Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate.  Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach.  For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.


Going to Jesus

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Venting Hatred of God

It is revealing that when Satan was cast out of heaven, he came to earth “having great wrath” (Rev. 12:12). He felt no regret for his sin, no shame; rather, he felt rage against God, which he immediately began to take out on Israel and on those who follow Jesus when he found himself on earth (Rev. 12:13, 17). Israel didn’t cast Satan out of heaven, and believers in Christ didn’t either. But throughout the last two thousand years, ever since he was forever cast out of God’s presence, Satan has vented his wrath and hatred of God against that lonely nation and those believers.

There is a Psalm in which the Spirit of Christ says to the Father, “The reproaches of them who reproached you fell on me.” This happens often in this life. Those closest to God often suffer the vengeance and hatred of those who displease God. Cain killed Abel only because he was a sinner who despised God’s ways, while Abel did not. Wicked men killed Jesus because they hated God, and Jesus was like Him. The scriptures tell us that children of the devil called Jesus demon-possessed, and heretics condemned Paul for heresy. False prophets persecuted true prophets as being false, and righteous people have often been despised by the unrighteous. This is the way things are in this world. “If you were of the world,” Jesus told his disciples, “the world would love its own.” But at the same time, he reminded them of this encouraging fact: “Know that the world hated me first.” In other words, “I know how it feels. You can overcome it.”

The author of Psalms understood this well. Whether it was David, or Christ speaking through him, the speaker in many of the Psalms was an extremely hated man. And through his desperate cries of fear and anguish, he has given persecuted saints over the centuries the words to pray in their times of trouble. He knew how to pray and touch God when he was hurting, and by all indications, he was hurt often and deeply.

We need not expect to be understood or helped by this world, or by the children of God who have fallen from their faith. On the contrary, just as Satan has used the world repeatedly to accomplish his evil designs against the nation of Israel and the saints of God, so the saints who have been turned over by God often join with the world to accomplish their evil designs against those who still persevere in the faith of Jesus. In this world, that’s just how hatred of God is most often expressed.

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