If The World Hates You . . .
Vol: 126 Issue: 28 Wednesday, March 28, 2012
“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.” (John 15:18-19)
The persecution of Christians is hardly a twenty-first century phenomenon. The persecution of Christians is as old as Christianity itself.
In today’s opening verse, Jesus lays out the reason for the persecution of both Christians and Jews. The Jews are ‘God’s Chosen People’ — a title that even offends many Christians, despite the fact Scriptures say that God Himself bestowed that title on them.
But Christians make the exact same claim, since, as Jesus said, we were chosen by Him out of this world, and THEREFORE the world hates us.
Still, until this generation, America has always been a safe haven for both Christians and Jews. America was the first country in history to extend the sovereign franchise (the right to vote) to the Jew. In early America, one could not run for public office unless one were a Christian.
America was founded by the Pilgrims who were seeking religious freedom. But Bible prophecy says that during the Tribulation Period, there will be NO safe haven for either the Jews or the Tribulation saints.
“But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day:” (Matthew 24:20)
“And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” (Matthew 24:22)
“And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” (Revelation 13:7)
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. . . Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. . . .Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” (2 Timothy 3:1,5,12-13)
The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 18, declares:
“Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.”
But that guarantee doesn’t extend to Israel, which was founded exclusively as a Jewish state. The UN calls that exclusionary and racist, at the same time fully supporting the Palestinian efforts at ethnic cleansing of all Jews from its territory.
That guarantee is invalid in many Islamist countries, where a Muslim who converts to Christianity can be summarily killed with virtually no outcry from anyone at the UN.
Christian persecution gets virtually no attention from the United Nations. Other religions, including Islam, are afforded a special status by the General Assembly. But Jewish and Christian religious leaders have no similar status.
Article 14 allegedly “guarantees”: “Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution” but then specifically excludes religious persecution in the next breath, thanks to Subsection (b) which says,
“This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.”
By a literal reading the 1948 Genocide Treaty, Christianity meets the definition set forth for ‘genocide’. The genocide concept was defined by the 1948 United Nations Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide Crime.
According to the article 2 of this Convention, ‘genocide’ includes “inflicting serious physical or mental integrity” on the group members. Christians believe that the only way to heaven is through faith in Jesus Christ.
That specifically excludes all other religions, which has already been successfully argued as the ‘infliction of serious mental harm’ to members of other identifiable religious groups.
This is the same concept under which the Romans persecuted Christians. The Romans didn’t object to Christians having one more god. The Romans had lots of gods — there was always room for one more.
Their objection was the Christian claim that Jesus is the ONLY way to salvation– they took offense to that as a “hate” crime.
The concept of Christianity as a ‘hate crime’ seems so foreign to believers that they can’t really believe that anybody really believes that. Christianity’s Golden Rule dictates that Christians love God with all their heart, soul and mind, and we are commanded to love our neighbors as ourselves.
Jesus also said that, on those two commandments, “hangs all the law and all the prophets.” In other words, love is the distilled essence of what it means to be a Christian. This is where the world gets hung up. “If Christians are so loving, why can’t they leave the rest of us alone?”
Christianity is, of course, a religious worldview singularly devoted to the causes of peace and love. A loving God, they argue, would not exclude good people just because of a religious tag.
We’ve noted in the past that where the spiritual dimension makes contact with this dimension, it creates a paradox.
For example, the Temple Mount is claimed by all three world religions, but the weakest claim is, paradoxically enough, Israel’s! This, despite the fact Israel’s claim is both the oldest and the best attested to. Israel’s title deed comes directly from God, and is recorded in the Old Testament.
Both Christians and Muslims claim the Old Testament as one of their Holy Books and Abraham as their spiritual kin. And majorities from both religions, together with those of no religion, view Israel’s claim is the weakest.
When the spiritual dimension meets this physical dimension, things get topsy turvy. Christians obtain victory by surrender, for example. Islam can claim a reputation of peace and love based on its history of violence and repression, and nobody blinks.
The Koran is viewed as so sacred that our military forces take sensitivity training on how to handle it without desecrating it, but the Bible is forbidden in America’s public square. No American politician or mainstream media outlet would dare refer to “Jesus the Savior”.
But they show absolutely no hesitation at using the designation, the “Prophet Mohammed.”
America is a culturally-Christian secular republic populated almost entirely by Christians, either the cultural variety or born again believers. And Islam is a theocratic religion with almost no presence in either American society or American history.
According to the CIA World Factbook, eight in ten Americans self-identify as “Christian.” The Islamic population of America, according to the same source, is roughly 0.7%. For comparison purposes, according to Wikipedia, about 5% of Americans claim to have been abducted by aliens.
But officially in America, the Bible is “hate” literature. The Koran is sacred.
We know Christianity to be rooted in the greatest of love. Christianity defines love itself as being God Himself. “Love is of God, for God is love” (1st John 4:7-8)
But at the same time, Christianity IS intolerant of other religions. It IS exclusive: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me,” (John 14:6) is both intolerant and exclusive.
Jesus is the ONLY way to Heaven, so by definition, all other faiths are condemned, along with their adherents. That is why Jesus said of Himself,
“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” (Matthew 10:34-36)
Christians know their faith to be rooted in peace and love. But the Founder of Christianity says He is come to ‘bring a sword’ rather than peace, and to bring ‘variance’ instead of love.
The Bible explains this paradox in a manner that makes perfect sense to indwelt believers to whom it was given to understand it. And that explanation infuriates the world even more.
“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1st Corinthians 2:14)
To the natural man, Christianity is a hateful, exclusive and intolerant faith. To the Christian, it is the exact opposite. Christians know, in their living spirit, a definition of love that escapes the natural man.
“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36)
The most loving thing a Christian can do is lead someone to Christ and eternal salvation. The most hateful thing a Christian can do is stand idly by and let someone die in their sins.
“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” (1st Corinthians 1:18)
To the world, the Bible is hate literature and Christianity is a hateful religion. We know it to be the exact opposite. That is by itself, clear evidence of the power of God — but discernible only to we who are saved.
Don’t let the enemy steal away your confidence.