in the Word of God. You need to daily be taking in God's Word because that's where your strength and your power lies as the Spirit applies it to your heart. Secondly, let me encourage you to be a part of a good local church where the Bible is taught verse by verse from the pulpit. That will be your strength as you fellowship with other believers around God's holy Word. Thanks, Don. And friend, don't forget to visit us at thetruthpulpit.com for helpful study resources. That's thetruthpulpit.com. Now for Don Green, I'm Bill Wright, inviting you back next time when Don teaches God's people God's Word again from the Truth Pulpit.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-21 04:39:32 / 2023-04-21 04:48:03 / 9

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