Arminian Today

A Jesus-Centered Arminian Blog

Loving Others

One key point I want to make about evangelism is the need to love others.  I fear that, at times, some disciples can merely view evangelism as “pleasing God” without any thought to actually loving the people we engage with the gospel.  People need to be loved.  Whether they are the God-haters we encounter to those who merely are religious but lost, people need to be loved. As an Arminian, I believe that God has demonstrated His love toward humans by sending His Son to die for them (John 3:16).  I believe that it was the love of God that caused Him to not destroy Adam and Eve when they sinned but instead He provided a covering for them in Genesis 3:21.  It was God’s love as well that cursed the enemy in Genesis 3:15 and promised a Redeemer in Christ our Lord.

It was love that was manifested in Luke 2 with the birth of Jesus.  Jesus was the embodiment of love.  Acts 10:38 says this about Jesus:

how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.

Notice that Jesus went about doing good.  Jesus loved people.  I have no doubt about that.

Sadly, we often show that we don’t love people when we just want to earn God’s favor merely by speaking to them about the gospel.  I agree that people need to hear the gospel to be saved (Romans 10:14-17).  I agree that we are to go and make disciples (Matthew 28:19).  But let us go forth with our hearts burning with a zeal for Jesus and a love for others.  Love is what should motivate us to share the good news of Christ.  Love is why we don’t want people to die in their sins.  We love people enough that we want to get into their lives and share the gospel with them.

I am all for confrontational evangelism but I pray that we don’t come across as merely angry at sinners and not loving them.  Let them hear the love of God in our voices and see it in our actions.  May we not scream at people, wish them to hell, or attack others.  May we preach the Lord Jesus Christ and warn people of the wrath to come through tears.  

Jesus said in Mark 12:31 that we are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.  Do we obey this?  Do we love others?  Do we do good to others to show them that we love them with Christ’s love (Galatians 6:10)?  I worry that I don’t.  I don’t want to just pass out gospel tracts and preach the gospel in the streets with anger or with some focus on just “pleasing God” without also loving others.  1 Corinthians 13 is clear that we can do religious deeds without love but what is the point.  Love is the greatest gift (1 Corinthians 13:13).  Do sinners know that I love them?  

May God help us to preach the gospel but also to love people and not just with our words but with our actions.  1 John 3:16-18 are powerful verses about this truth:

16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

May God forgive me for not loving others.

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Written by The Seeking Disciple

07/10/2013 at 2:11 PM

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