2 Cor. 2:15-17
For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; 16 to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things? 17 For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God.
The greatest and often most dangerous opponents of the disciples of Christ are people who go to church but actually mainly strife to become rich, powerful or influential in order to be someone in their own eyes or in the eyes of others. Or because they seek to serve themselves and their self-interest. Our focus on Christ, and on faithfully and humbly obeying Him no matter what, even if it means poverty or hardship, is a threat to their little 'kingdoms'. To hear the truth pains them enough, but to witness the truth of what it means to follow Christ in front of them invites down-right hatred as they do not like to see themselves in that mirror. Its sad but a reality every true follower needs to learn to live with. For some we are a fragrance of life and a living signpost pointing at the Way. For others we will be the stench of death itself. Not a signpost to the right way to live in this world but in their eyes we are a sign of their own condemnation. A signpost they would rather destroy then take serious, let alone follow the Way. Yet it is not us, but their own conscience which troubles them and until they stop their efforts to silence its voice and stop with hardening their hearts they will not know inner peace.