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“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’” John 15:18-21,25

Were I without one page of Scripture explaining spiritual warfare in this life, I would know it was true by empirical observation.

Tim Tebow is a perfect example of this.

Tim Tebow, starting Quarterback for the Denver Broncos, is a success by every definition of the word. As a Gator, he was the youngest player to ever win the Heisman Trophy and led the University of Florida to two NCAA Championships. Aside from being a worldwide athletic phenomenon, whose last name has been lexiconed into global usage (“Tebowing” to describe kneeling and praying on the field), he also has several children’s charities and has traveled the world building hospitals.

Yet people hate Tim Tebow with an irrational rage.

Ask them why they hate him and all they can muster is something like, “He doesn’t play the game right.”

Really?

Here is Tim Tebow’s Athletic Resume:

Highschool: Nease High School, Florida

  • 9,810 passing yards
  • 3,186 rushing yards
  • 95 passing touchdowns
  • 62 rushing touchdowns
  • He played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas which features the top 78 senior high school football players in the nation and is shown nationally on NBC television.
  • One of the nation’s top recruits

College: University of Florida, Florida

2006 season

  • SEC All-Freshman Team
  • SEC Freshman of the Week

2007 season

  • Walter Camp Foundation National Offensive Player of the Week
  • Southeastern Conference Offensive Player of the Week, three times
  • Davey O’Brien Award winner
  • Heisman Trophy winner
  • Maxwell Award winner
  • Walter Camp Award finalist
  • Sporting News Player of the Year
  • Harley Award winner
  • NCAA QB of the Year
  • First-team Academic All-American
  • Manning Award finalist
  • Rivals.com National Offensive Player of the Year
  • Rivals.com SEC Offensive Player of the Year
  • First-team All-SEC (Associated Press, Coaches, Rivals.com)
  • Associated Press SEC Offensive Player of the Year
  • Associated Press Player of the Year
  • First-team All-American by: Associated Press, Football Writers Association of America, Walter Camp Football Foundation, Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, CBS Sports, College Football News, Rivals.com, and Scout.com
  • James E. Sullivan Award, awarded to the Nations top amateur athlete
  • Roy F. Kramer SEC Male Athlete of the Year. Third Florida Gator to win this award, Danny Wuerffel (won twice) and Ryan Lochte
  • ESPY for Best Male College Athlete

2008 season

  • First-team All-America by College Football News
  • Disney Spirit Award
  • ESPY for Best Male College Athlete
  • Heisman Trophy finalist
  • Manning Award winner
  • Maxwell Award winner
  • Southeastern Conference Offensive Player of the Week
  • 2008 SEC Championship Game Most Valuable Player
  • First-team All-SEC (AP, Coaches, Rivals.com)
  • Southeastern Conference Offensive Player of the Year
  • Southeastern Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year
  • Wuerffel Trophy winner
  • First-team Academic All-American

2009 season

  • William V. Campbell Trophy (formerly the Vincent dePaul Draddy Trophy, “The Academic Heisman”) winner
  • First-team Academic All-American
  • Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award
  • Heisman Trophy finalist
  • First-team All-SEC (AP, Coaches, Rivals.com)
  • Second-team All-America (Walter Camp Foundation)
  • Southeastern Conference Offensive Player of the Year
  • Sugar Bowl Most Outstanding Player
  • Sports Illustrated College football Player of the Decade

Professional: Denver Broncos

  • 2× Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week – Weeks 10 and 16 (2010)

The Broncos went from 1-4 before starting Tebow to 6-1 after starting Tebow.

If it takes more awards, stats and honors to “play the game right”, I guess there aren’t too many professional athletes who do. Therefore, the charge against his skill or athleticism is simply a smokescreen.

And while there is nothing unusual about a celebrity courting haters, the intensity of seething rage against him without a cause, the blaspheming of his God and mocking of his faith is nothing short of satanic.

Take Bill Maher’s Christmas Eve Tweet for only the most recent display of this unadulterated rage against Tebow. Following the Bronco’s loss to the Bills on Saturday, Maher tweeted, “Wow, Jesus just…@#$% #TimTebow bad! And on Xmas Eve! Somewhere in hell Satan is tebowing, saying to Hitler ‘Hey, Buffalo’s killing them’. (Adult language has been removed from the Tweet.)

Yet, the same people who hate and attack Tim Tebow celebrate the very worst our culture has to offer.

This of course, is to be expected because The Bible lays out this reality in advance for our benefit and encouragement.

Jesus said in John 15:18, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own.

The beloved Apostle Paul would go on to write by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12

This spiritual warfare is also evident in the fact that after 92 million people searched “Tebow John 3:16” seen in Tebow’s eye black, the NCAA in 2010 immediately enacted The Tebow Rule, banning such messages to ensure that people aren’t being exposed to the Gospel.

People hate Tim Tebow because Tim Tebow loves Jesus.

“All men will hate you because of me” – Jesus Christ (Matthew 10:22)

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