SIN AND CONSEQUENCES OF BEING ASHAMED OF CHRIST”
1. Please turn in your Bible to Luke 9.26 for the reading of God’s Word. Once there, please stand: “For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.”
2. Shame is a very powerful emotion. It influences everyone. Of course, shame entered the world by sin, and, rightly, you ought to be ashamed of nothing other than sin. However, strange as it may seem, that very weapon of shame, which ought to be turned against sin, is now turned against the Christian faith.
3. It’s not so incredible that some people are frightened into denying Christ. But that anyone should be ashamed of the One who the angels adore, is surprising, when you think about it. But there is more than abundant proof to establish the fact that many people are now ashamed of Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus, Who delivered this warning in our text Himself, is perfectly acquainted with all the secret feelings of every person’s heart, and sad experience has too often proved that many people are ashamed of Him.
4. The truth is, being ashamed of Jesus Christ is the kind of sin that almost every offender is too ashamed to admit to. And does it surprise anyone that a heart that is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked should deceive itself about such a thing as this?
5. Additionally, some people are ashamed of Christ and are ignorant of the fact. But circumstances often reveal the secrets of a man’s heart, unknown even to himself. Many who flattered themselves thinking that they would be pleased with the first coming of Christ found themselves disappointed when He actually arrived.
6. Thus was Isaiah’s prediction fulfilled more than six centuries after it was uttered. “He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief: and we hid, as it were, our faces from him.”
7. And in our own day, many people who imagined that they would be delighted to ever be exposed to real
Christianity have found themselves sadly disappointed with it. You see, Biblical Christianity is actually so different from what many folks expect it to be that they frequently treat the true faith of Christ just like the rulers of the Jews treated Christ Himself in olden times.
8. My friends, to be deceived about this matter is a fatal error. Remember, again, that Jesus said, “Whosoever shall be ashamed of me, and of my words; of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.”
evening, let us investigate three questions related to being ashamed of
the Lord Jesus Christ.
1A. First, WHO ARE ASHAMED OF CHRIST?
Those of you who are ashamed of Jesus seem to be grouped into five somewhat overlapping categories.
1B. The first category of those who are ashamed are you who mistreat Christ’s people
1C. Jesus doesn’t have to appear in your midst for you to be ashamed of Him. And He doesn’t have to walk down the sidewalk or enter your living room and chat with you about the concerns of your soul. It’s not necessary for you to point a finger of scorn at Him, or run when He rebukes you, or sneer at His warnings, to be ashamed of Him. Remember, what is done to His disciples Christ considers as done to Himself.
2C. It is a fact that few people, if any, would dare to come right out and condemn Christianity as such. Instead, what some of you do is call godliness and spirituality something else and then misrepresent it and treat those who strive for it with contempt. So, you who despise and ridicule Christians on account of their opposition to sin, and their conscientious determination to serve Christ, who portray committed Christians as being judgmental and superstitious and old fashioned, are actually ashamed of Christ.
3C. By whatever name you call it, before long the mask will be taken off and Christ Himself will say to you, “Inasmuch as ye have done it to one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Perhaps you have convinced yourself that had you lived in the days of Jesus you would have treated Him with the utmost respect. However, the opportunity to show your feelings toward Christ is now given by your treatment of Christ’s people.
2B. The second category of those who are ashamed are you who do not respond to His words
1C. What do you do with the commands, the invitations, the warnings, and the threatenings of Christ? Remember, Jesus said, “Whosoever shall be ashamed of me, and of my words.”
2C. You’re ashamed of Christ and of His words, then, if you are ashamed to be seen reading the Bible. Many of you who would not be at all ashamed to be seen reading a dirty book or a gossip rag would blush to be found reading the Bible or a Christian pamphlet. No one would be embarrassed to be seen reading a letter from a friend, unless he was ashamed to admit that the person who wrote the letter was his friend. So, that attitude which leads you to neglect or conceal the Bible is a sure indication that you are ashamed of Jesus Christ.
3C. Additionally, those of you who despise and ridicule other people for reading the Bible are, of course, also ashamed of Christ and of His words. And for you to value the opinion of that kind of person is to, in effect, join in with the enemies of Christ. To put your Bible away so someone you know won’t criticize you is actually to pay more respect to that enemy of Christ than to Christ Himself. So, anyone who refuses to read his Bible every day, simply for fear of what someone will think or say, is quite obviously ashamed of Christ and of His words.
