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Loving Others Toward the Cross or Hell?

“Don’t judge.”

“Just love.”

These are two phrases that I hear and see quite a bit. Both unbelievers and believers tend to think that those credos accurately represent Christianity and God, but they are often used incorrectly.

If we are followers of Christ, we must discipline ourselves to study and know God’s Word. Putting phrases such as, “do not judge,” in their proper context and knowing biblical (not personal or trendy) definitions reveal the popular lies that seem so right and good. We are easily deceived because we do not know what God’s word actually says. We have been lazy in our faith. We go with what ever sounds good, makes us feel fuzzy inside, or makes us popular.

If we, as believers, are finding that the secular world likes, accepts, or applauds the message we represent, then it is time to examine if the message is ours or God’s. The gospel of grace in and of itself is offensive because it judges and reveals that we have a problem. We need Someone outside of ourselves (1 Corinthians 1:18). We are not the boss. It offends our personal sense of “god-ness.”

Comprehending the grace of this corrective message leads us to the realization that judging and loving others go hand and hand. Jesus is our example!

To better understand this, we must first understand that we make judgement every day. Making judgement, in the correct way, is one thing we are called to do (even on a secular level as one judges right from wrong). I would encourage you to read this article that explains it better than I ever could:

Did Jesus love? Of course! He loved others enough to judge. That is what He was doing when he told people “Repent, the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2, 4:7).

How can we come to a recognition of need for Christ and experience His amazing grace if we do not first stand before a Good Judge who reveals our sinful hearts? How can we share the good news of Jesus Christ if we do not first judge that there is a need and point others to Him?

“You’re fine as you are” and “do whatever makes you happy” are messages that will never be found in the Bible. “Liking,” excusing, justifying, or ignoring sin is not loving others – quite the opposite! To love others as Christ loved us is to love enough to preach the same gospel Jesus did: “Repent, the kingdom of Heaven is at hand!”

There is a right and wrong way to go about speaking the truth in love (and that could be a whole other post). But, do we love others enough to live and speak truth into their lives or are we content to sit back and “love them” through silence or a false gospel that doesn’t even begin to represent what is found in Scripture? Dear friends, are we loving the lost toward the Cross or Hell itself?

There is a beautiful verse in Matthew 9:36 that says, “When He [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”  Jesus is our Shepherd. He tells us, “No! You’re going the wrong way” because He wants the best for us.  Jesus directs and protects us from the jaws of the prowling lion.  We are His ambassadors; leading others to Great Rescuer.

Fellow believer, let us first run to the foot of the cross and beg God to show us our need for Him! Let us confess together that we lack wisdom and need His. Ask Him to renew our minds, transform our lives, and give us a desire for TRUTH as we discipline ourselves to study (Romans 12:2, Ephesians 4:23). Beg God for a compassion for those that are perishing. Go forth boldly and love others enough to speak the truth: That Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6)!

In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.1 John 4:9-11
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