Sapphire Sky

September 16, 2015

Just a little while longer

Filed under: encouragement, theology, Uncategorized — Tags: , — Steve Knaus @ 9:59 pm

Koksan gun barrel
This will not be easy.

We can easily get caught up in our current events. Hatred is an all-time high. Biblical morals are at an all-time low.

Americans are vocally showing their hatred for Christians and anything different from them.

Religious zealots around the world are looking to kill and destroy Christians and anything associated with them.

Our government often acts like it is paralyzed. At best, it is doing nothing. At worst, is the cause of the problems.

These thoughts were written almost 70 years ago. This was from a pastor in the 1940’s. [3]

Two other teachers also shared the exact same thoughts. One taught this same message in the 1970’s [6] and the other in the 1990’s [1].

Jesus promises that the world will hate us. The world’s system of belief has been set up by the devil and will always be opposed to Jesus Christ.

During his final time of teaching, Jesus has used the most personal and comforting words to encourage his terrified disciples.

He gave encouragement:

  • He will be glorified (magnified) and God the Father will be glorified in him (John 13:31-32, see here).
  • He will come back for us like a bridegroom returning for his bride (John 14:1-4, see here).
  • He is the only way to God (John 14:5-7).
  • He will send the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will teach us, guide us, and will never leave us (see here).
  • He will answer our prayer (John 14:13-14; John 15:16; John 16:23-24).
  • He gives us a peace that is beyond anything the world can offer (John 14:27).

He left instructions:

He also warned Peter that he did not know his own weakness (John 13:36-38). But there is a greater warning for all of us.

We are to abide in Him and to love each other because the world will be our enemy.

Jesus never promises an easy life. The world will hate those who claim Jesus Christ as Lord. They hated Him and they will hate us when we represent Him.

The world will hate us because we are not part of this world.

The world will hate us because we show them that they are guilty. Jesus came to earth almost 2,000 years ago and they rejected Him. Even today, people still refuse to believe in Jesus Christ.

The Holy Spirit within us will show Jesus Christ to the world. He will show people their sin of rejecting Jesus Christ. He will either convince them or judge them (see here).

Followers of Jesus will be thrown out social, political, and religious circles. Just like Saul in the New Testament (see here), they will kill Christian men and women, thinking that they are serving God by killing them.

Jesus says, “Remember that I told you, it will get rough”.

So how can we respond to this?

It is popular to curse the darkness. Should we fight back?

Should we live in fear?

Jesus takes the last part of his final sermon to tell his disciples how to respond. These words for them are just as appropriate today. The threats may have changed since Jesus’ day, but the same devil controls the people of the world today as he did 2,000 years ago.

Jesus tells us the following:

 

Leave them to the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit will convict the people who do not believe in Jesus Christ. As discussed here, the Holy Spirit will show each man and woman the truth about Jesus Christ. It is the Holy Spirit who will convince those who believe, and it is the Holy Spirit who will pass judgment on those who refuse to believe.

It is not for us to personally convince people of Jesus Christ. We need to stay close to Jesus Christ and let the Holy Spirit work through us.

 

The sorrow is temporary

Jesus was arrested, tortured, and executed while his enemies celebrated. Yet the Roman cross — the instrument of His execution — is our cause for joy. We can look back and see how God used the anguish and sorrow of the cross to defeat death and crush Satan. It is because of this cross that we have hope of life in Jesus Christ.

In the same way, the horrors and the sorrow that we experience today will someday cause us to rejoice. Like the pains of childbirth, Jesus promises that there will be a time when our pain will end and it will be replaced by joy.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Jesus promises that when he comes back, he will give us joy that no one can take away!

“Sorrow can crush us if we don’t view it as temporary, allowed, and designed for our spiritual growth.” – Stephen Davey [4]

 

We have direct access to God the Father

We are the friends of God (John 15:15-16). There is no longer any need for parables or figures of speech. We can learn directly about God. We can pray directly to God!

