If this day we be examined of the good deed done...

Introduction: Acts 4:9-10 (Peter and John were on trial by the Jews. The Jews were displeased that the apostles were preaching in Jesus name. Peter exposes their bad attitude by showing they were criticizing him and John for helping the lame man in the previous chapter. Let s consider this story and see what principles of godly living we might learn from it.)

1. The Principle: Jn. 15:18-19, 1 Jn. 3:13 (Jesus taught his disciples that we will be hated by worldly people if we follow him. John echoed those sentiments. We need to understand that the more we represent Christ to the world, the more worldly minded people will despise us. This is what happened to Peter and John. Because they were doing what was right in helping a man and in preaching Jesus, worldly minded unbelievers despised them.)

2. Examples: 1 Pet. 4:1-4 (The scriptures teach many different examples of being despised by the world for doing what is right. This passage shows we may be ridiculed for holding to moral standards. Note these other examples and see what they teach us about why worldly people behave this way.)

    1. Abel: Gen. 4:1-8 (Cain despised his brother Abel. Why? Abel only wanted to do what was right and please God. How could anybody not like such a person? Abel was a reproach to Cain in that his good sacrifice exposed Cain s error in not worshipping God properly. Furthermore, Cain was jealous of the acceptance Abel received from God. These two factors, jealousy and reproach, are common to the stories we will examine.)

    2. David: 1 Sam. 18:6-9 (David was loyal to Saul in every way, yet Saul come to despise him. Why? Because David reproached Saul in having the faith and courage the king should have had. Also, Saul was jealous of the recognition David received from others for slaying Goliath.)

    3. Daniel: Dan. 6:1-5 (Daniel s only crime was being diligent in his work. He wanted to be good at the job given to him. His coworkers despised him and tried to have him killed. Why? Because they were jealous of the success he had and were reproached by his dutiful attitude.)

3. What To Do: 1 Cor. 4:11-13 (Paul and company set an excellent example of how to react when others treat us in this way. They reacted to each negative treatment with positive action. When spoken against they spoke well of others. When persecuted they endured it. When their reputation was attacked they plead their case. In similar fashion we must react to rejection and hate from worldly people by being faithful in following the will of Christ. Note the following specifics that are consistent with this principle.)

    1. Rejoice: Lk. 6:22-23 (Jesus teaches us to rejoice when others treat us badly for his sake. This is consistent with the principle of reacting in a positive way to negative treatment.)

    2. Remember Godly Principles: Ps. 119:141 (David pledged to remember godly principles when others mistreated him.)

    3. What Peter And John Did: Acts 4:9-10, 19-20 (Peter and John reacted by making their case clear and continuing their positive work of preaching Christ.)

Conclusion: (Though it is hard, we must not despair when difficulty confronts us. Remember, Jesus was hated most for what he did best. By persisting in his work, even in the face of the most awful opposition, he made this world a better place and made heaven a possibility. You too can make the world a better place. And you can also help lead some into heaven by persisting in the face of resistance from the world.)