Thursday, April 6, 2017

"Love and Hate"

"Love and Hate"                 

   Throughout the history of the church, born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ have been slurred as "Haters".  This began in the first century, and proceeds to this generation in which we often hear the derogatory term voiced by those who reject the Spirit and truth of the Lord Jesus.

   Interestingly, truth exists in the accusation.  "The fear of the Lord is to hate evil" (Proverbs 8:13).  Just as God hates that which damages His creation, so must His children look upon sin as an enemy to be rejected.  The loving mother who discovers a deadly snake in the crib of her baby does not accomodate the intruder with affection and approval.  Nor must Christians look upon unrighteousness with anything less than hatred.  "To hate evil" is synonymous with loving God and loving people.  Indeed, no true love exists in a fallen creation that does not include enmity toward the evil that has led to every human sorrow and misery.  Even more, sin resulted in the suffering and death of the Lord Jesus on the cross of Calvary.  "Sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death" (James 1:15).

   The unbeliever who loves his sin personalizes our hatred of it.  He perceives sin not as his master, but rather as his very identity.  Thus, he views Christians as rejecting his person when our real concern actually involves the poison of evil that inexorably kills his soul.  The love of God indwells Christians through the presence of the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5).  As we walk with our Lord, His heart is manifested in us toward those who do not believe.  "The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works… And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men" (Psalm 145:9; I Thessalonians 3:12).  Such devotion to the well being of others must include hatred of that which fosters harm and destruction.  To love the victim means that we hate the snake coiled around his neck.

   We will be misunderstood in this love that involves hatred, and this hatred that confirms our love.  Those who perceive their sin as constituting their very identity will inevitably misconstrue our devotion to their best interests.  The thief will not appreciation our rejection of his thievery.  The chronicle of such misunderstanding is long, and actually has little to do with us.  The real issue involves God's rejection of that which harms His creation.  Those who love their sin will not abide His hatred of it.  Nor will they abide ours.  Let us therefore do all that we can through the love of Christ to join Him in being "good to all".  And let us also be lovingly forthright in declaring God's truth regarding both His grace and the sin that makes it necessary.

"Unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of Thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows."
(Hebrews 1:8-9)

Weekly Memory Verse
   As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
(I Peter 4:10)

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