Why do those who God calls to set an example offer the worst?
“From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.”
Who said these words? It was none other than the leader God sent to set an example of authentic leadership – Jesus. History tells us that Jesus was hated mostly by politicians. From the day of his birth until the day of his death, He was chased, mocked, and hated by all those in power – including the religious leaders. On most days, He couldn't even find a pillow to lay His head. Why was this man hated so much? The simple answer? He was God. The practical answer? The more knowledge of the Truth a man has, the more error is revealed in the person(s) listening to him. The innate reaction to a man of Truth is to hate him.
How do you measure a man's hate?
Now that’s a great question! These days they use thumbs-up, thumbs-down, polls, and surveys as a primary metric to gauge the level of disdain toward another. It shouldn’t be a surprise that these modern methods of measuring attitudes reveal politicians as the most hated figures in society. The American polls state that President Donald Trump is the most hated man in the world. Why are some of the most truthful people in history the most hated? The answer is in this article.
As we listen to the news, or the neighbor next door, we hear horrific statements of hatred coming from politicians, or directed at them. How is it that our nation's leaders, who are called to set an example, have become idyllic examples of hatred? Honestly, most 4th graders are better examples than our politicians and church leaders. The hateful, murderous rhetoric spewed by leaders at all levels, from heads of homes to heads of state, is poisoning and destroying the moral fabric of our homes, country, churches, and communities. Their parents wonder why Gen-Z is so disrespectful and rude to our generation. Whatever happened to practicing what Peter said?
“Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king. Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable.” (1 Peter 2:17-18)
Do you know anyone who lives this out today?
Here is what I see. Dishonor all people, hate your family, front God, dishonor all leadership. Don't be submissive to your parents, church or national leaders. Make them earn their respect, particularly those who are unreasonable.
This kind of dishonor has given way to horrific violence across the country & the world. People are being tortured and killed every day, all day long, over beliefs and differing values. Our children are listening to hate demonstrated at such a rapid pace, that parents are conducting "media blackouts." Hatred has become a global cancer, and it’s about to enter stage 4.
In the pictorial Hebrew, hate is defined as, the weapon man. In Greek, it means detest to persecute; withhold love. The Hebrew word "echthros" is the most unambiguous definition, to be a hostile adversary replicating Satan. My favorite, in keeping with “God is Love,” translates to detest, persecute God by withholding Jesus from others. The bottom line is that it's the most significant offense placed on God because He is love.
Most authentic Christians understand that the end times must come. They know that the antichrist will someday rule the planet. And the most sobering knowledge is they have some understanding that authentic Christians will be tortured and persecuted relentlessly by this antichrist. On the other hand, there are many "Christians" who avoid reading, studying, or listening to anything that makes them uncomfortable. It’s a shame though. Those who have their "heads in the sand" will suffer an enormous shock. Hatred must increase so that love can find its way. Meaning, love (God) shines the brightest in the darkest places. And if you haven't noticed, the world is turning violently hateful and dark. The next step will be criminalizing authentic Christians. If you don't believe me, read the latest legislation, HR-5. This isn't fake-news.
Preparing for hate is your greatest defense. Jesus Himself warned us and promised the following comfort.
“Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man. Be glad in that day and leap for joy; for behold, your reward is great in heaven. For in the same way, their fathers used to treat the prophets.” (Luke 6:22-23)
From time to time, my flesh struggles with the fact that many preachers and teachers of the Word are treated with the utmost respect & well being - when I am not. Many of those days, the Lord takes me to His infamous woes.
“But woe to you who are rich, for you are receiving your comfort in full. Woe to you who are well-fed now, for you shall be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep. Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way.” (Luke 6:24-26)
What’s the solution?
Don't return hate for hate. Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, 'AN EYE FOR AN EYE, AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.' But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.” (Matthew 5:38-42)
Return love for hate. Jesus went on to say, “You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:43-48)
This raises the question, How can I be perfect as the Heavenly Father is perfect? The answer comes by way of the indwelling Life of Christ. IF He indeed does live in you, perfection is already available and ready for release. The real question then becomes, Are you an authentic indwelt born-again believer? If not, you will continue to hate your enemy and refuse to pray for those who are about to persecute you.
Without question, we live in a world filled with hate. So much so, most are devoid of its original definition – nor do they care. Since the Holy Scriptures warn us that hatred will increase the closer we get to His second coming, our focus needs to be in appealing to the mind of Christ in the authentic believers.