Thursday, January 19, 2017

When the Beloved of God Are Hated by the World

You may be wondering, “Why should the world hate Christians?” After all, look at all the good that followers of Jesus have brought to society: hospitals, homeless shelters, ministries to the poor, law-abiding lives, protection of the unborn in the womb, and the list could go on.

This question cannot be answered sociologically. It must be answered theologically. It ultimately doesn’t matter what you and I may do. It ultimately doesn’t matter how much we may give or how sacrificially we may serve or how compassionately we may love. The answer to the question, why does the world hate Christians, is found in John 15:21, 23-24. The bottom line is this: people hate God. They only hate you because you love the one whom they hate.

Let’s begin by defining the sense in which people are said to “hate” God. They don’t necessarily declare openly “I hate God.” But they resent his existence. They despise the fact that the God who exists is holy and will hold all mankind accountable for their moral rebellion and disobedience. They are infuriated that they are told this God has authority over their lives to tell them what is right and what is wrong. They don’t want to be told that sexual intercourse before and outside of marriage is sinful. They don’t want to be told drunkenness is forbidden.

They don’t want to be told that they must have no other ‘gods’ before the God of the Bible. They don’t want to be told that to honor or worship or to serve another ‘god’ is idolatry and is worthy of eternal death. They don’t want to hear about hell. They cringe at the suggestion that they are not the final authority as to what they can or can’t do. They don’t want to be told they must repent. They get angry when they are informed that there is only one way to be reconciled to God and forgiven of their sins, and that it is through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Read More

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