4C. And the same thing can be said of people who, for the same kinds of reasons, violate any of the commands of God, including going to Church and witnessing. You see, you’re hoping that none of your friends will see you standing out in front of the Church house, or will hear you talking to someone about the Lord, or will see you maintaining your own private devotional life by reading the Bible and praying.
5C. You who won’t pray, just to make sure your brother or sister or parent or spouse won’t hear the prayer, and those of you who won’t go off into your room to read God’s Word, in case someone would find out that you are reading the Bible, are without doubt guilty of the sin of being ashamed of Christ.
3B. A third category are you who are embarrassed about being anxious for your soul
1C. Sometimes a sinner will try to conceal his concern and anxiety about his soul for other reasons, but being ashamed of Christ is by far the most common reason he conceals his anxiety.
2C. How reluctant you are to talk with Christian friends you have or your pastor about your soul. And you’re even more reluctant for your lost friends to find out that you are concerned about your soul. “What will they think? And what will they say? If I became a Christian I would hardly know what to do with myself. I could never witness to anyone. I’m not going to tell anybody.”
3C. Such thoughts as these often pass through the minds of sinners who are anxious for their souls. You’re not the only one who feels this way. But feeling this way is a sure indication that in your heart you are ashamed of Christ. And if someone asks you if you are troubled spiritually, you will usually deny it. So, what other reason could there be for your unwillingness to talk about these kinds of thoughts and concerns? Do you think it is wrong for someone to feel the conviction that comes from the Holy Spirit, to see and to really feel that you are lost?
4C. No, the reason you hide your feelings is not because you think such feelings are wrong, or because you think God would be angry with you for telling someone. The fact is, that although you dislike telling lies and you dread the thought of going to Hell, you dread the look of disapproval from your unsaved friends more.
4B. A fourth category are you who make fun of conviction
1C. Someone you know gets convicted under the preaching of God’s Word. You can tell by the look on his face that he’s getting serious about sin and the sentence of death that hangs over his head.
2C. But you are the one who diverts his attention away from any concern for his soul. You say things and do things to get him to think about unspiritual things, by suggesting that you all go and do things, that you go out to eat, that you go goof off somewhere.
3C. Of course, you do this not because you are bored and want to do something. You do this because you are ashamed of Christ. “What are you so upset about? Let’s go to Taco Bell. Let’s go to Soup Plantation. Let’s go to Starbucks.”
4C. These kinds of thoughts are often on the minds of sinners when their friends become anxious for their souls and get convicted under Gospel preaching. And when these kinds of thoughts are expressed they prove that those who have them are ashamed of Christ.
5B. The final category of those of you who are ashamed of Christ are you who are ashamed to confess him before men
1C. Of course, we all realize that there are people who are willing to profess Christ who are not really saved at all. But those of you who think you are Christians, and yet you neglect to make a public profession of faith, just to avoid some possible or potential public embarrassment, are ashamed of Christ.
2C. Why is it that unsaved people are not ashamed to speak and act in the defense of their friends, especially those they think a lot of, but there are so-called Christians who absolutely refuse to confess Christ before their fellow man?
3C. Friend, there is no room for neutrality on this point in the Christian faith. After all, my Savior did say “He that is not with me is against me.” So, everyone who will not speak up for Jesus Christ, who will not defend the cause of Christ, and who will not confess Him before men, are ashamed of Him.
4C. And one additional comment at this point.
Everyone who is ashamed to celebrate the dying love of Christ in
obedience to His plain command, “This do, in remembrance of me,” are
ashamed of Christ. Communion,
the holy obligation and duty of every Church member, is scheduled for the
last Sunday of this month. I
trust you Church members will do what is necessary to honor Christ with
2A. Next, HOW GREAT IS THIS SIN OF BEING ASHAMED OF JESUS CHRIST?
It could be asked, how much are sinners ashamed of Christ? You see, a sinner’s shame can be of varying intensities, and is stronger in some sinners than in others. But one thing is true of all sinners. You are more ashamed of Christ than you are of your sins.
