The Truth About Hating Jesus
Delivered By
C.C. Risenhoover
Delivered On
August 23, 2015
Central Passage
John 15:18-27
Attached Document
Open Document
Description

THE TRUTH ABOUT HATING JESUS

John 15:18-27

Unless you’ve had your head in the sand (and covering your ears) before you were able to think straight…you know that Jesus is one of the most hated persons in the world.  And, if you’re one of His followers, you know that you’re hated, too.  That’s why fewer and fewer people have the guts to follow Him.

It’s a strange world we live in…and stranger still that when Jesus was on earth He was hated for all the good things that He did.  That negative adage that “No good deed goes unpunished” certainly applies to Jesus’ earthly ministry.  In the eyes of the religionists of His day (most of whom were very political), He never did anything right.

That hasn’t changed in our day either…except for the fact that a lot more people hate Him now than hated Him then.

Christians, especially Christians new to the faith, are often confused by the fact that so few people are interested in Jesus or their new birth experience.  They’ve had the greatest possible earthly experience, forgiveness of their sin by the Lord Himself, yet most of the people they want to share that experience with treat it with a yawn.  They soon come to realize that the greatest, most important message in the entire history of the world (that Jesus saves) is treated with disdain, along with them.

By and large, the masses aren’t waiting for the message that can bring about their salvation.  The truth is that they hate that message of salvation…the One it’s about…and also you, if you’re the one delivering it to them.

God is hated…the prophets of old were hated…Jesus is hated…and you are hated if you’re a Christian.  But, none of this should be surprising to you.  Jesus prophesied it…and the Bible recorded it.  So if you’re a Bible-believing, born again Christian, you’re hated.

As to why, it’s because you’re different.  You’re different because you’ve chosen God over the world.  If that doesn’t seem fair to you…well, Jesus never promised you an easy road in this life.  There’s a cost to discipleship.

In fact, when Jesus saidIf the world hates you, you know that it hated me before it hated you,” He wasn’t talking about earth only here.  His reference to the word “world” means cosmos, which is much greater than the earth.  So the hatred for God…and for Christians…goes beyond this physical world that we know as earth and into the spiritual realm.  So you’re never going to be able to eliminate the world’s hatred for God…and its hatred for you.

If you think people living in the bowels of hell for eternity are going to look up…see you in heaven and be glad for you…you’re sadly mistaken.  They’re going to hate God and you even more…because hate is what stokes the fires of hell.

By the way, “cosmos” is the word from which we get the word cosmetics.  It means "to put in order."  Cosmetics are actually designed to put a woman’s face in order.  Most of us have had the experience of watching a woman use the rearview mirror of their car to put their face in order while driving and possibly also texting.  I prefer watching that scenario from a lane as far away as possible.

The world is organized…or put in order by an intelligent being…and that being is Satan himself.  His specific goal is to have the world leave God completely out of it…and he spends more time prepping for this than a coach does in preparing his team for a game.  That’ because the world is Satan’s team.

The word "worldly," when used biblically, means to operate as if there is no God…creating a moral order that is, in fact, in active rebellion against God.  In other words, people lifestyles that are independent of God.

Any possibility of reconciliation in the war between the kingdom of this world and the kingdom of God is impossible.  There’s not even the possibility of a timeout or truce.  The warfare is continual.  James 4:4 tells us, “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God?  Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.”

That’s the problem with a lot of churchgoers.  They want to be friendly and tolerant of people who hate God.  It doesn’t work.  It never has and it never will.  If you’re a real Christian, you can’t be a friend to a world that encourages disobedience of God…a world that hates Him.  You have to make a choice…and that choice is either God or the world.  You can’t have both.

Paul told Christians in Romans 12:2, “Don’t be conformed to this world.”  Pure and simple, don’t be squeezed into its mold.  Don’t let the world tell you what to do.  And, keep this in mind: Anything that keeps you from including God is worldly.  If you have to leave Jesus outside for something, or anything you do, don’t do it.  It’s worldly.

Understanding God isn’t hard because, if you’re a Christian, the Holy Spirit is always speaking in your ear.  That Spirit has made it abundantly clear that whatever you spend your time, money and energy on is what you love.  So if you spend little, or none, of your time, money and energy on the things God tells us are important, it’s a pretty good indicator that you don’t love Him.  Remember that “Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.”

That’s just the way it is…and the reason I know that’s just the way it is…is because the Bible tells me so.

Jesus said, “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own.  As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.  That is why the world hates you” (John 15:19).

Can you handle the hate?  Can you handle people mocking and ridiculing you because of your belief?  The Apostle Paul dealt with the hate in his day and wrote, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes.”

As long as this present world exists, there will never be any shortage of God-haters.  And, the more you act like Christ…the more the world is going to treat you the way it treated Him.  If you don’t act, talk or think like the world does, you make the worldly crowd uncomfortable.

The fact that you’re not one of them, but one of God’s (chosen by His sovereign grace), is just another reason for them to hate you.  Most people live only for life on this earth, and they spend their entire lives trying to obtain the things of this world.  They have no spiritual insight.

