In this world today, we are seeing many going down a path that is only heading for destruction. They are saying that things that God has declared as evil are good and that the good things declared by God are evil. They are seeking self-pleasure rather than a God-pleasing mind frame.
We all know the Scripture where Christ says that the path is narrow that leads to life and the path is broad that leads to destruction (Matt. 7:13-14). Many want to go the easy path, even Christians. Many do so because to go the easy way takes the target off their backs. But this is not what a believer is to do. We are to do the complete opposite.
Christ said in John 3:19–20 “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.” He states further in John 15:18–19, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” Since this is true, we as believers must walk the path of righteousness rather than the path of the world.
When we do so we will receive persecution. Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:12–13, “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” We will be persecuted while the ungodly continue as if they are the best thing ever. But they are being deceived and they are heading for a terrible fate. If they do not believe in Jesus Christ for eternal life they will go to eternal torment.
It is because of that last statement why we must continue down the path of righteousness and not turn to the path of the world. If we turn to the worldly path, we will not share light and truth with the wicked and evil, and ungodly people of the world. These people can be your next-door neighbor who is a decent person. One who upholds the same convictions you do but has never believed in Christ for eternal life.
He is evil because he has not been cleansed by Christ and received Christ’s righteousness (c.f. 2 Cor. 5:17-21). All people need to hear the saving message of how Christ was crucified was buried and rose again for the forgiveness of our sins. And because of this, the promise of eternal life is ours when we believe in Christ for it. God desires all men to be saved (1 Tim. 2:4). As such, if we deviate from the path of righteousness for the path of the world, we may very well be the reason some go to hell and eternal torment.
That is something we must seek to never allow to happen. Indeed, we cannot save anyone. That is true. But we can share the message and allow the Holy Spirit to work on them. But if we turn from the path of righteousness for the world, we are not sharing and may very well be the hindrance Satan needed.
So do not be discouraged if the world hates you. We have a savior who was hated first. He died for us and all people just the same. All of which were His enemies, He died just the same (Rom. 5:6-8). It is a difficult task we have before us, this is true. Even so, it is a blessed task. For all who run the race well and keep the faith—who stay on the path of righteousness, rewards are laying in wait for you (e.g., 1 Cor. 3:11-15; 2 Tim. 4:7-8). These rewards will be awesome and amazing but I believe the best reward is knowing that we maintained a faithful life and sought to reach as many as possible with the gospel. That is a solid reason to stay true to the path of righteousness.