Good Morning My Beloved.
Thank you all for joining us today.
I pray that you've had an opportunity to read and study the passage in our text on your own.
It feels like our minds have been overwhelmed recently
absolutely bombarded with a new reality and truth
Lord we request Your Holy Spirit in giving us Your truth
It is of You Lord, that I will indeed speaking and not of my own flesh. Lord, You know how this message has burned in my heart for Your people
It is my prayer, if it be Your will that You will take it
and apply it to each of their hearts
in the energy of Your Holy Spirit Lord, may we all this evening and the coming week, by prayer and the Word of God, look up these verses, and get down on our knees before You and seek Your wisdom, that we would know how to use our gifts to minister Your people
Thank You, Lord,
thank You for teaching us today
We worship and praise You
in Jesus’ name
"This I command you, that you love one another. If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates Me hates My Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well. But they have done this to fulfill the word that is written in their Law, ‘They hated Me without a cause."
Today's Message: If The World Hates You - Part 2
As I stated last time, its not likely that we;re going to get all the way through this whole passage, and the same is true again today. But again, we'll make a start, and go as far as we can today. We'll just have to see how far we get. I never really know. I'm just the messenger.. So as always, I'd like to encourage each of you to read and study this chapter on your own.
Now up to this point, the words of Jesus that we've been looking at in chapters 13, 14 and the first part of 15, have been words of promise, and words of comfort, and words of encouragement, and words of hope. You could even say they've been words of heavenly blessing, they've been words of love. There was a lot of love expressed between Jesus and the disciples that evening. But no there are words that are not of heavenly blessing. The conversation turns from words of heavenly blessing to words of earthly persecution. Earthly persecution, and we see the word "hate", being used repeatedly in the text. Jesus was issuing a warning, a prophetic warning.
Now perhaps you'd never thought of that as a prophecy, but essentially, that's exactly what it is, and a very accurate one, I might add, a very accurate account. It tells us what was to come, and that is which history recorded. And the Lord said all of this on that Thursday evening, the night before His death with the eleven as He walked to the garden of Gethsemane where He would be arrested and Himself executed the next day, and began the hostility that it still continues on, it still continues, even today. The majority of mass murderers of Christians today are by Muslims, and it doesn't seem to be letting up any time soon. The attack against Christians, not even true Christians, but those who would even just call themselves Christians. They couldn't sort out the difference.
Jesus had given them so many promises to encourage them, He was going to prepare a place for them in the Father’s house and He would come back for them and He will take them to heaven. They were going to be better off with Him going, because He’d send the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit would be in them. He told them that whatever they ask in His name, He would do. All the resources of heaven would be at their disposal while they were on earth.
He told them they would possess the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit would take up residence in them permanently. They would be empowered by and loved by the Trinity. He told them they would be given peace, that they would be given joy, that they would be fruitful and that their fruit would eternally remain, and then they would all be brought to glory. It was all about love, and promise, and hope, and comfort; and then this dramatic change from love to hate. Everything was very positive up to this point and now a dramatic shift. With all the heavenly blessings, now comes the early hostility, hatred, and persecution. "The world will be hostile toward you" That was true; it always has been true. It is still true today and it always will be true. At least until Christ eternally reigns. When evil and sin are permanently removed.
And, for the record, being persecuted is the cost of discipleship. The message of persecution, in the words from our Lord, "Take up your cross and follow Me." Take up your cross, He is talking about the same kind of cross He was crucified on. Not the decorative fashion cross, many today are accustomed to. And in taking up our cross, we know, that at least for some, there’s death in all of this. For all, there’s a certain measure of persecution. That measure of persecution you face is related to your faithfulness, your faithfulness. I can tell you this, the more faithful you are, the more you will be persecuted. And may I remind you, we are all called to be faithful disciples of Christ. The Lord had given them all the proofs of His love for them, He demonstrated His love for, and now, now He warns them of the world’s hatred.
