Today the news headlines often equate Christians with hate, and yet the scripture referred to in the title actually says, “They will know us by our love…” In other places in the Bible, the scriptures make clear that Christians should love others–those that know Christ and those that don’t. After all, God is love.
John 3:16, probably the most quoted scripture in the Bible, says that “God so loved the world,” so loved it that he gave his son to die for it–for the people in it. Jesus came not to bring condemnation, but to provide a way to be pull us from a hurtful, sinful world into another world–one filled with light and love.
Jesus was willing to lay down his life–and he did–for those that were lost and hopeless in the world. Some people say they don’t want to serve a God who would sacrifice his son, but they don’t realize that Jesus willingly gave up his life and God allowed it because he loved us just as he loved Jesus. And of course, he knew the end of the story! A glorious end.
Today’s headlines are a shame to Christians. Take this one from the tbt (Tampa Bay’s Free Daily newspaper) “Local Boy Makes Bad, the odd journey of Steve Drain–from USF to head of the Kansas church that loves to hate.”
There’s a song that says, “Why don’t we put down our signs, step over the line and love like He did?” He, of course, referring to Jesus. The song’s title? “Jesus, Friend of Sinners.”
Remember the prostitute and Jesus writing in the sand? Remember the story of the Good Samaritan? Remember Zaccheaus and Jesus saying he would come to his house to dine this night–and the Pharisees being astonished?
Have we, as Christians, become those Pharisees? Those religious rulers? The one Jesus called wicked, hypocrites, and whited sepulchres?
Today, I would say we need to look at ourselves and find the truth of our condemnations and ask the Father to forgive us for bringing shame to His name by being known as those who hate instead of those who love.