Why Does the World Hate Christians so Much?

When the Islamic state conquers a town in Syria, they do a house-to-house search in quest of Christians. ISIS notoriously beheaded Christian children in front of their parents, and then they left the parents alive to deal with a life of grief. When Al-Shabab stops a bus in rural Kenya, the only question is, “Which of you are Christians?” They are the ones who are shot and killed. When Boko Haram invades a village in Nigeria, they find the Christians in their homes and churches and slaughter them with machetes or burn them alive.

A number of years back, I visited Vienna, Austria, enjoying fellowship with friends in Café Central, which opened in 1876. In 1913, this café, in the heart of Vienna was a male-only coffee house where ideas were shared between gentlemen. In that year, Karl Marx, Adolf Hitler, and Sigmund Freud were in Café Central sharing ideas. I thought for a moment about how many Christians have been slaughtered for their faith, as a result of the ideas that matured in that beautiful room, in that beautiful city.

Whether one is a fanatic Antifa leftist atheist, Marxist BLM vandal, fascist skinhead with a gun in America, or a fanatic jihadist in the Muslim world, these armed people are filled with hate for Christians. The Romans hated the Christians. Mohammed and 1400 years of his followers have hated Christians. Hitler hated Christians. Karl Marx hated Christians. Stalin hated Christians. Hindus hate Christians. Abortionists hate Christians. Saudi Arabia prohibits them. Communist China and irascible Iran imprisons and tortures them. America issues ridiculous monetary fines against them, and recently threw one in jail for her faith. Countless Christians in America have lost their jobs because of their faith. The Islamic world forces them to pay an infidel tax. The whole world is guilty of hate against Christians.

Why does the world hate Christians so much? Jesus was very clear on this subject with his unbelieving half-brothers, “The world cannot hate you; but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil (Jn 7:7).” So we learn, first, that the world hates Jesus. The reason is that He exposes their evil deeds (Eph 5:5), which are far more extensive than men realize (Gen 6:5). All of man’s works are filthy rags (Is 64:6) because he himself is filthy (Rev 22:11). Man’s sin nature enslaves him (Eph 2:3), to only commit sins against God, during his short life on the earth. Thank God that He restrains evil to the degree that He does (2 Thess 2:7). Evil will run its course, and it does have its purpose in providence (Proverbs 16:4).

Second, everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed (Jn 3:20). Jesus is the Light of the world (Jn 8:12; 9:5), and the world is the domain of darkness (Col 1:13). Like Adam, the first man, people run and hide from God. The Holy Spirit brings conviction to the world, but not all men will submit to God’s judgment of them. Despite God’s call for all men everywhere to repent of their sins (Acts 17:30), most people remain in rebellion against God. Most men pretend to be good in front of their peers; but God searches the heart, and the heart is wicked and deceitful above all else (Jer 17:9). It is desperately sick.

Third, people are irrational about their hatred of Jesus and God the Father, “He who hates Me hates My Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well. 25 But they have done this to fulfill the word that is written in their Law, ‘They hated Me without a cause (Jn 15:24–25).’” Hating someone without a reason is insanity. It means that hatred is the nature of the hater, not a momentary conflagration.

Jesus’ charge is profound. If you hate Jesus, you hate God. This means you are exactly what the Bible says you are, “haters of God (Rom 1:30)” and “haters of good (2 Tim 3:3).” The problem is exacerbated by Satan, who is the father of lies, and who started the lies about God and His goodness (Gen 3). This led man to destroy the image of God seen in his neighbor, his brother (Gen 4). Man rages in anger because Satan tells him he is god (Gen 3:5), and he learns the hard way that he is not god. So he kills the competition (Eccl 4:4). Cain premeditated the murder of his brother because of his brother’s right relationship with God, a relationship Cain could have had if he would have chosen the path of obedient sacrifice instead of creating his own religion.

Fourth, the world hates Christians because Jesus gave them a special gift, “I have given them Thy word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world even as I am not of the world (Jn 17:14).” When God speaks in the world to His people, it fills them with great joy (Jn 17:13). It sanctifies them, which means God is setting them apart from the people of the world. He is making them holy like Himself (Jn 17:17), which aligns with His intention for them to be holy and blameless before Him in love (Eph 1:4).

The Word of God is like a double-edged sword that separates people. It is the Word of truth, and that means those without it live a lie. If a man hates God, he certainly hates what God has said. The Bible is the record of God’s special revelation. He has spoken. He has told us what is required of us, “…But to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8b).” Man refuses to believe God is good, and so he fights against God openly in murderous rage or with cloaked passive aggression.

