FBCWest 595 | We Are not of this World
Recorded On: 02/25/2024
Hymn # 490 “On Jordan’s Stormy Banks”
SCRIPTURE READING – Psalm 111
Giving of Selves and Our Offerings
OFFERTORY MUSIC – Pru Hungate
Praise and Worship
“Raise a Hallelujah”
“How Great Is Your Love”
Proclamation of the Word
Message by Pastor Joe
“We Are not of this World”
PRAYER TIME / Time of Reflection
Benediction “Praise You Anywhere”
John 15:18 If the world hates you, it hated Jesus first
John 15:19 You are not of this world
John 15:20 & 21 You are not above your Master, they will treat you the same way
John 15:23 Hating Jesus equals hating the Father
John 15:24 & 25 Seeing Jesus and His works and rejecting Him confirmed the Scripture
John 15:26 & 27 The Holy Spirit and the disciples will testify regarding Jesus
Transcript of Service
There are times when we've all experienced situations where we don't feel comfortable or we're feeling like we're not really welcomed. Jesus is going to tell his disciples that not only they're not going to be welcome, but they're going to be hated. And he's going to explain why they're going to be hated and what the world is going to be reacting to them. Come and see why Jesus says the world hates his disciples.
Turn to the Gospel of John, chapter 15, and we'll be starting with verse 18.
Now the context of this is that Jesus had just celebrated a Passover meal with his disciples.
He had been teaching them after the supper.
He instituted a new ordinance that we called the Lord's Supper.
He washed his disciples' feet and then after teaching further, they went from that place
and they were traveling to the Garden of Gethsemane. And he has been teaching his disciples as they've been traveling.
One of the things he taught them was that they were to bear fruit and that was their purpose and that if they didn't bear fruit, they would be like unproductive branches that would be cut off and then thrown into the fire.
Branches that produce fruit would be pruned so that more fruit could be had and that was their purpose and that would bring glory to God in bearing much fruit and that to do that that they had to abide in him and him and abide in us. And so that was the sustenance and the power in which to produce fruit.
Then he talked about how they were to treat each other, that they were to love one another as he has loved them. And he has repeated that command once during the meal and two more times as they've been traveling because it has been very important and as I said, and he really meant it, that we as his disciples are to love fellow disciples as he has loved us.
Now we've come to a place where he's going to be talking about the world.
Now if you have your Bibles, there are times when there's some notes inserted in the Bible to help you find the place that you're looking for. And so if you're, for instance, you're looking for Jesus's parable on the vineyard or whatever, they have little things and so as you're turning through, you can try to find it if you don't know the address.
Well, if you look at your Bibles, probably because mine says how the disciples relate to the world.
In my humble opinion, that's wrong.
Well, in my not so humble opinion, what Jesus is going to teach is how the world relates to us.
It's not how we relate to the world, but how the world relates to us.
And so he's going to make some pretty definitive declarations about that relationship. And so in verse 18 it says, "If the world hates you, and it will, you know that it has hated me before it hated you." So he's going to tell us that the world is not going to be in love with us. It is going to hate us. It is going to see our ill and not our good.
And it's not something that we're to take personal.
It's not that they hate us because they hate us. They hate us because they hated him.
Now in our country, we are a little surprised at that because we are "we're a Christian nation."
More people who went to church and those who were actual believers. And so there was less of a sense of persecution. There was maybe some opposition or disagreement, but there wasn't persecution. But throughout the 2,000 years since Jesus has gone, we have experienced persecution.
There are those who cut off the heads of those who are believers. There are those who come and kidnap their girls and put them in to rape them and do all kinds of unspeakable things because they are Christians. There are those who will sell them into slavery. The world is doing that even as I speak.
Part of it is the world is evil and does evil things to even other people. But it particularly does evil things to believers because they hate us.
And so he goes, "If the world hates you and it will, don't be surprised."
Because let's face it, if you take a look at Jesus' life, what did he do? He loved, he forgave, he healed, he rose to death. He did a number of miracles and various things to demonstrate his love towards us and that he sacrificed himself on a cross for our forgiveness.
And yet they hated him. So we should not take it personal that they hate us.
