A true Christian is loving, peaceful, forgiving and caring. Those who obey Jesus’ words are self-sacrificing, meek and kind.
Common wisdom tells us that it is not natural to hate those who love you, bless you and pray for you. Rather, people hate only those who abuse, rob and curse them. Why, then, are Christians so hated?
Jesus says, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. . . . If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:18, 20). Why is this so?
The Church is hated because of its mission, which is much more than just telling lost people, “Jesus loves you.”
You may draw back in surprise when I remind you of what our mission is. Simply put, our mission as Christians is to take back from the ungodly what is most precious to them: self-righteousness.
The most precious thing to a worldly person is his self-righteousness. Think about it: He has spent his whole life forming a good opinion of himself. He’s built an idol to his good works. He praises himself that he’s really good at heart and kind to others. He is sure that he’s good enough for heaven, and too good for hell.
This ungodly man has spent years beating down his conscience and searing it. He has taught himself to still every voice of conviction that comes to him. He enjoys a false peace and has become so deceived that he actually believes God admires him!
And now, just when he has shut down the voice of his conscience, you—a Christian—come along. And the truth you bring speaks more loudly than his dead conscience: “Unless you’re born again, you can’t enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Suddenly, you’re a threat in this man’s mind. You’re someone who wants to deprive him of his assurance that all is well with his soul. All this time he thought he was okay, but now you’re telling him that all his good works are as filthy rags.
I tell you, this man doesn’t see you as someone who’s bringing good news. No, in his eyes you’re a tormenter, someone who’s out to take away his peaceful sleep at night.