TEXT: John 15:18-23
18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.
22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.
23 He that hateth me hateth my Father also.
Today, I am continuing the daily Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign sermon series, which is aimed at sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with unbelievers and reminding Christians, in this important election year, to keep the main thing the main thing — and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to “pray without ceasing” for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders. Yes, you should pray for the right candidate to win; yes, you should vote for the candidate that the Lord gives you peace about voting for. But, don’t get caught up in it like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord.
This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”
This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 250.
A.C. Dixon said, “When we think of God, we are apt to think of Him in human form. In the Epiphanies of the Old Testament God revealed Himself to Joshua and others in human form. In Jesus, He puts Himself within the compass of our highest conception, in order that He may make Himself real to us in His love and sympathy and power.”
Throughout Jesus’ ministry one of the things that probably baffled the disciples the most was the hatred that they saw directed against Jesus? Perhaps they found it hard to understand why everyone else did not see Jesus as they did — particularly the religious establishment who should have recognized the signs that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah. As Jesus continues telling His disciples about the persecution they will face, He lets them know that they will face such baffling persecution as well. The question is, “Why?” And now, Jesus provides the answer. He says, “All these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.”
This reasoning is to be applied directly to the religious Jewish community that opposed the preaching of the Gospel. These Jews led by their rabbis and priests who were students of Old Testament Scripture believed that they knew God. They thought they had God all figured out, explained, and squared off in a box. When Jesus came as God in the flesh, however, He did not fit their idea of God. God was not what they expected. The Gospel was not the kind of message they anticipated the Messiah to bring. They thought they knew God, but found out that they were wrong about who He is. They did not know Him personally, so they could not recognize Him in Jesus Christ.
The InterVarsity Press Commentary on this passage says, ‘Jesus’ statement that the disciples would be persecuted because of His name is a reference to God’s identity and character as it is made manifest in Christ. Jesus cannot be understood apart from the Father, so He concludes that the reason they reject Him is their ignorance of the One who sent Him. This is the core problem.’ When Jesus came, He did not condone the religious activities that were being carried out in the name of God. He rebuked the Jews for turning God’s house into a den of thieves. He rebuked them for twisting the Law, which was supposed to be a blessing to man, into something that was oppressive and a curse. The Jewish religious establishment hated Jesus for this. And, by consequence, they hated God, for as Jesus said, “He that hateth me hateth my Father also.”
People today who do not know the one, true God through Jesus Christ have come up with their own ideas of who God is. Some believe that God is the universe and the universe is God. Some believe that God is a spirit that pervades every living thing — that we are all a part of God, and God is a part of all of us. Others believe that all religions are a different pathway to the same God. Some believe that God is dead. And still others believe that man himself is the only god in the universe.
In our pluralistic and morally ambiguous society, all of these beliefs are supposed to be accepted as equally valid. Therefore, when you or I, as Christians, state that there is only one God, eternally existent, that His Son Jesus Christ is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life,” and that the only way one can know the Father is through the Son, you can expect opposition. You will be told that you are intolerant of other people’s beliefs. People will hate you. They will not want to accept this idea of a one, true God to whom there is only one path. Why? Because they want to follow their own way. They want to believe their truth. And they intend to live life the way they want to.
However, when they are confronted with God as displayed through Jesus Christ, they have to make a decision about how they will live the rest of their life. If they wish to continue on the path they are on, they will end up hating you if you persist in telling them the truth. While it may be difficult, we must realize that their hatred is really directed at Christ and God. Their hatred of Christ only shows us that they really do not know God no matter what they might say, and this should cause us to redouble our efforts to draw them into the body of Christ.
Samuel John Stone wrote:
Amid toil and tribulation,
And tumult of her war,
The church awaits the consummation
Of peace for evermore;
Till, with the vision glorious,
Her longing eyes are blessed,
And the great Church victorious
Shall be the Church at rest.
Yet she on earth hath union
With God the Three in One,
And mystic sweet communion
With those whose rest is won:
O happy ones and holy!
Lord, give us grace that we,
Like them, the meek and lowly,
In love may preach for Thee.
The world will always be in opposition to Christ and ignorant of the true God. But if you are in the world, you do not have to remain in that position. Jesus came so that men might know God through Him. Will you receive Him as your Savior today? Here is how.
First, please understand that you are a sinner and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Please understand that because of your sins, you deserve punishment in hell. Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death…” This is both physical death and spiritual death in hell.
But here is the good news. John 3:16 reads, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
The phrase “For God so loved the world” means that if you are in this world, God loves you no matter what you have done.
The next phrase, “that He gave His only begotten Son” refers to Jesus Christ. He is God’s son who suffered, bled, and died on the cross for your sins and for mine, and He was buried and rose again.
Our next phrase is “that whosoever believeth in Him”. The word “whosoever” means anybody at anytime. The phrase “believeth in Him” means to trust in Him, to depend upon Him, to rely on Him, or to have faith in Him for your salvation.
Our next phrase, “should not perish”, refers to eternal punishment in a place called hell.
And, lastly, the phrase “but have everlasting life” means to live eternally in Heaven with God.
The Bible also says in Romans 10:9 and 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved…. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.