Let’s Talk Love Your Neighbor

This Talk is a bit longer than I would have liked it to be. I could not find a good place to split the paper into two Talks without leaving the reader disappointed. I do apologize; nonetheless, I think that you will find the Talk helpful as it is.

How would you respond to this comment? God is love, therefore, the absence of God leads only to narcissism on one end of the pendulum of human experience and self-loathing on the other. Without the love of God, humankind is without hope and lost in a loveless and selfish world, full of a lust for power and prestige on the one hand and poverty and pestilence on the other. If you cannot love yourself, you cannot love others. And you cannot love yourself if there is no God of love to impart this essential life-saving attribute into your life and the lives of the world. Sin is a debilitating and destructive presence in the life of every human being. Apart from the intentional infusion of God into this world, there is no remedy, there is nothing that can impede the horror of unrestrained sin and hate. I am committed to knowing God and making Him known because He alone keeps me from demeaning and hurting others more than I already do. The amazing fact is that knowing how to love yourself and your neighbor is a foremost element in law, which naturally emanates from God to the nation of Israel and then to the rest of the world. Obedience to the Ten Commandments is the pathway to love. Any person or nation that embraces the Ten Commandments, as the foundation of their legal system, will be predisposed to God’s love and be able to experience divine love to some extent.

This talk will identify and evaluate the ten passages of Scripture that compel or require a believer to “love your neighbors as you love yourself.” Loving God and, subsequently, one’s neighbors as yourself is foundational to living the Christian experience as God intends; His love also makes the world a much safer and prolific place when others live according to the code that God graciously imparted to humankind.

Who are Your Neighbors?

Two Old Testament passages provide most of the answer.

Neighbors Within a Nation

Leviticus 19:18 “You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD.”

Israel, like other nations, had their own culture and laws, but unlike other nations, their culture and laws were designed by the one true God among the many false gods around them. Israel, therefore, was created to reflect the will and character of God. Initially, they are told to be neighborly toward one another. One citizen was not permitted to personally punish or exact retribution on another citizen (called a neighbor) who had injured or wronged him. Not only is personal vengeance wrong, so also is holding a grudge against a fellow citizen or “neighbor”. Having a persistent feeling of ill will resulting from a past insult or injury was wrong. In fact, vengeance and a grudge are wrong simply because they are unloving. The goal among neighbors (fellow citizens) is an action that stems from true love, resolution, which reestablishes peace sooner than later. Without love, there is no peace.

By application, this passage of Scripture refers to the manner in which believers (Christians) should conduct themselves in relation to other believers. Neighbors in this passage are fellow believers, living under the same divine statute, that is, the Word of God.

Neighbors Who Enter the Nation

Leviticus 19:34 “The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the LORD your God.”

The “stranger who resides among you” are aliens, sojourners, i.e., non-Israelites who have come to live in the land of Israel from another nation. Because Israel was treated so poorly as aliens in the land of Egypt, God required, by statute, that non-Israelites, living in the land of Israel, be “loved” in the same manner that Israelites were to love one another.  “So, show your love for the alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt (Deuteronomy 10:19). Jews were to treat the Gentiles among them like neighbors, that is, with acts that are loving and produce peace.

In light of the present illegal immigration concerns in the United States, a brief discussion about biblical “strangers in the land” needs to be addressed. Some politicians have demanded compassion for all these aliens, strangers or illegals on the grounds that God loves the alien. No one can rationally argue that He does not love, for He surely does. The argument, therefore, suggests that God’s love for aliens equates to open borders and monetary benefits to all who want to come to the United States. The following quote comes from the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, 1980, p. 331.

