Killing in Charleston: Is racism Spiritual Warfare?

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Yes! Racism is a part of the unseen warfare in the world. It is spawned in the heart of those who hate others. The flesh and Fallen nature of man is wicked, and sometimes it even kills others. Jesus said that Satan is a murderer and has been from the very beginning. I recently preached a sermon titled, “why the world hates me” I would love to share it with you… I reflect on what it means to be Christian in a fallen world.

Why the World Hates Me! [Spiritual warfare and the believer]

John 15:18-19

18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.

19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.[1]

Introduction:

There is battle going on in our world today and it is being fought in three spheres of life.

  1. It is being fought in the invisible realm or what we call the spiritual realm
  2. It is being fought in the human realm within the believer and follower of Jesus Christ (the flesh and the Spirit.)
  3. It is being fought in the earthly realm by the world and its systems of belief that oppose the church and the activity of its believers.

As we come to this text today, we see the Master warning the disciples about the battle that is to come. It is a battle with those that will oppose them. Here we discover that the world hates the children of God. (Born again followers)

It is in opposition to their position and their beliefs. When Jesus says this here He is opening up our understanding to what we know of today as Spiritual warfare.

  • Hated by the world

18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.

Note:

As we begin to dive into this verse We should begin by clarifying what Jesus means by “the world,” because the term is used in Scripture in at least three different ways.

  • It can mean the created world (“the world was made by Him”—John 1:10),
  • It can mean the world of humanity (“For God so loved the world”—John 3:16), or…
  • It can mean the society that is apart from God and opposed to God. We sometimes use the phrase “the world system” to define this special meaning.

Example:

When you listen to the radio news, you may hear the announcer say, “And now the news from the world of sports!”

Obviously, “the world of sports” is not a special country or planet where everybody lives who is connected in some way with sports.

The world of sports” refers to all the organizations, people, plans, activities, philosophies, etc. that are a part of sports.

Some of these things are visible and some are invisible, but all of them are organized around one thing—sports.

The world” from a Christian point of view involves all the people, plans, organizations, activities, philosophies, values, etc. that belong to society without God.

Some of these things may be very cultural; others may be very corrupt; but all of them have their origins in the heart and mind of sinful man and promote what sinful man wants to enjoy and accomplish.

I believe he is talking about the world system here in this verse…it is the thing that opposes the gospel and those who believe and follow Jesus.

  1. As Christians, we must be careful not to love the world (1 John 2:15–17) or be conformed to the world (Rom. 12:1–2).
  2. Jesus pulls no punches when He tells His disciples that their situation in the world will be serious and even dangerous.

Observation:

The second thing we see in this verse is that Jesus says that the world is going to HATE you….

Note the progress in the world’s opposition:

  • First of All the world is going to hate you! “Use hatred against you” (John 15:18–19)
  • Second of all the world is going to persecute you…, “persecution” (John 15:20)
  • Third of all the world is going to ostracize you or cut you off… “excommunication”, and even attempt to kill you … “death” (John 16:2).

You can trace three of these stages of resistance as you read the Book of Acts.

If it hated me it will also hate you…Here we see why Christ says that the disciples will catch trouble from the world, because it hated Him.

Note:

In-spite of what He did to make it a better place:

  • He healed the sick, but it hated Him anyway
  • He cast out devils, but it hated him anyway
  • He raised the dead back to life, but it hated him anyway
  • He fed the hungry, and it hated him anyway
  • He defended the weak, and it hated him anyway
  • He cured leprosy, and it hated him any way
  • He liberated the ostracized, and it hated him anyway

Application:

And the world will do this to you also…If you try and make this world a better place in the NAME of JESUS, watch and see what will happen to you!

Note:

Jesus said …if the world hated me, it will hate you also!

DR. Martin Luther King, and Ralph Abernathy tried to convict a country about its racist laws and mistreatment of its Citizens by marching peacefully, and holding public prayer sessions, and the world turned on them, and attacked them for the beliefs in God.

  • The truth is that you can try to changing something in the Name of Jesus, and try using your church to change your schools system, try using the bible to council people with messed up lives, try quoting the words of Christ in a public speech, try using Jesus as the focal point of a town hall discussion, and see how much the world will Hate you!
  • You can try and change it through the boy scouts, the YMCA, Make a Wish foundation, NBA Cares, girl scouts, Shriners foundation, Habitat for Humanity, or the Little league sports organizations, and no one will attack you or assault you, because none of these things do it in the NAME of JESUS or for the cause of the gospel!

