Summary: "We face a secular culture that is becoming increasingly strident and militant in its anti-Christian, anti-truth, anti-God mentality and I fear the danger of facing this spirit with a lackadaisacal heart." Dr. James Merrit


By. Dr. Dennis Deese -

JOHN 15:18-27

Dayna Curry, 30, and Heather Mercer, 24, both graduates of Baylor University and members of the Antioch Community Church in Waco, Texas, were among eight westernerns arrested by the Taliban in August and charged with breaking Muslim law by teaching Christianity.

Police arrested 50 pro-homosexual demonstrators on the first day of the June 11-12, 2002 Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in St. Louis. Protesting the SBC’s strong stance on the Bible’s teaching about homosexuality, 38 were arrested outside after refusing to clear a sidewalk, while 12 inside were charged with felony trespassing.

Dr James Merritt while giving the annual President’s message at this past years 2002 SBC meeting (while under the constant stream of protestors walking and jeering) said,

"We face a secular culture that is becoming increasingly strident and militant in its antiChristian, anti-truth, anti-God mentality and 1 fear the danger of facing this spirit with a lackadaisical heart,"

"More and more we are being told to sit down, shut up, go along and get along, be inclusive, be tolerant, be nice and be quiet," Merritt said. "More and more I see pastors, churches and denominations crumbling before this onslaught of humanistic, political correctness."

Merritt acknowledged that certain groups protest the annual meetings of the SBC every year, stating that they will not go away. "Well, I’ve got news for the pornographer, the adulterer, the homosexual, the pedophile and the abortionist. We are not going away either," Merritt said, drawing a standing ovation.

"With love in our hearts, tears in our eyes, but resolve in our souls, we are not going to march under the white flag of compromise. We’re going to march under the bloodstained banner of the cross of Jesus Christ. Flying the flag of biblical truth higher than we have flown it before, we will never give out, never give up and never give in when it comes to standing up for the truth of the Word of God."

I can testify to this personally. The night I was saved when I saw the preacher pulling into my drive and began yelling at my wife and saying, "I knew I shouldn’t have gone to church yesterday. They always come by and bother you after you visit." When he asked me if I knew I was going to heaven, I replied (roughly) "when I get my life changed, I’ll get saved. I am not going to be a hypocrite." But praise God! - He then read the scriptures from Romans chapter seven and my attitude completely changed instantaneously. We went into our house and there received Jesus.

On the other hand, since becoming a Christian, I feel like the victim of the lady who was bitten by a rabid dog, and it looked like she was going to die from rabies. The doctor told her to put her final affairs in order. So the woman took pen and paper, and began writing furiously. In fact, she wrote and wrote and wrote. Finally the doctor said, "That sure is a long will you’re making." She snorted, "Will, nothing! I’m making a list of all the people I’m going to bite!" Russell Brownworth

15:18 HATE: 3404 misew miseo mis-eh’-o (miss-seh-o)

I believe this is why Jesus said in Luke 10:5 And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace [be] to this house.

1) to hate, pursue with hatred, detest, abhor 2) to be hated, detested

How significant and powerful is this generated hatred? Jesus said this,

Luke 12:53 The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

What are the agitating ramifications of this that exude in irritation, strife and hatred? That is why does the world hate Christianity? Primarily because:

1. JESUS IS EXCLUSIVE 15:18, 20-21, 24-25; 16:2

What’s the implication here? The world says this is unacceptable (15 ;19) Why? Because of

1. The crusade of our tolerate society under the guise of freedom

The greatest threat to Christianity today is TOLERANCE!

2. The consumption of dictatorship’s & tyranny’s lust 15:2 Don’t buck the system

Luke 4:6 And the devil said unto him (Jesus), All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.

3. The condemnation and unacceptability of a11 beliefs and religion

2. SIN IS DAMNTNG 15:16,21-22,24

John 3:18-20 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son

of God. John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. John 3:20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

If Sin is to be dealt with, then three things will have to occur on the part of those who embrace Jesus:

l. Repentance 15:26-27

Luke 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

2. Change 15:19

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Romans 6:4-b Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also [in the likeness] of [his] resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with [him], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

Colossians 3:10 And have put on the new [man], which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

1 Peter 2:9 But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

1 Peter 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech [you] as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

3. Surrender 15:20 "than his Lord"

Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Luke 9:23 And he said to [them] all, If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross dailv, and follow me.


