Luke 6:22,23 Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man’s sake. Rejoice in that and leap for joy!

How could someone hate Jesus? He is perfect love, the Prince of peace, died a horrible death on the cross to save sinners, full of goodness and mercy, etc. The character of Christ is indescribable, there is none like him. Hannah had that revelation, when the Lord gave her a son, Samuel, that she prayed fervently for. Hannah’s heart overflowed with joy, because of the faithfulness of the Lord, “No one is holy like the Lord, For there is none beside You, Nor is there any rock like our God” (1 Samuel 2:2). We see in the Book of Revelation there is constant praise before the throne of God of His holiness, purity, glory, power, honor, etc. To get an understanding of this, read Matthew 12:22 – 30, which is about Jesus casting out a demon from a man that was blind and mute. The Pharisees condemn Jesus that he was using power from Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons. Jesus explains that a kingdom cannot by divided against itself. In our study we have talked about the kingdom of God vs. the kingdom of the world. We again see it here, in this passage of Scripture. There is no middle ground between these kingdoms, you are either belong to Jesus or satan, you are either of the light or of darkness. Jesus makes a notable statement in Matthew 12:30, “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.” There are a lot of people in this world who are living a decent life in the worlds eyes, however if you are not living for Jesus, you are actually against Him. In other words, if self is ruling your life, and living according to your own dictates of your heart, and have not submitted to the Lord Jesus, you are against Him. Jesus is the King and Lord of the kingdom of God. We see in Revelation 19, that Jesus is revealed to the world, in that he is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Jesus and His army that follow Him, being the saints that have kept themselves holy and pure, are making war with the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies (Revelations 19:19).  The war is happening now! Are you armed with the armor of God, and fighting the fight of faith? Note we are not called to hate our enemies, but to hate evil. Remember Revelation 19 is a manifestation of the righteous judgment of God on a wicked world. I believe this is where Paul says in Corinthians 6:2 that the saints will judge the world.

Let’s begin our study!

Men will hate you

John 15:8,9 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 

Jesus makes it plain why the world will hate us. It is not that we have some quasi religious holiness in ourselves, but it is because of Jesus Himself. We see in verse 9, that the world loves those who belong to the world, because they are of the same spirit. This verse is not to say that there will be no fights and wars against the people of the world among themselves, but to point out that the world has no love for Christians and people of the world do flock together. Think of mixing oil and water together, the water molecules will be attracted to the other water molecules, and the same is true for the oil molecules. From this example, hopefully you can extrapolated that the world and the church do not mix. People of the world will be attracted to their own and love their own. I remember after I became a Christian, I spoke about Jesus to some of my friends from my past college, and they quickly wanted nothing to do with me. Some defriended me from Facebook. However, I will point out from this verse, that if you try to be a closet Christian, meaning trying to hid your faith, you can avoid persecution. A lot of the Modern Church in America preaches that you have to develop a lengthy relationship first, before sharing your faith. Just be nice and don’t ever speak about Jesus. Your life will do the talking itself. Folks, do not believe this lie from the devil to just get along with the world and casually share your faith when you get around to it.

John 7:7 “The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me, because I testify of it that its works are evil”

The essence of who Jesus is full of purity, holiness, and righteousness, which is a direct contradiction to a world, full of impurity, lewdness, and unrighteousness. Pronouncing something as evil is a great sting in the hearts of men. Who wants to be thought of as evil? The devil is using all kinds of deception to convince people that homosexuals are born that way, in that it is natural, or that drug addiction is a disease rather than a willful act of sin or abortion is a women’s choice rather that it is murder.

John 3:19, 20 “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.

This is a great verse to understand why people reject Jesus, it is not because there is enough evidence, but rather that they love the things of darkness rather than the truth. Ever do something that you knew you shouldn’t have done? I remember when I was in middle school, I was writing a note back to my friend in History class about a girl in an inappropriate way. The note was intercepted by the teacher, and I had to go to the principal office to discuss the note. I was so embarrassed that the principal knew about the note, and had to go through the note together of why I said the things I did. I hated that I was exposed, I could not cover myself, I was caught red handed.  The life of the Spirit in us will shine as a light to the world that their works are evil. People usually try to cover up or brush off their sinful works as no big deal. They will say, “I am still young”, or “No one is perfect.” The reason the Pharisees hated Jesus was he exposed their wicked hearts. They thought they were so righteous with their fasting, praying, and tithing, but Jesus exposed their hypocrisy.

Men will exclude you

Matthew 7:13,14 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

Walking with Jesus will always put us as the minority rather than the majority. We will be on another path then the world, that is going in a completely different direction. People will cease from keeping company with us, because we are talking about Jesus and living a righteous life.

2 Corinthians 6:14 – 16 “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God.

In theses verses we see the contrast between believers and unbelievers, that they are really polar opposites. Believers are acquainted with righteousness, light, Christ, and worship God, while unbelievers are of lawlessness, darkness, Belial, and worship idols. A few verses later we see, the Lord is calling His people to come out, be separate and touch not the unclean thing. Believers who are abiding in Christ, do not put everything on, but rather in naturally in a state of salt and light to the world. Listen to how Peter put it:

1 Peter 2:9 “ But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” 

Believers are set apart from the world by our identification with Jesus, we are a peculiar people that are being transformed into the image of Christ! Let us take these awesome words to heart.

Men will revile you

1 Peter 4:14 “If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.”

Before we look into the Biblical application, let’s first define what revile means. Just doing a Greek word search, revile means properly, to say harsh things (make verbal assaults); to revile; to spue bitter (tasteless) statements, using mean-spirited, insulting words to demoralize (humiliate). Jesus was often reviled by the Pharisees for not keeping the doctrines of men. While Jesus was on the cross, he was reviled by the Pharisees and others. The more we are pressing in with the Lord, and standing up for him, this will automatically result in being reviled by unbelievers. Start speaking the name of Jesus everywhere you go, people will laugh, mock, sneer, and reproach you. As one person put it, “It just comes with the territory.” The enemy will try to intimate us with people to not speak the word of God.

Men will cast out your name as evil

From the word of God, we see that our name is correlated with our character. The name Jesus means savior or Jehovah is salvation, Andrew means manly, David means believed, and Solomon means peace. When people are casting out your name as evil, they are really attacking your character.

1 Peter 2:12 “Having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers.”

1 Peter 3:16 “Having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.” 

When are character is that of Christ, and we are standing up for Jesus, we will be spoken as evildoers. It is a great paradox, since the character of Christ is full of purity and goodness, but it is being labeled as evil in the sight of the world. In the midst of our suffering, we need to arm yourselves with the mind of Christ.

1 Peter 4:3,4 “We have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you.

Luke 6:26 Woe to you when all men speak well of you, For so did their fathers to the false prophets.

 

Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trail which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.

1 Peter 4:12,13