DON'T LET PEER PRESSURE KEEP YOU FROM PLEASING GOD
JESUS CHOSE THE APPROVAL OF GOD OVER THE APPROVAL OF MEN
1 Pet. 2:4 "REJECTED BY MEN, BUT CHOICE AND PRECIOUS IN THE SIGHT OF GOD"
remember the building analogy
We hear a lot about peer pressure - the pressure to conform; to be accepted by your circle of friends or co-workers
(We hear a lot about the need for approval)
We all have different circles of our peers - the circle of our immediate family; our larger family; our neighbors; our friends; our local church family; our teammates; our schoolmates; our co-workers
"reject" - to cast off; to refuse to hear, receive, admit; rebuff; to refuse as a lover; to refuse to acknowledge or submit to
What type of Rejection did Jesus face?
The Son of God was rejected by mankind
Have we forgotten the high and lofty position of Christ - Heb. 1: 2-4
The Creator was rejected by His Creation
shall the pot criticize the potter who has made it; much less reject and persecute...
The King of the Jews was rejected by His own countrymen
their cry: We shall not have this man rule over us
(John 1:11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.)
The Great High Priest after the Order of Melchizedek was persecuted and crucified by the the chief priests and the scribes and the Pharisees; the religious hierarchy was his chief opposition
(Luke 9:22 saying, "The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day.")
The Prophet who was greater than Moses was not allowed a fair hearing in the synagogues but was run out of town after town; accused of blasphemy; examined by trick question after trick question
(Luke 7:30 But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God's purpose for themselves, not having been baptized by John.)
The great I AM who existed before Abraham, the Father of the Jewish nation, was rejected by the very generation that was graced with his physical presence, that had the opportunity to witness all of His miracles, to see his godly character in action (Luke 17:25 "But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.) The one who is not ashamed to be called our brother and friend was rejected by his own brothers who did not believe on him - at least for quite some time (Jon 7:5) Jesus testified that a prophet does not have honor in his own country and among his own family
He did not have to endure such unjust rejection at the hands of sinful men
1) He could have refused to come to fulfill His mission of Redemption -
remember Jonah refusing to go to Nineveh to preach the Word;
remember Abraham being willing to sacrifice Isaac, his beloved son
Behold I come to do Thy will - Hebrews 10:9
2) He could have struck down with righteous wrath any and all who would have opposed him -
That was the solution of the Sons of Thunder - Lord, strike them down with a lightning bolt and a blast of holy thunder (Luke 9:54 - response to rejection by the Samaritans)
3) He could have sent 10,000 angels to destroy the world and set him free - when taunted while on the cross - If you are the Son of God, if you are the King of the Jews - save yourself
Instead: Father, forgive them, for they don't know what they are doing
The son of man came not to condemn the world but the save the world
(However, He will come a second time to execute judgment against all of those that remain confirmed in their decision to reject the grace that he freely offers)
He chose to endure the rejection and in doing so he chose to do the will of His Father
The judgment of the Father:
This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased
How to make sure you won't be rejected by men - Simple 4 step Program
(I wanted a 5 step program - but this is so simple - only 4 steps)
guaranteed to work - you will fit in, be accepted, run with the crowd
1) Friendship with the world - Cost: Enemy of God
James 4:4 You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
How do you go about making yourself a friend of the world?? Love the world - that's a good start - Love what the world loves; act the way the world acts; set your value system to be the same (1 John 2:15-17)
Chorus / theme song
Turn your back upon Jesus, Pursue all the pleasures of sin;
And the things of earth will soon replace Him
And your faith will be worthless as tin.
2) Be a man-pleaser -- Cost: Lose the favor of God; tell people what they want to hear; tickle their ears; Call good evil and evil good; say Peace, when there is no peace; No absolutes; no Truth
Story: man went into a bar for a drink - sitting there...hears: "That's a nice pair of shoes!"
That's a nice tie... That's a great looking shirt
Asks the bartender what's going on
Oh, the peanuts here are complimentary.
we should fear God rather than man; what can man do to you?? Only kill you - that's nothing
God is in charge of eternity
3) Hide your light under a bushel -- Failure to speak out against evil; laugh at the dirty jokes that other people tell - remember the song ...
4) Walk by sight rather than by faith - you want that immediate gratification of people accepting you and approving of you rather than trusting in the judgment of God
"Without faith it is impossible to please God" Heb. 11:6
Do what feels good; what makes you feel good...
Rejection by the world is inevitable if you want to please God
Jesus did not get rejected because of his style of ministry or because of his personality - but rather because He was the Holy One who exposed sin and who took a stand for righteousness
Matt. 11:16-19 -- cf. umpire illustration - (not even anything controversial)
1) you can't have time until the play is over (on a walk) - legalist - why do we have to have rules and enforce them??
2) calling ball a foul before someone touches it (obvious it was not coming back) let's stick to the letter of the law
umpiring is a good practice arena for dealing with rejection - don't try to be a man-pleaser; just do what is right
Since rejection is inevitable, How should you respond??
don't get rejected for the wrong reasons 1 Pet. 2:19-20
danger of martyr complex - we are doing everything right...
don't try to escape rejection - remember analogy about a seed must fall the ground and die
before it can spring forth into life
don't be surprised by rejection - be prepared; know how to respond to it
don't be discouraged by rejection
Submit to the rejection - don't fight against it
(Example of David - being cursed by Shimei
2 Samuel 16:5 When King David came to Bahurim, behold, there came out from there a man of the family of the house of Saul whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera; he came out cursing continually as he came.)
Pray for those who persecute you - Love your enemies
We need to encourage one another in the family of God - recognizing that we are all facing rejection in other contexts - whether it be from family or co-workers...
Acts 11:23 - people had just been scattered because of persecution
Then when he had come and witnessed the grace of God, he rejoiced and began to encourage them all with resolute heart to remain true to the Lord;
What encourages us the most?? God's stamp of approval = that we are choice and precious in the sight of God
What is choice and precious to God?
(cf. Esau - had the world's value system instead of God's - sold his birthright for a pot of stew
we were redeemed with precious blood 1 Pet. 1:18 - far more valuable than precious metals like silver or gold
our faith -more precious than gold which is perishable 1 Pet. 1:7
Remember our calling:
1 Pet. 2:9 But you are a chosen race... don't shrink back from proclaiming His excellencies
Isaiah 49:7 Thus says the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, and its Holy One, To the despised One, To the One abhorred by the nation, To the Servant of rulers, "Kings shall see and arise, Princes shall also bow down; Because of the LORD who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel who has chosen You."
Isaiah 53:3 He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face, He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Psalm 22:6 But I am a worm, and not a man, A reproach of men, and despised by the people.