The world still hates you. Don’t think for a second that it doesn’t. It hates you and everything you stand for. It hates the values you hold and the God you worship. And because it hates your God, it hates you. A lot.
This morning I see a news article from my local newspaper recapping and discussing the insanely popular pornographic TV show, Game of Thrones. “GoT” as it is popularly abbreviated has featured (I’m told) scenes of violent rape, incest, and its sex scenes are so bad they can’t be uploaded and shared on sites like YouTube and Vimeo because they are considered too pornographic. Since when did a newspaper start talking-up porn? Anything to make a buck.
Go to the grocery store and you’ll find packages of “GoT” Oreos. Since when did a cookie chiefly marketed to children co-market pornography? Since 2019, that’s when.
Today I woke up and poured a bowl of Cheerios. The box features TV-talk-show host-and-pop-culture-queen Ellen DeGeneres, an openly lesbian woman who is “married” to another woman. I don’t hate Ellen. I don’t watch her show and I’m not saying she is the embodiment of evil or any nonsense like that. But I do hate the way she is marketed as squeaky clean, attractive, and popular to as broad a demographic as possible, in part to help normalize her sin in society, as if to say, “See, you can be fun and happy and joke and do nice things for people; it doesn’t matter who you go to bed with!” It does matter. It matters because God says it matters.
…On and on it goes. Outside the church Christians are being marginalized. Street preachers preaching the Gospel are being arrested in the UK while radical Islamic imams are given freedom to say and do as they please, lest any be offended. China is stepping up its persecution of Christians, both domestic and internationals there on visas. One town’s government is even offering a reward for information leading to the arrest of foreign Christians serving the underground church.
Inside the church there are fresh attacks against the truth with ideological weapons both old and new. The radical and racial theology of Liberation Theology is being foisted again on Bible-believing Christians and institutions, and if you are white and don’t cave to its aggression, well, you must be racist. And if you are black and don’t join forces with those pushing it, you are a sell out. Related, the Social Justice false-gospel is making a comeback, too.
As the world has lost its mind and soul with regards to sexuality and gender, where up is down, down is up, boy is girl, girl is boy, and neither word is even appropriate anymore. The same perniciousness is slyly being brought into the church. There are those who profess to be Christians and yet “suggest” a “nuanced” “dialogue” needs to take place about how one can be gay and still be a Christian. (Let the Christian reader beware: smooth words hide carefully sharpened lies.) Men ought to “cuddle” other men. Churches ought to be “gay-affirming,” and if you need help sowing tares in your own church, there’s even a “helpful” 10-point checklist available so you can “audit” how your church is doing in capitulating to the culture.
All of this is just the tip of the iceberg. The men of sodom were struck blind by the angel and still clawed at Lot’s door to try to rape his heavenly visitors. The Israelites were given over to their idolatries and suffered the consequences of “every one doing what was right in their own eyes” again and again in Judges. Almost 3,000 years ago the prophet Jeremiah warned that the human heart is “deceitfully wicked” and yet to this day every culture, including our own, has only ever urged its people to “follow their heart” and “look within” to find truth and guidance.
Christian, your Lord and mine warned us. In John 15:18 Jesus said, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you” (ESV). As I was reminded over lunch with a believing family only yesterday, go back and read 1 Peter if you don’t believe the world hates us Christians.
What’s the answer? How should you and I continue in this world? We may be alone in this world, but our Lord has not left us orphans (John 14:18). A few reminders for us to persevere well in this dark world:
- Stay close to the Lord.
- Stay in His Word everyday. Hide it in your heart.
- Be joyful in the Lord. You are saved and you are loved by Him!
- Share the Gospel with the lost (Jude 23)
- Encourage other believers to persevere with hope. This world is not our home, the best is yet to come.
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. – Heb 10:19-25