2 Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

Revelation 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

1. Controls

Ephesians 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

2. Blinds

2 Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

John 12:40 He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with [their] eyes, nor understand with [their] heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.

3. Lies

John 8:44 Ye are of [your] father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

IV. PROPHECY I5 ACCURATE 15:20a, 25 & 16:1

Persecution statistics:

* More than 43 million Christians have been killed for their faith since the crucifixion of Jesus.

* It’s been estimated that more Christians have been martyred in the 20th Century than in all the prior 1,900 years combined.

* There have been more than 26 million documented cases of martyrdom in this century alone.

* More than 200 million Christians in over 60 nations face persecution each day, 60% of these are children.

* 150,000 to 165,000 are martyred each year.

Christian Persecution: A list of Early Martyrs Who Were Witnesses to the Life of Jesus

Here is an account of early Christian persecution, as compiled from numerous sources outside the Bible, the most-famous of which is Foxes’ Christian Martyrs of the World: Around 34 A.D., one year after the crucifixion of Jesus, Stephen was thrown out of Jerusalem and stoned to death. Approximately 2,000 Christians suffered martyrdom in Jerusalem during this period. About 10 years later, James, the son of Zebedee and the elder brother of John, was killed when Herod Agrippa arrived as governor of Judea. Agrippa detested the Christian sect of Jews, and many early disciples were martyred under his rule, including Timon and Parmenas. Around 54 A.D., Philip, a disciple from Bethsaida, in Galilee, suffered martyrdom at Heliopolis, in Phrygia. He was scourged, thrown into prison, and afterwards crucified. About six years later, Matthew, the tax-collector from Nazareth who wrote his gospel in Hebrew, was preaching in Ethiopia when he suffered martyrdom by the sword. James, the brother of Jesus, administered the early church in Jerusalem and was the author of an Epistle by his name. At age 94, he was beat and stoned, and finally had his brains bashed out with a fuller’s club. Matthias was the apostle who filled the vacant place of Judas. He was stoned at Jerusalem and then beheaded. Andrew was the brother of Peter who preached the gospel throughout Asia. On his arrival at Edessa, he was arrested and crucified on a cross, the two ends of which were fixed transversely in the ground (this is where we get the term, St. Andrew’s Cross). Mark was converted to Christianity by Peter, and then transcribed Peter’s account of Jesus in his Gospel. Mark was dragged to pieces by the people of Alexandria in front of Serapis, their pagan idol. It appears Peter was condemned to death and crucified at Rome. Jerome holds that Peter was crucified upside down, at his own request, because he said he was unworthy to be crucified in the same manner as his Lord. Paul suffered in the first persecution under Nero. Paul’s faith was so dramatic in the face of martyrdom, that the authorities removed him to a private place far execution by the sword.

About 72 A.D., Jude, the brother of James who was commonly called Thaddeus, was crucified at Edessa. Bartholomew preached in several countries and translated the Gospel of Matthew into the language of India. He was cruelly beaten and then crucified by

idolaters there. Thomas, called Didymus, preached the Gospel in Parthia and India, where exciting the rage of the pagan priests, he was martyred by being thrust through with a spear. Luke was the author of the Gospel under his name. He traveled with Paul through various countries and is supposed to have been hanged on an olive tree by idolatrous priests in Greece. Barnabas, of Cyprus, was killed without many known facts in about 73 A. D. Simon, surnamed Zelotes, preached the Gospel in Mauritania, Africa, and even in Britain, where he was crucified in about 74 A.D. John, the "beloved disciple," was the brother of James. From Ephesus he was ordered to Rome, where it is affirmed he was cast into a cauldron of boiling oil. He escaped by miracle, without injury. Domitian afterwards banished him to the Isle of Patmos, where he wrote the Book of Revelation. He was the only apostle who escaped a violent death.