Hated with a Purpose

19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.[2]

Note:

When we come to this portion of the text we see Christ use language that is comparative in nature and accusative in action:

  1. If you were of the world… things would be different
  2. If you were acting like they act, things might be better for you
  3. If you thought like they thought, lived like they live, behave like they behave, they would love you… Because you are just like them, believe what they believe and oppose the word of the Lord

However, since you are not like them, they hate you with a purpose…

Observation:

As we come to this verse, we get to analyze why we are hated by the world!

Why does the world system, including the “religious world,” hate the Christian, the one who believes on Jesus Christ and seeks to follow Him? Jesus gave several reasons….

They hate us because

  1. We are identified with Christ (vv. 18, 20). If they hated Him, they will also hate those of us who are identified with Him.

They hate us because… He is the Master; we are the servants.

They hate us because… He is greater than we are, so He must receive the praise and glory. But the world will not give Him praise and glory!

They hate us because…The world hates Him, and therefore the world must hate us.

They hate us because

  • He is the Shepherd and we are the sheep; and when they attack the Shepherd, it affects the sheep (Matt. 26:31).

They hate us because

  • He is the Master (Teacher) and we are the disciples, the learners.

Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, The world hates you

The world hates us becauseWe do not belong to the world (v. 19). When we trusted Christ, we moved into a new spiritual position: we are now “in Christ” and “out of the world.” To be sure, we are in the world physically, but not of the world spiritually. Now that we are “partakers of the heavenly calling” (Heb. 3:1) we are no longer interested in the treasures or pleasures of sin in this world. This does not mean that we are isolated from reality or insulated from the world’s needs, Rather, it means that we look at the things of earth from heaven’s point of view.

The world hates us because…The world system functions on the basis of conformity.

Note:

As long as a person follows the fads and fashions and accepts the values of the world, he or she will “get along.” But the Christian refuses to be “conformed to this world” (Rom. 12:2).

The believer is a “new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17) and no longer wants to live the “old life” (1 Peter 4:1–4). We are the light of the world and the salt of the earth (Matt. 5:13–16), but a dark world does not want light and a decaying world does not want salt! In other words, the believer is not just “out of step”; he is out of place! (See John 17:14, 16, and 1 John 4:5.)

The world hates me becauseThe world is spiritually ignorant and blind (v. 21).If you had asked the religious leaders in Jerusalem if they knew the God they were seeking to defend, they would have said, “Of course we know Him! Israel has known the true God for centuries!” But Jesus said that they did not know the Father and, therefore, they could not know the Son (see John 16:3). The religious leaders knew a great deal about Jehovah God and could quote chapter and verse to defend their doctrines, but they did not personally know God.This was not a new theme for our Lord to discuss, because He had mentioned it before to the religious leaders who opposed Him. “Ye neither know Me, nor My Father; if ye had known Me, ye should have known My Father also” (John 8:19). “Yet ye have not known Him; but I know Him” (John 8:55). Observation:Jesus had taught them the Word and had demonstrated His deity in miraculous signs and a godly walk; and yet the religious leaders of the nation were blind to His identity: “The world knew Him not” (John 1:10).

As we come to the close of this passage, we fall into the greatest call a disciple could ever have! The Call to remember… but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.[3]

  • Here they are first challenged to remember that they have been called out of the world
  • They have been selected by God to journey with Him

Note:

  • God called them, they did not call God!
  • God issued the summons, they only responded!
  • Secondly after saying yes to the call they were then appointed to do a divine task!
  • So here, we celebrate the calling of coming out of the world!

Whomever God calls, He appoints, and whom he appoints he gives access to divine stuff to accomplish the assignment! [we have been called to come out of the world]

Note:

You did not choose Me, but I chose you

  • Here is the key to discipleship, that you have been appointed by God to operate on his behalf in the earth
  • Jesus is making it clear that those who have been with him have been given some authority in the earth
    • This authority is only used to work on His behalf, serve on his behalf, pray on his behalf and do the things that he would do in his absence
    • Because of the Call we will have trouble!
    • Because of this call we will have persecution!
    • Because of this call we will have heartache!
    • But it all comes with the call!

 Racism may exist in our world as a wicked and sinful act against humanity. However, it has to because the witness of Jesus Christ is alive in the earth. The world hates me because of who I belong to and even in this tragedy in Charleston we can see praying Christians losing their lives because of their faith in Jesus Christ. Yes, they were African American just like me, but the root of this sin goes even deeper than race, it’s spawned from the depths of Hell, and has the devil’s signature all over it.

Let’s not forget that we are not fighting people only sin and Satan. Don’t forget to put on the whole armor of God, and to trust in the power of the gospel, for it is God’s plan for the salvation of every race.

For Christ and His kingdom

AW 

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