I was listening to some people talk about some popular Christian couple who rehab houses, and it was so overwhelmingly negative! These people were scrutinizing and nitpicking every little thing they could about them, and tiptoeing around the word “Christian” while doing so. What’s amazing about this is that it’s definitely not new. Just in the years I’ve been alive, every time a Christian gets the limelight, and by all intents and purposes are decent folks, or there’s a show with heavily Christian Themes, people get nasty. It’s interesting, as these entertainments or people never throw it in anyone’s faces, don’t force people to convert, but are not shy about who they are and what they represent, and by THAT alone, the world hates them.
We live in a world that teaches love and tolerance. Except when it comes to Christianity. People are constantly calling us narrowminded, black and white, say we believe there is only one way, and how not right that is, but don’t want us to believe what we believe, because of…tolerance. Why? What have they to gain from letting us live our lives in peace? Everything! So why can’t they just let us be? The answer’s simple. We represent the truth and the light, and those living in untruth and darkness can’t stand something pointing to their obvious flaws. Yes, there are outspoken Christians, and yes there are people who represent Jesus wrong, but if we’re honest, the ones that do are not as many as the world would have us believe.
The world is fickle. It’s constantly changing, and the culture is ever evolving to fit the whims of the many (and mostly to keep us divided up so we’re not united in anything). Our role is not to make the world like us, but to live for Christ and proclaim His Gospel everywhere. We live in enemy territory, whether or not we realize it, and the enemy doesn’t want anyone having peace and freedom beyond what he grants them (under false pretenses). You’re going to make enemies simply by living for Christ. Those in darkness WILL hate you for the fact that they hated Jesus first. Stand firm. Love boldly. Live because Jesus died and rose again for you.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father also. If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’
“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.
“I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father. In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.