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August 25, 2020 1:46 pm
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Christian Ballenger. The viewer thing with anger, defensiveness, aggression, that gladness will not seem like a natural response.
But there is a time for real Turning Point.
Jeremiah considers the kind of joy that comes from taking a stand for Christ in the midst of persecution was listen the conclusion now is happy ever harassed.
Thank you for joining us today.
I would imagine that if you were asked to have you ever been persecuted for your faith.
You might remember some change. You had at the water cooler was somebody who poked fun at you for being a Christian persecution. We know that persecution is when you suffer bodily harm and hurt for your stand for Jesus Christ. Most of us have yet to experience that, although it looks like it might be on the horizon. If things keep going the way they are, nonetheless, Jesus settles the issue.
He said blessed are those who are persecuted for my sake.
In other words, you can be happy in the midst of being persecuted as a believer.
We started our discussion about that yesterday will finish it up today and I hope you have some paper or some way to take some notes.
Maybe you have a study guide and you can write in the margins. These are important principles for us to have in our arsenal, so that as these moments, we know what to do.
The Bible is a book to prepare us when we study it together in a format that takes us through all of the teaching we prepare ourselves for whatever it is is coming toward us in the future. Well, let's get back to our lesson and let's continue to discuss what Jesus is teaching us about happiness not filed Jesus as he persecuted the word persecuted is from the same word is the word pursue and it's the idea of what happened when Paul before he became Paul was pursuing the Christians he was persecuting them.
But remember he was chasing him down, despite how were they were put them in jail and persecuting them for their faith. How many of you have ever felt like somebody's pursuing persecuting it's been with us since the beginning of time.
Persecution has been a part of everyone who's ever walked with God from day one, Cain slew Abel and wherefore did he slay him because his own works were evil and his brothers were righteous. Joseph was a good and godly young man thrown into a pit by his brothers because they were jealous over his standing with his father all throughout history go through the list of people who made an impact in history you will find all of them somewhere along the way, paid a price for their godliness and righteousness and for their living for God persecution. Not only will you be reviled and persecuted.
But the Scripture says in this one we understand what they will say all manner of evil things against you falsely notice how Jesus put that who say all kinds of evil against you falsely, for my sake, this is a very interesting expression that talks about the creativity that people use in criticizing and vilifying and reviling you it says they'll just say the things that would be normal to say.
They say all manner of things they actually spend time creating new ways they spend their creative juices trying to figure out a way to put you down ever since that but you know what on the assignment.
You know that's what they do when people get off and revile and persecute and say all manner of evil things against you now, having said all that, that's the bad news that's going to happen and let me remind you again what the Bible says if you live godly in Christ Jesus you going to get flack suffer persecution.
You're going to have people not always thinking you are the citizen of the year and I want to stop for a moment before I go on to tell you the good news and let you know that my heart is really identified with young people in our church and face that every single day on the secular campus. We a lot of our kids and want to live for Christ in the secular campus. We got a lot of college students are on the secular campus trying to live for Christ.
And if you're not like everybody else you not always been to be the most popular person on campus and they may not always want to elect you to office, or they may not invite you to the important things that happened. I want you to know if you stand for Jesus Christ and you live godly you not trying to be obnoxious about your faith but you just being who you are in Christ. What I'm saying right now is especially for you. God will honor that. And he will bless you for.
In fact, Jesus said blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake and for my sake make sure now it's for the right reasons. But listen here are the things that happen blessing number one. Persecution is a compliment.
You know that it really is. Persecution is a compliment persecution shows that we take somebody so seriously that we consider the fact that he must be eliminated.
No one ever persecutes a person who is futile and ineffective and indecisive persecution only comes to the man whose life was so positive and so real and so effective that he is regarded by those who see them as some sort of a danger or threat or a sense of condemnation. George Bernard Shaw said that the most wonderful compliment the world Patron offers to burn his books. Persecution is always a proof of the utter genuineness and sincerity of the faith of the man who was persecuted to say something different.
Somebody was just out there serving his time somebody's out there compromising somebody's out there facing both ways toothpaste and the critical and uncommitted will never be persecuted some heat on the campus at your college or if they're on your case. At the school you attend or if there bad mouthing you in the office where you work. I go to Tyson.
That's one of the greatest compliments is you must be doing some right you must be living godly in Christ Jesus.
I remember watching the movie some years ago about a football player who sat down at the end of the bench and he wasn't very good. At least when he came up for the team and the coach started to get on his case just get on every day we came to practice. He was always in trouble when they complained about in the coach that something like this.
He said son you got nothing complained about the guy who should be complaining is the guy that I'm never talking to because I talk to you and I'm on you because I want you to be better.
It's a compliment that I spent so much time trying to encourage you to get better as the guys were sitting over there that I never talk to those of the guys are in real trouble.
Some of your questions while talking a foreign language you today. You've never had anybody say a bad word about you.
