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Monday, January 11, 2010

"All men will hate you because of Me."

Jesus knew a thing or two about hatred.

He was spit upon.
He was beaten.
He was whipped.
He was called names.
He was lied about.
He was brutalized.
He was murdered.

All because of hatred.

In my sheltered world, I sometimes forget there are people out there who hate me because I belong to Jesus Christ. They don't know me and yet they hate me. And honestly, I don't understand it at all. I don't understand how you can hate a person you don't know simply because they have faith in the Son of God. Just today I read a message someone called "Atheist23" (or something like it) left for me on my YouTube profile (which I didn't know I had one): "You're a retard and stupid." All because I marked Colt McCoy's and Sam Bradford's testimonies as a favorite.

Belonging to Jesus Christ sets us apart from the world. Jesus said it would. For those of us who truly believe what the Bible says and try to live it out in our daily lives, we find ourselves going against the tide of secularism. One major issue today is marriage. Constantly we have to defend our belief that God gave marriage exclusively to a man and a woman. To argue this point, we look to the Bible where there is not one example--not one!--of marriage between two men or two women. From Genesis to Revelation, covering thousands of years, God did not bless even one marriage between two men or two women. Yet there are countless references, including God's blessings, to marriage between a man and his wife. I have nothing personally against any man who wants to marry another man or a woman who wants to marry a woman. I simply believe that God's plan from the very beginning of creation was for a man to marry a woman, period. I don't hate gay or lesbian people, but I do disagree with them. Yet because I disagree with them, I am labeled a bigot.

Hmm. Maybe they need to go look in the mirror before using that word to describe me. The definition fits them as well.

Often hatred is directed at us because we believe faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to enter heaven. Christianity is the belief that Jesus is God the Son, that He came to earth in human form, died on a cross for our sins, was resurrected to life and is seated at the right hand of God the Father. Jesus himself said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6) And yet if we proclaim this as truth to the world, we are called intolerant. We're called exclusionary. We're accused of hatred because we don't embrace other belief systems.

Brit Hume, a long-time news reporter, recently found out what hatred feels like. Discussing Tiger Woods and the mess he's made of his life, Brit, from the heart, shared that he believed Tiger Woods needs to find forgiveness that is found in the Christian faith which isn't, in Brit's opinion, found in Buddhism.

That's it. That's all he said. But oh my, did the critics and hatemongers blast him for it!

Why?

"All men will hate you because of me." Jesus' words in Matthew 10:22.

Jesus knew a thing or two about hatred.

"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first." John 15:18

Brit hasn't always been a Christian. He came to his faith through a tragedy. He knows what it's like to live apart from Jesus and he knows what it's like to live with Jesus as his Savior. And he wants to share that amazing life-change with people like Tiger Woods.

Is that really worthy of hatred?

If you are reading this blog and have experienced hatred simply because you are a follower of Jesus Christ, please leave a comment and share your story. I'd love to join you in prayer for your protection and courage to face a world that doesn't understand us and often hates us. Let's stand strong together!

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

like what i read, ive just came back 2 my faith after a really hard time battleing depression and attempting suicide, and as soon as i found peace love and forgiveness in prayer 2 jesus, ive been attacked by so called peace 2 all beings buddhas. who have vented there anger at me all because i believe jesus is the truth 2 this messed up world.. god bless u my friend.... ireland

Michelle Shocklee said...

Dear Ireland,

Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a post. I rejoice with you in coming back to your faith in Jesus Christ! Without Him, we have nothing, as I'm sure you discovered. But Satan, the enemy of this world, doesn't want us to have a moments happiness so he attacks us with anything and everything including "good" people. I especially believe he attacks those he's attacked before, as he did with your depression and suicide attempt. What a victory he would have scored if you had been successful, but instead you've given your life back to Jesus and that really makes Satan mad!!

"In this world you will have trouble, but take heart for I have overcome the world!" Jesus' words to us in John 16:33.

Take heart, my dear Ireland, because you are already on the winning side!! You belong to the victor! Satan knows his time is drawing near and he's doing everything he can to thwart those of us who claim Christ as our Lord and God! Look for me when we are all in heaven and we can stand beside each other and DANCE when God throws Satan into the lake of fire for all eternity! Woot! That is day I long for!

Continue to keep Jesus first in your life! When all else fails, Jesus will not!

God bless you too, my friend!
~Michelle Shocklee

Anonymous said...

dear michelle,

i've posted your website on facebook bcoz i agree with what you express in there.

so i hope you don't mind. if you do, please let me know right away so that i will delete it.

Michelle Shocklee said...

Thank you for visiting my blog and sharing it! I don't mind at all.

Blessings,
Michelle Shocklee

SLPatterson said...

Thank you, Michelle for speaking the truth in love concerning how the world will react to our following Jesus. May the Lord increase your audience and push out the stakes of your tent. Your writing is a blessing indeed!