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What The Love Of God Is Not

"But those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, and a good blessing will come upon them." Proverbs 24:25 When the faithful cry out against wickedness, they are sharply rebuked and called all manner of sarcastic and hateful names. Those who speak against evil are called "haters" while the hatred is actually in the wicked. Truth is hate to those who hate the truth. The wicked rise up, shouting at the faithful that they don't have the right to judge! Oh that so? Well, of course that's the predictable human response when someone is rebuked, but God sees it an entirely different way, saying in fact that a blessing from God will come upon the one daring to speak up. "Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?" Galatians 4:16 In Matthew 3:7 John the Baptist called the religious leaders of the day “a generation of vipers.” Wow, such a "hateful" rebuke, isn't it! Today, John would be accused of being a hater, being unloving, unkind, having no respect for the leaders, and most of all being un-Christian. Yet Jesus called John the greatest of men up to that time. (Matthew 11:11) The Scriptures not only tell us to judge, they admonish us to. We are to "know them by their fruits" and then to turn away from those who persist in evil. "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather EXPOSE them." Ephesians 5:11 One might ask, "didn't Jesus say not to judge?" Yes he did. We are not authorized to pass judgment on anyone, the sinner will stand before the Lord himself to be judged. But we ARE to judge wicked behavior as wicked, and to turn away from those who practice it. “Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.” 1Thessalonians 5:21-22 The desire of the faithful is not judgment on sinners, but the hope that they will come to repentance. The faithful knows only too well that the end of the wicked will be terrible, and always holds out hope that that fate can be avoided by repentance. This hope is not hatred, it is in fact love. Believers love others enough to strive against the awful reaping that will come upon those who do evil. "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God." 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 The popular saying is that God is a God of love, but sinners twist that to mean what they want it to mean. They make God out to be the soft and cozy Santa in the sky, and the word for that is DECEPTION. Love does not mean all is ok when it truly isn't. Love does not mean do what you will when what you will is sin. They have painted a totally untrue picture of God, and the dread of the believer is the horror the sinner will face when he stands before God and finds him not to be what he thought him to be. We are to know the goodness and the severity of God, (Romans 11:22). Goodness yes. But severity too. And woe to the person who has twisted the love of God into the idea that all is ok, anything goes, and if it feels good do it. No, sinners must come to repentance and for those who do not, there is a huge surprise coming to them. That's why believers try so hard to call them to repentance. Not because they hate them, no, in fact it is because they love them enough to endure their scorn hoping some will repent and escape the consequences of a sinful life. "And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh." Jude 22-23


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