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The Gospel in a Culture of Hate

June 22, 2018

“But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention,” (1 Thess. 2:2, KJV).

Now, as much as ever, we must be willing to speak the Gospel of God while we are opposed and face much contention. There is much to be concerned about as we see our culture devolve into a constant war of words, and as we see the expression of hatred normalized and justified. Just yesterday, a Christian psychologist who is a friend, expressed his concern that our culture is becoming addicted to a daily expression of hate speech. People must voice their hatred for those they disagree with a regular basis. Somebody responded by saying, “It isn’t our fault that we hate, it is the fault of our hateful administration,” as they went on to voice their hatred for those in power. In other words, they justified spewing hatefulness by spewing more hatefulness.

What we can identify here is the blindness we all face in our unbelief and sin. You would think that rationally, if someone points out how wrong it is to so viciously hate and attack anyone of a different opinion, that common sense would cause a person to agree. But this is not the case in a culture so filled with hate. Hatred is justifiable as long as terms like compassion are used as the hate is expressed. Further, we must remember that we are blind in our sin. Even something as obvious as having our own hatred pointed out to us cannot be identified for what it is without the power of God.

This is why we must be willing to speak the Gospel of God with much contention. It is only the Gospel of God that can break through hard hearts and pierce to the convicting of souls, to bring people to repentance (Rom. 1:16, Acts 2:14-37). We should prophetically be declaring how wrong it is for people to hate anyone who disagrees with them so viciously. However, we must remember that without the conviction of the Holy Spirit, even this call will go unheeded, and you yourself may be attacked. We must remain focused on the Gospel message as the primary thing we preach. It is as the Spirit of God uses the Gospel of God to pierce hearts and reveal the wrath of God against sin, and the incredible mercy of God in Christ, that we can hope in our society being redeemed from it’s hatefulness.

May we remember the reason the Apostle Paul gave for the basis of our humility and grace towards others when he said we are, “To speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.” (Titus 3:2-3, ESV). When we are familiar with our own sin and failures, we have a basis to love our enemies. Until someone is acquainted with their own sinfulness and hatred, they will be unable to truly love those who of differing opinions, especially as we live in a day where the most popular posts are those that express the most hatred. May God grant us repentance and salvation through the power of God by the Gospel.

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