“It is not that I want merely to be called a Christian, but actually to be one”
-Ignatius (To the Romans 3:2)
Are you hated by the world? If you are a Christian, and the world does not hate you, I believe if I may, sadly inform you that you are not a Christian. You are merely called a Christian, but you are actually not one. Being a Christian, “a follower of the anointed one”, is not only professing to the truthfulness of Christianity but also a lifestyle that imitates Christ Jesus.
Apostle John records Jesus saying: “The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil.”(John 7:7). The context to which this Jesus’ saying is coming out, is that of his half brothers, who the Apostle remarked did not even believed in Jesus, pose him to go to Judea and twitter himself publicly at the Jews Feast of Booths, which is celebration of the feast of ingathering observed at the end of the year (Exod. 23:16; Exod. 34:22)
Jesus answered his skeptical half-brothers with a reply like this: The world loves those who speak what it longs and dearly wants to hear: it’s O.K., it’s O.K.! You are fine! Everything is going to be fine! The world loves those who “claim” to be Christians yet appraise and approve its immoral actions and behavior and hates those who testify about its evil.
If you are a Christian, and the world listens to you, then examine yourself to see whether you are truly what you claim to be. In First Epistle of John, a letter that was generally written to congregations across Asia Minor (now Turkey), John warned Christian that there are “Christian” who are not “ Christian”: “They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us.”(1 John 4:5-6)
Christ Jesus was hated for speaking against the evilness of the world. As a true follower of Christ, practicing his teaching and lives a life-style that reflects that you are in Christ, being hated by the world is guarantied. You ought to be hated. You must be hated.
In all this, take courage in these words of warning from the one who loves you: “ If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you”(John 15:18–19)
Be a Christian, “Keep on praying”for others too, for there is a chance of their being converted and getting to God. Let them, then, learn from you at least by your actions. Return their bad temper with gentleness; their boasts with humility; their abuse with prayer. In the face of their error, be “steadfast in the faith.” Return their violence with mildness and do not be intent on getting your own back. By our patience let us show we are their brothers, intent on imitating the Lord, seeing which of us can be the more wronged, robbed, and despised. Thus no devil’s weed will be found among you; but thoroughly pure and self-controlled, you will remain body and soul united to Jesus Christ.”(Ignatius’ To the Ephesians 10:1-3)
Go out Christians and be hated! Speak the truth with love and gentleness. Go out, Go be hated.