Summary: Jesus tells us what to do in the face of opposition. 1- Stand your ground. 2- Follow the leader. 3- Panic not.
INTRO.- ILL.- The mother of four young boys often had difficulty curbing their energy, especially in church. But when her minister preached on "turning the other cheek," the boys gave him their undivided attention. “No matter what others do to us,” he said, “we should never try to ‘get even.’”
That afternoon the youngest boy came into the house crying. Between sobs he said he’d kicked one of his brothers, who then kicked him in return.
"I’m sorry you’re hurt," his mother said. "But you shouldn’t go around kicking people."
Still choking back tears, he replied, "But the preacher said he isn’t supposed to kick me back."
There may be times in life when we feel like everybody is against us, kicking us, including our family members.
Jesus said, "Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death.”
That sounds like pretty serious stuff. What does this remind you of? Any Bible story? Perhaps Joseph of old and how his brothers wanted to kill him. How jealous they were!
I would think you’d have to be pretty mean or evil spirited to want to kill your own brother. There have been times when I have not liked my brother, but I have certainly never wanted to kill him.
However, Jesus said that there would be a time when a brother would betray a brother to death. When would that be? In the context of what Jesus is saying it is when a man’s belief becomes so strong in him that he is willing to kill his own flesh and blood.
In a sense, isn’t this what we are seeing in our world today? And especially, in the world of protestants versus Catholic? Both believe in the deity of Jesus Christ and yet they fight. And what good has it accomplished? No good. It certainly doesn’t convince the rest of the world to believe in Jesus.
And we see this perhaps to a different degree when people in different churches who have confessed Christ and have been baptized into Him fight and argue with one another over matters of opinions! And some claim the other will not go to heaven over things that don’t matter at all. We may well have strained a gnat and yet have swallowed a camel.
It is true, however, that whenever a person follows the truth of God there will always be someone to oppose him. Why is this? Because the devil got kicked out of heaven and he is still very mad about it and trying to get back at God!
Anyway you look at it, when you follow Jesus, you will have opposition at times.
PROP.- In our text, Jesus tells us what to do in the face of opposition in this world.
1- Stand your ground
2- Follow the leader
3- Panic Not
I. STAND YOUR GROUND
Matt. 10:22 "All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.”
Stand your guard regardless of the opposition.
ILL.- Someone said, “It’s a shame. Now that there’s no more praying in the schools, kids will have to go to motels to read the Bible. And if this keeps up even the Gideons will have to go underground.”
If you take a stand for God, Christ and the Bible the world will oppose you.
ILL.- Jul 14, 2006. HONOLULU (AP) - Junior Stowers raised his hands and exclaimed, "Thank you, Jesus!" in court last month when he was acquitted by a jury. But his joy was short-lived when Circuit Judge Patrick Border held him in contempt of court for the "outburst" and threw him in jail.
His attorney said, "I don’t think there’s anything about saying ’Thank you, Jesus’ that raises to the level of contemptuous behavior in this case. Stowers is a devoutly religious man active in his church who spontaneously expressed his thanks to the higher power in which he believed.”
Brothers and sisters, you would think that here in America you could praise the Lord anywhere, but apparently, not so. But so what?! We must realize that we are living in a hostile world that is basically opposed to Jesus!
I Pet. 4:12-16 “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.”