For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. Titus 3:3
I was saved in my early 40’s. I vividly remember my antipathy toward Jesus for most of my adult life. I conceded that there was likely a God, that part was easy. Just look at the Creation. It’s obvious someone made it all.
A distant God who didn’t meddle in my affairs, but was intelligent, provided this earth to dwell on, and was amiable in His looking down at us was the God I’d made up in my mind.
The notion that God judged, was involved in our affairs, and created heaven and hell as well as earth, was unconscionable to me. I was a good example of the people described in Romans 1:21.
The Jesus, blood, sin, wrath, resurrection thing was beyond me. I thought the cross was ridiculous and gross. I wanted nothing to do with any part of the Jesus story. I hated Jesus with all my body, soul, strength, and mind. As a result, I hated others too, as the verse says. This world is full of haters, the satanic hatred only the unregenerate, darkened heart knows.
I was a terrible sinner, going about my sins, cherishing them, justifying them, and loving them. I hated Jesus and I loved my sin. I hated others, as the verse today states.
Thus, unbeknownst to me, I had many woes laying on my shoulders, for doesn’t the scripture say-
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20)
I was in this wretched state when in His timing, God sent the Holy Spirit to open my eyes. I suddenly saw my sin and it was terrible. I cried out to God, yet He had even given me the voice and the urging to do it. Though I’d spent so long in the wilderness, darkened and debased, He loved me. My hate for Him was deep and abiding, but His love for me was everlasting.
Anyone who is saved now hated Jesus once, also. In our daily lives we often get so busy that we forget this great love and our former great hate, at least I do. Would you love anyone who hates you outright? My goodness, that’s a tough one. We’re called to, but actual implementation of it, even to our death, is something that mystifies me. Yet Jesus did it. He lay down His life for His friends, gave himself totally to His Father for our benefit. He died for people who hated him with a worldly, satanic hate.
Let our hate go. We should harbor none of it in ourselves after salvation. We should only hate the things that Jesus hates. As our sanctification grows, our worldly hatreds diminish because love increases. The scale should be moving in the other direction. Giving up worldly hatreds is hard, but look at the sweet exchange. We can all cry out as David did,
Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O LORD! (Psalm 25:7)