Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Christianity is a hated faith

And you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
Mark 13:13

When we want to make Christianity palatable to the world, we are working against Jesus' own words. It will fail. He warned His disciples that the gospel, though it will be believed on in the world by God's elect, will be hated by the world system. Christians will never really be popular. They should not expect to be so. In fact, if all the world thinks you are fine, you are probably far from the gospel.

Christians are hated because Jesus is hated. He is the light and the darkness does not comprehend Him. He came to His own and they rejected Him. Even in His own hometown among His own family He was not welcomed. They eventually turned against Him. The vast crowds that He fed, that marveled at His teaching, would one day rise up, incited by Pharisaical hatred and persecutory power, and scream for His execution with the cry of "Crucify Him!"

I can't try to make that reality cool. I can't interview with Oprah on Valentine's Day and accept immorality as love, encouraging the church to do the same. I can't hob-knob with societal elite to raise political capital so that worldly power might be mine. That is not the way of the cross. Criminals going to execution are humble and hated. The world spit on my Master as He carried His cross. They'll do the same or worse to me.

So when I see masked terrorists execute Christians for their trust in a Savior, I should not be surprised. Those believers endured faithfully to the end. And for His name's sake they died. Evil people hate Jesus. They refuse to believe. And in their sin, they sin against Him. But for even that sin, Jesus willingly died.

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