The World’s View of Christians Jn. 17:14 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
This lesson is about the worlds view of Christians. From time to time you hear comments from high profile people or the media stating that Christians are hateful or that Christians are bigoted or that Christians are narrow minded or that Christians are troublemakers. Don’t let these comments disturb you or alarm you. They are not new. Christians have always been hated by the world.
When Jesus prayed to his Father before the crucifixion, he said, “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,” [Jn 17:14]. He said to his disciples after the Lord’s Supper, “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,” [Jn 15:18-19].
When Paul preached to the Corinthians he said that he was a spectacle unto the world [1 Cor 4:9] and that he was regarded as the filth of the world [1 Cor 4:13]. When Paul and others preached in Thessalonica, the Jews said, “These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also,” [Acts 17:6]. When Festus heard Paul preach he said, “Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad,” [Acts 26:24]. People in Corinth said that Paul’s speech was “contemptible,” [2 Cor 10:10]. Beside all this he was beaten, stoned and imprisoned [2 Cor 11:23-24].
There are two main reasons that Christians are so maligned and hated by the world. The first reason that Christians are hated is that we are the sons of God. In 1 Jn 3:1 we are “called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.” When you are a Christian who lives as a son of God in whose life Jesus Christ is evident, the world doesn’t know you because you are not like the world. You don’t talk like the world, you don’t look like the world, you don’t dress like the world, you don’t act like the world, and you don’t march to the world’s beat. You are like an alien from another planet. Since the world didn’t know Jesus the world doesn’t know you either. The world cannot comprehend a godly Christian.
The second reason that Christians are hated is that this world is not our home. Jesus said, “my kingdom is not of this world,” [Jn 18:36]. Jesus won’t rule over the kingdoms of this world until he returns [Rev 11:15 the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ]. As the sons of God, we are not of this world; our home is in heaven [Jn 14:1-6]. In other words, we don’t belong here; we are not welcome here. When you are a Christian whose affections are set on things above and not on things on the earth, the world can’t stand that. When you lay up your treasure in heaven, when your communication is from heaven, when you look up to heaven for the imminent return of our Saviour, and you try to encourage others to do the same, the world doesn’t like that. And when you try to impress upon people in the world that they are ungodly and that they need to change, they say, “This is our world and we will do as we please.”
So, what should our response be to such a view by the world? Well, we ought to do what Jesus said. We ought to leave it all and follow him. Our interest should not be in this world but in the world to come. Look carefully at Mk 10:28-30 and Lk 18:28-30. When missionaries leave home, for instance, to serve God on the mission field, they receive multitudes more family than if they had stayed in the U.S. Damon Woods lived in the Philippines for 40 years and established 135 churches in Luzon. He was buried in the Philippines and 5,000 people attended his funeral. Untold thousands of people were saved in his ministry.
The problem is that we love our lives in this world too much. Jn 12:25 says, “He that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.” We get far too rooted into this world and we try to get along with a world that hates us. We want to be comfortable in this world. Any attempt to change the world so that we can get along in it better and make it better is a waste of time and effort. This world is not our home and the more we try to make it like our home the more we start to love the world and despise heaven. That’s not a good thing.
Like 1 Tim 6:7 says, “We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.” So, we need to quit trying to save it all up down here and we need to become much more concerned about helping others in the world get out by getting saved. Of course, the world will hate you more for messing with her people, but the ones who get saved will surely appreciate you!!