Hated and Killed by the World
"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... yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service" - (Jn.15:18-20, and 16:2).
†† America is becoming very wicked today and their hatred against the born again saints of God is becoming worse and worse. The worldly, unsaved people will not listen to any reproof from God's Word against their wickedness. This hatred will continue to get worse and worse, with open persecution against us, and finally ends in the killing of the saints who refuse to worship the Beast and wear the number of his name in their foreheads or right hands. Christ warned of these times - "Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake" - (Mt.24:9), "Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you" - (I Jn.3:13). Christ fortifies us against the Great Tribulation storm of persecution soon to come. We must be prepared and arm ourselves with all our spiritual armor so that we can stand bravely for the Lord.
†† The inexperienced Christian supposes that the hatred of the world against him is a reproach. He thinks he is to blame for it. He thinks that if he had more love and didn't speak God's Word and live more humbly, the enmity of unbelievers would be overcome. The truth is that we are hated because we are no longer one of them; we are born again and no longer of this world. When our Savior was in the world He was "despised and rejected of men". He was hated and murdered on the cross. And if the world treated Him that way, how can we expect to be loved and esteemed by the world? Immediately when we're born again we experience the hostility of the world. But we must be faithful to our Lord and endure the same treatment that He did, and act the same way He did. And hatred will come from our own families as well.
†† But it is a blessing to know that they hate us because of Christ, not because of ourselves. It is the repulsion of human nature for God. We are the people of God now, and no longer a part of the world. We no longer share its spirit, or its aims, or governed by its principles. Christ said - "ye are from beneath; I am from above; ye are of this world; I am not of this world" - (Jn.8:23). And itís the same for us that have the same Holy Spirit - we are not of this world. And the hatred was shown first against Christ in His home town of Nazareth. He boldly preached the truth in the synagogue and it is written - "And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. But he passing through the midst of them went his way" - (Lk.4:28-30). It was the religious crowd who hated Christ and tried to murder Him, and it was the religious leaders who were most responsible for murdering Christ on Calvary - and it's the same today, the unsaved relligious hypocrites have the most hatred for the saints of God.
†† The world will not hate mere professors. The man who is conformed to this world, who takes part in its politics, who shares in its pleasures, who acts according to its principles, even though he claims to be a Christian, will not be persecuted and hated. But those who walk in separation from the world (and they are few in number), those who follow a rejected Christ, will partake of "The fellowship of his sufferings" - (Phil.3:10). "Yea, and all that will godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution" - (2 Tim.3:12). A mark of genuine discipleship is to share the experiences of our Lord, encountering the hatred of the world. "If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you..." - (Jn.15:20). And the more we proclaim the truth of Godís Word, the more we will be hated. The more light you preach, the more you will be hated. "For everyone that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved." No wonder that, when the two witnesses, God's two candlesticks, preach with great light very soon, the world hates them and kills them, and won't let them be buried, but are left to rot in the streets - (Rev.11:3-12). The whole world rejoices and makes merry and send gifts to each other while the bodies of God's two witnesses lie dead in the street of Jerusalem. Yes, the more of God's truth and light that you preach, the more you will be hated by the world. The persecution and hatred you receive from the world will be in direct proportion to the light of God's Word that you put out.
†† It is time for American Christians to be tried and tested by being persecuted for their Lord just before the second coming of Christ. "That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Christ" - (I Pet.1:7).
Pastor Mike Storti
5000 N. LaCholla-
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