I don’t know of anybody who enjoys being disliked. It’s human nature to want to be liked and accepted. But I think Christians need a rude awakening in this regard. The truth is that if you are a Christian and you practice your faith daily, there are going to be people in this world who hate you just because of that.
“If you were of this world, the world would love his own: but because you are not of this world, but I have chosen you out of this world, therefore the world hates you,” Jesus said to His disciples (John 15:19).So should we just accept that reality and go on about our business? Not exactly. We are called to strive to love and to live peaceably with all men. We should never cease trying to befriend others in hopes of winning them to the Lord. But the point I am trying to stress in this post is that although we are called to reach out to others this way, just by virtue of actively identifying with Christ, there are those who will hate us.
I’m saying this persecution goes with the territory.There is a powerful dynamic currently happening in America. As a society, we appear to be bent on casting off all moral restraint. The rate of the resulting moral decline has occasioned the Christian community to raise its hand and voice in opposition increasingly more. In turn, Christians are sometimes referred to as hate-filled. Well, I have news for you. This tension between Christians and those outside of the Christian community is not going to stop. Rather, it will increase as we get closer to the Lord’s return.
When Jesus was on earth, the religious leaders hated Him because the truth He came to proclaim exposed the hypocrisy and the error of the religious leaders of His day. This hatred culminated in our Lord being crucified on the cross. Similarly, the apostles found themselves persecuted for proclaiming the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. They were not fazed by the things they suffered, however, because Jesus had already forewarned them that it would be that way.Please understand that I am not talking about “closet” or passive Christians and neither was Jesus. Rather, I am talking about those of us who actively practice our faith daily, who give of our time and resources to the spreading of the gospel, and who refuse to be passive to a world that has chosen spiritual darkness over spiritual light. To be sure, at times we will be persecuted for our faith.
But we can be of good courage. We are in great company. For so suffered Jesus and the apostles.Copyright © 2013 by Frank King. All rights reserved.