Why does persecution keep happening in India and other places? What causes a civilized person who loves others and is loved by them to seek to cruelly harm another human being? I see two reasons. The first is that the kingdom of darkness is at war with God’s kingdom of light. Jesus, the Light of the world, is the believer’ number one enemy and opposition (John 7:7). When we identify with Jesus and show Him by our lives then we become objects of hate (John 15:20-21). Since Satan’s forces can’t directly attack Jesus they attack His children, those whom He loves and who help advance His kingdom. We see that often in the Bible: Saul tries to kill David, God’s anointed; Job is falsely accused and attacked, and many more.
But what about persecution against groups that aren’t necessarily Christian? What causes the hate in those cases? It could be greed, or jealousy or just lack of peace leading to looking for someone on whom to vent rage. There doesn’t have to be a good explanation, except that man’s hearts are evil (Genesis 6:5; Jeremiah 17:9; James 4:1-2). For as clean and neat as we look on the outside, we are full of evil and greed and lust and selfishness and pride on the inside. It’s called a sin nature (Galatians 5:17-21; Ephesians 2:3)
What’s the cure? A new heart by regeneration (Romans 8:5-9). Only Jesus can change a heart and take the evil and hate out. Government laws can’t do it. Guilt or fear can slow it but not remove it. Self control can cover it, but it is still there. Only Jesus can change a heart.
Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
John 15: 20-21 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me.
Change starts with you right where you are. Look for opportunities today to show love to all you meet, no matter their race, age or social status. Ask God to convict you if you look down on anyone else. And ask Him to help you be faithful if others are less than kind to you for any reason.
by Rev. Dr. Jerry Schmoyer, Christian Training Organization