The Force Of Hate
Tim Temple

Introduction

During the past week, as you know, we have heard for probably the fourth time in the last five months about the murder of students and a teacher and a serious injury of a number of others in a shooting in a school yard by three teen classmates who were fueled by the rejection of one of the shooters. Of course, we recoil when we hear horror stories like that. We never get used to those kinds of things, and it seems as if we hear them more and more often these days as our society deteriorates and goes farther and farther away from God and His standards. Yet the forces that are at work in our world today to produce these modern slaughters are no different and no more violent or awful than those that were present in a field in a meeting of two brothers at the beginnings of the human race when one angrily murdered the other one and flooded the ground with his brother's blood.

For the past several months, we have been studying, through the eyes of John, who called himself “the beloved disciple,” the contrasts between human beings and the God of the universe. We have seen the contrast between light and darkness and between truth and error and throughout the book the contrast between God and the Devil.

In the passage that we began to look at last week, we find the contrast between the two most powerful forces at work in the world today, the forces of love and hate. In our study last week, we looked at the course of love as it was described in verses 10-18. John has traced it for us as to its origin, its essence and its evidence. Today we are going to take the same passage, but this time we are going to follow the force of hate.

The first murder in human history is the scene that John sets before us in this third chapter of his letter, beginning with verse 11. We do not know what weapon Cain used to murder his brother, but whatever it was has been replaced in our day by rifles and pistols and bombs. The motivation behind the use of any of these weapons has always been exactly the same, so that illustration from the beginnings of human history is still applicable in this day in which we live. If we can understand that act in the field all those years ago, we will understand the reason for the killings and the wars and the rumors of wars in our own day. John traces for us the intertwining of these two forces—love and hate—beginning with verse 11:

I John 3:

11For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
12Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.
13Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.

The Source Of Hate

We talked about verse 11 and other verses associated with it last week as we looked at the course of love, but the first thing we want to talk about in this passage is the source of hate. What is the origin of hate? Where does that come from? What is the origin of love? Where do both of these powerful opposite forces in our world today come from? The amazing thing is that this passage tells us, and we saw it last week, but it is reinforced again in this passage. Both of them originate outside of man. Neither love nor hate are a part of man's natural makeup to begin with.

That is contrary to the way we usually think, isn't it? We think of ourselves as having the ability to love or the ability to hate. We think of ourselves as being the originator of these attitudes, but this passage reveals something very different. Love, John says, springs only from God. We talked last week about the fact that it flows into the human heart from the Holy Spirit. As we saw last week, only God can truly love. Love is a part of His makeup. It is not naturally a part of the makeup of human beings. But just as He does with so many other things, like sunshine and rain, God pours His love out upon us and into our hearts. The problem is that when that flow of love enters the heart of a fallen, sinful human being, it is grasped by a kind of centrifugal force that takes that pure love of God and twists it and turns it and makes it something less than God's love. God's love, as expressed through natural man, is always self-centered love. Though it is a product of the love of God, our sin nature turns it and twists it so that we love only those things that are important to us. We love those who love us. We love those who mean something to us.

One of the things that happens at salvation is that that love, because of our forgiveness and our healing, begins to flow as God intended it to, or at least it has the opportunity to flow through the cleansing of our heart and the forgiveness of our sins. Many of the obstacles to love are taken out of the way and as God's love is poured into us, just as it was poured into us before we were believers, now as believers it is able to flow through our hearts. The obstacles are removed and it is able to flow out to other people around us. It becomes inclusive, extended to anyone who needs love, regardless of whether they deserve that love or not. It is God's kind of love flowing out through us.

John states this with the words, “This is the message that you heard from the beginning…” It was the message of the gospel. That leads us to a second truth. It is true that love comes from outside man; it is also true that hate originates outside man. John makes this very clear in verse 12 when he says, “Cain was of the evil one…” Do you see that phrase? He was of the evil one, which is a reference to the Devil. In saying this, John indicates that this powerful force of hate, which is so common among us human beings, is actually a satanic thing; and its presence in the heart of human beings, even your heart and mine, reveals a terrible fact. It reveals that the individual who is expressing hate has fallen, probably without realizing it, without being aware of it, into the grip of the Devil. The person who is expressing hate has become a slave of the Devil's will.