You just sort of fit right in. That's not a compliment. I'm not telling you should go out and try to be as noxious as you can and I know a lot of Christians that think that's the way to do it but that's not it.
I'm talking about just being who you are in Jesus Christ living your life every day to the honor and glory of Jesus Christ.
If you do that somebody's good to show up and not be happy about your presence is what you know it's a compliment to complement. Secondly, not only is it a compliment. It's a credential.
It really is just what Jesus said. He said if you do this and you get this kind of treatment. Just remember, the prophets got it before you came along and I got it after they did, and everybody. Whoever lives for Christ is going to be like this. It is like wearing your badge. It identifies you with those who are righteous, Matthew 1022 says you shall be hated of all men for my namesake. Christ, in a sense, you see is a king who was in exile and if we are his followers. We are often looked upon with derision because we are identified with him. Paul said, I reckon that the sufferings of this age are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Jesus in John chapter 15 reminds us that if were going to be identified with him to get the same treatment he got in some way. If they hated me. He said, and you identify with me they're going to hate you, and you know what, at the end of his life. Paul prayed that he might be consumed by the Fellowship of sufferings in Christ.
He wanted to be identified as not only a compliment. It's a credential and thirdly not only a compliment and a credential. It is a catalyst you know what the Bible says about suffering and about persecution. It is the only way you can get some qualities in your life. There are some things you cannot develop as a believer. Apart from stress and difficulty and persecution. There is a timeworn story about the spelling, went to his pastor and wanted his parents to pray with them because he didn't have any patients and he said pastor I just the most impatient thing around the house and would you pray with me about patients, about two weeks later he came back he said good night.
Many said what did you price of my lights coming on so I just went to the word of God for the formulas as tribulation works patients alike prayed for tribulation.
God must be answered my prayer numerous, silly little thing but it's true isn't the most important lessons I've ever learned in my life I've learned under the pressure of difficulty in the midst of suffering and pressure and tribulation and things that I never would have ordered if I had gotten the menu in front of me those important lessons I would never have learned the best lessons in life I've learned in the most difficult situations and God says in his word that tribulation does work patients and patients hope, and hope makes is not ashamed. So when you're under persecution.
One of the reason you should rejoice is God's up to something in your life. He's doing homework processing you for heaven. He's getting grown-up. It's the same kind of situation as pain is to a child when his first starting to grow.
There isn't any gain without pain, there isn't any growth without the stress, the common modern interpretation of the Christian faith. Men and women is so benign as to make me sick. You listen to it on the radio you hear on television.
The Christian life is wrong.
Grand sailing on into the harbor of heaven with no ill wins. But that's not what the Bible says the Bible doesn't talk about us having it easy all the way to heaven. The Bible causes soldiers. The Bible say were in a fight were wrestling against the enemy and preachers and teachers and would be saviors and stand up in front of us and try to give us the idea that the Christian life is all peaches and cream are not doing us any favors because that's not the way it is. Can I get a witness know that don't you know that the life that God has called us to live is not always easy but here's the good news when you're under pressure is up to something.
Don't ask him why asking what what do you want me to learn under this situation.
So you're getting beat up at work.
It's not fun and I know that it's not something you come home and want to talk about even to your wife. Ask yourself this question, what is God up to my life. What am I supposed to learn out of this catalyst finally number four criteria. Listen to what Jesus said and what the Bible says Jesus says blessed are they who suffer persecution for bears is the kingdom of heaven. Your reward is in heaven.
Your kingdom is in heaven got something waiting for you in the future.Paul said in Romans 817.
If we suffer with him.
What's the rest of it.
We shall also be glorified with him and in second Corinthians 1.
Seven were told to be partakers of suffering is to be partakers of the consolation in second Timothy 212 were told if we suffer with him, he will reign with him. So persecution is a criterion it's a condition it's something that you have to have in order to get from here to there know you have to be persecuted and go to heaven. What the Bible says that persecution and dealing with persecution, has a say in how you will reign with Christ in the time of the kingdom want a good illustration about read the book of Revelation and notice how wonderfully tender and carefully our God in heaven cares for the martyrs. How he loved the martyrs and how he dealt with them and what a wonderful place of prominence they have in God's kingdom. So we want the product without the process no way would like to be godly and not have any problems in the process, but there isn't any way for that to happen. Godliness and righteousness comes through the process of the cauldron of God's pressure cooker and often times the result of that is not only here in this life, but the promise of the life to come out of yes you question how we supposed to deal with this new been around people that enjoy their persecution.
I have UNESCO's to walk around with the long face telling everybody you meet, how tough it is, what is the Scripture say it says rejoice and be exceeding glad you know that when you have taken some heat for God, that in the very center of taking heat being put under pressure.
There is a kind of joy that comes to your heart that nobody would ever understand if they've not been there a stroke. You can't know that if you never experiencing it. I have to honestly tell you on the pastor of the church in living the Christian community. I will get persecuted a lot. I get nasty letters once in a while. That's it. I don't feel like on persecuted but I remember an experience that I had when I was a pastor in Fort Wayne Indiana years and years ago where I felt that special joy for just a moment that I'm talking about.
