The Twisted Thinking of This World

By Bobby Blakey on February 28, 2016

John 9:8-41

AUDIO

The Twisted Thinking of This World

By Bobby Blakey on February 28, 2016

John 9:8-41

This is a rush transcript.

[00:00:00] We are so thankful that you are joining us here. And if you've come before, if this is your church, you're part of our church family. You know, there's one thing that gets us excited around here, and that is salvation.

[00:00:14] That's the thing that pumps us up. We love to see Jesus seek out and save sinners. Last week, we talked about how he opens the eyes of the blind so they can see the glory of the good news that he died for our sins and rose again. And so we celebrate that. And that's really what we're going for every Sunday. All of the time we're praying that Jesus is going to continue to save people here at this church, maybe even this morning. In fact, sometimes it fuels whole events that we do where we would love to see people get saved at these events. Like last week, we had this big event called Awakening for our youth ministry, where they went away for winter camp. And I'm here to tell you that there's people right now in our youth ministry down the hall worshiping Jesus this morning that, oh, a couple of weeks ago. We're not worshiping him. But because of what Jesus did at this camp, there are now professing faith in Jesus Christ. They're saying that they got say, I was talking with one of them after the first service, came to hear the sermon even before going to the youth group, because they're all fired up about Jesus Christ. And this wasn't just something that happened to camp. The goal was to spread the awakening, to bring it back to the schools here in Orange County to spread the word. And so they had an event on Thursday night called One Twenty One. And you would think, well, we're Shane, our youth director. He preached to live is Christ and to die is preach that to young people, teenagers, junior hyers, high schoolers. You think that's not going to be a very popular message? There is one hundred and ten young people there hearing that word. And guess what happened? Another young person says, I want to repent of my sin and put my faith in Jesus Christ. And so these are the kinds of things we're praying for. We're looking for. In fact, even before the youth camp, we did a men's retreat where we had some men decide that they needed to redirect their lives to follow Jesus Christ. In fact, we've got some men who went on this retreat who are still thinking about putting their faith in Jesus Christ, is still contemplating taking that leap of faith. And I was here yesterday at the church pleading with a man, hey, you gotta put your faith in Jesus Christ. He's the only way of salvation. Now, when somebody gets saved, when they take that leap of faith here at our church. We love it. Don't don't we get excited about that? We clap. We cheer. We get so pumped up. We dunk them in water. That's what we do. We put them on stage, put a microphone in their face, put them under the hot lights. Right. Because we want to hear the story. We want to hear the testimony. And we love to see their obedience to getting baptized. In fact, we've got a bold goal that I'm praying for and I hope you're praying for here at our church. Our goal in the year 2016 is to see a hundred people get baptized here at this church because we want to celebrate salvation. That's what we want to do. And when somebody gets saved here, we encourage them. But then what happens is they leave this building and they go out into the world and we have basically just ruined their life. You know what I'm saying? Like, we have made their life now much more difficult because they used to be able to fit in with the system and they used to be able to go along with what everybody else is doing. And now they're saying they're leaving that behind to follow Jesus Christ. And now when they go out into the world, see, the world has a negative response. What we celebrate here. We cheer. We clap. They tell us their testimony. They go tell that testimony to their family, to their workplace, to their neighbors. And the clapping and the cheering doesn't necessarily continue.

[00:03:56] In fact, there might be some mocking.

[00:03:58] There might be some leaving them out and excluding them from other things going on, in fact, the world might even try to beat that faith right out of them. See, the world is absolutely twisted and its thinking the world sees things completely upside down. That's how the world is. The world that we live in, in a nation specifically that we live in right now is ready to call wrong. Right and right, wrong. And what is celebrated here among God's people is scorned and rejected out there in the world. And so we need to equip everybody who's coming to our church and professing faith and getting baptized and starting this new life, we need to equip them for the negative reaction that they're going to get from the twisted thinking of this world. And so grab your Bible and open it up to John Chapter nine and look with me at what happens to this man who was born blind, who now can see. Last week, we looked at the miracle of Jesus. The sign that he did to take a man who was born blind and opened his eyes to see. Now, you would think that would be a good day here in the in the Bible. Well, everybody, finally, some good news to report.

[00:05:15] This guy, this beggar over here who was born blind. He's now walking around seeing, well, how could that go wrong? Positive story, human interest. Touchy feely like this is a good thing right now. This man who was born blind and Jesus opens his eyes. He actually becomes an example of the kind of negative reaction that all of us are going to get from the world about our relationship with Jesus Christ. And so go to John, Chapter nine. Hopefully you're there. It's on page eight hundred and ninety five. If you got one of our Bibles and just jump straight to the end of the chapter, let's just get straight to the punch line where Jesus talks about how messed up the world's thinking is, how twisted it is. Look at verse 39 of John Nine. Here's the conclusion of the whole story.

[00:06:04] Jesus said for judgment, I came into this world that those who do not see may see and those who see may become blind, and the Pharisees, the religious leaders of the Jewish people who are really now by this point in the gospel of John. Clearly, the enemies of Jesus, those opposed to Jesus, they were near him and they heard these things and they said to him, are we also blind? Surely you can't mean us. And Jesus said to them, if you were blind, you would have no guilt. But now that you say we see your guilt remains, see Jesus.

[00:06:43] He wants to write all of the wrong that's going on. He wants to are thinking to get on twisted and back on the right track. It's the people in this world who admit that they are blind, that they are in sin, that they are wrong. Those are the people who end up seeing. Those are the people that Jesus saves. But those who think they already see, they're already good people. They're already fine going along with the cultural trends of America right now. Those people Jesus as well because they think they see they're really the blind ones, see?

