Hate is a strong word. It’s a one-lane dead-end road. When you hate something or someone, it’s not just mild annoyance, it’s not an issue of preference, and there is no room for agreeing to disagree or any such middle ground. There is a definitive finality to hate that cannot be undone or brushed over.
Hate itself is also corrosive. It robs men of peace, joy, and no matter how bright the sun or melodic the chirping birds are, hate will make everything bleak and dark. Hate feeds on itself, growing ever stronger, and unless you have the strength to excise it from your heart, it will lead you down some treacherous paths.
Even God, who is eternal, only managed to rack up seven things He hates, but unlike man, God can hate without the corrosive effects. For some of you, it may come as a surprise to hear that God hates something, given that all you hear of His nature is love, acceptance, more love, and a sprinkling of grace just to cover all the things that love didn’t manage to.
You can’t spend less time understanding the nature of God, eternity, Christ’s sacrifice, sanctification, regeneration, and salvation than you did prepping for your SATs when you were in High School and hope to have a firm grasp on all things divine. Tragically that’s all the time most people put into their relationship with God, and when someone quotes scripture verbatim, they get angry and flustered and accuse you of trying to harsh their mellow.
No, sir, I’m not going to let you get me down; I will not believe your report! But it’s not my report; it’s the report of the Lord. It’s not secondhand information; it’s not an interpretation of what someone thinks Jesus meant; this is literally what He said! Will you reject it just because it doesn’t harmonize with contemporary Christianity?
It’s all coming to a head sooner than some might think, and eventually, one of these two will win out. Either the Bible was right all along, or contemporary Christianity was. I know which one I’m betting on, but that’s just me. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord even if it costs us everything. Though he slay me, yet I will trust Him; by this point, you can call that the family motto. Yes, it’s borrowed from Job, but it makes it no less true. I have no choice in the matter. I did the math, I counted the cost, I went into this with eyes wide open, knowing what the future held for the children of God, and I have no regrets.
Nobody duped me into serving God; nobody promised me Ferraris and McMansions; I didn’t stroll down the aisle one night because I got bored, and there was a girl who sang on the worship team I thought I had a shot with.
I fell at the foot of the cross and submitted to His will, knowing that it may cost me my very life one day. I followed in the footsteps of a man whose shoes I couldn’t hope to fill, not because I thought I could do a better job or because the pay was so great, but because it was what was asked of me.
I realize the present-day church has an aversion to servile obedience. We all want to be kings and priests. We were meant for management, not labor, but laborers are what God needs. I get it; that whole laborer thing was meant for the third-world Christians, not the first-world ones. And you wonder why the third-world Christians are seeing the power of God, witnessing miracles and the gifts of the Holy Spirit? Perhaps there is a correlation between the two. One might even say that if fully fleshed out, even causation.
But back to hate. I know I got off track. It happens. Feel free to ask for a full refund if not fully satisfied with your experience.
Jesus warns that the hate toward the faithful will come from two distinct sources. First, the world, for if the world hated Him, they would likewise hate us, and second from those who once offended, betrayed the brethren and began to hate.
The chronology of Christ’s discourse is also telling because the offense comes immediately after believers are delivered up to tribulation, killed, and hated by all nations for His name’s sake.
It’s all fun and games until it isn’t. Once the first head rolls by, it tends to shatter any illusion one might have harbored. When Christians start being put to death, the myth that your faith should cost you nothing and you should get a free ride to heaven for throwing a couple of shekels in an offering plate will die a quick and tortured death. The notion that this generation is exempt, exceptional, or somehow more special than those that came before them will likewise perish suddenly.
Matthew 24:9-10, “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.”
Either some men think themselves more righteous than Paul, Mark, Luke, Peter, John, and the rest, or they believe God has lowered the bar, done away with the standard, and rewritten the contract every past generation was held to. It’s the only way they can believe heaven is attained while lying back on a bed of roses, eating grapes, and playing the lyre.
No longer does the kingdom of God suffer violence, and no longer is it taken by force; now it’s men with manicures and skinny jeans that force lisps and adopt feminine qualities to pander to their biggest demographic that assure the simpleminded they can skip into heaven on flower petals. What wonders the laws of supply and demand.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea, Jr.