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The Reproach of Those Closest

David Wright


David Wright

Lead/Senior Pastor, Hendersonville SDA Church


  • September 3, 2016
    11:30 AM


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Have you ever been persecuted for your face you know if you look up persecution there's a couple different definitions of persecution hostility and ill treatment is one definition persistent annoyance or harassment I know about you when I think of persecution Affan think of death but you know it's there's all kinds of different forms of persecution aren't there where we can be harassed where we can be ill treated and it's just kind of that constant dripping if you will maybe you've been persecuted at work maybe even persecuted in your church or even in your own family or your own home I am as faster himon to come up here we were talking just this week about this very subject and he was telling me about some persecution that went on in his dad's family tell us about that or my dad was not really advantaged and he grew up working on a construction job site his dad was a general contractor actually his dad had served in World War 2 as an officer in the Army Corps of Engineers in Africa and was a strict disciplinarian and my dad yes indeed when my dad came into contact by way of some literature of the 7 out of this message and became interested in studying it there was no no bones about it if he continued to study and follow these ideas he was going to be kicked out of the family kicked out of the house at least and so my dad who inherited some of that stubbornness for the truth that is he. When he studied and was convicted this was the truth he and his dad had to part ways and so he wound up having to go to school he decided to go to southern and had to pay his own way through. And it was interesting because he studied to take the ology because he was so impressed by the message that he discovered in the Bible in the spirit of prophecy that he became a minister and pastored for many years here in the Carolina Conference Wow So persecution from his own father if you will of saying if you're going to choose this message you're going to be out of the house was one of the other Wow Wow Did he ever do that to you know I never he never did that that you type of persecution I will just add though many many years later his dad eventually by force the influence of his son wound up accepting the 70 AD in this message and there's a church down in South Carolina the church at Union South Carolina it's a small town he helped build that church in the early ninety's before he passed away my grandfather praise the Lord you can still see it today lord now before you're done though you have another story going to the other side Teresa's side of the family yes we have an odd thing you and I both of us have in-laws named Ted Nancy is that right that is correct tell us the story about Ted your in-laws are a little better known than mine are well I don't know maybe not. My father in law he himself was not initially raised as an Adventist he grew up in East Tennessee and Knox County and was raised in a Baptist family but his dad I want to I have to say this carefully so I don't get confused myself my father's father named Wesley he began studying his Bible diligently and started to understand the understanding of the Sabbath on his own just without any other outside information and came to the conclusion that Saturday was the Sabbath and he began to teach this and to share this at the Baptist church which I should mention was actually the church and the land was donated by his family my wife's maiden name is Jones and the name of the church is Jones chapel Baptist Church now this curry created quite a stir as he became so convinced that this was true and began telling people that the Saturday is the Sabbath that they said you can't start you can't do this anymore you're going to have to stop doing this this is actually a picture of the church. And my grandfather in law is the on the far side on the front row on the right sitting down that's my wife's grandfather the one who had studied and became convinced that Saturday was the Sabbath and anyway they had a church meeting and said you're going to be we're going to we're going to vote you guys out of here and he had I'm sorry I need to point out this is my wife's grandmother they were not married at the time the lady with their heads covered with the hat right here and anyway they got married shortly after this picture in 1914 so this is got to be 912 or so 12 or $913.00 this is this is Jones chapel a Baptist church and so they donated the land donated the construct they have a history of me to name the church after the family and then they the family was they voted they had other family members there that were Jones's they voted my father walk in remember this he was about 5 or 6 and he said they had a meeting and. Said You know if we're going to continue to do this your family is going to be out of here and he would back down he was convinced that Saturday was the Sabbath with no no and no contact with advantage yet at all none at all and so he remembers being asked to leave and his brother my father in law's brother crying and saying My dad is a good man my daddy's a good man why are they doing this to us and have been getting us out and so my grandfather a lot he prayed and said Lord help you know if this is really true help me to know that short time later a call porter came by and knocked on the door with selling literature and sold him the book Daniel and Revelation by the RIAA Smith and he read that book and was just amazed by it and he found out who published it who publishes Seventh-Day Adventists Well anyway that's when he began to connect and find a church in Knox Knoxville area that was 7th Day Adventist Church and they began attending and interested in