This was my notes on Al Mohler’s message during Shepherd’s Conference. Shepherd’s Conference is a conference for Pastors and church leader at John MacArthur’s church.
We are seeing an increasing hostility to Christianity in the culture. The danger is that Evangelicals think if we are clever enough we as Christians can be at peace with the world.
We are going to see in this passage multiple temptations.
There’s a big assumption among people today that there can be neutrality.
First major point: “If” in verse 18 of “if the world hates you.”
We can easily look at the “if” and say “if not.”
Look at the passages we see “if” eight times: v.18, 19, 20 (2X), 22, 24
The world is not going to hate us for doing good deeds but there’s something else we need to note here.
If we just do good deeds and prove ourselves to the cultural elites than it would be transformative but that’s a dangerous assumption.
Let’s be clear: This does not mean we don’t do good works.
This seductive argument is gaining traction among Evangelicals. But there’s changes in our cultures where the world doesn’t necessarily see the good works we do as good works.
We are to do good works and we do them publicly but we are not promised the world loves us for them.
We need to dispense with the myth of neutrality. It is oppose to God and it is oppose to Christ.
The argument is that we have not produce enough Christian artists, etc. It is an argument that we don’t have enough influence.
We have to ask what kind of “if” is it. There’s two kind: One is we want it to be. The second “if construction” which the conditions have already been met. Here in verse 18 the “ifs” here is the second kind. We see the hint of that with the past tense.
It is not a hypothetical “if,” but one that condition has already been met and even with Jesus heading towards the cross in the context.
Second major point: All these things they will do.
The “if” really is a “when.”
What are “all these things”? Verse 20, 16:24 all these things they will do for you.
Matthew 10:16-25 illuminates what are these things.
If they treat Jesus the way He is treated, how would they treat you?
Luke 10:3 God is sending us out as lambs in the midst of wolves.
We are the branches because of the divine intervention; because of God’s sovereignty.
Jesus makes it abundantly clear man has hatred towards God.
There is a Trinitarian aspect of nonbelievers hatred. Hatred towards Jesus is hatred towards the Father (v.23).
Rejection of the Father is also a rejection of the Spirit which is mentioned as sent from the Father in 14:26, 15:26.
We are in this predicament because of the glory of God.
Third point: We are with God from the beginning (v.27)
We witness because of the fact we are with God from the beginning
Jesus never promise His disciples we will die sweetly in our beds.
Do you realize one of the reason why the world hates us is two simultaneous effect: Those who have ears to hear and eyes to see will be saved. Those who don’t believe there is condemnation.
The world hates Christ and thus hates the truth and thus hates the Gospel.
Scripture tells us all throughout the New Testament that witness comes in persecution as in no other way: The Gospel is amplified in martyrdom.
There’s no way we can expect the Gospel to be preached without scandal.
Jesus informs His disciples this because His disciples need to know it.
Let us be clear: We are not saved by the moral commands of the New Covenant but we are saved by the blood of the New Covenant
The Cross is not a metaphor but is where grace meets.
We need to note how the argument has changed. For centuries skeptics question whether Christianity is not respectable but not it is shifted to moral argument that God is not an Olgar. There’s a great shift in morality in which there is a hatred of a God who is going to be God. A kind of God who wills the death of His Son and vindicating His Son from the dead morally.
It is not just the publication of the books but the appetite of books that hate Christ.
We need to ask a few questions:
Do you really believe this?
Do you believe this is about us? Or do you think this is about someone else?
Do you preach this? Does your people know this and are prepared? Have your people heard you preach this and they hear your words when they are persecuted?
This passage should humble us; humble us for thinking we are going to be treated better than Jesus or think we are the few who are not going to be persecuted.
If this depresses you don’t understand the Gospel. Look at John 16:32-33, He has overcome the world
If He has overcome the world we can be safe in Him and preach the Word we can die as preachers and pastors knowing our work is completed but He will complete it.