"NOT OF THIS WORLD"
(A Series on Jesus)
C.R.9/13/87p.m. John 15:18-25
PROPOSITION:As believers we do not belong to this world
and are chosen out of the world that hates us because it hated Him and we are people of His Name and He brings guilt into their hearts by His word and deeds.
- IF some Christian parents try to get prayer approved in school....the ACLU rushes in to defend the school on the basis of separation of church and state.
- BUT if a child bows his head to pray before a test....and is severely reprimanded and his rights violated.....the ACLU is nowhere to be found.
- A CHILD entering a school music contest can sing contemporary songs about love, making it on a date and losing one's virginity......and be applauded for her poetry and delivery.
- BUT a child who, in the same contest, sings a song about Christ and clearly outscores everyone and wins....can be denied her achievment because, according to the judges, the content of her song disqualified her.
- A MAN can run for president who cheats on his wife, has several affairs going with ladies in different cities and lies about all of the above.....and still be urged to run for office because "his private life has no bearing on his ability to run the nation."
- BUT a man, who obviously leads a moral life, has high standards, is well qualified for the presidency.....but is nationally known to believe in Biblical absolutes.....and it "scares" the public to think of him becoming president.
- AS a teacher, in many public schools in this country, you can teach Yoga...and other eastern religions....implement the practices of transindental meditation in your class.....teach secular humanism, which has been declared a religion by California courts......and not run into any problem.
- BUT if you mention the Bible.....use any examples from it.....discuss moral absolutes......or speak of the historical person, Jesus, you risk severe discipline from your superiors....or a parent group backed by the ACLU.
- IN your neighborhood you can have neighbors over and talk about national or foreign affairs, the price of banana's, your last vacation or fishing.....and everyone is relaxed and has a good time.
- BUT just try bringing up the subject of Jesus.....and things will get quiet...and with some passing joke about not being able to discuss religion or politics with friends they will beat a hasty retreat.....not coming back for a looong time.
- WHAT'S the problem?
- WHY does the name of Jesus strike such anger, reaction, rage, fear in so many lives? It brings anything but apathy from the world.
- WHEN Bob and I left the all night prayer meeting in Dr. Cho's church.....and took a taxi back to the hotel we asked the taxi driver if he had ever attended the church. With a look of horror on his face he said, "Oh, no I would never go there...I am a Bhuddist and there's too powerful a magic in that place."
- WE have five different neighbor families that we have been working on for almost four years now. We get at least three of the five out to musicals, visiting evangelists and special Sundays.....and whenever they come they are very cordial about their time here, but for the next week or so keep a nice distance from us whenever we are out in the yard.
- YOU can be almost anything in this crazy society of ours and be accepted. So why do many fear that Christian liberties are quickly erroding?
- WHY are we likely going to become a targeted minority, the closer we get to Christ's return...with pressure getting tougher, not better, in the economic, political, and cultural arena?
- JESUS gives us the whole answer, in 8 short verses in John 15:18-25.
- HERE'S what He says;
II.IF YOU BELONGED, THEY WOULD LOVE YOU.
- IN verses 18-19 Jesus says;
"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own."
- THIS is the first part of Jesus' answer. IF you belonged to the world, they would love you.
- IF you got drunk when they got drunk.
* If you smoked pot when they smoked pot.
* If you talked their talk when they were around....using the name of Jesus as punctuation.....telling off color stories.
* If you treated marriage with the contempt they do......valuing your vows and covenants the way they do.
* If you cheated on your spouse the way they do...and brag about it over coffee.
* If you "forgot" certain parts of your income on the 1040.....and valued the clothes you give Goodwill at $4,000.....and tell your friends that the government is cheating you so you're just getting even.
* If your job is what you live for.....and it has higher priority than God or your family.
* If the getting the things of this world is what occupies your dreams and attention a large part of your life...the next house, and the next boat, and the next new gun, and the next wardrobe, and the next car, and the next camera and the next sewing machine.
* If you spent most of your money on YOU.
* If camping or golfing or fishing or painting the house on Sunday....was more important than setting that day aside for the Lord.
- IF that was your lifestyle...and it said that you belonged to the world....then you would have absolutely no problem with having friends and being "one of the good old boys" at work, in your neighborhood or any place else.
- BECAUSE the world loves its own.
- YOU fit right in.
- EVERYBODY of the world feels great around you because you are just like they are.....you feel very comfortable to them....after all, you are doing the same things they are and it feels good.
- THEY like you.
- SO, if you belonged to the world, it would love you, as its own.
