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1 John 3:13: If The World Hates You

1 John 3:13
[13] Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. (ESV)

Can you imagine if we told people, "Come to Jesus, give your life to him, and the world will hate you."? It doesn't sound like a very good selling point.  However, the fact is we should not be surprised at all if the world hates us.  As we have just looked at in the previous verse Cain (the unrighteous) hated Abel (the righteous). He was jealous of his righteousness.  The same was true with the Pharisees (unrighteous) murdering the Savior (righteous).

If you are truly going to follow the Savior you can expect to be treated like the Savior.  It is a message that needs to be taught in our churches. Suffering and persecution are part of the package.  Yes, we will live eternally.  But, as we journey in this life we should be prepared to identify with Christ in his suffering.  In fact, one of the most intimate and wonderful experiences we will have with God come as his presence is with us in the midst of suffering for his name.

I want to point you to one very popular verse in the New Testament.  Let's look at Acts 1:8.  These are words that Jesus spoke to his disciples just before he ascended. You may have heard this verse used to speak of the Holy Spirit's power.  However, I want you to notice a different aspect of this great verse.  It is the word "witnesses."  In the Greek that word is "martus," This word means martyr. Let's read that verse:

Acts 1:8
[8] But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my martyrs in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (ESV)

Jesus promises the disciples that they would be martyred for him, They were empowered by God's Spirit, and they turned the world upside down.  Don't be surprised if you are hated.  Be surprised if you are not.