“If we stand up for what is right, we are bound to arouse the fury of many people. Many more will follow in their wake. The more we make peace, the readier the world will be to revile us. Our name will be bandied around every table and every street in town. Scurrilous things will be said about us. But there is more. St. Paul tells us that anyone desiring to live a holy life in Jesus Christ must expect persecution.
God, it is true, will certainly give us respite from time to time, but we cannot avoid making many enemies. Satan has many allies in this world: possessed by his spirit, they cannot endure the light of the gospel or allow God to rule over them as one might rule over children. We must therefore defend the cause of the gospel and bear witness to the truth of our Lord Jesus Christ, ever if it means unremitting struggle with a large number of people, including those who pretend to be believers and who claim to be of the same religion.
We are engaged, I repeat, in a mortal struggle with them, and even more with those who openly defy God and who would love to see the gospel vanish from the world.”
–John Calvin, Sermons on the Beatitudes, trans. by Robert White (Carlisle, PA.: Banner of Truth, 1562/2006), pp. 58-59.