Religion of “Love”
Speak the name of Jesus to someone and you will get a reaction. The same is for the Word of God. Hebrews 4:12 states that “the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” This establishes that when read or spoken, the word of God may do more than just step on some toes. As a matter of a fact, when Stephen was brought before the Council (Acts 7) and presented words full of the Spirit, they were “cut to the quick….and cried out with a loud voice, and covered their ears and rushed at him.” That was 2000 years ago and not much has changed. Individuals and groups are making a stand against God, Jesus, and scripture. They preach toleration yet have no tolerance themselves. Some that are not completely opposed to Christ conform and mold the word to meet their own desires or views. Yet scripture is the same yesterday, today, and forever. For many parts of the world persecution is happening and for the US it is coming quickly. Will you stand? Or will you deny Christ?
I write on this because of something I read months ago. However, the comment is not far from my mind and hopefully writing about it will help let it go. This person had said they were upset with the close-minded actions of some Christians and the hate filled reactions coming from the Christian community. From this they decided that when asked of their religion they would say “love” and not Christian. However, well-meaning this is it is extremely dangerous. Let me explain.
First, in 2 Peter 2:1, the bible reads, “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.” This individual may not have had these types of intentions but they were performing false teaching, denying Christ, and bringing destruction upon themselves. No matter how much love is present, one cannot deny Christ and if they do they should be fearful of the consequence. Matthew 10:33, “But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.” There are loving missionaries and people of God at this moment under pressure to deny being a Christian. With a hand clutching their hair and a knife ready to saw through some of the toughest bone and tissue of their neck, they stand firm.
There are many who will hate you for your beliefs. Jesus’s words are recorded in John 15:18-21, “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me.”
They do not know and they do not understand. They, being the world, have a problem with Jesus and scripture because it conflicts with our inherent nature. Our inherent nature is sin. Sin being what keeps us apart from our Father. Jesus is the ultimate judge however in John 12:47 you will read, “If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.” Jesus came to make those known to their sin and bring them to repentance and salvation. This was not a judgement but a saving. This was the love that Jesus showed us. He met many with sin and worked to bring them to life eternal. Read about the woman at the well, the leper, tax collectors, prostitute, and adulterous woman. All were dregs of society and sinners, yet Christ openly loved them without tolerating their sin and brought them to a knowledge of who they were and healed them. The Apostle Paul says it in 1 Corinthians 9:22, “I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some.” To me, this sounds like a religion preaching more than just judgement.
So, know that God is a God of love and peace but he also requires a belief in Him that will set you apart from the world. He said that His kingdom is not of this world and if you are of Him then neither are you apart of this world. The bible says, in John 12, “Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him…that they loved the approval of men more than the approval of God.” Again this is dangerous territory and brings me to what I believe is one of the scarier verses out of the bible. In 2 Timothy 3, scripture talks about difficult times ahead and the crazy people to follow. The last type of person is one holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power. Instructions follow; Avoid such men as these.