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Hated Without a Cause
Witnessing Tools
Friday, June 02, 2017
Alf Cengia

The world hated Jesus Christ without any good reason. That hatred continues to this day.

This is what I command you: love one another. If the world hates you, understand that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own. However, because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of it, the world hates you. Remember the word I spoke to you: ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will also keep yours. But they will do all these things to you on account of My name, because they don’t know the One who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin. Now they have no excuse for their sin. The one who hates Me also hates My Father. If I had not done the works among them that no one else has done, they would not have sin. Now they have seen and hated both Me and My Father. But this happened so that the statement written in their law might be fulfilled: They hated Me for no reason. John 15:17-25Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)
In his book The Upper Room, (*affiliate link) John MacArthur tells the following story:
In 1971, when I had been in pastoral ministry less than three years, a young man from the college department in our church was physically attacked while he was handing out tracts in a Southern Californian park. He was a gentle soul, who never had a bad thing to say about anyone and wasn’t the least bit contentious, but he loved to share the good news of Jesus Christ, even with strangers on the street. Someone was evidently angered by his mere presence and beat him into unconsciousness. It was a brutal beating, but he recovered, and soon he was back on the streets, telling people about Christ. He had not lost any of his zeal for the Lord.
A few weeks later this same young man was witnessing for Christ at Seventh and Broadway in downtown Los Angeles. It was 4:40 in the afternoon, the height of rush hour and the end of the business day. He was talking with passersby, handing out gospel tracts, when he was attacked again, this time with a hard blow to the head from behind. The back of his skull was fractured in four places. At the hospital, doctors drilled three holes in his skull to relieve the pressure, but they were unsuccessful. Three days later he died. He was committed to proclaiming Jesus Christ to a Christ-hating world, and he paid for it with his life.
John MacArthur notes that the incident changed his perspective on the cost of serving Jesus Christ in this hostile world. We assume that incidents such as this can only happen in other countries. And while it’s true that this doesn’t occur every day in America, hatred of Christ and those who follow Him is a growing phenomenon.
Later on, MacArthur recalls an incident when he participated in an evangelization campaign on a local university campus sharing the gospel with thousands of students. The next day the college newspaper warned that if the student group which sponsored this event didn’t comply with university policy by ceasing its evangelism on campus grounds, “direct action” would be taken. The dean had received formal complaints from unbelieving students who were given tracts and had been challenged by the gospel message. He promptly backed the protesters by citing policy forbidding “using university facilities for religious conversion.” This isn’t an isolated incident. Yet, as MacArthur notes, the irony is that people are free to proselytize about communism, abortion, pornography and gay rights. I would add that Muslims are also regularly allowed to proselytize about Islam on most university campuses.
Even some professors of Christ indulge in anti-gospel of activism. When MacArthur’s TMS Seminary posted an article on homosexuality on its website, within hours TMS received a warning to desist immediately or suffer the consequences of losing its tax-exempt status. One of the activist watch dogs making sure Christian organizations toe the keep-silent-on-government-offices line is a fellow called Rev. Barry Lynn. Mark Tooley talks about him HERE.
The root of their problem is the uncompromising gospel message associated with Jesus Christ. One can freely talk about a fictional Jesus: the kind teacher and perfect loving example – the one who fits in with the modern narrative of inclusiveness and all its attendant entrapments. The minute one points to the real biblical Christ as the Only Way to Salvation, and redemption from sin and death, one becomes a pariah to be hated.
You’ve probably heard something to the effect that the best way to proselytize is to reflect Christ’s love. Well, we are certainly commanded to love others, even our enemies (Matt 5:43-48Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)). In fact the closer you are to being  like Christ, the more the world will hate you. This is because it hated Him first. Jesus warned that this would be the case.
In spite of this, let us take great comfort in the fact that we are not of this world (John 17:16Open in Logos Bible Software (if available), 25Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)):
Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know. John 14:1-4Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)
But as it is written: What no eye has seen and no ear has heard, and what has never come into a man’s heart, is what God has prepared for those who love Him. 1 Cor 2:9Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)

