Sunday, December 2, 2012

Persecution Summary Part I

“If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first.  The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.

 Do you remember what I told you?  ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’  Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you.

They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the one who sent me.  They would not be guilty if I had not come and spoken to them. But now they have no excuse for their sin.  Anyone who hates me also hates my Father.

If I hadn’t done such miraculous signs among them that no one else could do, they would not be guilty. But as it is, they have seen everything I did, yet they still hate me and my Father.  This fulfills what is written in their Scriptures: ‘They hated me without cause.’”   John 15:16-25 NLT


We would think that the miracles, signs and healings would confirm to the world that Jesus is!

But many refused to accept Him! It seems ridiculous!

John 15:24 says, “If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not have sin.  But now they have seen and hated both Me and My Father.”

 Yes, it was hate that nailed Jesus to the cross!
They hated the idea of having to change!

They hated the idea that they may be wrong!

They hated that to which Jesus called us: to repentance, to change, to forgive, to service, humility and love.

Yes, Jesus knew the hate of the people. But He also knew what it was to hate.

Are you surprised Jesus hated, too?   

He hates sin.  He hates injustice. He hates it when people are cheated unfairly. He hates it when we refuse the best God has for us.  

He hates it when people reject God’s freedom and choose to live with sin and guilt and shame. He hates when we choose wrong!

He hates the wrong.  Why? 

Because the wrong we choose can alienate us from Him. The lies we tell, the cheating we cover up, fear, doubt and deception moves us further and further away from Him. He does NOT hate the wrong doer, but He hates the wrong we do.

Because the inferior choices separate us from the superior place He made for you and me!

So Jesus knows what it means to hate.

Do you want to hate like Jesus?  Then hate the sin.  Hate the sin that tries to destroy the relationship He wants with you.
Hate sin so much that you want righteousness!

Hate sin so much that you cannot stand to be around it!

Hate sin because it robs you of His peace and relationship in your life.
Jesus said, “You do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world,” (vs.19).

Strangely enough, people do not recognize hatred as a form of “relating.”  They believe “relationships” refer to positive bonds and friendly affections.  Yet, because they hate someone, these same people have trouble sleeping, they are easily irritated, they think up ways to get revenge, they fall prey to addictions and have trouble focusing on their work. Whether they like it or not, they can be totally preoccupied with the object of their hate. Their whole life is focused more intensely on hate for that person(s) than if they loved the person.

Hate ties you into a relationship.   Hate kills!  And I’m not just talking about how hate killed Jesus.  Hatred kills the one Jesus loves: I’m talking about you and me!



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