“They hate him who reproves in the gate, and they abhor him who speaks the truth.”
Amos is speaking to the people of Israel and asking them to seek the Lord and live. The prophet Amos is setting before the sinful nation its guilt, and the punishment that awaits them. There is hope for Israel if they turn to the Lord. Amos 5:6-7 says “Seek the Lord and live, lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and it devour, with none to quench it for Bethel, O you who turn justice to wormwood and cast down righteousness to the earth!”
Throughout the Old Testament, the prophets were killed because of speaking truth and judgment. Jesus says in Matthew 23:34 “Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town,”
Again, 1 Thessalonians 2:15-16 “who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out, and displease God and oppose all mankind by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved—so as always to fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them at last!”
Likewise, in this world, you will be hated for bearing the truth of the Gospel. You will be hated because you bring reproof. You will be hated because of the name of Jesus (Mark 13:13). Sometimes the words that Christian speak seem to be harsh to the world. When the holy requirements of our God are declared, the world cannot accept it. The people of the world do not have the Spirit of truth; neither can they accept Him. So they remain opposed. John 14:17 says “even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.”
We are called to speak the truth so that God may grant them repentance. Only God has the sovereign authority to grant it, and through God’s “granting” it will lead them to repentance. Until this happens, humanity will oppose all things of God, and they will hate you for it.
To the world, the message of Christ is foolishness. The world persecutes the things that they do not understand and oppose. So, how are we to respond as one’s standing at the gate bringing reproof? 2 Timothy 2:24-25 says “And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth,”
As we just read, the way to bring reproof is not by being quarrelsome, instead, be kind. Notice that this does not mean “compromise”. Instead, the very next words say, you must be able to teach! In other words, explain the truth. Declare the reality of the word without compromise. Next, it says endure evil. Endure the evil that will oppose the truth you speak and correct your opponent with gentleness. When you do this faithfully to the Lord, then “perhaps” God may grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth.
Friends, I want you to realise that the Gospel is foolishness to the world. 1 Corinthians 1:18 “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
So I urge you to continue being a proclaimer of the word of God. To declare and bring reproof showing the world the divine requirements of the Lord so that God may grant them repentance leading to salvation. Again, it is not by works we are saved. Instead, it is by grace through faith, not our doing, but it is a gift of God (Ephesians 2:8-9).
So I urge you to declare the truth of Jesus Christ, even if you are hated for it. For by patiently enduring evil and correcting your opponents with gentleness, God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth.