Jesus Said It
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.”
John 15:18-25 (NIV)
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates me hates my Father as well. If I had not done among them what no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have seen these miracles, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’ “
- Followers of Jesus can expect to be hated and persecuted.
- Because we don’t belong to the world.
- Because we don’t follow the world’s way of thinking.
- Because we preach an exclusive gospel.
- Because our presence reminds people of sin.
- Current threats:
- Christians face serious persecution in many parts of the world.
- The secular liberal way of thinking seeks to exclude Christianity from the marketplace of ideas.
- Politically correct culture labels people as haters if they don’t follow the politically correct line.
- How should we respond:
- We need to stand up for our rights in our society.
- We need to love.
Matthew 5:44 (NIV)
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”
- We need to speak the truth in love.
Ephesians 4:15 (NIV)
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.