In the book of Acts 28 we read in verse 22 , “But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest: for as concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against.” Again we read, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.” John 15:18-20. May we ponder about these thoughts for a few moments.
One of the things we see as we study about Christians in the first century, was that they were persecuted, mistreated, hated, and spoken against. Jesus though, points out to us that they hated him first, and those that are his disciples would be hated also. Can you imagine people hating the Lord Jesus Christ? Yes indeed, people did hate the Lord. He was perfect in every way, always doing the right thing. Yet men still hated him, they persecuted him, yea they crucified him. One of the amazing facts about those who hated the Lord, was that the people who hated him, were the religious people of his day. It was not the drunkards, or the criminals, or the fornicators, or the “hoodlums” that heaped the abuses on Jesus! Christians in the first century were most commonly persecuted by religious people. Even so in our day, persecutions befall Christians so often from religious people. Let us not be discouraged, at the persecutions that come our way, but rejoice in the fact, that we can enter into the sufferings of Christ. “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” Matt.5:10-12.