Posted by: missionventureministries | March 8, 2018

WHY THE WORLD HATES CHRISTIANS – John 15:18-25

Jesus told His disciples that the world would hate them but to keep in mind that it hated Him first. He was warning them that after His departure, that they would face some severe persecution, not just from the pagan world, but also from the religious groups and leaders. The Lord wanted them to know what to anticipate and how to respond to the hostility that they would experience. 

Here are some reasons why sinners and hypocrites hate true Christians, i.e. children of God:

  • The sinner’s father is the devil – Satan hates God and Jesus – a true Christian’s Father is God – therefore; Satan hates God’s children.
  • Sinners have the spirit of Satan living in their bodies, controlling their minds and spirits.
  • Born again believers have the most powerful Force in the universe living in their bodies; therefore, the Holy Spirit is in control of what a Christian should say, think and do. 
  • Jesus warned us that every sinner and hypocrite in the world in lying in the arms of the “evil one,” and some theologians have interpreted this statement to be that every sinful person is committing spiritual fornication while lying in the embrace of Satan and the world’s evil system as 1 John 5:19 states: “We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” In this verse the Holy Spirit has just defined why true Christians are hated by hypocrites and sinners. 

We need to understand that Jesus Christ is the One that either unites or divides people. Christians are known for their love, but the world is known for its hatred (vs. 17 and 18). Jesus starts by saying if the world hates you, meaning the organized system under Satan’s domain that is opposed to God and His Son, to keep in mind that it hated Me first. The Lord wants us to know that behind the world’s hatred for us is its hatred for Him. And that hatred is not only for Him but for the Father also: “He who hates Me hates My Father also” (John 15:23). 

There are reasons why the world hates Christians. First, we are no longer identified with the world. In John 15:19 Jesus says, “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as 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.” Jesus was hated by the Pharisees, Sadducees and Teachers of the Law and that by being identified with Christ they would be also hated. This scenario was not only occurring during their time, but it has been happening to Christians since our Lord departed from this world. 

And He continues, “Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also” (John 15:20). Jesus tells His disciples to “remember” that they will follow in His foot steps; therefore, as followers of Christ, we can not expect things to be easier for us than they were for Him. When our lives truly reflect His character and calling, we will experience either rejection or acceptance from people around us. The reality is that as true born again Christians we have a different Master, while the world serves Satan.

 In John 15:21 Jesus says, “But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.” Here He tells them, that the world will persecute Christians because they don’t know God. 

The fundamental problem of people in the world is that they do not know the living and true God. Instead, they make up their own gods. Even atheists worship their own intellect as supreme, refusing to acknowledge that all that they have comes from God (1 Corinthians 4:7) and that they will give an account to Him when they die (Hebrews 9:27). However, we need to understand that knowing God is the essence of the eternal life that Christ gives to all who believe in Him. 

We need to be aware that many unbelievers may not have a Bible or maybe they never wanted to read the Bible. It is also possible that they have never heard a clear presentation of the gospel, and therefore the reason they do not know God is because they do not know who He is. 

Having mentioned the world’s ignorance about God, Jesus explains in the next four verses why the world doesn’t know God. “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates Me hates My Father also” (John 15:22-23). Christ’s coming highlighted sin in human hearts; He pointed sin out so people had less grounds to claim ignorance. Paul explains this point in Romans 6:14, “For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law, but under grace.” He continues in Romans 6:15-23, by using the analogy of slavery to show that we will not sin under grace because having been set free from sin, we became slaves of righteousness. 

Jesus continues, “If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father” (John 15:24). Jesus performed all kinds of miracles. He healed the sick, He cast out demons, He fed thousands, He calmed the sea, and He raised the dead. Yet, the world rejected His works. In some cases, the world even attributed Jesus’ works to Satan (Matthew 12:24). No matter what Jesus said or did, the world chose to ignore Him and rebel against Him. Sadly, even the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ have not persuaded most people that Jesus is God. Consequently, the world stands condemned for rejecting Him (John 3:18, 36). 

Then He says, “But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause’” (John 15:25). The ultimate reason for the world’s rejection of Jesus and His revelation of the Father is found in the Old Testament Scriptures. The same words who hate me without a cause are quoted in Psalms 35:19, 69:4 and 109:3, where it is usually understood, that the quotation our Savior here refers to be where David says, speaking of himself and of the Savior prophetically, “Let not them who are mine enemies rejoice over me, neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause.” Our Savior refers to that as being applicable to Himself. Jesus is saying: The world has rejected the Old Testament and My very words and works and this has resulted in their rejection of God. 

In spite of the world’s hatred, we should testify to the world of the truth about Jesus Christ (John 15:26-27). Jesus has us in this world to proclaim His glory as 1 Peter 2:9 states: “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” 

So how can we bear witness in the face of such a hostile world? Jesus shows that we can do so only through the Spirit of truth and the Holy Spirit uses believers to testify to others about the truth of Christ. 

The apostle Paul who knew all about being persecuted said, “Pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak” (Ephesians 6:19-20). As ambassadors for Christ that is what every Christian should pray for also. 

Jesus said to those who believed and would believe in Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32)

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