- “If the world hates you…” (John 15:18).
The context of these ominous words implies expectation. While there will be generations of the Church that do not face cultural opposition, in truth, most will. A world bent on a path away from God can hardly be expected to cohabitate comfortably with those who are chasing after Him. Likely the disciples were imagining a shorter road between their current status and the thrones promised ahead. But between here and there is a path of expected hardship, mistreatment, even outright antagonism that will sift through their levels of commitment like a violent wind. That’s…normal. Unfortunately, those who enjoy relative acceptance by their surrounding culture are poorly prepared for such days. They respond to persecution’s unfairness and can even lose confidence in God’s care, all because what He told them would happen actually occurs. On one level, His words make perfect sense–the world hates us because they hated Him–but that’s a level few really want to live on.