QUESTIONS/ANSWERS FROM THE QUESTION FORUM
Group Number 39
It seems that the public is under the impression that when the our Lord returns, Satan will be put in hell and will be "ruling" over the unsaved there.
Satan will have no kingdom and exercise no influence in the lake of fire. That is the meaning of the word in revelation 20:10. "And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever."
There can be no form of power where God is not present, for "all power is of God," deriving its authority from Him (Rom 13:1). Like those who followed him, the devil will be totally removed from the presence of the Lord and the glory of His power (2 Thess 1:9).
Does God ever get just "fed up with us", throw up his hands and shout "Enough!"? Could He say that of me? With work, family, church responsibilities and all the other things that make up my day, I lose focus on what I should be thinking about and drift to attitudes, thoughts, and speech that I should not be displaying. Such things I am fairly certain do not honor God and certainly don't further His purpose. It all gives me a very sick feeling.
I appreciate you sharing your concerns with me. They evidence a tender heart which is especially precious to our Father in heaven. In fact, God has addressed this matter with unusually comforting words. The following statement was made in regard to Israel, who did not have what you possess in Jesus. They did not have a changed heart, access to God, or the remission of sin as you enjoy. Yet, this is what He said to them. These words are an index to His nature. "For this is what the high and lofty One says-- he who lives forever, whose name is holy: I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite. I will not accuse forever, nor will I always be angry, for then the spirit of man would grow faint before me -- the breath of man that I have created. I was enraged by his sinful greed; I punished him, and hid my face in anger, yet he kept on in his willful ways. I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will guide him and restore comfort to him" (Isaiah 57:15-18). See, He is looking for someone to revive--someone who is concerned about their condition--like you are.
All of this reaches an even higher level in Christ Jesus. The reason is that Christ "put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself" (Heb 9:26) -- put it away in mass, or totality. Now acceptance with God is based upon acceptance of His Son--every one that believes. God is not looking for a reason to condemn us, else we would have all dropped into hell long ago. Rather, He has confirmed His desire to save us by investing the life of His only begotten Son--a sacrifice most difficult to offer.
I understand your dissatisfaction with some of your expressions, and that is the way it should be. But you must not allow your spirit to be crushed by these things. A remedy has been provided by the God who has already confirmed His interest in you, and desire to bring you all the way to glory. How beautifully it is stated in First John 1:9. I am sure you are well familiar with the verse. Yet, it is like a deep well with refreshing water for the soul. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."
Notice what this marvelous affirmation declares. First, forgiveness is based on our acknowledgment of failure--just admitting to the Lord that you have sinned, and it has grieved you. He is not going to look at your conduct, but hear your confession, which is precious to Him. Then He declares He is faithful "AND JUST" for forgive your sins. See, it is a matter of forgiveness being RIGHT, now that Jesus has, in His death, accomplished what needed to be done. It would be wrong, according to God's own character, to ignore a plea for forgiveness.
But the matter does not end there. He also purifies us from all unrighteousness. This includes the cleansing of the conscience--removing a sense of condemnation. That provision is expressly declared in Hebrews 9:14. That marvelous cleansing produces a sensitivity in our hearts that makes sin repulsive to us. It does not all happen at once, and we should not pretend as though it did. We are being changed from one stage of glory to another by the Spirit of God (2 Cor 3:18).
There is a principle of sin within the believer that really does not belong to him. It is vividly described in Romans 7:15-25. He calls it "another law" or principle (verse 23). Sensitive souls feel exactly as Paul did. They find that when they would do good, evil asserts itself. That tendency is also called "a law," or principle (verse 21). The important thing to see is that this is not really you. You are not guilty of sin unless you yield to those impulses--the remnants of your old nature that remain in you. That nature is called "the old man," and is to be put off, or denied expression (Eph 4:22-24; Col 3:9-10).
The struggles you are having with doubt are probably struggles with a temptation to doubt, and not with doubt itself. Many of God's people are unable to distinguish between sin and the temptation to sin because of the flawed teaching they have received. Faith will, of course, diffuse all temptations--which are the flaming arrows Satan hurls at us (Eph 6:17).