The Scripture often refers to the unsaved as the natural man , the person who has not yet been born again. The man or woman who still remains in the spiritual condition into which they were born and have not been born again is continually under this unrecognized control of Satan. Paul's letter to the Ephesians makes that very clear. He says in Ephesians, chapter 2, verse 2:

Ephesians 2:

2Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

Prince of the Power of the Air is one of the names for Satan. The natural man is under his control, not realizing it, not aware of it at all, but nevertheless under the control of the silent, relentless grip of the Devil himself. That is why hate is always so close to the surface in the heart of the natural man, the unsaved person. Any disappointment, any crossing of his will brings it right out. A burning spirit of anger or even of hatred comes bursting to the surface immediately upon things not going his way. Sometimes it is expressed in cursing and swearing. Sometimes it is expressed in accusations and other things, but that is the nature of the evil spirit who is at work in the hearts of the unsaved. Again, I say they are not aware of that. They would deny it. In fact, if you are hearing it for the first time, even as a believer and certainly if you are hearing this as one who has not accepted Christ as Savior, you would think that this is the most ridiculous thing you have ever heard of, but it is the Word of God that tells us this. It is extremely important that we understand that both love and hate originate outside of the human being. Love comes only from God; hate comes only from the Devil.

Really, hate is love that is twisted and diverted from its intended object and centered upon a false object. That is what the Devil does with this love of God that He pours out into our hearts. He diverts it and twists it. He mutilates it, he changes it and it comes out as hate. That is the source of hate, the Devil himself. Therefore, anyone who hates is as Cain was—in the grip of the Devil. He is of the evil one, to use John's terminology.

Here is another example of the fact that there are forces in life that we will never understand unless we understand them from the biblical point of view. As I said before, this may sound very strange to you if you are not familiar with the principles of the Word of God. We are told repeatedly in the Scripture that it is there in God's Word that we have the truth about life. It is there that we find the answers to the puzzles of life. If we disregard the teachings of Scriptures simply because they don't fit with the way we have always thought about things, then we are blindly shutting our eyes to the truth. It is a difficult thing for me to say, but I tell you hate comes from the Devil. If we accept the principles of God's Word and act on them, we will have an understanding of that and an understanding of all of life as we open ourselves to the principles of God's Word that affect all of life. So that is the source of hate. That is where it comes from.

The Course Of Hate

Let's think for a moment about the course of hate, the course that it follows, what happens when it comes into a person's life. In answering that question, we need to look first at the nature of hate. John brings it out in the first line of verse 12:

I John 3:

12Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother…

I'm sure that Cain was very unconscious of the fact that he was of the wicked one when he got so angry at his brother that he actually killed him. He didn't realize that he was under the control of someone else's mind, of someone else's purpose. He didn't feel any different, I don't imagine. He didn't have a premonition that something was taking over in his life that was going to change everything forever. There was no sudden chill that ran down his spine making him aware of that sinister evil spirit under whose control he was passing, just as we feel no different when we hate, when we get angry. Yet when his heart began to burn with that hatred for his brother, there was a takeover in his heart with no outward evidence of it, no visible sign of it, no inward feeling to indicate it, but he became of the Devil.

We see that same thing in the gospels of the New Testament. Remember that as the Lord gathered with His disciples for the beginning of the Lord's Supper in the upper room when He instituted the Lord's Supper, John's gospel said that as Judas sat at the table with the Lord, Satan entered into his heart. Other passages of Scripture tell us that Judas was not a believer in Jesus even though he had companied about with Him for three years or more by that time, so there was a sense in which Judas was already under Satan's control; but in this special, significant case, Satan entered into his heart as he sat there at the table with Jesus.

Apparently, there was nothing to betray that outwardly. The others were looking at him; the others were asking, “Is it I who will betray you?” None of those seemed to know as Judas got up and left the room that it was he, but there was an open door within him through which the spirit of evil was able to enter, and he was in the grip of that relentless force from which he could no longer escape by an act of his will.

