Since the early beginning of the church Christians were prosecuted. Especially at the beginning of the church in the first century Rome went full out to prosecute Christians. In the year 64AD there was a fire in Rome that burned for 6 days and 7 nights which destroyed about ¾ of the city. In those days the Emperor Nero was the Roman Emperor. So the people accused him that he started the fire for his own amusement. Of course Nero then blamed the Christians which started the martyrdom of Christians. Nero performed many different horrific acts to the Christians. Nero would gather up as many Christians as they could find and they would dip these living Christians in boiling hot wax over and over. Even after they died they would continue to be dipped into the boiling wax. Then they would be impaled in Nero’s gardens and they would light them on fire. Nero would ride on his chariot through the garden naked and he would yell out “You Christians are the lights of the world.”
Jesus Himself tells us that the world will hate us because of Him. He reminds us that the world hated Him first. He was crucified without doing anything wrong. So this is a comfort for us knowing that the world hated Jesus first. When we give our life to God we are no longer part of this world. We might live here in physical form but we are actually citizens of the Kingdom of God. The world would love us if we lived on the world’s terms. But because we are children of God we live on God’s terms and not the world’s terms. In John 14:20 Jesus tells us “When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you”. We are different because the Holy Spirit is in us. He lives in us. That is why we are no longer part of the world. The darkness cannot stand the light.
Jesus tells us that if we abide in Him and obey His commandments (to love one another as He loves us) and if we bear fruit that the world will hate us.