Gleans from Monday Bible Study with Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.
DLBC Ifako, Old Gbagada, Lagos HQ
4th June 2018
Study 52 – THE FAITHFULNESS OF CHRIST’S WITNESSES IN A HATEFUL WORLD
John 15:17-27; Luke 19:10; 1 Peter 2:21-23; Hebrews 4:15; 7:26; John 13:1; 1 John 2:6; 1 Peter 2:21; Romans 8:29
The Lord Jesus Christ had been talking to His own disciples, and through them, to us as well. As we look at the whole chapter 15 of St. John’s Gospel, it has been talking about fruitfulness, that God demands and desires fruitfulness of His children. And from what we have learnt and seen, we know that this fruitfulness is based on quite a lot of characteristics and life, that we must have the quality of faithfulness. If you are not faithful you cannot bear fruit, and God wants you to bear fruit, more fruit and much fruit. Also, if you are going to bear fruit, you must have the attribute of friendliness. If you are going to win souls and touch lives of people, to bring them to conviction, confession and be converted, there has to be friendliness between you and them. So we understand: (1) fruitfulness, (2) faithfulness and (3) friendliness are essentials in our lives as disciples of Jesus Christ. Also, as we are calling them out of their sins and defilements so that they can come to the cleansing of the Lord, so we must be free from (1) filthiness and (2) foolishness if we are to win the people of the world. He (Jesus Christ) wants us to bear fruit, more fruit and much fruit: and that demands that we are steadfast, zealous and single-minded.
The Lord Jesus Christ in our passage today was preparing His own disciples as they go out to preach the gospel. He served them notice, warned and told them that the world will show hatred, enmity, antagonism, some hostility, resistance because they are blind and do not understand what compassion these disciples will show them, so they will resist, persecute and oppose them. Jesus made Himself an example that He came to them with the grace and love of God yet the world hated Him and His Father. However, there was something wonderful about the Lord Jesus Christ, through it all, He remained loving, holy, good and merciful even though He was assaulted, rejected, opposed, and persecuted. You need to keep your character and holiness so as to remain stable to reach the sinners. Jesus remained compassionate, sinless, spotless, unchanging and constant in seeking to save the lost. He stated His purpose, desire, goal and mission, that their opposition, hatred, animosity and rejection will not stop Him, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). The world did not understand, but He understood His mission, purpose and goal of His life, to save the lost. The more they resisted, the more He persisted in His mission. See the attitude and disposition He maintained when they showed their hatred, “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously” (1 Peter 2:21-23). The calling, purpose, and mission that we have are the same that the Lord Jesus Christ had, and it our duty to follow His steps. Christ was reviled, abused, rejected, disobeyed, pushed away, belittled, humiliated, and yet He reviled not again. He kept that holiness, love, good nature, compassion, sinless attitude, spotlessness, and He was constant and unchanging. Christ was tempted in all points of His life, and yet without sin, and whatever the temptation, pressure, conflict, opposition and rejection against your life, let it be said of you at the end of the day, you were without sin (Hebrews 4:15). Sometimes people preaching the gospel, wanting to help the people come out of their sin, when they are rejected, the love they had for the sinners begins to slow down; but you know Jesus loved, and kept on loving. I pray that nature of Christ will be impacted on you in Jesus Name. Even at the hour of His Betrayal and persecution and all the suffering came to a climax, He loved. “Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end” (John 13:1). That is constancy and steadfastness in love, compassion and mercy. He kept on loving and loving till the very end, even when He was suffering the agony of the lashes and crown of thorns upon His head, and on the Cross He still showed love to that thief. You will keep on loving people till the very end like Jesus. If that thief got to Paradise, you too will get to Heaven, Jesus will pick you up when people have rejected you and take you to Heaven. This shows us what our nature and character ought to be, and how we must be a reproduction of the character of Christ our Saviour and Sanctifier because we are: (1) Called; (2) Cleansed; (3) Converted and (4) Consecrated. You will be like Him whatever other people do. Next time, when somebody tries to get on your nerves, and step on your toes deliberately, remember that you are to love the people; anger, fighting, bad temper and bitterness are gone and love will flow out of your heart as you follow the footsteps of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:21-23). “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:29). It’s a world pregnant with hatred, full of hostility and evil, and yet in that hateful world, we are the witnesses of Christ because the Holy Ghost the Comforter has come, and He lives within us to testify of Christ, and be His witnesses.
