April 8, 2019

Biblical Love

Those looking to criticize Jesus and His followers suggest that Christians lack compassion
and love when they make a stand against sin. Politically correct topics such as gay
marriage, full-term abortion, and premarital sex are especially hot topics. However,
God’s primary nature is to love. This was demonstrated by His rescue plan for us
through His Son Jesus Christ. The death and resurrection of Jesus is the greatest
demonstration of God’s love for us.

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”
Jeremiah 31:3 (NIV)

Accusations of ignorance, self-righteous bigotry, prejudice, and insincere love come
from a worldly view that love accepts all things that feel good. This is a deception the
devil has spread. The world has redefined love as something that withholds discipline
and has no eternal consequence. Sin seems to be an old-fashioned concept that should
be ignored.

Humans are pleasure seekers by nature but there isn’t any Scripture stating we should
do what feels good and follow the pleasures of our heart. Actually, the Bible warns us to
guard our heart because it is deceitful. The heart is the seat of our emotions and will.

“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”
Jeremiah 17:9 (NIV)

Our purpose on earth is to glorify God and lead others to salvation. Heaven is our true
home. Heaven is where we will find absolute joy and contentment as we live out
eternity with God in our glorified bodies. There, we will have no more sorrow or pain.
Non-believers think their time on earth is for the here and now. Each day is as good as it
gets. Many don’t believe in an afterlife or a final judgment. So, why not do as much as
possible to satisfy lustful pleasures every day? Their focus is on self. They may strive to
live a good life helping others along the way. Volunteer work is awesome but ultimately
their actions are self-serving. They do acts of service and show kindness to others but
forget to credit God. God placed different gifts and abilities inside each of us with the
purpose of using them to give Him glory. It is not enough to be nice and do nice things.
We must credit God with our service and remove self from every equation. Being a good
person will not get you into heaven. Acknowledging Jesus as Lord is the only way.

“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father
except through Me.’” John 14:6 (NIV)

Non-believers are quick to point fingers at a Christian’s intolerance of sin. They justify
their harsh judgment of us because, unlike them, we don’t support the choices and

actions of all people. After all, freedom of choice is every person’s right. Well, God gave
us this freedom of choice so He’s not ignorant of the glorious gift of free will. Nor are
believers! But the Word of God states a homosexual lifestyle and premarital sex is a sin,
so believers are not called to accept or back such behavior. Instead, believers are called
to love the sinner but hate their sin. Hating the sin and hating a person are two different
things.

Those holding to a worldly view miss this: It is not to anyone’s benefit to do whatever
they please, although we do have the freedom to do so.

“’I have the right to do anything,’ you say—but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the
right to do anything’—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their
own good, but the good of others.” 1 Corinthians 10:23-24 (NIV)

Christians are called to love everyone, including those living a blatant lifestyle of
rebellion against God. We are all sinners and we all require the grace of God. But true
love does not say yes to everything. A father and mother will say no to their child if their
choice or desire isn’t safe or healthy. Setting boundaries and saying no is a part of true
love.

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.”
Revelation 3:19 (NKJV)

How do we know what is healthy for us? The Bible is our source for all questions in life.
If we don’t read it, we will not know what it says about a matter. God chastens us out of
love. He aligns our chastisement (or blessing) with His Living Word. God will bring sinful
choices to our attention but still allow free choice to lead us to repentance or further
sin.

Here lies the big defect in the world’s way of thinking. Their defense that love is
demonstrated by accepting everybody’s choice to live contrary to God’s instructions is
wrong. Christians love the person through actions and personal relationship while
fearlessly addressing sin. If the world does not acknowledge sin as sin, they can’t
understand Christian intolerance of sin is love.

“Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping His
covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His
commandments.” Deuteronomy 78:9 (NIV)

“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” Romans 12:9 (NIV)

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