What you are experiencing is the good fight of faith. You are struggling against the a vast host of spiritual darkness, as described in Ephesians 6:12. This struggle is common to all believers, and they are to be encouraged that it is a sign of spiritual life, not of hopelessness.
You are right in being discontent with your own failings. But you must not allow your mind to dwell there, for that causes a sort of enslavement to what you hate. The most profound statement of victory over the world, whether in you or apart from you, is found in First John 5:4-5. "For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God." The thing that endears you to God is believing what He has said about His Son (1 John 5:10-11). As you focus upon that, clinging to it with tenacity of heart, God will "cause" you to triumph, as declared in 2 Corinthians 2;14.
So be of good cheer. You sin, believe it not, qualifies you for a Savior. As you avail yourself of His mercy, even when you labor and are heavy laden, He will give you rest, and shield you from the enemy. He also assures you, that no matter how often you come to Him, even ashamed of your accomplishments, or lack thereof, 'the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out" (John 6:37).
God is love. But why does He punish sinners ?
Because God is not ONLY love. He is also righteous and holy. That makes Him incompatible with sin, which cannot remain in His presence. In their sin, sinners have rejected God, and said they do not want to be with Him. They are therefore deserving of punishment, like someone who breaks the law which has been plainly stated. God has no alternative but to punish those who insist on remaining in sin -- just like the law of gravity has no alternative, so to speak, but to let those who jump from tall buildings fall to the ground to their own harm.
But this is not all there is to the matter. Because God does not prefer to punish sinners, He has provided a way for them to be forgiven of their sin and removed from its dominion over them. That is what Jesus Christ is all about. God sent Him into the world to provide a way out of His punishment.
Here is how the Bible says it. "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God" (John 3:17-18).
It would be wrong for God to allow sinners to get by with breaking His Law and refusing His Savior. It would also be wrong for God to reject those who receive His Savior and keep His word.
It would be just as right to ask the question, "God is righteous. why did He provide a Savior?" as to ask, "God is love. Why does He punish sinners."
I am a little confused about your comments on 1 Jn. 3:6-9 dealing with the statements that the child of God "does not sin" and "cannot sin".
The statement is not that 'the child of God cannot sin," but "Whatsoever is born of God" cannot sin. This is the new nature, or new creation--the "new man" that we are to put on. This is not, of course, the only part of us. We also have an "old man" that is to be crucified or put off (Rom 6:4; Eph 4:22; Col 3:9). The "new creation" cannot sin--it is more than just a clean slate or a new beginning. However, as long as we are in this body and this world, we are certainly liable to sin because of the presence of "another law" in our members (Rom 7:23). But, when sin rears its ugly head, we must confess with Paul, "Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good" (Rom 7:16).
Sin is always in the flesh--never in the Spirit. In fact we are told, "Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh" (Gal 5:16). That is because the part of us that is born of God cannot sin. But, alas, as soon as we give heed to the flesh, we do sin. This is all involved in the good fight of faith: subordinating the flesh and putting on the new man.
Lest any imagine this gives license to sin, or excuses it for the believer, the Lord warns us, "For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live" (Rom 8:13).
What does the Roman Catholic faith teach that is contrary to salvation?
First, it should be clear that every Roman Catholic may not subscribe to traditional Roman Catholic beliefs. With that in mind, here are some considerations.
1. That Mary intercedes to Jesus for us.
2. That Mary ascended into heaven.
3. That the Lord's Supper is actually Christ sacrificed again.
4. That church tradition is equal to Revelation and scripture.
5. That the Pope is the head of the church.
6. That the Pope is infallible in his pronouncements concerning faith.
7. That forgiveness is based upon works, and thus require penance.
8. That sin can be atoned for after death by suffering in purgatory.
The matter of salvation relates exclusively to our identity with the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe there are some genuinely saved people in the Roman Catholic Church, but they are saved in spite of it, not because of it.
The danger of traditional teaching being equated with the Gospel comes when men trust in it. False teaching keeps us from being saved when it takes the place of Christ.
