Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 5 Study # 12
Thesis: Do good to those who hate you.
Introduction: In the Kingdom of God everyone will consider everyone else as more important than themselves and that will result in everyone seeking ways to do good to everyone else. But that Kingdom is not yet established in our experience. There are two things that have to happen before the establishment of that Kingdom on earth so that the will of God can be done here as it is in heaven. One of those prerequisites is that human beings have to be weaned from the wicked foolishness of their rebellion against Love. The other of those prerequisites is that those human beings who refuse to be weaned have to be eliminated from the sphere in which the Kingdom is to be established. The Bible tells us how both of these prerequisites will be achieved. During the era of "proclamation", men who are willing to continue to listen to Jesus (Luke 6:27) will be drawn along by His words to the point of being weaned from their rebellion against Love. Then will come the era of "condemnation" in which the wrath of the Lamb will be poured out and all of the rebels will be destroyed.
When Jesus came down from the mountain, it was to give instruction to "disciples" so that they could take an active part in their own growth away from their natural rebellion against Love. But, Jesus did not make it "easy". There will only be a few who actually discover the narrow gate and enter into eternal life. The broad way to Hell is filled with traffic; the boom boxes are blasting away with what these days is called "music"; and the ignorant are filling their ears with noise so that the words of Jesus cannot even be heard, let alone understood and believed and loved and embraced. So Jesus challenged those who came to get what they wanted from Him with words that absolutely demand that they do a 180 degree turn-around. He declared that the Kingdom of God is made of people who have embraced the values of that Kingdom and then questioned His audience with whether they were "still" listening.
For those few in that mode -- still listening -- He continued to teach them how different is the Kingdom of the only God there is: He said, "Love your enemies".
Last week we began to explore what that "looks like" in the real world. It is, admittedly, a very big idea and, for people who are used to looking at the world through eyes that only seek their own interests, it needs a lot of "explanation". This morning we are going to look into one form of that "explanation". It is found in the next command: "Do good to them who hate you."
December 16, 2007
- I. The Modern Distortion.
- A. It shows up in two forms.
- 1. One form is "most reasonable": Matthew 5:43.
- a. This form accepts a major reality: everyone has "enemies".
- b. This form fosters a major delusion: Love is about how others treat you.
- 2. The other form is "most twisted" and very common: "do evil to those who love you".
- a. This form assumes a second major delusion: that there are many "out there" who "love you".
- 1) There are only two "kinds" of persons who "love you".
- a) The one "kind" is primary: the three persons of the Godhead who all personify love beyond the maximum degree (degree is a term of finitude and God is infinite).
- b) The other "kind" is derivative: created persons who have embraced the provision of the Infinite God for love.
- 2) There are not "many" in "any" case.
- a) There are only "three" in the Godhead.
- b) The vast majority of the angelic host who have embraced the love provision of God have little interest in "you" (Matthew 18:10 indicates that there may only be one).
- c) The vast majority of the human beings on this planet are "users" whose only interest in you revolves around how you can be used to please them.
- i. There are only two kinds of human beings: those born of Adam and those born again of God.
- ii. Of those two kinds, very few ever come to "love" and "you" are not on their radar.
- 3) This delusion fosters a lot of anger because it builds upon the first.
- b. This form perpetrates a third major delusion: that, because others love you, you can do anything to them you want, no matter how hurtful, and it will still come out "OK" in the wash.
- B. It has many levels of deception available to it.
- 1. The primary level is the dismissal of the one-on-one reality of God and every single one of His creatures.
- a. God sent His Son into this world with a one-on-one commitment.
- b. God observes how those for whom Jesus died treat Him in the daylies (this is no small matter considering Hebrews 10:28-29).
- 2. The secondary level is the dismissal of the Words of the One God to each individual creature.
- a. When Jesus raised the issue of whether anyone was "still listening", He did it on the heels of the "Woes" that He had just uttered.
- b. When Jesus delivered His "mountain message" regarding the true essence of the Kingdom of the only God, He did it for the sake of those who would keep on listening and, at some point later down the road, would enter into that very Kingdom.
- c. Jesus delivered His "mountain message" in the context of Psalm 19.
- 3. Beyond these, there are many other levels of deception that include all of the lies about "Truth" that have been perpetrated in a fallen world.
- II. The Biblical Mandate: Do Good to Them Who Hate You.
- A. Why did Jesus say this?
- 1. First, He said this because He knew how "vague" is the command to love your enemies.
- 2. Second, He said this because He was still interested in whether His "listeners" would ever have their eyes opened according to His mandate to "open the eyes of the blind".
- a. As long as we can live in delusion, we will.
- b. It is only as we see the extremes of Truth that we are faced with the reality of the delusions (note Paul's "logic" in Romans 5:8 -- only an extreme example gets people to sit up and take notice).
- 3. Third, He said this because He knows that people are masters at using what others do to them to justify their own levels of wickedness.
- 4. Fourth, He said this because He actually wants His disciples to do good to those who hate them.
- B. What does it mean in practical terms?
- 1. First, it means that every one of Jesus' disciples is going to have to come to grips with Matthew 6:24 -- no one can serve two masters.
- 2. Second, it means that every one of Jesus' disciples is going to have to come to grips with Matthew 10:34-36 -- no one can expect "blood" to be thicker than water.
- 3. Third, it means that every one of Jesus' disciples is going to have to understand that Romans 12:20 is simply one of a myriad of ways that "good" is meted out to enemies.
- 4. Fourth, it means that every one of Jesus' disciples is going to have to come to grips with Jesus' absolute insistence in Luke 14:27.