[00:07:14] And if we're not careful, we're gonna let the world's negative response to our faith impact us. And maybe we might even lose our faith completely. And so we're gonna follow along and we're gonna see what happens with this man. As an example for all of us to go back to verse eight, let's pick it up right after the miracle, right after the guy starts walking around seeing.

[00:07:35] Well, there was a lot of commotion. You can see it in verse eight. The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar were saying, is this not the man who used to sit and beg? I think it's that guy, the blind beggar. And some said, yeah, it's him. Others said no. Kind of is like him. I can see the resemblance there. A doppelganger, maybe, but now I'm pretty sure that somebody else. And he kept saying, I'm the man. It's me. I'm over here. So it's like these people are over here arguing about whether it's him or not. And he's like, hey, I'm right here. It's me. I was blind now. Now I see. But the debate goes on. So they said to him in verse ten, then how were your eyes opened? And he answered, the man called Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes and said to me, Go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed and received my sight. And everybody said, Hallelujah. No, that's not where the story goes. Verse twelve. They said to him, Where is he? Where's this guy Jesus? And he said, I don't know. So they brought him to the Ferris's. The man who had been formerly been blind. Now, it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. Dun dun dun.

[00:08:53] If you've been going through John with us, you know that there's already been a whole lot of controversy when Jesus did other miracles on the Sabbath, which is the day of rest where you're not supposed to do any work. And now Jesus has done another miracle on the Sabbath day. We know how the religious leaders responded to that. They thought it was wrong. They called it a sin.

[00:09:15] It's what really began back in John Chapter five, the whole tension between Jesus and the Jewish people of the day that's still going on right now in Chapter nine. And so here's a key fact that you can see is going to create conflict. And the Pharisees again. Asked him how he had received his sight and he said to them, he put mud on my eyes and I washed and I see some of the Pharisees said, this man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.

[00:09:50] Now, that that's not really a true statement right there. The idea of the Sabbath is a pretty complicated idea that you have to understand from the Old Testament. Let's just make it clear what day of the week is the Sabbath day? Anybody know? Shout it out. Saturday is the Sabbath day. It's the seventh day. It's the last day of the week. Saturday, the day of rest. We believe that's how God created the world in six days. And on the seventh day he rested. And so then that was meant to be a day of rest for the people of Israel to take time and remember God as creator, God his savior, and to worship him.

[00:10:25] Right. And so you weren't supposed to do any work. That's all in the Bible. What it doesn't tell us here. But what happened in the Jewish culture is that what they did is they added all these different types of work that you couldn't do it on the Sabbath. Now, these aren't scripture. These aren't things Moses wrote in the Vidic is or numbers of Deuteronomy. This is now extra biblical. The things that the Pharisees said they had, like something like, say, thirty seven different types of work that you couldn't do on the Sabbath day, including like making dough and all kinds of things.

[00:11:00] And so now we see that when Jesus makes mud with his saliva and puts it on the man's eyes. We talked about that last week. A lot of people looking for the deeper meaning of what's with the mud or the saliva or the pool of Siloam. Well, now I think we understand what the meaning is. Jesus is doing what's going to be considered work on the Sabbath just to raise a ruckus with the Pharisees, with the religious leaders. I think when he's spitting in the mud, in the dirt and making mud out of it and rubbing it on the man's eyes and telling him to go wash himself. I think what Jesus is doing is spitting on the religious laws of the day and poking these Pharisees in the eyeball. I think he's he's stepping in. He's he's raising a ruckus on purpose because he knew they would respond like this. They have this debate. How could he do this on the Sabbath? That's wrong. But then look what some of the other people are saying. But others said here in the middle of verse 16, how can a man who is a sinner do such signs? And there was a division among men, man. People don't know how to think about this. The guys born blind and now he's seeing miracle must be from God. Hey, he broke our Sabbath laws. Sinner must not be from God. And there's a sharp division there among the people. And they said again to the blind man, what do you say about him since he has opened your eyes? Who which side are you on? And he said he is a prophet. So he's saying, I think the guys from God. But here's other people saying he can't be from God because he did this on the Sabbath day. Not actually breaking any of the laws of scripture, but breaking the manmade traditions of the Pharisees. And I guarantee you this, if you decide to believe in Jesus Christ, there is going to be a great sense of division all around you in this world. There will be division. Let's get that down. Four point number one, people can't even respond positively to a man who was born blind. Now, seeing there's a sharp disagreement about how to think about and if you declare to the world that you have put your faith in Jesus Christ and you believe him to be Lord, I guarantee you there will be a division as to how people will respond to it.

[00:13:16] And you will end up realizing that there is a division between the ways of God and the ways of this world, that we are either on the team with Jesus Christ following him or we are part of the world that is hostile to Jesus, that is against Jesus Christ and wants nothing to do with him. Now go to Matthew, Chapter 10, and I want you to see how Jesus, when he was teaching his disciples, he prepared them to enter the fray of this division.

[00:13:44] Jesus taught his disciples right away from the beginning, like the world was going to be against us. There's this division that we're all entering into when we put our faith in Jesus. Now, this is in the gospel of Matthew, a different account of Jesus's life written by his disciple, Matthew. Now, one thing I always think is worth noting is when Matthew gets called here in chapter nine, verse nine. So this is page eight hundred fourteen. If you got one of our Bibles and look at Matthew, chapter nine, verse nine.

