Love, what is it?
Today’s culture defines it as being nice, tolerant of one’s worldview; even when it is against God’s Holy Word and character.
We Americans desire self-affirmation over anything that has negative connotations. We seek out friends who will support our views and churches that make us feel good without making us feel guilty about our sins.
New Tolerance asserts that all beliefs and truth claims, all lifestyles, are equally valid. Denying this makes one ‘intolerant’ and worthy of contempt.
Jesus was thought worthy of contempt by many, including the very religious Pharisees.
Christians are judged by their words and actions as unChristlike. Jesus never said mean things. He always showed love.
- Jesus called Peter Satan, the Pharisees hypocrites and whitewashed tombs full of dead men’s bones.
If you read the Gospels looking for love, you will find Jesus speaking many loving things. If you read the Gospels looking for harsh and hard sayings of Jesus, you will find those also. The Gospels contain both love and hard harshness.
- He told people they were of the devil, a brood of vipers, serpents, blind guides, and unworthy servants who should be cast into outer darkness. He said if we love family more than Him, we are not worthy of Christ. (John 8:44, Matthew 23:16-17, 23, Matthew 25:30, Matthew 10:37)
- “I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34)
- Jesus said He came to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law, a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household. (Matthew 10:35-36)
Love according to Jesus is being honest in telling people and ourselves what Truth is.
If the Bible says it is a sin, we should call it a sin. If the Bible says it is immoral, we should call it immoral. If the Bible says it is displeasing to Christ, we should call it displeasing to Christ.
We shouldn’t be afraid of being called, ‘intolerant.’ We shouldn’t be afraid of being labeled ignorant and old-fashioned.
Jesus wasn’t afraid to die for what He knew was Truth. We live in a society where we are dared to clarify truth for anyone, even ourselves!
Sometimes, those who get separated do so for a season of discipline, until Christ can cleanse them and restore them to His fold.
Paul gives us this illustration on the book of Philemon.
“Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back forever— no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a fellow man and as a brother in the Lord.” (Philemon verses 15 & 16)