If We Were of the World

John 15:18-19 ESV

“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”

Jesus said we will be hated for his name’s sake and because we are not of the world, because Jesus chose us out of the world. He didn’t say we might be hated, but that we will be hated. If we are following Jesus Christ with our lives and we are living holy lives, separate (unlike, different) from the world, Jesus said we will be hated, that the world will hate us.

Yet, the word translated “hate” means: hate, detest, love less, esteem less, to detest on a comparative basis, hence, denounce (accuse, censure, vilify), to renounce (discard, reject). https://biblehub.com/greek/3404.htm

When Jesus talked about how the world will hate us he talked about how we will be persecuted for righteousness’ sake, and because he was persecuted. And to be persecuted is to be oppressed, hounded, harassed, bullied, and/or tormented, especially because of our walks of faith in Jesus Christ and because we are not like the world, because Jesus called us to live holy lives unlike the world.

So, if we are not being denounced, accused falsely, censured, vilified, discarded, rejected, detested, persecuted, hounded, harassed, bullied, oppressed and/or tormented in some fashion or another because of our walks of faith in Jesus Christ, then it could be that we have not yet or we have not fully separated ourselves from the world, from their values, morals, philosophies, attitudes, speaking, and behaviors.

For, the world will love us as its own when we are still like the world, when we still do the same types of things as the ungodly do, when we think the ways that they think, and we laugh at all the same jokes, and we listen to all the same off color humor, and when we watch the same immoral garbage on TV, on videos, and on the internet, and when we spread the same cheap grace gospel which appeases human flesh but which does not please God.

But since Jesus has chosen us out of the world, to not be like the world, so that he can conform us to his likeness, then this is how we need to be living, not like the world but like Jesus in conformity with his word and with his righteousness and holiness. For to this we were called of God.

John 15:20-21 ESV

“Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.”

The more we become like Jesus in heart, in character, in word, and in deed, the more that we should be treated like he was treated. And who were Jesus’ biggest opponents? They were his own people of his own race and of his own nation and of his own faith and of his own birth family. And they were the rulers and the teachers of the Scriptures in the temple of God.

So, since so much of the church has become so much like the world these days, at least here in America, and perhaps in other nations, too, if we are truly following Jesus with our lives, we should not be surprised if our greatest opposition also comes from those who profess to be our brothers and sisters in the Lord and from pastors of church gatherings, too.

And why did all those people hate Jesus? Why did they come against him? Why did they oppose him, hound him, and torment him? Why did they falsely accuse him of things he didn’t do? Why did they try to trip him up with his words? Was he doing anything wrong? No! He was doing only good. But they hated him because he wasn’t like them, and because they were jealous of him, and because his righteousness made them look bad.

They hated him, too, because he spoke the truth in love to them, and he called out their sinful practices and their immoralities and their idolatries, and because he told them that they had to repent of their sin or die in their sins and not have eternal life with God. And he told them that they had to honor him and give up their lives of sin to follow him in obedience.

So, if we are doing the kinds of things he did in leading others to Jesus, especially in today’s modern church culture, we should be treated much the same as Jesus was treated and by other people who claim to be followers of Christ, and by pastors of churches, and even by our own family members, for Jesus said family would turn against family on account of his name and that they would hate one another.

Now, this is not to say that we are perfect as he was perfect and that some of our rejection might not come because of our own fleshly actions, but if we are doing what he says to do, and if we are persecuted for it, we should rejoice that we are counted worthy to suffer for the sake of Jesus’ name.

John 15:22-25 ESV

“If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father also. If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’”

Now, Jesus was not saying that his persecutors would not be guilty of any sin if he had not come and spoken to them. We are all born into this world in the image of Adam with sin natures, and we are all separate from God, and we all come up short, in our own flesh, of attaining God’s divine approval and acceptance. And so we must all repent of sin, allow Jesus to change us, and then to walk in holiness and righteousness in the power of God.

Also we read in Romans 1 that God revealed himself to all humans through his created works, and if we choose to reject him and to go our own way it is not because we didn’t know. Paul stated there that if we go the way of our sinful flesh and we deny who God is and we refuse to honor him that we are without excuse. So, if Jesus did not come to you in bodily form and talk with you, if you reject him as your God and Savior, you will still face God’s wrath.

So, please know this. If we do not deny self, but we deny Christ by our practices, and if we do not repent of sin, but we continue to walk in sin, and if we do not obey our Lord, but we continue to go our own way and to do our own thing, we will lose our lives for eternity. We will not have eternal life with God. So, deny self, die with Christ to sin daily, and walk in obedience to his commands, in his power, and he says we will have eternal life with him.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Matt 7:21-23; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10]

O Come All Ye Faithful

By John Francis Wade

O come, all ye faithful,
joyful and triumphant!
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem!
Come and behold him,
born the King of angels.

Sing, choirs of angels,
sing in exultation,
sing, all ye citizens of heav’n above!
Glory to God, all glory in the highest

Yea, Lord, we greet thee,
born this happy morning;
Jesus, to thee be all glory giv’n!
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing

O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
Christ the Lord!

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