“He who is of God hears the words of God.” – Jesus (John 8:47a WEB)
“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated me [Jesus] before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. But because you are not of the world, since I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” – Jesus (John 15:18-19)
“If anyone speaks, let it be as it were the very words of God.” – Peter (1 Peter 4:11a)
Those who speak and act on behalf of God are hated by this world, because the people of this world hate God and hate what He has to say. They would rather live in sin. They would rather live life by their own rules and not be told what they can and cannot do. “Who are you to tell me what to do?”
That is why the world hates us.
Unfortunately, increasingly, it’s not only the world who won’t hear the words of God. More and more, even Christians are less receptive to what God has to say. Yes, even we Christians sometimes become too stubborn in the traditions we’ve been taught so that we become blind to what the Word of God says.
And yet, those who speak on behalf of God have always been hated by God’s people. The prophet Isaiah said this:
“The LORD told me to write down his message for /his people/… They have turned against the LORD… They have refused his teaching and have said to his messengers and prophets: Don’t tell us what God has shown you and don’t preach the truth. Just say what we want to hear, even if it’s false. Stop telling us what God has said! We don’t want to hear any more about the holy God of Israel.” (Isaiah 30:8-11)
Oh friends! Let’s not have hard hearts before the LORD. If we are confronted with uncomfortable teaching that doesn’t agree with “what we’ve always heard,” let’s not immediately dismiss it, but let us be noble like the Christians in Berea who “searched the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11).
In the meantime, let those of us who proclaim the truths of God’s Word do so with boldness and gentleness and love, not being surprised when others attack us:
“Dear friends, don’t be surprised or shocked that you are going through testing that is like walking through fire. Be glad for the chance to suffer as Christ suffered. It will prepare you for even greater happiness when he makes his glorious return.
Count it a blessing when you suffer for being a Christian. This shows that God’s glorious Spirit is with you. Don’t be ashamed to suffer for being a Christian. But you deserve to suffer if you are a murderer, a thief, a crook, or a busybody.
Praise God that you belong to him. God has already begun judging his own people. And if his judgment begins with us, imagine how terrible it will be for those who refuse to obey his message.
The Scriptures say,
‘If good people barely escape, what will happen to sinners and to others who don’t respect God?’
If you suffer for obeying God, you must have complete faith in your faithful Creator and keep on doing right.” 1 Peter 4:12-19 CEV