The same thing is in the story of Ananias and Sapphira. Ananias and Sapphira were believers in Christ. Their story is told in Acts, chapter 5. Various Christians among those very first Christians were selling their property and using the money to support the group and those people receiving the appropriate recognition and thanks for that. Ananias and his wife, Sapphira, became jealous of the spiritual blessings of Barnabas and many others who were doing that, and they wanted the reputation that they, too, were fully dedicated and wholly committed to the Lord and to their fellow Christians and they sold some property that they had. But remember the story was that they kept back part of the proceeds of the sale without saying anything to anybody. When they came before the Apostle Peter to make their donation, we are told significantly that the Apostle Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit on that occasion. Do you remember what Peter's question to them was? He said to them, “Why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit?” He didn't just say, “Why have you lied?” He didn't even say, “Why did you lie to the Holy Spirit?,” he said, “Why did Satan fill your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit?”

You see, it is possible even for Christians to come under the grip of the Devil. Not that they become demon-possessed, it is a temporary thing; but even a Christian can come under that terrible grip of the Devil if we open our hearts, our minds and our emotions to that possibility. It is a very important revelation that the Scripture gives us about the force of hate. It begins with Satan, that sinister, evil enemy of God who opposes God in every way he can, even to the point of taking over the heart of anyone who gives way to envy or jealousy or anger, allowing it to become hatred in your heart.

The Nucleus Of Hate

Remember, we are talking about the course of hate and now we have seen the first part of it, the nature of it, in the first part of verse 12. Now going to the last part of verse 12, he shows us the nucleus of it. Look at the last line of verse 12:

I John 3:

12…And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.

John asked, “Why did Cain murder his brother?” The answer is very startling if you think about it. Did Cain murder his brother because his brother was a wicked person and he simply was outraged at the terrible things that his brother Abel had done? Was it because he had done some evil thing to Cain and Cain was just getting his revenge? Were those the reasons? The Scripture tells us: “No. It was because Abel was good.” The very opposite of what we might think. It was because Abel was doing good, proper, right things. Think about that for a minute. Cain murdered his brother because he was good, not because he was bad. How do you think Cain would have answered that question that John asked? I wonder sometimes if later he didn't ask himself that same question. You and I follow that pattern, don't we? We do something that we know is wrong; we do something deliberately whether it is hatred or something else. We move into that area of sin and later on we wonder, “Why did I ever do that?”

I am sure that Cain had those thoughts, but it is very possible that he would have answered something like, “Well, I couldn't stand him any more. He was so holier than thou. He was always claiming to do what God told him to do and always looking down on me. I just couldn't stand it any more.” Or maybe some other form of self-defense. Probably, if he was like a lot of us, he would have just explained it away. Maybe he said, “He was a threat to my reputation, and the world is simply not big enough for both of us. I just had to get rid of him.”

Those are the kinds of excuses that we often give, aren't they, for whatever our sin may be? But what are the facts of this story? We are not going to take the time to turn back there and go through it verse by verse; just let me remind you of that story. Most of you are familiar with it already, but we are not told very many things about the story. We are told enough facts to be able to learn something very important from the story. Genesis, chapter 4, tells us that both of them brought an offering to the Lord. These were the first two sons of Adam and Eve, the very first children born into the world. We are told that Abel brought the firstfruits of his flock—the firstborn of his flock—and Cain brought the firstfruits of his fields. Cain was a farmer, and he brought a gift of grain or fruit, probably some prizewinning tomatoes or something as his offering, but apparently God had told them what He wanted them to bring.

The reason that I say that is Hebrews, chapter 11, verse 4, says:

Hebrews 11:

4By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

The major point of Hebrews, chapter 11, that great chapter in the New Testament, is to establish faith in simply obeying God whether we can understand why He tells us to do something or not. There is story after story about men and women who obeyed God even when many times it seemed like the ridiculous thing to do. In that list is the simple statement that, “By faith Abel presented a more acceptable offering to the Lord than Cain did.” That supposes that God had told them what to bring. If he presented it by faith, he was presenting it in response to what God had told him to do, and obviously God rejected Cain's sacrifice and accepted Abel's sacrifice because Abel's was offered in obedience to God and Cain's was not offered in obedience to God.