Can someone who has committed adultery be forgiven? What if this resulted in a divorce? How does this affect a 2nd marriage?
Absolutely--an adulterer can be forgiven! That is the purpose of the account of the women taken in the very act of adultery in John 8:4-3-11.
Infidelity is the only cause Jesus gives that justifies divorce (Matthew 5:32). A second marriage is not affected by previous adultery, but by an unjustified divorce (Matthew 19:9).
This is something, however, that is not to be approached using the Bible as a mere set of rules--particularly if dealing with something that has already occurred. There is mercy with the Lord to both forgive and to recover from such sins. However, it is something that must be worked out between the individual and the Lord. Further, it must be done without violating things the Lord has declared on the subject.
Would you mind giving me information on where to find where God created the universe and back up for that truth?
This is something only the Word of God tells us, and it received by faith--that is, we are to believe what God has said. You are familiar with Genesis chapters one and two The details are provided there. Other Scriptures that affirm the universe was created by God (specifically by the Lord Jesus) include the following. Exodus 20:11; 1 Samuel 2:8; 2 Kings 19:15; 1 Chronicles 16:26; Nehemiah 9:6; Job 9:8-9; Psalm 19:1-4; 24:12; 33:6-9; 89:12; 102:25; 136:5-9; 146;6; Isaiah 40:26; 42:5; 44:24; Jeremiah 10;12; Amos 5:8; Zechariah 12:1; Acts 7:49-50; 17:24-26; Romans 1:20; Hebrews 1:2; 11:3; Revelation 10:6. That is a few of the references.
The average Biologist will deny all of these texts, choosing to believe that the universe came into being by chance, and through an evolutionary process. Thus, according to these people, order came out of chaos--something that has never been demonstrated at ant time, or on any level. That would be like an explosion taking place in a print shop, and an unabridged Websters dictionary dropping down out of the debris. The precision of the universe testifies to an intelligent beginning, for precision has never been known to develop from a chaotic and unorganized condition. This is the thing that can be seen through creation--an intelligent and orderly God has created it. That is precisely the point of Romans 1:20.
Hope this helps. You are entering into young manhood, and it is important that you culture your ability to think like a man of God. Do not be intimidated by he explanations of the scientist, or by them scoffing at the idea of a creator. Show them your watch, and ask if they believe it could have hatched out of some discarded metal shavings and broken glass. Then remind them that the universe is more complicated than any watch. In fact, we cannot even set our watches to the precision of the universe. That is why we have to have a leap year. Yes, God did create the universe, and both Scripture and reason confirm that is the truth.
What is the 1st heaven? the second and the third? I know that when a man dies after that is the judgment[Heb.9:27] The person w/o Christ will be in hell destined for lake of fire upon the White Throne Judgment. How about those persons who are saved? Where are they now? How about Lazarus- [Luke 16:22] Criminal-[Luke 42:43] Father's house [John14:2-3] What are these places? Please give me a detailed information regarding all my questions.
The "first heaven" is the natural heaven, created with the earth (Gen 1:1). Earlier called "the firmament" (Gen 1:8-9). It is where the heavenly bodies (sun, moon, stars, etc.) have been placed (Gen 1:14-20). Because the natural heaven (sometimes called "heavens") has been blighted by sin, it will be made new (Rev 21:1; Isa 65:17; 66:22; 2 Pet 3:13).
Some believe second heaven (although no such term is used in Scripture) refers to the highest section of the natural heavens. The first heaven, in this case, is thought to be the area occupied by living creatures, or fowls of the air (Gen 1:20; Job 35:11). The tower of Babel reached upward toward heaven (Gen 11:4). The second heaven, in this view, would be stellar space, or where the sun, moon, stars, and other heavenly bodies exist.
I do not see the second heaven in this manner, but prefer to see it as, what Scripture calls, "heavenly places." This is a realm into which we have been raised in Christ Jesus (Eph 1:3; 2:6), and is also occupied by angelic personages (Eph 3:10). It appears as though this is an exceedingly large realm, also occupied by wicked spirits against which we are called to "wrestle" (Eph 6:12). These must occupy the frontal area of this domain, seeking to turn men from entering into it by faith, or seeking to draw them from it into the sinful realm they govern.
