The Christians relationship to the world
Christ told His followers, "If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you."
In order to correctly understand the meaning of these words, we must first determine the meaning of the word "world" as it is used in this verse.
The word "world" as it used in the scri ptures has a variety of meanings.
It can be used to refer to all created beings, or to the arena where human life takes place, or it can be used in a theological sense.
When the word is used in a theological sense it refers to human society as warped by sin.
J.I. Packer in his book entitled "GOD’S WORDS" gives this definition.
"The New Testament word "world" (kosmos) is often used to denote sinful mankind in the mass, solidly given to unrighteousness and ungodliness and solidly hostile to the truth and to the people of God."
That is the world to which Christ referred when He told His followers that they could expect to be hated by the world.
In his first epistle, the apostle John gives us this accurate de scri ption of the world.
"For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world."
This describes that segment of society that has been warped by sin.
It is a world that is driven by three motives; pleasure, profit and promotion.
Such a world cannot understand a Christian who is no longer driven by these motives but rather is driven by the singular motive of glorifying God.
The one thing which disturbs the world the most is someone who is no longer conformed to its philosophy, its lifestyle and its all consuming goals.
The world often boasts of how tolerant it is of others.
The world is very tolerant of those who belong to the world.
In fact Christ made that clear, "If you were of the world, the world would love its own..."
But He went on to explain the world is not tolerant of everybody, in fact they actually hate certain people.
According to Christ, the world hates those who have been chosen out of the world by Him.
In other words, the world hates the true Christian.
In our own day, there are countries where Christians are being martyred for the sole reason that they believe in Christ.
In our own nation Christians are not being martyred; but if you have any doubt as to whether true Christians are hated even here in a so-called Christian nation, all you have to do is carefully observe the reactions and comments of certain commentators when Biblical truths and principles are mentioned.