history they just one of about 667 years ago they finally this church they sold it but they called and asked my wife's grandmother who was still alive at the age of 112 they asked her for permission to change the name of the church from Jones chapel it still remained that name for many many years and anyway so they I don't know what they changed it to so it's it's not there anymore Wow it well thank you for sharing it and I appreciate that you know we don't hear stories maybe we do but it seems like in this country I'm convinced we don't know much about sacrifice and much about persecution these stories by the way were not uncommon in any way shape or form for our founders You might recall the Harmon family were part of the Chestnut Street Methodist Church and similar thing they believed in William Miller's teaching in the 2nd coming of Jesus and they in so many respects were put on trial they had passages in Bible. Verses that they wanted to share and they were allowed to share and they were put away as quietly as possible without much of any explanation you've broken the rules you can no longer be a Methodist and so. You can read about it in a variety of places but all 7 members of al White's family the Harmon family were discontinued from the church. Persecuted if you will from your own church family. Friends following Jesus by no means is easy I think that's why Jesus said If anyone desires to come after me let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me and so we're doing this series that we're just simply calling sacrifice. I waved look last week we talked about the character of sacrifice we talked about Abraham and Isaac and what some of those things look like how he was to sacrifice what was nearest and dearest to him as a test today we're looking at sacrifice of relationships next week we'll look at physical sacrifice the sacrifice of the son in a few weeks when we have communion the sacrifice of self reliance We'll also look at an upcoming weeks sacrifice of means and pleasures of prize and how sacrifice is required and then we're going to conclude how sacrifice is needed for the spread of the Gospel and so that's what we're looking through but our theme verse whoever seeks to keep his life will lose it but never loses his life for my sake will preserve it here's an interesting quote from our high colonists as we shall know the means of true happiness so anybody here want true happiness i know i do we shall know the means of true Haven't is only as we keep the fire burning on the altar of sacrifice does that mean we only know to sacrifice or true happiness as we keep the fire burning on the altar of sacrifice and so the tile of today sermon the reproach of those closest. I would say everyone here has felt the reproach the cold shoulder the brushoff the jokes the teasing the pinpricks and for some it's meant some more major clashes not just clashes of music but clashes and keeping the Sabbath in going to church clashes of others weighing in on how you need to raise your children the occasions that you are cited as holier than thou that you are judging them that you're a hypocrite I mean who are you fooling anyway you may be fooling your church but you're not fooling me I know you better than anybody that can be hard to endure but I believe as always Jesus understands and so if you brought your bible down by to turn with me to Mark chapter 3 and we're going to look at a few verses here this morning Mark Chapter 3 beginning verse 20 Mark chapter 3 verse 20 and there we read then the multitude came together again so they could not so much as eat bread here Jesus is so popular the multitude is is crowding them constantly all the time that they can't even take a break to eat teachers you know I'm talking about I mean you can't even hardly fit in time to go the bathroom but verse 21 but when his own people which we really I believe in other translations even says his own family I believe this to be his mother's and his or his mother and his brothers excuse me when his own people our own family heard about this they went out to lay hold of him for they said he's out of his mind Thanks a lot. And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said he is bells above and by the ruler of the demons he casts out demons and so they're saying many things here his own family is saying 1st of all this is extremely intemperate. He is disrespectful to church leadership he's a rebel he's making all kinds of bold statements and he's indignant T. just denouncing the scribes and the Farriss And while he's losing his mind quite frankly he's not all there we don't know what happened to Jesus but he's lost it and so we have to try and save face we had to try and save the family name as older step brothers we're going to intervene on behalf of Jesus not to mention the embarrassment of the fact that now he's called Demonic casting out demons by demons who does he think he is keep your finger there and turn over to John Chapter 7 verses one before another instance where the brothers take opportunity to mock their younger brother step brother Jesus John Chapter 7 verse one after these things Jesus walked in Galilee for he did not want to walk in Judea because the Jews sought to kill him they were angry with him so he stayed out of Judea now the Jews Feast of Tabernacles was at hand his brothers therefore said to him hey Jesus why don't you depart from here and go into Judea that you disciples may also see the works that you are doing for no one who does anything in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly if you do these things show yourself to the world if you really are who you claim to be go to the religious center of this place of this country and show yourself prove yourself why are you running Are you a coward Jesus and his brothers seek to mock him publicly now it's never fun to be persecuted it's never fun to be mocked or