Ministry of Love

The intention of this blog is to share Biblical messages at least on a weekly basis. Any response is appreciated. I do not expect everyone to agree with my interpretation of Biblical passages. I will try to respond with love and thoughtfulness.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

A Prophecy Fulfilled, by John

A Prophecy Fulfilled.
John 15:18 -16:4

1. Do you think it is easier for a child or an adult to become a Christian?
(1) Any Christian witness will tell you it is easier for a child.
a. They will tell you a child has already learned to trust the people around him, and that makes it easier.
b. They will also tell you that most children respond easily to God’s love because they are already loved by their parents.
c. Another thing they will add is, they haven’t experienced the evil that most adults have already faced.
(2) Becoming a Christian requires a lot of courage for adults who have experienced all of the bad things that happen to people.
2. Sooner or later, Christian witnesses will refer to this Scripture text as proof. What I see in these Words of Jesus is that they are “A Prophecy Fulfilled.”

I. Jesus says we are outcasts in the world. Vv 18 -21

1. The world hates Christians.
(1) We wonder why terrorists can’t act like Christians.
(2) We wonder why so many people around the world hate Americans.
2. They have strong reasons for their hatred.
(1) Some observers will tell you other nations are jealous of what we have.
(2) Some others will tell you that they hate us because we look down our noses at the rest of the world and think we are better than they are.
(3) They leave out the one thing that causes them to hate us, and it is double-barreled.
3. The world hates Christians for three reasons.
(1) First, it hates us because we don’t belong to them, we don’t fit in with their ways of life.
(2) Second, They hate us because they hate Jesus! And His Father and ours. v. 18.
3. They also hate us because they really don’t have any inkling about who God is!
(1) They don’t know He is our Father!
(2) They don’t know He wants to be their Father.
(3) They don’t realize that Jesus is God’s Son.
(4) They can’t see, taste, touch or feel the Holy Spirit! So He must not be real!
4. With that background, it is natural for them to think we are crazy, ignorant and weird!
5. People Jesus said it right! We are outcasts in this world!

II. Have you thought about the reason Jesus told His disciples they were outcasts?

1. 16:1 tells us why. “All this I have told you so that you will not go astray!” Staying straight with God is vitally important!
2. God wants us to be like Jesus!
(1) Earthly parents’ desires are so much like God’s.
a. We want our children healthy, amen?
b. We want our children’s bodies and minds clean, amen?
c. We want our children to grow all their lives, amen?
d. We want them to be well-educated, able to enjoy a productive life, amen?
e. We want to love our children, and we want them to love us, amen?
3. That’s exactly what God wants for us, and He plans for us to have these things for all eternity!
4. Jesus told His disciples that they were already outcasts, and they would be as long as they were on this earth!
ill. When my brother was dying with cancer, he joined the Catholic Church with his wife. I thought I knew the reason, but I asked him to give me his reason anyway. He told me, “Well, it’s the oldest church! It’s the largest denomination in the world! I like it’s pomp and ritual.”
The one reason he did not give me was that it would make it easier on his wife after he was gone. He knew the control they had over people.
Christian, you may feel like an outcast on earth! You are! But one day we are going to be in heaven with Jesus, and we will be citizens of heaven! We will be children of the most high God! And where will those be who made us outcasts on earth?
5. Jesus wants us to be God’s lovely children, and we will be! He never fails!

III. Hatred bears fruit Always!

1. Jesus prophesied how it would happen.
2. The world makes us outcasts.
3,. Hatred always results in persecution. Ill. They thought they were serving God when they stoned stephen, and Muslim terrorists think they are serving God when kill Christians now.
4. This prophecy is being fulfilled, and it will be continuously fulfilled until Jesus comes!
4. There are some Christians who think they are doing God’s will when they praise people who kill homosexuals, black people, or anyone who practices abortions.
7. We have to issue a warning right here. It’s so easy to get off track and overflow with hatred instead being one of the hated!

IV. God Gifted us with His Spirit to overcome the world.

1. God’s Spirit prepares us.
(1) The Spirit gifts us to do God’s work.
(2) He is our constant companion and He comforts us.
2. He has all the power needed for the job. No one can stand against Him! He is God!
3. There’s an interesting account in Daniel 10:10 - 21. The angel Gabriel speaks to Daniel. Let’s read it....
4. There are spiritual beings strong enough to require the efforts of God’s strongest angels to control them! (These are not physical. The prince of Persia and of the Greeks are not Cyrus, nor Alexander tje great-but spiritual beings!)
5. A little later in John 16:7, Jesus said it was good for Him to go away. Apparently the Spirit would not indwell Christians unless Jesus returned to heaven. I don’t know why that was true, but I suspect it wasn’t fitting. Jesus was and is in complete control. To some it might have seemed that He wasn’t if Christians were filled with the Spirit.
6. We can overcome the world and it’s hate through the power of God’s indwelling Holy Spirit!

Conclusion:

1. It may seem like we are losing the battle here on earth, but we are not.
2. God is in charge even though the people of the world have made us outcasts in our own society..
3. We must keep on doing what we would do if we were fully accepted by the world as God’s chosen children.
4. We will overcome, not by our might, not by our intelligence, not by our social standing, but by God’s Spirit Who does Christ’s work in each of us!
5. Look at your own life. Do you feel like an outcast? Is the world too much for you?
6. The answer to all your problems is Jesus. In Jesus you are always winners!
7. Make Him the Lord and Savior of your life!

ECC 9/25/2005

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