Summary: Have you ever been verbally attacked and it seemed to come out of nowhere? This message shares understanding about what may be going on and how the Christian is to respond to unjust attacks.
I take as our subject this afternoon, “How to Handle an Unjust Attack.”
Have you ever been verbally attacked and it seemed to come out of nowhere? Have you ever been blindsided by someone you thought was your friend? Have you ever with all good intentions spoken the word of the Lord; and the response was an all-out attack toward you? If you haven’t, you probably will before you get to the end of your journey. The more you are interacting with people in ministry, the more likely you will have this kind of experience.
It is a part of walking with the Lord. It is a part of identifying with Him. And 2 Tim. 3:12 makes this promise to all who will live godly: you will suffer persecution! When that happens, it is very easy to respond in the flesh. It is very natural to become defensive. But much good can happen if you respond right. I want you to think about some of the challenges you have already faced in this area—jot down a couple of instances that come to mind. Why am I asking you to recall previous experiences? It gives you a practical point of reference for some of the principles I’m about to share with you. Is there anything to be learned from the experience? Is there anything you might have done better? What went right; and what went wrong? The incident may have happened in the context of family. It may have been in a work setting. It could have been in a ministry context. We have all had some past experience with unjust attacks.
Our text is Mark 10:29-31.
“So Jesus answered and said, "Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel's, 30 who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time -- houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions -- and in the age to come, eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first."i
That last sentence is simply saying, you cannot look at the current status that people have now and project that in the future. People on top now may be at the bottom in eternity. Obscure, unassuming people may be elevated and honored above anything you could imagine. God will sort all that out at the Judgement Seat of Christ and when He does, many who are in elevated positions now will be in lower positions then and many who have low status now will be honored and promoted.
But here is a word from the Lord to those who have made personal sacrifices to follow the Lord. He wants to remind somebody of this today. “So Jesus answered and said, ‘Assuredly , [you can take it to the bank; it will happen this way. If Jesus says ‘Assuredly’ you can be sure of it] I say to you, there is no one [turn to person near you and tell them ‘that includes you’] who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel's, [that was the motive of your heart-to honor and obey the Lord] 30 who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time -- houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions -- and in the age to come, eternal life.”