"If the world hates you, know that it hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours." (John 15:18-21 ESV).
Many of us live in countries where persecution is much less severe than in places like Orissa, India (right now), or Pakistan. However, does that mean we are excused from the world's hatred in our more free countries? How have you, or someone you know, experienced suffering as a Christian? Has there been pressure on you to deny the truth since you became a Christian? How has your faith been tested, and how has that produced hope in Christ? (Romans 5:3-4; Philippians 1:29).
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