 

We will fail

It is comforting to know that Jesus predicted that his followers would all run away. They thought they had it all figured out, but they did not know the enemy who is against them.

Jesus knew that they would fail when he gave all of these promises. Not one of these promises were broken by their failure. There is nothing that we can do to break the promises of God!

 

“I have overcome the world”

We will have tribulation. Literally, this word means to “be pressed together”. We will have distress, affliction, anguish, pressure in this world, but Jesus is greater!

John 16:33
“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

 

Previous post: The Vine and the Branches


John 15:18 – 16:33

“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father also. If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: They hated me without a cause.’

“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.

“I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away. They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me. But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you.

“I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

“A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me.” So some of his disciples said to one another, “What is this that he says to us, A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’; and, because I am going to the Father’?” So they were saying, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We do not know what he is talking about.” Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me’? Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

“I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father. In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”

His disciples said, “Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech! Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God.” Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”


 

John 15:18-21
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.

You will be hated if you stand for Christ.

When John describes “The World”, he is talking about the system of mankind that has set itself against God. This is the world’s systems, the world’s values, the world’s philosophies, and the world’s morals. [1]

The “If” here implies that it will happen. The world will hate you because you are different. You are not of this world because Jesus Christ has chosen you from this world.

Jesus reminds them of an earlier statement that he made, “No servant is greater than his master” (John 13:16). His previous statement was that they needed to share in his humility, now it is that they will share in his persecution.

See also 1 John 2:15-17

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

“The Christians are the conscience of the world. We will be an irritant for those people who refuse to follow Christ.” – Stephen Davey [1]

 

John 15:22-25
If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father also. If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: They hated me without a cause.’

They are guilty of the specific sin of rejecting Jesus Christ. His coming incited the severest and most deadly sin, that of rejecting and rebelling against God and his truth. [2]

But they are also condemned for hating the Father. They have willfully rejected both the words and the works of Jesus Christ, and they have no excuse.

Jesus quoted Psalm 69, where we are given a prophetic picture of his dying on the cross for our sins.

“That is, the Lord Jesus Christ not only ministered by word of mouth but He authenticated His teaching by His acts of power, and every miracle wrought by Christ proved that He was what He professed to be, the holy, spotless Son of God. The people went in crowds to see His miracles, but they rejected the One who wrought these works and therefore, added to their own condemnation.” – H.A. Ironside [3]

 

John 15:26-27
“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.

See here for a longer discussion about the helper, the Holy Spirit. The context here is that the Holy Spirit will bear witness of Jesus Christ in the face of a world that hates him.

 

John 16:1-4a
“I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away. They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me. But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you.

Jesus did not want them to be caught unaware, literally, “caught in a trap”. The world will no longer be able to directly attack Jesus, so they will go after his followers. Jesus is preparing them for the conflict.

They will throw them out of the synagogues, thus excluding them from any social and religious life (see here). They will kill them, all the while believing that they are doing great things for God. The Apostle Paul was an example of such a person before he came to know Christ (Philippians 3:1-10).

But don’t be surprised. Know that Jesus said it would happen.

 

John 16:4b-15

“I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

See here for a longer discussion about the Helper, the Holy Spirit.

 

John 16:16-22
“A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me.” So some of his disciples said to one another, “What is this that he says to us, A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’; and, because I am going to the Father’?” So they were saying, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We do not know what he is talking about.” Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me’? Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.

In a little while, and they would no longer see him. A little while longer, and they would see him again.

There will be a time of sorrow and separation as Jesus will be taken and killed. They will be filled with sorrow while the world rejoiced.

But he promises that their sorrow will be turned to joy. The cross — the very thing that caused their sorrow — will be their cause for rejoicing when Jesus Christ rises from the dead. Jesus uses the illustration of childbirth. There is a time of pain and anguish. But in the end, the same thing that caused such pain is now the greatest joy.

