7477 - Hated by the World - 1 John 3:13

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Audio transcript

We’re so glad you have joined us for a short study in a portion of God’s Word.

Today we are focused on 1 John 3:13 which reads:
“Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you.”

During the first century many Christians were arrested, persecuted and killed. Jesus was killed because the officials perceived that the Romans might come and take away both [their] place of worship and [their] nation (John 11:48). Throughout the centuries this hostility against Christians has continued. It is a battle of ideology. Not necessarily directed to an individual but toward the group. It is the clash between the two kingdoms which exists among us.

The Kingdom of the World is of the earth and of the flesh. Being evil by nature, since this kingdom is ruled by Satan himself, there is no limit to the cruelty toward those who oppose or threaten their rule.

On the other hand the Kingdom of God is quite different. The subjects, called Christians, are taught and encouraged to love their enemies. and taught to pray for them. Through love and prayer many of the citizens of the Kingdom of the World have been drawn to become members of the Kingdom of God.

Jesus addressed this conflict during his life. To a hostile crowd laced with Pharisees (John 8:23) Jesus said, “you are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.” Such statements infuriate the leaders of this world system. You see, they have no spiritual understanding because the Holy Spirit is not present to bring understanding. They are limited to their human intellect which can understand many things, but is devoid of spiritual insight.

Jesus also addressed this issue to his disciples. In the Gospel of John we find these words from Jesus: (Jn 15:18-19) “If the World hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the World, it would love 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.” Friend, keep in mind that every human member of the Kingdom of God was at one time a member of the World Kingdom. The fear of their losses drives the hatred of the World Kingdom. And the inability of those in the World Kingdom to understand what stimulates and governs Christians adds to the hostility.

The words of Jesus as he prayed to the Father gives more insight into the conflict. He said: (John 17:14)
“I have given [to Christians] your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.”

Many times (Phil.3:20; Heb.13:14; 2 Pet.3:13) the Scriptures talk about Christians having citizenship in heaven, that we are not aligned to the world system. We are anticipating a city that is to come, a kingdom which cannot be shaken.

However, for the present, all across the world we read and hear about Christians being subjected to imprisonment, slavery, torture and death. But the amazing thing is to hear the accompanying testimonies of these Christians under trial.

One brother from China told friends, “do not pray that we will not be persecuted, but rather pray that we may stand strong when going through the trials!”

The Voice Of The Martyrs reports that in Asia one tribe of people received the message of Jesus Christ with open hearts. Soon, the local authorities began persecuting these new Christians. But listen, shortly, the leading government official died of a heart attack. Soon one of his sons died in a motorcycle accident. Then another son became very sick. The government backed away from persecuting these Christians. Now the body of Believers has grown to more than 700.

2 Tim. 3:12 tells us: “everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” But at the same time Romans (8:18) says: “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed to us.”

May every Christian be firmly established in Christ; thus, prepared for whatever comes.