BLOG: Woe to You



WRITTEN BY MELISSA H. STRAUTMAN, LMT

Woe to You
Companion blog to “Love That Is Hated

Praise God! I Am Hated.

In Love That Is Hated, Pastor Wilson asks, “Which do you find more difficult:”

  • Loving someone whom you do not like? or…
  • Loving someone who doesn’t like you?

Pastor Wilson doesn’t suggest that either is occurring in your life but he does press forward the idea that you can’t like everyone and clearly you can’t be liked by everyone.  If you are a super congenial person with a fairly conflict-free life, you might consider yourself blessed and tend to think that you are pretty much liked by all people.  Right?  Why not?  Well, here’s the kicker from Jesus’ own words:

Luke 6:26
“Woe to you, when all people speak well of you.”

The phrase, “Woe to you” means, “Curse you.”  Let that sink in a moment.  Take all day if you need.  This one’s huge!  Jesus uses this many times in the New Testament to grab you by the spiritual collar and knock some sense into you.  If Jesus’ words conflict with your seeker-sensitive-$300-bedazzled-jean-wearing-relevant-pastor’s idea of bringing “unchurched” people to a Jesus-decision, then it would be polite of me to apologize for myself and Jesus, but I can’t.  If that’s the case, you might as well log off because I intend to give you more of Jesus’ words.

Was Jesus wrong when he said, “They hated me. They will hate you?”  This is a promise and a prophecy.  It is because of love that they (the world) hate us.  In the middle of this hate is great blessing.  Look at the beatitudes.[1]  You see the promise of living in eternity with God.  This is a different kind of blessing:  A holy blessing far greater than earthly hate from worldly beings.  Pish!

I posted a blog in August 2017 where a college student asked our pastor the question: “Can gay Christians go to heaven?”  I received this post response:

I wasn’t crushed by this hateful statement at all.  I counted it all joy to be persecuted in the name of Christ.  She either didn’t read the full post (benefit of the doubt), doesn’t believe the Bible is God’s word, or she hates God and His teachings.  This kind of unpopularity is never going to stop me from spreading the love of Christ.  We are all wretched and lost.  Unfortunately the idea that we are not acceptable to God until we are changed (converted/saved) is an affront to those who are perishing.  Thankfully, there is a cure to our arrogance from a precious Savior.

Is it possible that Jesus was wrong about the hatred toward His followers?  No, history would prove Him right.  All you have to do is read historical accounts of Christian martyrdom.[2]

Lest you think that persecution of Christians was a thing of first century barbarism, more Christians have died in the last 150 years than have died in the previous 1900 years.  It is estimated that 900,000 Christians were put to death from 2005-2015.  We are currently at a Christian kill-rate of 90,000 Christians per year.  I’ll ask the question again: Was Jesus wrong about the world hating us?  This is motivated by hatred.  No other group on the planet has been more hated.  Satan uses this world to hurt us any way he can.

Why does the world hate Christians?

  1. Because we are not of the evil world ruled by Satan[3] and we exist to (lovingly) call out evil.[4] There is no middle ground.  It is black or white.  Jesus took the repentant Christian out of the world.[5]  Paul says you cannot be associated with or fellowship with the lawless world.[6]  Therefore world religions coming together in eccuminism is evil, no matter the social cause.  We should want to be distinct and separate.
  2. Because we are followers of Christ.[7] The world hated Christ.  Are you better than Him?  Do you think people will love our Jesus if they love us?  It won’t happen.  Our identity changes when we are sold out to Christ.[8]  We become Him living through our flesh.  The world must hate us because the world is evil.  Are you a “secret Christian” so no one will bother you?  Woe to you.
  3. Because they (the unconverted world) don’t know God.  A rejection of Christ or His followers is a rejection of God.[9]
  4. Because they (the unconverted world) are guilty.[10]  Guilt always has to have an outlet.  That outlet is always directed at anyone who shines a light on the truth of their guilt.  That guilt comes from rejecting the truth that they already know.[11]  There is no way to stop this light shining through true believers.[12]  This will naturally cause hate, even in close families.

“It is impossible to be a witness for Christ and not produce guilt – painful guilt – in people’s hearts. That guilt and pain will produce hatred against you.”  Pastor Steve Wilson

What if I am NOT experiencing the hatred of the world?

  1. You love the world.  You seek to be a prosperous part of the world; thus, the world has no reason to hate you or persecute you.  Woe to you.
  2. You only offer the world good news like, “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.”  You don’t accompany that with a necessary truth that all unconverted people belong to Satan and abide under the wrath of God if they remain unrepentant.  You simply sugar-coat the message to be liked. Woe to you.

How do I get the hatred to stop?

You can get the hatred to stop.  You can stop identifying with Christ and start loving the world and all the hatred will stop.  Guaranteed!  You can stop shining a light on evil and exposing guilt and people will leave you alone.  You will have a peaceful life.  Is that what you want?  Jesus doesn’t want us to choose that option.  That is why He sent us a helper, the Holy Spirit, and that is why He lives in us.  We know Christ has already overcome the world and all its evil.  Let’s call upon the Holy Spirit to give us courage in the midst of persecution from those who hate on us.  It is here that our witness will be proven in this life.


I hope you will subscribe to this blog and keep learning all God has to teach through these lessons taught by Pastor Steve Wilson of Grace Community Church.

   



[1] Foxe’s Book of Martyrs

[2] The Center for Global Christianity

[3] John 15:18-19

[4] John 7:7

[5] John 15:19

[6] 2 Corinthians 6:14-17

[7] John 15:20

[8] Galatians 2:20

[9] John 15:21, John 15:23

[10] John 15:22, 15:24-25

[11] Romans 1:18-19

[12] John 15:26-27