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Where did all this hate come from?

It didn’t start with the unjust killing of George Floyd, the riots, the looting, the election of Donald Trump, or any number of contemporary events. No, acts of hatred by individuals, races, and countries began so long ago that no historian on the face of the earth has the time or space to recount them all.

How long ago?

After the second child ever born grew to a man. Cain killed Abel. And we have been hating and hurting and killing each other ever since. Where does this hatred come from? It is within the unconverted human heart. “And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness (Romans 1:28–29).

Hatred is nothing new, but the glorification of it is, at least in my experience. And it is significant, I think, that it took Twitter, Facebook, and other social media to reveal the astonishing loathing in the hearts of so many humans. Thoughts that were once held secretly within people’s hearts are now given free rein to be spewed like caustic vomit upon anyone, anytime one pleases. I do not think this should surprise us. The ubiquitous animus we are experiencing now is yet one more signpost along the way to the already-here-yet-to-come days of lawlessness. One of the signposts of that lawlessness, it appears, is hatred in bloom. It is a vicious, unreasoning, lethal flower. Perhaps you have you have sensed its pervasive odium in those with whom you come into contact. 

Perhaps you have noticed that you are tempted to inhale its sinful, noxious fumes yourself.

I have. Thankfully, as Christians, we know we are to love God and love neighbor.

Just as hate is nothing new, hatred of Christians is certainly nothing new, either. It has been active since the earliest days of the Church. Truly, it started with Jesus. “If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause’” (John 15:24–25).1

Let us pause for a moment. The hatred of the Father and Jesus we see in the gospels was a fulfillment of prophecy. The Lord planned this. So, did He plan the hatred of Jesus’ followers, as well?

Yes. Jesus prophesied, “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake” (Matthew 24:7–9).  

I don’t really desire to be hated, do you? I like to be liked. I like to have friends. My fear is that I might compromise my fealty to Jesus in order to “just get along” in certain circumstances. I hope this will not be true of me. Jesus said, “So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32–33). That thought grieves me.

Jesus has told us—has prophesied to us—that we Christians will be hated for being His followers. For us Americans, persecution and martyrdom happen in far-away places and have little impact on us. But the comfort of that distance is very possibly diminishing. Why should we think that we should escape what has occurred in so many other countries in the world, to so many believers?

We shouldn’t. Remember, hatred of us has been prophesied by Jesus Himself.

Please join me in praying for this nation. The only way for this tsunami of hate to be abated is the transformation of people’s hearts. We are desperately in need of Jesus, of salvation, of new creations with the law written on hearts.

Father, be merciful to this nation. We have turned away from You, in spite of Your countless blessings. Bring us to the knowledge of Yourself through Your Son.  

1All Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

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