The Love of Christ and the Hatred of the World, Part 12 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 259)
TEXT: John 16:1-4:
1 These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.
2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.
3 And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.
4 But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.
Today, I am continuing the daily Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign sermon series, which is aimed at sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with unbelievers and reminding Christians, in this important election year, to keep the main thing the main thing — and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to “pray without ceasing” for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders. Yes, you should pray for the right candidate to win; yes, you should vote for the candidate that the Lord gives you peace about voting for. But, don’t get caught up in it like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord.
This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”
This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 259.
Charles Spurgeon said, “Never did the church so much prosper and so truly thrive as when she was baptized in the blood. The ship of the church never sails so gloriously along as when the bloody spray of her martyrs falls on her deck. We must suffer and we must die, if we are ever to conquer this world for Christ.”
Jesus continues telling the disciples of the hatred and persecution that awaited them with the shocking revelation that those who persecute them will think that they are serving God. Yes, the enemies of God will think that they are doing God’s will. Jesus says, “They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.”
Christianity started as a Jewish-based religion. After Jesus returned to Heaven, the disciples continued going to the Temple and attending synagogues in whatever city they were visiting at that time. They took these opportunities to show the local Jews from the Old Testament how the prophecies regarding the Messiah were fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, many of the Jews followed the leaders of the religious establishment and rejected Jesus’ disciples and their message. The disciples were excommunicated from the Temple and the synagogues. Historians tell us that some synagogues in Palestine included a curse on “the Nazarenes” in their weekly prayers, intended to make sure that no follower of Christ participated in the services.
Most shocking of all is that those who were persecuting the disciples believed that they were “doing God service.” The word “service ” comes from the same word the Jews used to speak of the daily sacrifices that the Mosaic law required. Persecuting and killing Christians was viewed by them to be on par with holy rituals. Saul, before he became Paul the Apostle, was one of these misguided Jews. By killing Christians, he thought he was carrying out a sacred duty to God.
Throughout history, most of the persecution that Christianity has gone through has been carried out, not by atheistic regimes, but by other religious groups — even ones claiming to be Christian — who thought they were doing God service by harming and killing believers. For example, right now, Islamic terrorist groups think they are doing God’s will by killing Christians and driving them from their homes in the Middle East. Yet, those Christians have shown themselves to be some of the bravest and most committed believer — to the point of refusing to deny Christ even with a knife pressed to their throat, knowing that no one is coming to save them.
Only true faith in a living God can inspire someone to remain true in such circumstances. Just as the disciples did, these modern-day martyrs show that they have the light and life of Christ shining in their souls despite the dark circumstances that they face.
Charles W. Naylor wrote:
When the winds of persecution blow,
When the streams of hatred toward you flow,
When your foes in number seem to grow,
Just keep on shining.
When the tongues of malice scourge your name,
When upon you is laid the cross of shame,
Press your way toward heaven still the same:
Just keep on shining.
Never mind what threatens night or day,
Never mind the hardness of the way,
Never mind what folks about you say,
Just keep on shining.
Dear friend, if you are ready to receive the light of the world into your life right now, here is how:
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.