When somebody asks me, "What do you think we should do about the persecution of Christians around the world?" I have to say, what is truth, "You must accept it. I accept it, it comes with being a disciple." That doesn't necessarily mean I like it, but being faithful to God, to Christ, I've come to expect it and accept it. We all must learn to accept it and that's why Jesus warned the disciples and all of us. And the truth is, maybe if each of us were more faithful, more public about our faith, there would be even more of it, not less. Certainly not less. Just as Christ Himself and His disciples faced persecution, even unto death. They didn't remain in a building, teaching the gospel, they took the message of the gospel to those that needed to hear it! Especially, those who did not want to hear its message. Those it convicted.
I strongly suspect, if we were to take the gospel to the streets in our cities, teaching "Repent, you sinners! The kingdom of heaven is at hand." We'd all likely experience similar persecution.
As Jesus starts to talk about this in verse 18, but verse 17 serves for us a very good transition. Let's look at verse 17: "This I command you, that you love one another." He said that back in verse 12. He repeats it again: "This I command you, that you love one another." Loving one another is important, that why we are commanded to do it: "This I command you, that you love one another." Those were Christs' words, to His disciples, His command. And the same is true, for you and I.
And if you'll recall, in chapter 13:34 and 35, He said, "By this shall all men know that you’re My disciples, if you have love one for another." He told them, "Love one another as I have loved you." Now He says, "I command you to love one another. Keep on loving one another. You're going to all need it; you will need it." It’s as if He is saying, "Love each other, love each other deeply. Love deeply, love each other humbly, love each other loyally, love each other fervently, love each other devotedly, love each other sacrificially the way I’ve loved you, because all you have is each other, all you have is each other, so love one another. You’re not going to get love from the world, they're going to hate you. All that you’re going to get is hate from the world, so love each other."
Later, Peter in his epistle says, "Love the brotherhood." Peter says, "Have fervent love for one another." Paul describes what that love is like in 1 Corinthians chapter 13. "We need each other. We need brotherly love. We need the communion and fellowship of the saints in love. Love is the perfect bond that ties us together. We need this because we’re not going to get it from the world."
Why exactly, does the world hate us so much? Why would they hate us, we're trying to save them from eternal hell? Well, in this passage, our Lord gives us at least three reasons. I will tell you the first one and I'll only mention the second one, so we'll have to discuss the rest, next time.
Why does the world hate us? Principle Reason Number 1: The answer comes right out of verse 18 and 19. Verse 18, I’ll just read the first part to you: "If the world hates you, if the world hates you," and it’s a conditional clause that expects a positive answer. So it could easily be, "Since the world hates you." He continues, "you know that it has hated Me before it hated you." Now look at verse 19, verse 19, "If you were of the world, the world would love its own. But because you’re not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you."
So I've been asked frequently, "Why do they hate us?" There’s your answer!
Its right there. The world hates us, because we’re not part of the world system. We exist as a non-absorbed entity; we are not only resisting what the world teaches, we are contradicting it with the truth. And in doing so, as you might expect, we are a "thorn in their side," and as the world sees us, we are a problem, a major problem for the world.
I've heard some ask, "Why are the Americans so good to the Jewish people, when the roots of American goodness are basically found in within Christianity? And wasn't it the Jewish people who first persecuted the Christians?"
Well, the answer is this: Because of their past experience with Christianity in Europe, it set them against Christianity because it was so-called Christians who made life miserable for the Jews. They were persecuted in the name of Christianity in Europe. And so, you have to look behind that persecution, the predominant issue with the nations of Europe over Jews was they couldn’t force them to integrate. They couldn’t make them to absorb into the culture, so they sat there like an alien entity and they didn’t do what everybody else did, and so they became a threat to them. They had different clothing laws, different dietary laws, different routines, different rituals, a different religion, different tradition, different customs. They were very different overall. And they because they were so different, they were the objects of persecution because of their non-integration.
And the cultures of Europe tried to force them to integrate and they refused to, so they never did, and they would have little communities, in which they would exist together. They would begin businesses and crafts, and it would all be contained in the realm of their own life and nationality and religion. This generated a lot of hostility and hatred and fear.
