Summary: Continuing in our series on the EVIDENCES that give you the ASSURANCE of salvation ... Opposition from the world is evidence of salvation.
BLESSED ASSURANCE – Evidence #8
“Opposition From The World”
INTRODUCTION: We continue in our SERIES on the EVIDENCES that can give us the ASSURANCE of our salvation.
We have seen, so far:
EVIDENCE #1 – A TRUE Christian will have a relationship with Jesus.
EVIDENCE #2 – A TRUE Christian will deal with the sin in their life.
EVIDENCE #3 – A TRUE Christian will obey God’s Word.
EVIDENCE #4 – A TRUE Christian will love other Christians.
EVIDENCE #5 – A TRUE Christian will forsake the world.
EVIDENCE #6 – A TRUE Christian will understand the truth.
EVIDENCE #7 – A TRUE Christian will practice righteousness.
NOW – EVIDENCE #8 – A TRUE Christian will have OPPOSITION FROM THE WORLD.
Have you found out that:
o Not everybody loves the Lord as much as you do?
o Not everyone appreciates your witness and testimony?
o Not everyone encourages you in your Christian walk?
We seldom face down-right PERSECUTION in this country, like they did in New Testament times. OR … Like JESUS did. No one was more God-like than Jesus … no one ever loved more than He did … AND … no one was ever more persecuted than Jesus. As a matter of fact, the more He loved, the more He was persecuted & hated!
They eventually crucified Him on a cross. They hated His love. Even as He hung on the cross, bearing the sins of the sinners, they mocked, blasphemed and cursed Him.
When you follow in Christ’s steps, you too will be despised by the world. It’s a PROMISE! John 15:20 - "Remember the word that I said to you, ’A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you;” 2 Tim. 3:12 – “And indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”
Our Christian life will be irritating to the world. This should be UNINTENTIONAL! We should never TRY to be irritating (tho I know some who do). We are to be “salt” (and “light”) in this world.
When SALT is rubbed into an open wound, it hurts … and people will get mad with us. When we don’t laugh at their jokes … don’t compromise our standards to make them feel comfortable … don’t agree with their morals or ethics … don’t appreciate their lifestyles … they will be hurt … and seek to put us down to their level.
If you are rejected and opposed by this world … it can give you the ASSURANCE of salvation. If you are accepted by this world, it can cause you to DOUBT your salvation.
The Christians that John was writing to in his day were under severe persecution. He had a message for them (us).
1 John 3:11 – They had heard this message from the BEGINNING of their Christian walk … and it hadn’t changed. For 2000 years, the MESSENGER has changed … the METHOD has changed … BUT … the MESSAGE is still the same. BEWARE of new messages. BEWARE of false teachers who say that God has given them a “special message”.
Sometimes people will tell preachers, “God told me to tell you ….” Until God tells ME, I don’t want to hear it. If it’s not in the Scripture, I won’t believe it. I don’t need anyone else to tell me what God wants me to know or do.
God’s message from the beginning has been “love”. Jesus made it “new” when He demonstrated it in His own life. John 13:34 - "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” This has been God’s commandment from the beginning. Matthew 22:37-40.
It becomes “new” when the Christian allows the Holy Spirit to love through us. Galatians 5:22 – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,” See 1 John 4:20-21. The more we love God, the more love we should show towards others.
John now shows us UNACCEPTABLE love.
1 John 3:11-12 – Adam & Eve had 2 sons, Cain & Abel. Cain went through the motions of love, but his heart wasn’t right with God. He was religious … but LOST. Abel loved God and wanted to please God. The FIRST PERSECUTION we find in the Bible was because of Cain’s JEALOUSY of Abel’s love for God, and God’s love for Abel.
Cain was a farmer … Abel was a shepherd. Both brought sacrifices to God as a part of their worship. Cain brought his offering of his fields … Abel brought his offering of his flocks. Genesis 4:3-4a – all turn.
God accepted Abel’s offering … BUT … God rejected both Cain and his offering – 4:4b-5a. Something was wrong with Cain … and with his offering.