Blessings and Woes of the Christian Life – Part 4 | Luke 6:17-26

YouTube video sermon

Our purpose as Christians is not to be liked, but to be like Christ!

Introduction

Luke 6:20-26 ESV And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. (21) “Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied. “Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh. (22) “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! (23) Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets. (24) “But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. (25) “Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry. “Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep. (26) “Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.

  • Wouldn’t it be great to be like Moses…
    • Oh what a man of God he was, the humblest in all the land, talking to God through a burning bush, freeing the Israelites from slavery, walking through the Red Sea as God split it, praying manna from heaven, interceding for a nations behalf.
    • How many times I myself have aspired to be like David! The great second king of Israel. Slaying Giants by trusting in God, taking on whole armies with God leading the charge, being anointed by God, spoken to by God, spoken through by God, prospering a nation through God’s goodness. Even when David sinned, he repented and turned back to God. Oh, how great it would be to be a David!
    • What about John the Baptist? The man who made the way for Christ Jesus? The Bible says that John was the greatest man to ever live, up until that point, that he was greater than Moses, or David, or even Elijah. Would we not do well to aspire to be like John, to serve God as John served God, to honor God as John honored God?
    • Then of course there is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the End, Christ Jesus. Should we not all aspire to be like Jesus?
      • Don’t Y’all want to be like Jesus? I hope you do! That’s the whole point of the Christian life, to grow to be more and more like Christ and in doing so to bring honor and glory to God and to bring others to Him.
      • Oh, to be like Jesus! To be free from sin, to reject temptation, to love others, to hate sin, to stand up for righteousness, to have unwavering faith in God, to live perfectly in the light, glory and Grace of God the Father through Christ the son.
        • Man that’s all I want, I want to be like Jesus, don’t y’all want to be like Jesus‽
      • Great, then you want to be martyred!
        • Look y’all, Moses lead the Israelites out of Slavery! They were literal slaves forced into hard labor, and Moses by the power of God and through AMAZING miracles and signs from heaven… Moses lead them out of slavery. The people watched as God, through Moses, split the Red Sea… the walked right through it… the watched as Pharaoh’s army followed them and the sea closed over them.
        • They watched as manna fell from heaven, the ate it, it was good!
          • And yet still the hated Moses! THEY HATED HIM! THE REJECTED HIM! THEY CHOSE SIN OVER RIGHTEOUSNESS! THEY EVEN GRUMBLED OVER THE MANNA THAT WAS MIRACULOSLY APEARING!
          • “Well at least our slave owners gave us some gluten free options”
          • WHAT‽ YOU WERE EATING ROTTEN VEGITABLES!
        • David, oh David. He was chosen at a young age by God… yet he was mocked, even by his own brothers.
          • When Goliath was causing all of Israel to tremble, and David bravely stood up against him, the soldiers… including his own family… mocked him and said he was a stupid, selfish little kid.
          • When he conquered battle after battle, the king of Israel tried to kill him.
          • When he continued to serve God and find victory, he was cast out from the land and had to flee for his life.
          • Finally he was able to take the throne God had prepared for him.
          • He lead the nation in a godly way, bringing prosperity and victory for God’s people…
          • But even his own Son Absalom would turn against him. His own son would speak evil of him and turn the nation against him, yet again he would be cast out.
        • Then there is Jesus… He literally never did one thing wrong… ever. Not a bad thought, not a bad word… He was perfect. And the whole reason He came to earth was to love EVERYONE.
          • They still found reason to hate Him enough to kill Him.

Show Title Slide

  • If you want to be Godly, then you are asking to be hated. If you want to be holy, you are asking to be martyred.
    • Let’s pray…

PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY

  • Point one this morning: The Gospel is offensive.

Point One – The Gospel is Offensive

Luke 6:22-23 ESV “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! (23) Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.

