In today’s world, it seems to be getting harder to be a Christian, especially with so many outspoken opponents. We have so much knowledge at our fingertips that it is easy to learn about and grow our personal faith but it is also easy for a non-Christian to find a scripture passage or theme to use against us to try and disprove our faith or even show the world that we are “hypocrites”.
One argument they like to make is that as Christians we are supposed to love others just as Jesus did, NO MATTER WHAT. We are to love them in the midst of their sin and that love means that we are not to ever point out the sin or try to tell someone that what they are doing is against God’s Word or could send them to Hell. Loving them means to accept and tolerate no matter how much it goes against the Bible.
Now before I go any further I’d like to note that I do feel you cannot judge someone into Heaven and you cannot simple love someone there either. You must have a balance of love and truth for them to actually realize they are in need of a savior and that accepting Him and repenting (turning away from) of their sins is the only way to Heaven.
That being said, Jesus did say in John 13:34-35 (NIV) 34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Notice how He said love one another three times in just this one command? I think He is serious about it! This passage is one that non-Christians like to use to say that we are to love no matter what. BUT here is my problem with that…Jesus specifically says to love one another AS I HAVE LOVED YOU! Jesus wants us to love others as He first loved us. To be able to do so we need to understand what that kind of love looks like.
Think for a moment about why Jesus chose to leave the comforts and glory He had in Heaven to come humbly to this world in the first place? He knew the only way humankind could be redeemed was through His sacrifice on the cross. The ultimate forgiveness of our sins. It was the only way to completely conquer death. It was the only way to guarantee that we could spend eternity in Heaven with Him. Jesus came to this world because He loved us so much that He wanted us to be with Him forever.
Now in Matthew 4:8 (NIV) we see Jesus during His time of fasting in the wilderness being tempted by Satan, 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Satan was giving Jesus a chance to take back the world that he had corrupted through Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Jesus had a chance to not be ridiculed, not be tortured and to not have been sacrificed on a cross. Satan was giving Jesus an out. BUT Jesus hadn’t come to earth to simple make life here easy; He came to give us eternal life, to be able to spend eternity in Heaven with Him.
If Jesus loved us as the way those opposing our faith want us to love then He would have simply bowed to Satan. BUT He loves us more than anything this world has to offer. His love for us is for our eternal state. If we are to then love one another as He first loved us then we need to realize that love is more than this world, we must love others enough to show them how to spend eternity in Heaven too.
This kind of love, the love Jesus has for us is one of truth. If we choose to ignore sin and what the Bible says about how God created us perfectly. If we choose to avoid pointing out to others what will keep them from an eternity in Heaven or even lead others to believe that they can get to heaven in ways other than JESUS CHRIST then NO we are not loving them the way Jesus loves. We need to show others in a loving way that it’s not all about this world, it’s about the next one. Eternity is much more permeant than any trend or lifestyle in this life. We need to start standing up for our faith and speaking the truth of God’s Word so that we can ensure the eternal state of others. One day we will be questioned about those lives we impacted, will your response be that you didn’t want to offend them on earth and in return their eternal destination may be Hell or do you want to say that you loved them as Jesus first loved us.
If you truly love them you would want to spend eternity with them just as Jesus did for us! So, go and do as Jesus commanded, Love one another as I have loved you!