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Love Your Enemies
"You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' "But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. "If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also."And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. "Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away. "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate you enemy.' "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those that hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, "that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust. "For if you love those who love you what reward have you?  Matthew 5: 38-46
 
That statement made by the Son of God is diametrically opposed to everything that the world teaches us to live by. We are taught at a very young age to hate our enemies and love our friends, to retaliate when attacked, and if someone takes our stuff to run them down and take it back by force. Love our enemies? No way Jose, not us, no, never!
 
But a follower of Jesus does not have the right to hate or to retaliate against aggression from those who would kill or even crucify us! The church of today has no conception of what Jesus is talking about when He said, "Love your enemies." When He was on the cross He even forgave the very ones that put Him there.
 
I believe we have cut off entire groups of people from receiving God's mercy because of our hatred for anyone that acts differently from us, or believes differently than us. The Christian community has become downright mean when it comes to dealing with sinners and others that don't belong to their specific club.
 
Back in the eighties I became involved with Operation Rescue in the Pro-Life movement and joined them on many occasions to picket abortion clinics. We all screamed and yelled at the doctors and nurses and condemned them all to hell for their actions believing all the time that we were right. In my heart I knew something was very wrong with what we were doing but I didn't know what until the Holy Spirit showed me that the young ladies coming for abortions would leave the clinic we were picketing and go down the street to a quieter location to have their pregnancies terminated.
 
One of the main reasons that young women abort their babies is because of what they think their parents will do if they find out. Many are thrown out of their own homes because the parents don't want the embarrassment. I belief in the sanctity of life and I believe abortion is wrong, but unless the Christian community provides a place for women to have their babies the war will rage on and abortion will continue to end the lives of the unborn.
 
Gays and Lesbians are another target of the Christian Right, we have blasted them and thrown rocks at them for years without ever trying to understand them or befriend them. Remember the way you were before Jesus changed your life, you were probably a mess like I was until a man told me how to be saved and the Holy Spirit did the rest. Jesus said that however you want to be treated, so treat others, well, I don't think we have gotten a handle on that verse.
 
Political preference is another realm of hatred for our opponents, if they don't believe like us, stone them! I have read and heard some awful things spoken against many running for political office, such as Hillary Clinton and anyone else with a liberal view on politics. I hate to burst your bubble but Jesus was the most liberal man that ever walked the planet. He did not believe in the death penalty, He did not believe in war, He didn't believe in killing and He was not involved in politics. One of His main faults often acknowledged by His people was that He hung out with sinners. He befriended prostitutes, tax collectors, lepers and thieves freely giving them the mercy that we don't think they deserve.
 
Jesus even healed the servant of a Roman centurion and said of him that he had greater faith than His own people. He dared to heal lepers, that were thought unclean because of their sins. He saved a young woman's life that was about to be stoned because she was caught in adultery. What if He had been on the picket line screaming and condemning like the rest of us, do you think any of these people would have been saved? Remember He came to set the captives free and save the world from it's sin, not to judge it and condemn it.
 
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.  John 3: 16,17
 
The Christian has only one enemy, the devil and his angels and our war is with them and not man. If we are going to follow Jesus and obey His word then we have no right to hate or to war with anyone but the powers of darkness. You cannot change the world with good politics nor change the mind of man with good intentions, only the Holy Spirit can change the heart.
 
If we would spend as much time on our knees praying for our enemies as we do trying to defeat them politically or by warring with them we would see the world begin to change, one soul at a time. America is not the same place it was when I grew up, it has become an un-godly pagan nation that eventually and already has begun to turn on the church of the living God. If you are a Christian, a true born again follower of Jesus it won't matter what the country you live in is doing because your citizenship is in Heaven and we have been sent here on a mission to gather as many souls into the kingdom as we can.
 
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. John 4: 7,8
 
May the Lord open the eyes of your understanding and bless you with wisdom,
Your servant in Christ, Tim Laughlin
 
Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever, Amen. Hebrews 13: 20,21
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