The ger (sojourner, alien, stranger) in Israel was largely regarded as a proselyte (a person who has converted from one group to another, definition and emphasis added). He was to be present for the solemn reading of the Law (Deut. 31:12) showing that he was exposed to its demands. The law concerning “unleavened bread” applied to him as well as the native (Ex. 12:19), and a circumcised ger could keep Passover (Ex. 12:48 and following; Num. 9:14). He was also included in the festival of the Great Day of Atonement (Lev. 16:29) and was expected to celebrate the Feast of Booths (Deut. 16:14). With the native (an Israelite, added), he was threatened with the death penalty if he offered a sacrifice to a foreign god (Lev. 17:8 and following) and was forbidden to eat blood (a pagan practice, Lev 17:10, 12- 13).  Though in contrast to the native, he was allowed to eat what had died or was torn (Deut. 14:21), like the native Israelite he underwent special cleansing (Lev. 17:15 and following). He was also included in the rites of cleansing with the ashes of the red heifer (Num. 19:10). The laws of sexual chastity (refraining from sexual intercourse, added) applied to him as well as the native (Lev. 18:26) along with the Sabbath laws (Ex. 20:10; 23:12). In a word, he (the stranger, alien, sojourner, undocumented immigrant, etc., added) was to show the same fidelity to the Lord (Lev. 20:2)

Though there is much more to this quote, suffice it to say that the ger (alien, stranger) did not bring his or her culture with him or her into the land of Israel. In fact, it is clear that “strangers” living among the Israelites were required to undergo near total assimilation. They were not permitted to bring their idols, gods or cultures into the land of Israel. To love these people (neighbors) assimilation was required. The aliens or immigrants were required to throw-off the rudiments of their former lives and replace them with laws and cultural mores that would teach them about the character and nature of the true God, and thus, better their lives in every way. The point is that love for God is inseparable from obedience to divine decree and, therefore, love itself is inseparable from God. There is no love or right or good behavior apart from God, none whatsoever. Association or assimilation with God is love and the foundation of a meaningful life; disassociation or de-assimilation is selfishness, a war in its many manifestations (between neighbors, couples, and nations, the destruction of reality and the family structure and the end of civil society), and eternal death.

In this context, your neighbor is your fellow Israelite and those “strangers” who assimilate into Israeli life. By application, this would apply to people who enter a nation with a Judeo-Christian culture. Though these “aliens” might not become Christians, they should obey the nation’s laws, assimilate by accepting the culture and adopt the morality of the people. The United States is not a Christian country (no one has ever attempted to force the Christian faith on anyone who comes to America), but it is founded on Christian principles, ethics, morality, and law; its survival depends on them. And the very existence of divine love depends on such assimilation. Without assimilation, the United States will continue to decline into deep divisiveness, ununitable factions, deeper moral indifference and decline, unrestrainable lawlessness and government tyranny. The only virtue that is capable of overcoming all evil is divine love. Human beings endlessly repeat the evils of history because we are callously and hardheartedly arrogant in our efforts to create a godless human utopia. However, a “godless utopia” is unobtainable because it is nonsensical and irrational. In fact, a godless dystopia is achieved and, therefore, it is devoid of any love and its common virtues, such as joy, kindness, patience, gentleness, and peace (Galatians 5:13-26).

Neighbors Specific and General: “I want to love everyone!”

Romans 13:9 For this, “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”

When the Apostle Paul quoted these ancient and famous words, he was speaking from the perspective of a Christian member of the Church of God, which is not a nation-state, but an international body of believers. Specifically, he was speaking to Christians who lived in Rome, the culture of which was not remotely Christian. The neighbors are fellow Christians and, all others in general. Some people are not in the least interested in you being neighborly nor are they interested in being neighborly to you. We’ll talk about these folks briefly in the next section. It is true that neighbors are anyone who comes into a believer’s presence. However, not everyone, whose path you cross, wants to be your neighbor. A Christian’s first inclination and responsibility is to love a neighbor (everyone) in the way that the Christian wants to be loved or loves him/herself. Specifically, my neighbors are fellow Christians, my parents, my spouse, my children, my grandchildren, my siblings, other relatives and any other person who allows me to love them in the manner that God demands of me (we’ll discuss these demands in the next section). I deeply desire to love everybody, but everybody doesn’t want what my love offers or wants me as a neighbor.

