I have a strong feeling that this “new commandment” which Jesus gave to His followers was of great importance to Him.
“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13:34-35 (KJV)
EDITOR’S NOTE: False doctrine and false teaching should always be exposed. But too often in the Christian church, we sit in the place of God and by tearing each other down through lies, gossip and accusations become no better than the lost people out in the world. Sadly, the greatest enemy of Christians today are other Christians.
Jesus spoke in many parables to relay truths to the masses. When asked why He spoke in this manner by His disciples, He responded this way:
“And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.” Matthew 13:10-16 (KJV)
I am going to share some very deep hurts in this article. Some of the readers will identify with much of what I say. Hopefully, others will come under conviction of the Holy Spirit, that they have inflicted much hurt on other Christians. I pray that the Lord will use this piece in whatever way He desires.
Through the years, I have encountered many people in church, and on Facebook, who name the name of Jesus as their Lord and Savior, but act viciously toward other believers. Let me make this clear — any one of us can fall and behave badly. But in a true follower of Jesus Christ, He looks for repentance and reconciliation from His people. Notice in the first passage of Scripture in this article, that He said “Love one another as I have loved you.”
How has he loved us? He loved us while we were wretched sinners! The Word says:
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 (KJV)
He loved us enough to DIE in our place, to wash us clean from the horrible, sinful things we had done. He had NO sin. He was blameless, and saw us in the state we were in, and had compassion and Love, enough to die that horrific death on the tree. He did it because He wanted us to have a way back to His Father!
When I think of the things I’ve done in the past, that He has forgiven, it makes me so grateful. Honestly, I cannot fathom the love that He has for us. It is Agape love. What is Agape love?
Question: “What is agape love?”
Answer: “The Greek word agape is often translated “love” in the New Testament. How is “agape love” different from other types of love? The essence of agape love is self-sacrifice. Unlike our English word “love,” agape is not used in the Bible to refer to romantic or sexual love. Nor does it refer to close friendship or brotherly love, for which the Greek word philia is used. Nor does agape mean “charity,” a term which the King James translators carried over from the Latin. Agape love is unique and is distinguished by its nature and character.
Agape is love which is of and from God, whose very nature is love itself. The apostle John affirms this in 1 John 4:8: “God is love.” God does not merely love; He is love itself. Everything God does flows from His love. But it is important to remember that God’s love is not a sappy, sentimental love such as we often hear portrayed. God loves because that is His nature and the expression of His being. He loves the unlovable and the unlovely (us!), not because we deserve to be loved, but because it is His nature to love us, and He must be true to His nature and character. God’s love is displayed most clearly at the cross, where Christ died for the unworthy creatures who were “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1), not because we did anything to deserve it, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 (KJV). The object of God’s agape love never does anything to merit His love. We are the undeserving recipients upon whom He lavishes that love. His love was demonstrated when He sent His Son into the world to “seek and save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10) and to provide eternal life to those He sought and saved. He paid the ultimate sacrifice for those He loves.
In the same way, we are to love others sacrificially. Jesus gave the parable of the Good Samaritan as an example of sacrifice for the sake of others, even for those who may care nothing at all for us, or even hate us, as the Jews did the Samaritans. Sacrificial love is not based on a feeling, but a determined act of the will, a joyful resolve to put the welfare of others above our own. But this type of love does not come naturally to humans. Because of our fallen nature, we are incapable of producing such a love. If we are to love as God loves, that love—that agape—can only come from its true Source. This is the love which “has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit given to us” when we became His children (Romans 5:5). Because that love is now in our hearts, we can obey Jesus who said, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” John 13:34 (KJV). This new commandment involves loving one another as He loved us sacrificially, even to the point of death. But, again, it is clear that only God can generate within us the kind of self-sacrificing love which is the proof that we are His children. “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” 1 John 3:16 (KJV). Because of God’s love toward us, we are now able to love one another.”  – source
I have had people in church ignore me, say very hurtful things to me and when I’ve gone to them and asked what I had done to make them act in this manner, they simply brushed it off – like it was nothing. It took me a long time to understand something — as I walked around like a wounded soldier, these same people who persecuted me, never gave it a thought! It’s almost comical if it were not so sad. Recently, I asked two of these ladies to come and have lunch, so we could talk. I received no response.
I’m a Jewish Christian, and in a few churches there have been people who said anti Semitic things to me. It shocked and hurt me. I had grown up with anti Semitism being just part of my life in the world. It stung, but I learned to live with it. Jews are hated. It’s a fact of life.
“But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.” Galatians 5:15 (KJV)
But in the church?? That was actually my mother’s first reaction, when I told her that I believed in Jesus. She said “Aren’t they going to hate you and insult you?” Back then, as a baby Christian, I believed that everyone loved and cherished one another in church. Oh, if that were only true.
I have actually had the most hurt inflicted on me on Facebook. I used to be such a trusting person. I guess I still am to a point. But I’m guarded now.
In 2012, a whole group of women came against me. They had a leader, and she had such power over these women. Most of the women were such lovely sisters in Christ. But when their leader decided to persecute me, they all followed suit. I won’t bore you with all of the details, but let me say that at one point, I did say that their behavior was “cult like.” I wrote to each of them, after being prompted by the Holy Spirit to do so, and asked their forgiveness for using those words.
They refused to reconcile and continued to abuse me. They all blocked me and continued to send hateful emails to me. I was in bad shape during this time as well. I was in a wheel chair — my doctors had not yet found the cyst wrapping around my spine. In December of 2012, I was successfully operated on, and I was able to walk again.
The leader of that group of women had a huge following. She taught from the Word to these women. As time went on, a few of the extended group of women, wrote to me and said that they had been fooled by her, and asked my forgiveness. As a follower of Jesus, I forgave them immediately and told them I loved them.
There are many other hurtful things which have taken place on Facebook. I will spare the reader the details.
Why am I speaking of these events in my life? I wanted to show the stark comparison between the actions of these women, and the Word of God – specifically the words of Jesus about loving one another, so that the world would know that we belong to Him.
Recently, I was part of a group on Facebook. I loved being there and was made an admin. It was a very loving group of people. Then something happened, beyond my control, and the devil turned people against me. Two friends stuck by me, because they knew I was innocent in what took place. They tried to no avail, to make the others see that I had done nothing. Then I was blocked by a large group of them, and even cast out of another group where one of the people was an admin. I guess she did that just to hurt me further.
Brethren, these things should not be happening in the body of Christ. I have had people say that those who act in this way are not truly born again. I don’t want to think that. But I will say that when we have the Holy Spirit indwelling us, forgiveness should come to us a naturally as breathing.
Are you a forgiving Christian? Do you strive to reconcile relationships and pray for those who persecute you? Do you stand up for those who are being hurt and slandered?
Do you have people whom you have treated badly, and now are beginning to realize that the Holy Spirit is speaking to your heart, urging you to ask forgiveness for the hurt you have inflicted on others? I pray that you will listen to God, and do as He says.
Are you a person who has never repented and trusted the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins? You can come to Him today, and be born again. He is waiting.
“(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)” 2 Corinthians 6:2 (KJV)
Shalom in Yeshua