“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 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. 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. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me,” Jesus (John 15:18-21).
Folks, I’m just wondering if we have forgotten what Jesus said? Or what the early church pioneers and disciples suffered?
It seems to me that people today are surprised and outraged at the possibility of persecution that may come their way. We get upset when we are not given our rights in the world! We expect them to accept us! We want to take action, sign petitions and fight for our rights as Christians in this world.
Can I help you out? You have no rights in this world! Because you are not of this world! If you were, Jesus says the world would accept you, but now it rejects you and hates you, because you are not a part of it, or it’s ways, it’s reasoning and it’s culture.
You are a foreigner without any rights to this world and without any rights to defend in the world!
You are a Heavenly citizen on a Heavenly mission and commission. A stranger and an alien! Don’t be offended if they persecute you! Don’t fear when they strip away your rights and threaten to impose all sorts of restrictions upon you and threaten to ‘imprison’ your and restrict your freedoms.
Don’t be offended when they consider you a threat to their society and an outrage, when they list you as a threat to their agenda and society – That’s what you are and should be!
Paul was locked up, why should they not want to lock you up also? Did it restrict the Gospel or hinder the Kingdom? I think not!
I am amazed at how people react when they are persecuted for the sake of righteousness!
Recently there was a guy who got handled a little rough when he went to preach the Gospel at a local mall and kicked out of the premises for doing so. He went ahead with a lawsuit for deformation against the mall, suing them for a huge amount of money and going on a smearing campaign against them on social media – Hello?
What did you expect? A trophy?
If you weren’t prepared for the persecution that comes with doing what you set out to do, why did you go?
Can you imagine Jesus suing the Roman soldier for putting the spikes through His hands? Or running a smear campaign against the evil Roman empire that crucified Him? What did He do? What did He say? – “Father forgive them, they are acting according to their lack of understanding!”
We can never take offense in the persecution of the world or seek their acceptance! We can never prosecute them for persecuting us! Not in being in right standing before God in doing so anyway! We have to love our enemies and pray for their salvation.
No hate! No retaliation, except retaliating in His Love expressed through us!
People are outraged when the government lists Christians, as being a “threat to the state” and the security of their world! What do you expect?
Look at the riots Paul caused everywhere he went! Listen to the accusations against the disciples who “turned the whole world upside down!”
Of course you’re a threat! If you weren’t you would not be worth your salt!
Be happy they don’t consider you friendly to their devious plans of ruining your nation, but standing in the way as a huge offense to them with the Gospel flag held high in one hand and the Torch of the Holy Spirit in the other, fully clothed in righteousness and with your feet shod and prepared to bring the Gospel!
Onwards Christian soldiers! Onwards!
~ Johann van der Hoven
Johann van der Hoven is in South Africa. He has been serving the Lord in ministry since 1991 and has hosted numerous apostolic revival meetings in South Africa and in South America. He also currently pioneers a organic church planting movement across South Africa. For more information about him and his ministry visit Fellowship of Believers or Revival.