How to Be Unshakable [cc]


Uploaded by JRDViralVideos on 28.08.2011

Transcript:
I'll be reading today Matthew chapter five
we're finishing our series on the beatitudes
which are found at the beginning of the sermon on the mount
this message shows that Jesus is concerned with who we are
from the inside out
but as we submit that the transformational work of the Holy Spirit
it is made clear that many people
will not like
Who we are becoming
as followers of Jesus
the more the first seven beatitudes are working to our character
the more we will experience
the last beatitude
followers of Jesus will be
persecuted
So will you follow along with me as I read first
from Matthew five
one through twelve
now when he saw the crowds he went up on on mountainside and sat down
His disciples came to him
and he began to teach them saying
blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted
Blessed are the meek
for they will inherit the earth
blessed are those who
hunger
and thirst for righteousness
for they will be filled
blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy
blessed are the pure in heart
for they will see God
blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called sons of God
blessed are the
those who are persecuted
because of righteousness for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
Blessed are you when people insult you
persecute you
and falsely say all kinds of evil against you
because of me
Rejoice and be glad
because great is your reward in heaven
from the same way they persecuted the prophets
who were before
Thank you, Dave
many of you know that
I've gone back to school
I got accepted to a doctrine of ministry program
Where I'm focusing on youth, family and culture
I'm actually
in
the beginning of my third year
and I've had to
do quite a bit of reading
between the
day I get my syllabus on what I'm supposed to read
and the classes I'm supposed to go to
I have to read about five thousand pages
which works out to about two books a week
and for someone who doesn't like school
I find that a little bit challenging
but I have loved
what I am learning
it's the first time in my life where the actually pursued
school to learn
What a concepts
instead of trying to get a degree to do what I really want to do this is
something I desire in order to learn to become a better pastor better youth
pastor
and in my research in my studies
specially when it came to
looking at the history
of Christian spirituality
and some of the
early church fathers some of the their early martyrs of the faith
I came across this one letter
of this young woman
and
this this letter
really caused me to pause
and I've spent a lot of head time
pondering and thinking through
her story
she wrote a letter of the day before
she was going to be fed to the beasts
in the arenas of Rome
it's about a hundred fifty years after Christ around the year two hundred
and this young woman
wrote this letter about her experience
Rome at that time was
was
persecuting Christians because Christians were one of the few people
groups that would refuse to offer sacrifices to the emperor
now Rome was very gracious duration is very open to all religions
as long as you're willing to acknowledge
Caesar first
You know, if you offered some sacrifices to the emperor of Rome then
then you could worship however you want you could worship as many gods as you want
you must acknowledge Rome first and Christians refused
to do that
To them their loyalty to Christ would not allow them to bend a knee
any other
Perceived deity
So I want to read a little section
of this letter to you
uh...
I wanted to share with you of a little bit of what she was going through
I think it set the tone for where we're going to go today
and understand what does it mean to be persecuted
so her name was
Vebbia
Perpetua
you have no idea if I said that right or wrong
this is what she wrote
we went up to the prisoners platform
all the others confessed
when they were questioned
when my turn came my father appeared
with my son
and dragging me from the step he begged
have pity on your son
Valerian
the governor
said have pity on your father's gray head
have pity on your infant son
offer sacrifice for the emperors
welfare
but I answered
I will not
Valerian asked
are you a Christian?