Then he says, "If you were of the world, the world would love its own. But because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world because of this, the world hates you."
You are not of this world. In essence, we don't belong here.
It's kind of like when you go to a group of people who have different views and do different things and you're at a party and you just feel uncomfortable because you don't feel like you fit in. That's exactly what Jesus is saying. When we live in this world, we don't fit in because we're His. And He chose us out of the world so that we might produce fruit and be a glory to Him and the Father.
It is interesting. There are very brilliant and rich men and women who are looking to have the ability for us to leave this world and go to other places like Mars.
And some of them do it for the sake of science and great. I'm a big proponent of science. We ought to learn as much as we can and do as much as we can, understanding that as we develop our science, that our science is not our God. God is our God.
But part of the reason some of them are seeking to move to places like Mars is that they're convinced that this place, this earth, doesn't have a lot longer to exist and so they're going to go and live in a different world.
Here's the problem with that thinking.
They're taking themselves with them.
Because we are a lost people.
I don't care how ordinary or elite you are, you are a sinner.
And if you move from this earth to Mars, guess what will happen? You will ruin Mars because you're taking yourself with you.
And so again, even if we were on Mars, we would not be of this world because we would be different.
But the reason the world loves its own is because the world agrees with them.
They'll agree with all kinds of crazy things because the world loves its own.
So again, it is not personal that the world hates us. It is because they hated Jesus.
You hear all kinds of commercials about how Jesus gets us. In reality, we should get Jesus.
It's not so much that He understands us. We ought to understand Him and who He is. And He is the Son of the living God.
So He says the world hates us because He chose them, He chose us, and He moved us out of this world into His kingdom.
Remember the word that I said to you, "A slave is not greater than his master. If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also." Jesus says that we are tied together.
He goes, "Remember the word that I said to you." So He's reminding them. He says, "A slave is not greater than his master." So He's saying, "If they treat your master this way, they're going to treat his slaves
because a slave is not better or greater than the master." He's saying, "I am being persecuted, and I am going to be going to a cross for you. But if they persecute Me, who was, and even those who aren't believers say, "Well, He was a good man," they still persecuted Him."
So He goes, "And again, especially in the Church of America today, it's kind of like if we're believers, then everything ought to be perfect for us.
The world ought to love us, and everybody ought to think that what we have to say is great, and we ought to be privileged.
In reality, it's the opposite.
Yes, we've had a period of time when, especially during the 70s, 80s, we had the Jesus revolution and culture, and a lot of people came to the Lord, and there was this same positive response
to the gospel.
But especially since COVID, churches have been declining in numbers.
And it's interesting, a world that is needing socialization, who are afraid to relate to one another, don't come to the one place that is seeking to relate to them, to show love to them, to include them, but instead they're isolated because we are not viewed positively. There's always an excuse for why they don't like us.
Well, if you need a Jesus, that's fine.
If they kept His Word, they will keep our Word.
We need to understand that. Our Word is His Word, and again, it's not because they come, not because of who we are, but because of who He is. But all these things they will do to you for my name's sake, because they don't know the one who sent me. He's saying, and I find this statement interesting, because in prayer that He's been teaching, He keeps saying, "If you ask anything in my name, then it will happen." And I keep saying, "Doing things in Jesus' name means you're doing it in the name of Jesus, not for yourself." And He said, "If you live according to what I've commanded you and according to what I've told you, you're living in my name's sake, and they're going to persecute you, not again because of who you are, but because of who He is. They persecute us for His name's sake." So I keep saying over and over, "It's not personal.
They don't hate you because of you. They hate you because of Him."
And again, even in our culture, you can have any crazy opinion that you want,
except a biblical one.
But all these things they will do to you.
All the persecution, all the opposition, all the rejection is because of His name's sake,
because they do not know the one who sent me. And again, Jesus keeps reiterating over and over, "If you don't know Him, you don't know the Father. If you know the Father, you know Him."
You see, Christianity is exceptionally exclusionary. It's not, "God, there's one God, and then there's this other God," whatever. No, if you don't accept Jesus as the Son of God, then you don't accept the Father.
It's pretty claim.
