Summary: Throughout history there is always been opposition to Christianity, this sermon deals with some of the ways we can respond to such opposition
49“I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed! 51Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. 52From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. 53They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
54He said to the crowd: “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘It’s going to rain,’ and it does. 55And when the south wind blows, you say, ‘It’s going to be hot,’ and it is. 56Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time?
Do you sometimes wonder why Christianity is rejected?
Why people oppose Christianity?
Why as Christians we face conflict with people?
or even Why at times what you hear from the bible and in worship makes you feel uncomfortable?
One of the most difficult things i had to struggle as a young person is that some my friends throughout life have violently opposed God, Christianity and the church
In a number of places Jesus indicates that being a Christian disciple
That following him will meet with opposition,
And not just from those who are different from you but people close to you
Listen again to verse 53,
They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law
Dealing with opposition is difficult:
And we are attracted to easier way of life,
Not necessarily the better way
So when opposition occurs we are often encouraged to look for an easier route
There is an ancient saying that says, following the path of least resistance will always create a crooked stream and a crooked person
Before I go much further we need to be clear
Christianity is not about opposing things for the sake of it
Or creating conflict for the sake of it
But here Jesus is extremely clear
When you follow me,
when you are in a Christian church community
be aware that you will encounter opposition to following me in and outside the church!!!
Listen to verse 51
51Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.
And this opposition is not just with others
But we will also encounter opposition in ourselves
Consider the following
Who do you think of first, God, others or yourself? Most people say think of yourself first, but is that what scripture says?
Do you ever begrudge someone, something or feel jealous because they have something or some privilege that you don’t?
Do you ever hear yourself saying I will choose to do what I like with my time?
Have you ever felt uncomfortable when reading the bible or hearing a sermon?
Do you look for ways or reasons why you don’t need to help someone?