I answered
I am
a Christian
then the sentence was passed
all of us were
Condemned to the beasts
we were overjoyed
as we went back to the prison cell
since I was still nursing my child who was ordinarily in the cell with me
I quickly sent the deacon
to my father's house to ask for the baby
but my father refused to give him up
Then God saw to it that my child no longer needed my nursing
nor were my breasts inflamed after that I was no longer tortured
By the anxiety
about my child
and letter continues
at in the letter she says I'm writing this the day before my sentence is
carried out so
if anybody would
like to
finish my story for me fill free and and it's
believed that Tertullian one of the early church fathers
actually finishes the letter and explains what happened to her when she
faced
the beasts in the arena
as I put myself in her shoes
Yeah, I have an infant son
And a three-year-old son
and I put myself in her shoes I can't help but feel a little conflicted
this woman who's willing to
walk away from her family
for what she believed
That kind of rubs me the wrong way and at the same time I'm inspired
by her courage
so I have mixed feelings about how I felt about this woman
Until I put myself in the shoes
of her son
and I just pictured myself as I'm growing up
am I going to look at what my mother did and am I going to resent
That, am I going to
Be embittered or feel like
somehow my mom abandoned me
or am I going to view what my mother did and be
inspired
by her courage
and her willingness to stand for what she believes
even to the point of death
I can't speak for him
and thankfully it's not my story
but as I put myself in his shoes I think to myself I would be proud
to be related
to somebody who stood their ground for what was right
someone who had the courage to face
death
as a spectator sport
for other people's entertainment
someone who's willing to be a person of character and integrity
some one who impacted and influenced and inspired thousands and thousands of
other believers
who are also being persecuted for their faith
it's not an easy situation seems like it's a lose-lose in some ways
but yet God in the end is still being honored and glorified and in the end
I think she would say that it was worth it
see Jesus makes a very clear in his sermon on the mount
as he's the very beginning of that is the beatitudes which were going through
that he says if you're going to follow me you will face opposition
because people will reject me
and if they reject me then they will reject those who follow me
and so he is saying in a sense, get ready
because it will happen
but those who it happens to will be blessed
They will in the end
determined that it was worth it
because in the end
they will win
and so he calls us to finish well
knowing that the end is already in sight
so let's look at what it means to be persecuted a little bit Jesus tells us
blessed are those who are persecuted
for theirs is the kingdom
of heaven
persecution
is a clash between two value systems
irreconcilable value systems
we see this in politics
now we have a two-party system in our nation and both those parties view
the role of government very differently
their value systems
are very different their irreconcilable
and so
there is persecution between
the two sides
we see this in religion
went to irreconcilable value systems come head to head
there's persecution
we see this just with our morals
people around the world have different morals and values when it comes to what
is right what is wrong
what is healthy what is unhealthy
what is honoring to God or what is not
and when those aren't on the same page
the people will experience persecution
We will all experience persecution
but the goal is to experience persecution for the right reasons
we see that the persecuted get in trouble for the right reasons
and verse ten
said blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness
because of me Jesus is saying
those who are going to be persecuted for doing the right things who are
persecuted for me
are going to experience blessing
one of the biggest questions I get when I'm discussing with people or young
people about the Christian faith and
you know, what's true, what's right, what's wrong
what religion is true
a question that almost always comes up is
why does God allow bad things to happen
to good people
that's a tough question answer
but that has a premise
worldview behind it that
there are some people in this world that aren't experiencing bad things
but the reality is that whether you're good or bad you're going to experience
Bad things
it's not as good people expressing bad things everybody does
because we live in a world that's broken
we have relationships that are broken, people are broken
all of creation in a sense is broken and that's the whole reason why Jesus came
was to heal
and to fix
that which was broken
to bring
restoration
redemption
those are big Christian words
with a lot of meaning behind them
That God is basically healing that which is broken
so second Timothy we see this
Chapter three verse twelve
this is Paul
he says in fact everyone who wants to live
A Godly life
in Christ Jesus
will be persecuted
if you desire to live a Godly life if you desire to live a good life
And to honor God with your life you will face
persecution for that
you think that would be lifted up
but it's never been the case and all of history
how do we respond though
to persecution
those who are blessed are those who respond with integrity who respond the
way Jesus responded
Jesus concerned about our character
he's transforming us from the inside out
which means
the seven beatitudes that I mentioned mentioned previously
are all reflections of who Jesus is
and someone who's poor spirits on whose meek someone who is
Mourning, someone who is thirsting after righteousness who loves mercy who has a pure
heart
are going to respond with character integrity
when they're persecuted
verse eleven says blessed are you when people insult you
persecute you
falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me
so Jesus
says the you will face verbal insults
physical persecution
and you will experience false accusation
Jesus experienced that
It's interesting how when people talk about Jesus as a person of history
they refer to him as a good teacher
someone who's admired
someone who's respected
someone who was a person of integrity
and yet all through scriptures when Jesus is walking around sharing the truth of the
good news he's being persecuted people, in fact, are trying to tear down his
character
All through scripture people are saying he's a drunkard
people are saying that he's gluttonous
he's always eating with people
oh
Jesus like food
I tell you
he's always spending time with sinners
with people who are
bad
doesn't that make him a bad person
these were the things that people were saying about Jesus to try to tear him
Do we not see that?
in our own society
with the politics stuff going on I'm just not a fan of politics it drives me crazy
I just don't like to talk about it usually
but I'm going to talk about it right now
don't worry I won't touch anything I want to be persecuted so I'm not going to
but it's amazing to me when politics really take off in our country
little bit is about issues
and about what's important is always about
trying to tear someone else's character down
not always but it seems that that's what we see most of the time
it's all about I'm going to attack you as a person I am going to tear down your
character because ultimately
you know our culture is somehow addicted to this kind of drama
when Jesus was facing the same type of thing people were trying to tear down
his character
so that his message
or what was important would not be heard
and John fifteen
Jesus tells us
if the world hates you keep in mind that it hated me first
if you belong to the world, it would love you as its own
as it is you do not belong to the world
but I've chosen you out of the world
that is why the world hates you
hate is a strong word
it's not that the world dislikes us
the root of that word means that you desire somebody else to die
you wish they were dead
people will wish we were dead
just because we followed Jesus
and so we respond with the character of Jesus
we don't respond like a non-believer
who feels like they have to take everything into their own hands
that they cannot trust God
with themselves or with others they want to take revenge they want to retaliate
well you've destroyed my character I'm going to destroy your character
Jesus very rarely retaliates
in this way
A lot of times He just absorbs it
and through his actions proves them wrong
we don't want to respond like a child who sulks and wines all of this is not
fair
Or a dog who licks his wounds in self-pity, oh poor me
on the other side is stoic just kind of grins and bears that's not a big deal
you know I can handle this
or someone who actually
pretense to enjoy it
second Corinthians four
eight through nine this is Paul and Paul
has the authority to speak on this subject
he faced persecution
many times
people tried to kill him
people tried to trick and tried to capture him, he was stone several
times
and I'm not talking about with drugs
he was stoned with rocks as people threw rocks at him and tried to kill him
if you ever had a rocks thrown at you
it's kind of scary thing imagine lots of rocks so many rocks it could kill you
A little scary, he faced persecution
yes he had the authority to speak on the subject he says we are hard to press on every side
but we are not crushed
we're perplexed though we are not despair
We're persecuted
But we are not abandoned
we're not alone
we are struck down but we are not
destroyed
Paul
is saying
when we respond in the right way
it's going to undo the work that other people are trying to do against us
and so therefore those who are persecuted are suppose to rejoice
that sounds a little difficult to me
to rejoice in verse twelve it says rejoice and be glad when you are persecuted why
should we rejoice
why should we be glad
when we are persecuted for bearing the name of Christ
it is a badge of honor
In a sense it's almost like a certificate of authenticity
Okay, I'm a follower of Christ
I'm being persecuted
Jesus told me that would happen
you know we get this impression
At least I get this impression of our society and of many Christians that
when
we come to church
and we get some things out of it and it's good enough on this kind of
easy and kind of convenient yeah, I'll be a Christian
you know but if it gets inconvenient and you know messes
with my schedule
you know, I think I will walk away
but we don't deal with anything in life that way
it's pretty rare to find a football player that says you know I as long as
it's easy to be a football player a convenient for me
Then I will keep playing football
have to work pretty hard
you don't see construction workers as long as it is convenient for me to
you know, to work with
with difficult tools and as long as its easy I'll stick with it
You don't see a lot of people who
become a father that says oh as long as it's easy and convenient for me then
I'll have kids
all the things that matter to us
don't come easy
they don't come easy
first Peter four sixteen says however if you suffer as a Christian
do not be ashamed
but praise God that you bear that name
I am a father
I bear that title I carry that title that's
part of who I am. I am proud
to be a father, it's not easy
I am a husband
and honored to be married to my wife
blending two cultures together becoming one is not easy
I'm a Toth
That's my family name it's a Hungarian name
I am proud to carry that name
it's got a rich history
I'm a Christian
it is an honor
and the privilege
to carry the name of Christ
it is not easy
it's not easy but it's worth it
the persecuted will be victorious
verse twelve the second part of verse twelve it says great is your reward in heaven
knowing we win in the end kind of makes it worth it I think if that
Was in question or if there were some doubts
or if it was
a possibility that the end would not be a victorious ending
I'm not sure if it would be worth it
both my parents were born and raised in Seattle
and so I had the privilege in honor of being raised as a Seattle Seahawks fan
I have been persecuted
and experience some difficult times
as a faithful fan
and every now and then when they win
It feels so good
it almost makes it worth it
to be so faithful
in our relationship with Christ
knowing that we win in the end
makes it all worth it
makes it all worth it
we are victorious because of what took place on the cross
it makes it all worth it
Romans eight
thirty five to thirty seven says who
shall separate us from the love of Christ
shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness
or danger or sword
as it is written
for your sake Lord we face death all day long
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered
no Paul says
No in all these things we are more than conquerors
through him who loved us
not only are we victorious we're more
than conquerors
the scriptures say we get it all
the kingdom of heaven is ours
and so the persecuted do not compromise
they can't compromise
the woman who wrote that letter
around the year two hundred
wasn't willing to compromise even on the littlest of things
first twelve the last part of the says for the same way be persecuted the
prophets who were before you the prophets of the old testament
were kind of scary people
they didn't have a lot of friends
most of them when they would speak God's word to his people and that's
what a prophet was
he was a middle person
between God and his people
and he would share God's word with his people usually his people did not want
to hear from Him
in fact there were a lots of prophets
many of them would tell people is that what they wanted to hear make them feel
good about themselves they liked those prophets
it was the ones who were telling them that they needed to change their ways, they
Didn't like them in fact many times they were killed
they were persecuted
but they wouldn't compromise
because they had a truth that they needed to deliver for people to hear
and many of those prophets
their legacy lives on
because of their ability to not compromise
So in Galatians
chapter one verse ten Paul says am I now trying to win the approval of men
or of God
or am I trying to please men, am I trying to please the people around me
if I were still trying to please
the people around me I would not be a servant
of Christ
Paul is not willing to compromise the levels of things because he
is first loyal to God
and to Christ
and so the blessing that the persecutor receive is that the kingdom of heaven
will be theirs
Paul as he is speaking to his
Protégé, his
little disciple that he's been encouraging and leading into the
leadership of the church
he says this I have fought the good fight
this is towards the end of his life he says I have fought the good fight
I've finished
the race
I have kept the faith
Paul finished well
he is an inheritor of the kingdom
of heaven
now when Jesus is speaking to his disciples and in the picture we have of
Jesus sitting down and his disciples in front of him as he's teaching the sermon
on the mount we get this perception of probably some people around listening as
well trying to get a
a few words of wisdom from the rabbi
in Jesus speaking about those
who are poor in spirit those who've mourned those who are peacemakers and He is
Kind of referring to those who are going to follow him
and then verse eleven he shifts and instead of saying
those he says you
verse eleven he says you, I can almost picture Jesus looking right into
the eyes of his disciples and says you
blessed are you
when you're insulted because of me
when you are persecuted
because of me
it's almost as if he's saying
get ready
It is coming and it did
all of except one
died for their faith
died
for representing Jesus to the world
John was exiled he's the only one that Didn't die a martyrs death
but I'm pretty sure exile is not an easy life
Jesus was saying
be careful
just know that you are blessed
but it's coming
now we
have an amazing, amazing country
That lifts up the freedom of religion
so that we don't have to face death for what we believe it's an amazing thing
A lot of places in the world don't have that kind of freedom
doesn't mean we are not persecuted for what we believe people will still say things
our character will still be defamed but but thankfully
we really don't have to face often
life
and death decisions based on our faith
but it's happening all around the world
I think because it's kind of easy
Well it's not easy being Christian but
it's a little bit easier knowing that we don't have to face death because of it
and so we forget sometimes that all around the world even today
even though Rome doesn't exist anymore and people aren't killing each other in arenas
with gladiators
although ultimate fighting championship might?
