Jesus reminded His disciples that they were chosen by God. It is truly humbling to realize that nothing we could ever do could make us worthy of the love of Christ! Not only are we chosen, but we are chosen with a God-given purpose!
16. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
17. These things I command you, that ye love one another.
18. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
19. 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.
As Jesus continued to speak to his disciples, he reminded them that they were a chosen group. Not only were they a chosen group, but they were chosen with the purpose of going out into the world and bringing forth fruit.
Would this be an easy job? Would the world open its arms to them? No! Quite the opposite would be true. John 15, verse 19, states it this way,
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.
As the disciples were chosen, so were we chosen with the same purpose. As time passes, it is evident that the world is getting more tolerant of every religious group except Christianity. Why is that? The world hates God; God restricts their way of living, calling much of what they do to be sinful. As representatives of God, the world will continue to unleash its fury on Christians.
I cannot say that I am personally looking forward to a time of severe worldwide persecution of Christians, but I will admit that it will certainly strengthen those who are believers. Those who are just nominal believers will not tolerate persecution; those who are true believers will grow in the Lord as they focus on their relationship with Christ.
As those times come, let us encourage one another in the Lord and pray that God will keep us faithful to Him, remembering that we are chosen to represent God in a world in love with itself.