1B. Incredibly, some of you who are ashamed of Christ are not at all ashamed of your ignorance of the Bible, or of your unwillingness to read God’s Word regularly. But if someone approaches you and asks you if you are seriously concerned about your soul you act offended and pretend that you are being slandered in some way.
2B. Further, you will do almost anything to convince people that you are not concerned about your soul, and you do a first class acting job to show to others how little you care about God, or Christ, or heaven, or Hell. In short, although you are ashamed of Christ, you are not at all ashamed of your facade, and will go so far as to glory in your shame.
3B. Analyze this thing called being ashamed of Christ. Examine how much you lose by being ashamed of Christ as opposed to what you gain by being ashamed of Him. Some of you who see how important this whole issue is, and who are concerned for your souls, are still so ashamed of Jesus that you’d rather stifle conviction, grieve the Holy Spirit, tell a lie to conceal your feelings, offend God, and expose yourselves to the damnation of Hell, than risk having a friend of yours express disapproval.
4B. Yes, some of you are so ashamed of Christ that you will do anything rather than risk being singled out by some enemy of God, by some child of the devil, by some worm of the dust. Some of you are so ashamed of Christ, that even though God has commanded, “Come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord,” you wouldn’t dare obey His command. And even though you are forbidden to walk in the counsel of the ungodly, or to stand in the way of sinners, or to sit in the seat of the scornful, you’re too ashamed to do anything but walk in their counsel, stand in their way, and sit in their seat.
5B. You see, you live in far more dread of some sinner’s disapproval than you do the displeasure of God. So, when Christ in His Gospel invites you one way, and the lost crowd entices you another way, you immediately begin to think to yourself, “If I listen to Christ and refuse to listen to my friends, what will they think of me? What will they say about me?” But you never ask yourself what the angels will think, or what Jesus will think, or what Almighty God will think, do you?
6B. Why is it, young people and adults, that so many people are ready to listen to the enticements of their wicked friends and relatives, and yet at the same time pretend to be Christians? It is a fact as clear as the noonday sun, that some of you here today are far more afraid of offending the devil or one of his children than you are of offending the Savior Himself.
7B. And although other factors are involved, when someone’s conscience is aroused, the primary reason such a convicted sinner will not renounce this world is because he is ashamed of Christ. And even though God has declared that “the companion of fools shall be destroyed,” it doesn’t seem to make much difference to many of you. Though the mercies of God and the terrors of His wrath are before you, your feelings of shame still seem to carry them away as you continue down the broad road to destruction.
8B. Sinners are more ashamed of Christ than they are of their nastiest friends and acquaintances. How many people will go out of their way to stay up late on Saturday night with buds and pals, but will not come to Church an hour early on Sunday evening to unite with Christians around the Lord’s table? And this is the Lord Who died to emancipate your soul from bondage to sin and Satan, and to purchase your freedom from the torment of Hell. And how willing are people to celebrate the birthday of some hero or statesman, but they will utterly disregard the command of the Savior, “This do in remembrance of me.”
9B. So, it appears that sinners really are more ashamed of Christ than they are of sin, or of sinners. So deeply rooted is this attitude in the hearts of you young people, that even though some of you have such physical courage that you would stand up to someone pointing a pistol at your mother, you still do not have the moral courage to avoid trembling at the thought of some Christ rejecter pointing his finger at you.
10B. Many of you are so ashamed of Christ that you will never seriously take care of the concerns that you have for your souls, even though all the motives which can be drawn from heaven, earth, and Hell are used to persuade you. More of you young people will, in all probability, lose your souls because you are ashamed of Christ than from any other cause. And you will continue to be affected by your shame of Christ until, in the end, it will be said that you were shamed out of heaven.
11B. And now, to really see this sin as it really is, think about the One you are ashamed of. If you were ashamed of merely a good man, it would not be so criminal. If you were ashamed of your parents, as kind and tender and affectionate as they are, your crime would still be comparatively small. If you were ashamed of the wisest and best man on earth, who was deserving of all the honors mankind could give him, still the crime would be pretty minor.