Cain did that thing which so many millions around the world are still doing right down until today and that was that he became what John described in verse 4 as lawless. He decided that he didn't have to bring what God told him to bring. He said, “I don't care what God said to bring; I will bring what I think is best.” At least in his heart he said that. We don't know that those were his exact words, but that was his attitude. “I don't have to do what God says. I will do what I think is right.” He came up with his own plan for an offering and he brought a very fine offering. It wasn't that he didn't bring an offering; he brought a good offering, but he did not bring the offering that God had specified. When God rejected it, Cain became angry.

Genesis, chapter 4, verse 5, tells us that his countenance failed. That means he began to pout and to sulk and he was angry, stewing within himself because God had not accepted what he had decided to bring. Even then, verses 6-7 of Genesis, chapter 4, tell us that God didn't lash out with a lightning bolt and strike him dead. God, instead, very graciously gave him a warning. God said to him in Genesis, chapter 4, verses 6-7, “Why does your countenance fall? Why are you angry? Do you not know that there is a sin offering still available to you? You can go back and bring the right kind of offering. I forgive sin. I am not going to wipe you off because you have disobeyed Me. You can still change your mind.”

Even with that gracious word of warning from the Lord, there was no change of heart in Cain. He continued to stew and to burn and to rage against God. The moment he gave way to those emotions, the moment he allowed himself to turn in that direction, the snare of the Devil came upon him.

Many times, I am sure, you and I fall into that same snare. We have allowed ourselves to become angry, to become vindictive, to become jealous, and Satan begins to work in our hearts. Maybe it was some genuine injustice. Maybe it was something we just imagined, but because we felt that we weren't treated fairly, we began to burn against God. When we do that, that invisible, sinister force of Satan takes over and we become like Cain did—“of the evil one,” to use John's terminology.

The result in Cain's case, the Scripture records for us, was the deadly swing of the ax, or whatever it was, and the gush of his brother's blood. God was to say to him later, “The blood of your brother cries out to Me from the field.” That is the real nucleus of this whole thing of hatred. It was because Cain was angry with God. He refused to accept God's evaluation, God's judgment, of what he had brought. He was angry with God's way of ordering him around. He was angry because God would not play according to his rules, wouldn't let him do things the way he wanted to do. In other words, he wanted to be in charge of his own life and he got angry when God didn't allow him to be in charge of his own life. That is the nucleus of hate, the refusal to allow God to be in control of our lives and an insistence on doing things our own way.

The Neurosis Of Hate

That brings us, in verse 13, to the next aspect of hate and that is the neurosis that is in it. Look at verse 13, where John says:

I John 3:

13Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.

Again, if you are thinking with me, that may seem like a change of pace. It seems like an interruption of what John has been talking about. He has been talking about hatred and murder and Cain's sinful actions and Satan's control of Cain. Now, all of a sudden, he turns around and starts talking about the world's hating us. How does that add up?

It is not really a change of pace at all. What we have in this verse is a very sober warning of what happens when anger and hatred take over in a person's life. In Cain's thinking, which was now twisted by the Devil, all of his anger at God began to be focused on his innocent brother. He really wasn't angry primarily at Abel. He was angry at God, but he focused that anger on his brother. So in his twisted thinking, fueled by anger and hatred, he struck his brother down. That is a demonstration of what I am calling the neurosis of hate , the unbalanced condition that comes when we allow ourselves to give way to anger and hatred. It is directed at a human object, but the real source of it is rejection of God. It is always an attack on God and His allowing this thing to happen to us, or His not allowing something else to happen to us.

Hate is a much deeper force than we think it is. It is more than just an emotional reaction to another human being. It is a reaction against God that is focused on some human situation or some human institution, but the anger is really against God. Satan uses that to release evil powers into our human emotions. It twists and distorts and deludes and clouds the issues so that when we react out of anger and hatred and bitterness, we act in complete delusion, completely out of line with reality and out of line with the facts. John said, “Do not wonder if the world hates you. You represent God to the unsaved.” That is an important thing to keep in mind, and there is a whole other sermon in that: you are the only Bible some people read. You are the representative, you are the ambassador of Christ. Paul himself said that. So when people get angry at God, don't be surprised if they turn and take that out on you because hatred is always hatred of God, but it is focused on another person.

