ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS -- The Rev. Paul F. Rack will preach on the hatred and persecution that resulted from Jesus' message of love during his Sunday sermon at the First Presbyterian Church.
The pastor's sermon, entitled "The World's Hatred," will be delivered during the 11 a.m. worship service -- on the first Sunday of Lent -- at the 126-year-old church at Third and E. Highland avenues. The message will be based on John 15:18-27.
"The is a built-in opposition between Jesus Christ and 'the world,'" according to Rack. "Jesus warns his disciples that his revolutionary message and truth will cause them to be hated by the world, and persecuted.
''He notes that those who attack his disciples are also attacking God, by whose power Jesus has been acting. They saw Jesus’ good works, and still rejected him. But Jesus is also sending the Holy Spirit as a testimony; and the Spirit will strengthen his disciples.
"Jesus is inherently counter-cultural, and being his disciple means being an outsider who lives by different rules and values. It also means living by the truth of God’s love, which is the hope of the world."
In addition to the 11 a.m. service, the church conducts Sunday School at the same time.
Area residents are also invited to attend the pastor's weekly Bible Study at 11:15 a.m. every Wednesday at Sissy's Restaurant at the municipal harbor.