When we began to evangelize in the Tacoma area, I was surprised to find there are many people who have never had the opportunity to hear the Gospel properly throughout their lives. One of them is a man I recently met in the park around my house who has become my friend. After a few of my invitations, he finally accepted my lunch offer during a weekday. I eventually invited him to my church office, but he seemed hesitant to enter the church. It turned out that he had never been to a church service and had never read the Bible in his life. It’s a sad thing to think that he lived his whole life in South Korea and the United States, where Christianity is the most prosperous in the world, and had no experience with the church. From the conversation with him over coffee, I found out an even worse thing about his great disbelief and hatred of Christianity. He seemed disappointed to see hypocritical Christians and disliked their preaching on the gospel of salvation only in Jesus. A short conversation with him confirmed to me the unchanging truth of the Bible.
- The World hates Christians.
Christians have historically been hated by the world and Jesus foretold about it. In John 15:19, Jesus says, “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.” So, it’s no surprise that Christians are hated in any country at any time.
- Christians must love their neighbors.
As Jesus speaks of world’s persecution toward Christians, Jesus speaks of the world’s greatest love. “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:12-13). I hope that Christians are hated by the world not because they are hypocritical, but because they demonstrate the great love that Jesus Christ showed us.
- Our neighbors need the gospel.
Our neighbor must hear the forgiveness of sins and the gospel of eternal life in Jesus Christ. By saying that Christians are hypocrites, my friend shows that he considers himself righteous and does not repent of his sins. After all, he sins by hating Jesus Christ and Christians for no reason and is also guilty of hating the Heavenly Father. Jesus says, “He who hates Me hates My Father also … ‘They hated Me without a cause’” (John 15:23-5).
I pray for the Holy Spirit’s help so that I may share the greatest love and the gospel of Jesus Christ to people like him. Please pray with me.