Tag Archives: Hate

Firm in What?

Wars and rumours of war aren’t indicators of Jesus’ return.  Neither are famines and earthquakes.  Jesus called those things “the beginning of birth pains.”  First labor pains ordinarily indicate the start of an unstoppable progression of events but not the imminent conclusion of them.  So what indicators did Jesus say would tip us off the time was drawing close?   Among other signs, Jesus included this troubling thought:

 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,  (Matthew 24:12)

The more we encounter wickedness, the more  tempted we are to respond in kind.  The recent sniping murder of Dallas policemen is a sad case in point.  Somebody thought, “Enough is enough; I’m going to make someone pay.”  That’s an extreme example.  Maybe you would never go that far.  But Jesus taught us to actually respond in the opposite way:

27 “…Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.”  (Luke 6:27b-28)

When most people find it too tough to respond to wickedness with love, that is a sign the end times are drawing to a close, that Jesus is coming soon.  What do you think?  Are we there yet?  Has the love of most grown cold?  If you had to make the call, based on your own attitudes, what would you say?  For me, that is a sobering question.

But don’t give up!  No matter what, don’t abandon love.  That first quote above is only the beginning of Jesus’ sentence.  Here’s the whole thing:

12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,  13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. (Matthew 24:12-13)

Stands firm in love.

Hate is Blind

They say “Love is blind” but John says they got it wrong.  Hate is blind.  Here it is:

Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness.  Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.  (1 John 2:9-11)

Love, as Jesus taught it, is a radical choice to put aside what I want so I can take care of what you need.  Hate is the opposite:  taking care of what I want instead of ministering to what you need.  Thus, the default attitude of the world – take care of number 1, in effect is hate.

The interesting thing, is that John says people hate  because they have been blinded by “the darkness.”  The darkness, in John’s words, is the attitude of people in the world who have not received the Holy Spirit.  They live in the darkness and are blinded by it.

Jesus, on the other hand, John says, is the Source of “Light.”

In him was life, and that life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. (John 1:4-5)

John’s logic (and Jesus’ “logos”) leads us to this conclusion:  If we understood reality the way Jesus does, if we had not been blinded by the ways of the world, we would naturally love.  Self-sacrificial love, Jesus’ kind of love, would make more sense to us than selfishness or hate.   Trouble is, people don’t like to change.  Radical, “upside down,” ideas are threatening to our comfortable rhythms as we live in the “same-old same-old.”    That’s why Jesus said:

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.   (John 3:19)

This is a tough teaching.  Tough, but true.  How is it with you?