I used to be the pastor of the church in Fort Wayne Indiana but for some reason was in the political may lose every time there was a political dinner. I got asked ago.
I always pray today I prayed for the Democrats and I pray for the Republicans. I'm not going to tie which was I prayed harder for but I pray for her and on this one occasion I was asked to go to a democratic dinner and it was in the big restaurant.
Donna and I remember this big restaurant Fort Wayne and the guest of honor that night was Walter Mondale and I sat right next to I have a picture of me and Walter Mondale's in a box somewhere. I don't anyway, I was asked to pray and I prayed.
I prayed like I usually do I get up and thank God for the occasion.
Ask him to bless the event.
Thank you for the country in which we lived, prayed, Jesus name, amen. And we sent our meeting was the prayer before the dinner and out of the back of your trunking this grooming and she was on a beeline I thought she was coming to get Mondale's autograph which is coming after me and she came in on. I'm sitting right here, and she came in she stood right between us and she got right in my face.
She said I've never been so offended.
In all my life I cannot imagine anybody so ignorant as to come to a meeting like this and pray in front of them obviously ecumenical group in the name of Jesus Christ I am totally offended and I can.
I just wanted to come right up until either all my friends Becker, we are offended that you do that one want to tell you right right in your face or someone else aware, look at me and I'm thinking brother and in that moment, the Lord gave me the word and I said young lady Jesus Christ is the most important person in my life. I cannot imagine ever trying to talk to God without mentioning him new and expect to change my prayer on the basis of where I prayed it would you.
I could never do that. I love the Lord Jesus Christ with all my heart always pray in his name, she went like that. She turned around and went back to her table. Well, I got a chance to do a little witnessing Walter Mondale over here that I was kinda glad for that. But in that moment I'm not old any braver than the rest of you in that moment, I just had this kind of real joy down in my heart that God help me to say the right thing very difficult circumstances.
You know what she went back and I don't think her friends.
I told Don I don't think the reading they had their heads all huddled in the middle of the table.
I think they had me for dinner.
I think that's what I have, that's all right.
That's okay you know what it's like to bear the reproach of Christ for just a moment, find joy and gladness in your heart.
That's what Jesus is talking about. Bless happy are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for my sake be rejoicing exceedingly glad.
Thank God as the disciples did that they were counted worthy to suffer in the name of Christ.
Paul and Silas got beaten up, thrown in jail and were so upset about it. They spent all night singing praises to God, Chrysostom was a great church father who was persecuted the someone before the Roman Emperor Arcadia's.
They told him they were going to banish him if he didn't quit proclaiming Jesus. He said if you want to banish me go for my world was my father's house were when I'll slay you said the Roman Emperor, you can't slay me.
My life is hidden with Christ in God then your treasures will be confiscated, that said my treasures are in heaven, were none can break through and steal. While driving you from man, you have no friends left he said sit. I have a friend in heaven told me he's not leaning over Satan.
Arcadia said when you do with the man like that when you do with a question like that who understands that even in what most people think her negative God has given to us his special blessing.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for they shall have the kingdom of heaven, and rejoicing and gladness in their heart, shall we pray father I want to thank you for your precious word I want to thank you for the privilege of teaching it and sharing it. Thank you that we know your words are true and we know that they are born out not only in the Scripture, but in the lives of everyone who is obeying the Scripture. I pray for our high school students. Lord I pray not only for those who are in secular environments.
But even for those who enter Christian schools for there's a subtle kind of persecution becomes even to the Christian school environment.
I pray for executives and salespeople and men and women who work in all manners of environments here in this community who are trying to live godly for Christ Jesus and are being ridiculed and reviled.
Give them courage and Lord help them to find that joy in his heart being God's person in the midst of pressure help them to rejoice and be exceeding glad, remembering that there is a long train of those who have felt the same kind of ridicule.
Lord, give us courage. That's what we need were not any of us courageous by nature would be so easy for us to cave in to the pressure and just become one of the crowd, Lord, give us the guts to stand up for what we believe joy that comes in Jesus name I pray, thank you so much for joining us today and as you know were almost finished with the Beatitudes we been studying them throughout the month of August and you been with us and I'm very grateful for the CMR. Thanks for listening.
This is just coming from Shadow Mountain Community Church and Dr. Jeremiah senior cost is God touching your life through Turning Point is about an important PO Box 38, San Diego, CA 9216 sided Jeremiah.hope/writing real copy of David's new Bible study John infinity of Christ is kind of the Jeremiah Bible study.
Susan was a gift of any amount you can also purchase the Jeremiah studies other than the new English standards and new international versions, standard or large print in the new King James choice of several attractive visit Jeremiah.old/radio join us tomorrow as we continue to be happy. According to Jesus, that's here on Turning Point for taking time to listen to and from these increased in size and