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INTRO – When I say the name, “Jesus,” what comes to your mind? Here in this environment w/ the people around us, the response is one of adoration, worship, love, humility, & praise. In fact, let stand & sing to Him a little right now (“Holy & Anointed One” & “Shout to the Lord).
Don’t you love to do that? Don’t you love to worship Him? Don’t you love to just get lost in the wonder of who He is, what He has done, & the hope of His soon-coming return? Doesn’t it make your heart beat to consider His love for you & His faithful intercession for you right now at the right hand of the throne of God?
But it is not at all like that in the world in which we live. Mention the name “Jesus” in the world, & you find yourself immediately on the outside. You will find yourself ostracized, criticized, & scrutinized. You immediately become narrow-minded and brainwashed in the world’s estimation.
The name of Jesus – There has never been any name that has created as much impassioned response from both those who know & love Him and those who do not know Him, & therefore, have a deep hatred for Him & for those who follow Him. The world’s views on Jesus and feelings about Him are absolutely incredible & ought to cause our hearts to hurt for the lostness of millions and millions of people right here in our own country, not to mention the billions who are lost around the world. On the one hand, there are millions who sing to Him & worship Him with passion & purpose. There are the martyrs who have given their lives b/c they would not renounce His name. There are the missionaries who go to the farthest corners of the world to take His name to places & peoples who have never even heard the name.
On the other hand, say the name of “Jesus” & the world will respond in these ways:
RAGE – Say the name of “Jesus” & many in the world will respond in rage. There are tons of websites that are full of hate & rage against Jesus. Some call Him Hitler; some accuse Him of all sorts of terrible things; some simply spew forth words of hatred & anger. Some religions kill those who leave their religion to follow Jesus as Lord. Hundreds of thousands of people are martyred every year b/c they name the name of Jesus as their Savior & Lord. Millions of people rage against the name of Jesus with a burning intensity & passion. Jesus Himself told us in Matt. 10:22 – “All men will hate you b/c of me…”
RIDICULE – Say the name of “Jesus” & many in the world respond in ridicule. The satanic ridicule of our Savior in the world today is nauseating. There is a man in NYC who has developed a “dress up Jesus” – a refrigerator magnet of Jesus hanging on the cross dressed in briefs – take different costumes & dress Him up like a ballerina, a dogcatcher, a clown, or even the devil himself! The depravity of the human mind & heart is so deep! Some of the things that I saw & read this week in my research turned my stomach. Sometimes I found myself infuriated at the hellish things that are being said about my Savior; other times I found myself brokenhearted as I considered the depth of the lostness of our world; other times, I felt almost overwhelmed w/ a sense of the magnitude of our task as Christ-followers to take the Gospel of Jesus to a world that hates Him so much.
RELEGATION – word means “to assign to an obscure place, position,
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