During the Upper Room Discourse, Christ admonished and warned His disciples:

This is what I command you: love one another. If the world hates you, understand that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own. However, because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of it, the world hates you. Remember the word I spoke to you: ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will also keep yours. But they will do all these things to you on account of My name, because they don’t know the One who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin. Now they have no excuse for their sin. The one who hates Me also hates My Father. If I had not done the works among them that no one else has done, they would not have sin. Now they have seen and hated both Me and My Father. But this happened so that the statement written in their law might be fulfilled: They hated Me for no reason. John 15:17-25

In his book The Upper Room, John MacArthur tells the following story:

In 1971, when I had been in pastoral ministry less than three years, a young man from the college department in our church was physically attacked while he was handing out tracts in a Southern Californian park. He was a gentle soul, who never had a bad thing to say about anyone and wasn’t the least bit contentious, but he loved to share the good news of Jesus Christ, even with strangers on the street. Someone was evidently angered by his mere presence and beat him into unconsciousness. It was a brutal beating, but he recovered, and soon he was back on the streets, telling people about Christ. He had not lost any of his zeal for the Lord.

A few weeks later this same young man was witnessing for Christ at Seventh and Broadway in downtown Los Angeles. It was 4:40 in the afternoon, the height of rush hour and the end of the business day. He was talking with passersby, handing out gospel tracts, when he was attacked again, this time with a hard blow to the head from behind. The back of his skull was fractured in four places. At the hospital, doctors drilled three holes in his skull to relieve the pressure, but they were unsuccessful. Three days later he died. He was committed to proclaiming Jesus Christ to a Christ-hating world, and he paid for it with his life.

John MacArthur notes that the incident changed his perspective on the cost of serving Jesus Christ in this hostile world. We assume that incidents such as this can only happen in other countries. And while it’s true that this doesn’t occur every day in America, hatred of Christ and those who follow Him is a growing phenomenon.

Later on, MacArthur recalls an incident when he participated in an evangelization campaign on a local university campus sharing the gospel with thousands of students. The next day the college newspaper warned that if the student group which sponsored this event didn’t comply with university policy by ceasing its evangelism on campus grounds, “direct action” would be taken. The dean had received formal complaints from unbelieving students who were given tracts and had been challenged by the gospel message. He promptly backed the protesters by citing policy forbidding “using university facilities for religious conversion.” This isn’t an isolated incident. Yet, as MacArthur notes, the irony is that people are free to proselytize about communism, abortion, pornography and gay rights. I would add that Muslims are also regularly allowed to proselytize about Islam on most university campuses.

Even some professors of Christ indulge in anti-gospel of activism. When MacArthur’s TMS Seminary posted an article on homosexuality on its website, within hours TMS received a warning to desist immediately or suffer the consequences of losing its tax-exempt status. One of the activist watch dogs making sure Christian organizations toe the keep-silent-on-government-offices line is a fellow called Rev. Barry Lynn. Mark Tooley talks about him HERE.

The root of their problem is the uncompromising gospel message associated with Jesus Christ. One can freely talk about a fictional Jesus: the kind teacher and perfect loving example – the one who fits in with the modern narrative of inclusiveness and all its attendant entrapments. The minute one points to the real biblical Christ as the Only Way to Salvation, and redemption from sin and death, one becomes a pariah to be hated.

You’ve probably heard something to the effect that the best way to proselytize is to reflect Christ’s love. Well, we are certainly commanded to love others, even our enemies (Matt 5:43-48)

In fact the closer you are to being like Christ, the more the world will hate you. This is because it hated Him first. Jesus warned that this would be the case.

In spite of this, let us take great comfort in the fact that we are not of this world (John 17:16)

Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know. John 14:1-4

But as it is written: What no eye has seen and no ear has heard, and what has never come into a man’s heart, is what God has prepared for those who love Him. 1 Cor 2:9

About Alf Cengia

Last week: Modern Israel and Proof of God's Existence



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