[00:14:15] As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew who's gonna end up right, becoming one of the twelve disciples and writing this gospel. And he's sitting at the tax booth and he said to this man, Follow me. And he rose and followed him. Now, a tax collector was a traitor to the Jews selling out to give money to the Romans, probably taking more money than they should, seen as just one of the most evil people in the society. And here's Jesus calling him to salvation to follow him. Now you see what? Right away is in Matthew Ten. We name the 12 apostles. And then if you look right above Matthew ten, verse five, Jesus sends out the Twelve Apostles.

[00:14:59] So I think that from Matthew's perspective, it felt like in one chapter he was getting called to follow Jesus. And in the very next chapter, he's being sent out by Jesus into the world. Like we get the impression here that it wasn't soon in Matthew's mind after he became a Christian, after he started following Christ to then being sent out into the world in the name of Christ and look out. Jesus gives his guys a pep talk before he sends them out. Look at how he preps them. Go down a verse 16.

[00:15:30] And this is how Jesus would want us to be equipped to engage this world. He says, Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of war. Doesn't that just immediately inspire confidence right there? So be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. A lot of an animal analogies here. Verse 17. Beware of men.

[00:15:53] I love that line right there. Like, where are you going to go to avoid men? Watch out for men. All right.

[00:16:01] I don't know if you've ever gone door to door evangelizing with us. We like to get out in the neighborhoods and invite people to church. We got our ice cream truck. We go out on Saturday mornings and sometimes you'll see those big beware of dog signs. Everybody, everybody remember those signs. And it's on this gate. And like, the gate is shaking and there's this barking come. And my son or somebody sometimes that I'm going with is like, how about we just skip this house? You know what I mean? Because it says, beware of dog. And I always just picture going and knocking on the front door and there being a sign on the door that says, beware of men, you know.

[00:16:33] That's what Jesus is saying here, like, hey, I'm sending you out into the world. Have you met people like watch out. This is going to be bad. Beware of men for that. Here's what here's what's gonna happen. They will deliver you over to courts. They'll flog you in their synagogues. You will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake to bear witness before them and the gentiles when they deliver you over. Do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour.

[00:17:05] For it is not even you who speak, but the spirit of your father speaking through you. Brother will deliver brother over to death and father. His child and children will rise against parents and have them put to death. And you will be hated by all for my name's sake.

[00:17:29] But the one who endures to the end will be saved. Win. Not if win and they persecute you in one town. Flee to the next for truly.

[00:17:39] I say to you you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the son of man comes. A disciple is not above his teacher nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher and the servant like his master if they called the master of the House Bills Zabol, a name for Satan, which is what they called Jesus, always referring to him as having a demon they call Jesus that well. How much more will they malign those of his household, those who have put their faith in him? Well, what a great pep talk. Your first time going out evangelizing like that feels good, right?

[00:18:17] I mean, this is how Jesus equips his disciples that he he's called. That is safe here. I am sending you out into the world. Let's just get a realistic perspective of what it's going to be like. Brutal.

[00:18:31] Expect opposition. There's going to be negative feedback that you are going to feel like the world is divided against you. That's how you're gonna feel. And he's he's preparing them for that. Not to be surprised, not to be taken back.

[00:18:46] This is how it's going to be. And it's not just for the original twelve disciples. Go to ax fourteen go to Ax Chapter fourteen. Let's see another example of this kind of preparation for the world's negative response. What is celebrated at church will be condemned by the world. And if there's anybody who knows about persecution, it was this guy named Saul who was the leader of the original persecution of the church, who is responsible for seeing Christians get killed, throwing Christians in prison, having them beaten. In fact, he was taking his show on the road, the road to Damascus, where he was gonna go persecute more Christians when he just happened to meet Jesus on the road to Damascus, who said, Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting anybody? Know what Jesus said? Why are you persecuting me? Because Jesus takes the negative response of the world to his people personally.

[00:19:42] And Jesus says, hey, I'll show you what you're gonna have to suffer for my name's sake. And he turned to me to maybe the man who got persecuted more than anybody else. The apostle Paul. It completely, radically changes this guy's life from being a persecutor to the persecuted. And he goes to this town lystra and what does he do in Lystra? Well, he meets a man who cannot walk, who's crippled, and he heals the man so he can walk. Bad move. Should have done it because now here comes some negative consequences. And at first they act like he's a God and they want to worship him. And he says, no, I'm not a God, don't worship me. And then guess who shows up acts 14, verse 19. Look at it here. The Jews came. Same kind of thinking as the Pharisees and John Chapter nine. The religious leaders who are against the gospel of Jesus Christ that saved sinners. The Jews came from Antioch and iconium from these other cities where they'd already been evangelizing and planting churches and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul.

[00:20:47] They threw big, heavy rocks at him to crush his skull and kill him. They stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city. Supposing that he was dead. They literally dragged him outside the city and left him there because he must have looked so bloodied and so beaten up that they thought he was a dead man. And they left him there. They left his body outside the city.

[00:21:08] Now it says verse 20. When the disciples gathered about him, he rose up, entered the city, and on the next day, he went on with Barnabus to Darbee to go do more evangelizing. Pretty impressive. Just brushes himself off, walks back into town, goes to the next town, repeats gospel presentation, verse 21 when they had preach the gospel to that city and had made many disciples. They started going back to the cities they'd been to to the place where he got persecuted, where they tried to kill him, to lystra to iconium, to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the Kingdom of God.

[00:21:56] They praise God if he saved you. Praise Jesus, if he's given you eternal life. But I'm just here to warn you this morning that that eternal life is going to make this life a lot more complicated, a lot more negative response that you're going to receive right here, right now because you're live in for Jesus Christ.

