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.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
“If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but since you’re not of the world – on the contrary, I’ve chosen you out of the world – the world does hate you.”
“They are surprised that you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, speaking evil of you.”
According to Jesus, the fundamental reason that God’s children are hated by the world is simply that they do not belong to this world. Of course, any child of God who hides his light and refuses to be a living testimony for others will not be hated by the world, but Jesus was talking about honest-hearted, humble children of God. Everybody in the world, except them, is trying to fit in with one group or another in this world, and because those humble children of God do not spend their lives trying to please any group on earth, all of earth’s groups hate them.
Peter explained that the world considers people strange if they do not embrace the world’s lifestyles, if they are not impressed with and desire earthly wealth, beauty, and pleasure. To the world’s way of thinking, it makes no sense when a person does not want the same things that worldly people want, or when someone has no interest in participating in the world’s self-serving, self-gratifying activities, or when someone is not shaken by the things that cause the world to tremble. It is just as Peter said: “They are surprised.”
Child of God, you are different. You have been different from the beginning, and only when you came to Christ did you finally understand why you have always felt different, why you felt feelings that others in your life did not feel, and why you had thoughts that others did not seem to think. You have always belonged to God, even before you knew Him, and now that you know Him, you understand that you have always felt different simply because you are different; you just don’t belong to this world, and you never have. Your name was in the Lamb’s book of life before the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8; 17:8).
That is why the world hates you. You are “a stranger and a pilgrim” here; you are a foreigner to this wicked world, its ways, its feelings, and its thoughts. You never wanted the world, even when you lived as a worldly person. You wanted to know and to love your heavenly Father. Jesus said, “The world loves its own.” So, if we belonged to this world, we know that it would love us because we would not seem as strangers to the world. We would enjoy fellowship with its sinfulness as so many around us obviously do.
If you belonged to the world, you would be content without the convicting presence of our Father’s holy Spirit. Others are comfortable without that sweet voice of the Spirit guiding them day by day. Why aren’t you?