If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
John 15:18-19 (NIV)
“A day is coming when preaching Jesus won’t be so simple, won’t be so easy,” and Jackie Hill Perry asks us, “Are you ready?”
Are we truly ready? Even when it’s simple, some of us still don’t preach the Gospel of Christ, as instructed in the Great Commission. To go out and make disciples, baptizing them in name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey God’s commands (Matthew 28:19-20). There will come a time when it won’t be so easy to do this. However, the bigger problem is we’re not doing it now. As Jesus noted in Matthew 9:37, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.”
Where are the workers willing to go out and collect God’s harvest, to bring those lost and seeking answers to the light of Christ? Have we forgotten our calling? Have we forgotten that Jesus promised to be with us? Have we forgotten that we have the Holy Spirit inside of us, a Counselor to guide us into all truth? Are we so afraid of being rejected, of being persecuted, of losing our freedoms that we cease to be Christian?
When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. (John 16: 8-11)
The world doesn’t want the conviction that the Holy Spirit brings. It hates the truth. It doesn’t want to be told that what it’s doing is wrong. It doesn’t want to be corrected. It will do everything in its power to silence anyone who speaks the Word of God because the Word of God directly conflicts with the world.
Will we allow ourselves to be silenced or will we continue to actively spread the teachings of Christ no matter the potential repercussions? Are we more fearful of the world’s hatred than we are of God’s wrath? “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10: 28).
Jackie Hill Perry warned that our persecution won’t be murder, but unbelief. These days, people are so busy trying to prove to the world what kind of Christian they are not that they forget the kind of Christian God called them to be. Eventually, we’ll all have to come before the throne in heaven and give an accounting of our works on earth. When that day comes, will he sit us on his right along with the righteous, or will he separate us to his left with the unbelievers and those who turned their backs on Christ?
Are we ready?