“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you…If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also” (John 15:18-20).
This is a hard teaching. No one wants to be hated. No one wants to suffer persecution.
We want to be liked. We want to be relevant. We don’t want to be seen as weird.
The thing about this Jesus thing is that if the world was okay, if the world was fine on its own there is no need for a Savior, there is no need for the cross, there is no need for redemption…there is no need for Jesus.
It is because the world is messed up, lost, hurting that God sent Jesus to the world to save the world. After the resurrection, Jesus gave to the messed up, lost, hurting world the church, the body of Christ, so that God can save the world through her.
When the church becomes an ally of a world that is dying, a world that is messed up, a world that is lost, the church gives up her main purpose – to tell the world about the hope of the world, Jesus Christ.
When the church proclaims the truth of Jesus Christ, the church ought not be surprised by the reaction of a world that despises the truth that we are all sinners in need of the Savior. The more we are like Christ, the more the world will treat the church like the world treated Christ.
Church. Stay the course. Proclaim Jesus. There is salvation in no one else. No one comes to the Father except through Christ and Christ alone.
Stay the course. Proclaim Jesus.