The third heaven is occupied by the Lord Himself. This is where God is, enthroned in all of His glory (Eccl 5:2; Matt 6:9). It is where Jesus is, as seen by Stephen when he was laying down His life (Acts 7:55). This is where Paul was caught away in his spirit, hearing things for which no human language was adequate to express (2 Cor 12:2). John was also caught up to this realm when he was given the book of the Revelation (Rev 4:2). Isaiah also was exposed to it (Isa 6:1-3), as well as Zechariah (Zech 3:1-5).
Those who have passed on are now "with the Lord." To what extent this is true, we are not told. They are not as close as they will be in the world to come, but they have made a quantum leap from where they were in this world. The book of Revelation refers to those martyred for Christ as being "under the altar" (Rev 6:9). We do not know precisely where or what this is. But it is in close proximity to the Lord, which I gather is the point.
In my opinion, the realm to which those who die in faith go, is exceedingly large, just as the earthly heaven is large. Prior to Christ, Lazarus is said to have been in Abraham's bosom, or at his side. I would see this as the lower part of this blessed region. When Jesus took the penitent thief with Him into paradise, I gather this was a more elevated position, due to the removal of sin through His own sacrifice--something only anticipated prior to His death. The Father's house is the highest part of this blessed realm, in which the Father Himself resides, and into which all of the saints will eventually be ushered when the Lord comes again. All of this represents my own perception of the matter. I confess that it is too high to be viewed with any more detail.
In John 4:24 It says God is spirit...Why is the spirit there written in small letters?
It is capitalized in the KJV and NKJV version. The reason the other versions do not capitalize it is that the word "spirit" is not referring to a name for God, or to His Person. When read without being capitalized, it is seeing "spirit" as contrasted with "flesh," or something that is made. It is not used in the same sense as "Holy Spirit." Other references to God that fall into this category are "God is love" (no capital--1 John 4:8,16), and "God is light" (no capital--1 John 1:5).
We have a typed out list of people to pray for and we go down the list in order and pray as we perceive their needs as they correspond to the purpose of God. My question is: Is there a more effective way to approach this prayer meeting?
First, I commend you for your activity. It is honorable. I will share with you how I have approached such efforts.
First, think of it as a form of spiritual rule -- something you do as kings and priests unto God. You are standing in the gap, often speaking for people who cannot speak well for themselves. In this position, the first matter of importance is your own purity before God. First, give yourselves to personal petitions for purity, forgiveness, etc., thereby coming to God with a pure conscience and a confident heart. Of course, that is how we are admonished to come (Heb 10:22). This is a time, however, when that should be aggressively sought.
Your prayers should be ordered so that the most critical ones are at the last. It is exceedingly difficult to pray for a great spiritual awakening, and then for someone that is having marital difficulties. Arrange your prayers so that they accelerate in importance as you proceed. You will find that the prayers themselves will become more intense.
In praying for other people, ordering your cause, or pleading like a spiritual lawyer, is especially helpful (Job 23:4). Present advantages that will be gained by the answer you seek. Do your best to see what impact this would have upon the glory of the Lord, His work, the strengthening of His people, and the overthrow of the wicked one.
God will honor such prayers, and you will be the stronger for them.
I am confused about James 1:13-15. Is there a process to sin? What is the "death" referred to in verse 15? I've read about 20 different commentaries, which includes different study Bibles and their comments, and once again they seem to be mixed on verses 13-15.
First, every New testament book was written to Christians -- none were written to sinners. All of the Old testament books were written to the Jews, and are for the learning and edification of Christians. No book of the Bible was written to those with no covenant relation to God.
The passage in James is one of principle. In it, the Lord is explaining that sin is never accidental. Neither, indeed, can people be coerced, or forced, into sinning. Satan. for example, could not make Eve eat the fruit. He could only entice, or allure, her to do so--which he did. On the other hand, involvement in sin can never be traced back to God, as though God purposely led the individual into sin. It is true that God hardens the hearts of people (Ex 9:34; 10:20), sends them strong delusion (2 Thess 2:10-11), and pours upon them the spirit of deep sleep (Isa 29:10-14). But in all of these cases, Divine judgment was involved. People were dull towards Him, purposely refusing to follow His ways. Thus God judged them.
