“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. John 15:18-19
May I see a show of hands of those who seek to be hated?
I didn’t think so.
None of us want to be hated. We pretty much want to be liked at least, if not loved at most. It’s not going to happen – at least not from this society. There is a world of people out there and around us and trying to be loved or liked by them just might be one of the most dangerous goals we can set for ourselves.
Do I really have to explain that I am not suggesting we make ourselves unlikable? Do I really need to say that I am not recommending that we make an effort to be disliked or hated? I hope that is understood.
Oh we can be liked and loved by the world if we want to but the cost is going to be pretty high. You see, all it takes to be hated by the world is to say that we love God and that we believe in Jesus Christ and have received eternal life. If his life is now in us – we are promised that we will be hated once the world finds out. And for a true believer, keeping Christ in us a secret is not our objective.
No wonder we are seeing a dramatic rise of intolerance for Christians and the principles of Christian life in our world today. No longer is persecution happening just “over there” in some country we may never go. I has moved right here into our own back yard, and front yard and in our living rooms. Just listen to what is said on the programs and not just a few, many. Just read comments to posts on websites and on Facebook. The hate is here because it has been promised.
We are not of this world, we have been chosen out of the world and the world is dead set on hating us because we love Jesus and the world ruler hates Jesus. It is and unacceptable situation to the world that we love Jesus and follow Him.
Where is the comfort in that? What is the remedy?
The comfort comes from the words Jesus spoke just a little earlier than the words he spoke above. “Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” John 15:9-10
And the promise of a Comforter that he had just given and which was fulfilled just a short time later, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Comforter), that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.” John 14:16-17.
Jesus did not pull any punches that last night he had supper and talked with all the disciples – he told them just the way it was going to be and for the past nearly 2000 years the truth of His words has never changed, never been withdrawn and has always been fulfilled. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. Then the joy begins because then we began to see the hand of God, keeping his promises.
Trials, tribulation, persecution, hate, scorn, ridicule, even in your face pain and death cannot keep His promises of final redemption and life with Him from being fulfilled. The challenge for us today here in America as we emerge from the cocoon of comfortable, acceptable and easy Churchianity is to know the truth and still trust and obey. The world and its message is no place to form your beliefs; it is no place to anchor your soul; it is no place to put your trust.
There is a very good reason that we are told to not lean on our own understanding – our own understanding comes from the world, a world that hates us. It does not tell us the truth, and it leads us down the wrong path.