Fifth, the world will hate Christians to end of the age, “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name (Mt 24:9).” Mark’s account of Jesus’ Olivet Discourse adds, “…but the one who endures to the end will be saved (Mk 13:13).” Christians must never lose hope when the world murders our brothers and sisters because the promise remains for, “Salvation from our enemies and from all who hate us (Lk 1:71).” This is why Christ came to rescue and redeem His people, to save them from their sins (Mt 1:21).

All have sinned, and death is the consequence for all. Christ has conquered death for His chosen people, and they overcome sin and death by faith in their Savior (1 Jn 5:4). Christians, when they die, go to be with the Lord (Phil 1:21–23). Fear of death is removed for believers (1 Cor 15:56–57), and the record of martyrs carries this same story of remarkable grace, in the moment of their execution. Christians looking down the barrel of a rifle simply do not deny their Lord, whether in Littleton, Charleston, Roseburg, Kenya, Nigeria, or the uttermost part of the earth.

The only solution for haters of God and His people is for them to come to the Cross, where Christ has put to death man’s enmity with God and with his neighbor (Eph 2:15–16). This is the very thing most people refuse to do. It costs them too much. For them to love God, they must stop loving money, “For no servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (Lk 16:13).”

It also requires submission to the One they hate. Jesus told the parable of the vineyard workers. When the workers rebelled against the vineyard owner, he sent messengers to correct them. They killed the messengers. Finally, the vineyard owner sent his only son, “But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to rule over us (Lk 19:14).’”

The parable is the true story of God (vineyard owner) and man (vineyard workers). Man killed Jesus, the Lord of glory and Son of God. Jesus warned his disciples that He was sending them out into the world, as sheep in the midst of wolves. They would follow in the footsteps of Jesus, who commanded them to take up their own cross and follow Him. Men who carry crosses are going to their death. They die first to self and sin, and then they die to the world. Sometimes the world seeks them out to help them with this death. There will be no peripeteia for Christians in this world. Jesus did not leave us without hope, “Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man (Lk 6:22).”

Despite our harmless vulnerability in the world, Christians boldly address the enemies of God because we see them as deceived. Of course, every born again Christian will tell you they, too, were born in sin and lived in sin, until the day of their salvation. God sent a messenger with the message of salvation. God has issued a covenant of peace with men, and He reconciles those who submit themselves to the terms of the covenant. What are the terms?

God sent Jesus to pay for sins, and His successful work on the Cross, in shedding his blood for sins means His elect, redeemed people have been forgiven. In addition, He gives eternal life, so one may be reconciled and at peace with God, forever. What is required of every man? Just believe what God has said and done. That’s it. God made salvation the easiest thing in the world. Man proves his insanity by refusing the only way of salvation. Man proves his inability to even take hold of that salvation for himself. Then, unless there is intervention by the Holy Spirit to cause a spiritual re-birth, man will continue on his course toward self-destruction. Man is crazy and stupid, and when he discovers that, he kills others in reflection of who he really is…Cain, Nimrod, and Lamech.

Justice does exist, and every Christian suffering in the world needs to hear this truth, again and again. In the world you probably will not get justice, but there is justice with God. He metes out judgment perfectly against sinners. Man sins, God judges justly. Hell anxiously awaits the next massacre. Eternal punishment and forever damnation await the mass murderer. Jihadi John and his atheist counterparts need to be warned against their murderous ways, “But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death (Rev 21:8).”

In summary, we have observed nothing new. The Bible proves true again. Just as Cain killed his brother, so men hate Jesus Christ. Men hate being exposed as evil. Many claim God, but hate Jesus, and we have learned that hating Jesus is hating God. Christians have received the gift of God, the Word of God, and it makes them holy and very different from their fellow man. The world of man will hate Christians until the end of the age. There remains only one hope for the ungodly, that they might learn of Christ, who died for the ungodly. Without Christ Jesus, man will die in his trespasses and sins and reap what he has sowed in his life on the earth. He has lived by the sword, and he will die by the sword.

In conclusion, Christians remain in a fallen world of sin and hostile sinners, but we must remember that Jesus promised to never leave us nor forsake us. Are you ready for the continued battle and for the assured victory? But thanks be to God who always leads us in His triumph in Christ!

David Norczyk

Spokane Valley, Washington

December 9, 2020


Some random theologian out West somewhere, Christian writer, preacher

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David Norczyk

Some random theologian out West somewhere, Christian writer, preacher