David discovered this in himself after that famous scene of adultery with Bathsheba and murder of her husband. It took him a long time to repent from that, and there are lots of details in that story, but after he finally did repent, he wrote some psalms about what it was like, how his bones waxed old within him and how he couldn't sleep and all those things that go with unconfessed sin in the life of a believer.

But one of the most important psalms he wrote was Psalm 51. In that psalm, he used three very common words for sin. He talked about forgiving sin and cleansing from iniquity and wiping out transgressions. Those are three words we find all through the Bible: sin, iniquity and transgression. In the original language in which it was written, those are three words that speak of different aspects of sin. Sin is that general word that means “to miss the mark.” Transgression is a deliberate missing of the mark. The word iniquity is a translation of the Hebrew word that means “twisted.” According to Psalm 51, David says, “I deliberately sinned,” and the record shows that back in II Samuel. “I deliberately sinned, and therefore my thinking became twisted. After that, everything I did missed the mark.” Those words speak of that twisting and distortion and delusion that sin brings in our hearts.

Finally, in verse 4 of Psalm 51, he cried out, “Against Thee and Thee only have I sinned and done this wickedness in Thy sight.” Sin is ultimately a rage against God. It turns, then, on other people and certainly David sinned against Bathsheba and he sinned against her husband and he sinned against the general of his army whom he ordered to put Uriah in the thickest part of the battle where he and David both knew he would be killed. He sinned against all those people, but it was because he originally sinned against God. He deliberately committed a sin. He deliberately did something he knew was a sin, and Satan stepped in and twisted his thinking. After that, that resulted in all of these other kinds of things.

“If you as a child of God are in the path of someone who is filled with pain and anger and hatred about God's dealings with them, don't be surprised that they focus that rage on you,” John says there in verse 13.

The Force Of Hate

Finally, in verse 15 we find the force of hate explained if you look at verse 15:

I John 3:

15Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

The first thing that we need to notice about this verse is that phrase, “his brother.” That makes it clear that John is aiming this verse particularly at Christians. Remember, we talked earlier about Ananias and Sapphira, who were definitely believers, yet they allowed Satan to take over that aspect of their thinking. John is talking to Christians—you and me—about the danger of letting hatred and emotions that lead to hatred take over in our hearts. Let's be honest and admit that that is all too often the case with us, isn't it? Sometimes Christians hate each other. I am sure that none of you hate anybody else, but you know somebody who does, don't you? It is true. It happens sometimes. Christians can show hatred to people who are unsaved also. It is possible for Christians to hate other people, believers and unbelievers, but John tells us that you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. He says that hatred is murder. Hatred will ultimately result in murder, and no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

How can those things be true? How can we give Biblical examples of it that a believer can hate someone and also say that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him? Well, the key to it is that little word abiding. We have already seen that this relationship of abiding is something additional to becoming a believer. Abiding in Christ is being at home in Him and letting Him be at home in us. We have talked about it a couple of times already. It doesn't mean that if a person commits hatred or any other sin, he ceases to be a Christian; but it means that when a Christian hates, he stops making use of the power of Christ that is within him. He is not being at home with the power of God. He is not letting the power of God be at home in him. He is no longer living like the Christian that he has become. He slips back temporarily into the control of the Devil. If as a Christian we hate someone, we have become the temporary slave of the Devil himself. We are God's child, but we are doing the Devil's work.

The second thing that we need to deal with in verse 15, is the word murderer. That might seem to be the more important word, but I want us to look at them in this order. It may seem like a long step from a seemingly simple thing like anger and hatred to murder. We might not even make the connection between those two, but that is what the Word of God calls it here in verse 15. Think about it very carefully. Does your heart burn with anger or hatred today toward someone who has done something wrong to you this past week or five years ago? You just can't stand that person. You don't want to be around them. You just wish they would go away and leave you alone and that you never had to think about them again. Well, if that is true, the Holy Spirit, writing through the pen of John, says that if the circumstances are right, if the penalty could be avoided, you would murder that person if you could. God says that. All that keeps you from it is a fear of reprisal from God or from man. If there was some way you could get away with it, hatred sooner or later, invariably would flash out into murder as it did in that first instance between Cain and Abel. Wherever hate is, murder is always a possibility. In fact, in the eyes of God, it is as good as done. God reads the heart. He doesn't have to wait to see the actions.

