Look at this world and you see so much hate. In America, politics have been split in two, with animosity and rancor separating them more and more. The radical left, spearheaded by Black Lives Matter and Antifa, openly broadcast deep hatred for traditional America. Across the world, hate and its offspring—harassment, intolerance, abuse, protests and riots, persecution, violence and murder, even genocide—flourish. Everywhere you look, hate grows.
This is terrifying, and here is why: Hate tends to stimulate more hate. When it is manifested in heated arguments, the perversion of justice, dishonest journalism, destructive riots, beatings and murders, it always feeds itself. Even when the victims don’t initially hate the aggressors, persistent abuse compels them to hate. Hate is reciprocal.
After enduring consistent verbal attacks and increasingly vile acts of aggression by the radical left, supporters of Donald Trump and traditional America started pushing back. Last summer in Portland, a Trump supporter confronting a blm horde was publicly executed in the street. This was inevitable. This is how hate works. It will happen again.
This shocking event in Portland did nothing to soothe the hate of either side. To the contrary, the Trump supporters’ resistance only confirmed leftists’ views that these people are racists and deserving of hate. And Trump followers saw even more clearly how violently they are hated, no doubt aggravating their hatred of radicals. Hate rarely fizzles; it only intensifies.
In January 1838, Abraham Lincoln gave a speech in Springfield, Illinois, in which he warned about the destructiveness of hate. Antipathy was building between abolitionists and slavery advocates, and America was sliding into “mob rule.” Facing these conditions, Lincoln said, “[G]ood men, men who love tranquility, who desire to abide by the laws, and enjoy their benefits, who would gladly spill their blood in the defense of their country; seeing their property destroyed; their families insulted, and their lives endangered; their persons injured; and seeing nothing in prospect that forebodes a change for the better; become tired of, and disgusted with, a government that offers them no protection; and are not much averse to a change in which they imagine they have nothing to lose” (emphasis added).
This is the way human emotions work. When people are attacked, when they see their nation and livelihood under threat and their cities burning, and when they see that the authorities are unwilling to defend them, they are compelled to respond. It is human nature to protect one’s self, including one’s family, home and livelihood, community and friends. And one’s nation.
People are being driven to retaliation—and often, hatred—because the alternatives are increasingly detestable. But their resistance, which is rational, only inflames the irrational views and hatred of the attackers. To these aggressors, the victims’ resistance only confirms their conviction that the victim must be punished.
How does this cycle of hate end?
Have you ever seen footage of a pile of tires on fire? A tire fire is practically impossible to extinguish. It stops only after the tires have burned out. It’s the same with the cycle of hate. It will stop only after the hate has burned itself out.
In Matthew 24:22, Jesus prophesies about the end of the age of man. “And except those days should be shortened,” He says, “there should no flesh be saved ….” He is talking about a time of mass violence and worldwide war. This “great tribulation,” as Jesus calls it in verse 21, is one giant tire fire of hate. “And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another” (verse 10).
The Bible reveals the ultimate source of hate in passages such as 2 Corinthians 4:4, Ephesians 2:2 and Revelation 12. These expose the presence of Satan the devil, a spirit being who embodies hate, whose every thought and action is inspired by hatred toward God, His truth and His plan. Revelation 12:12 tells us that this “great red dragon” has been cast down to Earth and has “great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.”
Looking at humanity collectively, there is no evidence of any movement toward repentance that would reverse the trend toward destruction. Individually, though, the path to repentance is open to you. You can escape the cycle of hate, which will soon end in a massive climax called the Great Tribulation.
How? Ultimately, we escape this future by conquering our human emotions and impulses, our attitudes and human will, the powerful pulls of the carnal mind and flesh. We escape this future by surrendering our lives and minds completely to God, His law and His government. This is not easy; it cannot be done on human power or talent. It can only be done using the power of God’s Spirit, which we receive upon repentance and faith.