THE CHURCH EVER HATED OF ALL THE NATIONS
That the church of Christ, His holy Bride, shall ever be hated of all the nations, particularly as the nations are inspired with the wine of the fornication of the false church, the Great Harlot, is the clear and indisputable teaching of the Word of God, the Bible.
Such is the clear testimony of Jesus on the mount of Olives to His disciples, as well as in all the Scriptures.
On this point too, we, as the faithful church of Christ, must not be deceived; we must know our times in the light of the more sure Word of prophecy (Matt. 24:4; I John 4:1). Hence, we will attempt in this Chapter to show from the Scriptures that ever there are “the nations,” who hate the church with a cruel hatred, and that the time will not come when for a season this hatred is partially removed or abated. We must indeed lift up our heads, gird up our loins spiritually, and be sober unto prayer with a holy watchfulness. Such is ever the call of the hour!
Take heed that no man deceive you!
There are those among the Postmillennial writers, who teach that there will come a time when there shall be virtually no evil nations. Although they will not go so far as to aver that “the nations” as nations will be Christianized altogether, still they most avidly preach from the housetops that under the power of the preaching of the Gospel all “nations” will be so influenced by the power of the Spirit in the preaching, that they will all come to Zion. In a word: they will all be “Christianized.” That will be the “golden age” as spoken of in the Prophecy of Isaiah where we read, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it” (Matt. 16:19; Matt 18:18). Now we have pointed out in earlier Chapters that there can be no Kingdom of heaven except where the church is, and that the kingdom of heaven and the church of God are coextensive; that keys of the kingdom of heaven are given to the church, to wit, the preaching of the Gospel and the exercise of Christian discipline. By these the kingdom of heaven is opened to believers and shut against all unbelievers.
It is true that there is ever a certain regard among the nations for orderly external deportment; yes, there are the glimmerings of natural light whereby fallen man and the nations retain some knowledge of God, and the differences between good and evil… but this natural light is such that man is incapable of using it aright even in things natural and civil, and, in so doing, becomes inexcusable before God (Eph. 2:2; John 12:31) God looked down from heaven upon the sons of men and found that there was none that doeth any good, that there is no fear of God before their eyes. And such arethe nations of the world, who hate the church for Christ’s sake! These nations are not changed into virtuous peoples by the preaching. The testimony of the preaching is such that it hardens their resistance against Christ and the faithful church under the inspiration of the forces of Satan and the entire demonic world.
Such is the clear testimony of Scripture!
Particularly this is the clear teaching of Jesus to His disciples on the mount of Olives in Matthew 24:9, where we read, “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for My Name’s sake.”
Concerning this passage from the lips of Jesus we ought to notice the following particulars:
1. That Jesus says that this being delivered up to the authorities, with the accompanying “affliction” will be “then.” We may not overlook the fact that this word “then” does not refer to a calendar date, a specific incident in a certain time, but that contextually this “then” refers to the entire period referred to in the verses 5 to 8. It is a long history, very long; it is the warlike history of the nations, where nation shall rise up against nation, and kingdom shall war with kingdom. It refers to the restless life of the nations, who know not the way of peace, because there is no fear of God before their eyes. And these restless nations really have but one real enemy; they hate the Church of God in their very midst because of the great and blessed NAME of JESUS, the very Son of God in the flesh. It is in that history, in that time-period, that we see that gradually the birthpangs and sorrows of the world increase under the wrath of God from heaven. And it is “then” that the church will be cordially hated in the same measure that she preached, and that she lives the life of Christ, and is the light of the world, and is as a city upon a hilltop.
