“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.” – John 15:18
Randy Alcorn asks the question, Are you willing to be hated for speaking gospel truth? He makes it clear that being hated doesn’t mean that we act hatefully or seek to be hated. But the most loving and gentle man who ever lived, being utterly without sin, was so hated for the things He taught that He was put to death on a cross. And yet many today, in spite of His warnings, seem to believe that they can profess the same faith and be embraced by the world.
Among some believers the new definition of a good Christian is holding your beliefs privately, not challenging those who publicly share beliefs that dishonor Christ, and avoiding controversy at all costs lest we be perceived as “those kind of Christians” who hate gays, oppose abortion, favor inquisitions and live to burn witches. We so much want the world to like us that we end up distancing ourselves from the historic Christian faith, from biblical doctrine (including hell), and from churches (because they’re all hypocrites except us). We end up making ourselves indistinguishable from the world, and therefore have nothing to offer the world.
Alcorn goes on to say:
There is nothing new or postmodern about the gospel turning some people off. That’s always been true, just as it’s always been true that some people are longing to hear it and will deeply appreciate it that you had enough courage to tell them about Jesus.
This follows along with our study of James 1:2-4 and will be a constant theme all the way through the book. “Do you not know that whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God?”