Seven times in the Holy Scriptures God characterizes His true believers as “peculiar.” Twice He calls them His “peculiar treasure.” In 1 Peter 2:9 He says of His Very Elect: “… you are a chosen generation (group), a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people that you should show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” As was pointed out in the previous posting, peculiarity is a cause for suspicion, rejection, mistrust, etc. This human trait holds true in the social realm and is easily observable when strangers meet. The automatic reaction normally wears off when opposites get to know each other personally. This change in attitude normally takes place because the groups are not deliberately and specifically taught to reject each other. The various racial, color, cultural groups are not advised to beware of the other groups, therefore assimilation tends to take place at a fairly quick rate.
However, such is not the case in the spiritual realm. As far back as I can remember I heard my people (Baptists and Church of Christ) speak against those who refused to go along with such things as the Sunday Sabbath, the celebration of Christmas and Easter, the death of the Law, etc. People who took the Bible as the literal Word/Truth of God, who obeyed the Ten Commandments (including #4), etc. were labeled as “legalists” and “works people” who did not understand God’s grace. I grew up so alienated from such “reprobates” that I don’t recall ever knowing even one of them. In my religious circle it was the “Pentecostals” who raised eyebrows and caused tongues to wag. Why? Because they were different. And different meant wrong. Wrong had to be rejected.
Beginning with Abel and continuing to Jesus of Nazareth, God’s people were persecuted, hated, despised, and in some cases, martyred because of their different life-style (“walk”–1 Jn. 2:6). When Jesus was preparing His apostles to be witnesses unto Him and His gospel He warned them repeatedly that they would be hated, despised and rejected because of their words and walk. His warnings were not limited to those in the ministry. In Luke 14:28 He warned any who would follow Him to “count the cost” before making such a commitment. He had warned in Luke 9:62 against committing to Him, then experiencing a change of mind: “No one, having put his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” In another case He warned those who would follow Him that they would be required to “take up your cross.” A cross has only one use–to die on. Dying to self is a prerequisite for following Jesus Christ. In Matthew 10:34-38 He said: “Do not think that I came to being peace to the earth. I came not to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother and a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law, and a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.” In Matthew 10:22 He warned that only those who endured to the end of earthly life with their righteousness intact would be saved. The ungodly hate the godly because they are peculiar, strange, out of step with reality, etc. Most people cannot handle being rejected, especially by family members. For this reason Jesus warned that only a “few” would follow Him into the Kingdom of God (Mat. 7:13,14).
In Matthew 5:1-12 we find Jesus preaching His first sermon. In this message He told the people about the changes that would take place in their lives if they obeyed Him. In the first nine verses He described the character changes that would take place–they would become righteous. In the next four verses He told them what to expect from other people following the change–they would be persecuted, reviled and slandered. He then said that only those who suffer such treatment would inherit salvation. In 2 Timothy 3:12 God promises that ALL who live godly in Christ Jesus WILL suffer persecution. Notice that He did not say that some might, but rather that ALL WOULD suffer persecution for living “in Christ Jesus.” If one is not suffering severe persecution for righteousness sake one is not “in Christ Jesus” and is not a child of God. With the exception of the Muslims, most unchurched people do not care what God’s people do, say, think, etc. Persecution will always come from the most religious among us. If one is not hated, despised, rejected, ostracized, etc. by both Catholics and Protestants one is not serving God. Rather, one is serving “the church,” which is professing Christendom’s golden calf that will lead them to where they want to go–Egypt (sin). They will follow whomever tells them that they can sin and get away with it. False prophets in the Catholic/Protestant church system assure them that they can eat of the forbidden tree (sin–defy God) and “not surely die.” After all, Jesus died to make church sin acceptable.
Rejection by those within Catholicism and Protestantism is a sure, undeniable sign that one is being obedient to the Biblical God. CHURCH PEOPLE HATE THE BIBLE EVEN MORE THAN THEY HATE THOSE WHO BELIEVE AND OBEY IT. If you doubt this, point out to a Catholic or Protestant what God says about the Institutional Church’s foundational doctrines as listed in the Introduction to this website. Rejection is the churchite’s first reaction to God’s Truth. This is immediately followed by rejection of His Truth bearer. The more religious the hearer, the quicker the rejection.
Those who live in darkness hate the light. Jesus said that those who follow him are “the light of the world” just as He was “the light of the world.” We all know what the religious world did to Him and His apostles. The church’s attitude toward God’s saints has not changed and will become more and more entrenched with the passage of time. The next voting group (generation) has embraced the liberals’ anti-God, anti-Bible, anti-light philosophy. The true Christian’s light exposes their darkness. Those who claim to be Christians (70% of Americans) hate God’s light and His light bearers because they expose professing Christendom’s hypocrisy. God’s light will soon be extinguished. For this reason He tells us to work while it is day, for night is coming when no man can work. For this reason I write almost every day and preach on my YouTube site twice each week. My YouTube address is proveallthingsofgod. I hope to see you there. L.J.