Hated By The World
John 15:19 (ESV) -- If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
Nobody wants to be hated. It’s against our nature to enjoy being hated. Some claim to love having haters and enemies, but that’s usually a front to cope with it. Most people want to be liked and accepted by others. Yet Jesus tells us that if we truly follow Him, the world around us will hate us.
That’s the focus of our passage today. We read Jesus’ words in John’s Gospel, “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”
Why will the world hate us? Because the world seeks independence from the rule and reign of God. They don't want to hear His commands or abide in His laws. When we live by them and proclaim them to the world, rather than getting with the program like everyone else, it produces hatred toward us. It causes us to stand out. We become a mirror to the world to show them their sin and rebellion against God. And they hate the reminder and reflection.
Please hear me: you can be as winsome and kind as you possibly can (and you should be), but if you think that will win you favor with the world and make your beliefs palatable to the enemies of God, you are deceived. When you see events like the shooting in Nashville at the Covenant Christian School, remember it is driven by hatred of Christ; therefore, they hate you.
We can't ride the fence as believers. We will never win the favor of the world by holding the beliefs that we hold. Our beliefs, without changing one bit, have gone from the unquestioned and accepted norm to the target of hatred and disgust. What we believe hasn't changed at all, but how people view it has.
You can't change what you believe to appease the world, or you end up looking just like the world. Christians must hold fast to God’s Word but
prepare to be hated for it.
Jesus said it would come.
Reflection & Journal:
- Why is accepting that we will be hated so hard for us?
- What beliefs today will get Christians hated by the world?
- How can we as Christians be strengthened to stand firm when hatred comes against us?
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