So if you have a God that doesn't include Jesus as God, you're not worshiping God. You're worshiping somebody you've created. And He says, "So they don't know the one who sent me." And it's interesting, He's talking to disciples who are Jewish.
In a land that is Jewish, there's land of the people that God had chosen that they might understand who He is. And He's saying, "Even my people who I've called don't know me. Just because you're afraid to say the word God doesn't mean you know Him.
Just because you celebrate a Sabbath doesn't mean you know Him.
If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sinned, but now they have no excuse for their sin."
You see, Jesus came and showed Him exactly who He was and who the Father was. As I said, He forgave.
He healed the sick.
He healed the blind and the deaf and the lame.
He rose people from the dead. He will soon sacrifice Himself as an offering for our forgiveness.
What He has done and what He has spoken made it clear to them that they still rejected Him after having seen who He was.
In another passage, He will have said to His disciples, "If what I have done
would have been done in Sodom and Gomorrah, they would have repented in sackcloth and ashes."
Now, when you read the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, that is an evil, wicked place. And yet, here He has come and spoken to a religious group of people.
And sometimes the most lost people are religious people who think that they are moral or fine or doing whatever, and if they do more good than bad, then God will understand.
And Jesus is saying, "No, if you don't know Me, you don't know the Father. And I have come to show you who the Father is, and yet you reject them."
A group of people who I have called out to be My people.
So now they have no excuse.
You see, I believe based on the Scriptures that because God is who God is and that He is fair and He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him, that there are going to be rewards in heaven that will make some people different than others because people have done here and done things in the midst of persecution to honor Him and produce fruit, while others barely hang on and you're surprised that they're even in heaven.
I also believe because God is a just God. People like Stalin and Hitler and whoever other, and others, I'm sure that in hell there's a special place for them in hell.
But like heaven, hell is like real estate. Location, location, location. I would rather be in the poorest section of heaven than the richest section of hell,
because in hell you will be separated from the Lord your God.
And so I'm what I think Jesus is saying here is, "Son of the mora, as evil as they were, may have had an excuse, and so they will suffer in hell. But the people who saw what Jesus did and who He is and was have no excuse.
And He who hates me hates my Father also. There is this joint unity with the Son and the Father. You can't have one without the other.
And He's saying, in essence, hating Jesus is hating God the Father.
I mean, that's about as plain as you can get. Most of us say, "Oh no, well there's different roads to heaven." You don't love me, you hate me. You reject my teachings and who I am. You hate the Father.
If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sinned, but now they have both seen and hated me and my Father as well.
He re-emphasizes, "Look at what I have done and still they reject me. Look at what I'm going to do." Not only is He going to be crucified, but He is going to raise from the dead three days later.
And without spoiling the end of the story, rather than saying, "You know, we blew it. He really was the Son of God. Maybe we should fall down and worship Him and seek for forgiveness." What did they do? They paid the guards to lie and say that the body was stolen.
Talk about denying truth and hating the Son and the Father. And it should be no surprise to us when we say, "Well, it's obvious who Jesus is and what He did, and yet the world will refuse to accept Him because the world wants to do what the world wants to do."
And I understand that because I want to do what I want to do.
But there's this thinking thing called "Lord." Where I say, "He's boss, and I have to do what He says, regardless of what I want to do."
But they have done this to fulfill the Word that is written in their law. Notice in their law. So even in the people's law, the Jewish law, they hated me without a cause.
And again, people who don't believe in Jesus as the Son of God will tell you, "Well, He was a good teacher. He was a good man. He did a lot of good things.
They still hate Him without a cause."
Because again, He brings into full realization. You're either for Him or you're against Him. There are no one neutral when it comes to the Son of God.
And therefore, there is no one neutral when it comes to God the Father.
And again, people keep wanting to use Jesus to justify their agenda.
Rather than saying, "Jesus is the Son of God, I will do His agenda, not justify my agenda."
"When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father." From the Father. Notice we don't have the Word in the Bible, Trinity.
But the concept of Trinity is in the Bible. "When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father." You've got the Spirit, Son, and the Father.
That is the Spirit of Truth, who will proceed from the Father, and He will testify about me. So we've got the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit all doing something. The Father sent the Son to testify. The Father is going to send the Spirit to testify about Jesus.
