Summary: When we preach the Word of God we can expect opposition. Jesus tells us what we must to be remain faithful during these times.
THE PREACHER’S PERIL
CPT- Jesus has warned the disciples in advance about the persecution that will come upon them because of their preaching about Him so they will not stumble (stop faithfully preaching) when it happens.
CPS- We are to proclaim faithfully God’s Word despite opposition and persecution.
What would you do in this situation? You have been the pastor of this church for eight months. Things have been going great. You are still on the honeymoon. The Sanctity of Human Life Sunday is coming up in a couple of weeks. In the other churches you have pastored, it has been your practice to preach a sermon on the sanctity of human life on this Sunday.
The man who was chairman of the pastor search committee that called you eight months earlier tells you Sunday he needs to come by and talk with you next week. He comes in and says, “There is something I need to tell you. I know from our conversations with you during the search committee process, it is your practice to preach a pro-life sermon on the Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. But, I don’t think you should this year. You see, the deacon chairman’s daughter had an abortion last year before you came. You know he is one of the most influential men in the church and one of the major contributors. Although not everyone in the church knows she had the abortion, much of the leadership knows. I think if you preach a pro-life sermon, they will be deeply offended and many of the leaders in the church will take up the offense. So for the sake of peace in the church, I do not think you should preach a pro-life sermon this year.”
What would you do in that situation? Would you preach it or not? That brings us to the message of our text in John 15:26-16:4, THE PREACHER’S PERIL.
Jesus is giving His farewell address to His disciples on the Thursday night before His crucifixion on Friday. This occurs after the Last Supper on their way to the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus is talking to them about three relationships. First, their relationship to Him, which He says, is like the relationship between the vine and the branches. Next, He talks to them about their relationship to each other, which is to be one of love and unity. Last, He tells them of their relationship to the world; the world will hate them. It is in the context of their relationship with the world that Jesus warns the disciples in advance about the persecution that will come because of their preaching about Him. He warns them in advance so they will not stumble when it comes. (CPT) He tells them about three things; their proclamation, their persecution, and their preparation. Let’s read our text starting with verse 26.
This warning was not only true for His disciples but it is also true for all faithful preachers of God’s Word. Jesus was not only speaking to His original disciples in this passage but He is also speaking to you and me. Therefore, the purpose of this message is to encourage us to faithfully proclaim the Word of God despite the opposition we will encounter.