As James points out in verse 13, God is not capable of luring a person into sin. Should a person become obstinate toward Him, however, He will deliver him over to sinful desires, as shown in Romans 1:24,26,28. But that is no excuse for sin, it is a judgment because of a preference for sin.
In understanding James, you must remember he is writing to people who have retrogressed, drawn back from God, and were again forming an alliance with the world. He is not writing to present a crystallized doctrine concerning sin, but to challenge people to draw near to God in order that they can resist the devil. That is why he uses such strong language: "Lay aside all filthiness . . . But you have dishonored the poor man . . . Adulterers and adulteresses! . . . Lament mourn and weep! . . . . But now you boast in your arrogance, etc. (1:21; 2:6; 4:4,9,16).
James is stripping backslidden men of any excuse for their condition, showing that sin is always deliberate, never innocent, and never traceable to the good intentions of God.
There is within every person a "law of sin" -- for believers, the remnants of the old nature (Rom 7:15-25). Even though born again, we carry about an enemy within. Scripture calls it "the flesh" (some translations say "sinful nature." It is also called "the old man" (Eph 4:22-24; Col 3:9-10). it is to be subdued, put off, and denied prominence.
James writes with this in mind. Satan attempts to draw us into sin by appealing to our "flesh," for he has no access to the "new man" which we receive in Christ--the part of us that is born again (1 John 5:18). That is what he means by the words, "But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed" (verse 14). These desires do exist in us, as confirmed by Colossians 3:5, where we are admonished to put them to death.
There is no believer who is not tempted. That should be apparent to us because Jesus Himself was tempted in every point as we are (Heb 4:15). Being tempted is NOT a sin, for Jesus was tempted. God knows that. Satan knows that. However, many believers do not know that. Hence, when they are tempted, they imagine it is a desire they must gratify.
If the one that is tempted begins to think upon the temptation, welcoming it into his mind, he is enticed, or subtly lured, to commit sin. The corrupt desire, working in the mind, produces the offspring of sin. Mark it well, this is ALWAYS the case. If we do not quench these desires, which are the fiery darts of the wicked one (Eph 6:16), they will pull us into sin, causing the consent of our will. Temptation, then, has an objective--to produce sin.
Sin also has a work to do. It leads to death--always. You may remember Paul says elsewhere, "The wages of sin is death" (Rom 6:23). Sin is the door through which death enters. As it is written, "as by one man sin entered into the world, and DEATH BY SIN; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" (Rom 5:12). Again Paul said, "Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin LEADING TO DEATH, or of obedience leading to righteousness?" (Rom 6:16).
The death mentioned is separation--separation from God. Even when the sins of the world were imputed to Christ, being placed upon Him, He was separated from God (2 Cor 5:21; Gal 3:13. What soul would dare to entertain the notion that sin could be found in a believer without the same thing happening? That is why God provided a Savior from sin and continual cleansing from sin (1 John 1:7,9). It is not that we have no sin--God forbid that any one would be so foolish as to affirm such a thing (1 John 1:8). But that sin is to be confessed and abandoned, lest it gain control of us. Sin always leads to death. If men are not cleansed from it, they will be killed by it.
Again, James is speaking in terms of principle, not of individual sins. He is exhorting believers to be alert to the devices of the devil. We are to remember that God's nature does not change. The devil's nature also does not change. The nature of sin does not change. It is only OUR nature that can be changed. That takes place when we come into Christ. However, even then, there is a part of us that is not in Christ--a part Satan can tempt and lure. If we allow his temptation to bear fruit, sin will result. If sin is not dealt with, it will eventually separate men from God, who cannot tolerate sin.
