Hating for Jesus
The following are edited excerpts from the special hard back edition of the book Hating for Jesus (John 12:25). The depth and seriousness of the
issues addressed in the book far exceed this short tract.
The book zeros in on the offensive message of the cross that Jesus lived, and the apostles preached. The springboard for this comes from Luke 14:25–35 and John 12:25 (see end).
The Holy Spirit can only fill the hearts of Christians who hate their lives. Anyone choosing to follow Christ must do the same. If we hate our lives, we will deny our- selves and follow the will of Jesus.
This leads to a life of love—the same love that Jesus showed. A love for parents, wives, husbands, children, and mankind, that wells up from the Holy Spirit.
This hate separates sheep from goats and travelers from disciples. Within this mystery of hate lies the power to love, judge, serve, and break pride (Colossians 4:3). For individuals who allow God to work this, a true church, like the first church, will begin (John 13:35). In short, the very joys of heaven shall reign in the heart.
Not Worldly Hate
Hating for Jesus is not a matter of going up to someone and slapping him in the face. Hating for Jesus is not the worldly kind of hate in which you seek to destroy someone else. No, it is something much more difficult to live.
The foundation for the truths of all the statements listed on the next page rest upon the Scriptures.
- A man must hate where he lives that he might settle in heaven.
- A man must hate where he walks that he might be guided by God.
- A man must hate his recreation that he might enjoy God’s Sabbath rest.
- A man must hate his comfort that he might labor for God.
- A man must hate his love for his wife to have holy power to love her as Jesus loves the church.
- A man must hate his children that he might give them up as a gift to God.
- A man must hate his father and mother that we all might be brothers.
- A man must hate his words that he might have the bread of life.
- A man must hate his doctrine that he might gain the living Truth.
- A man must hate his thoughts that he might have the mind of Christ.
- A man must hate his opinions that he might speak words of wisdom.
- A man must hate his idea of right and wrong that he might do God’s will.
- A man must hate money that he might make others rich.
- A man must hate his strength that he might be empowered by the Holy Spirit.
- A man must hate his kindness to know how and when to love.
- A man must hate his righteousness that he might grow in the holiness of God.
- A man must hate his own life that he might receive the mystery of God.
Make no mistake about it; the Bible uses the word hate. The Greek word "miseo", is used in Matthew 10:22,
24:10, and other passages. Matthew 10:22 speaks of the whole world hating Christians, while Matthew 24:10 warns of Christians who fall away and hate each other. The Greek word used in those passages is the same one used in Luke 14:26 and John 12:25. The literal meaning of the word is to hate or detest in the fullest sense. It is a very strong and old verb that speaks with much emotion. Even the commentaries speak of not watering it down “till the point is gone.”
In other words, hate is such a strong word that one naturally recoils from its demands and seeks to weaken it, but not too much, the commentaries warn. Yet, it is the same word used when Jesus talks about loving those who hate you, your enemies.
The Greatest Commandment
Jesus said the greatest commandment is this:
- Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. (Mark 12:30)
We must love God with all. All means 100 percent! However, to those who say that Luke 14:26 and John 12:25 mean only that we love God more than all other
things, all means only 51 percent. They love God more than all other loves; therefore, they allow a small majority to suffice. It does not matter to them that worshipping God while still having other loves constitutes idolatry. Indeed, this is why Scripture says, “Do not make any gods to be alongside me” (Exodus 20:23a). Those who love God only more than other loves have many gods alongside Him. God directly warned against idolatry throughout the Old Testament and the message continues in the New Testament: “Dear children, keep yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:21).
The greatest commandment does not read, “Love the Lord your God with a majority of your mind, strength, and soul.” The commandment says all, which means 100 percent, not 51 percent. Only in the church is 51 percent considered 100 percent. In no way does the command- ment imply that we should love God merely more than half or more in comparison with other loves. In order for us to grow to love God with all, we must push out every other love. Otherwise we cannot possibly come to a place where we can say that we love God as He commands.
Luke 14 and John 12 are merely the how-to of the greatest commandment. Jesus has told us how we can grow in our love for God and other men. He has given us the key that will allow the Holy Spirit to work the greatest of all commandments in us. A man or woman unwilling to grow in this hatred will never know how to love God or his “neighbor as himself” by the power of the Holy Spirit. If you want to be filled with God’s love, then all other loves must go. Yet the only way we can possibly let
go of our loves is to learn to hate them.
God is Love
Think of it this way: God is love, pure love, holy love, and the source of love. God’s love is the only real love in the universe. When man separated himself from God, he lost the ability to love. Once someone returns to God with a surrendered heart, then God will begin to pour His love through that person, “for love comes from God.”
- Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. (1 John 4:7)
Few people seem to even notice these Bible passages, and those who do usually just write them off or explain them away. The true message of the cross, however, is as shattering now as it was at Jesus’ crucifixion, when He loved us with heaven’s love.
Message of the Cross
- For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18)
Travelers OR Disciples
- Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off
and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple. Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” (Luke 14:25–35)
Hating your Life
- The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. (John 12:25)
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