12B. But you are ashamed of the Lord of glory, the Creator of the Universe, Who all the angels of God worship, the One Who is “the brightness of the Father’s glory and the express image of his person.” This is the one you are ashamed of. Measure your crime, if you dare, by the dignity of His character. Sinner, you are ashamed of the God who made you. But that’s not all. Think also of His love and boundless compassion for sinners. While you’re at it, think of your own vileness, and the number and aggravation of your sins. And still the Savior laid down His life for you. “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son.” And what response have you made for this unspeakable gift? You have been ashamed of Him.
13B. If you had been justly condemned to die by the laws of the state of California, and at the moment of your execution some friend had stepped forward and offered to die in your place, and with his dying breath asked only that you affectionately remember him from time to time, would not the mention of his name bring tears into your eyes? But what has the Savior done? He groaned and then died under the weight of all your sins to deliver you not from the momentary pangs of death, but from your sins and from the fire that shall never be quenched. And what is your response? You have been ashamed of Him. “Scarcely for a righteous man will one die . . . God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” How ungrateful it is to be ashamed of Christ.
But this is not all. As
if it wasn’t not enough for Him to lay down His life, He comes and
knocks at your door. “Behold
I stand at the door and knock.” So,
there He stands, knocking and knocking and knocking and knocking, pleading
for admission. And the only answer you have for Him is, “go thy way for
this time.” “Depart from
us, we desire not the knowledge of thy ways.”
You have shut the door against Him, while your wicked friends and
sinful thoughts are always welcome
3A. Finally, WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF THIS SIN?
1B. It is amazing how you who are ashamed of Christ sometimes behave. To avoid shame you often act against the convictions of your own consciences. Being ashamed of Christ and yet ashamed to admit it, you will then act the part of a hypocrite at times. You see, you wish to treat Christianity with respect and, at the same time, maintain a friendship with the world. But this is impossible. “No man can serve two masters.” But such two-faced behavior is usually picked up on, and even in this lifetime it results in eventual disgrace.
2B. But the sin of being ashamed of Jesus also results in a dreadful punishment in the hereafter. Consider the nature of the punishment. It will be just retribution, the nature of the punishment answering to the nature of the crime. Shame rendered for shame. “Of him shall the Son of Man be ashamed.”
3B. By neglecting your duty and violating your conscience you may, for now, escape the reproaches of a sinful world. But all that disgrace which you now so much dread and think to avoid by shunning your duty will soon result in vengeance coming at you from another direction. Every duty you have neglected will, before long, bring with it double disgrace. Whatever shortcut you may now adopt to avoid shame in the path of duty, you can’t escape for long. Shame will certainly overtake you.
4B. Think about this matter of being ashamed, my friend. How do you feel when you know that someone is ashamed of you? Suppose one of your friends was ashamed to admit to a new friend that he even knew you, and he blushed and hid his face at the mention of your name, or he walked away when you approached, or he locked his door to make sure you didn’t disgrace him in front of his new friend. To be treated this way by your equal would be insulting. To be treated this way by your best friend would be heart breaking.
5B. But this is nothing. Christ, the friend of sinners, Who groaned and died on the cross to save you, will be ashamed of you. How terrible it will be to have Christ ashamed of you. Let all your friends, let all the world be ashamed of you. Let them ridicule and laugh at you as you pass along the street. That would be nothing compared to the punishment that is coming on you if you are now ashamed of Christ. If Christ was your friend this might be easily dealt with. It would be nothing. You might even esteem “the reproach of Christ greater riches than all the treasures of this world.” But to have Christ ashamed of you. Who can bear up under that?
6B. And what about the time “When he shall come in his glory?” This despised Savior I preach to you, Who stood condemned before Pontius Pilate, Whose religion is now despised and trampled under foot by proud men, will before long come in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. The trump of God shall sound and the sleeping dead shall all awake, “some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” “When the Son of Man shall come in His glory and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit on the throne of His glory, and before Him shall be gathered all nations.”
7B. When you, a poor helpless criminal, stand trembling with horror before Him, when every duty you ever had toward Him you neglected, and every word you spoke against Him, and when all your secret sins shall be laid open to view; when these, together with all your other crimes shall be brought to light, then the Judge of the world will be ashamed of you.
