How do we respond to the world that hates Christians, at the same time knowing that we need to reach them with the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
But if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case, the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
2 Corinthians 2:3-4 HCSB
We know that we are of God, and the whole world is under the sway of the evil one.
1 John 5:19 HCSB
“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 andMy Father. But this happened so that the statement written in their scripture might be fulfilled: They hated Me for no reason.
John 15:18-25 HCSB
There was a lull of three years without war between Aram and Israel. 2 However, in the third year, Jehoshaphat king of Judah went to visit the king of Israel. 3 The king of Israel had said to his servants, “Don’t you know that Ramoth-gilead is ours, but we have failed to take it from the hand of the king of Aram?” 4 So he asked Jehoshaphat, “Will you go with me to fight Ramoth-gilead?”
Jehoshaphat replied to the king of Israel, “I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.” 5 But Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “First, please ask what the Lord’s will is.”
6 So the king of Israel gathered the prophets, about 400 men, and asked them, “Should I go against Ramoth-gilead for war or should I refrain?”
They replied, “March up, and the Lord will hand it over to the king.”
7 But Jehoshaphat asked, “Isn’t there a prophet of Yahweh here anymore? Let’s ask him.”
8 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is still one man who can ask Yahweh, but I hate him because he never prophesies good about me, but only disaster. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.”
“The king shouldn’t say that!” Jehoshaphat replied.
9 So the king of Israel called an officer and said, “Hurry and get Micaiah son of Imlah!”
10 Now the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah, clothed in royal attire, were each sitting on his own throne. They were on the threshing floor at the entrance to Samaria’s gate, and all the prophets were prophesying in front of them. 11 Then Zedekiah son of Chenaanah made iron horns and said, “This is what the Lord says: ‘You will gore the Arameans with these until they are finished off.’” 12 And all the prophets were prophesying the same: “March up to Ramoth-gilead and succeed, for the Lord will hand it over to the king.”
13 The messenger who went to call Micaiah instructed him, “Look, the words of the prophets are unanimously favorable for the king. So let your words be like theirs, and speak favorably.”
14 But Micaiah said, “As the Lord lives, I will say whatever the Lord says to me.”
15 So he went to the king, and the king asked him, “Micaiah, should we go to Ramoth-gilead for war, or should we refrain?”
Micaiah told him, “March up and succeed. Yahweh will hand it over to the king.”
16 But the king said to him, “How many times must I make you swear not to tell me anything but the truth in the name of Yahweh?”
17 So Micaiah said:
I saw all Israel scattered on the hills like sheep without a shepherd. And the Lord said, “They have no master; let everyone return home in peace.”
18 So the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you he never prophesies good about me, but only disaster?”
19 Then Micaiah said, “Therefore, hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on His throne, and the whole heavenly host was standing by Him at His right hand and at His left hand. 20 And the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab to march up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ So one was saying this and another was saying that.
21 “Then a spirit came forward, stood before the Lord, and said, ‘I will entice him.’
22 “The Lord asked him, ‘How?’
“He said, ‘I will go and become a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’
“Then He said, ‘You will certainly entice him and prevail. Go and do that.’
23 “You see, the Lord has put a lying spirit into the mouth of all these prophets of yours, and the Lord has pronounced disaster against you.”
24 Then Zedekiah son of Chenaanah came up, hit Micaiah in the face, and demanded, “Did the Spirit of the Lord leave me to speak to you?”
25 Micaiah replied, “You will soon see when you go to hide yourself in an inner chamber on that day.”
26 Then the king of Israel ordered, “Take Micaiah and return him to Amon, the governor of the city, and to Joash, the king’s son, 27 and say, ‘This is what the king says: Put this guy in prison and feed him only bread and water until I come back safely.’”
28 But Micaiah said, “If you ever return safely, the Lord has not spoken through me.” Then he said, “Listen, all you people!”
29 Then the king of Israel and Judah’s King Jehoshaphat went up to Ramoth-gilead. 30 But the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will disguise myself and go into battle, but you wear your royal attire.” So the king of Israel disguised himself and went into battle.
31 Now the king of Aram had ordered his 32 chariot commanders, “Do not fight with anyone at all except the king of Israel.”
32 When the chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat, they shouted, “He must be the king of Israel!” So they turned to fight against him, but Jehoshaphat cried out. 33 When the chariot commanders saw that he was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him.
1 Kings 22:1-33 HCSB
Always evaluate the world’s influence in your life.
There is no substitute for the Presence of the Lord in your life.
The Truth needs to be Shared! Be ready!
“This, then, is the judgment: The light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. For everyone who practices wicked things hates the light and avoids it, so that his deeds may not be exposed. But anyone who lives by the truth comes to the light, so that his works
John 15:18-25 HCSB
The people here were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, since they welcomed the message with eagerness and examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. Consequently, many of them believed, including a number of the prominent Greek women as well as men.