III.YOU DON'T BELONG, AND THEY HATE YOU
- BUT Jesus goes on in the rest of verse 19 and into 21. He says;
"As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, 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."
- AS IT IS, Jesus says, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.
- SO when they;
* Pack ten six packs of Coors to the picnic and consider getting a buzz on to be part of the "great week-end" and you go but drink 7 UP....they look in your glass at the end of their sixth beer and nervously say, "Oh......on the wagon are you? Ha! Ha! Ha! Hey, Fred! Come over here......Jack's on the wagon. When do you get your Salvation Army drum issued Jack. Ha! Ha! Ha!"
* When they start telling dirty jokes and you either do not laugh....or you walk away they call out after you. "Hey, what's the problem, you too "holy" to be around us, is that it?"
* When you turn down a joint......or tell everbody that you don't intend to cheat on your wife that you are committed to her for life....and they say, "OOOOOH, can I touch you.....or will the heaven rub off on me too."
* Or when you refuse to serve alcohol at a company lucheon you are supposed to host.....and get your territory cut back because of it or lose an account.
- IT doesn't make you anything special.....you are just not part of the world. You don't belong here...you have your citizenship in heaven....you are waiting for a city whose builder and maker is God.
- BUT when you act and talk and live like a citizen of that heavenly city......YOUR LIFE SCREAMS OUT AT THE WORLD DWELLERS THAT THEY ARE LOST.
- YOUR attitudes, your values, your lifestyle...and, sometimes your very presence makes them very uncomfortable. It is because Jesus is all over you;
* You are marked for heaven....they have the mark of the anti-Christ on them already and are headed for hell.
* You have something in your eyes...a sparkle, a joy, a love....and it bugs them because they are only happy at the blue light special at K Mart or at the Silver Bullet.
* You face trials with a strength and stablility and that makes them mad....because they fall apart if Julie tells Mark that she is in love with him but carrying Jesse's baby on Days of our Lives.
* Then, on Sunday, while they are out on the back porch with Orange juice and a TJ Cinnamon roll, you are in your suit with all your kids polished squeaky clean...walking right past them to the garage on your way to worship the soon coming king.
* When they tell you that a nuclear war would destroy the world...and they are frightened about it....and you smile and say that you are not worried because Jesus has everything in control......that upsets them because they like worrying. It makes them feel like they are doing something about world crisis.
* Then it doesn't help at all when one of your children asks a neighbor friend's father......if he knows for sure whether he is going to go to heaven or the other place. That can really ruin their day.
- SO you see, there are lots of reasons that they hate you. And the more you live like a citizen of heaven....like someone chosen by God......the more of an offense you will be. (I am not talking about being self-righteous and obnoxious now.....just like Jesus.)
- REMEMBER the ones that persecuted Jesus? The Pharisees and the Jewish leaders and the business swindlers and cheats.......Remember what they did to Him? Well, those same people will try to do it to you.
- AND we shouldn't be surprised or shocked.
- REMEMBER the ones that loved Him and obeyed Him? The people in the pit of life......the poor in spirit and the needy.....and the sick.....and the outcasts.....and they came to Him and obeyed Him and were saved.
- JESUS said....these are the ones you will hit it off with. They will love you and hear what you have to say. They will believe you and turn to Me.
- AND the reason for all of this is found in verse 21...it is all because of His NAME.
* It's the name whereby man is saved.
* It's the name by which people are healed and set free.
- AND that Name strikes fear in some....in those who have rejected God the Father.......And it elicits love and worship in those who believe in that Name.
IV.THEY HAVE NO EXCUSE, HIS WORDS AND WORKS WILL CONDEMN THEM ON THE DAY OF JUDGMENT.
- HERE is the last principle that Jesus covers on the subject. It is found in verses 21-25. He says;
"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. But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: 'They hated me without reason.'"
- THIS is the last principle that Jesus cover here on this subject. It is that; The world will have no excuse on the day of judgment....because His Words and His miracles are all they needed to be saved themselves and turned towards heaven.
- THERE will come a day when they will all stand before the Great White Throne of judgment in Revelation 20:11......and they will not have one word to offer in their defense.
- AND the tragedy of that day will be the realization in them that, as Jesus ssaid in John 15:25....."They hated Me without reason."
- HERE are two things in conclusion;
* He is not your judge tonight. Right now He is still Savior.....and His words and deeds still are effective to save.
* As believers....we cannot allow the rejection to slow us down. We must work harder to win souls as we see the day approaching.
SOON AND VERY SOON