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We Must Hate This World!

Moreover, We Must Hate Our Own Life in This World!

We as Christians, the elect called out of this world, are termed “… a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His special  people …” in I Peter 2:9. That is a magnificent tribute to each one of us beyond anything we an imagine! But, with this incredible calling we are given a command that is just as striking. We are to hate the world in which we live.

“Adulterers and adulteresses! Did you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4).

friend = philos, “dear, a friend, fond.”

world = kosmos, “orderly arrangement, the world and its inhabitants and its moral character.”

enemy = excitors, “hateful, adversary (especially Satan).”

What a profound statement James makes here … to make yourself an enemy of the world in order to be a friend of God. Yet, it is not just James that makes such an assertion. John makes clear the same idea.

“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world [kosmos], the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (John 15:18-19).

“I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world” (John 17:14-16).

The issue of our need to hate the world’s ordered system becomes a bit more clear when it is understood whom we are to please: our Creator God, or men. In Galatians 1:10 the matter is stated directly.

“For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.”


These statements of John, James, and Paul make plain the fact that this “hating of the world” is our need to detest the system that Satan has created through his influencing mankind to do what is evil, carnal, sensual, and self-serving. It is a need to resist the adversary so that he will flee from you, to draw near to God, cleanse your hands, and purify your hearts (James 4:7-8). The Devil is the architect of the present world order, which God calls “Mystery Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and of the Abominations of the Earth” (Revelation 17:5). Satan himself admitted this worldwide authority during the wilderness temptation.

“Again, the devil took him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, ‘All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me’” (Matthew 4:8-9).

We are also told in II Corinthians 4:4 and Ephesians 2:2 of the nature of the devil on this earth to blind the minds of those who do not believe in the message of the Creator, and who works his evil in the “sons of disobedience.” He is called “the prince of the power of the air,” a title most appropriate since he controls what is broadcast by radio, telecast on television, and transmitted through the censored media all over the world. The message of salvation through Jesus Christ is “… foolishness to those who are perishing [apolusis, ‘being destroyed’], but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (I Corinthians 1:18).

These same individuals who are motivated by Satan, and who are placed in positions of power and influence in governments of all nations, “suppress the truth in unrighteousness” even when they have been shown powerful, undeniable proofs of His invisible character and power through the creation … “so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:19-21). The result of their recalcitrance to admit to God’s power and authority in the face of clear evidence of the Eternal’s reality results in all sorts of evil: homosexuality, unthankfulness, lying, and a long list of evils, which deserve death: “… unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful …” (Romans 1:29-31). These same fruits of the flesh are described by Paul in Galatians 5:19-20.

This is the world that we are to hate. This is the world ordered by leaders espousing the character of Satan, which Nebuchadnezzar described in Daniel 4:17.

“This decision is by the decree of the watchers, and the sentence by the word of the holy ones, in order that the living may know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, gives to whomever He will, and sets over it the lowest of men.”

lowest = sphalm, “lowliest, basest.”

The leaders of nations are oftentimes tyrants and dictators, but even if one looks beyond Cuba, North Korea, and Venezuela, one is confronted with democracies and republics where leaders who are supposedly elected by popular vote find their support assured by election interference. This is especially true when voting machines are used, which are able to be hacked and the results skewed in favor of certain candidates.


To Hate the World, Come Out of It!


Many other Scriptures admonish the elect to come out of the world and not partake of her sins. Revelation 18:4 implores us to “Come out of her [Babylon], My people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.” Let us examine a few more.

Matthew 6:24. A person cannot serve two masters, both God and mammon [mammons, “wealth or avarice”]. Thus, as the world’s system champions physical wealth, God’s elect serve the Father as their Master.

Matthew 10:22. God’s elect will be hated by everyone who is not called out of this world, because they stand up for the name of Jesus Christ.

John 12:25. Whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life, but the person who loves this life will lose it. (See also Luke 16:13.)

Romans 12:2. We, the elect, are not to be conformed to this world’s system, but be transformed by receiving renewed minds and hearts, doing the will of God.

I Corinthians 1:20-21. The wisdom of this world is made foolishness by the knowledge and wisdom of God.

I John 2:15-17. “Do not love the world [kosmos, ‘the world’s system’] or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world.” 

I John 4:5-6. “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them; because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world [kosmos]. They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them.”

I John 5:4-5. The begotten son of God overcomes the world and its system through his faith in the Son of God.

James 1:27. Pure and undefiled religion before the Father and Christ is to assist widows and orphans in their troubles, and to “… keep oneself unspotted from the world.” We must not allow the world to stain our perfection in God’s calling.


Why Avoid the World’s System?


What is so bad about the world’s system around us? Just about everything! That is why we must hate it. After all, “… that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world …” (Revelation 12:9), makes clear his deceptions if we look at our society even superficially. Virtually every aspect of this world’s nature has been polluted by Satan the Devil. Notice these major corruptions in the table to the left.

Our Creator truly knew what He was saying when He told us to avoid this world’s system and to “Come  out of her, My people …” (Revelation 18:4). As ambassadors of the Kingdom of God, the elect stand in sharp contrast to the sinful world around them. As those elect, we must not be ashamed to be different, and not deny the name of Jesus Christ, our Elder Brother (Revelation 2:13; 3:8; Romans 8:29).



Hate Your Own Life?