  • Y’all the Gospel is offensive.
    • “But the Gospel is good news, how can good news be offensive?”
      • Because news is only good when it counters something bad.
    • For example, if I told you that I cured your cancer, but you didn’t have cancer in the first place, well that news isn’t really good news, is it?
      • For me to convince you that the cure for your cancer is good, first I have to convince you that you have cancer. And some people don’t want to hear that.
    • In the same way, the cure for sin is only good news if you now that you have sin, and that in fact, sin is bad.
      • Y’all, people don’t like hearing that the things they enjoy are sinful. No one is like “Oh, you want me to give up this thing that I love? Awesome!”
    • Just this month an executive at Cross Fit was fired! Did y’all hear about this?
      • He tweeted (by the way, pro tip, if you want to keep your job then delete your twitter account… unless you are President Trump, then it works out… otherwise Twitter ain’t nothing but trouble it seems)… any ways, this Cross Fit executive tweeted that he felt that Gay Pride was a sin and inconsistent with Biblical World views…
        • Now mind you, this guy is also a pastor, and they knew that when they hired him.
      • So he tweets that gay pride is sinful… and they fire him… but they don’t just fire him… the CEO of Cross Fit publicly declared that this man should “Shut the BLEEP up”… except when he said it it wasn’t bleeped out.
        • Like… your shocked that a pastor would say Gay Pride is a sin? What did you expect… this is a pretty solid biblical truth.
        • In both the Old and New Testaments the Bible says that homosexual sex is abhorrent… that is a Biblical truth that has been well established since before our nation ever existed.
        • But not only that, but to have pride in your sin? GAY PRIDE‽
          • Should we also celebrate Adultery Pride?
          • Fornication Pride
          • Divorce Pride
          • Spouse Abuse Pride
          • Criminal Neglect Pride
          • Murder Pride
          • Theft Pride
        • Like where does it stop?
      • And you, Mr. Cross Fit CEO are shocked and appalled that a pastor believes what the Bible says?
    • Pastor Russel Berger is the name of the Cross Fit executive who was fired for his beliefs… Pastor Berger, I hope you are jumping for joy right now!
      • But what about John the Baptist? He wasn’t really that controversial right?

Luke 6:22-23 ESV “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! (23) Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.

  • The gospel is offensive.
    • A couple years ago chains interrupted did a anti-human trafficking conference at new Covenant… a CHURCH… and I did a presentation on the horrors of porn and how it links to human trafficking.
    • After the whole conference was over Pastor Teresa took in comment cards. The number one complaint… MY TALK AGAINST PORN.
      • Like can’t we just fight human trafficking and keep our sin…
      • Let’s not talk about sin when talking about selling human beings for sex…
      • It makes me uncomfortable to talk about men looking at pornography, I am here to stop human sex trafficking…
    • WHAT‽ You are offended that a PASTOR in a CHURCH is speaking out against pornography which has extreme links to human trafficking… in an anti human trafficking conference… WHAT DID YOU EXPECT‽
      • I tell you what they expected… they expected that we would talk about OTHER PEOPLES sin… not that we would talk about sin in our own ranks…
    • The Gospel is offensive y’all. It always has been and it always will be.
    • Want to know why John the Baptist was killed?
      • Because he rebuked a ruler for having sex with his sister in law… he rebuked adultery… imagine that! OFF WITH HIS HEAD!
    • The Gospel is offensive.

1 Corinthians 1:18 ESV For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

  • In fact in 2 Corinthians chapter 2 it says that the gospel is the “Fragrance of life to those who are being saved and the stench of death to those who are perishing”.
    • We stink like DEATH to the world… why? Because we have died to ourselves and are asking others to do the same.
  • The gospel is offensive. And if you live by the gospel, if you love the gospel, if you preach the gospel… then people are going to be offended.
    • And if one thing is true, as much as ever… when people are offended in today’s society you better believe they are going to say or do something about it…
  • That brings us to point two: Blessed are you when people speak evil of you for Christ’s sake.

