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Hated by All November 15, 2006

Posted by larrylaz in Scripture Meditation.
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Joe,

I read this verse in Mark 13 this morning: “13And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” What does Jesus mean, we will be hated by all? Surely He does not mean every single being on the planet is going to hate us. But since I read that verse this morning I have been thinking quite a bit about whether I am willing to be hated for Jesus’ sake, and why I am not hated very much for Him now.

What a sobering word, and how contrary to what is so often described as the normal Christian life in the Church today. What a magnificent calling this is, to bear the hatred of others for the sake of our allegiance to Jesus Christ. This reproach is no accident; Christ had said of the Apostle Paul, “16For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name” (Acts 9:16). That tells me that God has designs for the suffering of His people. Chief amongst those designs is the hallowing of His own great name. In suffering for Christ, God means for us to exalt His name, for we declare the value of an object if we are willing to suffer for it.

To some degree we are all called to follow in the steps of Paul: “12Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,” (2 Timothy 3:12). One cannot read these words and presume that the Christian life is going to be easy and comfortable. The way is hard, Jesus said, and the gate is narrow, that leads to life. And only few find it. That is because very few are willing to bear the affliction that is required to enter the Kingdom: “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22).

I have tasted only a little bit of persecution in the 6 ½ years that I have been following Christ, but verses like these make me tremble, because I do not know why I do not suffer more. I so often hear that in America we have been blessed that we don’t have to suffer like those in China or North Korea and other places. But these verses don’t seem to exclude Americans. All who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. We can count on it.

So why, Joe, is it not happening to us? Surely we do not need to go out looking for hostility. But if we are faithful to Christ, the Scriptures seem to indicate that hostility will find us. What does ‘being hated by all’ look like in our day and age? Is it different here than in another country? Or is that our lives are so far from true godliness that we do not experience the hostility that is promised to those who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus?

Let me know your thoughts on this,

Larry

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Comments»

1. jacob van halteren - December 13, 2006

Larry,
If you truly love Jesus as your Lord and saviour and pursue truth in all that you do holding the scriptural standards as required by Christ then persecution will begin. In this day and age in America we have so many idols that are ‘OK’ to worship as far as man is concerned but not as far as God is concerned. Ezek.14. You can say you will do what He wants as His disciples did in the garden. However an hour later , hey were all doing their own thing and abandoned Him. So start with small things such as speaking the truth all the time (in love of course) not stealing software, etc. and then Christ will ramp things up. This will happen.

Jacob

2. larrylaz - December 14, 2006

Jacob,

Thanks for your comment and word of challenge and encouragement to live wholeheartedly for Christ. You are certainly right that the biggest reason why we do not suffer is because we are not obedient. Whether in India or in China or in America, if Christians obey the whole counsel of God, there will be enmity between us and the world. May we in the body of Christ exhort one another to live such a life of radical devotion to Jesus that His glory would be displayed in every area of our lives.

Larry


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