Jesus taught this, too. These are not the words of the so-called harsh God of the Old Testament. These are the words of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, who loved us enough to die for us. In the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew, chapter 5, he said, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whosoever murders shall be in danger of judgment,' but I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without cause shall be in danger of judgment, and whoever insults his brother shall be in danger of the council and whoever says ‘you fool,' shall be in danger of hellfire.”

The Word of God says that anyone who hates is a murderer already, just waiting for the opportunity for it to come into reality. Sobering, isn't it? Puts a different viewpoint on some of those things that we allow ourselves to get into in relationships with other people, doesn't it?

Christ Is The Only Answer

What is the answer to this? What is the finish of hatred, the way to bring it to an end, the way to control it? We have already seen there can be no answer, no effective control over this apart from the regenerating work of Jesus Christ and the Cross of Calvary. It takes the power of God to break away from this kind of thing. Only God can deliver us from this, and that is why there is no ultimate hope at all of control of the wars and the strife and the enmity that rages in our world around us. From a human standpoint, there is nothing we can do to stop children from shooting each other on the school grounds and all the other kinds of horrible crimes that we hear about except unless we bring people to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. The saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and the rebirth that brings is the only answer to these kinds of things.

That may sound like a gross overgeneralization, but it is the message of the Word of God. The only answer to sin, the only solution to hate or whatever other kind of sin it might be, is salvation through Jesus Christ because this power of Satan is too deeply ingrained in the human life to submit to any kind of human solutions. The best humans can do is to try to contain it, maybe rename it something else, maybe to gloss over it and try to channel it in some other direction. Go home and kick the dog or yell at your family. Those are suggestions that are really given as a control to this kind of thing. But what are we going to do about this? Can anything be done about it?

Confess Hatred As Sin

The answer to that is here in the epistle of John, and we find it all through the Scriptures. That is for you and me to judge this thing, deal with it as God sees it. If it is anger, hatred, whatever it may be and you can apply to any sin that has you in its grip, call it what it is, call it what God calls it, agree with God that that thing that has come into your heart originates with Satan, that he has taken advantage of and he has twisted and turned and blinded you and caused you to not be able to think straight; confess it. Agree with God about it and tell him that you agree with Him about it. When you do, when you are willing to say, if you are honest, “This sin that I love so much, this sin that seems to give me so much gratification, is wrong. It is sin; it it something that Satan has used to get control of my thinking and my life.” Confess it to God. Get it out on the table; agree with Him about it, and when you do, whether you can even imagine it today or not, you will receive the answering power of God's love poured out into your cleansed heart. Your thinking will be restored. Your ability to love even that person you think now you hate will be restored because the sin will be out of the way and the love that comes down from God into our hearts can then flow out unobstructed through our hearts. God's kind of love, love of the unlovely, love of that person who really does not deserve our love, pours out through us. Though they really did do us wrong, they were really doing God wrong and took it out on us. If God's love loves them as it pours out through us, certainly the least we can do is let God express that love through us. You will find that God's love will take over in that pain and in those terrible feelings of rejection and in hurt, and God's love will heal that as it flows out through you to other people.

Conclusion

The Holy Spirit is always ready to pour out, in place of hatred, the peace of God that passes understanding and the ability to forgive and to forget and to pick up the pieces, whether the other person does or not, and to go on walking with the Lord. There is no other answer to it than that. Until we are willing to live on these terms, we haven't begun to demonstrate what the life of Jesus Christ living out through us is all about. The love of Christ that enables us to forgive those whom we think have wronged us, that kind of love has the power to attract and draw men irresistibly into contact with God. But that kind of love can never be manifested where there is a protection, an excusing, a rationalizing, a justifying of that spirit of anger and hatred and rejection. We cannot cover it up. We cannot gloss it over. The world knows; they see it. It is the love of Jesus Christ poured out through us that attracts men and women to Jesus Christ.

That is why the exhortation comes in verse 18:

I John 3:

18My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

How much all of us need that in our world today!


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