Sunday, April 14, 2013
“Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you” (1 John 3:13 KJV).
God’s people have never been welcome here in “this present evil world” (Galatians 1:4) because He has never been welcome here. In short, if lost people could utter two words to us Christians after we have been raptured out, it would be, “Good riddance!”
Satan is God’s enemy (Satan is Hebrew for “adversary”); hence, Satan’s children hate and oppose God’s children. Recall Jesus’ rebuke of Israel’s unbelieving religious leaders, Satan’s counterfeit Jews: “If God were your Father, ye would love me…. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning [referring to Cain killing Abel], and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:42,44).
The conflict between lost people and Christians is actually the visible manifestation of the invisible spiritual battle that Satan’s lie program is waging against God’s truth. Unbelievers have slaughtered millions of God’s people throughout the ages. Even today, Christians worldwide are imprisoned, tortured, and slain for their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the God of heaven and earth. (Fret not, for He knows the names of all, and His righteous judgment will be expressed in due time!)
In the context of today’s Scripture, John is comforting his believing Jewish audience who will experience the seven-year Tribulation. He instructs these Jewish Christians to neither be startled nor distressed when the apostate Jews embrace the antichrist and shun and persecute them for rejecting him as false (cf. Matthew 10:16-42). As satanic Cain hated and slew godly Abel (1 John 3:11,12), so unbelieving Israel will despise and betray the believing Jews, the Israel of God. John consoles them to be strong by faith in Jesus Christ, “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4).
The satanic opposition that Abel faced and that Israel’s believing remnant will face, is what we Christians face today….