If we cannot agree that love is a non-negotiable principle of the Kingdom of God, then we must re-examine our relationship with God. The Bible says: Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of 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. I John 4:7-8
The Bible is very emphatic in its command to love. I John 4:20-21 states that: If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.
Jesus said: A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love
for on another. John 13:34-35. Therefore, if we do not love one another, we are not truly disciples of Jesus, in spite of what we might proclaim.
If we are going to love as we are commanded to do, then our loving can only be with the love of God and not our contaminated human love. The Apostle Paul said in Romans 5:5 that:…The love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Therefore, we must love with the love of God, a love that is pure, uncontaminated, and self-sacrificing; and a love that was so intense that it caused the Father to send His Son as a sacrifice for our sin.
If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. I John 4:12
LOVE NEVER FAILS
Can we demonstrate this love of God towards one another when we have different views regarding political, racial, or social issues?
Let’s be very clear that loving one another does not mean that we are necessarily in agreement with one another's views on political, recial, or social issues. Loving someone means that we have respect for our christian believer and their opinions, even if we do not understand how they arrived at their views. Love says I am willing to walk a mile in your shoes in order to better understand your history, your culture, and your experiences. We all see the world through the lens of our family history, the culture in which we were reared, and our personal experiences. Is one set of lens right and another wrong? No, I don’t think so! The truth of the matter is that we had very little control, if any, over our family history or the culture and environment in which we were raised. Love is the bridge that allows each of us to cross over into one another’s world. The Bible says in Ephesians 4:2 (Amplified): … With patience, bearing with one another and making allowances because you love one another.
In the Body of Christ, we have given room to the many things that divide us, when all those who have received Jesus as personal savior are one in Him. In his book entitled “The Unshakable Kingdom And The Unchanging Person”, E. Stanley Jones states thefollowing:
“A large proportion of the problems of the world revolve around the problem of race. The solution is very simple. It is contained in this verse: ‘In it (i.e., the Kingdom) there is no room for Greek and Jew (racial distinctions), circumcised and uncircumcised (religious ritual distinctions), barbarian and Scythian (cultural distinctions), slave or free man (social or economic distinctions)’ (Col. 3:11 Moffatt). In another list is added: “male and female” (sex distinctions) (Gal 3:28 Moffatt). Here there is the simplest of solutions: There is no room. That is the simplest and profoundest of solutions-no room. In the Kingdom we are occupied with and dealing with matters that transcend these issues that deeply divide the world. So there is no room.”
If we put our primary focus on the Kingdom of God, we will give less room to the things that divide us. We can then pray with confident expectation that the Kingdom of heaven will come to earth.
This “no room” solution is most evident when we examine the background of some of the disciples on Jesus’ team. Matthew was a tax collector who worked for Rome. Simon the Zealot was a fiery agitator who hated Rome. Judas Iscariot was the son of wealthy Jewish parents and was one of the best educated disciples. Nathaniel (Bartholomew) was from a royal family, his father was King
of Geshur. Many others were fishermen. Although they had different family histories and different cultures, they set those differences aside, put their focus on Jesus, and followed the Lord. I challenge us to do the same.
If we fail to do so, a possible outcome is seen in Galatians 5:14-15 (Amplified) which states: For the whole law (concerning human relationships) is complied with in the one precept, you shall love your neighbor as (you do) yourself. But if you bite and devour one another (in
partisan strife), be careful that you (and your whole fellowship) are not consumed by one another.
If we put our focus on Jesus, our first love, then the thing that could divide us will become less important. We then can be contributors to the answer of the prayer that Jesus prayed in John17:21: …That they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.
HAS OUR BEHAVIOR AS CHRISTIANS TOLD THE WORLD THAT THE FATHER SENT JESUS?