POINT 1: THE ROOT AND THE REASONS FOR THE WORLD’S HATRED
John 15:18-21; 3:19,20; 7:7; 17:14-18; 2 Chronicles 18:7; 1 Kings 21:17-20; Amos 5:10; 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12; Romans 1:28-32; 1 John 3:12-14
Jesus says that if we live and act like Him, and the world sees His character in us, as they persecuted Him, so they will persecute us. Their show of hatred, animosity, hostility, rejection and persecution is for His Name’s sake; that is the reason and root of their hatred. “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19). Men love their darkness, tradition, iniquity, defilements, fleshly acts and idolatry rather than light, and Christ is the Light of the world. He told His natural brethren who were yet carnal that the world would not hate them because they were like them. If you are like the world, the world will not hate you (John 7:7). But you are born again, and you are not of the world, so they will hate you. “I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world” (John 17:14). Because you are like Christ, and will not do what Christ will not do, their animosity and hatred will be great against you, but I pray that you will stand in Jesus Name. We shall witness to them and draw them out of their sins onto the Saviour; we shall seek and win the lost in Jesus Name.
“And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man, by whom we may enquire of the LORD: but I hate him; for he never prophesied good unto me, but always evil: the same is Micaiah the son of Imla. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so” (2 Chronicles 18:7). Micaiah would not modify the word of God, so the king hated him. That is the root and reason for their hatred. Pray that you will not be like Ahab who hated the prophet for telling the truth (1 Kings 21:17-20). As the word of God comes to you today, you are not to hate the preacher or teacher of the Truth, rather repent and receive the word of God, or you will be fighting against your own soul instead of preparing to go to Heaven. “They hate him that rebuketh in the gate, and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly” (Amos 5:10). They hate him that makes correction of their lives, and speaks the truth. If you find yourself hating the truth, the preacher and sound doctrine, the reason is because you do not have conversion and the life of Christ in you, but I pray that tonight you will come to that conversion in Jesus Name. “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient” (Romans 1:28). They did not like to retain the God of Truth and Light in their knowledge, so He gave them up to their reprobate minds. If you are filled with unrighteousness, you will hate God, and He is going to judge all unrighteousness on the Final Day. Those who give soaring testimony of their conversion but hate the brethren, the doctrine, the truth and the preacher are liars and their testimonies counterfeits because, “… He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer..” (1 John 3:14,15).
The hatred of the world is the evidence of the prevalent nature of Satan in sinners. Satan hates God, Christ, the plan of redemption, the Truth, gospel penetration, preachers that snatch souls from his slavery, and steadfastness in righteousness. Every sinner under the influence, control and power of the prince of this world, Satan, will hate God and His Revelation; Christ and His Redemption; Conversion and the Converted with true righteousness. You will not be part of them. You will love the truth, righteousness, redemption and to go to Heaven in Jesus name.
POINT 2: THE RESULT AND RECOMPENSE FOR THEIR WILFUL HOSTILITY
John 15:22-25; Psalms 109:2-5; Proverbs 1:28-32; 8:36; John 5:40; Matthew 13:15; Hosea 9:7-8; Luke 19:14,41-44; Romans 1:18-20; 2:1
“If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father” (John 15:24). Jesus came and opened the eyes of the blind, cleansed the lame, healed the sick, raised the dead, fed the hungry, multiplied bread for multitudes, did things that no other man had and could do. He showed the credentials of His Messiahship and yet He was hated without any reason. Their hostility was willful and determined, but there are consequences for this hatred and hostility against Christ, “Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof” (Proverbs 1:28-32). God will not answer their prayers, and they love death rather than life (Proverbs 8:36). Also, they don’t want to see or hear the truth because of their hatred and hostility against Christ. There are people who when they hear the truth of the word of God are furious and angry against the people of God (Hosea 9:7-8). And because of the hatred, they will not have Christ to reign over them (Luke 19:14,41-44). But Jesus did not manifest hatred but had compassion, and wept for them.
As we look at this people, hatred and hostility kept them away from peace, forgiveness, grace, mercy, gift of righteousness, holiness, and from heaven. Hatred and hostility kept them in unbelief and bitterness, rejecting the Light, and sent them to hell. They shouldn’t have gone to hell, the One to take them to heaven was right before them but they closed their hearts, eyes and minds. Hatred and hostility made them to reject every offer of salvation and redemption, and they perished. Many of them were religious, zealous, active, neighbourly, sociable, world-wise, but hatred and hostility sent them into hell and deprived them of heaven. They rejected the real Messiah, and waited in vain for another, and they perished. You will not perish. You have the truth of the word of God made plain. Don’t allow prejudice, hatred or bitterness in your heart. If you have the same bitterness and hostility against the truth like those Pharisees, then you are without excuse (Romans 1:18-20; 2:1). I pray you will turn around. Jesus is your Saviour and Lord, you will love the truth, and the truth will do you good. You will not go to hell in Jesus Name.
POINT 3: THE RESPONSE AND RESPONSIBILITY OF HIS WITNESSING HARVESTERS
John 15:26-27; Matthew 24:11-14; Luke 24:47,48; Acts 1:8,14-15; 8:4; 26:19
In these last days, as we see the world coming to an end, we are going to bear witness of the Lord (John 15:27). The false prophets are deceiving many people, reach out to those people before they are taken away. You will not faint nor fall by the way, no temptation, pressure and trial above you will come to you, you will endure to the end (Matthew 24:11-14). He wants you to preach the word for a witness and you will be a witness, powerful, effective and constant in your community and to all the people that come across your way. Acts 1:8 says you will receive power after the Holy Ghost is come upon you and you will be witnesses. Who are these witnesses supposed to be? Acts 1:14, These 120 continued in prayer and fellowship, and you, men, women, youths and children, will continue and not slide back, nor go back to the world. You will continue as effective, mighty and powerful witnesses till the end in Jesus name. While the world hated them, the witnesses harvested their souls. In Christ’s witnesses and disciples, we see the evidence of genuine salvation and true sanctification because they had – (1) the mind of Christ doing what Christ was doing; (2) the nature of Christ, that loved and went after sinners; (3) the undying and unchanging love of Christ, that whatever insult or persecution or misunderstanding, they kept on loving; (4) the Spirit of Christ, no spirit of anger, jealousy, fighting or putting anybody down; (5) the zeal of Christ; (6) the compassion of Christ; and (7) They had the single-mindedness of Christ.
These disciples though persecuted and rejected, kept on preaching the word (Acts 8:4). In conclusion, they were scattered because of the hatred, persecution and rejection of the people in Jerusalem, but they responded to:
(1) to hatred with love; (2) persecution with preaching; (3) cruelty with courage; (4) hostility with harmlessness; (5) anger with tenderness; (6) rejection with repetition of preaching the word; (7) the world’s objection with obedience to the Great Commission.
This should be our response as we go out of the Bible Study, that when they are negative, we shall be positive, and respond with love and compassion to their hatred and hostility. “Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision” (Acts 26:19). You will keep on preaching. The hatred, animosity and hostility of the world will not stop you. Keep on doing what the Lord has called you to do and great will be your reward in Jesus name.
Ponder on this! We are not part of them but we are going to evangelize them; we are not acting like them, but we are going to draw them out of their sins onto the Saviour, and we are going to seek and win the lost in Jesus Name. Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.
Ponder on this! Every sinner under the influence, control and the power of the prince of this world, Satan, will hate God and His Revelation; Christ and His Redemption; and Conversion and the Converted. Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.
Reflection – He (Jesus Christ) wants us to bear fruit, more fruit and much fruit: and that demands that we are steadfast, zealous and single-minded. Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.
Words on the Marble – God is the Judge, and He is going to judge every unrighteousness on the Final Day. Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.
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I’m desperate to know this God more & more. To possess that revelation that will make me run relentlessly until I’m faithfully spent for His glory. Deep, dedicated & diligent Mentors are hard to come by these days though.
good day every one i am Adubi Ayobam i want to thank God for His mercy upon my life, and for answering all my prayer. Most especially the phone that i pray for in one of our church in Abeokuta Osiele and i have promise to praise the lord in the presence of every one