“Not as Cain, who was of the evil one, and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother’s were righteous. Do not marvel, brethren, if the world hates you” (1 John 3:12-13).
Christians are rejected by the world but accepted by God. You can judge a man’s character by who his enemies are. That is also true in the spiritual realm. The world loves its own, but since Christ chose believers out of the world, the world hates them (John 15:19). The world hated Jesus that it killed Him. We, as His followers, can also expect hostility. “If the world hates you,” Jesus said in John 15:18, “you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.” “If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul,” He added in Matthew 10:25, “how much more the members of his household!” From the beginning of history, the unrighteous have hated the righteous. Cain murdered his righteous brother Abel in a fit of jealous rage (1 John 3:12; Gen. 4:1-8). In Acts 7:52 Stephen asked his accusers, “Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? Peter noted the reason for the world’s hostility to Christians when he wrote, “[Unbelievers] are surprised that you do not run with them into the same excess of dissipation, and they malign you” (1 Peter 4:4). Christians’ lives are a threat because they rebuke unbelievers’ sin and remind them of coming judgment.
Have you experienced the world’s hostility, opposition, prejudice, rejection, or even persecution for your stand for Jesus Christ? If so, that’s evidence that you belong to the One who also suffered rejection by the world.
Let us pray that God would enable us to rejoice in the face of persecution (Acts 5:41).