“And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one enduring to the end will be saved” (Matthew 10:22).
This sort of message is totally foreign to modern evangelism and to the practice of Christian faith in the majority. Many would be shocked by the notion that there are disadvantages to the life in Christ, and that is because modern Christianity has so arranged the true doctrine of the faith so as to exclude all the “nasties”; what they are left with is, of course, not a Christian faith at all. They have avoided the difficulties of living like Christ in a Christless world by the simple expedient of laying down their cross and giving to God that which costs them nothing.
This is the outcome of a false gospel, the pseudologos – generally translated as lies – as prophesied by Paul in his first letter to Timothy (4:2), to come in the latter, or last, times. Peter too, warned of the false teachers and prophets in the Church who, in their greed, will exploit the people with plastois logois, or false words (2 Peter 2:3). The delicate, brittle Christians being produced in our religious hothouses today are the fruit of these plastic words and cannot be expected to endure to the end.
To love righteousness, it is necessary to hate sin; to accept Christ it is necessary to reject self and everything that is not of Him; to love the world is to be an enemy of God. There is no halfway house or twilight zone between the material and eternal worlds where the fearful and doubting can take refuge from the hell to come as well as from the rigours of faithfulness.
While the contemporary moral climate does not favour a tough and disciplined faith, to know Christ is to be always moved in that direction. The time is again coming when the committed and expendable believers will give their witness among men; they will then know, if they didn’t before, what Jesus knew; what it is to be hated by all.