ridiculed or made light of. One thing when it happens at work or some other place and you have a place to retreat to it's quite another when you feel like your own family is hanging you out to dry doesn't care completely insensitive in fact even leading the charge at times and nobody seems to understand this is desired ages page $111.00 he who had reclaimed the law upon Mount Sinai would be condemned as a transgressors not ironic he who had come to break the power of Satan would be been denounced as bells above just flipped over upside down nobody understood Here's a few more this isn't. Well we're still one level let's finish no one upon earth had understanding. Understood him and during his ministry he must still walk alone seems like to walk alone to feel that nobody understands you maybe you felt that at times Jesus felt that at times or perhaps even all the ton throughout his life his mother and his brothers did not comprehend his mission even his disciples did not understand and he walked alone this is page 88 now as our way to Jesus was misunderstood by his brothers because he was not like them his standard was not their standard misunderstood different standard it's hard to really mesh with people who have vastly different standards and you isn't it there's going to be a rub there's going to be an issue the example of Jesus was to them a continual irritation a dripping and annoyance many avoided him because they were rebuked by his stainless life let's not hang out with Jesus He always makes me feel bad. Why did he say something you know I just I don't know I think he's narrow and straight laced let's just go find somebody else to hang out with throughout childhood youth and manhood Jesus walked alone I believe at times you can do everything in your power not to offend not to irritate certainly to not rebuke but out of nowhere you can find your family mocking you writing you making you feel as if you've done some horrible thing and you may be surrounded by family at the beach or over Labor Day or Thanksgiving or Christmas or whatever you may be with your husband who you're with all the time but at times you just feel very much alone Jesus knows that feeling just your presence for some reason agitates agitates agitates and you're trying your best to not say a word but they get frustrated at you I imagine Jesus knows what that is like and so going back to Mark chapter 3 verse 31 now Mark chapter 3 verse 31 then his brothers and his mother came and standing outside they sent him sent to him and calling him I imagine the brothers to be the instigator here I believe Mary fully trusted him in fact we see that in their very 1st marital and very prophecy confirms that it was the older brother's idea and they wanted to get Jesus and Mary was the means to that end and so Mary comes along with the brothers that are instigating this and there standing outside in verse $32.00 and a multitude was sitting around him and they said to him Look your mother and your brothers are outside seeking you but he answered I'm sane who is my mother or my brothers and he looked around in a circle at those who set about him and said Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother and my sister and my mother what is Jesus saying here as I said before clearly Mary trusts him at the wedding feast she says do whatever he tells you to do and we also have many examples of where Jesus talks about respecting children respecting and honoring their parents so was Jesus sane what we see here is Jesus speaking to those closest and dearest and saying it's not your place even family even mother even brothers it's not your place interfere with God's work to direct his divine callings and how it should be carried out is not your place no disrespect but it's not your place let me say it another way the ties that bind Christ to The Heavenly Father are stronger and truer than Blood Ties that say in another way does that make sense so they're saying your mother your brothers are here they're looking for you and he says I'm going to be about my father's business not their business and as much as I love them as much as I respect them I'm going to do what God asked me to do I'm going to follow his will his plan his way but quite frankly family and close friends don't always want to hear that do they you mean God comes ahead of us you feel that your connection with him is closer than mine is and you feel alone and you feel persecuted here in Matthew 1034 and says do not think I came to bring peace on earth I did not come to bring peace but a sword What does that mean I mean the gospel yes is a message of peace and Christianity is a system which when it's received and obeyed with spread peace and harmony and happiness throughout the earth. I believe the message of Christ unites all in a close bond Who except it's teachings but I believe that's why Jesus said Whoever does the will of My Father is my brother my sister and my mother but to those around us the will of God in the written word oftentimes for those around us it's at variance with their habits and with their desires and so they rise up in rebellion against it and it becomes a sword they hate the purity that reveals and condemns their stand and they persecute and destroy those who live according to God's word and they do it with a snicker they'll do it with a remark a sarcastic comment and it's a stirring of hatred and strife this is the sword and it divides it divides family it advised close friends and it can be ruthless at times but at times I believe Jesus uses the sword if you will to arrest people's attention and point them to Christ if somebody is being agitated with you because you're doing the right thing and you didn't Malfa off you didn't do anything that you regret or say anything you shouldn't have said but if there agitated I was submit to you the Holy Spirit is working don't shortchange it don't run ahead