Titus 2:11-12, For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age.
This is not how the world lives; this is how we are called to live. The world embraces and enables ungodliness, the world has unholy passions; the world is hedonistic, unrighteous, and ungodly. This is the world we Christians are called to live in, so it is no wonder why the world hates us, for we live according to another world totally unlike this one—God’s kingdom. Thus, when we renounce ungodliness—such as homosexuality, transgenderism, abortion, pedophilia, incest, premarital sex, promiscuity, divorce, etc.—the world responds with hate and seeks to take our freedoms. When we live with self-control—such as abstinence till marriage—the world mocks us. We stand upright and godly, and the world seeks to destroy us and tread upon us.
But this ugly world is where we’re called to live in, since God’s grace has appeared in the world in Jesus Christ for salvation to all who will believe. In Luther’s words, we are a rose among thorns. We are called to renounce all ungodliness and live self-controlled lives even if we’re alone, just as Abraham in Canaan and Lot in Sodom (Genesis 13:12). The world hates what is beautiful, namely, God’s grace and His roses among thorns. Yet He has placed us citizens of His kingdom in this place to make His grace known so that more roses might grow amongst the thorns. Let us, therefore, pray continually for patience and meekness that we may faithfully proclaim His Gospel.