No. the reality is that we're not going to face that kind of persecution but many
people are
and we need to pray
For our brothers and sisters
we need to pray for them
I want to share with you a few stories
that I came across just this week
of what's going on around the world in this month
with believers
Uzbekistan
a woman gave a colleague a children's Bible
and so she was arrested and beaten by the police and fined sixty thousand US
dollars
For giving a children's Bible to a colleague in India there's been a
certain area they called Orizaba that
has
experienced very violent and bloody persecution of Christians
and some militants came through and just burned down all the
churchs in a whole area
and so they've been trying to rebuild our churches and people will not let
them
in Iraq in Kirkuk
police recently report
that they'd deactivated an explosive devices
left near the Evangelical Presbyterian church
That's our sister church
That's our domination
That's one of our churches someone planted a bomb outside of it
I don't know about you I'd find it difficult to show up on Sunday morning if I knew they were
to be bombs outside
Indonesia
in Vietnam
twelve men and four women
were so badly being that they went in to unconsciousness
and they were told if anyone worships this way we will return to arrest you all
And put you in prison for five years
there's not freedom of religion
in Vietnam
in the Sudan
the famine is so great
that many people are sendng food into the Sudan
Which then gets confiscated and many times
is not a given
to Christians
They are rejected
from the food lines
in Nigeria at least ten Christians the last two months
have been killed
and Iran does an evangelical pastor in Iran that faces execution
for refusing to abandon the Christian faith
He urges his fellow believers to remain faithful to Jesus Christ and the
word of God despite the persecution he's facing
this pastor is three years younger than I am
he's thirty three years old he has a wife
which happens to be the same age that Jesus was when he died on the cross
there are people around the world who are experiencing very difficult
persecution
for standing up for what's right
it's inspiring
the courage
at same time it's alarming
maybe the world isn't as good as we would like it to be
that is why Jesus came
to fix that which is broken
He is the hope
of the nations
since Jesus died for us
let us live
for Him
Let me pray for us
God, we desire
to be unshakeable
in our faith we desire to be people of integrity and of character
who are willing
to live passionately
and to stick to our convictions
God, we thank you for of the people around the world that you have made
from the inside out into the reflection of Christ who are living out
their faith everyday even in the midst of heavy persecution God we want to pray
for them we ask you would bless them
allow them to be surrounded by your love
by your grace and your mercy
allow them to experience the joy
and peace
despite their circumstances be with their loved ones
their families their wives or husbands
as they experience the persecution as well
God make us into the people of God from the inside out
Transform us
allows us to be people of courage
forgive us for the times when we make a little compromises
we don't want to we don't want to be that those kinds of people
thank you for your grace
for your forgiveness
we love you
and so we pray in Jesus name. Amen
Translate this message into another language. Translating into these different languages is easy. Examples are Africanns Albanian Shqipe Arabic Belarusian Bulgarian Catalan Chinese Han Croatian Hrvatski Czech Danish Dansk Estonian Eesti Filipino Finnish Suomi French Galician Galego German Deutsch Dutch Nederlands Greek Haitian Hebrew Hindi Hungarian Magyar Icelandic Bahasa Indonesia Indonesian Irish Gaeilge Italian Italiano Japanese Korean Latvian Lithuanian Macedonian Malay Bahasa Melayu Maltese Malti Norwegian Norsk Persian Farsi Polish Polski Portuguese Romanian Russian Serbian Slovak Slovenian Spanish Español Swahili Kiswahili Swedish Svenska Thai Turkish Türkçe Ukranian Vietnamese Welsh Cymraeg Yiddish Gott Gud Isten Bhagawan Boze Bog Deus Allah Dio Dios Dieu Dieus Jumala Khudah Perendise Perendia Yesu Masiha Kami Sama Isa al Maseeh Kristus Jesu