The Expectation of Hatred
“...Israel had become odious to the Philistines...”
King Saul had been reigning for two years and so far, he had not had any conflict with the Philistines. But one day, Saul and his son Jonathan attacked their hated neighbors. This action resulted in the immediate hatred of the Philistines, who from that moment on became declared enemies of Israel.
If this sounds too violent for you, or if you think that you will never have conflicts with your enemies, I have news for you! The moment we decide to live publicly for Christ, conflicts and afflictions will come knocking at our door. I wish this were not true and that I would have “better” news for you, but the Bible declares that Christians will always have enemies on this earth.
The life of Christ in us, “attacks” and offends those who live in darkness. If we also decide to add a healthy dose of evangelism to our godly testimony, we can be assured of the hatred of the “Philistines” of this world.
Will everyone hate us? Certainly not!
Do we need to practice “aggressive” evangelism? It depends.
If by aggressive, we mean an active and faithful proclamation of the gospel, then by all means! If on the other hand this word refers to a verbal assault, or lack of consideration on our part; then we must refrain from becoming odious to others.
Before we preach to unbelievers, we should listen to them in an effort to minister to their needs. Nevertheless, we must continue to shine brightly for Jesus --- regardless of the consequences.