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All About GOD - Growing Relationships with Jesus and Others

Jesus said (as recorded in Matthew 5:43-48):  You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,  that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.  If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?  And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Consider then how we feel about ISIS.  How do we feel about those that actively seek to do us harm?

Jesus gave us pretty specific instructions on how we are to "treat" our enemies.  By showing expressing love as is represented in this video, the follower of Jesus sets themselves apart from the rest of the world and this is exactly what our Father in Heaven seeks in our faith and obedience.

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So.....are we to exempt those in ISIS from Christ's love & salvation? What they are doing is horrid, awful, but so is what I was doing before coming to Christ Jesus.  Are you drawing a line in saying that we shouldn't offer them what we are offering others?  I'm not talking about establishing a feel good kind of love, I'm talking about a love for them that is devastated that they will go to hell if they don't hear the Gospel of Truth.  I'm talking about the kind of love that will stand firm even in the face of death, if ever challenged, by God's power, to express the strength of God in one's life.  

"For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, eaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps."

1 Peter 2:21 ESV

"Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ."

1 Corinthians 11:1 ESV

"Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children."

Ephesians 5:1 ESV

"I urge you, then, be imitators of me."

1 Corinthians 4:16 ESV

So according to God's word, it is not delusional to imitate Christ.

haha, Van Gogh....thank you, made me laugh.  Understood Eric, Thank You.  

To Amanda:  I never said that we are to seek martyrdom, ever.  This topic was about loving our enemies, thus this is not up for debate as to which/who/when/where we decide to "love" them.  Love in the Biblical sense is to speak the truth and move on if they refuse it.  We somehow have come to the belief that we must "save" them, which is disproportionate to the Truth.  We are to speak the Truth in love, and then we go back to what is love....love is telling the Truth.  It's the Holy Spirit's job to save them.  I'm/we're only the messengers, we cannot save one single soul, only tell them them the Gospel and live it.

The Bible says to:  Matthew 10:16--Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

I understand. I was speaking to what Eric had stated about offering our necks. I've heard the reference to those in the bible as being heroes, biblical heroes accomplishing fantastic feats and I'm not so sure we should ever refer to them in such ways. It was always God working in and through them. We know some were created specially, such as the prophet Jeremiah, King David, John the Baptist, Saint Paul, even Samson, and so forth. Some did offer their necks. I didn't see where anyone had mentioned that we are to save them. I guess I missed something, but I was only speaking to what I did perceive being said here.
For clarity, Jesus wasn't a martyr (not implying anyone here is saying this). He didn't die for His beliefs but was the lamb of God, the perfect sacrifice for sin.

Indeed.  Jesus is the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

We aren't instructed to seek martyrdom and, in fact, are even told to flee persecution. Matthew 10:23. Some people are called to become martyrs. I believe God gives them the special grace and strength that's necessary in such cases.

I like the way this article explains it. http://www.gotquestions.org/Christian-martyrdom.html

We are to imitate Christ, yes, but He was the perfect sacrifice and none of us will ever be what He was as the lamb of God, our substitutionary atonement. We might lay down our lives but it's not anything we are doing ourselves if we ever come to that point. It will be Christ in us giving us the boldness, strength, and love to do so.

Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). Jesus also said, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (verse 31). We must choose love everyday and, yes, choose to love enemies, such as ISIS. It's not an easy thing, and we can only do it with the love of God within us, that is shed abroad in our hearts.
They are obsessed with hate but we've been freed from that (Romans 8:1). We might not understand what is going on right now but God is in control.

Amen Amanda.  I heard a sermon the other morning and one of the things he said was:

"The world is falling apart, but God's Word is coming together." 

People keep anticipating that it's going to become better and better when in reality according to the  Bible it's only going to get darker and far worse beyond anyone's imaginations.

That's why there are so many people out there trying to fix this world in a secular way....I don't know if you've noticed, but all of these charities haven't helped, without the Gospel it's simply useless.  

Yeah, was just thinking about the most recent news regarding Rick Warren and Elton John standing together.  

Right?  They are calling it the kiss that could be heard around the world...making a joke about it, WOW.  

You know Eric, I probably need some prayer...because these kind of people cause me far more concern than the people who are lopping heads off.  The distortion of the Word and the futility of finding common ground in a matter of speaking, well yeah...disturbs me.

How do we balance the two....being loving while hating evil?  

But the whole thing about those who purposely bring deception into the church has brought/wreaked more havoc on the Church than those who outwardly despise us and show us their hatred blatantly.  

Any words?

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