Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 5 Study # 11
Thesis: The overall thesis of Jesus' "Kingdom Truth" is "Love".
Introduction: Last week I used Jesus' deliberate "description" of His audience ("you that are still listening") to address the issue that faces us all: are we going to set a boundary upon what we will yield to God? If we are, there is no need to go any further in our "religious behavior". We might as well stop coming to church, get rid of all of our "so-called" religious music, drop out of all of the things that are driven by some form of loyalty to Jesus, and, at least, stop being hypocrites. Jesus, Himself, said that if we were not going to be loyal to Him, He would prefer that we oppose Him because "luke-warmness" makes Him want to puke.
Now, as we move on as those who are still listening, we come to why Jesus raised the issue of whether we were still listening. The paragraph before us (6:27-36) tells us what is expected of the sons of the Kingdom of God...and it begins with the "L" word: Love.
This morning we are going to look into the overall principle: Love others.
December 9, 2007
- I. There is a Provision.
- A. In God's Kingdom, they are "cursed" who impose evil upon others just because they want something that they cannot have unless they do evil.
- B. In God's Kingdom, they are "blessed" who endure mistreatment for the sake of Jesus, Who endured mistreatment for them.
- C. This double reality is non-negotiable and, though it is temporarily only enforced in what appears to be a "hit and miss" manner, it is going to come to an absolute enforcement without compromise or concession.
- 1. The temporary "hit and miss" reality is here for only one reason: to give human beings a "window of opportunity" within the setting of eternity.
- 2. It is of the greatest foolishness that unreasonable human beings take this brief snapshot of appearances and extrapolate it into the big picture.
- 3. God has made a "window of opportunity" so that men may come to repentance and embrace His Kingdom as it is.
- II. There is a Problem.
- A. The Kingdom of God is antithetical to the human predicament.
- 1. Men come into this time of the "window" already twisted into rebels who think nothing of their selfishness.
- 2. God, though He permits this "window" reality as a temporary experience, is, none the less, absolutely not going to put up with it beyond the boundaries of tolerance that He Himself has set.
- B. The kingdoms of men are manifestations of the conviction that men maintain that they can actually get what they want by simply remaining steadfast in their opposition to God.
- III. There is a Process.
- A. This process is not for those who have hardened themselves: 2 Peter 2:12.
- B. This process is only for those who are "still listening".
- C. This process is one of getting down to the real issue.
- 1. In 6:32 Jesus raised the real issue: love that is simply a response to love is not love.
- 2. In the requirement before us to "Love our enemies" we are not being asked to do more than "sinners"; we are being asked to do what "sinners" never do.
- a. When Jesus said, "Sinners love those that love them", He was merely accommodating the cultural way of viewing "love"; He was not in any sense saying that "Love" really exists when it is contingent upon whether the so-called "lover" gets what he/she wants.
- b. 1 John 4:7 says that "love is of God" and that "everyone who loves is born of God".
- 1) This means, first of all, that nothing that men call "love" is "Love" unless it comes from the work of God in their hearts.
- 2) This also means that no "sinner" ever genuinely "loves".
- c. Thus, whether Jesus commands us to love "nice" people or to love "our enemies", the fact is that He is insisting that we "Love", not play games.
- 3. The real issue is this: Love is so foreign to our natural condition that we have to be confronted with the least pleasant reality in order to understand even the most pleasant reality.
- a. Love can exist in the pleasant circumstances of people who are "nice" to each other and give pleasant responses to one another.
- b. But Love does not exist if it demands those pleasant circumstances in order to function.
- c. The command to "love your enemies" is not an extraordinary demand; it is simply a "highlighting" command that makes the Kingdom of God's most fundamental characteristic as clear as it can be made.
- 1) God's most fundamental characteristic is His likeness to the sun -- radiating goodness and benefit outwardly -- and His absolute opposition to the characteristics of a black hole -- taking/demanding what one does not have any rational basis for expecting.
- 2) Therefore, the Kingdom of God is going to ultimately be a mass of persons who simply radiate benefit without thought for what they are going to get.
- IV. There Is a Bottom Line.
- A. Love is not "nice".
- B. Love is being without compromise in one thing: seeking the good of another beyond the "window" at whatever cost.
- C. Love is complicated by the numbers involved.