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Does The World Hate You?


Advocate of Truth
April 2017     






Here is a question that we should ask ourselves: "Does the world hate me?" Obviously, the entire world won't hate me, as an individual, because the entire world can't know me. Also, some people are going to love me such as my immediate family and my church friends. But, the question still remains.


Are there some people that hate me, not for my doing evil or harm to them, but because of my relationship with the Lord and because I have witnessed to them about the Lord?

Of course, we want everyone to like us, or love us. This is a natural feeling that we all have. But Jesus said this condition cannot be to a child of God. He explained in Luke 6:26: " Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets."

If everyone is our friend, then that makes the world our friend, also. We have compromised with the world. James 4:4 teaches us: "Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God."


We can't have it both ways. We must choose.


Jesus taught in Matthew 6:24: "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."
     
Jesus said to His disciples in Matthew 24:9-13: "Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved."


Now, since Jesus spoke this to His immediate disciples, we can't be excluded from similar situations. In Matthew 5:11-12 the Lord exhorted us: "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."

It's not a matter of if people will do this to us, but when. II Timothy 3:12 assures us: "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." If we are living godly in Christ Jesus we shall suffer persecution. We should expect it. I John 3:13 teaches us: "Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you." Otherwise, we are not living godly in Christ Jesus. We have compromised with the world.

Jesus suffered persecution, His followers in the New Testament suffered persecution, through the pages of history His faithful followers suffered persecution, and we will, too. In His intercessory prayer, before going to the cross, Jesus prayed this about His disciples: "I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world" (John 17:14).

Notice what the Lord spoke about His disciples in John 15:18-20: "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also."
     
What should be our reaction to those who persecute us? Jesus answered that question. He said: "But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you" (Luke 6:27-28). But why does the world hate true followers of the Lord Jesus? The Lord gave the answer to that in John 15:19. "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you."


Simply because we don't belong to the world, the world hates us.

In a sense, the world is a big clique which only accepts those who are like the worldly people. The world hates everyone else.

Christians make the world feel guilty and uncomfortable. Jesus, by His testimony, made the scribes and Pharisees feel this way. So, they hated Him and wanted to kill Him. John 3:32-33, speaking about Jesus, reads: "And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony. He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true."

The example of Jesus infuriated the worldly religious leaders of His day, by His going about doing good, while they were hypocrites in their daily lives. Again, this made them feel judged and condemned. It isn't our job to judge or condemn the world, but by our godly example the Holy Spirit will convict sinners of their sins. A few will repent, but the majority may end up hating us.

A believer's strict beliefs and practices will seem arrogant or intolerant to worldly people. Many times this will be enough for them to hate us. The world believes that, basically, anything goes in a person's lifestyle, and they will turn away from someone who says that God only has one Word and one way.

Joseph, in the Old Testament, is a good example of being a steadfast person for the Lord. Though his brothers hated him, he remained faithful to his father, Jacob, and to the Lord. Later, when he was in Egypt, his master's wife accused him of attempted adultery. And when he was put into prison, he continued to stay faithful to the Lord. He had no way of knowing at the time what his steadfastness to the Lord would bring. He was placed in a position next to Pharaoh, and his brothers eventually repented of their bad treatment of Joseph.

Are you being steadfast for the Lord, or does the world feel comfortable around you? Worse yet, have you come to a place in your life where you feel comfortable with the world? I John 2:15-17 reminds us: "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever."
     
I'm not saying that we should be obnoxious to the world. We don't need to get into people's faces or start arguments. But if we are not making much of a godly influence in the people around us, then we are like salt which has lost its flavor. Jesus said in Matthew 5:13: "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men." Because Satan hates godly people, then many of his followers will hate them, too. Jesus said that those who are true to Him will be hated by the world.

So, again I ask: "Does the world hate you?"

David DeLong