Summary: On the average, we’re really not all that lovable, are we? All around us we see the bitter fruits of hatred, selfishness, & greed. And, no, I don’t know why God loves us. But He does! (*PowerPoint Available-#259 )
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
(Changed e-mail address: Powerpoint slides for this sermon are available at no charge. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your request - #259.)
(NOTE: The impetus for the development of this sermon came from an excellent sermon, "Why Should They Hate Us," contributed to SC by Jeff Strite.)
A. There is a beautiful old hymn that begins with these words: “Love sent my Savior to die in my stead. Why should He love me so?” And the chorus of that hymn asks again, “Why should He love me so? Why should my Savior to Calvary go? Why should He love me so?”
How would you answer that? Even King David, back in the O.T. wondered about that when he asked God in Psalms 8:4, “What is man that You are mindful of him?”
Frankly, folks, I don’t quite know how to answer that question. Yes, I know that God created us & placed us here upon this earth. And I know that He has provided us with life & loved ones & the blessings that we enjoy. But why? Why should He love us so?
On the average, we’re really not all that lovable, are we? Mankind has made a real mess of the world in which we live. And all around us we see the bitter fruits of hatred, selfishness, & greed. No, I don’t know why God should love us. But He does!
In fact, one of the most familiar verses in the Bible proclaims that “God so loved the world that He gave His one & only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
And from the depths of his heart the Apostle Paul declares in Romans 8:38-39, “I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, … nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” He loves us! And even though I may not understand just why, it is wonderful to know that God loves us so!
B. Now while I am on this subject, I must confess that there is something else that I don’t understand – why there seems to be such hatred in this world against anything that is considered to be Christian.
For more than 16 years now our nation has been experiencing that hatred in terrorist attacks aimed at us: the very first bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993, the explosions demolishing two of our embassies in Africa & the loss of so many lives, the terrible events of 9/11, the suicide bombings, & the brutal beheadings of American captives shown over & over again on television in the Muslim world.
Why is it that, while most nations react with horror & condemnation at such brutality, in other nations we see people celebrating in the streets, burning flags, shouting “Death to the Infidels!” & glorifying suicide bombers as “Heroes - holy warriors in the service of Allah”?
All of this, & much, much more, has made us painfully aware that there are people who hate us so much that they are deliberately setting out to kill as many as they can in order to express the hatred & bitterness raging within them.
That kind of hatred – a hatred that pours out its venom on innocent men, women & children - is hard for us to comprehend. I mean, haven’t we been told by various Muslim leaders that the Koran doesn’t condone such deliberate & wanton slaughter – that in fact it actually condemns the taking of innocent lives?
PROP. Then why is it that most of the riots & demonstrations of hatred seem to erupt as the people pour out of their mosques following times of prayer & listening to the messages of their Mullahs – their religious leaders? They really believe that they are in a “Jihad” – a holy war – against Christians & Jews. Why do they hate us so?
I. WHY DO THEY HATE US SO?
A. Now, I think I could give you a few reasons, but Christians have been hated before, & not just by some Muslims.
ILL. Do you remember what happened a few years ago as Mel Gibson was finishing the production of his movie, “The Passion of The Christ”? What a barrage of opposition, accusations, personal attacks, boycotts, threats & outright lies that came his way in an effort to stop him from ever releasing it!
So harsh & heavy-handed were their attacks that, by the grace of God, it back-fired against them & “The Passion of The Christ” set new records in the film industry.
ILL. Some of you may remember the incident around that time when the 1970’s rock star, Linda Ronstadt, was escorted out of the Aladdin Hotel Casino in Las Vegas following the commotion that arose when she praised the movie “Fahrenheit 9/11” & dedicated a song to its director, Michael Moore.