In John 15:18, Jesus said, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.” But why? Jesus provides the answer in verse 19, “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” Can this be avoided? According to Jesus, I’d say no. He said, “If they persecuted me,” which they did, “they will also persecute you” (v. 20).
Scripture repeatedly informs us that we will be hated, rejected, and persecuted for our faith, so we shouldn’t be surprised. Following Jesus means to counter all of man’s natural desires, making it both controversial and offensive to the unconverted. And the Bible, authoritative and eternal, does not change with the times. So, as the times evolve further away from adherence to biblical mandates, Christians can only expect pushback to intensify and become more common. The world doesn’t necessarily hate you, but it hates the Truth you proclaim.
A recent poll conducted by Whitestone Insights asked 2,088 U.K. adults if they agreed with this statement: “Unless the offending parts can be edited out, books containing what some perceive as hate speech should be banned from general sale, including if necessary religious texts such as the Bible.” The results showed a substantial amount of Brits agreed with the statement above, with 18 to 34-year-olds making up 23% of those who agreed and 35 to 54-year-olds making up 17%. These statistics reflect what we already see in the U.K.