One of the problems we Baptists have is we don't have a really good understanding of the Holy Spirit. And part of the reason for that is our concern and overreaction to those who tend to be more touchy-feely and want to have aesthetic feelings and are that. And so they oftentimes emphasize the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues and doing all these things. I want you to notice here what the Bible says. The Holy Spirit's there to testify about Jesus.
Jesus came to tell us about the Father. The Spirit comes to tell us about the Son. So when we overemphasize the Spirit, we are getting off course because the Spirit has come to testify about Jesus. So when you magnify the Spirit in reducing the Son, you have misplaced your worship.
The Spirit helps us to worship in Spirit and in truth, but He's there to say, "Worship the Father, worship the Son," because they're the one that He points to. Jesus points to the Father. The Spirit points to the Son, who points to the Father. So let's make sure that we are not so concerned about the Spirit when the Spirit is testifying about the Son. And then He tells us, "And you will testify also because you have been with Me from the beginning." Notice that He didn't say, "And if you feel like it, you can talk about what we've done." If you have the proper occasion,
if somebody invites you to their house and says, "Hey, tell me about Jesus," then you can do it. No, He says, "And you will testify also." The Spirit is there to tell about Jesus, and we are to testify about Jesus because they have been with Him from the beginning. So they have observed. So your testimony is not about what I have done with Jesus.
Your testimony is not about what any great preacher has done.
Your testimony is about what you have done in your walk with Jesus. Now that from the beginning may be at the age of 82 or 12 or somewhere earlier or somewhere later or somewhere in between. But we are to testify about our walk with Jesus and what we have seen and what we observed.
And therefore, if you walk with Jesus, you can at least testify one thing. Well, I'll give you two. "I have been saved and redeemed because of who and what He did. I once was lost, but now I'm found, was blind, but now I see." There are so many things that you can say that your life—now, I caution you because I've heard some testimony where people will talk about their life during their sinful days. Then they will say that Jesus came into their life, and they changed, and whatever. And it almost sounds like they regret getting saved because they had so much fun in the past. And then others will talk about how terrible their life was
and how Jesus came and changed it.
Be careful trying to imitate other people's testimony. If you're an ex nothing, praise God.
If you came to Him, worn out, burned out, drugged out, and you change your life, praise God.
If you came and you lived a normal, moral life and then all of a sudden you saw, "I'm a sinner and I need salvation," praise God. That's your testimony, and you're to testify how you have responded to Jesus and what He has done in your life.
Now, the disciples have a definite advantage. They got to see Him. They got to see His miracles. They got to see how He loved people and true how He was one day going to judge people. We always hate that part.
But when we testify, make sure you understand one thing. Unless the people you testify are His, they will hate you.
How do we know this? Because there's a lot of Christians who came young in life or older in life and they become believers and then they would tell their friends. And unless their friends became Christians also, all of a sudden their friends weren't their friends anymore. They stopped inviting them to the parties and inviting them to go to dinner because they weren't as much fun anymore because they kept talking about this Jesus. And we don't want to talk about Jesus. We want to do what we want to do. So understand, again, it is not personal. They will not invite you to their parties because they don't like you. They will stop inviting you to their parties because they hate Him. And so I want you to understand that it's one, not personal. Number two, you're not of this world. So it doesn't matter
because there's a whole kingdom that we're going to be a part of that loves the Lord.
And we're going to rejoice and praise Him and it's going to be awesome. It may be difficult during this period of time, but it's going to happen. That's why it's so necessary to come to church, not because we're wonderful people, but because we're all journeying together.
Don't take it personally.
Love Him, serve Him, produce fruit for Him, and take a stand for Him.
Because even if the world loves you, it will never love you like Jesus. So I would much rather accept the hatred from the whole world and find love in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. And therefore, when I experience that love, I can risk not being loved by anyone else because His love never, ever goes away. It never fades. It's never conditional. It never stops. But I know I've had friends and other people that I thought were friends who for one reason or another stopped being my friend. That's okay. They missed out because I'm a pretty cool dude, but Jesus always, always accepts me.
He didn't come to get me. He came to save me and all God's people said.