Point Two – Blessed are You When People Speak Evil of You for Christ’s Sake

  • Luke 6:22 ESV “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!
  • I was the most popular Sophomore in high school for a grand total of about four months.
    • I was dating the hottest cheerleader, I was having parties at my house nearly every week… y’all people waited to choose their sit in class until I chose mine, so they could sit by me.
    • IT WAS AWESOME. Then I got saved. I remember the exact moment my popularity tanked… it wasn’t the moment I got saved… people could care less… no it was the first party I had after being saved.
      • I asked that no one drink. I asked that no one talk about sex, rub up on each other, or make crude jokes… I said “Surely we could have a good time without those things”.
      • About 30 minutes in… a couple of guys said, “We got beer, let’s get out of here”. And literally EVERYONE left.
    • I was never cool again.
  • I was fired from a job in Seattle for being a Christian. I remember crying like a baby with Amanda. They weren’t having any Homophobic Christians at their company.
  • I was failed out of a class for being “Religiously Brain Washed” in college.
  • I remember once even getting a ticket from a police officer for driving a homeless man to the hospital… why? Well you see the car smelled like booze… for good reason, the homeless man had drank so much that he had alcohol poisoning… that’s why we were going to the hospital. BUT THE COP WAS CONVINCED I WAS DRUNK. Made me take a breathalyzer… you should have seen his face when I blew a 0… he was so mad that he gave me a ticket for having a license plate bulb out.
  • Luke 6:22 ESV “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!
  • Y’all, if you are becoming more and more like Christ, people ought to hate you! Because people hated Christ! They hated Him enough to kill Him.
    • But don’t worry about it… God will take care of it, and He will take care of you!
      • God took care of me… shortly after losing popularity in School I stood up against a history teacher insisting we came from monkeys… people booed me, the teacher hated me… but there was one other kid in the class who really loved Jesus… we became best friends and that relationship was deeper than all the popularity I lost.
      • God took care of me… when I was flunked for being religiously brain washed I got free legal representation and threatened to sue the school. They folded like a house of cards and gave me an A+ in that class.
      • God took care of me… when I was fired for being a Christian two days latter I got a new job that payed twice as much.
      • And by the way… that homeless guy I drove to the hospital. He never drank again, he turned his life around, now has a successful career and is serving in the ministry.
    • Yeah people will hate you for being a Christian… so what, they hated Jesus too! You are just being Christ like.
      • But not only should we bear it but we should rejoice in it!

Luke 6:23 ESV Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.