If you’re a Christian you insist on personal acceptance of God’s truth for your life…an absolute standard of truth.  The world can’t handle the truth, but you can.  Jesus said, “Remember the words I have spoken to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’  If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.  If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also” (John 15:20).

If a church in today’s world isn’t undergoing persecution…and isn’t hated…the reason may be that there is little to distinguish that church from the world.  Religious surveys have consistently shown that there are few (if any) noticeable differences between the lifestyles of churchgoers and those who don’t attend a house of worship.

Churchgoers wear the same clothes as those worn by their secular culture…watch the same movies…get divorced at the same rate…buy as many lottery tickets…have as many affairs and use just as many questionable business practices.  The secular culture has so invaded the minds and hearts of those in churches (both in the pew and in the pulpit), that the godless society in which we live may see nothing about a church that is worth persecuting.  That in itself may be the most telling indictment a church faces.

The idea that a church must accept the ways of the world in order to win the world is spiritual suicide…and about as logical as Congress passing legislation and then reading the bill to see what’s in it.

Jesus said in John 15:21 that when your Christian faith is hated and persecuted, “They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me.”

People hate Jesus because they don’t know the Father.  They hate you because they don’t know Jesus.  Evil looks for an excuse to hate…and Satan is the author of all hatred of God and His followers.

Speaking about those who hated him (and those who still do), Jesus said,If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin.  Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin” (John 15:22).

That’s the crux of the matter.  If Jesus had kept His mouth shut, just gone around healing and feeding people, there wouldn’t have been any trouble.  But, when He exposed their sin, that didn’t set too well with the religious elite.  It damaged their credibility with the low information masses.

Jesus went on to say, “Those who hate me also hate my Father,” and He added, “If I had not done among them what no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin.  But now they have seen these miracles, and yet they have hated both me and my Father.”

In other words, the Jesus-hater says, “Don’t show or tell me the truth, because if I don’t see and hear it, I won’t be guilty of anything.”  People in this sin-infested world don’t want to know God’s word, because they don’t want to know what sin is.  If they don’t know, they can’t feel guilty.

So people hate Jesus because He spoke truth.  But, you can’t hate Jesus without also hating God and the Holy Spirit…so you actually have to combine three hates and wrap them all up into one.

Many people get ticked when they take a good look at Jesus’ life and His teaching, because they see a lifestyle that reveals their sinfulness…another reason to hate Him.  He set an absolute standard as to how a life is to be lived…a measurement that defies all of humanity’s low moral expectations.  Striving to emulate…or imitate Jesus…enrages people who don’t want to be reminded of their sinfulness…so they hate people who try.

When it comes to real Christianity most people have that “Don’t try this at home or anywhere else” attitude.  Higher standards are looked at like the crossbar for the high jump or pole vault.  They want the bar set low enough so that they can easily step across it.  They’re angered by higher than easy standards, which is why they’re quick to latch onto anything negative that they hear about a church…or about God.  And, if they run into a Christian who reflects God’s holiness, Katy-bar-the-door.  Hate comes popping out of them like popcorn in hot grease.

If you’re a Christian the majority of people won’t like you because you remind them of the God that they hate.  Here’s what Jesus said about those involved in a religion apart from God: “But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason’.”

When He said “…their Law,” who do you think He was talking about?  Well, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that He was talking about religionists who had taken God’s word and fashioned it to meet their agendas.  You can also make the case that He was talking about politicians and judges, who (like religionists) have tried to twist God completely out of every verse in the Bible.

I read this story about a missionary in a very backward village in Africa.  It seems he left a mirror hanging on a tree after shaving.  The wife of the tribal chief came along and looked into it.  She had never seen a mirror before.  She asked the missionary, "Who is that ugly woman?"  When the missionary explained the mirror to her and told her that the image in it was her, she got mad, threw the mirror down and crushed it.

The world gets just as mad as that woman when you show its people what their sin looks like.  They get mad.  And, because they can’t take out their hatred on Christ, who is in heaven, they take it out on you.

If you’re truly a Christian and wondering how you’re going to make it in a hostile world, the Holy Spirit is in you…and He gives you the staying power and courage to bear witness of Christ.  And, if you’re truly a Christian, you will witness.  It’s impossible for you to do otherwise.

The Holy Spirit witnesses and you witness.  And, you have a strength beyond yourself to be a witness.  Remember also that a witness is someone who simply tells what he or she has experienced.

Christians know who they are, and they know where they’re going.  It’s the message they’re called on to share with the world.  Strangely, telling people that they, too, can have the gift of eternal life by repenting and trusting in Jesus as Lord is not a popular message for the masses.  They prefer what the devil offers them in this world.  They’re after instant gratification, not something out there in the distant future.

Being Christian and having the desire to help other people find Christ can make you very unpopular…even hated in this world.  But, the love you’ll discover in full at the end of your earthly existence is worth it.

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