Arminian Today

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Loving our Enemies Doesn’t Mean Don’t Evangelize Them

Many confuse the words of Jesus in Luke 6:27-36 by believing that to truly love our enemies means that we accept them in their sins.  This is not the case.  Notice the text (NKJV):

27 “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. 29 To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. 30 Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. 31 And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.

32 “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. 35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. 36 Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.

Mercy can clearly be extended even while we call people to repent.  And further, is not repentance to life a gift from God?  When we call people to repent, that is a good thing!  It is like a doctor giving a sick man medicine but in our case we are giving the word of life to those who are dead in their sins (Ephesians 2:1-3).  Repentance is not a negative event.  It is a wonderful event where the Spirit of God convicts of sin (John 16:8-11) and He opens the heart of the sinner to see the beauty of God’s grace given to us in Christ Jesus.  Grace is truly grace when the Spirit reveals our sins to us.

To truly love our enemies, we must preach the gospel to them!  True love does not hide truth from another.  True love reveals truth even if it hurts.  Our goal is pure: to see the sinner reconciled to God through Christ (2 Corinthians 5:14, 18-21).  This can not happen unless someone preaches the gospel to the lost sinner (Romans 10:14-17).  This is not going to occur simply because you smile at the person and tell them you love them.  It is not going to happen simply because you do a random act of kindness for another person.  It is not going to happen simply because you buy them groceries.  Repentance must be preached just as Jesus commanded (Luke 24:47) and the example of the Apostles shows us (Acts 2:38; 3:19-20; 17:30-31; 26:20).

I remember a lady telling me once that open air evangelism doesn’t show people the love of Christ.  She complained that loving relationships are the best way to show people the love of Christ or doing acts of kindness but not proclaiming the gospel boldly to them.  My answer is this: what kind of doctor would I be if I never gave patients their true conditions along with a remedy for their diseases?  I would not be viewed as a good doctor or a loving doctor who just let his patients die while I held back the cure for their illness.  In fact, I would lose my license to practice medicine if I didn’t give people what they needed to make them better.

How can we Christians hold back the truth of God from the lost?  How can we allow people to blindly go to hell all the while we know the truth that can set them free but we hold back the truth from them?  What kind of love is that?  We say we love our enemies but I don’t see that being a very godly love that doesn’t warn sinners that their fate is an eternal hell without the gospel.  If we love our enemies, let us preach the truth to them.  In the end, all that matters is the gospel (John 5:24-25).

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Written by The Seeking Disciple

01/29/2013 at 5:16 PM

Posted in Evangelism, Love

Tagged with ,

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