[00:22:15] That's what we've needed to equip Christians with since the very beginning of disciples. Everybody should underline that. Write that down. Here's the promise. Through many tribulations, we must enter the kingdom of God. We are divided against the world and they are going to respond negatively to us. How negatively? Well, right into our closest personal relationships. Go back to John Chapter nine and look at the horrific turn the story takes next. Not only is there a mixed response to this blind man seeing. We'll watch what happens. It's horrific. Look with me here at verse 18 here of John, Chapter nine, because there's this debate about if this miracle even happened. Verse 18, the Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight. They're trying to discredit the miracle until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight. Let's bring in some witnesses. Let's go after his dad and his mom. Let's see if they'll testify that he was blind. And now he sees and they ask them, is this your son who you say was born blind? How then does he now see? And his parents answered, We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. But how he now sees, we don't know, nor do we know who opened his eyes. In fact, why don't you ask him? He is of age. He's his own man. Let him speak for himself. Now, that sounds reasonable. If it's true. If that's really what happened. But we get this interesting parentheses where John lets us know behind the scenes. Verse 22. His parents said these things because they feared the Jews because they were afraid of what people would think. For the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess Jesus to be Christ, if anyone was going to act like Jesus was God and Lord, he was to be put out of the synagogue. Therefore, his parents said, he's of age. Why don't you ask him? Do you realize this is being disowned? Is what's happening here? I mean, this is your baby. I mean, we saw some babies come up on the stage already and child dedications. We saw some beautiful families up here with beautiful children, gifts from God. You know, I think one of the greatest joys that we as parents experience in life is to see the world through our kids eyes. What a joy that is, to experience life with them and to see the joy and the excitement and all the things that they learn as they encounter the world and how much what a tragedy it must have been for these parents when their son was born and their son couldn't see what suffering that must have been for them. I mean, just yesterday, just an example of this, just yesterday, my son played in his first baseball game, something I was looking forward to as a dad.

[00:25:06] And when the game's over and they win the game and he's running and he's so exciting. Finally, all of the playing catch and all of the batting practice and all of the ground balls, now he's like Dad. Now I see why we do that stuff, because the games are really fun, right? The practice man, that was brutal, but the games are the path and it's just like his excitement. And you can just see he gets it. You imagine never experiencing that with your child, never seeing your son be able to see things for the first time and experience them in that way. Feeling like your son is alone in the dark and you have to try to make sure he's protected and lead him through. And now you get the good news after all these years and after all this suffering that your son can now see. Can you imagine that if you were a parent, can you imagine the heartache of your child being blind and the joy of them being able to see? What are the immediate 10 things you would want to show your kid? I mean, where are the best places that you would want to take them to behold the beauty of God's creation? Would we not be waking up to see the sunrise and to go catch the sunset and tell him that happens every day, every single day that happens. And these parents, when they hear that their child can now see out of their fear of what people will think about them, they leave him on his own and disassociate from him completely.

[00:26:27] Can you believe that it's happened to so many people at this church who've professed faith in Jesus here and then they go tell their mom and their dad? And what did they experience? Rejection from their own parents?

[00:26:40] They don't share in their excitement. They don't think it's a good thing.

[00:26:44] They don't talk about all the things that we can now experience together. No, they actually resent them and they act like who is their kid to act like they would need Jesus to in their life. See see this? Narration this division. It's not just between us and the world. It's gonna happen right in our closest personal relationships. The people that we love, the people that gave birth to us, the people that we gave birth to, it's going to divide even us in our families. Go to Matthew Ten and look what Jesus has to say there. Look at the warnings that he gives to these guys.

[00:27:16] Clearly speaking to all Christians throughout history, to all of his disciples who will follow him and have to suffer in this world. He says, hey, don't fear men.

[00:27:27] You shouldn't be selling out your kids based on what the synagogue is going to think about, you know? Don't fear men. Fear God is what he says. But then he gets to this part in Matthew Ten, verse 34. Look at it says, do not think that I've come to bring peace to the Earth. I'm not going to unite everybody here. Now, I've come to know I've not come to bring peace, but a sword friar come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother. And maybe even if your family saved, well, then you get married into another family and a daughter in law is set against her mother in law.

[00:28:01] And a person's enemies will be those of his own household. In fact, it has to be this way, Jesus says.

[00:28:07] You have to put me first. Even over your own family. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever loves their own kids, son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me. No, you. Whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it. But you've got to lose your life for my sake to find it in.

[00:28:31] One of the things you're going to lose in this life to follow Jesus Christ is relationships. Let's get that down for being number two in this world. You will lose relationships. And if your parents are saved. Praise the Lord. And if your kids get saved. Praise the Lord. But somewhere, somebody that you know and love that you want to be united with, you will find yourself divided with them because you're following Jesus and they're following the ways of this world. This will happen to every single one of us will experience this.

[00:29:03] And it's brutal and it's painful.

[00:29:06] And I get concerned for people here at our church that decide to take that bold step of faith and to put their trust in Jesus Christ, and then they go back to their family and they experience just rejection.

[00:29:20] It is amazing to me the cruelty that has been done to people at this church by their own family members because they claim Jesus Christ.

