Jesus, Hatred, and the Last Days

Ten Commandments Arkansas
The new Ten Commandments monument outside the state Capitol in Little Rock, Arkansas after someone crashed into it with a vehicle.

Did you know that hatred is a sign of the last days?

In Matthew 24:9-10 Jesus said this, “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another.” Amidst all the other signs of which we are so familiar, Jesus lists hatred, particularly against His followers, as an indication of the end times.

Today, see hatred everywhere in our world. Opponents of Christianity killed an estimated 90,000 believers in 2016 and opposition to our faith has not diminished since then. Anti-Semitism is epidemic across Europe that has led to many Jews fearing for their lives, especially in France.

The apostle Paul, in 2 Timothy 3:1-5, describes the godlessness of the last days. Although he does not use the word hatred, he aptly describes the divisive, angry, and intolerable culture of our day.

It Begins with Arrogance

The hatred we see permeating our society starts in the heart. William Barclay, famous New Testament commentator, put it this way, “But the sin of the man who is arrogant is in his heart. He might even seem to be humble; but in his secret heart there is contempt for everyone else. He nourishes an all-consuming, all-pervading pride; and in his heart there is a little altar where he bows down before himself.”

Does not Barclay’s definition of one who is arrogant (2 Tim. 3:2) capture what we are seeing today? It’s not enough to have an opinion, but today it so often comes with spiteful “contempt” for all those who disagree. It’s this pride that leads so many to ridicule opinions of which they disagree.

The craft of making a well-reasoned case to support one’s point of view has degenerated into the art of personally destroying one’s political opponent. Arrogance breeds a sense that “of course those who think differently than me cannot be right; therefore I am justified in using whatever means necessary to destroy my opponent.” It’s all about the politics of personal destruction at the expense of truth.

Abusive and Slanderous

The next word in Paul’s list after “arrogant” is “abusive.” This word denotes someone who insults God as well as other men and women. It’s the verbal expression of contempt that begins in the heart of one who is arrogant that finds its expression in slandering the good name of others.

The most common derogatory label today is “racism.” If someone does not agree with this person’s point of view, he or she must be a “racist” or a “bigot’ or possess some dark and evil phobia. Political victories today are often measured in one’s ability to convince the majority that one’s opponent is a racist, even if you must lie about what was said behind closed doors or twist words to make ones opponent appear to hate others.

Did I mention that Paul also used the word “brutal” to describe people living in the last days?

In verse 3, the apostle depicts people during the last days as “slanderous.” We live in a day where false accusations are the norm rather than the exception. A recent news article told of one attorney who sought to give large sums of money to women who would accuse President Trump of sexual harassment or worse.

Daymond Duck, one of my favorite writers on the Rapture Ready website, said this, “Sexual harassment and racism are definitely wrong, but character assassination to silence a person that someone disagrees with is also wrong. Slandering people, ruining their reputation, calling them names, and getting them fired is not of God.”

How Should we Respond?

First, I believe our response must be one of respect for the opinions of others. Just because we vehemently disagree with someone does not mean we cannot value their opinions or ideas. It’s sometimes difficult for me to argue my case without getting carried away, but I must remember that I can be confident of what I believe without impugning the intelligence of others.

Secondly, we must understand the times in which we live. We are living in the last days of human history as we know them; the dark days of the tribulation are rapidly approaching. What we see in our world is precisely what the Lord Jesus said would happen during this time; it should not surprise us.

Our focus must be on bringing others to the Savior rather than convincing them of our political agenda. I have reached the conclusion that I really do not care what others think of President Trump. What matters is drawing people to the Savior, not to my assessment of the President.

And lastly, there is the aspect of humility. This does not mean compromising beliefs or telling someone they may be right when what they believe contradicts Scripture. For me, it starts with recognizing that the source of truth is not in me or even in my ability to recognize it. It starts with Jesus, my risen Savior. He said “I am the way, the truth, and the life” and rose from the dead to prove that His words, His claims are true.

The beliefs that I cherish start with Scripture and my confidence does not come from my abilities to reason or debate but from Jesus and what the Lord reveals through His word.

Yes, the world will hate followers of Christ for our beliefs on abortion, same sex marriage, gender identification, Islam, and the like, but such hatred is exactly what Jesus said would happen, especially in the last days before His return to earth.

