Summary: The Bible tells us that the world will hate us because it hated Jesus first. What does that mean to us? Should we consider the world to be our enemies? How should we respond?
Please open your Bibles to John 15:18-16:4 which we will read in a few minutes.
In the Bible we often read of “the world”.
The world consists of those who stand against Christ and His kingdom.
In the time of Christ the world often referred to Jews who rejected the Jesus the Messiah.
In a broader sense the world is all of the kingdom of the evil one which is raised in opposition to the Kingdom of God; those who are the enemies of Christ.
With that in mind let’s go ahead and read: John 15:18-16:4
18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated Me first.
19 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. 20 Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’
If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed My teaching, they will obey yours also.
21 They will treat you this way because of My name, for they do not know the One who sent Me.
22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin.
Now, however, have no excuse for their sin.
23 He who hates Me hates My Father as well.
24 If I had not done among them what no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have seen these miracles, and yet they have hated both Me and My Father.
25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated Me without reason.’
26 “When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father - the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father - He will testify about Me.
27 But you also must testify, for you have been with Me from the beginning.
1 All this I have told you so that you will not go astray.
2 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God.
3 They will do such things because they have not known the Father or Me.
4 I have told you this, so that when the time comes you will remember that I warned you about them. I did not tell you this at first because I was with you.
John 15:18 NIV
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated Me first.”
OK. That’s pretty powerful. Hate is a powerful emotion. Hate is not “irritated with someone” or “ignoring someone” or “disliking someone” or “resenting someone”.
Hate has an actively hostile quality to it.
A. W. Tozer:
To take Jesus Christ into your life without reservation is to accept His friends as your friends and to know that His enemies will be your enemies! It means that we accept His rejection as our rejection. We knowingly accept His cross as our cross.
If you then find yourself in an area where Christ has no friends, you will be friendless - except for the one Friend who will stick closer than a brother. (Tozer goes on to say) I made up my mind a long time ago. Those who declare themselves enemies of Jesus Christ must look upon me as their enemy, and I ask no quarter from them! And if they are friends of Christ, they are my friends - and I do not care what color they are or what denomination they belong to.
Are these parallel statements?
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated Me first.” – Jesus
“To take Jesus Christ into your life without reservation is to accept His friends as your friends and to know that His enemies will be your enemies!” – A. W. Tozer
To take Jesus into your life without reservation does not mean that you attend church on Sunday, read the Bible and pray, help others, give your tithes and offerings, etc. While all of those activities will be found in the lives of those who follow Jesus without reservation they can also be found in lives of those who have no relationship with Jesus at all but are just going through the motions.
To take Jesus into your life without reservation is monumental.
To take Jesus into your life without reservation is to take your hopes and your dreams and your aspirations and your plans for your life and replace them with the hopes, dreams, aspirations and plans which the Lord has for your life.