Let us now move on to another related issue of hate. It is one thing to hate this world system in which we live, but quite another when we are told point-blank to hate our own lives in this world; however, the two ideas are closely related. Yet, this is what our Elder Brother tells us to do.

“Most assuredly I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor” (John 12:24-26).

hate = Minos, “to hate, detest, to love less.”

Now that is quite a statement, and it appears to run directly contrary to the statement that we are to love our neighbor as ourself (Matthew 22:39). However, it does not. The statement is akin to the one Christ made in Luke 14:26, where He says “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” The Greek word used for hate in this instance in nearly the same as used in John 12:25: misei, meaning “to hate, love less, esteem less.” Of course we love our mother, father, and other family members, just as we care for and respect things we do in this world, but we place our Creator and Sustainer above them all, whether family members or our life in relation to this world.

You must hate your life in this world! What is Christ really saying? He is drawing a parallel between a grain of wheat that falls to the soil, and if it “dies” it somehow grows to produce a lot of grain. This parallel requires that you understand how seeds grow: we could speak of wheat, oats, corn, barley, soybeans, or any other seed. Here is a schematic sequence of the germination of a corn seed.

Once planted in moist soil at the proper temperature, water is imbibed through the seed coat, which activates the germ to secrete growth regulators into the endosperm — the reservoir of carbohydrate, protein, and lipid energy which then is broken down and transported to the growing germ. Roots emerge and grow downward, while the coleoptile — the cylindrical peg that pushes upward through the soil — reaches sunlight. Photosynthesis begins capturing various wavelengths of lights, and along with minerals, carbon dioxide, and water the carbohydrates, proteins, and other compounds for structure and functions of plant organs are fabricated. Tightly-wrapped leaves push up through the coleoptile. Successive leaves unfold as growth progresses, and the entire energy-rich endosperm of the seed is absorbed. Only a hollow shell of a seed coat remains of the original seed. The seed has figuratively “died,” has disappeared … but its contents has reappeared as a beautifully fashioned growing corn plant, whose roots push into the soil below, and whose leaves and stalk expand upwards into the sunlit air above.

The point that Jesus is making is this: we must die to ourselves — crucify the flesh and its lusts — and live lives in the spirit the Father has placed in us at baptism and the laying on of hands. We are that seed that dies, as it were, the seed that loses its life for the sake of fulfilling the purpose for which we were called: eternal life at the resurrection of the dead at the last trumpet (I Thessalonians 4:14-17; I Corinthians 15:51-52). We must lose our lives in this world for His sake.



“When He had called the people to Himself, with the disciples also, He said to them, ‘Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross (stauros, ”stake”), and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it’” (Mark 8:34-35; see the same thought in Matthew 10:37-39 and 16:24-27, and Luke 9:23-26 and 14:27).

We are to literally lay down our lives to follow our heavenly Father, and in this sense “hate” our lives in this sin-filled Babylonian system, come out of it, and pray for the Kingdom of Christ to come to replace this present evil system (Revelation 18:1-4; Matthew 6:10). The love we are to express to our brethren must transcend our personal will to live in the flesh, even as Jesus Christ laid down His life for each one of us out of His own free will.

“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13).

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

That love for our heavenly Father and Jesus Christ applies to us in our daily living, for it is no longer us who live our lives, but Christ Himself who lives within us as we submit to Him.

 “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

Romans 6:6-8 expresses the same idea, that our “old man” has been crucified with Christ, that our sinful body might be utterly cast out so we will no longer be slaves to sin. We hate our own life, putting on instead the life of the Savior, in whose footsteps we tread (I John 2:6). The love by which we live yearns to wash the feet — to serve with all of our substance — of our fellow brethren in their need, even as Jesus washed the disciples’ feet the night He was betrayed (John 13:1-12).


Hate the World and Your Life in This World


We have seen in Scripture that we must hate this present evil Babylonian world. It is a world filled with evil that we must live apart from — live in it but not be of it — and we must resist with all of our will the forces of Satan around us (I Peter 5:8-9; James 4:7). This present society is not made for us. In fact, when we leave it and our past-sins, those around us will likely scorn and ridicule us (I Peter 3:16; 4:3-4). To be a friend of the world is to be an enemy of God.

Our future is tied up in the soon-coming Kingdom of God, the renewed Eden upon the earth so vividly described by Peter soon after the day of Pentecost in Acts 3:19-21. It is the knowledge of that coming Kingdom on the earth that motivates us to hate our lives in this age. “He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (John 12:25). We as God’s elect must sacrifice everything we have on the physical plane for the glory of the coming spiritual life, for the resurrection to eternal life. This present life is but a vapor [atmis, “mist”; same as aer, “respire, blow”], which “… appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (James 4:14; see also Job 7:7).

It is worth every bit of sacrifice in this age to inherit the salvation in the coming age. As Paul stated in Romans 8:18, the glory that will be revealed in us in the spirit life in the new age is not worthy to be compared with the sufferings of the present time.

 Cast away evil. Cast away the world and its temporary satisfactions of the flesh. Be like the seed that dies, but whose germ grows upwards to become a brilliantly resurrected creation, and whose roots penetrate downward into the fertile soil of eternal life, leaving the shell of what once was a supple seed  in this physical world to transition into a vibrant spirit. The energy of that physical seed must nourish the growing embryo that springs forth into abundant, eternal life, the dead physical seed cast off forever as the new life “produces much grain” (John 12:24). Hate your life in this world so you may love it for eternal life in the next life!