“Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13)
My dear friends, we must be able to tell the difference between those who call themselves Christians and those who really are Christians. Jesus warns us about those who are not Christians and in Matthew 7:15-20, He tells us how we can tell the difference between the imposters and the real Christians:
“Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravaging wolves. 16 You’ll recognize them by their fruit. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit; neither can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So you’ll recognize them by their fruit.” ~ Jesus
There are many who claim to be Christian leaders, pastors, and activists, yet they create division, they stir up hate and keep it burning, they fight injustice with injustice, they love violence and call for it, they lie, they cheat, they steal, and they applaud those who do it. Even if they don’t physically engage in these things, when they applaud those who do them, they are actively participating with those who do. Jesus tells us that those who participate in anything other than love are not Christians, and they will spend eternity in hell (V. 19).
Jesus gave all Christians the following commands and those who are not involved in doing them are in in deep, deep, trouble:
37 He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the greatest and most important command.39 The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. 40 All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands (Matthew 22:37-40).
27 “But I say to you who listen: Love your enemies, do what is good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you (Luke 6:27-28).”
Love is the essence of who God is. Love is His personality and His character, and everything He does is motivated by love. If we are true Christians, the Spirit of God lives in us and because He lives in us, His love is in us, and just as He loves, we can love also. So, if someone calls him, or herself a Christian and are not modeling love for the world, then they are not Christians and they must be ignored. We must not allow ourselves to be influenced by them.
God created every human being in His image (Genesis 1:26-27), and because He created every single human being in His image, every single human being, no matter the color of their skin or where on earth they come from, are valuable to Him; and as valuable as we all are to Him, we should be valuable to one another. He did not make anyone more valuable than the other.
“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth. So God created man in His own image; He created him in the image of God; He created them male and female.”” (Genesis 1:26-27)
But loving others as God has commanded us to do is not possible without God’s love in us. Peace on earth cannot be achieved unless the world knows the Prince of Peace, Jesus. Racism and bigotry will never end until until real Christians get up out of their comfortable pews, get out of their temples, and get to work taking the love of Christ to the world, beginning where they are.
“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age (Matthew 28:19-20).”
- How will you obey today’s Scriptures?
- With whom will you share today’s Scriptures?
- With whom will you share the story of your salvation and the story of what Jesus has done for you?
In Christ’s love,