Does the world hate Christians? What did Jesus mean when He spoke about the world hating His own? How should Christians handle such hatred? One of the most difficult parts of living as a child of God is being in a world full of hatred towards those that are not its own. It seems easier to just succumb to the world’s ways and blend in which indeed is easier, but the ultimate end is bitter. The Bible gives us plenty of warning as well as instructions regarding the hatred of the world towards Christians. Let’s look at some key areas that will help us answer the tough and quite frightening questions regarding the world’s hate towards Christians.
“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.” (John 15:19). The world indeed does hate Christians as Christians are not of this world and its ways, but instead rather greatly conflict its ways. As Christians we must stand firm in our foundation which is Christ and walk according to His ways and in faith, not being afraid of people shooting darts of accusation or hatred towards us. In today’s society it is difficult for many Christians to understand how a so called “tolerant” world would persecute loving Christians only for our belief in Christ and His commandments?
“Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you.” (1 John 3:13). Regardless of what day and age it may be, the words of John still apply. We should not marvel that the world hates us, but rather have the understanding that the world is Satan’s and we are of Christ. It’s difficult for some Christians to understand how once they are saved certain long time child hood friends begin to despise and hate them, but we must understand that they are still of the world regardless of whom they maybe or how so called “nice” they may come off as; if they are not of God, then they are of the world.
“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.” (1 John 3:1). Every day we see the so called “good and nice” people of the world that hate on Christians and to many this is rather confusing. How can someone so nice hate on Christians? “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” (1 John 4:8). The world cannot know love because they do not know God and this is one of the main reasons that the world cannot love Christians. Regardless of what a Christian may do to get the world to love them, the only true way to obtain the love of the world is to forsake God and love the world and to live as the world.
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John2:15). To be a genuine Christian and child of God we must not love the world or any of its ways nor compromise our faith in order to please the people of the world. The world can hate us and try and pressure us to accept certain ways as ok, but we must stand firm and true to the Lord. How should we handle this hatred? There are two ways in which we should go about this.
“Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, for in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.” (Luke 6:22). Jesus tells us first off that we should rejoice when persecution and hatred comes our way as long as we are following Him and obeying His commandments all is well. Jesus Himself endured persecution as an example to us in that we should follow Him and do as He did while knowing that much persecution will come to those that are truly in Christ.
“But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.” (Luke 6:27). Jesus goes on to show us that the next way to handle the persecution is by praying for those that hate us and to show them the love of God regardless of how much evil they may say of us or how much hate they may have towards us. Jesus still showed mercy and love towards those that hated Him and beat Him and therefore we should do well to imitate Him also as our Master and Lord of our life.
The world hates Christians and it is nothing for us to marvel about or to be saddened over as the world is the devil’s own and we are Christ’s own. Hatred will continually come our way and there are two fashions in which we should go about this persecution; first we should rejoice in knowing that we are the children of God and that our reward is in Heaven, and then we should pray for those that hate us and we should show the love of God and the glory of Christ to them. This world is a harsh one, but thankfully for us this is not our home, yet rather soon we shall be in Heaven with the Lord surrounded by the love of Christ. “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 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.” (John 15:18,19).