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5 Reasons Why You're Not Welcome On This Planet

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\\ Scripture: John 15:18-27

 

18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’a If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin. 23 He who hates me hates my Father as well. 24 If I had not done among them what no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have seen these miracles, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’b 26 “When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning. [1]

In John 15 Jesus issues a warning to his disciples to prepare them for spiritual living in a hostile environment. 

Characteristically, he did not want them to have false ideas of what it was going to be like for them in the days following His death, resurrection and then his departure from planet earth.  I remember my dad preparing me for a trip to the doctor.  I don’t remember what misfortune that I had – just that he was trying to tell me exactly what I was going to face.  It is mostly the unknown that we fear.  And those fears grow larger the longer they remain shadowed.  How many times have we feared some event only to discover that it was not nearly as bad as we had imagined.  So nothing prepares us for the future like truth.  As hard as it may be to hear at a given time, we are better off knowing.

And so he told them:

·         I was “first” hated by the “world”.

·         You don’t belong and you never will.

·         You belong to me and that’s why you’re hated.

·         The world is “guilty” because of the knowledge of God they have been given.

·         Guilty people look for someone else to blame.

·         You have to perpetuate the message of my life.

This truth remains to this day.  We are charged with the same responsibility and subject to the same consequences as we take His name and follow His teachings.

By the “world” Jesus did not mean people, especially irreligious people.  He was a dear friend to sinners and was loved by them.  He was hated by those who felt that they were too good to associate with this type of person.

He means something quite different by “the world”.

WORLD. The Gk. word kosmos means by derivation ‘the ordered world’.

It is, however, an axiom of the Bible that this world of human beings, the climax of the divine creation, the world that God made especially to reflect his glory, is now in rebellion against him. Through the transgression of one man, sin has entered into it (Rom. 5:18) with universal consequences. It has become, as a result, a disordered world in the grip of the evil one (1 Jn. 5:19). And so, very frequently in the NT, and particularly in the Johannine writings, the word kosmos has a sinister significance. It is not the world as God intended it to be, but ‘this world’ set over against God, following its own wisdom and living by the light of its own reason (1 Cor. 1:21), not recognizing the Source of all true life and illumination (Jn. 1:10).

The two dominant characteristics of ‘this world’ are pride, born of man’s failure to accept his creaturely estate and his dependence on the Creator, which leads him to act as though he were the lord and giver of life; and covetousness, which causes him to desire and possess all that is attractive to his physical senses (1 Jn. 2:16). And, as man tends in effect to worship what he covets, such covetousness is idolatry (Col. 3:5). Accordingly, worldliness is the enthronement of something other than God as the supreme object of man’s interests and affections. Pleasures and occupations, not necessarily wrong in themselves, become so when an all-absorbing attention is paid to them.

This world’ is pervaded by a spirit of its own, which has to be exorcized by the Spirit of God, if it is not to remain in control over human reason and understanding (1 Cor. 2:12).

Legalism, asceticism and ritualism are this world’s feeble and enfeebling substitutes for true religion (Gal. 4:9–10); and only a true knowledge of God as revealed by Christ can prevent men from relying upon them. It was because the Jews relied upon them that they did not recognize either the Christ in the days of his flesh (Jn. 1:11) or his followers (1 Jn. 3:1). Similarly, false prophets who advocate such things, or antichrists who are antinomian in their teaching, will always be listened to by those who belong to this world (1 Jn. 4:5). [2]

And it was of this sinister, pervasive system that Jesus warned his disciples.  It is pervasive because it is not isolated beyond the walls of the church. 

“The ship’s place is in the sea, but God pity the ship when the sea gets into it.  The Christian’s place is in the world, but God pity the Christian if the world gets into him.”

It is the spirit of anti-Christ in people who are opposed to the things of God and militantly come against Him.  It is the tepid spirit of those who are casual about their faith and unchanged and unmoved spiritually.  It is the self-righteous, legalistic spirit that makes a person believe that it is their personal responsibility to measure others by the standards that they fail to adhere to themselves. 

It is not people who are the enemies that we face today but this same system.

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

[3] Ephesians 6:10-12 (NIV)

This system wants to reject the church of Christ and all those who call themselves His disciples, from its territory.  And it rears its ugly head in the most unexpected places.  It can take a political idea or entity or agenda, a political system, and set itself against the church.  It can take a pseudo saint enamored with his or her own righteousness and use that person to stir division in the church over the most minor issues.  It can be a godless system of thought that honors itself in the halls of academia and spurns the simplistic ideas of faith and truth and redemption.