[00:29:28] It's brutal and it's happening all around us. And that's why it's so important that when someone does profess faith here, we come around them as a new family, as a church family. That's why we need to be in these fellowship groups and become brothers and sisters in Christ together. Go to Ax Chapter 20 and you'll see this as Paul is preparing people again, as he's equipping Christians for what they're going to have to face in this world that is against Jesus here in Acts Twenty's leaving this fusion church that he's been with for years. And he's speaking even just to the leaders of this church. And he's trying to prepare them for he knows the negative things that are going to happen after he leaves and he's giving a whole speech to these guys in Acts Chapter 20. And you can see look down at verse 28. Look at what he says here about how there's going to be torn and divided relationships. He says, pay careful attention to yourselves. Watch yourselves and all the flock. Watch the church in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. These are the elders, the pastors of the church to care for the Church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. I know that after my departure, fierce wolves will come in among you, OK? Jesus warned us that we're like sheep in the midst of wolves. But now where does it say that these fierce wolves are? They are among where us right here in the church. See, the world is actually going to come and try to infiltrate the church. This isn't just gonna be a problem we're even gonna have outside the doors of the church. No, it says it's going to creep in among us.

[00:31:13] And he even says, look at verse 30. And from among your own selves, even among the leaders of the church will arise, men speaking twisted things to draw away the disciples after them.

[00:31:28] Even here in the church, if you listen, if you pay attention, if you guard yourself and you guard the people around you. Here at our church, you will hear the twisted things of this world even being spoken among us.

[00:31:42] And these people, they're going to try to actually divide the church. They're going to try to draw away disciples after the. And he says, therefore, be alert. Verse 31. Remembering for three years, I did not cease. Night or day to admonish everyone with tears. For three years, I've been warning you about this. And now I commend you to God into the word of his grace, which is able to keep building you up. I believe that God will continue to build his church. But I also believe that people will come in and try to tear down the Church of Jesus Christ by dividing it and getting people to follow them rather than Christ.

[00:32:19] This is a real warning for us here at this church.

[00:32:22] That really not only do we maybe lose our natural family when we come to faith in Christ. Maybe there's people in our natural family that reject us. But then we come in here looking for a new family, a family that's united around Christ.

[00:32:36] And even here among God's people, there are divisions that take place and people go out from us because they were not of us, as it says in first John, to 19.

[00:32:48] I mean, if you've gone to church for over a decade, if you've been at church for 20 years, that chances are you've experienced at least one good church split in that time and May. And they are nasty and people don't recover from those kinds of things.

[00:33:04] We're here. We all are claiming to worship geniuses together. We're all claiming to be on TV Jesus. We're not even acting like we're the world. And yet even there, we see a division that sends people in different directions and the world's trying to creep in and take people out of the church away from Jesus Christ.

[00:33:22] And relationships are going to be lost and it's going to hurt. There's no way to do church right without heartache and pain as people that you love. You open yourself up to them. You make yourself vulnerable to them. And then you see yourself get divided from them. And if you've been love and people at church for a while, you want to say men right now, don't you? Because there's a few faces that aren't here still with us. And it pains you. Not like you're upset with them. Not like you're angry at them. No, you're heartbroken for them because you love them like a brother or a sister. And then they stabbed you in the back and they betrayed you and they stopped following Jesus Christ. And you think you feel that every time you think about them. Tension that's ongoing. That never ends. As long maybe as you're alive, there will be tension between you and other people because you've said Jesus is going to be first in your life. And they haven't said that. And when you put Jesus above them, it feels to them like you're rejecting them, like you hate them and you're divided from them. You're going to lose relationships in the name of Jesus and on the man that this day could see. It actually was the darkest day of his life because that's the day his own parents disowned him in the synagogue. Can you imagine the pain of this guy? But, man, it doesn't faze him. Go back to John nine and look at what he says.

[00:34:48] Look at the bold testimony that he gives when they bring him back on trial in front of the synagogue in verse 24. So for the second time, they called a man to come because they're still trying to debunk this miracle. And now his parents have, even though they've kind of disowned him and they've gone on the side of the world on the side of the synagogue here of the Pharisees. Well, they've actually affirmed that he was blind and now he's seeing. So we still got to deal with that problem. And so in verse 24, for the second time, they called the man who had been born blind and said to him, give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner when they refer to this man being a sinner. Who are they referring to in that statement?

[00:35:32] That's one of the most ironic statements you will ever read in all of the Bible. In fact, the God, the apostle John. He loves to write with this kind of irony. This is a classic line in the gospel of John. Give glory to God and call Jesus a sinner.

[00:35:47] That's what they're saying.

[00:35:49] Not give glory to God and call yourself a sinner and pray that praise him for saving you.

[00:35:54] Here's how you're going to glorify God by denouncing Jesus Christ. See, that's the way of the world. And I know maybe some people aren't really tracking with this whole, like, persecution idea, like the world doesn't really have it that bad for Jesus people are pretty cool with Jesus. Well, people are pretty cool with the Jesus that they made up to be Jesus. They're not cool with the Jesus that is here in the scripture. Say they're not.

[00:36:17] The world is no way tolerating a Jesus who says that I'm the way the truth and the life. Nobody gets to the father, no matter what you believe or what religion you're a part of. You getting to the father except through me?

[00:36:30] Well, the world's not tolerating that.

