True followers of Christ will be hated
If the world hated Jesus so much that they killed Him, what will they do to those who follow Him? We will receive the same treatment. We know that the world hated and persecuted Jesus, so we can expect that the closer we follow Him the more we will be hated and persecuted. If we were like the world they would love us; if we are like Jesus they will hate us.
We will be hated for speaking the truth
Jesus was hated for speaking the truth; in the same way, we will be hated for what we say. Men are convinced that they are right with God, and in their pride they hate anyone or anything that would expose them. When we speak Scripture it exposes their sinful ways and thoughts. They will in turn either repent or they will hate us.
We will be hated for living the Christian life
Jesus’ life was an indictment on the sinfulness of the people. His righteous, loving way of living exposed their sin and hatred. For this reason they hated Him for doing good. The way we live as Christians will also bring scorn and hatred. If we love children it will convict men of their hatred of children. If we forgive our spouse it will convict men who refuse to forgive. Living generously will convict men of their greediness. This conviction will either drive them to repentance or drive them to hate us for exposing their sin.
We will be hated without a cause
Jesus is clear that this persecution comes only from following Him or for His name’s sake. It is not persecution when people react to our immaturity, obnoxiousness, arrogance, or sinful behavior. True Christian persecution is when we are hated without a cause.
Does the world get along with you? Is the “persecution” you face really just people reacting to your own sin? What does the world’s attitude concerning you say about how closely you follow Jesus?
Why in God’s name do you expect to be accepted everywhere? How is it the world couldn’t get on with the holiest man that ever lived, and it can get on with you and me?Leonard Ravenhill