John 15:18 —— “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.
Life is filled with choices and every choice has consequences. In school, a student who befriends an unpopular boy or girl will lose friends and be made fun of. In college, a student who refuses to give up his or her virginity will lose dates and be laughed at. In the workplace, if you live a life of integrity you’ll be passed over for a promotion. In the senior years, if you invest your time and money in the church you’ll miss out on various memories and material possessions. In the spiritual realm, if you follow Jesus Christ, you will be hated. That’s right: HATED! Whether you like it or not, the Bible is clear that Christians will be hated and rejected by the world.
Jesus did not harm anyone; He did not hurt anyone but the world hated Him. The world belongs to the kingdom of darkness and it hates the kingdom of light. The nature of the kingdom of darkness is hate; the nature of the kingdom of light is love and forgiveness.
The one who is of the world always has hatred.
Jesus who did not ever sin was hated. His own rejected Him in the face of suffering. Jesus accepted it calmly and because they hated Him they will also hate us. Do we hate the sin in others or do we hate the person? Jesus never hated the sinner but the sin in that sinner.
John 15:19 ——- 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.
When I lived a corrupt life, my friends who also did those same things loved me. If a person is of the world, they cannot love the kingdom of light because they both oppose each other. Jesus has chosen us out of the world because we are not of the world. The world hates us because God has chosen us, and because we are baptized in Christ. When we say no to Satan and yes to the Gospel the world hates us.
The Pharisees were fond of Saul because he persecuted the church. But at the appointed time, God chose Saul and turned him into Paul. But those same Pharisees detested Paul when he began but living in the light, and proclaiming Jesus. Nothing had changed except that he was chosen by God to save those of the world.
We must learn to love the world when we are hated and persecuted. We must continually avoid the temptation to fight back and be combative, harsh, and vindictive. We must recognize that Jesus’ love is the only proper response to hate and persecution. Only He can soften hearts and cause our enemies to be receptive to Him.
A man was working a crossword puzzle and asked, “What is a four letter word for a strong emotional reaction toward a difficult person?” Someone standing nearby said, “The answer is hate.” A lady interrupted and said, “No, the answer is love!”
Everyone is working that same crossword puzzle, but the way you answer is up to you. When you and I display the supernatural love of Christ, God is glorified, and we may even have the privilege of influencing our enemies for Christ.
When God has selected you, it doesn’t matter who has rejected or neglected you. God’s favour outweighs all opposition. You are a winner.