8B. And think of the people who will be there. How much do you dread exposure and shame in front of your friends and coworkers now? But then your whole life will be opened for all to see, and Christ will be ashamed of you in front of everyone who knows you , and in the presence of the whole assembled Universe. The Lord Jesus has given you fair warning. “Whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I deny before my Father which is in heaven.” And “He that denieth me before men, shall be denied before the angels of God.” And yet again, “Whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him also, shall the Son of Man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
9B. He will then treat you, in the presence of that enormous assembly, as you now treat Him before the world. Because “I have called and ye refused,” the Bible reads, “I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you,” Proverbs says. Then, Christ will be ashamed of you.
1. Who among us is ashamed of Christ? Although a number of you may be guilty of this crime, perhaps not one of you in this crowd is willing to stand up and acknowledge it. But be careful about deceiving yourself. You may deceive others, and you may deceive yourself. But you cannot deceive the Savior.
2. He knows perfectly every feeling of your heart. And as I mentioned before, it is possible that you may be ashamed of Christ, and yet be ignorant of the fact.
3. One reason for this ignorance may be that you are so unconcerned about your soul, that you think and speak and care so little about Christ, that you hardly know whether you are ashamed of Him or not. You see, it’s not until the conscience is aroused and the sinner sees and feels that he is on the broad road to ruin, and that he must quit his wicked friends and turn and flee from the wrath to come, it is not until he is convinced of his bondage to sin and Satan and the world, and he begins to think of making his escape, that he sees his heart as he never saw it before.
4. So, we see why so many people have hearts ashamed of Christ and don’t even know it. Your indifference to the concerns of your soul is such that you think and care so little about the subject that you don’t know the wickedness of your own heart.
5. To you whose consciences are at times alarmed, who feel the strivings of the Spirit, and yet you are ashamed to acknowledge it, you are ashamed to renounce the world and forsake your worthless friends, and you are ashamed to openly espouse the cause of Christ. My friend, if you have any regard for your soul, don’t be ashamed of Christ any longer. Don’t be ashamed for people to know that you feel concern for your soul.
6. That is how thousands have lost their concern . . . and then lost their souls. You need to ignore what others think about your concern for your soul, because it’s unlikely you will be converted until you do. The Bible teaches us that “the companion of fools, shall be destroyed.”
7. So, you must either renounce the world or the Spirit of God will renounce you. “No man can serve two masters.” “The friendship of the world is enmity with God. If any man will be the friend of the world, he is the enemy of God.” If you can’t stand against the opinions of other people then everything you are involved with in the Christian faith can only be hypocrisy.
8. You show greater respect for the world than for Christ. Pause and reflect on what you are doing. Think of the One you are ashamed of. Of Him whom angels adore. Of Him who died for sinners, and Who alone can save you from sin. You are continually denying Him, and for what? What do you gain? The good opinion of sinners, the good opinion of those who will soon awake to shame and everlasting contempt? But no, you do not gain even that.
9. Among all who may reproach you, remember that not one of them is a good man. But if you will come to Christ you secure the friendship of all good men, of angels, and of the Savior Himself. It is true, you may meet with some ill-natured taunting, and be exposed to bitter opposition from time to time. But so what? Remember, this stuff comes only from the enemies of God. So, will you follow them to Hell to keep them from being displeased with you?
10. If Apollyon should ascend out of the bottomless pit and attempt by every Hellish trick to shame you out of considering Christ, do you have to listen to him? Must you go and join him? Must you fear his displeasure more than the displeasure of Almighty God?
11. But if you are still ashamed of Christ, remember that a most righteous retribution awaits you. Christ will treat you as you have treated Him, and He will be as much ashamed of you as you are now ashamed of Him. “If we deny him, he will also deny us.” By your conduct you are now deciding how the Savior will treat you when He shall come to judgment.
12. Finally, let those who have confessed Christ before men be careful never to betray His cause. If you are a real Christian, you are no longer ashamed of Christ, but you are ashamed of yourself and of your conduct in having rejected Him so long. Brethren, “If ye be reproached for the name of Christ happy are ye.” Choose “rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.” “Blessed are ye when men shall hate you, and shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy, for behold your reward is great in heaven; for in like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.”
13. I close with this: There is a terrible price to pay for the ugly sin of being ashamed of Jesus Christ. Therefore, I urge you to come to Christ now.