Hated For The Light, Pastor Phil Sessa

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Acts 23:12, “And when it was day, certain of the Jews banded together, and bound themselves under a curse, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul.”

Paul was known by many as a troublemaker against the kingdom of darkness. I don’t know who these Jews made their vow to, and who it was that would curse them, but they were not going to kill Paul, because God would not allow His servant to die at this time. The thinking of these Jews was so warped because they were willing to come under a curse to kill Paul; however they failed to realize that they were already under a curse, the curse of sin. Deuteronomy 28:15 – 68 and Psalm 1 show this very clearly.

Why did these men desire to kill Paul? Paul was boldly preaching Jesus Christ. When we speak boldly and unashamed speak about Jesus, people that are resistant may get very upset, in this case they had murder in their hearts. The truth is painful for those living under a curse, and resistant to it.

Picture with me a time when you may have been sleeping, and you wake up because someone has been loud and turned the light on. Although no one poked you in the eye, you feel pain, your eyes actually hurt. The light caused pain because your eyes have adjusted to the darkness during the night. Whoever turned on the light is usually someone that you may want to “send to heaven immediately” or at least you may want to throw something at them.

These desiring to kill Paul lived in darkness, their hearts were so adjusted to darkness, and they desired to love under a curse until they murdered this Jewish preacher that proclaimed the Jewish Messiah, Jesus Christ. The light of Jesus Christ emanated from Paul and it hurt the darkness of their hearts and they were literally on a manhunt to murder Paul. “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19). Realize that when you as a Christian shine the light of Jesus into the dark heart of the sinner, it will hurt and they may hate you for it, curse you, and even persecute you. If this happens at times, don’t be surprised. Jesus said in John 15:18-1918 If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”

John 15:20-21, “Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me.”

Matthew 5:10-12,10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “11 Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

“In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Now go out and shine today, whether at work, school, or in the market place, SHINE!

Until the nets are filled…Blessings, Pastor Phil <><

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