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Topic: Rejection (11/15/04)
TITLE: Rejection Is Inevitable
By Doug Laird
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Anyone who desires the approval of Man over the approval of God can “not be a servant of Christ” (Gal. 1:10 NIV). This was precisely what The Lord Jesus Christ meant when He said, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes even his own life—he can not be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26 NIV).
There are two principles that must be clarified in this passage. By hating one’s family member, the Lord Jesus Christ did not mean that we are to harbor ill feelings towards anyone. The word “hate” here means to love less, or to place in a proper order of priority. Our relationship with God must take first place over any person or thing.
The second principle is that the passage is addressing discipleship, not salvation. By believing in the Person (who He is) and the Works (what He did on the cross) of the Lord Jesus Christ, every “born again” (John 3:3 NIV) individual is eternally saved (1Cor.3: 15). The extent that a person advances in the post-salvation life has nothing to do with retaining salvation, but it has everything to do with discipleship. While every believer is a Christian, only a very few advance to and/or remain in discipleship bearing fruit (Luke 8:14).
We all have what psychologists call a “public face”. It is a reference to how we choose to project ourselves when we are aware that we are under observation or when we are aware that the “camera is running”. What a person is at home is what he truly is anywhere else. It was for this reason, I believe, that the Lord Jesus Christ chose the family unit to demonstrate what He meant by the cost of discipleship. It is an environment that we all can relate to.
God established the family unit as the nucleus of society. Yet the Lord Jesus Christ made it clear that the true disciple will not bring peace but a sword of division regarding issues of salvation and sanctification into his home (Matt.10: 34-36)!
“If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (1Timothy 5:8 NIV). In context, the passage is referring to material support, however it can be reasonably concluded that if it is true of material things, how much more so this principle is applicable regarding spiritual needs. The issue to be addressed is if the disciple is willing to endure the rejection and ask “ Have a become your enemy by telling you the truth?” (Galatians 4:16 NIV).
Rejection is often the result of one failing to meet other’s expectations. It was partly because the Lord Jesus Christ did not meet the expectations of many of the Jews of His Day that many came to reject Him as the prophesied Messiah.
Don’t be surprised when you “can’t get through” to people who are not receptive to the “mind of Christ” (1Cor.2: 16NIV). “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1Cor. 2: 14NIV).
The “mind of Christ” (1Cor. 2:16 NIV) is diametrically opposed to the mind of Man. This principle sets the stage for a life of rejection for any true disciple by the majority of those in his personal and social periphery! It is not a good indication when the majority agrees with you concerning spiritual issues. This is why the Lord Jesus Christ admonished, “Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets.” (Luke 6: 26 NIV).
We can be popular by expressing a mind that the world admires and approves of, or we can develop & express the “mind of Christ” (1Cor. 2:16NIV) and face the inevitable rejection by the majority of those we live and interact with on a daily basis. Welcome to the life of a disciple!
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (R) Copyright (C) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All Rights reserved