How Do You Love Your Neighbor?

Each of the verses we have examined, and the following ones as well, tell believers precisely and plainly how God expects them to love each and every person with whom they come into contact.

Galatians 5:14 For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”

Matthew 19:19 HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER; and YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”

Matthew 22:39 “The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’”

Mark 12:31 “The second is this, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Mark 12:33 “AND TO LOVE HIM WITH ALL THE HEART AND WITH ALL THE UNDERSTANDING AND WITH ALL THE STRENGTH, AND TO LOVE ONE’S NEIGHBOR AS HIMSELF, is much more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

Luke 10:27 And he answered, “YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND; AND YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”

The focus of these verses is taken from the “First Love” chapter in the Bible, Exodus 20. Verse 20 provides the reason why the Ten Commandments are required behaviors for those who follow Him. Moses tells the people not to be afraid of the lightning strikes or the loud thundering that is splitting through the air and smoke. But fear the Lord of these exhibitions of sight and sound. The Ten Commandments are a perpetual test, a challenge that will provoke a sustainable fear (serious respect) and curb the people’s natural inclination to sin or disobey the Lord. The salvation of Old Testament believers depended on their obedience to the law. When they failed to obey any of these laws, blood sacrifices had to be offered on the altar to atone or cover the violation, i.e., the sin. Only in this manner will the forgiveness of God be granted in the place of His judgment.[1]

A believer MUST love him or herself BEFORE love can be extended to one’s neighbor. However, to do this, he must first learn how to love God. The statement “love yourself first” is misleading!  Love of oneself is achieved firstly by knowing, understanding and obeying the Lord of love as stated in first four commandments.

One must 1) commit to a steadfast faith in the one and only God of creation—you shall have no other gods before me.

One must 2) realize that there is no one or thing more significant and treasured than God—you shall not make for yourself an idol or any likeness of what is in heaven or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.

One must 3), with all seriousness, honor and protect the reputation of the Source of Love and Truth in the world—you shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes his name in vain.

And one must 4) intentionally set aside time away from daily responsibilities in order to give thanks to the Author of Salvation, learn about the Ultimate Ruler, adore the God of Love, mercy, grace, and eternal hope, and worship the Universal Designer and Ruler, the King of kings, the Light of the World, the Great Teacher and the Conqueror of Sin—remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

The believer who earnestly responds to these admonitions is then able to love himself and then extend that love to others. A thorough understanding of God unmasks the depths of love and goodness that God longs to dispense upon those who are His own. This knowledge lays the foundation upon which the believer can become the person he or she is intended or created to be—not a selfish and broken being, but a person loved by God who can become like the Lord and able to love oneself and others. The one way that I can love myself and others is to love God, which is achieved by gradually and surely getting to know and understand His person and His plans, His character and His course. The point is this: no one can genuinely love without first loving God. Love comes from God to me and then to others. God-Me-Others! A world without God is a world without love. The further a person or group removes itself from God’s divine touch, the less love will influence, govern and protect their lives and livelihood. Without God, there is no true love, only the endless search and subjective feelings of affection.

So how does a person learn or come to love his neighbor in the most favorable manner? Understanding how to love one’s neighbor is simple; however, loving one’s neighbor in practice depends upon how much the person is committed to the first four commandments, meaning, the believer must know, love and worship the Lord. This love for the Lord will produce an energy or commitment to love others as well. If I love God, I want to honor Him and reflect His love to my neighbors. So, how do I love them? I unreservedly obey Commandments 5-10.

The believer must 5) be a defender of the home and family. Without family, societies collapse and fall under the control of power seeking monarchs, despots and dictators and their “dystopian” dreams. The family is the divine institution within which godly sons and daughters are developed. The responsibility for rearing children lies first and foremost with a loving father and mother who are husband and wife, not the State and its public schools. If you want to see a nation die, leave the welfare and education of your children to government—Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you.

