Thursday, May 25, 2017
There is a misconception among God’s children that it is a bad sign when people in the world like us and don’t say anything negative about us. One pastor I know has often remarked “I would be very worried if everybody in the world likes me.” Perhaps he, and many other Christians feel this way because of their interpretation of certain bible verses. Here are two examples: “Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” (James 4:4) “I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” (John 17:14) These two verses could be seen as a confirmation to that belief, so it is understandable that some would feel uneasy if most people in the world like them. However, just like stories, every issue has two sides. Let’s take a look at the other one.
In the 15th Chapter of John, we have the account of Jesus’ discourse with His Disciples. Here, He was announcing His death, resurrection, and the coming of the Holy Spirit as well as preparing them for what was to come. This was one of the things He told them: “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (verses 18-19) I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “If is a very big word and sometimes changes everything” And I’m also sure you noticed that the first word Jesus used in this declaration was the word “if.” Of course, there will be times when we share the gospel with others that they will not like what they heard. If they resent it, they may resent us as well.
Consider this too: When advising Timothy of the qualifications of the church’s ministers, here was one of them: “He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, (the world) so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.” (1 Timothy 3:7) The truth is that if we display Christlike qualities many people in the world will like us, even if they don’t believe or accept the gospel. One noteworthy verse regarding the priest and prophet, Samuel, says this: “And the child Samuel grew in stature, and in favor both with the Lord and men.” (I Samuel 2:26) So we see that a child of God can find favor even among the people in the world. Bottom line: It is not necessarily a bad thing if people in the world like us. In fact, Jesus said that if we let our light shine before men, (the world) they will see our good works and glorify Him. (See Matthew 5:16) Lets make a good effort to glorify the Lord.
God’s promise for today: (Daniel 12:3) “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.”