According to current Census calculations, the population of our planet is rapidly approaching 8 billion people. Along with this massive number, we know there has never been a time in history when this many individuals occupied the Earth at the same time, and we can also agree that we have more philosophies, opinions and worldviews than ever before. This, in turn, brings us to a point in time where our arguments and conflicts have created a more difficult atmosphere to acknowledge what we believe without being mocked, ridiculed and even persecuted.
With the creation and advancement of communication technology within the last 50 years, we are witnessing a social-media grid that is capable of connecting the entire world together in an instant. It's true, this is an amazing way of uniting us, but unfortunately, it also presents a vehicle that increases the volume of chaos and controversy.
I am not against having the opportunity to relay our thoughts, but for the Christian, we can clearly see that our biblical perspectives are becoming an increasing target of hostility from those who oppose. We know the basic fundamentals of the Christian faith have always been an offense to the flesh and are seen as a direct threat to those who are focused on living and believing however they desire.
We are reminded in John 15 that without God's grace opening our eyes we cannot see spiritual truth, and these individuals who are devoted to a more humanistic philosophy will always reject Christ and his followers. Verse 19 is warning the follower of Christ to prepare for conflict. "If you were of the world, the world would embrace you: but because you are no longer of this world, but I have chosen you out of this world, therefore the world hates you."
The Bible uses the word enmity several times when referring to the attitude of the natural mind against the holy discipline of God's character. Truth is a refuge of peace and security for those who love the Lord but is hated by the ones who want to live their own way. If we take a closer look at the word enmity, we find that it means a state of being actively opposed or hostile to someone or something. Other words associated with enmity are animosity antagonism, bitterness, hatred, loathing and resentment.
So when we notice a Christian trying to relay God's message (which by the way is a responsibility within the covenant of salvation) and we see them being mocked and persecuted, we know what is really going on. I pray for an awareness to share my faith, and I believe that God can use us to relay his message. However, I'm also convinced that we should always listen carefully to the Holy Spirit and only speak when he is guiding us. We are not to be ashamed of Jesus or afraid of those who might reject us, but neither are we to be arrogant or stubborn and hinder what God is calling us to do.
In Genesis 3, we see where one of the curses from the fall includes the enmity between the serpent and his seed versus the seed of the woman, which would eventually include Christ. This reveals why the realm of spiritual darkness is at war against God and those who follow him.
Each person is born depraved with an internal rebellion and is in need of being spiritually reborn and transformed, which is exactly why Jesus went to the cross. His blood paid the ransom for those who believe, and his sacrifice is an invitation for anyone to accept divine redemption. As John 3:16 describes, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
It's no secret there are many today who believe that God does not exist, while others conclude there is no afterlife or that everything we see somehow happened on its own, but we can agree this is a legitimate part of freewill. Unbelievers are also convinced that anyone who would trust and worship the God of the Bible is delusional and cannot be taken seriously about anything. That's all right; we realize that everyone is blind to the truth until God opens our eyes.
Christians love and pray for everyone and have a burden that all would come to personally know God. The window of God's amazing grace is open today.
William F. Holland Jr. is a minister and chaplain based in Nicholasville, Kentucky. Read more at billyhollandministries.com.