The believer must 6) view the life of each human being as sacred and worthy of protection. Since human beings do not create life, they have no right or authority to kill anyone without divine guidance, i.e., self-defense or government executions for pre-meditated murder—you shall not murder.

A spouse must 7) remain sexually faithful to his or her married partner. The effects of diminishing the institution of the family have resulted in sex being primarily for self-gratification between consenting persons (note that I did not say adults) regardless of gender,[2] and secondarily for procreation, but only when a child is wanted or not a threat to the “good times.” The reason for the prohibition of adultery is the protection of the family, which is the institution that most effectively transfers knowledge of God from one generation to the other. Destroy the family and the link that guarantees the “passing on” of knowledge of God is broken, and all manner of civil discord ensues. What then replaces the family? Government and its ever-growing and suffocating institutions, especially educational institutions—You shall not commit adultery.

People must 8) be thankful for what they have and work harder to obtain more, should this be their desire or the opportunity to do so is available. There is never an excuse for stealing in a civil society where the people, rather than a government, look out for one another. Where the love of God is lacking or non-existent, all manner of evil will overwhelm society. With the loss of contentment (learning how to live within your means) comes stealing and violence, which leads to injury and death—You shall not steal.

A healthy community must 9) develop trust between its citizens. If a person desires honesty from others, he or she must be honest. If a person desires the truth, he or she must be truthful. Successful societies develop trust when its citizens are honest and truthful in all their dealing. People can experience confidence, take calculated risks with more certainty, work seamlessly with one another on tough issues, raise an objection without the concern that their reputation will be destroyed, and parents can trust their children to their teachers when they know that their authority will not be undermined. Once lying and deception foul fertile ground, it spreads like a fungus killing all that is well and good. In this fouled soil, selfish personal lusts uproot selfless love, personal gain grows without integrity and power chokes out service. God knows what is decent and what is detrimental to society—You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

Citizens of a virtuous society must 10) respect each other without regard for another’s wealth or possessions. Societies that are defined by wealth or class breed envy and all manner of strife. God gives to whom He will for purposes that He determines good. Because wealth can be addictive, it should not be pursued for its own sake. Rather the objective of a good people is first and foremost God, i.e., His characteristics, such as righteousness godliness, faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.

There are also special responsibilities that the Lord places on the wealthy (1 Timothy 6:6-19; please study this passage when you have completed this talk!). For this reason, coveting the material wealth of others (someone else’s blessings) is forbidden. AS stated above, jealousy of another’s possessions gradually leads to class envy, violence, poverty, and death. The earth is cruelly scarred by these vices. Rather than worrying about the wealth of others, individuals should focus on how they can best serve God and others in their present station while working to achieve more, should God so will. Coveting is the wanting from others what you have not earned and do not have. It is a waste of time and energy that could be better spent serving God and others with what you do have, such as your love for the things of God, your integrity, your energy, your strength, your intellect, your compassion, your insight, your family (please notice again the focus of the centerpiece of human development, i..e., the family) and so much more with which God has blessed you—You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

Life Apart from God versus Life with God

I do not love myself in the slightest, apart from God. My fallen nature, i.e., my sinful state is not something for which I have any gratification. I am not loving and, at times, not easy to love. My desire to think even once about the concerns of another person, including my family, is either self-serving or non-existent when I am apart from God. If I were to think otherwise, I would be at best narcissistic (arrogantly selfish). If I were to avoid narcissism, I would be at worst self- loathing (pathetically selfish). The former would move me to work toward achieving prestige and/or power while the latter would most likely move me to poverty and/or dependence. Life apart from God creates an individual who is subject to the whims of human philosophy, which focuses primarily on the immediate and temporal issues of life (eating, breathing, wealth, power), and makes people more self-focused or self-centered; it also ignores the soul—live now and as long as you can until the grim reaper catches up with you, for he surely will.