28 Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

[4] Romans 1:28-32 (NIV)

This “sinister system” is the enemy of the church of Christ and because it represents the “disorder” of things it can make this planet into an unfriendly place for a Christian.  Let’s look at a few reasons then that as a Christ-follower, you are not welcome on Planet Earth.

1.   You stink.

 

15 For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.  16 To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task? [5] (2 Cor. 2:15)

Reminding people of their mortality.

 

Our existence reminds people of their broken relationship with God and the gamble that they take with their lives on a daily basis.  They are haunted by the fear of death and the account that they must give to God.  People do not want to be reminded of their own mortality.

You are not welcome because you don’t smell good. 

To God? – the scripture tells us that you are the aroma of Christ.  You have this aroma all about you.  I remember the days when I was falling in love with my first wife.  She had a perfume that she wore and I loved it.  It was on her clothing and the smell made me think of her and how much I loved her.  The smell of Christ is all over you brother and sister and you are a joy to God himself because you belong to Him.

To those being saved - the fragrance of life and to those who are perishing - the smell of death.  Not death within you but a reminder of their own mortality.

If there is one thing in this world that people don’t want to be reminded of it is their mortality.  We are oblivious to the possibility when we are in our teen years.  Because there is so little time behind us we think that we will live forever. 

Not too many years pass before we begin to realize that time is short and life is fragile.

13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”[6]

Value this time in your life kids, because this is the time in your life when you still have your choices, and it goes by so quickly. When you're a teenager you think you can do anything, and you do. Your twenties are a blur. Your thirties, you raise your family, you make a little money and you think to yourself, "What happened to my twenties?" Your forties, you grow a little pot belly you grow another chin. The music starts to get too loud and one of your old girlfriends from high school becomes a grandmother. Your fifties you have a minor surgery. You'll call it a procedure, but it's a surgery. Your sixties you have a major surgery, the music is still loud but it doesn't matter because you can't hear it anyway. Seventies, you and the wife retire to Fort Lauderdale, you start eating dinner at two, lunch around ten, breakfast the night before. And you spend most of your time wandering around malls looking for the ultimate in soft yogurt and muttering "how come the kids don't call?" By your eighties, you've had a major stroke, and you end up babbling to some Jamaican nurse who your wife can't stand but who you call mama. Any questions?

 

Billy Crystal

You see, you are not welcome on this planet because you are a reminder to people that they will one day stand before God to give an account of the way that they spent their days on earth.

2.   You are strange

4 They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you.[7]

The Bible says that we are a “peculiar people.

14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. [8] Titus 2:14 (KJV)

   A real Christian is an odd number, anyway.  He feels supreme love for One who he has never seen; talks familiarly every day to Someone he cannot see; expects to go to heaven on the virtue of Another; empties himself in order to be full; admits he is wrong so he can be declared right; goes down in order to get up; is strongest when he is weakest; richest when he is poorest and happiest when he feels the worst.  He dies so he can live; forsakes in order to have; gives away so he can keep; sees the invisible, hears the inaudible, and knows that which passeth knowledge.

 

   -- A.W. Tozer

 

Reminding people of their morality.

Our existence is the voice of conscience in the world today.  We preach an absolute truth and make exclusive claims.  This at times seems arrogant and intolerant.  People do not want to be told that they are wrong.  They want to be able to do whatever they please and be told that this is okay.

This is the “Value System” of this sinister world that we are called to confront.  That means that a child of God needs to find motivation in things that are eternal rather than temporal.  A verbal confrontation is meaningless.  It must be confronted by each individual in terms of the way that person chooses to live. 

Robert Bellah, a sociologist who teaches at the University of California at Berkeley, is very interested in the influence of religion on the community. In an interview in Psychology Today he said, "We should not underestimate the significance of the small group of people who have a new vision of a just and gentle world. The quality of a culture may be changed when 2 percent of its people have a new vision."

   There are many more than 2 percent Christians in your country and mine. Then why aren't we having more effect? Why aren't we having more influence? I pray that God will call you to permeate non-Christian society for Christ, to take your stand there uncompromisingly with the value system and moral standards of Jesus.

 

   -- John Stott, "Christians: Salt and Light," Preaching Today, Tape No. 109. 

It calls each of us to ask the question, “What will I give my life for?  What am I willing to spend to get the trinkets and bobbles of life?  What am I willing to compromise to achieve position or power or acclaim?”

   Recently, I was walking the streets in San Mateo, a small town on the San Francisco peninsula. I met an attorney I knew from a local evangelical church.

   I said to him, "What are you doing?"

   He said, "I'm looking for a job."

   I said, "You've got to be kidding."

