Hatred for Jesus’ Sake
Here’s another question: Are you going to be able to hold your composure and your faith as the hatred increases?
Let me be clear, this is about living in a day and a time where hatred and persecution of the church is increasing. It’s happening all over the world today. And, we can’t get stuck in the, “Oh this would never happen in America!” mindset. We need to be ready because we’re not exempt from it. We’ve been given a time of grace but who knows what the future holds?
The apostle John writes in John 3:13, “Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you.” These are Jesus words of warning. He’s saying, “Don’t be shocked, and don’t lose your foundation. Don’t come apart if the world hates you.”
Many Christians respond to this verse by asking, “Why would anybody ever hate me, especially if I’m loving them?” Read this carefully, nobody loved people more than Jesus Christ and nobody was more hated and died a more painful death. Loving other people is absolutely no guarantee that they are going to love us in return. It’s more important for us to know what to do with their hatred than it is for us to seek out some kind of positive response to our love. Their response cannot determine who we are—but our response can, without question, demonstrate who we are and what we believe.
John, again quoting Jesus wrote, “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. (John 15:17–19)”
Why does the world hate Christians? Because we are not part of them and because we are not like them. We don’t have the same beliefs as the world. We don’t have the same opinions. We’re different.
In Matthew 24:3–13, Jesus said that times are going to get tough in the end. But he challenges the church (you and me) to not be troubled, to not be frightened and that all things have come to pass (there is nothing we’re going to do to be able to prevent it).
In Luke 6:22–23 He gives us some solid instruction. He tells us that we’re blessed when we’re hated for His sake. He tells us to rejoice because we’ll have a great reward in Heaven.
Christian, we have to have an eternal perspective in the midst of hatred and persecution. We cannot let the world have the final say, because, in the end, it doesn’t. We need to look to eternity, keeping our heart in Heaven, and look to the reward. Doing that will keep our faith as solid as a rock.
We’re called to love people, not hate them. There is no place for hate. When we are hated, persecuted, betrayed, excluded and reviled, we must continue to love, look past the hate and keep our eyes focused upward on the reward.
Let’s make our minds up now. It’s not going to be any easier. Chose today whom you are going to serve and keep your focus on Jesus heart and your heavenly reward.