In a reading from “The Bible Answer Stand Ministry”:
Many Christians feel they have the right to hold grudges or animosity against certain people. They actually hate those who espouse abortion. They hate homosexuals. If someone does them wrong, they feel vindicated when they hold feelings of ill will towards that person, or persons. There are scriptures in the Old Testament where King David and others speak of their hatred for the wicked. This hatred for the wicked was expressed under the inspiration of God in the scriptures. “
Psalms 26:5 I hate the assembly of evildoers, and I will not sit with the wicked. (NAS)
“Does the psalmist’s hatred for evildoers justify a Christian doing the same? There are numerous scriptures like Psalm 26:5 which one could use to rationalize hatred for the wicked. “
Jesus Christ came to bring Israel, and mankind into a new covenant. Under the provisions of this covenant he gave believers a very different commandment regarding those who do evil, or are enemies.”
Matthew 5:43-48 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax-gatherers do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what do you do more than others Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (NAS)
“Notice the words of Jesus, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.’” He did not say, “You have heard that it was commanded by God…”
“The Jews had modified the commandments of Yahweh to fit their own agenda; this included allowing themselves the privilege of hating their enemies. That is why we see such animosity to this very day in the Middle East. Both Arab and Jew alike maintain mutual hatred for one another. In fact, in many Muslim nations people actually live by a written code of revenge, exacting precise prescribed amounts and types of vengeance for a wrong suffered. This should be sufficient reason to reject altogether the Satanic verse of the Koran.”
“Let us look at the commandment that was modified into a manmade tradition by the Jews to see what it actually says:
Leviticus 19:16-18 ‘You shall not go about as a slanderer among your people, and you are not to act against the life of your neighbor; I am the LORD. You shall not hate your fellow countryman in your heart; you may surely reprove your neighbor, but shall not incur sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD. (NAS)
Even under the conditions of the Law God requires His people to love their neighbors. He specifies that they are not to hate their fellow countrymen in their heart. They were allowed to reprove and rebuke a man for practicing evil of course, but vengeance belonged to the LORD.
The notion of ‘hatred’ towards others is very subtle at times. Often Christians make glib comments like, “I just HATE the Democrats!” A comment like this is made from our indignant feelings regarding the evil the Democratic Party promotes.
However, we must be cautious, because these words can also express what is in our hearts and minds. Don’t attempt to justify yourself, saying, “I don’t REALLY hate Democrats, I just hate their political agenda.” By your words you will be either justified or condemned.
Dear Christian brother or sister, if you say something long enough, it can become the expression of what you feel in your heart.”
Mark 7:20-23 And He was saying, “That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.” (NAS)
Jeremiah 17:9-10 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings. (NKJ)
“We must guard our hearts. A time of great persecution lies ahead for all true believers, and God is calling us to be like His son Jesus. We must love and forgive even those who irritate, harm or act with malice towards us. It only takes small measures of leaven (sin) to cause the lump of dough in our heart to rise with pride and anger. Now is the hour to correct our thoughts, and be careful as to what we think, say and do.”
To Be Continued in the Next Post