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SermonFamiliarity Breeds Contempt
An all-creatures Bible Message

Familiarity Breeds Contempt
 
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
 
19 March 2017
 
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

Hosea 12:13-14
Hosea 13:1-3
John 4:43-48
Romans 2:1-6
Romans 5:6-11

Familiarity breeds contempt is the subject of today’s message.
 
It is about the ungodly people of this world and how they view the godly people whom they have known for a number of years, including the time that they may have been as ungodly as they are.
 
Such feelings may not always be expressed openly, but they still exist in the hearts and souls of most of the people in the world, or at least that is the way it seems, because of their indifference to the suffering of billions of animals who suffer and die every year.
 
And, if these people do develop true compassion and empathy for the animals, then they will also feel the same way about all the other humans in the world and help end the warring madness that has been plaguing this planet for thousands of years.
 
In John 4:43-48, we are given examples about how this “familiarity breeds contempt” attitude existed in the time of Jesus’ incarnation upon this earth.

43. And after the two days He [Jesus] went forth from there into Galilee.
 
44. For Jesus Himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country.

We’ve also heard the expression, “familiarity breeds contempt” which we have seen directed toward us and fellow vegans and animal rights people whom they know, for once they know about our compassion and empathy toward animals, they seem to feel threatened and don’t want to have anything to do with us, or they all too often openly ridicule us before others, as if such ungodly behavior gives them more acceptance among their peers.
 
We believe that this is the way people in Jesus’ day felt about Him and prophets in their own towns, for they knew them before they started prophesying and convicting them of their ungodly ways.

45. So when He came to Galilee, the Galileans received Him, having seen all the things that He did in Jerusalem at the feast; for they themselves also went to the feast.

This leaves us with the question: what did the other people do, who didn’t see the miracles that Jesus performed?

46. He came therefore again to Cana of Galilee where He had made the water wine. And there was a certain royal official, whose son was sick at Capernaum.
 
47. When he heard that Jesus had come out of Judea into Galilee, he went to Him, and was requesting Him to come down and heal his son; for he was at the point of death.
 
48. Jesus therefore said to him, "Unless you people see signs and wonders, you simply will not believe."
NASB

We believe that Jesus’ remark is the result of His frustration with the hardness of heart of the people who simply wouldn’t believe his teachings about living in the heavenly will of God and inheriting everlasting life in heaven, without seeing some great wonder or miracle, and even then, they don’t really believe anything more than that Jesus had the ability to heal others.
 
We feel the same way when people know that we are vegans for reasons of compassion, and they say that they can’t live without eating meat; however, what they are really telling us is that they like their hardness of heart that allows billions of animals to suffer and die every year for their greedy appetite without causing them to feel any empathy.
 
We have looked at some examples of how familiarity breeds contempt, and now in Romans 5:6-11, we can look at how the children of God who follow Jesus’ teachings and the heavenly will of God will rise above the worldly ways of this earth.

6. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.

This shows how forgiving and loving the Lord is, for no matter what the people have done, He always leaves room for their repentance and desire to change from their worldly ways into peacemaking children of God.

7. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.

Paul is here referring to human beings like us, but then he switches back to talking about God and Jesus.

8. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Among humans, familiarity breeds contempt, at least it seems that way among most of them when it comes to people they know that are now challenging their ungodly ways of living.
 
However, with God, who really knows the intent of our heart and soul, He doesn’t seem to feel any contempt, but only sorrow, love and compassion.

9. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.

That is, if we repent of our worldly and ungodly ways, and sincerely desire to be conformed into the children of God who live in His heavenly will.
 
If this were not true, then Jesus would never have mentioned hell, and the fact that it is the place for the unrepentant and ungodly people of this world.

10. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

These enemies of God are the ungodly and evil people of this world who want to live in the corrupt ways of this world, and in whom familiarity breeds contempt.
 
But, those who truly repent of their worldly ways will become reconciled to the Lord and be saved from the wrath to come.

11. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
NASB

These are the peacemaking children of God who do everything in their power to end the corruption of the world.
 
Now let’s take a look at what happened to Ephraim, one of the tribes of Israel, as told to us in Hosea 12:13-13:3.

13. The LORD used a prophet to bring Israel up from Egypt,
by a prophet he cared for him.

Hosea is referring to Moses being the prophet.

14. But Ephraim has bitterly provoked him to anger;
his Lord will leave upon him the guilt of his bloodshed
and will repay him for his contempt.

Ephraim’s ungodliness provoked both Moses and other prophets, as well as the Lord.
 
Ephraim thought they were more important than the prophets, for their familiarity breeds contempt against the prophets and the Lord who sent them.
 
Now, as we look at Hosea 13:1-3, we can see how the Lord repays them.

1. When Ephraim spoke, men trembled;
he was exalted in Israel.
But he became guilty of Baal worship and died.

Ephraim felt so important in their own eyes, they went after other gods and faced the wrath of God, but they didn’t repent.

2. Now they sin more and more;
they make idols for themselves from their silver,
cleverly fashioned images,
all of them the work of craftsmen.
It is said of these people,
"They offer human sacrifice
and kiss the calf-idols."

The Ephraimites sense of self-importance made them feel superior to others which led them to offer these “lesser people” as sacrifices to their idols.
 
We believe that these are similar feelings to those expressed by most people of today, which allows them to bring pain, suffering, and death upon millions of human beings and billions of other animals every year.
 
Their familiarity breeds contempt against the Godly people of this world.

3. Therefore they will be like the morning mist,
like the early dew that disappears,
like chaff swirling from a threshing floor,
like smoke escaping through a window.
NIV

In other words, like Ephraim, the people who act this way will cease to exist.
 
Let’s close this discussion by looking at Romans 2:1-6, and at how God deals with those in whom familiarity breeds contempt.

1. You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.

This is a major problem in the world today, and why we have so much violence and worldly ways.

2. Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth.

God knows the truth and the intent of the people’s hearts and souls, who deliberately lie and accuse others of the evil things that they themselves are doing, and such people will have to face God’s judgement.

3. So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment?
 
4. Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?

Here is where we have confirmation that God’s grace and lovingkindness only saves someone when they repent of their worldly ways and seek to live in God’s heavenly will, and it shows that human “familiarity breeds contempt” is also extended to God, for a people’s ungodliness is their statement of their contempt for God.

5. But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.

We find it hard to believe that anyone would deliberately seek to face God’s wrath instead of repenting.

6. God "will give to each person according to what he has done."
NIV

Familiarity breeds contempt in worldly people who are not interested in serving the Lord our God, and prefer to serve the devil and his minions.
 
We are not to be like them.
 
We are to be the peacemaking children of God who do everything in our power to help free creation from its present corruption.
 
Amen.

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