Christianity Is Not A Popularity Contest

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Christianity Is Not A Popularity Contest

Christianity Is Not A Popularity Contest

John 15:18  If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
19  If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
20  Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

One thing Christians need to be reminded of is that the world is not their friend. The Bible is clear that Christians cannot love the world. The world’s system is anti-God. That has been very obvious over the past several years.
Jesus was preparing the disciples for what was ahead of them. They had already witnessed the hatred that the religious leaders had for Jesus. They had witnessed the negative influence that the false teachers were having on the people. We know that the disciples would not be prepared for the hatred that was coming for Jesus in just a very short time.
The book of Acts shows us the change that took place in the disciples’ hearts and lives when they were filled with the Holy Spirit. It is interesting to notice the false religious groups who insist on a separate filling of the Holy Spirit. They are so in love with the world. Their music standards and their immodesty smack of the world. They are the exact opposite of what Jesus is teaching here.
In verse 19 Jesus made it clear that the world would love the saints if the saints were of the world. There is much less opposition to the many religious groups that have adopted the world’s music and immodesty. It has been interesting to note however, that even some of those groups have run afoul of the world, because the world is becoming more and more intolerant of any mention of a god. The only god that is acceptable to the world is a humanistic god.
Jesus made it very clear in verse 19, that true disciples are not of the world. The reason being, that in salvation, true saints have been chosen out of the world. New Evangelicalism has deceived its followers into believing that all the changes that have taken place in religion over the past number of years are blessed of God. They have also convinced people that the marks of God’s blessings are increasing numbers and increasing wealth.
New Evangelicalism rejects the Word of God. The book of Acts shows us that neither of those items are a mark of God’s blessing. The mark of God’s blessing is fruit bearing. It is the changing that takes place in the heart of the saved person that makes the saved person more Christ-like, not more world-like.
Jesus did not tell the disciples that if they did things right, the world would love them. He told them that they should expect the world to hate them because they were chosen out of the world.
Christians do not look for ways to oppose the world. Christians look for ways to please the God who saved them. In so doing, that will drive a wedge between the true child of God and the world. It is amazing how that works, but it is certainly true. The flesh takes offence at this and thus we are witnessing fewer and fewer people truly turning to God in repentance and trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. It is sad to witness this, but it is a clear fulfilment of Bible truth. The last days will be a time where God will be purifying His children, because the world is becoming so influential, and the saints are so weak. Notice Hebrews 10:25:

Hebrews 10:25  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

It is a strange thing to spend more than just a couple of hours in church on a Sunday these days. Then for that short time, much of it needs to be entertainment. Sunday School is for arts and crafts and maybe a light hearted story. The main service is for extended music and then a social gospel that scratches the itching ears of the listeners. Paul was directed to remind us that the time would come when people would not “endure sound doctrine.” We are there now. Paul encouraged Timothy and those who are saved today to:

II Timothy 4:2  Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

It is true that sound, Biblical preaching is not much appreciated today. However it is still needed today just as much as at any time. Don’t let the devil keep you from knowing God’s blessing by yielding to the flesh. Listen to the drawing of the Holy Spirit in your heart and find a good church that will preach the Word consistently.
In verse 20 Jesus reminded the disciples that the servant is not greater than his lord. We know that Jesus had just told them in verse 15 that they were no longer servants but friends. We noted there that the servant was not privy to what the master was doing. He was just told to go to work. Jesus told the disciples that He was telling them what was happening and what would happen. After Jesus’ ascension and after the day of Pentecost their hearts would be more attuned to that “friend” nature and they would gain further understanding of Who Jesus is and what true life was about.
In verse 20, Jesus was not contradicting Himself. He was stating the fact that even as friends, true saints are not equal to or even superior to the lord. The apostle Paul would often begin his letters by reminding the readers that he was a servant of the Lord. In the same sense, Jesus Christ came to this earth as a servant of His Heavenly Father. Jesus knew what He was sent to this earth for. He knows the future better than we do. Yet, He was still classified as a “servant”.
Jesus further reminded the disciples that if the world would persecute Him, they should also expect the world to persecute them. On the other hand, if the world would keep His sayings, they would also keep the disciples’ sayings.
We know the world had not kept the disciples’ sayings. We know the world has not kept Jesus’ sayings.
The pattern for the Christian is the Word of God. It is not what the world says. Everything needs to be examined in the Light of the Word of God. God is good and He is gracious. He will open the eyes of those who will listen to Him. He will save them and will provide greater insight for them, as they yield to His truth. It is essential for God’s people to be faithful students of His Word. His Word will bless the heart of those who are truly saved. Others will not tolerate It. You can examine your heart today and see where you fit in. Do you love the Word of God, or do you have limited room for hearing the Word of God? If you will be humble before God, He will show you what is really going on in your heart and life. The reality is that He is showing you that right now. You may not be hearing Him because you are resisting Him. Humble yourself before Him and let Him be glorified in your life.
Pastor Bartel

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