How to Deal With Opposition

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I learnt a lot from the testimonies when I first came to the truth. The truth that we espouse is an unpopular truth.

Let us not feel that we have heavy trials to bear, severe conflicts to endure, in representing unpopular truth. {6T 120.2}

Why is it unpopular? People say all sorts of lovely things about Jesus but the real Jesus, they don’t want. It is an unpopular truth that Jesus stands as head of.

John 15:17 These things I command you, that ye love one another. 18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before [it hated] you. 19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. 20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.

Do people know God? They have a notion of God but they don’t really know Him. They know not Him that sent Jesus. Therefore they don’t know Jesus. Until they came to know Him, we have to expect opposition. We need to know how to relate to those in the world. Even the Pharisees were the world. There are a lot of professed religionists who are not really in tune with Jesus. We need to know how to deal with that.

2 Timothy 2:24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all [men], apt to teach, patient, 25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 26 And [that] they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

We usually read that to a minister and that is what was written to Timothy’s but it’s for all of us. The people around us contradict themselves. They say one thing but do the opposite. This is what happens with people around us. They say one thing but the next minute, what you have depended on, doesn’t become a reality. They oppose us and get into debate. They make a profession but we are to be meek to all men.

How to relate to those of the world:

Our ministers and teachers are to represent the love of God to a fallen world. With hearts melted in tenderness let the word of truth be spoken. Let all who are in error be treated with the gentleness of Christ. If those for whom you labor do not immediately grasp the truth, do not censure, do not criticize or condemn. Remember that you are to represent Christ in His meekness and gentleness and love. We must expect to meet unbelief and opposition. The truth has always had to meet these elements. But though you should meet the bitterest opposition, do not denounce your opponents. They may think, as did Paul, that they are doing God’s service, and to such we must manifest patience, meekness, and long-suffering. – {6T 120.1}

If we tremble at Gods word and we are denounced and opposed, realise the people doing it think they are doing God a service.

Let us not feel that we have heavy trials to bear, severe conflicts to endure, in representing unpopular truth. Think of Jesus and what He has suffered for you, and be silent. {6T 120.2}

If the world hated me it will hate you because the servant is not greater than The Lord.

The world’s Redeemer was scorned as a deceiver, hunted down as a malefactor, and shall those who become the servants of Christ expect to be treated any better than was their Lord? If they work the works of Christ, relatives and friends will rise up against them. They will persecute, forsake, and betray them. Let the believer not become discouraged because of the things he must suffer. Let his only anxiety be that hatred is kindled against him for no other reason than that of faithfulness in the discharge of his duty for Christ’s sake. The true child of God will say, I know I have to do with God, who trieth the heart, and hath pleasure in uprightness. I will set the Lord ever before me, and follow in the footsteps of Jesus. – {BEcho March 19, 1894 Par. 8}

This represents a reality you are going to meet with – mistreatment as those who don’t embrace Jesus, Satan will use people to attack and destroy. Remember what Jesus suffered.

Take a straightforward course, “having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.” 1 Peter 2:12. – {6T 120.2}

When it is too late for them, they will glorify God at the end but with heartache.

You should conduct yourself with meekness toward those who are in error, for were not you yourself recently in blindness in your sins? {6T 121.1}

We have not far distant been in our sins.

And because of the patience of Christ toward you, should you not be tender and patient toward others? {6T 121.1}

His compassion He has towards me we should show others.

God has given us many admonitions to manifest great kindness toward those who oppose us, lest we influence a soul in the wrong direction. – {6T 121.1}

How to be towards people who are in error who even oppose us and we think they are wrong:

Our life must be hid with Christ in God. We must know Christ personally. Then only can we rightly represent Him to the world. Let the prayer constantly ascend: “Lord, teach me how to do as Jesus would do were He in my place.” Wherever we are we must let our light shine forth to the glory of God in good works. This is the great, important interest of our life. – {6T 121.2}

The Lord wants His people to follow other methods than that of condemning wrong, even though the condemnation be just. He wants us to do something more than to hurl at our adversaries charges that only drive them further from the truth. {6T 121.3}

He wants us to do something more than to hurl charges at our adversaries.