On the other hand, life with God regenerates the soul, which makes temporal life meaningful and eternal life a joyful expectation. Life with God gives the person a reason to get up in the morning, produce during the day, lovingly interact with people and realize lasting satisfaction. The Lord asks us to commit to and worship Him alone, be committed to the family unit, to be faithful for your spouse, to be thankful for what you work to obtain and respectful of what others obtain, to be truthful and honest in all your dealings, and to be thankful for what you have earned without begrudging others for what they have earned or possess.

Two commandments, 1) Love God and 2) love your neighbor the same way God loves you, if obeyed, allow individuals and societies to know genuine love personally and to share that love with others. I love God because He first loved me. I can love you, my neighbor, because I love God. You can love God because He first loved you; you can love me, your neighbor because you love God. If we are faithfully or daily following the ten commandments, our Father will say to us, “You are doing well, my faithful children.” There is nothing better than knowing that your Father in heaven is proud of you. When you love your neighbors, as outlined above, you are serving the Lord faithfully and bringing a genuine smile to His face. The more a person studies and acquires a deeper understanding of the whole of Scripture, the Ten Commandments become more well-defined and the student’s love of God, self, and others deepens into a truly satisfying life.

James 2:8 If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF,” you are doing well.

Final Thoughts: Nasty Neighbors

All Neighbors Need Mercy

Not everyone wants to be your neighbor; in fact, some are downright nasty. Jude instructs the believer to approach all of our neighbors with mercy. The first group of neighbors are receptive but doubt the veracity of Christ’s claims. The second group of neighbors are receptive and accept Christ’s claims and the third group is just downright nasty. This group is to be approached with mercy (even the worst of the worse need to hear the truth of Christ); however, one should be extremely cautious because their dislike or disdain for the Lord is without limits. 22 And have mercy on some, who are doubting; 23 save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh. There are times when wisdom demands the believer remove himself or herself from difficult or dangerous encounters. It’s never good to assume that the Holy Spirit will bless you with protection from an irate child of the world. Never swing at a snake when it is just as easy to calmly move away, which, oddly enough, is a loving thing to do.

Matthew 10:14: “14 Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet.

Good advice—some neighbors don’t want your advice or help. Don’t feel guilty when your will to share is not appreciated by someone who does not possess the will to listen.

Some Neighbors Need Correction

There are times when believers must confront neighbors who misrepresent the message of Christ in word or in their behavior. These neighbors can be fellow believers or they can be from groups that claim to be Christian. The Gospel message cannot be compromised in any way whatsoever. The death, burial, and resurrection of Christ is the solution to all of humankind’s troubles. Altering it even slightly condemns the lost to be lost forever. To truly be neighborly, a believer must abide by the Ten Commandments, which are uncompromisingly fixated on keeping the truth of God true. To love one’s neighbor, the believer must love God first, in other words, compromising the truth of God compromises the fate of your neighbors. Jesus expresses contempt for any message or activity that compromises the truth about His Father and the pathway to salvation.

John 2:13-16: 13 The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 And He found in the temple those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. 15 And He made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables; 16 and to those who were selling the doves He said, “Take these things away; stop making My Father’s house a place of business.”

As the following verses make clear, there will be times of confrontation between believers and those who corrupt the truth about God. This includes some anger toward the offenders of biblical doctrine. The Jewish leaders during Jesus’ lifetime were haughty, self-centered and self-righteous. They looked down upon anyone who did not respect their personal and professional accomplishments—they were serving themselves rather than those they should have served. They distorted the truth and then forced their distortion on others, even upon Jesus. When this occurs, and it occurs in every generation, courage is required, not because God needs us to “save the day,” but because God has asked us to faithfully and steadfastly preserve it (1 Corinthians 15:58). Love for God and one’s neighbor demands that each believer defends the Word of God with the same determination as did our Savior. He is the Vine and his children are the branches that bear the fruit of His desire. “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love” (John 15:10). To do otherwise is to pervert and misrepresent the love of God. You cannot love God, His Son, yourself or your neighbor when you have distorted the Word of God, i.e., His commandments of the Lord. In other words, when the branch separates itself from the Vine, it dies and the truth dies along with that branch. Obedience preserves the truth, and it must be protected, even with single-minded anger, when necessary. “Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth, each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. “Be angry and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity” (Ephesians 4:25-27). Read Jesus’ word to the leaders of His day. Maybe if believers do a better job confronting error before it becomes damaging to the faith, this type of confrontation would not be necessary. Nonetheless, this means of addressing those who distort the truth is within the parameters of our faith and love for God, oneself and others. Not everyone will love you, but you will be doing what is right and necessary. Keep in mind that the Lord says that believers do well when they defend the Ten Commandments (James 2:8).

