Hate and Death
Hate and Death
Matthew 5:21-24 (KJV)
“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without just cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift."
Anger is very dangerous to a Christian. Especially when you think of all the things that can make a person respond in anger. Being stuck in traffic during rush hour. Not getting what you think you deserve. Not being able to buy that one item you were saving up for. In today’s world there are many things that can make us go off.
There are times when anger is appropriate and when it is not. Being angry when you end up in a dangerous situation causes you to act in preservation. Either of yourself or someone else. Anger can give just what you need to make the situation less dangerous. But being angry at a person is not appropriate, no matter what. Verse 22 in the passage says, “But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without just cause shall be in danger of the judgment:…”
So now the question is there a cause to be angry with another person? No there is not. There is no just cause that allows a person to be angry with another. Even if the person causes a dangerous situation. Or the person allows something to happen that did not have to happen. There is no just cause whatsoever.
Jesus bears that out near the end of his life. He could have been angry at Judas for betraying him to the authorities. He could have been angry at Peter for betraying him three times in front of others who kept asking if he was one of the twelve. He could have been angry at the thief that derided him while hanging beside him on the cross. He could have been, but he was not. He still loved these men.
He showed the very love, he wants us all to show. He showed the love that he taught his followers to have. “But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.” (Luke 6:27-36 KJV) He told his followers to love those that hate them. As a Christian that is a lot of people, especially today.
Many times when we get angry, we say that we hate person? Is this alright? Of course not. 1 John 2:9,11 says this about hate. “He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.” This seems pretty clear cut. Those that profess to love God are really in darkness if they hate their fellow brother. It also says that they are blind.
Verse 10 says this, “He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in them”. Why? Because they are not blind. They can see.
The Bible gives other clear cut warnings about hate. 1 John 4:20 says, ‘If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” The answer is he can’t. And if he says he can…well this scripture calls him a liar.
The Bible also says that “We know we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” (1 John 3:14-15 KJV)
What about when Jesus kicked out all those people selling goods in the temple. He was angry with them wasn’t he. He may very well have been. But I believe that he was more angry at their actions, than at them.
Doesn’t the Bible say that we are to honor our parents? Yes, it does. Then why does Jesus say that we are to hate them? Luke 14:26, “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.”
I like to answer in this way. We all have parents. Most are married to each other or had been. Now before a man or woman or get married, they love their parents. At least most of us do. Now a person gets married because of love. Now does their love for their parents diminish or do they love their parents the same as before they got married. No the love stays the same for the parents. What is different is that they love someone more than their parents.
In this case hate means to love less. We are to love everything else less than our love for Christ. My love for my family does not change. But my love is supposed to be stronger towards God and Jesus Christ. I don’t love my family less, I just love Jesus more.
We can even hate sin. Hating sin is not a bad thing. God even hates sin and he expects all of his followers to be the same way. The problem here is when we equate the sin with the person. We make them one and the same. This is wrong. If it was right then what Jesus did on the cross is useless. It does not amount to anything. What he did was in vain.
He came here is love to reconcile us to himself. He didn’t come here in hate. Romans 5:8 says, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” He hated no one. He showed his love for his friends. Who are his friends? All those that love him.
We must, as Christians, begin to see people the way God does. We need to be able to separate the person from the sin. We can only do that by looking with eyes that God has given us. A different pair of eyes. Ones that are spiritual. And allow God to begin to work through us. We have to pass from death to life.
Can you begin to love others as Christ loved you? Or are you willing to stay a blind, lying murder? Allow Jesus to be able to change your heart and your mind. Accept the gift that he was and still is as a gift of life and peace. He is waiting to bring you into the land of the living.