The work which Christ came to do in our world was not to erect barriers and constantly thrust upon the people the fact that they were wrong. {6T 121.3}

The people who don’t want truth will mistreat us. Let them do what they want. They think they are doing God a a service. Don’t denounce or accuse them.

He who expects to enlighten a deceived people must come near to them and labor for them in love. He must become a center of holy influence. – {6T 122.1}

Represent Christ to them.

Let us be careful of our words. Let not our ministers follow their own impulses in denouncing and exposing the mysteries of iniquity. Upon these themes often silence is eloquence. – {RC 240.3}

We are to have silence in regards to denouncing them and live in obedience to His law. They may ask, why are you doing this? We are to give answers with fear and meekness.

In the advocacy of truth the bitterest opponents should be treated with respect and deference. Some will not respond to our efforts, but will make light of the gospel invitation. Others, even those whom we suppose to have passed the boundary of God’s mercy, will be won to Christ. {Ev 306.1}

Still keep on being kind and meek to them.

The very last work in the controversy may be the enlightenment of those who have not rejected light and evidence, but who have been in midnight darkness, and have in ignorance worked against the truth. Therefore treat every man as honest. Speak no word, do no deed, that will confirm any in unbelief. {Ev 306.1}

A person is acting against you and he is opposing you. He thinks he is doing it for God. Treat him as honest.

The very last work in the controversy may be the enlightenment of those who have not rejected light and evidence, but who have been in midnight darkness, and have in ignorance worked against the truth. Therefore treat every man as honest. Speak no word, do no deed, that will confirm any in unbelief.—Testimonies For The Church 6:120-122 (1900). –

This moulds we my approach.

If any one shall seek to draw the workers into debate or controversy on political or other questions, take no heed to either persuasion or challenge. Carry forward the work of God firmly and strongly, but in the meekness of Christ, and as quietly as possible. {GW 374.1}

Our actions speak louder than our words. Our meekness speaks louder.

Let no human boasting be heard. Let no sign of self-sufficiency be made. Let it be seen that God has called us to handle sacred trusts; preach the word, be diligent, earnest, and fervent. – {GW 374.1}

We are discovering a completely different mind set than what Christians know today. It’s a different paradigm. It’s a different way of thinking than interpreted from Scripture. People think, let them have it. No. It’s a different interpretation.

The out pouring of the Holy Spirit is that the Holy Spirit interprets for us.

Do not, when referring to the Testimonies, feel it your duty to drive them home. In reading the Testimonies be sure not to mix in your filling of words, for this makes it impossible for the hearers to distinguish between the word of the Lord to them and your words. Be sure that you do not make the word of the Lord offensive. We long to see reforms, and because we do not see that which we desire, an evil spirit is too often allowed to cast drops of gall into our cup, and thus others are embittered. By our ill-advised words their spirit is chafed, and they are stirred to rebellion. – {6T 122.5}

Have you ever become frustrated with people? We have heard the sermons about people not doing it right. We think, shake the people. Why are they not changing? We are to be very careful.

Every sermon you preach, every article you write, may be all true; but one drop of gall in it will be poison to the hearer or the reader. Because of that drop of poison, one will discard all your good and acceptable words. Another will feed on the poison; for he loves such harsh words; he follows your example, and talks just as you talk. Thus the evil is multiplied. – {6T 123.1}

Be careful not to add poison. It’s a walking together with Jesus. We walk and talk together.

Place yourselves in the divine current, where you can receive the heavenly inspiration, for you may have it; then point the weary, the heavy-laden, the poor, the brokenhearted, the perplexed soul, to Jesus, the Source of all spiritual strength. Be faithful minutemen to show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Tell it with pen and voice that Jesus lives to make intercession for us. – {6T 123.3}

We are to place ourselves in the divine nature. This is a very important balance. People become so soft and gentle that they don’t stand firm any more. We have to be so in tune with God we will not alter one iota of conviction or standard. Those who persecute us, as we deal with them, do not show antagonism. Not the slightest.

Amen.

Posted on April 18, 2014, in Prayer Meeting Sermonettes and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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