[00:36:33] And when the world starts here in Jesus, call people out on their sins and call them to repentance or they will perish in their sin, apart from him knowing the world starts feeling that judgment. They're not going to feel that at all. Or they might be OK with the Jesus who preaches the golden rule and says, let's treat others the way that we want to be treated. But when when they start here in the Jesus that says repent and believe in the gospel, no, don't be deceived. We think that the world is going to go along with him. Now they're rejecting him every single day. And so we see that here give glory to God by calling Jesus a sinner. And he answered whether he is a sinner, I do not know. One thing I do know is a great line. When if you're ever put on trial for Christ, don't try to say what you don't know. Say what you do. No. One thing I do know that though I was blind. Now I see. And they said to him, what did he do to you? How did he open your eyes? See, they're trying to get him to say it again. They're trying to track. Trap him in his words and answer them. I've told you already. And you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples? I like this guy is blind man. You can now see he's got some keen insight into what's going on here. Maybe he's a little upset. His parents just left him in the lurch. Maybe he's upset with the tone of these guys, but he's giving them a little chink. This is a little trash talk here. A little bit of sarcasm from this guy. Oh, I see. You guys want to believe. And they reviled him saying you are his disciple. But we are disciples of Moses. And again, they're claiming that all these extra biblical traditions that they made up go all the way back to Moses, which is not true.

[00:38:18] You will not find them in the law. The first five books of the Bible that Moses wrote that you can't make mud and turn from saliva. You're not going to find that in the real scripture. You're going to find it in the things that they've added on. And if you've studied cults and false religions, don't they get into so much trouble?

[00:38:37] Not because of what the Bible says, but the things that they've added on to the Bible. See, that's what's going on here. They're claiming to be from Moses, but they're not. And they say you are his disciple were disciples of Moses.

[00:38:48] We know that God has spoken to Moses. But as for this man, we do not know where he comes from. And now here's the blind man who is now seen. And now he's going for it. The man answered, why? This is an amazing thing. He did not know where he comes from. And yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners. But if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. God hears the prayers not of the wicked, but of the righteous. Mm hmm. Never since the world began. Has it been heard that anyone open the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing. I mean, talk about making a strong argument, starting to make some biblical sense here. And they answered him. You were born in utter sin. And would you teach us? And they cast him out. That doesn't mean they just kicked him out of that trial. That meeting right there. That means they kicked him out of the synagogue. That means they excommunicated him. That means the holes Jewish social circle there that he was a part of. Well, he just got excluded from it, which means where's he going to stay? Where's he? Who's going to hire him? Where's this next bill coming from? Like the whole bartering and trading thing that would have been going on at that time.

[00:40:06] Like he's out of all of that right now. Like he's this outcast, basically. And that's what the world's gonna do to us. They're not going to let us fit in there.

[00:40:17] They're going to kick us out. Let's get that down. Four point number three. In this world, you will experience persecution. It is going to cost you something. The world is going to come against you. They will not let you fit in. You're gonna be like poor little Rudolph.

[00:40:32] Not ready to play in all the reindeer games. That's how the world's gonna be towards us. You got your nose shine and so bright in the light of Jesus Christ. You're not going to be included when the world is celebrating and doing what it wants to do. They're going to leave you out of it.

[00:40:49] And you're thinking, well, now persecution, you're coming on a little strong here today. I don't know about that because this is America and we don't get persecuted. Let's just talk about that for a second. I love the fact that we have religious freedom here in this country that we can openly worship Jesus in this assembly here this morning. And there is no fear of any of us going to jail or getting fined. I love that we have religious freedom here in America. Anybody want to say amen to that? Anybody appreciate the freedoms that we have?

[00:41:20] And we live in a nation that was founded by people, it seems like who? The whole purpose that they came across the Atlantic Ocean to the land of America was they were trying to get away from a government controlled church, from a church that told them how they had to worship. They went all the way into the government. And they believed that the government and the church should be two separate things. And so they came over here looking for religious freedom. And I think that was such a sincere desire of so many of the first colonists here in America that you can see that honor for God in the Declaration of Independence and the constitution of our land, even if not everybody who was a founding father was a Christian.

[00:42:01] This idea is embedded into our country and we praise the Lord for that. But if you think that you are not going to get persecuted in America, well, you might not get killed or thrown in prison or beaten up, but it is going to cost you something in the world is going to reject you. That's a promise. I go to Second Timothy, chapter three. Look at this with me and second Timothy. Chapter three. I mean, there are there is definitely persecution happening on the planet right now where Christians are being killed. Christians are being thrown into jail. They're being fined. They're being mocked, beaten up, harassed. Many churches that are meeting on the Lord's Day, Sunday Resurrection Day all across the world. They're meeting underground. They don't have a sign out front that says their name and what times to show up. That's happening all over the planet. Now, praise the Lord and America. We can meet openly. But you got to think about this verse right here in Scripture. This is Paul right before he's about to get killed for his preaching of the gospel. And he writes to Timothy, his disciple, and he says, You followed my teachings, his second Timothy three, ten, and then verse eleven. You're following in my teaching my patients my love. And now you're following in my persecutions and sufferings all the things that happened to me at Antioch Iconium and at Lyster. Yeah, we just read about that and Act 14 when he got when he got stoned and dragged out of the city and left for dead, which persecutions I endured yet from them all, the Lord rescued me.

[00:43:37] Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be. What did it say there?

[00:43:47] You guys weren't too excited about that.

[00:43:50] If it it said all you desire to live a godly life in Christ, Jesus will be blessed. We'll be saved. We'll be healed. We'll be happy. You would have your pink highlighter out right now and you'd be like, oh, I like this one. Let's draw some flowers. Let's put it on a card and send it to so-and-so and write an encouraging note so they'll be blessed as they live their day. Right. That's what we usually do with promises in scripture. We get encouraged by them. We like them. We say, yeah. Preach that one one more time.

