HATED, LOVED, INDWELT

Reading: John 15:17-27

INTRODUCTION

 

[a] On a television programme, in which the victims of crime were being interviewed, a young man spoke about the thugs who had attacked his father, and left him badly scarred and injured. He said he would cheerfully put them out of their misery and shoot them, given half the chance!

[*] Once, someone said to me, that her mother-in -law, was so politically prejudiced, that, if you were in her house, and said you were not S.N.P., she would throw you out.

There are some sections of the community  that  hate  other  sections, perhaps because of the  political  or  religious  label  people wear!

[b]  Early-day Salvationists were often  beaten  up  for  their  faith  and convictions.

Some time ago, during a series on Moses, I mentioned that whilst  at  College,  we   had,  for  a  period   of   time,  responsibility for HOXTON CORPS, in which the original Corps flag was framed for preservation and displayed.

It was a  flag with a history, as it was splattered with the blood of  those early   Salvationists   who   stood   against   such   awful persecution, in order to present Christ, and win the lost to Him!

[c] In this country today, it is "easy" to  be  a  Christian and Salvationist, compared with our comrades of past days! Perhaps  at  times  it  is  too  easy,  and  we  fail   to appreciate to the full, the  value  of  our  uniform,  as  a witness,  and  the  huge  responsibility  that  is  ours  as Christians and Salvationists!

 

                   LOVE AND HATE!

 

[b] Let me draw your attention to verses 17-18, where  Jesus links together the love of Christians for one another, and the hatred of the world.

[c] Jesus is saying again what He says in Matthew 24:9, when He says, "Ye shall be hated by all nations  for  My  Name's sake!"

In other words, "This world hated Me,  therefore,  it  will hate you also, if you are truly My disciple!"

Now where does our love for one another enter into this?

JESUS IS SAYING IN VERSE 17, "YOUR LOVE  FOR  ONE  ANOTHER WILL CUSHION YOU AGAINST THIS HATRED!"

(i) Indeed, often it can be the case, that the Christian’s love for  one another can increase the more the world hates us!!

(ii) After all, there is nothing like a common enemy to unite people.

(iii) However, when the common enemy takes  a  low  profile, and doesn't seem to be bothering us very  much,  then  there is the danger, that our love one for the other can diminish.

(v) When we suffer PERSECUTION for our faith, then  we  know that the Devil is MAD WITH US, and that we ARE ACCOMPLISHING SOMETHING for God that is annoying him!!

[d] Every true man or woman of God has suffered persecution!

KING DAVID speaks of his own persecution by those who  hated him in Psalm 35:19, and in Psalm 69:4, he says there are  so many that they are more than the hairs on his  head,  and  I don't read anywhere that he was bald!

[e] However, THE STRENGTH OF OUR LOVE AND FELLOWSHIP, SHOULD   BE A BINDING FORCE IN THE MIDST OF THIS WORLD OF HATRED!

                

 

MIXING THINGS UP

 

[a] I remember once going into  a  shop  that  had  cubes  filled with liquids of different  densities,  so  they  just would not mix.

(i) You would have one liquid that was clear,  with  another  liquid dropping down through it in little globules.

(ii) There was a large one that rocked back and forward. The top was clear liquid, whilst  the  lower  half  was  a  blue oil-like liquid, which the motorised  movement  made  appear for all the world tike a turbulent sea.

(iii) My wife said, "Oh if I was looking at that  for  long,    it would make me feel sea-sick!"

[b] For the Christian who tries to mix the presence  of  God with other things in their hearts, the  same  applies!  It  creates continual turbulent  surges, and the  continual  waves  rock their lives time and time again -  BECAUSE  WHAT  THEY  ARE  ALLOWING IN THEIR LIVES WILL NOT  MIX!!  IT'S  IMPOSSIBLE, IT'S LIKE TRYING TO MIX OIL AND WATER - YOU CAN'T DO IT!!!

 

CONCLUSION

 

[a] Where there is persecution  because  of  our  faith  and  witness, God can use even that to the good, and give us  the strength to be victorious, if we are fully committed to Him.

[c] IF EVERYBODY LOVES US, AND THINKS WE'RE WONDERFUL – THEN LET US BEWARE!! IT MAY MEAN THERE IS  SOMETHING  WRONG  WITH OUR WITNESS!! THEY HATED OUR SAVIOUR, AND HE SAID THAT IF WE FOLLOWED HIM, THEN THEY WOULD HATE US TOO!!!

IF THE WORLD ACCEPTS AND LOVES US - IT COULD MEAN WE ARE SOFT PEDDLING THE GOSPEL!

[d] The SAFEGUARD which Jesus says we  can  have,  and  that which SOOTHES THE WOUNDS THIS WORLD INFLICTS,  is  OUR  LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER!

[e]  If we are doing anything worthwhile for God,  then  the Devil will do everything  possible  to  pull  us  down,  and naturally if there are THINGS IN OUR LIVES THAT SHOULDN'T BE THERE, that will be a FOOTHOLD for him to start  to  destroy our life for God!!

[f] God must be in complete control in our lives!

If there is a PART WE HOLD  BACK,  then  we  will  never  be wholly successful Christians - its like LEAVING THE BOLT OFF THE BACK DOOR FOR THE DEVIL!

 

 

SALVATION ARMY SONG BOOK

                 Chorus "All there is of me Lord" (34)

 

 

                 SONG              TUNE

                 394                786

                

                 Singing Company "Light up the Fire"

                

                 CHORUS "Blessed be the Name of the Lord"

                

                 CHORUS

                 "I want to share my Faith"

                

                 735 (CHORUS OF NO 395)

                

                 786                456