The Upper Room – Week 7 – Hated By The Enemy
This week in “The Upper Room” we see that an Upper Room disciple is hated by the enemy. We can define the enemy as 3 things: The Flesh, Satan and Demons, and The World. As a 21st Century Christian we find ourselves comfortable with our faith and forget that being a Christian is a radical thing! We ask ourselves “Do we as a church really experience the type of opposition that Jesus is talking about?” and “Does our love and obedience to Jesus cost us anything?”. Radical obedience is motivated by REAL love. What radical step of obedience is Jesus leading YOU to take?
Date: November 6, 2022
Series: The Upper Room
The Upper Room – John 15:18-25 “Hated by the Enemy”
REVIEW> We are marching forward! We are asking the question, “What are the marks of an Upper Room Disciple?”
INTRO> When I look back at church history, I have many heroes. One of them is John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement. He was literally a traveling preacher. He would travel to a town, preach and hold revivals, hundreds would come to know Jesus and his “method men” would then follow him and start a church in the town with new Christians. This didn’t come easy for Mr.Wesley, it came at a great cost. He was beaten often, driven out of towns, poisoned and the like. One story is told : [John Wesley was riding along a road one day when it dawned on him that three whole days had passed in which he had suffered no persecution. Not a brick or an egg had been thrown at him for three days. Alarmed, he stopped his horse, and exclaimed, “Can it be that I have sinned, and am backslidden?” Slipping from his horse, Wesley went down on his knees and began interceding with God to show him where, if any, there had been a fault. A rough fellow, on the other side of the hedge, hearing the prayer, looked across and recognized the preacher. “I’ll fix that Methodist preacher,” he said, picking up a brick and tossing it over at him. It missed its mark, and fell harmlessly beside John. Whereupon Wesley leaped to his feet joyfully exclaiming, “Thank God, it’s all right. I still have His presence.”]
APP> Striking isn’t it? You see, Wesley understood something, he understood what one thing the scriptures promised…
- “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted…” 2 Timothy 3:12
- “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:10
- Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.” 1 Peter 4:12-14
- “Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.” Luke 6:26
Degrees of Persecution: (***See Graphic For List***)
Big Idea> Upper Room disciples are hated by the enemy.
CONTEXT> I think we need to clarify a few things.. and I want to teach this passage a little differently today. what do we mean by the enemy? What does Jesus mean by “the world” Doesn’t God love the world in John 3:16?
3 Main Enemies in Scripture:
- Our Flesh
- Satan and Demons
- The World (Jesus uses the word 8x I like how D A Carson explains this “The ‘world’ is the created moral order in active rebellion against God.”)
APP> That’s a powerful way to think about it right? The Apostle John says it this way “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” 1 John 5:19 *ILL> Dr Tony Evans is a great pastor and bible teacher in Oak Cliff Texas. He connects the dots between Jesus teaching on discipleship and an enemy in a sermon to his Congregation in 2002 “Jesus’ teaching in the Upper Room Discourse is about discipleship. Discipleship has to do with bringing every area of life under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. That’s discipleship. To put it another way, God wants to own more of you this year, than he has last year. God wants to progressively control the agenda of your life. But there is an enemy that seeks to stifle your development as a disciple. He wants to interrupt it.”
APP> Now, as I was praying about all of this. I really had to ask a tough question, “Do we as a church really experience the type of opposition that Jesus is talking about?” Or let’s put it another way, “Does my love and obedience to Jesus cost me anything?”
ILL> Because when I think about these 12 Upper Room Disciples, It cost them everything.
- Peter is beaten and crucified upside down.
- Andrew is tied to a cross and left outside for animals to eat him. History records that he preached until he lost his voice.
- James died in A.D. 44 after he was beheaded by King Herod I who had launched a new persecution of Christians. He was the first martyr from among the twelve apostles.
- Phillip was beaten and Hung.
- Bartholomew ministered in Armenia and was flayed to death with knives in India.
- Thomas died near Madras, India in A.D. 70. He was killed with a spear.
- James the Lesser Tradition says that James was crucified in Lower Egypt and then sawed in pieces (A.D. 62).
- Radical Obedience is motivated by real love.
- What radical step of obedience is Jesus leading you to?
Big Idea> Upper Room disciples are hated by the enemy.