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Sunday, July 6, 2014

Hating Christians...

So why DO some people hate Christians?? Or despise them??
I'm not talking about "hate for a reason."  There are lots of reasons to dislike any religious bigot, or to hold them in contempt, and people who use religion to harm others--these are worthy of our strongest condemnations.
However, there is a group of people who seem completely opposed to the things that Jesus taught, to His claims about Himself, and to those who follow Him for no real reason at all.  They simply don't like Christians, and they don't like Christianity.
Jesus gives ONE reason for this attitude in His own words:
In His prayer for His disciples in John 17, He says to the Father, "I have given them [the disciples] your [the Father's] word, and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world."
In other words, what Jesus taught bothers certain people.  They can't stand it. And they can't stand the people who have the temerity to believe that Jesus taught the truth, and those who accept His words as true.  Jesus also said, "if the world hates you, you know that it hated me before it hated you."
But why is that??  How can it be that the Man whom millions revere as a great teacher, whom hundreds of millions worship, is so hated and despised by some?  Why are His disciples subjected to such awful treatment? Remember now that I'm not discussing the bigots, the "killers in the name of religion," etc.--just the regular folks, who worship the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.
I think the reason is actually quite simple.  Jesus explained it to Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor, on the day of His Crucifixion:
"To this end I was born, and for this cause I came into the world, that I should bear witness to the Truth.  Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice."
It cannot be coincidence that at the very moment He said this, His enemies among the Jews had set Him up to die that day, murdered at the behest of a kangaroo court.
Truth is the great divider.  People who fight the truth and try to kill its representatives, especially the truth of God and His Son Jesus Christ, do so for one reason only--they are not "of the truth."  They reject it, even though in many cases they know in their hearts that it is true.
The best example of this in the Bible is in John's Gospel, where the Pharisees, Scribes (lawyers), and Sadducees are confronted with the amazing miracle of the resurrection of Lazarus (John 11).
Their response?
"What are we going to do, for this man does many miracles...If we leave Him alone, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation."
That is perhaps one of the most stunning admissions of guilt in the course of history.
What they are saying is, "We know, but we don't care.  We want our lies over the truth He teaches and the miracles He does.  Let's kill him!!"
This is how some act when they are confronted with the truth.
How do you respond when you are confronted with truth you don't like?
Do you try to ignore it? Deny it?  Do you try to kill the messenger?  What DO you do?
You can do any of the above, and earn the judgment of God against yourself--or you can consider it, and see if it's worth believing, and then decide.
I hope you do the latter, since your response will determine your destiny.

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