John 15:18-21

“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. 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.”

The Majority Does Not Rule

I would like to bring to your attention that rarely in the readily available history of the Christian Church has the “majority” opinion in spiritual matters ever proven true. And I tell you in the Lord it will most definitely not be proven true this time either despite what the growing number of apostates in the ecumenical man-pleasing purpose driven emerging word faith evangelical church try to make you believe. As a teacher my admonition to you is: Please don’t get discouraged now; and don’t give up–don’t jump ship now. For my brothers and sisters we are almost home. I believe that Jesus Himself is pleased with our stand for Him in this growing apostasy; and trust me our Lord and King will vindicate us if we don’t pull apart now. Here is what God says to His true children – And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart – Galatians 6:9 (NKJV).

With all of this firmly established, please know that we are going have to be a strong Church for Christ here in pagan postmodern America that will tell the world the absolute truth. And beloved of God, we simply must continue to do this–no matter what other professing Christians may indeed think about this proper biblical stance. As quite frankly there is nothing else that we should be doing as aliens and strangers in the world (see–1 Peter 2:11) besides standing for the truth. Don’t we who claim to be Christian remember anymore that our Lord said – I Am the Truth. And nobody ever said it would be easy to truly stand for Christ; nobody ever said that we will be thanked for doing so–at least not here in this wicked world anyway. Unfortunately there has been all kinds of monkey-business–or more aptly stated–serpent’s business that has found it’s way into Christ’s precious Church.

There is only one way by which this happened. It happened by following what we hear other people tell us we should be doing as Christians. But where does the Bible ever tell the Christian that we will live in peace with everyone in a sinful society? It doesn’t. What it says is – In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted – 2 Timothy 3:12. It is pretty plain just what we are in fact being told here. If you want to live this godly life in Christ Jesus, and as a true Christian you must–if you want to live a godly life in this world–then you should expect to be persecuted. In other words it should not come as a surprise to you.

A.W. Tozer encourages the true warriors for Christ when he says:

If Satan opposes the new convert he opposes still more bitterly the Christian who is pressing on toward a higher life in Christ. The Spirit-filled life is not, as man suppose, a life of peace and quiet pleasure. It is likely to be something quite the opposite. Viewed one way it is a pilgrimage through a robber-infested forest; viewed another, it is a grim warfare with the Devil. Always there is struggle, and sometimes there is a pitched battle with our own nature where the lines are so confused that it is all but impossible to locate the enemy or to tell which impulse is of the Spirit and which of the flesh…

My point here is that if we want to escape the struggle we have but to draw back and accept the currently accepted low-keyed Christian life as the normal one. That is all Satan wants. That will ground our power, stunt our growth and render us harmless to the kingdom of darkness. Compromise will take the pressure off. Satan will not bother a man who has quit fighting. But the cost of quitting will be a life of peaceful stagnation. We sons and daughters of eternity cannot afford such a thing.

Are You really More Christian Than Christ?

After-all Jesus did say in our text – If they persecuted me, they will – [not might] – they will persecute you also – John 15:20. And our Lord’s primary persecution came from the religious sector itself, did it not? If our Evangelical leaders would simply refresh their memories of texts such as these we wouldn’t have so many brothers and sisters taken by surprise when Satan’s minions single them out for attack. Ah, but if we actually were to tell people that the life of the true Christian isn’t all purpose driven fun, centered on self mysticism or a means to self-ish gain–why we wouldn’t sell as many books now would we? Anyone read John chapter 6 lately; how many are left following Christ by the time you get to verse 66?

It should appear obvious, but somehow it doesn’t to most I guess, but do we really think that it is possible to be more “Christian” than Christ Himself? Do we really think that in our text Jesus was only talking about those twelve men who were there with Him in the Upper Room being persecuted for the sake of righteousness? As a matter of fact, as most of you know the conservative Evangelical Protestant view of this passage of Scripture is that the Master–while historically speaking to those individual men–was also speaking down the corridors of time to you and to me. Dr. Leon Morris, one of the foremost commentators on the Gospel of John says about verse 21 of our text – “Because Christians do not belong to the world, persecution from the world is inevitable (NIV Study Bible, 1985 ed., p.1627, emphasis added).

Well now Christians, what did Jesus have to say to us? Back now to verse 20 – Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. Now we can see why our Counselor–God the Holy Spirit–tries to refresh the mind of the Christian – In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. And so the real reptilian reason that the rapidly apostatizing ecumenical man-pleasing purpose driven emerging word faith evangelical church is now gaining such recognition within our secular nation becomes so painfully clear: They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them (1 John 4:5).

He who has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says, and repent…for the Day draws ever closer…