The World Hates Believers

Part 3
We know the world will hate us, but how should we, as believers, respond?

We know from 1 Peter 1:9 that our purpose is to proclaim the gospel.

The apostle said, "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light."

John 15:26 says, "But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me."

"Spirit of truth" is another name for the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity.

So, how does the Holy Spirit help us? What does He do to help us endure trials so we can continue to proclaim the gospel?

Inspires Scripture and Bears Witness

The Word of God was divinely inspired by the Holy Spirit and is completely inerrant. It continues to testify of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Spirit inspired the authors of the Bible and He continues to bear witness of the Truth to us to this day.

Acts 5:32 says, "And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him."

The Holy Spirit testifies to us, reassuring us that Jesus is alive; that He's the Lord; that God Himself, the triune Godhead, resides in our heart; and that He is sovereign over everything—even the persecution we experience. This is the encouragement we need when we go through troubles and trials.

Proclaiming the Gospel

How do we proclaim the gospel in the midst of trials?

In John 15:27, Jesus said this to His disciples: "And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning."

We read these words in 2 Peter 1:16: "For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty."

The New Testament is trustworthy and true. It was written by those who witnessed the events firsthand.

The Lord also calls us to be witnesses of the Truth. We are to tell others who Jesus is and what He has done for us. We are to share what He means to us and how He has changed our life.

All believers are to proclaim the Truth, to share the gospel. It does come more easily to some than others, but we are all called to obey. He will give us the strength and ability to do so. And when persecutions come—which they will—the Holy Spirit will bring us comfort and the determination to continue.

There are three things we can take away from this lesson.

Increased Contact

All of us need to increase our contact with the world. It's easy to put ourselves in a Christian bubble. It's safe. It's warm. It's easy. But Jesus says in John 17 that even though we are not of this world, we are to be in the world. We should be praying that God will increase our opportunities to share the gospel. You can't do so if you don't have any contact with people who need to hear it.

Awareness of Opportunities

As we're praying for God to increase our opportunities to share the Truth, we must pray that God will make us aware of the opportunities all around you. We must also pray that God will give us the words to say.

Even the apostle Paul asked for prayer. In Ephesians 6:19-20, he said, "Pray for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak."

Paul was probably the boldest of the apostles. Yet, he asked for prayer that God would give him the words to say when sharing the gospel. No one is immune to asking for help from God. We should all be praying to God, asking for His help to find those who need to hear the gospel and asking for Him to give us the words.

Holy Spirit Enabling

We should expect two things from the world: hatred and persecution.

In John 15:20, Jesus says, "If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you."

But Jesus promises there are people out there ready to be harvested, ready to believe the gospel (John 4:35). And we all have the responsibility to go into the harvest fields. So, even though persecution will come, even though our lives may be as risk, we must keep declaring the gospel. The Holy Spirit will comfort us and remind us of the Living Hope within us. He will give us the words to proclaim the good news about Jesus.