I am a bi-vocational pastor, so for now I have a regular 8-5, Monday through Friday secular job. The place where I work has a diverse background of people, mostly former or retired military. An unfriendly environment usually develops. It is tough to evangelize, but I still give it a shot.
One Sunday after church, my wife and I did some shopping at the local food store. From time to time, I see people that I work with at Walmart or the local food store and try and make it a point to say, “hi.” I get mixed reactions when I do.
On this particular Sunday, a young lady that sits two cubicles from me quickly came around the corner into the aisle. I went to say “hi,” she saw me, shook her head, and move faster down the aisle. We wanted to see if we could find her, but she probably left in a hurry.
I am not overly sensitive and felt pretty sad. If I did anything wrong, tell me, so I can apologize, make amends, and move on. Sometimes, easier said than done. Jesus reminded me of what He told the disciples in John 15:18-25.
If worldly people hate you, not because they hate you, but Jesus first (John 15:18). I know you are probably shaking your head, but let me or Jesus explain. In verse 19, we also came from the world; they loved us, and welcome us with open arms. Jesus chooses us, we accepted the call and the free gift of salvation. We made Jesus the Lord of our lives and now the world hates us. That is why Jesus said they hated me first. Remember, Satan is the ruler of the world.
Jesus continues, if they persecute Me, they will persecute you (John 15:20). They will do all things to you for My name’s sake because they no relationship with God (John 15:21). They will tell you they believe in God, but their actions towards you and other believers show different. You cannot love God and hate any of His children.
Jesus backs them into a corner, “If I not come and spoken to them, they would not have sinned, but now they have no excuse for their sin” (John 15:22). People hate Jesus because He alone exposed their sin. The good thing, Jesus wants you to repent with all of your heart, and accept Him as Lord and Savior.
To finish, Jesus mentions they also hate my Father (John 15:23). If they listened to Jesus, turn from their sin, they would love Him and you, but because they do not believe, they hate God, Jesus, and you. Sad, isn’t it?
We should consider ourselves blessed for being mocked by the world. Many did the same to Jesus and the Prophets. Our world today has become increasingly ungodly and secular. Do not get upset or hurt when the world shuns you. As a Christian, your citizenship is not in the world, but in heaven.
Grace Wesley once said, “I would rather stand with God and be judged by the world than stand with the world and be judged by God.” Amen!
I am Dale Van De Bogart and I approve of this message!
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