just let it work Mr Chen was from northeastern China he was in the Red Army and he was a staunch atheist and when he was gone one time for war for a long extended period of time there was a great revival in China that swept through the evidence church in 2 years 3000 people were baptized in his home city alone in the Emma search and so when he came back his father and his mother and his brothers all had been baptized in the 7 they have his face you better believe Mr Chin was angry not in my house absolutely not. And so his wife would try and come to church and he would go to church with her to disrupt to annoy to badger to make noise to throw rocks through windows he became very well known personality at that local 7th Day Adventist Church How can my family accept this foolish and this these fables I need to straighten him out and he would threaten his wife yet all this time she just quietly serve the Lord observe her face read her Bible until one day his wife developed a very serious infection and the infection was so bad they had to go the doctor and the doctor said we're going to have to do surgery and so they operated and she came out of surgery with a patch on one eye and the doctor feared if you do any reading at all you jeopardize losing sight in the other eye and you'll be completely blind but she said on God's word she needed God's word for strength to get through this challenging ordeal she was going through and so with a patch on when I she would read the Bible and Mr Channer hasn't come in and pull the Bible out of hand what are you doing with that Bible don't you remember what the doctor told you you could lose your side all the go you can be blind does not work any book put it away so it across the room and then after the storm doubt she quietly go pick it up and she'd read some more and this happened day after day until finally Mr Chin that Stone's atheist said Fine if you just have to read that book so much I'll read it to you what you want me to read she said turn to the Book of Job So you start looking through the Book of Job and reading portions and the trials that Joe went through and how he's continued trust in the Lord God to the verse that says Though He slay me yet I will trust him. And he started to read more and more and and he got to the point where his wife would be in a doctor's appointment and he would pull her Bible out of her bag and secretly we'd read it while he was waiting for her to come out then she come out and slip it back in the bag into one day he confessed that the Bible God's Word had transformed his life and he gave his life to Jesus and today you want to talk about ironies today the 7th Avenue is Pastor in the same church that used to throw rocks to the windows that's the God we serve so if your commitment to Jesus makes people upset at times take heart God is working not that you're there to agitate but sometimes you very presence can help but do just that in fact even Jesus' own brothers if we fast forward to Acts chapter one verse 14 it says these are all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication we know that part with the women and Mary the Mother of Jesus and with his brothers do you see that are they still mocking him are they still doubting you still in his face or did something happen as he has continued to quietly live the life that God called him to live the sunrise that happens to keep praying for them but even in the very trying times be of good courage another verse well actually a great controversy it talks about how ever since the time of Christ people been persecuted for loving God it's always happened so I'm great controversy page 46 Read the whole page to be blessed by something else a holy God filled life will forever be a rebuke to the sinner no words no comments no bible verses just your presence how you live your life and because of their simple life just being in your presence is a rebuke to them. And it's always been that way why did Cain killed Abel because Abel is getting awfully preachy because they was a bible thumper No because his sacrifice was accepted How about that he for quietly follow the commands of God and Cain could have been excepted to but he didn't want to do it God's way you want to do it his way and he got angry by the quiet little able over there who sacrifice was accepted it was the same reason the Jews rejected Christ it was the same reason that so many March in history have died because purity and holiness of character is a constant rebuke to others selfishness and corruption and I have to ask is that only how other people treat us or is it times how we respond to others yeah maybe we don't do them out but we get catty or sassy make snide remarks give a passing look say loudly to our kids C'mon kids we're not going to participate in that pinpricks we spite people we can be professionals I believe that's sending the message loud and clear I don't like how you're doing things persecution in the family it exists from the days of price until now his faithful disciples have excited the hatred in opposition of those who love and follow the ways of sin is nothing new here is a verse in Luke $21.00 verse 12 they will layer their hands on you and persecute you delivering you up to the synagogues and the prisons and you'll be brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake you will be betrayed even by parents and brothers relatives and friends and they will put some of you to death Wow This gets really serious this does involve some real sacrifice not just feeling uncomfortable over the holidays. But the question is who has the last word in spiritual matters in your life your family your close friends or God and God's word alone now again I'm not telling you to be in anybody's face about anything I'm just telling you to quietly maintain what you know God has called you to do desired ages 326 so pained was Christ by the misapprehension