Haters are going to hate… because of Jesus.

GCT:  Well we have a arrived at another one of Jesus’ teachings that is absolutely counter-cultural to not only our society but also our American Christian thinking. Jesus tells us, “Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! (Luke 6:22). So, this scripture produces some convicting questions for all of us: Am I being hated by people because of my whole-hearted desire to love and obey Jesus Christ? Am I being excluded from people, places, groups because of my whole-hearted desire to love and obey Jesus Christ? Am I being insulted (revile) by neighbors because of my whole-hearted desire to love and obey Jesus Christ? Am I being rejected (spurn) by anybody because of my whole-hearted desire to love and obey Jesus Christ?
Ok, so, wow!  What a great convicting, concerning list that Jesus gives us.  Jesus is saying , hey disciples, you want a blessed life?  You want a life that is filled with complete joyful satisfaction?  Then I really need you to understand this.  When you live your life devoted to Me and My commands you will be hated, excluded, insulted and rejected.  This is how you will receive a blessed life.  That really sounds just the opposite of some recently published best-selling “christian” books.  Anybody want to sign up for this call to discipleship with Jesus?   So over the last few weeks as we have been going through Luke 6, we have Jesus calling us to be spiritually poor, spiritually hungry, weepers over our sinfulness and now He says, hey disciples you need to expect to live a life that includes hatred, exclusion, insults and rejection.
Church we need to get this right, as we go through this life lets make sure that the hatred that we receive is because of Jesus Christ and His righteousness and not our own obnoxious, offensive, demanding personality or words that we think is required for us to live out our “Christian walk?”  So often we believe that our persecution is because of Christ when it is actually because of our course and gruff personality “taking a stand for Jesus.”  Let this not be so. Jesus is saying that as we live “on account of the Son fo Man” we will be looking at situations, relationships and all of life and want to make them right and just or as He says, “righteous.”  We will analyze and judge situations and see what needs to be redeemed and then actively seek to make things right.  Just like Jesus, we will want to redeem life to honor Him.  And when we do this we will be doing this on the standards of Jesus’ commands and the Word of God.  Jesus promises us that when we do this we will make many people really disgusted and angry even to the point of them hating us, excluding us, insulting us and rejecting us.  And I will have to add, they will also seek to kill us.  Jesus says, you will be completely joyfully satisfied when this happens, you will be blessed. Did you know that in 2018 there were on average 345 Christians killed for “faith based” reasons every month.  There were also 105 churches burned and attacked in 2018 each month.  Did you know that more people have died for their faith in the twentieth century than in all of the previous centuries combined.  26 million in the twentieth century alone.  They were all blessed, completely satisfied in Jesus Christ. Jesus ends this teaching with some great news, He also promises us that as we go through this persecution we have a “great reward in heaven!” So, He calls us to “rejoice and leap for joy” in that day of persecution, you have a great reward in heaven that is eternal.  What a difficult thing to do while we are in the throws of persecution – rejoice and leap for joy.  How do we do this?  We must focus our hearts and mind on future joy with Christ in heaven and not on the present difficulties of temporal earthly persecution.  That future focus is also called HOPE.  Hope is having a confident expectation of a guaranteed future good of eternal reward in heaven and blessing on earth.  Have hope church as we endure persecution for Christ.  Have hope that great is your reward in heaven and your life now while you are still on the earth is greatly blessed, completely joyfully satisfied.  Joyfully endure being hated for Jesus Christ. I look forward to being with you Sunday as we worship Jesus Christ together,  – Steve

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