2. And it ought to be clear that this period of which Jesus speaks, and which is recorded in Matthew 24:5-8, cannot find its termination in the destruction of the earthly Jerusalem by the Roman legions in the year A.D. 70. Postmillennialists insist that such is the teaching and intent of Matthew 24:4-14. Truly Jesus includes also this period within the compass of His prophetic word here. However, Jesus is answering a far broader question here. He is here speaking of the “sign of His coming” (the final glorious PAROUSIA, when He shall come with clouds) and of the “full-end of all time,” the final harvest day of all of history (Matt. 24:26-41). ConferMatthew 13:39. How could Jesus simply have the history here in mind of the years A.D. 33- 70? Exegetically, this is simply not true. We are not dealing here with a mere prediction of future events within the life-span of the disciples, but we are dealing here most emphatically with the great Word of prophecy, as spoken especially by God through Daniel. Here the word, the more sure word of prophecy, shines unto the night of the darkness of this world, and we see in the future the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in His revelation, when, in His very appearance, we shall see the sign of the Coming of the Son of Man. Dan. 12:1-4; Matt. 24:15; I Peter 1:13; II Peter 1:19
3. Furthermore, we should take notice of the fact that Jesus speaks here very really and most succinctly of a hatred which is long-lasting, which spans the entire New Testament Dispensation, even to the very end of the world. In all the Synoptic Gospels the words of Jesus are recorded identically. The form of the verb is the passive present participle with the future of the verb “to be.” The verb is very truly and expressively translated by Lenski: “Ye shall go on being hated by all nations because of My Name” (Matt. 24:9; Mark 13:13 and 7).* It is well to read carefully what Jesus says, employing these very words in Matthew 10:22 in which He predicts what will befall the disciples. From these very words of Jesus it is quite evident that He is referring to some durative action, and also linear action. It is the unbroken line in the future. It is the order of the day, as Jesus says in John 16:33, “In the world ye shall have tribulations.”
4. It is quite evident from the Greek, too, that this will be a hatred by the direct agency of the nations. The preposition “hupo” is the direct agent whereas “dia” is the intermediate agency. The saints in the earth will be hated directly by the nations, constantly, duratively, without cessation to the very end. These nations are hateful nations; they hate Christ because they hate God, and they hate the church because they hate Christ. That is Jesus’ interpretation of this hatred, as the One Who knows and tries the reins and hearts of men (John 15:18, 19). This world, these nations cannot love the church, because they hate God and His Christ. But God has them in derision; He laughs at them with a holy laughter in His serene and glorious majesty. But have no doubt or fear! The gospel of the Kingdom will be proclaimed in all the inhabitable world, in this very world of the nations. And it is a testimony to them. Postmillennialists make light of this truth and really think that this “testimony” is not sufficient. It must be a positive power to save the “Nations,” to Christianize them. They label such “testimony” as belittling Christ to a potential Victor, rather than to an actual Victor, Who goes conquering and to conquer. Only where the “nations” are “Christianized” do we have an “Eschatology of Victory” it is claimed. However, when Christ triumphs in the hearts of the unbelievers who hate Him, hate God and hate His church, by convicting them as He did the evil men in the days of Enoch and Noah, convicting them of sin, righteousness, and judgment, then that is placing them under the power of His glittering sword of the Word. He leads them behind His victory chariot, triumphing over all His foes (I Cor. 2:14; II Cor. 10:4, 5). It is the victory which announces in calm majesty, “And he that believeth (obeyeth) not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36). This is the victory which proclaims, “Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is—one that accused you, even Moses in whom ye trust” (John 5:45). Thus we see here the prelude of the great victory of the Son of God over the nations. Yes, they are hated continually; all the day long in every generation; they did this directly by all the power and riches and learning which they can muster, but the Lord Jesus, the glorified King of kings shall destroy them, consume them with the breath of His mouth, and shall destroy them with the brightness of His coming!
So Christ very really triumphs over every foe. He causes the very demons to cry out in fear. When He cast out the “legion” of demons from a very wretched man in the land of the Gadarenes, under the influence of these “demons” the victim cries out, “What have I to do with Thee, Jesus, Thou Son of the most high God. I adjure Thee by God that Thou torment me not” (Mark 5:7). Are these demons saved by the power of Jesus’ word? Not at all! These are destroyed in their evil work, and assigned to their place of torment, awaiting the great day when they shall be cast alive into the lake of fire and brimstone ( Rev. 20:10, 15). And when finally God calls the birds to His great supper, these will then feast on the flesh of kings, and flesh of captains, and flesh of the mighty men (Rev. 19:17-21).
Such are they who treasure up to themselves wrath against the day of wrath and the revelation of the righteous judgment of God, Who will render to every man according to his work.
Yes, the “nations” will hate the church to the very end!
Let no man deceive you with vain words!
* In his Word Pictures A.T. Robertson says the following concerning the verb form in the Greek, translated “shall be hated”; “Periphrastic future passive to emphasize the continuous process of the linear action.” In his The Greek New Testament In The Light Of Historical Research, A.T. Robertson writes concerning the Periphrastic Future: “the very failure to express the durative action clearly leads to the present participle with (the form of) “I shall be,” He refers to Mark 13:13.; ;