   He said, "No, last week I walked out the front door of that corporation and told them, 'You can hang in on your beak. I'm no longer going to write contracts that you and I both know are illegal and illegitimate.'"

   That man is regarded as one of the top five corporate lawyers in America, and he's unwilling to sell his value system for a mess of pottage. We need a larger core of lawyers like that.

   -- Howard Hendricks, "Beyond the Bottom Line," Preaching Today, Tape No. 101.

Jesus asked the question this way:

36 What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? 37 Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? [9] Mark 8:36-37 (NIV)

And I would ask you today brothers and sisters, are you confronting the value system or are you buying in?

3.   You are silly.  (1 Cor. 4:8-16)

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”a 20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.26 Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. [10] 1 Corinthians 1:18-30 (NIV)

Reminding people of a godless mentality.

Our existence is an affront to human wisdom and understanding.  It is absolute foolishness to the enlightened mind. 

   Increasingly, today's young people know little or nothing about the Western moral tradition.

   This was recently demonstrated by Tonight Show host Jay Leno. Leno frequently does "man-on-the street" interviews, and one night he collared some young people to ask them questions about the Bible. "Can you name one of the Ten Commandments?" he asked two college-age women. One replied, "Freedom of speech?" Mr. Leno said to the other, "Complete this sentence: Let he who is without sin..." Her response was, "have a good time?" Mr. Leno then turned to a young man and asked, "Who, according to the Bible, was eaten by a whale?" The confident answer was, "Pinocchio."

 

   -- Christina Hoff Summers. From the files of Leadership.

And you and I are called to confront a system of thought, education or learning that is attempting to erase a functional knowledge of God from the minds of mankind.  And if not to erase it then to minimize it to the point that it becomes nothing more than tolerable sentimentality, respectable in it’s forms but ineffectual in the sinister system.

How do we do that?

28 Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done

We work as a church to do everything possible to retain the knowledge of God.  It alone will keep us from depravity.  It is a societal preservative.

Much of today's Christianity is almost completely earthbound, and the words of Jesus about what follows this life are scarcely studied at all.  This, I believe, is partly due to man's enormous technical successes, which make him feel master of the human situation.  But it is also partly due to our scholars and experts.  By the time they have finished with their dissection of the New Testament and with their explaining away as "myth" all that they find disquieting or unacceptable to the modern mind, the Christian way of life is little more than humanism with a slight tinge of religion.

 

 ... J. B. Phillips, Ring of Truth [1967]

We do not apologize for it’s simplistic perspective but demonstrate by our living that we fully believe its message and we live within its parameters and we interpret life from its perspective.

Extra Stuff

I found this poem that my Dad wrote relative to the passing of time.

As I sit here tonight by the window

A picture before me unfolds

Tis a scene of infinite beauty

A picture more precious than gold

This picture of which I am speaking

Is taken from memory's store

Where burdens are laid by the wayside

As I open up yesterday's door.

I return once more to my childhood

As I wander down memory's lane

And I see my dear father and Mother

And the home which I love, once again

The places I played as a youngster

The faces of friends tried and true

A replay of things long forgotten

Passing by in silent review.

The woods where I roamed in my boyhood

The hills that I knew so well

They seem to beckon me homeward

And I ask, "Is this really farewell?"

The suddenly my reverie is broken

By a chubby hand on my head

And a sweet littel voice keeps repeating

"Daddy, hear my prayers for I'se goin to bed."

And then I am back in the present

Saying goodnight to my two little dears

And in my mind a thought keeps recurring

How sad is the passing of years.

But I always have one consolation

When my thoughts are running abroad

If I walk the straight and the narrow

It's completely "all right" with my God.

Now I hope in closing this story

Of the years so swiftly outgrown

It may bring back some cherished old memories

To others, many miles from home.

Author: Unheard of or Unknown and perhaps a bit homesick

Clifton Ingersoll


----

a 2 John 13:16

b Psalms 35:19; 69:4

[1] The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Zondervan: Grand Rapids

Gk. Greek

[2]Wood, D. R. W., Wood, D. R. W., & Marshall, I. H. 1996, c1982, c1962. New Bible Dictionary. Includes index. (electronic ed. of 3rd ed.) . InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove

[3] The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Zondervan: Grand Rapids

[4] The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Zondervan: Grand Rapids

[5]The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed., 2 Co 2:15. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984.

[6]The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 . Zondervan: Grand Rapids

[7]The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed., 1 Pe 4:4. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984.

[8] The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995. Logos Research Systems, Inc.: Oak Harbor, WA

[9] The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Zondervan: Grand Rapids

a Isaiah 29:14

[10] The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Zondervan: Grand Rapids

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