Is it possible to acccept Jesus and not actually recieve the gift of the Holy Spirit until later?....It seems that is what happened to me...thank you
All who are in Christ Jesus have the Holy Spirit. That is what distinguishes them from other men. God gives us the Holy Spirit because are sons--in fact, the presence of the Holy Spirit confirms we are His sons. As it is written, "And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, Abba, Father!" (Gal 4:6). And again, "Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His" (Rom 8:9). The Scriptures know nothing of someone in Christ who does not have the Holy Spirit. Those who are depicted as wicked and hindering the saints are said to be "sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit" (Jude 19).
Believers can, however, "be filled with the Spirit," and admonished to BE so. "And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit" (Eph 5:19). This is not referring to an event, but to a continual condition (i.e., "BE filled"). It is a status where we are more fully aware of the Lord and His will. Understanding is expanded to see as God does, and there is a larger ministry of the Spirit to us. Peter depicted such a condition as spiritual maturity, when everything became clearer and more precious to us. Here is how he said it. "And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts" (2 Pet 1:19).
There are deep feelings associated with this that seems like we are being born again, again. That is doubtless the kind of experience you have had, and it is a precious one. Rather than receiving the Spirit, you are probably enjoying a larger measure of His glorious ministry.
Did Jesus worship God?
When Jesus was upon earth, it is my understanding that He lived by faith and worshiped God. When the devil tempted Jesus to worship him, the Savior replied that God alone was to be worshiped (Matt 4:10).
While the phrase "Jesus worshiped God" is not found in Scripture, the things relating to worship are said of Him. He was dedicated to God as an infant (Luke 2:21-24). As a young man, He grew in wisdom, stature, and favor with God and man (Luke 2:52). The grace of God was upon Him as He grew (Luke 2:40). The Father taught Him what to speak (John 8:28). He honored the Father (John 8:49). Jesus prayed to the Father with strong crying and tears (Heb 5:7). He spent all night vigils in prayer to God (Lk 6:12). It was His custom to go to the synagogue on the Sabbath day (Lk 4:16). He was made of a woman, made under the Law, which required the
worship of God (Gal 4:4; Deut 10:20). He feared God (Heb 5:7).
I conclude from these texts, and the general demeanor of our Savior's life on earth, that His life was one of continual worship. For Him, this was a remarkable thing. In order to be thrust into such a position, He had to empty Himself, or humble Himself, becoming obedient to God in order to save us (Phil 2:5-8). The tenth chapter of Hebrews provides a dialog between the Father and our Lord before He entered into the world (verses 5-9).
Love your enemy. Satan is our enemy, do we have to love Satan?
There are two classes of enemies. One involves your peers, or fellow
human beings who oppose you because of your faith. The other is the adversary of your soul, together with his wicked spiritual forces (1 Peter 5:8; Ephesians 6:12). The admonition to love your enemies refers to people, not to Satan. Our action is involved in bringing them to repentance, as taught in Romans 12:20 and 1 Peter 3:16). We are to do good to our enemies, bless them, and pray for them, even lending to them if they have need (Luke 6:27,35). All of that assumes they can be seen, and that there is hope for their recovery. None of this is true of Satan. His fate has already been sealed, and there is no hope of his recovery. He will be cast into the lake of fire with all of his angels, and there is no chance that can change (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10). If God and Jesus do not love Satan, it is certainly out of order for us to entertain such a notion. Neither God nor Jesus ever say anything good about Satan, or extend kindness to him.
How can we manage to avoid this kind of people and at the same time, we have to love them?
Ultimately you cannot totally avoid wicked people. The Bible says we would have to go out of the world to do this (1 Corinthians 5:10). It is the close association that we are to avoid, not making such people our closest friends, for "Bad company corrupts good character" (1 Cor 15:33). When we come into Christ, we are placed in Christ's body, the church. Our real brothers and sisters are there, and we are to choose our closest companions there. A person who has been born again cannot prefer those who have not been born again. Our love for them is different from our love for the people of God. It is more of a concern for them. Should we choose to make them our closest friends, we will forfeit the our closeness to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Your heart should confirm the truth of these things to you. Loving our enemies has to do with not harming them, or venting hatred upon them. It does not involve a preference for them, affection for them, or desire to be with them. If you are not going to spend eternity with someone, it is not wise to spend most of your time on earth with them.
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