[00:44:24] Preacher man, I like that. Turn to that passage along that page. Yeah. I've always been to that page in my Bible. I really like that one. Here's a promise in the scripture. Same exact thing, same exact principle. Every promise that you believe in the scripture is going to come true for good. Well, here's one maybe that you don't like so much if you are going to live for God, if your life is radically going to be different because you're repenting of your sin and you're following Jesus by faith, this world is going to come after you will be persecuted is a promise.

[00:44:58] And so the question is not if I'm a Christian. Why am I not being persecuted? The question is more, how could a Christian like me not be experiencing persecution?

[00:45:08] The problem is not that America doesn't know how to persecute us. The problem is maybe we don't know how to be a Christian, say, oh, we think the pagans are just nicer here in America. We just got some good apples here in America now. And they don't like Jesus just as much as people don't like Jesus in other countries. Say, just because the law right now establishes us some freedom, I guarantee you if you're living differently than other people, they're not going to like you. You goody two shoes say. And maybe the reason people don't know you're a Christian to persecute is the volume on your Jesus tone is just a little too low for them to really hear. Maybe they don't quite understand what exactly you're saying. Maybe you haven't really been saying it. Maybe you're actually blending in with the way of the world. See? And so they don't know they should be persecuting you because you roll along with kind of the jokes and stories and the conversations and the trends and the sins of the culture. Now, if you're desiring to live godly, if you're standing out like a light in the darkness, the darkness will attack you back. That's what it says right here. So this is a promise. This is something that is going to happen to every single person who actually does live godly in Jesus Christ. At some point, someone will come after you.

[00:46:25] That's a promise.

[00:46:27] And you could take that to the bank. And if you've been claiming to be a Christian for a long time and you've never been persecuted, that's a problem because being persecuted is actually a good thing. Do you believe that?

[00:46:39] No, I'm not I'm not some zealot who's saying let's go do crazy things so they'll persecute us more. That's not what I'm saying. But here's what persecution shows. It shows which team you're on. It affirms maybe it's one of the best actually ways to affirm that you're on TV Jesus and you don't go along with the ways of this world, because when the world's coming after you see, that's the way they went after the apostle Paul who got killed after you wrote this. Right.

[00:47:06] That's the way they went after Jesus. We think they're going to beat up our Lord. They're going to they're going to mock him. They're going to make him carry his own his own cross. And then he can't even do that. They're going to nail him to the cross. They're going to mock him some more. They're going to watch him die. And then they're going to come and be friends with us.

[00:47:23] We really think that's how this story is going to play out. They're going to hate Jesus, but they're going to love us. Oh, that's dangerous territory. Now, if they hated Jesus and I'm with Jesus, and if there's one thing I want to be in this life, it's with Jesus. And so if I'm in with Jesus this world, man, they're gonna come after us. They're going to try to divide you and get you out of here and go along with them, not creep in here among us. We'll try to take you away. That's what's gonna happen to every single one of us. Mean, the Bible go so far as to say blessed are those who are poor. It is a promise that we're supposed to cherish. We should get out our pink highlighter. We should put the flowers next to it because it says happy are the persecuted.

[00:48:13] Well, how could you be happy when you thought it was such a great thing that you came back from the pool of Siloam season and now everybody's having a controversy about you and your parents just disown you and the religious leaders who control the social economic culture just kicked you out of it. How can you be happy in that moment?

[00:48:34] We'll go back to John Chapter nine and you'll see how you can be happy when the world hates you. And you see here that when his parents have disowned him and the world has cast him out and that's what the world will do to every one of us, they'll cast us out.

[00:48:50] And if you're feeling like that's a brutal idea that we're studying here in the sermon this morning. Well, let me tell you, if you're in Christ, he holds you in his hand and no one can snatch you out of his hand and he will never cast you out. Anybody want to say amen to that? And that's why John Nine rolls right into John Ten. And that's why we got some positive feel good sermons coming up about how once Jesus has you, he will never let you go. And nothing this world does do. You can ever separate you from the love you have in Jesus Christ. That doesn't mean the world's not going to try, though.

[00:49:25] Say doesn't mean they're not going to come after you and here's this man. I mean, could you imagine the day you got to see the light became the darkest day in your life for this guy?

[00:49:36] Parents throwing him under the bus. People casting him out. In verse 35 comes law. And Jesus heard that they had cast him out and having found him. Here's Jesus walking through the streets looking for the man and having found him. He said, Do you believe in the son of man? And he answered, And who is he, sir? That I may believe in him and Jesus said to him, You have seen him. And it is he who is speaking to you. And he said, Lord, I believed. And he worshiped him as he got down on his face and he bowed before Jesus and he worshiped him.

[00:50:22] And Jesus then said, This is why king so that blind people like this man could see. And those who think they can see will be shown to be blind. See what happens when you suffer for Jesus is you share in the sufferings of Jesus. And there is perhaps no place that you will feel a closer kinship and closer intimacy with your Lord Jesus Christ than when you are persecuted, because that is a road. He knows how to walk down. And when they were striking him, so he opened not his mouth when they were mocking him.

[00:51:02] He did not reply no when he was up on the cross, bleeding out to pay for your sin. And they were saying, too bad because he saved others. And he can't save himself. No, he took it.

[00:51:14] And he endured. And he persevered in the midst of their persecution. And he died to save the persecutors who were mocking him for not saving himself.

[00:51:26] So that's our Lord Jesus Christ.