Matthew 23:13-6, 23-33: 13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. 

14 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense, you make long prayers; therefore, you will receive greater condemnation.

15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.

16 Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, that is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple is obligated.’

23 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. 24 You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!

25 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. 26 You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also.

27 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

29 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, 30 and say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31 So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers. 33 You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?

Some Neighbors Distort the Message of Christ

There are times when believers must confront neighbors who misrepresent the message of Christ in word or in deed. These neighbors can be fellow believers or they can be from groups that claim to be Christian. The Gospel message cannot be compromised in any way whatsoever. The death, burial, and resurrection of Christ is the solution to all of humankind’s troubles. Altering it even slightly condemns the lost to be lost forever. To be truly neighborly, a believer must abide by the Ten Commandments, which are uncompromisingly fixated on keeping the truth of God pure. To love one’s neighbor, the believer must love God first, in other words, compromising the truth of God compromises the fate of your neighbors. Jesus expresses contempt for any message or activity that compromises the truth about His Father and the pathway to salvation.

John 2:13-16: 13 The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 And He found in the temple those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. 15 And He made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables; 16 and to those who were selling the doves He said, “Take these things away; stop making My Father’s house a place of business.”

Most Neighbors Reject Mercy

Finally, the Lord has not commanded His children to do what is necessary to be liked. Brothers and sisters, Jesus was and is rejected and hated by more neighbors than there are those who accept and love Him and His children.  If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you” (John 15:18-19). While I cherish my American citizenship, I cherish my heavenly citizenship more. As America slides further away from its divine origin and Constitution, it will become less moral and more hostile toward those who are intertwined with the Vine of Life. Truth is a sickening malignancy to those who understand freedom to be an opportunity for license and love to be self-gratification (Galatians 5:13-15). Some souls simply “love” the practice of darkness (John 3:19-29). And those truly good neighbors, who without malice make these souls feel sick and unwanted, become the targets of the surgeon’s knife. For this reason, we pray for God’s wisdom and place our lives and our fortunes into the hands of our great and awesome Father, Savior, Counselor and Lord, Who, in His time, will create an endless dwelling where all neighbors will love God, themselves and one another. Even so come, Lord Jesus!

[1] The sacrificial system, practiced by Old Testament believers, foreshadows the manner in which Christians, through belief in the sacrificial death and burial of Christ, would later receive eternal salvation. His resurrection guaranteed that the faith of both Old and New Testament believers would be eternal.

[2] The gender issue is not about and never has been about equality between men and women. Gender is about the emasculation of the human race—masculinity is considered evil, bullying, and combative. Just recently (5/2/2018), the Boy Scouts of America no longer exist. Scouts BSA is nothing more than feminist breeding ground. Feminism is about exchanging the responsibilities of marriage and motherhood for feminine power—Who has time for kids? This arrogant coup against the family is intentionally directed against and destructive of men and boys. Feminism is an “all out” assault on divine will and humanity; it will not end well. Sexuality without limits in the hands of feminists will produce all matter of moral decay, which lead to violence and self-righteous dictatorships.

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I am a published author, co-author and editor of 13 books, written numerous articles, taught online at Liberty University and Grace College (Indiana), and appeared on numerous radio and TV programs. I am a theologian, bioethicist and retired veteran.

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