I've learned that one thing in this Christian life is for sure, you will be hated by many. Those in darkness can't stand the light. When we are rejected by the world and even those we used to call friends, we realize it isn't necessarily us they are rejecting, it is Christ. We are truly a partaker in His sufferings and afflictions! If you obey God, don't be surprised that your friends are few.
A great preacher said many years ago that we must seek those that are also lovers of the truth and make those our friends. It has stuck with me and I realized that is exactly what I look for because even in the church, it is hard to find those that truly love the truth. Most claim Christ but they don't love the truth. They only want salvation from hell, they don't love God for if they did:
Joh_14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
Joh_15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
1Jn_5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
1Jn_5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
Matt_7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Matthew Henry expounds on it so well:
That which allures multitudes into it, and keeps them in it; the gate is wide, and the way broad, and there are many travellers in that way. First, “You will have abundance of liberty in that way; the gate is wide, and stands wide open to tempt those that go right on their way. You may go in at this gate with all your lusts about you; it gives no check to your appetites, to your passions: you may walk in the way of your heart, and in the sight of your eyes; that gives room enough.” It is a broad way, for there is nothing to hedge in those that walk in it, but they wander endlessly; a broad way, for there are many paths in it; there is choice of sinful ways, contrary to each other, but all paths in this broad way. Secondly, “You will have abundance of company in that way: many there be that go in at this gate, and walk in this way.” If we follow the multitude, it will be to do evil: if we go with the crowd, it will be the wrong way. It is natural for us to incline to go down the stream, and do as the most do; but it is too great a compliment, to be willing to be damned for company, and to go to hell with them, because they will not go to heaven with us: if many perish, we should be the more cautious.
1Jn_2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1Ti_6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
Luk_18:8 ...Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
2Ti 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;2Ti 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.2Ti 4:5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
Notice verse 4! They will - they will- they will - TURN AWAY their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables! They will believe lies! They will not listen to the truth. Their lusts draw them to preachers and churches that tell them they don't need to do anything but believe in Jesus. But the scripture above admonishes Timothy to keep right on preaching all the doctrine despite if he's all alone or not. ENDURE AFFLICTIONS he says - we must endure the hurts, the rejection, the betrayal that Christ did. You are blessed when they hate you, when they separate themselves from you, reproach you and say you are evil:
Luk_6:22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake.
Joh_7:7 The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.
Joh_15:18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
1Jn_3:13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.
Notice this verse of what you should be concerned about:
Luk 6:26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.
We shouldn't think it strange when we are hated, we should think it terrifying when everyone talks well of us!
“Woe unto you; that is, it would be a bad sign that you were not faithful to your trust, and to the souls of men, if you preached so as that nobody would be disgusted; for your business is to tell people of their faults, and, if you do that as you ought, you will get that ill will which never speaks well. The false prophets indeed, that flattered your father in their wicked ways, that prophesied smooth things to them, were caressed and spoken well of; and, if you be in like manner cried up, you will be justly suspected to deal deceitfully as they did.” . - Matthew Henry
They speak well of you because you stand for nothing in God, you shut up your mouth! Of course everyone loves you because you only speak what they want to hear, you don't warn anyone away from hell. You are a men-pleaser unlike Paul, who is guilty of no one's blood:
Act 20:26 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.
Act 20:27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
Eze 33:6 But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand.
Give me those preachers and those lovers of the truth! They watch for my soul. They warn me! They will help me get to Heaven. They really love my soul. The greatest preacher of all time lost his head because of what he said and others were killed because people hated them so much. Most of today's preachers are false prophets who send millions to hell because they only speak and prophesy smooth things, just like the false prophets of the Old Testament. They are loved, not hated. They are adored by the thousands. They are in the broad way that leadeth to hell.
I will end with more of Matthew Henry's words that tell why there will be few that choose the truth:
...a narrow way, hedged in by the divine law, which is exceedingly broad, and that makes the way narrow; self must be denied, the body kept under, corruptions mortified, that are as a right eye and a right hand; daily temptations must be resisted; duties must be done that are against our inclination. We must endure hardness, must wrestle and be in an agony, must watch in all things, and walk with care and circumspection. We must go through much tribulation. It is hodos tethlimmenē - an afflicted way, a way hedged about with thorns; blessed be God, it is not hedged up. The bodies we carry about with us, and the corruptions remaining in us, make the way of our duty difficult; but, as the understanding and will grow more and more sound, it will open and enlarge, and grow more and more pleasant.