Loving The Sinner
Read Luke Chapter 9
Lk 9:51 As the time approached for Him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. 52 And He sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for Him; 53 but the people there did not welcome Him, because He was heading for Jerusalem. 54 When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” 55 But Jesus turned and rebuked them, 56 and they went to another village.
As we see our world growing more and more evil, we often do not know what we can do about it. Actually, there is little we can do. We can only control our small corner of the world, attempting to avoid evil in our own lives and trying to live a life which reflects Christ and His values. As a result, we go through many emotional stages thinking about this issue. Our frustration and anger can at times overwhelm us. Speaking only for myself, sometimes I wish that I could do the very thing James and John desired to do. If I could only zap anyone who speaks ill of our Savior, those who hurt others, and a few other groups of people, we would live in a much better world.
These two disciples felt the sting of rejection from this Samaritan village. Maybe they saw it as rejection of themselves, but I imagine that they were angry because their dearly loved Christ was being disparaged. No matter what their reasoning, Christ rebuked them. There have been times when God called down destruction upon those who opposed Him and were deeply involved in sinful behavior, but God is God. Only He can make those decisions. We cannot see the whole picture.
So, we must endure the sinfulness of our world and patiently wait for God’s will to come to pass. There surely will come a time when God’s enemies will face the full fury of His wrath. Obviously, that time has not come, for many today live lives which dishonor Him and His precepts. How can we properly deal with our frustrations today? We have to apply biblical principles.
- Mt 5:44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. – Oh, this is so hard to do! I find it difficult to love some of our politicians who seem to have no regard for Christ and His word. Most of them are opposed to God’s views about marriage, sexual perversion, adultery, and of course homosexuality. Nevertheless, we must allow God to love them through us.
- Jude 1:22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh. – We have a small measure of influence over a few people. We have an obligation to help our brothers and sisters find their way out of sinful behavior. Perhaps some of our friends will have receptive hearts.
- Col 3:12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. – There are many instructions listed in this passage that we can and must do. We won’t discuss all of them, but let us mention one of them – forgiveness. This is another difficult one. It is hard for us to forgive those we believe are anti-Christ and anti-Christians. It becomes a little easier when we think of all the evils for which we have been forgiven.
Our main application today will naturally be in regard to homosexual behaviors. There are many SSA men and women today who openly oppose God and His word. They conduct gay pride parades, petition governments to enact laws to give them special rights, attempt to silence those who oppose them, and a few other overt actions which promote their agenda. In Canada, it is against the law for a pastor to read from the pulpit scripture passages which opposes homosexuality. Our reactions to these things often do not take the above scripture admonitions into account. Our response must always be in accordance with God’s directive.
Prayer: Lord, help us to be willing to love, forgive, and be merciful to all who are straying from Your pathway. Help us to develop the fruits of the Spirit and display them at all times, so that we can perhaps persuade some to submit to Your ways. Your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Amen.