— Ron Servant
Looking at what is happening in our world today; we can see that many peoples’ lives are being broken by the violence that is going on. It is sad to see peoples’ lives being taken from them because others do not care about who they hate or harm. Many people are suffering and grieving because of those who would rather hate and kill rather than accept and love those around us.
Some of us find ourselves living in fear in a world that has gone mad. But we, who are Christians, do not have to live in fear if we stand on God’s Word.
I watch the news all the time and there is always something evil going on – terrorism and fear, lies and deception, hate and murder. How does this affect those of us who are Christians? And what should we do to show love and forgiveness to others in this world with so much hatred going on in peoples’ lives?
Matthew 5:44 says, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you.”
Jesus speaks of how important it is to love them that hate you because if we cannot learn to love and forgive we cannot possibly call ourselves Christians. Also, if we hate our enemies and don’t have forgiveness, we will not enter into the kingdom of heaven. To be called one of God’s children, we must love everyone in every situation.
Luke 23:34 says, “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them. For they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.”
This verse is one of the greatest examples of love and forgiveness in the Bible. Jesus spoke it as he was dying on the cross. Jesus is our example. If we, who are Christians, think we are the only ones hated by the world, we can know that they hated Jesus before they hated us. John 15:18 says, “If the world hates you, you know that it hated me before it hated you.”
If we can show love toward those who hate us, then we can show those who hate us the kind of love the world has never shown them. Having a forgiving heart is a trait that we who are Christians should all possess in order to be in right relationships with God and others. If we have done anything wrong to our neighbors, or even our enemies, we need to ask God to forgive us right away, and make amends to anyone who we have offended.
Matthew 6:14-15 says, “For if you forgive men their trespasses your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
We cannot say we love God and hate our neighbor or enemies or our Christian brothers. I John 4:20 states, “If a man says I love God and hates his brother, he is a liar. For he that loves not his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God who he has not seen?”
I believe we who live Christian lives should show forth God’s love and forgiveness because if God’s love is not in us how can we be examples to the unbelievers. Showing God’s love and forgiveness is the only way people can see what the transforming power of God’s love can do in a person’s life.
The truth is hatred and love cannot coexist in a kingdom where only God’s love and holiness and righteousness dwell and the only place all of God’s love, holiness, righteousness will dwell is in the kingdom of heaven. There will not be any more hatred in the kingdom of heaven. We can make a difference in the lives of unbelievers if we show them God’s love and forgiveness, and we who are Christians can only be made Holy and righteous in this world is by the forgiving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and only by the forgiving blood of Jesus that he shed on the cross when he died for our sins.
The truth also is that we cannot save ourselves, even if we think we can or someone has told us that we can. Ephesians 1:7 says, “In whom we have redemption through his blood the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of his grace.” Ephesians 2:13 says, “But now in Christ Jesus you who were sometimes far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”
We can see by these scriptures that if we are going to do anything for Jesus it is only by his grace and through his blood that we will succeed. Those of us that have walked around lost and without hope because we did not know Christ were brought unto him by the forgiving power of his blood.
One of the greatest blessings that God has given us is to know what it is like to love and forgive our neighbors. Those people who have offended us or who have done us wrong. Our love is what they need to see living in us. We should realize we may have offended others ourselves. We may never know what kind of life they have been through that has caused them to offend us. They may have been through abusive relationships in their past life. Some of these people as they were growing up may have been taught that God is a God of wrath and vengeance. This is simply not true. John 3:17 says “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through His Son might be saved.”
We also cannot be a child of God if we judge and condemn others, because if we act this way we may feel justified but we are not, this is called self righteousness and self justification. We cannot know the true love of God if we are continually judging and condemning others. We could not possibly lead anyone to Christ by passing judgment on them. Matthew 7:1-2 says, “Judge not that you be not judged; For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged and with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again.”
God’s love and forgiveness cannot be present with us by his Spirit if we try to justify ourselves in the sight of God by judging others. We should never hold others’ faults against them. We should always be constantly aware if we find ourselves judging others. We should look at our own mistakes and examine our motives to see if they are good or b ad, false or true, right or wrong. The truth is that those of us who judge others are just as guilty as others who do the same.
Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
The way things are today, sin is running rapid in our world and the only thing that is holding this world together is the presence of the Holy Spirit. One day the Holy Spirit will be taken from the earth. The world then will become so evil that there will be almost no thought of God’s love and forgiveness. The enemy, Satan, will be in total control of the world. He will especially control governments of all types national and local. The world, as it becomes more and more evil from day to day, will begin to lose hope. People all over the world will mourn because of the devastation occurring on this planet.
Matthew 24:12 says, “And because iniquity shall abound the love of many shall wax cold.” Jesus in this chapter is referring to the end times, but the love of many has already waxed cold. My friends, the hared is getting worse every day. There are still people who think that the world is going to be just fine, that there is nothing to worry about, but today the world is already seeing catastrophic events taking place. We just do not know how much the world will be able to stand under its present circumstances.
So while we are still here, let us pray that God’s love and forgiveness will reach those who had not accepted Christ as their savior. We may not be able to save everyone but God’ Spirit is alive and well today. So let us ask God in Jesus’ name that those who do not know him will receive his great love and forgiveness before it’s too late.
May God bless you and keep you. Your friend and brother in the Lord, Ron.