[00:51:28] And, yeah, in this world, there's going to be a great division and you will lose relationships. And I guarantee you, I promise you, you will experience persecution. But here's why. You should gladly accept it all, because you will have Jesus. That's who you'll have with you. And that's point number four, if this world is gonna disown you and come after you. But you get Jesus at the end of it. Well, it is worth it. Let me tell you right now. And Philippians three, Paul says, I want to know Jesus not only in the power of his resurrection. There's another way that I not only in the new life and the turtle life, but there's another way I want to know Jesus I want to share in his sufferings, he says.

[00:52:12] And then we are all called to suffer as a good soldier of Jesus Christ because we are not at peace. Do you think a peace you try to live like you're at peace as a Christian, you're a soldier in the Lord's Army, and the world has declared war on our lord and savior Jesus Christ. And they will come after you. And so you have to endure suffering as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. That's what we're all called to. It's actually a badge of honor.

[00:52:43] It's actually a privilege that people would somehow think that by the words that come out of my mouth and the actions of my life, that people would associate me with Jesus Christ. And every time they mock me and they try to put me down, you know what? I'm really hearing compliments that I'm with Jesus.

[00:53:03] And I think I'm blessed. I'm happy because I'd rather be associated with Jesus Christ than anybody else on this planet. Are you with me on this?

[00:53:15] And I don't know what's gonna happen in America.

[00:53:18] I don't know what's going to change if anything's going to change. But it seems to me like we're about to experience a ramp up in the persecution department. And I wonder how many of us are really equipped and prepared for what is coming. Go to John Chapter 16 later on when Jesus is going to instruct his disciples. We're going to talk about persecution even later in the gospel of John Jesus says this as he's instructing them in the last night before he was about to experience the ultimate persecution, his execution on the cross, which is known as his suffering for us throughout scripture. And the call then that we are supposed to suffer with him in Christ. Well, he says this in John Chapter 16. Look at this. I've said all these things to you and he's talking about you can see the heading there. And John, 15, the hatred of the world. Now, the world's really going to come after us and hate us. Why are we having a sermon like this, such a negative focus about how the world's gonna be negative towards us? Why would we spend a whole Sunday morning going over this? Well, here it is. I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away. We want you to be prepared for the negative response that's going to come from the twisted thinking of this world.

[00:54:29] They're going to put you out of the synagogues. Yeah, we just saw that in Chapter nine. Indeed. Check this out. The hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. People will kill Christians in the name of God. Is that happening anywhere in the world right now? That sound like Islam to anybody here this morning? You see how the thinking that if we can't support people in their sin, then we are bigots and we are unloving and we are the worst kind of people. Do you see how eventually that kind of thinking could come against us because we're unloving and we don't have the love of God? This twisted thinking of this world. And the reason they're like this verse three. They will do these things because they have not known the father. They don't know God. Nor me killing people in the name of a god. They don't even know the real God. But I've said these things to you.

[00:55:28] Why, when their hour comes, when the persecution comes to you, that you may remember that I told them to you that you may be remembering a sermon like this, that you were prepared and equipped for this suffering that is to come and look at how he ended at the end of the chapter, verse 33. I have said these things to you that in me you may have peace or you're going to have peace in your family. Peace here in America.

[00:55:52] Peace in the world. No. In the world you are tribulation. You're going to have trouble. Persecution. It's common. But take heart. Be of good courage. I have overcome the world.

[00:56:04] No persecution is coming. We're going out. And hey, let me tell you guys, as you leave this morning, hey, beware of men. Watch out for those wolves. There some maybe sit next to you here at church this morning. Hey, watch out. And when you get overwhelmed, when it feels dark and hard and like the whole world is going to hell in a handbasket and what's going on? Hey, you just remember this.

[00:56:31] You take courage. Turn your heart around. Because Jesus Christ has overcome this world. And he's with you when you're persecuted and you share in his sufferings.

[00:56:44] This whole world wants to mock Jesus. Well, then they're going to have to mock me, too. And I hope you're going to have to mock you, because I'm going to stand with Jesus Christ, the one who seeks out blind people like me and opens our eyes. And when the world casts me out, he comes and finds me.

[00:57:01] So that's who I want to give my life to. Let's pray. God, we thank you so much for the challenge of this passage, for the straightforwardness of this, for the clarity that the world is going to come after us. And what an example we see with this poor man who was born blind.

[00:57:19] But that wasn't the end of his troubles when he could see. No, that was only the beginning of the troubles. Disowned by his parents, cast out of a synagogue. And yet we see Jesus seeking him out. Making sure he has his faith in Christ to encourage him. And God, we just pray that you will encourage us, that you will use this message to prepare us, to equip us for the persecution that is surely coming. If it hasn't already upon US soil and God, we pray that we will be the ones who endure to the end and experience salvation in Jesus Christ. That the persecution will not drive us away from Christ, will not divide us here at this church, will not cause us to give up because it's too hard to keep live in for Jesus when the world's so against us. No. God help us to realize that Jesus Christ is with us when we share in his sufferings and what a blessing it is to be called one of his Jesus his people in this planet. Let us wear that as a badge of honor and consider ourselves good soldiers who endure suffering in the name of Jesus Christ and God. I just pray for anybody here who realizes this morning that they're not experiencing persecution. They're not suffering with Jesus. No. They kind of blend in with the world that we live in.

[00:58:35] They have no problem going along with the flow. No one's ever kind of felt like they were shining too much light on their darkness and had a negative reaction to them.

[00:58:45] God, we pray that if there's somebody who's blind here this morning that you would open their eyes, that they might see you even here right now, today. That it's worth it to have this whole world against you. If Jesus Christ is for us, then who can be against us? God, remind us of that message. We pray in Jesus name. Amen.

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