  • It is a good thing to be Christ Like, Amen‽ So if people are treating you like garbage because you truly believe in and follow Jesus, that’s a reason to jump for Joy.
    • So don’t shy away from Biblical truth!
  • Y’all know that I loved me some Ted Cruz right‽ Ted Cruz was my BOY! His father even came and spoke at our church before the primaries.
    • If y’all don’t know, Ted Cruz was the number one challenger against Donald Trump in the republican primaries… if Cruz would have won we would have had an election of Hillary Clinton vs Donald Trump.
    • And I did man, I liked Ted Cruz… I truly thought of Him as a sold out believer in Christ Jesus… But I recently learned of a very sad interview I did not know about…
      • You see there was a reporter going around asking all the candidates this “Gotchya!” question… they asked every republican candidate “would you attend a gay wedding”.
      • Ted Cruz refused to answer the question.
      • When interviewed by a pastor, Cruz was asked “Why did you not answer that question?”
      • Cruz responded “Well, that’s a very hard and politically charged question, it is not so simple to answer, and I don’t want to confuse or offend anyone…”
      • The pastor responded “WHAT‽ It’s a hard question to answer?”
      • “Yes” said Cruz mater of factly “how would you have me respond”
      • “Respond like this” said the pastor, firm on his position “No! No I would not attend a gay wedding. The Bible says that marriage is between one man and one woman, and while I respect other peoples beliefs, I believe the Bible to be the true word of God. The Bible also says that it is sinful for a man to sleep with a man or a woman to sleep with a woman, so no, I would not attend a ceremony where to people vow to live in rebellion to God’s word till death do they part.”
      • Ted Cruz was left speechless.
    • Y’all we believe in the Bible… it’s ok to believe in the Bible… it WILL offend people… Don’t hide from scripture because you are afraid of the social consequences…
  • Now, all of that being said… there is a caveat…
    • Jesus said Blessed are you when people speak evil of you for His sake.
    • It’s not Just blessed are you when people speak evil of you.
    • But it’s for His sake the blessing comes.
      • Not blessed are you for being a jerk.
      • Not blessed are you for being insensitive.
      • Not blessed are you for being holier than though…
    • No, blessed are you when people speak evil of you FOR HIS SAKE.
  • In fact it is our job as Christians to do everything we can NOT to offend people!
    • Romans 12:18 ESV If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
    • We have to do EVERYTHING in our power to never offend anyone…
    • That includes the way we talk, the way we act, the way we dress, the way we live.
      • I have an example for you:
      • I remember when I church was just about a year old, I was dismissing the children for children’s church…
      • I prayed that God would bless the “h-e-c-k” out of the kids… except I didn’t spell it.
        • Honestly, I don’t find that word to be a bad word at all, it was a normal part of my vocabulary.
        • But one of the parents was offended that I would use that word in a prayer over their kids…
          • So you know what I said?
        • I said “I don’t care what you think about me! Only God can judge me! I talk the way I talk, if you don’t like it you can leave!”
      • No… that’s not what I said. I said “I am so sorry, I had no idea, I won’t ever do that again, please forgive me”.
    • Because the fact is I do care what people think about me, I want people to listen to me, to look up to me, to follow me. Why? Because I want to lead people to Christ, and if everyone hates me because of the way I talk or the way I dress or the way I live then I am going to have a hard time leading them to Christ.
  • So we are supposed to do everything in our power to not be offensive… there is only one thing we are not allowed to do in order to avoid offense…
    • We are not allowed to compromise, deny, hide from, or reject the Gospel of Jesus Christ… the whole Gospel, all 66 books of it.
      • The reason why what Ted Cruz did when he refused to answer that reporters question was so wrong… was because what he was saying was “I am willing to put my religion on the shelf in order to please people”.
    • We are never called to do that church.
  • The Gospel is offensive, when we live by the gospel it will offend people, rejoice in that day, but it should only be the Gospel that offends people in our lives.

Point Three – Woe To You When People Speak Well of You

  • Finally this morning, point three… woe to you when people speak well of you.

Luke 6:26 ESV “Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.

  • There was a guy in the Old Testament named Hananiah. Hananiah was a prophet, so scripture tells us…
    • In Jeremiah 28 something interesting happens that I see paralleled a lot today a lot…
    • You see the people of Israel were in Exile yet again, this time under the yoke of Babylon.
      • They were treated as slave, they were starving, their land had been overrun.
    • Now of course the people were looking for God in all of this… they were hurting, they were starving, they were angry, they felt abandoned by God.
    • So then this prophet Hananiah comes along and he starts in on his “THUS SAITH THE LORD”…

Jeremiah 28:2-4 ESV “Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon. (3) Within two years I will bring back to this place all the vessels of the LORD’s house, which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took away from this place and carried to Babylon. (4) I will also bring back to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and all the exiles from Judah who went to Babylon, declares the LORD, for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.”

  • MAN! WHAT AN AWESOME PROPHECY HANNINIAH! That will get you pumped up! That will start a revival service!
    • Only problem is… it wasn’t true! Hananiah was a false prophet. He said what people WANTED to hear! They loved him for it. But God didn’t speak it! God spoke 40 years of captivity… not two. Hananiah lied… he said “thus saith the Lord” but the Lord did not “Thus saith”!
  • You know what’s interesting about false prophets is that we always kind of think of them as the evil wizards dressed in shabby dirty rags or black evil looking robs… we think of them as prophesying that God is dead, or that Jesus is false, or that we should all worship someone else.
    • But the truth is that false prophets speak things we want to hear.
    • It happens in the church all the time… ALL… THE… TIME… and it destroys peoples lives…
  • If someone is living in sin don’t prophecy peace and blessing over their lives… that will give them comfort to stay in their sin.
  • If a church is dead and has no desire to live, don’t prophecy revival.
  • Don’t prophecy Jerimiah 29:11 to everyone you see… maybe God doesn’t have plans to prosper you, maybe he has plans to allow you to be martyred for His names sake, like happened to 11 of the 12 disciples… maybe He has plans to bring you to absolute ruin so you can be humbles and turn back to Him… only God knows His plans…
  • Here is a great rule of thumb… IF GOD DID NOT SPECIFICALLY TELL YOU SOMETHING, DON’T PROPHECY IT.
    • You know what happened to Hananiah, the prophet everyone loved, the one who spoke peace and freedom? GOD KILLED HIM.

