By Muoka Lazarus
Beloved, of a truth, genuine Christians, especially those who have high calling that could affect the entire world are targets of the world hatred. That was why only few of the prophets or apostles died a natural death, while others were harassed, tortured and traumatized before being killed because their callings were dis-tinguished, thus, their sufferings and death were exem-plary.
One thing we must understand is that there is always an opposition against the power of godliness and an irreconcilable hatred against genuine Christians, because of their holiness, righteousness and strictness in obedience to the will of God.
The world hates them, because they are not of the world. But it is to the honour of these believers that they are like unto Christ, so that they stand as an object of the world’s hatred. For information, our Lord Jesus Christ avers that we should look forward to such hatred, misery, and trouble, as we observed Him grapple with it in the days He was with us.
Jesus says in John 17:14: “I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”
We are reminded daily by the Scri-pture and the attitude of the world toward us that although we are in the world but we are not of the world. And we are not to expect the friendship of the world no ma-tter how pleasant it may look like, and on the other hand must not be deterred by their hatred. We must follow the example of our Master, Jesus, for no opposition of the proud, the wealthy, the learned, or the men of power, no persecution or gibes deterred Him from His work while He was with us. Re-membering this, and having wit-nessed His example, we are to la-bour not less because wicked men are opposing and deriding us.
Our Lord Jesus Christ says: “Mar-vel not, my brethren, if the world hate you” (I John 3:13) We must expect no better treatment from unconverted people of the world than Abel received from Cane his wicked and cruel brother. This should be a lesson to the Church that is preparing His people for heaven at the end of this life. We are to expect neither justice nor mercy from the men of this world who are enemies of God because they are full of malice and envy, hateful and deceitful. If Cain hated Abel, his brother, without cause, we must therefore deem it not strange if the world hated us in like manner but must be re-assured that such as sincerely are devoted to Christ’s service, are sure of His protection.
John 15:18-20 says: “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also”
Believers and the people of the word are under the control and influence of different spiritual authority and thus their maxims, tempers, actions, are quite opposi-te to each other. While believers are actuated by the love of God and holiness; the people of the world are motivated by the love of sin. And for this very same rea-son has the world in all ages hates those who are not of the world. The target of this hatred is to make believers renounce their relation-ship with Christ as that is the bed-rock of all the ongoing conflicts between the positions.
But believers are baptized into Christ and in Him they live and shall die, thus no amount of per-secution cum hatred could separa-te them. And if that was done to Christ, we the servants must expect similar treatment to that given to the Master. And given the fact that the persecution and hatred are inevitable, the Master has provid-ed remedy against the hounding. He cautioned that we must with-out equivocation abide in Him if we want to enjoy good freedom, for therein we shall have peace. So when the persecution flows as a flood, and we abide in Him, it shall be well with us.
When in the world we have tribu-lation, we should remember that Christ has taken effectual care of it, that, amidst all the troubles, in Him we shall have peace, for His blood has purchased peace for us as His word has promised and Holy Spirit has sealed it.
John 16:33 says: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world”
These words are the conclusion of our Saviour’s farewell sermon to His disciples, in which He declar-es to them, the inevitable necessity of the world’s trouble. He stated categorically that in the world we shall have tribulation. That is, while we preach to the men of the world, while we live piously among them, and while we try to show love to them, while we do good to them, we must expect their trouble, both from within and from without, from friends and foes, heart-breaking troubles, soul-rending troubles, such trou-bles as will make the heart to break, and the back to bend.
But it is a great comfort to Christ-ians, to understand that despite all the troubles of this world, Christ has overcome the world, includ-ing the princes of the world, the rulers of the world, the wicked men of the world, the troubles of the world, the temptations of the world, the corruptions that are in the world, which may hinder His people’s comfort, eternal happi-ness and salvation.
And if Christ has overcome the world, all persons and things in it are at His disposal, and can do nothing but by His permission and as He has overcome the world himself, so He will enable us through faith in Him to overcome it also. This is the victory over the world, even our faith. For the victory of Christ on Calvary is the foundation of Church. Christ having overcome the world, all persons and things in it are there-fore at His disposal, and can do nothing but by His permission; and as He has overcome the world, so He will enable us through faith in Him to overcome it also. So, marvel not, if the world hates you.