Friday, January 29, 2010

But... but... He said He loved me!

Revelation 2:6
But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

John 3:16
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.

We know Jesus as loving. He loved the world so much that He came down on the cross to die for their sins. He gave us the commandments to love God and to love our neighbors. He performed miracles. He loved us, and still loves us.

But in the first verse, Jesus hates the deeds of the Nicolaitans. How is this possible if Jesus is love?

Simple: Hate the sin, love the sinner. Jesus loves the Nicolaitans, but He doesn't love what they are doing.

Here's an example: a girl came to prayer group one morning listening to suggestive music (she wasn't a Christian, we were trying to reach her). When she started singing out loud to the words about sex, we asked her not to listen to it at that moment. When she stood up to leave, we told her we still wanted her to be with us, but we didn't want her music (sin). We loved her, but not her sin.

When Jesus told us to love our neighbor as ourselves, He meant it. But sometimes one of the most loving things to do to someone is to kindly and gently make them aware of a sin. We are to hate their deeds (their sins) and stay away from them, while at the same time love them and minister to them. It's a difficult road to walk, but Jesus wouldn't ask us to do it if we couldn't.

1 comment:

Joyce said...

Any other examples of hate the sin, love the sinner. (Which I don't think is a Bible quote, I'm pretty sure it's a tweaked quote 'Hate the war, love the warrior' from the Animorphs books).