Jeremiah 28:15-17 ESV And Jeremiah the prophet said to the prophet Hananiah, “Listen, Hananiah, the LORD has not sent you, and you have made this people trust in a lie. (16) Therefore thus says the LORD: ‘Behold, I will remove you from the face of the earth. This year you shall die, because you have uttered rebellion against the LORD.'” (17) In that same year, in the seventh month, the prophet Hananiah died.

  • If every one responds well to you, if everyone loves you and says nice things about you and really likes what you have to say… WOE TO YOU, you just might be a Hananiah.
  • Y’all I didn’t become a Christian to be liked… I became a Christian to be like Christ.
    • Let me say that again “I did not become a Christian to be liked… I became a Christian to be like Christ”
    • And Christ was so offensive they hung Him on a cross.
  • So yeah, from time to time I may say some offensive stuff… when I went to Seattle I was told that someone walked out my sermon last time I was there because they were so offended.
    • I preached the Cake Aint Green Bro sermon, it wasn’t that offensive… WHY‽ I asked?
    • “Because you preached against Homosexuality.”
    • No didn’t, I preached about green cake! Then I went back and checked… you know what I did that was so offensive?
      • All I did was read 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 ESV (9) Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, (10) nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (11) And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

  • I didn’t talk about homosexuality… I didn’t sit there and preach a message on it… I simply read that verse… and it offended someone enough for them to walk out…
    • What was I supposed to do? Skip that part of the scripture? No! Because I wasn’t preaching it so people would like me, I was preaching it so people could become more like Christ.
      • I will never change scripture to make people happy. I will never change how I preach or what I preach to make people happy.
        • I will change the langue I use, I will change the illustrations I use… if Taco Bell jokes offend people then let Taco Bell be anithima!
        • But I will not Change scripture, I will not change the word of the Lord, and I will not speak as if from the Lord unless the Lord has told me to do so.
      • And church if you live your life like this, if you live your life according to the Gospel, then you will be hated for Christs sake… but you will be blessed in so doing.

Matthew 10:22 ESV and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

Conclusion – In Christ, that which was meant for evil is turned to good

Luke 6:20-26 ESV And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. (21) “Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied. “Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh. (22) “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! (23) Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets. (24) “But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. (25) “Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry. “Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep. (26) “Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.

I want to conclude with one final example that sums up all of these blessings and woes.

  • There once was a man in a very colorful coat named Joseph. Joseph was the son of Jacob, the father of the nation of Israel.
    • Joseph loved God and spoke what God told him to. This angered pretty much everyone.
    • Joseph was beaten to near death and sold into slavery from his brothers. In an instant Joseph went from wealthy to slavery.
      • For God’s sake Joseph had become the poorest of poor.
      • For God’s sake Joseph became hungry.
      • For God’s sake Joseph wept.
      • For God’s sake Joseph was hated.
        • Blessed was Joseph, for God’s sake he was poor, he was hungry, he was hated, and he wept. Blessed was Joseph.
      • Because of all of this God took care of Joseph. And through a series of miracles Joseph went from slave to king, second in command to pharaoh himself.
      • At the end of all of this, when facing his brothers who had long ago sold him into slavery, Joseph said in Genesis 5:20a:

Genesis 50:20a ESV As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good…

  • It is not good to be hungry, or poor, or weeping, or hated…
    • But if we are those things for God’s sake, he will make it good! HE WILL MAKE US A BLESSED PEOPLE! AMEN‽

Pray out.