John 15:18-19 (NASB)
18“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.
I have always understood the meaning of this passage from John’s gospel, but recently this text has taken on greater meaning for me as a Christian. Let me just say that the presence of evil in this world today is increasing at a rapid pace. We are at a point in the history of the United States, where Christianity is coming under greater attack, as the forces of evil ramp up their spiritual warfare against God and His everlasting kingdom. All you have to do is listen to anything that passes itself off as news these days, or go onto the internet and Christians are being ridiculed, mocked and scorned. There is so much hatred today against Christians and the name of Jesus Christ. And we should not be surprised, because Jesus told His disciples over 2,000 years ago that it would happen.
Our Vice President was mocked recently because of his close and personal relationship with Jesus Christ. And besides many Christian leaders who spoke out against this mocking and uncalled for attack, there have been few others speaking out against yet another attack upon Christians. And just four days ago, there was a very ill-timed article about one of the greatest Christians ever to walk the face of this earth, Billy Graham. I won’t even mention the “news organization” because I plan to never read anything from their website or give them any mention ever again. What is obvious is that it is open season for attacking Christians and our faith in this country.
The Apostle Paul pulls back the curtain separating us and the spirit world and tells us something about the spiritual warfare that is raging in the spiritual realm. Ephesians 6:10-13: Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.
Today as I was reading this passage, the realization came to me that Satan’s greatest desire is to have Christians so mad and worked up over these attacks that we fail to “love one another” and carry out the Great Commission. Jesus plainly told us that the world will hate us and as a Christian today, I rejoice that the world hates me because of my beliefs. And I can rejoice because I know that I am just passing through this world – it is not my home. I belong to Jesus and my eternal home is in heaven!
As believers, we must continue to love one another and tell the lost about the only way to heaven – by faith in Jesus Christ. We must forgive and pray for those that speak words of hate against us and we must overcome hate with love. That is our calling as Christians and we must show the world how different and distinct we are. We are not of this world and we should rejoice when the world hates us, because we then know that we are true followers of Christ.
Revelation 1:7 (NASB): Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.