What I see in the world around me saddens my heart. People are becoming increasingly vicious and cruel in their blasphemy of both Christ and His followers. But I also know a much better day is coming with Jesus’ peace and righteousness will reign supreme over the entire world.

Maranatha!!

12 thoughts on “Jesus, Hatred, and the Last Days

  1. BelleUnruh January 19, 2018 / 5:23 pm

    I appreciate your post. Yes, Christians are being killed and persecuted and it breaks my heart. But what I have seen from far-right Christisns is hatred for those who don’t live the kind of moral life they want to see from rveryone. In Roman days killing newborns by exposure was common. Roman laws were too harsh. But the church didn’t involve itself in that. They preached the gospel. Paul said he had nothing to do with judging those outside the church. That is not the church’s job.

    The gay community see themselves as being called evil and perverted. They feel hated by Christians. I don’t know the answer to all this except to love our enimies and stay out of politics.

    Like

    • karole fedrick January 20, 2018 / 1:42 pm

      Thank you, Jonathan, for another thoughtful article.

      I respectfully disagree, Benneunruh. We were not born into the Roman government (Acts 17:26). We are blessed by God to be part of a democratic republic that was founded on a Judeo-Christian values with the responsibility and opportunity to stand for morality and influence political leaders. Our country may be going downhill fast, but I can assure you it would be an entirely different society without the faithfulness over the years of believers to stand for the truth and against Satan’s assault against us, particularly our children.

      The answer to the gay issue is the same as it has always been – share the truth in love. I agree that some Christians do not lovingly share the truth that homosexuality is sin and those who engage in it (according to God’s Word) will not inherit the kingdom of God. But is it really “loving” to not share that truth at all? To encourage them to continue in their lost state by tacit approval of their behavior? I think not.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan C Brentner January 26, 2018 / 12:42 pm

      I disagree as well. The early Christians did get involved in rescuing babies left to die outside their homes. Paul did speak out against the commons sins of his day. The Lord calls all to differing roles in promoting His kingdom; I am very grateful that our VP Mike Pence got involved in politics.

      Like

      • BelleUnruh January 26, 2018 / 8:53 pm

        If the United States becomes a Theocracy, which I have read Mike Pence wants, there will be terrible persecution of everyone who doesn’t agree with their interpretation of Christianity. Not only gay people will be persecuted. This is the history of uniting Church and State.

        Like

  2. Francesca January 20, 2018 / 8:14 am

    I think this is an EXCELLENT article. Belleunruh, you need to rethink a lot of what you have written. Be Blessed,.

    Liked by 1 person

    • BelleUnruh January 26, 2018 / 8:54 pm

      Thank you for your kindness. I believe when the Church starts ruling a country, persecution results. It results in jail and death for those who disagree.

      Like

      • karole fedrick January 27, 2018 / 10:21 am

        Claims of Pence wanting to make America a theocracy is another attempt by liberals to use fear and lies to advance their agenda to rid our country of all Judeo-Christian values and ultimately become part of a global world order. Those who disagree with THAT agenda (Christians) are the ones already being persecuted and run out of business. We should be grateful for Bible-affirming Christians who get elected. Proverbs 29:2 says, “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice, but when a wicked man rules, people groan.”

        You don’t have to worry about the US becoming a Christian theocracy regardless of how hard the misguided Kingdom Now/Dominionists try to get us there. It won’t happen. The Bible says what will happen is that there will be a global government lead by godless man (the Antichrist, the Man of Lawlessness, etc) and a godless religious leader (the False Prophet). They will rule the world, a vast number will refuse to bow to their authority and will be killed. Those men will not be members of “the Church.” Maranatha.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Jeanne January 20, 2018 / 8:46 am

    Thank you for your thoughtful summation of what is going on in the world today. It’s bewildering If we don’t keep our view in ‘big picture’ mode as you’ve described.
    This is one of the best clear-headed assessments I’ve read and I’ll be sharing it.
    God Bless you and your writing-

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wendy Reichelderfer January 21, 2018 / 12:48 am

    EXCELLANT article, altho’ there is one statement that I find myself continuing to respectfully correct.

    The author wrote, “We are living in the last days of human history”. I do beg to differ: that should read, “the last days AS WE KNOW IT”.

    As you may recall, after the 7 year Tribulation comes the 1,000 year Millennium……. WHICH MEANS that even if the Rapture were to occur TODAY, “Human History” will not END for AT LEAST 1,007 YEARS!

    Blessings to you!

    Liked by 1 person

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