Why Does the World Hate Christians, Part 3?
We’ve previously discussed two reasons why the world hates Christians. First, too many Christians have become very issue-oriented. Second, Satan has mixed tares in with wheat. Since the world generally cannot tell the difference between true Christians and merely professing ones, they tend to blame all Christians for all bigotry and hatred, evidenced by a few.
In some sense, the first reason – issue-orientation – can be controlled to some degree. Christians don’t have to be issue-oriented, but even if all true Christians were not issue-oriented and simply practiced loving as outlined by Jesus in the gospels and Paul and the other writers in the epistles, there would still be the existence of the tares that would continue to be issue-oriented and because they are not true Christians, they would not love as true Christians are to love either. They have no capacity for that. It’s difficult enough for true Christians to love as Jesus loved, isn’t it, and we have the Holy Spirit of God within us! How can it be expected that the “tares” will be able to love?
In the end, true Christians have no ability to curb the erroneous pursuits of those who only merely call themselves Christians but are actually tares. They can be asked to leave churches if they create large enough problems, but they still exist in the world, don’t they? It is difficult to believe that someone like Fred Phelps, the founding pastor of Westboro Baptist Church was a true Christian. I suppose it was possible but if so, he certainly went far off the rails. The world loves to see people like this who call themselves Christians and act the way they act. They are the exact opposite of the definition of love. The world takes what they see and spread it around to apply to all who call themselves Christian. The world is not really capable of distinguishing between tares and wheat. In at least some cases, neither are true Christians able to discern because the deception may be so authentic.
All of this brings us to the third reason why the world hates Christians and it has nothing to do with anything we might bring on ourselves. Jesus warned us quite clearly that this hatred from the world toward us would exist as a reality. It is built into this world’s system. There is no way around it. We can do things not to perpetuate it, but in the end, it will still exist.
In John 15:18, Jesus specifically states the following:
If the world hates you, be aware that it hated me first.
In Matthew 10:22 makes it even more pointed with His remarks.
And you will be hated by everyone because of my name.
In the above texts, Jesus makes an astonishing statement. His followers will be hated. We will be despised. In some cases, persecution will be greater than at other times, but in general, hatred of Christians will always be there to some degree. Why is that? It is due solely to the fact that Satan hates Christians with an extreme prejudice. He hates Israel as well because it was from Israel that their Messiah (our Savior) was birthed into this world. It was Jesus’ perfect life, sinless death, and resurrection that defeated Satan. The full sentence is yet to be carried out but he is a completely defeated foe. God allows him to continue to do what he will do to bring his promises of Isaiah 14 to fruition but in the end, all of Satan’s plans will feed into God’s plans bringing great glory to Him.
Satan hates all of God’s Creation, but he has a special energy-filled hatred for those whom God has created as a nation (Israel) for His redemptive purposes (ultimately fulfilled in Jesus), as well as those who become followers of Him. Read Revelation 12 for a very brief synopsis of this situation.
In the meantime, while he is allowed to roam, to create havoc, to attempt to stand against God, he hates with every fiber in his being Israel and those who belong to Jesus, King of all kings. That hatred has been used to foment religious wars and persecutions with millions becoming martyrs for the faith. Even in modern times, Christians continue to be martyred for their faith in Christ. Satan’s hatred of Christians will never die and he will exist with it throughout all eternity from his final place of torment, the Lake of Fire.
The antagonism the world feels toward Christians in general is very real, very palpable, and I believe, not something they can fully explain or understand. It controls them and though they may try to explain it (if they even notice it), they cannot really come to terms with it.
But let’s consider something for just a moment. Jesus actually walked this earth, didn’t He? In doing so, He was perfect in every way. Certainly, He loved people far better than we love people. He never sinned (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:21). He never dealt with people unfairly. He never stopped loving people, even in His righteous anger.
In short, Jesus was (and remains) the epitome of love (cf. 1 John 4:8). Jesus never failed to love people all the time. Yet, in spite of His perfection, His unfailing love, His ability to treat people like people, He was still threatened with death on numerous occasions and finally handed over to Roman authorities and given a death sentence that was carried out.
This is exactly why Jesus tells us that the world hated Him, therefore it will hate us. The same “force” in the form of Satan that prompted the hatred toward Jesus – who loved perfectly – is the same driving force that prompts hatred toward us. It is because Jesus lives within us through the Holy Spirit and Satan hates Jesus (God) like no other. If we are being recreated in His image, with Jesus’ character stamped on our inner being (cf. 2 Peter 1:5-7; Galatians 5:22-23) – an inner being that Satan can most likely see – then why would we not think that we are going to be hated at least to some degree?
At certain periods in church history, the hatred of Christians resulted in terrible forms of physical persecution, often to the death. At other times, the hatred was still present but kept somewhat under wraps and not nearly as violent. However, loss of jobs, etc., has often been the way the enemy likes to work against Christians. It’s more subtle and still very effective.
Satan exists to hate and he does this very well indeed and often very violently. There is nothing like solid persecution to uncover the true mettle of each Christian. Today, I think Christians in general are lacking. We are more concerned with our “rights” and societal norms rather than the lost of this world.
Too many individuals today believe that if the Church doesn’t get working to remake society, God will send judgment. Personally, I believe if God sends judgment our way, it will also include greater persecution that could become violent. This type of persecution tends to make or break Christians, showing our true natures.
Let’s face it, Christians have allowed themselves to be sidetracked by issues and the problems in society. Satan is likely laughing with glee because we are not doing the one thing that Jesus commanded us to do – preach the gospel to make disciples of people from all nations.
The world is going to hate us. If you – as a Christian – have no enemies, you are either living in a cave, hiding your “light” in a cave, or you have tried too hard (and succeeded) in catering to the world’s attitudes so that they will “like” you. I’m certainly not saying we should go looking for trouble (although some Christians do) because trouble will eventually find us. Satan knows we’re here. He hasn’t lost sight or track of us. God will at various points allow him to stoke the fires of hatred, animosity, and persecution in our lives from time to time. This is for our growth as well as His glory and it is oftentimes how He brings people to Him.
In all things, we must present a consistent testimony of Jesus. We need to avoid being issue-oriented Christians whenever possible so that the issues don’t define us. We also need to recognize that Satan has sewn counterfeit Christians into the world system and there’s nothing we can do about that. We also need to come to terms with the fact that we will be hated for the following reasons:
- Satan hates us
- Satan controls this world system (with God’s permission)
- This world and its system is diametrically opposed to God
- We identify with God and are on His side
Yep, the world hates us. Why? Because it’s Satan’s system and he controls it and the world…for now. God allows him to do what he will because ultimately, Satan serves God’s purposes and at least some of those purposes are to perfect us, God’s children.
All this is to say that we should allow everything the world throws at us to mold us more into His likeness. We need to stop kicking against the goads so to speak and simply acknowledge that God is not only our Savior but our Lord. As such, we should be very thankful in the midst of everything that comes into our lives (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
The world does hate authentic Christians whether we like it or not, whether we sense it or not. The world’s system – built by Satan – is opposed to God’s system. That, in and of itself, is reason enough for the hatred.
We need to carry on, continue with our marching orders found in the Great Commission of Matthew 28.
Entry filed under: christianity, eternity, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation, second coming. Tags: fred phelps, the world hates christians, westboro baptist church, wheat and the tares.