What time is Jesus talking about when he says that they will see him again in a little while? The immediate time when they will see him again will occur three days later, when he rises from the dead. However, two other events will also occur before their relationship with Him is complete:

  • The Helper, the Holy Spirit will come at Pentecost. He will indwell all those who believe in Him and He provides the permanent presence of God with those on earth. See here for more discussion about the Holy Spirit.
  • Jesus Christ himself will come again for his own. This final return of Jesus Christ has not happened yet. This is the promise which was given in John 14:1-3. See here for more details.

John 16:16 uses two different words for “see”. The first word, θεωρέω (theōreo), describes visual recognition. But the second word, ὁράω (horao), indicates both seeing and understanding. They will no longer be able to see him with their eyes, but when he returns, they will both see and understand. This understanding was not possible until the coming of the Holy Spirit.

 

John 16:23-24
In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

See here for a further discussion about prayer in Jesus’ name. Note that the emphasis here is to pray that your joy may be full.

See also the 10 reasons why we should pray, by R. A. Torrey [7]

“He says ‘You cannot come to Me personally, but you can go to the Father and bring your request to Him, and He will give you what you ask for in My name. He will do it for Me.'” – H.A. Ironside [5]

 

John 16:25-28
“I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father. In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”

Jesus often spoke in parables. Although each parable may have a simple and obvious explanation, there is also a much deeper truth that could only be understood by the Holy Spirit.  The epistles of the New Testament are designed to unfold Jesus’ teaching to the hearers. [6]

After the coming of the Holy Spirit, there is no longer any need for parables.

“Jesus will not ask the father on our behalf because we now have direct access to the father ourselves!” – John MacArthur [6]

Jesus summarized his ministry: he came from the Father, he came into the world, he is leaving the world and returning to the Father.

 

John 16:29-33
His disciples said, “Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech! Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God.” Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Jesus predicts their spiritual failure in his closing words. They think they understand but they have no concept of the enemy who is against them.

But this should also be a comfort to us. Not one of our failures will invalidate God’s promises! He has given us these promises knowing fully that we will fail. We will have trouble in this world.

But take heart! Jesus is greater!

“I have overcome the world!”

 


 

[1] Stephen Davey, When the Tables Are Turned Part III, John 15:18-27

 

[2] John MacArthur, MacArthur Study Bible Notes, John 15:18-16:4

 

[3] H.A. Ironside, Address 51, NOT OF THE WORLD, John 15:18-27

 

[4] Stephen Davey, In Case You Lose Heart, John 16:1-33

 

[5] H.A. Ironside, Address 54, PRAYER IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS, John 16:23-33

 

[6] John MacArthur, Peace: A By-Product of Faith, Hope, and Love, Part 1, John 16:25-27

 

[7] 10 reasons why we should pray, by R. A. Torrey

  • “Because there is a devil and prayer is the God-appointed means of resisting him”
  • “Because prayer is God’s way for us to obtain what we need from Him”
  • “Because the apostles, whom God set forth to be a pattern for us, considered prayer to be the most important business of their lives”
  • “Because prayer occupied a prominent place and played a very important part in the earthly life of our Lord”
  • “Because prayer is the most important part of the present ministry of our Lord, since He is now interceding for us”
  • “Because prayer is the means God has appointed for our receiving mercy from Him and of obtaining grace to help in time of need”
  • “Because prayer is the means of obtaining the fullness of God’s joy”
  • “Because prayer with thanksgiving is the means of obtaining freedom from anxiety and, in anxiety’s place, that peace which passes understanding”
  • “Because prayer is the means by which we are to keep watchful and be alert at Christ’s return”
  • “Because prayer is used by God to promote our spiritual growth, bring power into our work, lead others to faith in Christ, and bring all other blessings to Christ’s church”

Source, “How to Pray”, by R.A. Torrey [4]

 

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2 Comments »

  1. […] Previous Post: Just a little while longer […]

    Pingback by The Lord’s Prayer | Sapphire Sky — October 1, 2015 @ 11:19 pm

  2. […] “Just a little while longer and I will come back for you” (John 15:18-16:33) […]

    Pingback by Events of the Passion Week | Sapphire Sky — March 26, 2016 @ 1:50 am


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