The love of many believers seems to be waxing cold because of their desire not to offend anyone but to be accepted by all (Matt. 24:12). This false concept of love as a sentiment of total acceptance, free of the ability to hate, is one of the most popular rationales for which many believers are abandoning the truth and authority of the Scriptures in this hour.
Loving people is certainly a godly virtue, and the most important of all commandments. We need to be measured in pursuing love, but not at the expense of hating truth and righteousness. The focus of what many call love today is based on accommodating people's ungodly and sinful lifestyles and idiosyncrasies, and frankly, even abominable behavior.
Jesus Christ loved righteousness and hated iniquity or evil (Heb. 1:8-9). A love for God and His righteousness is the foundation of true love. But it is impossible to love God's righteousness without hating wickedness. No true love can tolerate wickedness. To act indifferent toward wickedness and evil is proof of an absence of a love for righteousness in your life. No morality that fails to hate wickedness has ever known righteousness.
We are not only called to love, but we are also called to hate. Hate in itself is not sin. It all depends on what you hate. Hating wickedness is an attribute of God and therefore a godly virtue. Hating righteousness, however, is sin. Hating those who love righteousness is sin. Hating God is, of course, sin.
Human love, which is sympathy, if not balanced with a hatred for evil and a true love for righteousness, disqualifies the Christian for battle in this cultural war.
Here in America and much of the West we are in the midst of a huge cultural war and a moral crisis, but the greater threat to society and the church could be this false concept of love. There is a militant aggression in our society today that is demanding people love and accept others. This new sentiment is shaping public policy and being used as a standard of morality in evaluating people's behavior. Even many Christians are falling for it, and demonic doctrines and damnable heresies are spreading.
The perfect balance of love and hate can only function in Jesus Christ and those who are truly His. God's love is capable of loving sinners without condoning sin. Even we who have children know to love them, but also to hate the evils that could damage them.
Just as pain is necessary to alert us of danger in our bodies, so is hate a necessary companion to true love.
Being Nice Is Not Necessarily Love
I am more convinced now more than ever that the modern definition of love in much of the church is "being nice." But in reality, this could very well be the shallowest form of love, and the most deceptive and dangerous.
The church is so ill-advised in this matter of true love that we will actually damn people's souls to hell because we're too "nice" to tell them the truth that could save them.
True love is willing to go far beyond only being nice, and embrace righteousness and be hated and rejected for speaking the truth.
The big problem is we are not familiar with the biblical Jesus. Too many Christians want a manageable, domesticated Jesus who makes no demands on their time, money, words, social life and sexuality, but is just nice. In the midst of this great and growing deception, God is looking for uncompromising believers who are full of true love but are also committed to proclaiming the truth of the gospel and not the counterfeit Jesus of Western culture.
Too many Christians don't know the real Jesus, but are just following the Jesus of the pop culture and who shallow Christians have made Him to be. The following quotes bear this out and will provide some humor concerning some people's concept of Jesus and love. It would be funny if it wasn't so pathetic.
The John Lennon (the former beatle) Jesus: "All you need is love. That's all I care about, really. Not truth or anything like that. It's all about peace and love, and love and peace. Spirituality you know."
The Mr. Rogers Jesus: "What I'm most concerned with, dear children, is that you be really nice to each other. Be careful to never hurt anyone's feelings, because all people, just like you, are my special followers."
The Rob Bell Jesus: "Everyone is going to be just fine. Everyone is going to heaven when they die. Any other view of me is just toxic. If hell were hell, that would make me a monster, wouldn't it? Yes, a toxic monster! I am not a toxic monster."
The Bernie Sanders Jesus: "I expect you to love your neighbor, and I expect you to do that by supporting all government welfare programs, universal health care, higher taxes on the rich, higher minimum wage, and more environmental regulations."
You get the picture.
It's time for the church to return to truth and righteousness, and to hate the things God hates and to love what He loves. It's time for us to know the difference between human love, which is sympathetic and sentimental, and usually not based on truth and righteousness, and the real love of God, which speaks the truth that sometimes offends while laying down its life for the good of others.
Bert M. Farias, revivalist and founder of Holy Fire Ministries, has authored several books with an emphasis on helping to restore the true spirit of Christianity in the Church today, including his latest book, Passing on The Move of God to The Next Generation. Follow him at Bert Farias and Holy Fire Ministries on Facebook and @Bertfarias1 on Twitter.
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