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Love Your Enemies

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Radio transcript for the week of Sept 21, 2014

Ricky Berger preaches on "Love Your Enemies" on Seeking the Lost - International Radio.

Click here to listen to this sermon.

Lesson Text:
"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who 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 on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect" (Matthew 5:43-48).

Lesson:
A Christian should never be the one who fuels the fire of an enemy relationship. However, you will have enemies as a Christian:

  • "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake" (Matthew 5:10-11).

  • "Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution" (2 Timothy 3:12).

Some people want to be your enemy just because you are a Christian. How you respond to these people will determine your salvation and possibly theirs as well. Have you ever been guilty of thinking you "deserved" Jesus’ death while there are others in this world who do not? Maybe you feel you are more righteous than others, therefore, God owes you something. "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 on the unjust" (Matthew 5:45).

Your sins nailed Jesus to the cross. If Jesus died only for those who never sinned, He would not have died at all.
  • "For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation" (Romans 5:6-11).

  • "By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren" (1 John 3:16).

Jonah wanted his enemies (Nineveh) destroyed; Jesus wants His enemies (me and you) saved. Would you rather see your enemies destroyed or saved? Wanting bad for them could lead to your own downfall as a Christian. Jesus said to love, bless, do good, and pray for your enemies. It’s not enough to avoid an enemy or confrontation, but you must give the effort to treat them like Jesus would.

  • "Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets" (Matthew 7:12).

  • "Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, 'Vengeance is Mine, I will repay' says the Lord. Therefore if your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (Romans 12:14-21).

When is the last time you prayed for an enemy? The next time you’re faced with an enemy, look in a mirror and remind yourself that you were an enemy to Christ. Then let them see the love of Christ in you.

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What does the Bible say about salvation?

  • All have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).
  • The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).
  • But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23).
  • Not everyone will go to Heaven (Matthew 7:13-14; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).
  • Only those who obey God will go to Heaven (Matthew 7:21).
  • Obedience means believing that Jesus is the Son of God (John 8:24; Hebrews 11:6).
  • Repenting of sins (a change of life) (Luke 13:3; Acts 17:30).
  • Confessing your faith in Jesus (Romans 10:9-10).
  • Being baptized for the remission (forgiveness) of sins (Mark 16:1; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Peter 3:20-21).
  • Live as a faithful Christian until death (Titus 2:12; Revelation 2:10).

What does the Bible say about how we are to worship God?

  • We are to worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24).
  • Worship is to be on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7).
  • The male members are to lead the worship service (1 Corinthians 14:34).
  • God's word is to be preached (Acts 20:7).
  • Prayer is to be offered to Him (Acts 2:42).
  • Christians are to give cheerfully according to how God has prospered them (1 Corinthians 16:1-2; 2 Corinthians 9:6-7).
  • The Lord's Supper is to be taken (1 Corinthians 11:23-29; Acts 20:7).
  • Members are to sing one to another from the heart (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16).
  • We are not to change by adding to or taking from (Revelation 22:18-19).

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