Do Whatever He Tells You: Week 9 - John 15:18-27
Series: Do Whatever He Tells You
Do Whatever He Tells You: Week 8
As Christians, we should expect to be persecuted. Right now, over 360 million Christians around the world are experiencing severe persecution, including 5621 believers being murdered for their faith. Our nation no longer has a Christian culture, and hostility towards believers is on the rise. This fact should give Christians a clarity about how to live for Jesus.
Jesus speaks about persecution in very clear terms. Here are 4 expectations of persecution:
Resistance is inevitable
Verse 18 says, "If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. "The world" represents the fallen world system, which operates according to Satan's values and is subject to the curse of sin (Gen. 3:14-19). The world has rejected Jesus, and because our mission is the continuation of His, we can expect no different treatment.
Resistance comes from WHO we ARE
Verse 19-20 which ends, "A servant is not greater than His master. If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours." We are not immune to persecution. We are supposed to look like our Rabbi. Paul told Timothy in 2 Tim 3:12, "All who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted."
Resistance comes from WHO we represent
Verse 21 says, "But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know Him who sent me." In others words, you will experience these things because my name has marked you. My reputation has gone before you.
Resistance comes when we expose evil
From what He said- verse 22-23
From what He did - verse 24-25
"BUT WHEN the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness about me. And you will also bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning."
What we must remember about the Holy Spirit:
- The Holy Spirit has a Christ-centered ministry
- He does not merely draw attention to Himself, He draws attention to Jesus
- We should be wary of those who claim the Spirits involvement in a ministry that ignores Jesus.
3 options for us to choose:
WITHDRAW - One way to withdraw is to surround yourself with Christians exclusively - where you shop, do business, eat, develop friendships, etc. You have no meaningful contact with non-believers.
CONFORM - You don't look any different from the culture.
INFLUENCE - You are very intentional about building friendships with those that do not know Jesus, and you are being a light to a dark world in every setting you find yourself in.
- Where are you withdrawn from the world?
- How are you conforming to the world? Do you conform to whatever setting you are in?
- Who are your lost friends? Where do you have influence in their lives?
- How are you being a difference-maker for Jesus?
- How do you think you would react if severe persecution came your way? Take time to pray for persecuted Christians. Check out this resource: Open Doors