Well, frankly, that kind of a microcosm of how the world views Christians. That's how they see us. We’re a problem for them because we’re just not a part of it. The world is going in one certain direction and we’re not going that way. We're pulling in a different, opposite direction. Resistance. The world believes certain things and ways of doing things and we don’t. The world accepts and promotes certain things and we do not. The world says certain things are right and we don’t buy into that, we don't believe it. We are essentially, an isolated entity, existing within another, larger system, and we don’t integrate. We, as many would say, we "Buck the system." We stand firm against unjust, opposing the lies of the cultural norms.
The world, kosmos; what exactly does that mean? Basically, in Scripture, it means "the evil fallen." And let me say it another way: "fallen and continually falling," because the human race is not through falling. It will continue to fall. Yes, it fell in Genesis chapter 3, and it’s been falling ever since. It started the fall then and it’s still falling now. The evils of men are growing worse and worse. Evil is worse and worse. The world, the system of humanity, which is governed by evil, is still, continually falling.
So what is the world? It is the evil, fallen, and falling system of unregenerate people, a wicked generation of people, who are controlled by Satan and sin. In the gospel of John, chapter 12, 14, 16, our Lord says, "Satan is the ruler of this kosmos." John 8: "If you’re in the kosmos, in the system, you’re of your father, the devil." There are two kingdoms existing in the world: there is the kingdom of Satan and the kingdom of God, and they do not mingle, they do not mix. We don’t applaud those who do evil like the system does, Romans 1:32 says, "and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them." We do not do that. We just do not do that. We cannot accept evil as good, wrong as right. We just cannot justify that.
"An unjust man is abominable to the righteous, and he who is upright in the way is abominable to the wicked." Proverbs 29:27
The wicked world system hates righteousness. The wicked hates righteousness. "If you were of the world", and you are not. "If you were of the world, the world would love its own", φιλος philos. That’s simply talking about natural affection. Its essentially saying that if you are in the world, you have a natural affection for them, and them for you. I love this. "But I chose you out of the world."
Beloved, when you first became a Christian, you were chosen by God to come out of the world. "You are not of the world" "You are not of the world." Why? Because "I chose you out of the world." Therefore, you are now a living rebuke to the world. We become the conscience of the world; and they hate us for that. They hate us. We remind them of what is wrong in the world, a constant reminder, what is not right about their way of life, the despise it. They detest it. And, oh, by the way, they really love to see a so-called Christian, crash and burn in a moral disaster. They love to see that. They feed upon that. Adultery. Sexual misconduct of any kind Sin. Corruption, of any kind. Anything. And everything. Whatever a so-called-Christian does, when he stumbles, which is brought public questioning, they thrive on it. We are therefore, called to live above reproach. Free from life of sinful habits and behaviors, that would impede us from setting the highest Christian standard.
The apostle Paul said, in 2 Corinthians chapter 4, verse 2, that "but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God." There’s a law of God written in the heart of every person, the unregenerate as well as us. The law of God is in the heart; and when we preach the truth, it grabs hold their heart, it pricks it, its uncomfortable, it lights up their conscience, and either accuses or excuses them.
We are the conscience of the world and they hate us for it.
Satan hates God, he hates Christ, he hates the Holy Spirit. He hates the church, he hates believers, he hates the truth. The one who wants to be something in himself, who places his own will over God's, is therefore in conflict with God. The Satan and world are in conflict with God and Christians.
When you first became a Christian, your relationship to the world changed: "I chose you." You see it there back in what Christ said in verse 16: "You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and your fruit would remain." This is just reiterating divine, sovereign election to salvation: "I chose you. And when I plucked you up out of the world and made you My own, there was a complete disconnect."
Well, we'll stop right there for today and we'll go from here next time we meet.
I pray that through the help of the Holy Spirit, I've been able to bring some clarity, some new perspective and understanding, to expand your knowledge of this very important passage.
I'll leave you with this thought, if you haven’t experienced any level of persecution, if your are loved by world, if you have never experienced any of that, maybe you’re trying to hard to be a secret disciple. Maybe you need to be more bold about what you say to the world about sin, repentance and salvation and I do not mean just about the good side of knowing Christ. Talk about more than just His promises and blessings.
"Repent, you sinners! The kingdom of heaven is at hand."
And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.
Now and forever, in Jesus' name
Brian Monzon Ministries