You ever notice how people will talk about how God is love and think of Jesus as loving but never talk about the fact that people rejected him and hated his message. People thought Jesus was blasphemous to be saying that he is God (1 Peter 2:7). The result was horrible, in that they killed him, but God used our sin for the great good of humanity. It was our own sin that ended up creating a way for us to be saved. Before he was put up on that cross, they hated Jesus!
It’s easy to think about Jesus being an easy-going, loving person who just accepted everyone and all that they did, but that is not true. He spoke the truth no matter how much people did not want to hear it. He said what needed to be said, and it was always done out of love of wanting people to follow him. We can’t fall asleep and miss the fact that they hated Jesus in the Bible, which is why they killed him.
John 15: 18 – 21
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.
They Hated Jesus, So They Will Hate You Too
You know the saying everyone wants to go to heaven, but no one wants to have to die to get there? The truth is that people want to follow Jesus, but they don’t want to have to pick up their cross and suffer like him. But the call could not be more clear in the Bible.
1 Corinthians 11:1 Paul says to the church that they need to imitate him as he imitates Christ. It means we should desire for our lives to look like that of Jesus. It’s easy to follow God when you think you’re going to be blessed in this world. The prosperity Gospel is so attractive to many because it promises riches in this world. It says, come to Jesus and give to his church and a bigger house you shall get.
While the true Gospel says that they killed the King of Kings, so if you follow him, they may kill you too. It means that people will hate you for the sake of the name of Jesus.
When I was in college, there was a girl I had a great relationship with, and I asked her a few questions about being Catholic, and it challenged her to think more. So she went and asked her mom some questions, and she could not answer them. So the entire family, through an intervention they told her to stop talking to me because I am the devil.
They tried to convince her that I was a criminal. They even called the school and tried to get a restraining order on me. I was being persecuted for my faith for no reason. I made her look at her faith differently and encouraged her to have a personal relationship with Jesus, and they HATED IT!
Don’t Be Of This World But Be In The World.
Jesus told us that we are to be in this world to capture more soldiers for his name but not to be of this world. Romans 8 starts by talking about how we should be focused on the Future Glory to be revealed. We should not be sitting here only focused on today and what is happening around us. Christians have their hope in something far greater.
We get to think about when he returns (Revelation 22) and how he thinks about the New Heaven and The New Earth (Revelations 21). When you think about the return of Jesus, you should feel far more joy because he will finish off the devil and kill sin for good. All the pain and brokenness in this world will be gone.
Not being of this world means that you are prepared to do things differently and stand out for the sake of Jesus. It means when everyone is going left, you will have no problem going right. When everyone brings glory to themselves, you will be Boasting in Christ and bringing the glory to him.
Matthew 6:19-21 – “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart is also.”
You Will Be Persecuted Because They Hated Jesus
Persecution will come for followers of Christ, and as the world becomes more lawless, things will get worse (2 Timothy 3). The New Testament is full of warnings that persecution will come:
- Romans 5
- Matthew 10:26-33
- 1 Peter 4
Here is where it gets even harder. Not only should Christians suffer, but we should rejoice when it happens. The reason for the joy is because our suffering brings us closer to Jesus. That is why the Beatitudes say blessed is the Lowly in Spirit. Being lowly in spirit comes from tribulation. The reason a lot of billionaires don’t believe in Jesus is that they believe in their own money and power.
When things are going well, it’s easy to forget about God. But, when things are not going well, what do you do more? You read your Bible; you pray you to surround yourself with believers to be strengthened during your tough times.
One of the best things you can do if you follow Jesus is to expect the hard times. Therefore, you need to prepare yourself for the difficulty that will come your way by being ready to get on your knees and praise God for saving you from your sin.
Romans 5:3-5 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character. Character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Ok With God But Mad About Jesus Because They Hated Jesus
The power is in the name of Jesus; just saying God is not enough. The Gospel is not that we need to love God or know God. Jesus already knew God (John 14). When we believe that Jesus is Lord and that God raised him from the dead, we get saved by the grace of God.
You can scream that God is Good and that you love God and no one has an issue with it. Most people think that there is a God out there. What makes most people mad is the name of Jesus. There is so much power in his name that demons tremble when they hear it (James 2:19)!
People have decided that they are ok with hearing God but not with hearing Jesus because Jesus is specific. It points to the fact that Jesus is the only way.
John 14:6-7 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
If people deny Jesus, they don’t get to know the father. That means that they are going to hell. That is a tough word for people to hear. Our world constantly preaches tolerance of everyone and everything, but there is only one true way to heaven and that is through Jesus.