in his own home those are released to him to go where did not exist and that's that was a relief to get out of the house or relief to go somewhere else because even in my own home they don't get it they don't understand me for some of you the hardest place to be a Christian is in your own home and I say some I would say for all of us at times that's the hardest place there was one home that he loved to visit the home of Lazarus and Mary and Martha 4 in the atmosphere of faith and love his spirit had rest so there was one place that was a bit of a respite for him and he liked to go there as often as he could but it says yet there was none on earth who could comprehend His divine mission or know the burden which he bore in behalf of humanity often he could find relief only in being alone and communing with his heavenly father that was his only relief being alone with his heavenly father because the family didn't understand and I don't know about you but if you have a big family when everybody gets together this is one of the hardest things to do is to find some alone time you study your Bible on the john if you have to but you make it happen get a dog just so you can take him for a long walk stop and sit on a log pray read some verses and say Help me Lord I'm going back in you're going to think I hate my family I'm blessed with a wonderful family I really am and maybe this doesn't describe your home praise the Lord Count your blessings. But for many here I believe is because your family doesn't get it they don't understand you feel more at home perhaps with like believers maybe right here you feel more at home you can be yourself you can be accepted you can be refresh maybe there's a place like Mary and Martha Lazarus home that you like to go and if so that's wonderful too but the bottom line as we talk about sacrifice the bottom line is that real comfort real relief real joy real peace real assurance and real understanding for true support it will only be found in the communion with your Heavenly Father period and as much as I wish I could promise you you have a wonderful support of healthy family I can't promise you that but I can promise you God will be those things for you he'll be everything that your earthly father may not be he's the only one you can trust he's the only one you can count on and he will not let you down so when it push comes to shove if you're going to sacrifice something sacrifice that close relationship sacrifice to family but don't sacrifice relationship with God Period don't do it it's not worth it it's not worth it and it can be really tough especially when the appearance is that everyone else has it all together everyone else has both and I don't when but what does God promise in his word now if you 5 verse 10 in the B.S. who's blessid are those who are persecuted for what for righteousness sake for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven bless it are you when you when they revile and persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for my sake then you have anything true to say Rejoice and be exceedingly glad for great is your reward in heaven for so they persecute the prophets who were before you this is nothing new. Mark 1029 assuredly I say to you there's no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands no one has left all those things for my sake and that of the Gospels who shall not receive how much more 100 fold now in this time in the age to come eternal life and you say I just can't do their friends when push comes to shove if one has to come above the other you have to sacrifice the earthly relationship that doesn't mean you're disrespectful that doesn't mean you cut off ties it doesn't mean you never talk it doesn't mean any of those things it just means God comes 1st and while I feel well it may feel like a sacrifice and truly is it's a reward says is 1st both now and later and is a hard message because asking me to put all on the altar to sacrifice even my good graces with my father my mother my sister my brother if necessary that God may be 1st in my life period but if I want to experience the joy Christ has to offer we had to be willing to sacrifice all and that's what you sacrifice is those things that are nearest and dearest and closest we have to be willing to put God 1st and then we'll know the meaning of true happiness only as we keep the fire burning on the altar of sacrifice I believe this verse more and more every day whoever seeks to save his life friends will lose it whoever seeks to do it my way it's not the work I know how to find happiness I know where to find it good luck but whoever loses his life. Whoever puts Christ 1st in everything it's counterintuitive it's difficult it's hard it doesn't make sense at times but if I sacrifice everything and lose my life I will preserve it Dear Heavenly Father I pray that you will help each and every one of us to be willing to sacrifice all for you to be who you have called us to be to live the way you called us to live and Lord that's going to be a sword in many relationships that we have more give us your Holy Spirit guard our mounds in our lips help us to be a quiet influence help us to allow your Holy Spirit to work and for us not to run ahead but also help us to be faithful and true to your word when they ask and nor may we be fully about your business and we pray for all of those in our family and we pray for ourselves we don't have it all figured out we are not perfect and by any means way shape or form but we want to be faithful to what we're convicted on and we pray for those in our family as well that we'll be united. In Christ in Jesus name we pray. This media was brought to you by audio for years a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio for us or if you would like to listen to more servant leader Visit W W W audio verse or.


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