The Christian who is loved by God can’t be loved by the world for the world hates those whose sympathies and interests are at opposition with it. The deeds of the world are reproved by the righteous life and the open testimony of the Christian ( John 3:13). “For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light” (John 3:20). On one occasion, Jesus’ brothers requested the He would reveal Himself to the world (John 7: 4), but He answered them, the world “hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil” (John 7:7). Men feel bitter about the exposure of their evil ways. Cain slew Abel “because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous” (1 John 3:12).
Jesus warned His disciples that they will be hated by the world, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me” (John 15:18-21).
Although the believers are peaceful loving people that deserve to be loved, the world will hate them because “the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:4). The one who hates the light of truth will be blinded by the evil one (John 3:19). He avoids the light for the same reason that a thief avoids the law.
Jesus also added “Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you” (1 John 3:13). And He foretold His disciples that this hate will also bring persecution. He did not want the disciples to become discouraged when the full force of persecution should break upon them. For the disciples needed to be prepared for imprisonment, torture, and death (Acts 5:41; 16:22–25; etc.). This persecution will be even among family members (Matthew 10:34-36). And He admonished His disciples to press on and “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many” (Matthew 7:13).
This knowledge prepared and empowered the believers (2 Cor. 4:8–12; 1 Cor. 11:23–28) that Paul was able to say, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Cor. 4:17). The troubles of this life vanish quickly in the light of the joy and bliss that God has prepared for His children in the life to come (1 Corinthians 2:9).
In His service,
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