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Author Topic: Love Your Enemies?  (Read 4778 times)

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hillsbororiver

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Love Your Enemies?
« on: May 17, 2009, 12:58:35 PM »

The following is from LOF Part 5;



There really is simplicity in the Scriptures. But who believes them? We SAY, we TALK, we AFFIRM, we SWEAR, we PRETEND, but do we really believe the Scriptures? "GOD IS LOVE" (I John 4:8). How many believe it? Do YOU believe it? Not if you also believe that God will torture the majority of mankind unmercifully in real fire for all eternity, you donít. The two thoughts are incompatible and incongruous. One cannot hate oneís enemies while claiming to love them. One cannot torture someone while at the same time insisting that this is showing love. One cannot lie to his children while claiming to be truthful. Little children understand these concepts; why canít adults?

Heb. 12:6-8, "For whom the Lord LOVES He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives. If ye endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for which son is he whom the father chastens not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye ********, and not sons."

There isnít a theologian alive who can explain this Scripture if he also believes that God will torture most of humanity in a literal lake of fire for all eternity. God chastens EVERY son, but He does not torture him in literal fire for all eternity. If we endure chastening, then we know that God is dealing with us as SONS! But. . . .BUT, if any are "without chastisement" then they are "********, and NOT sons." Now then, does God LOVE all His sons whom He scourges and chastises? Yes, of course He does, He says He does. But hereís the sixty-four thousands dollar question: "Does He also LOVE the ********, or does He HATE the ******** and enemies of the cross?" Donít be too hasty to answer, as your answer has huge and eternal consequences. Well, some may say, "Love," while others may say, "Hate." Okay, letís look at both:

If God "Loves" the ********, then He will eventually HAVE TO CHASTEN THEM, becauseÖ.He chastens "EVERY son whom He loves." And God then "receives" all that He chastens. No exceptions here. So God canít burn any whom He "Loves" in a literal lake of fire for all eternity.
 
But if God "Hates" the ******** who are enemies of the crossÖwait a minuteÖGod canít "HATE His enemies!" Jesus Christ said we are to, "Be ye therefore perfect EVEN AS your Father which is in Heaven is perfect." A great part of becoming perfect is to LOVE ONEíS ENEMIES! Jesus said we are to, "LOVE YOU ENEMIES, BLESS them that curse you, DO GOOD to them that hate youÖ." No exceptions here regarding any enemies that we are allowed to hate. This is HOW ones becomes perfect like the Father. "LOVE YOUR ENEMIES!" (Matt. 5:48 & 45)! And so God canít burn any of these enemies in a lake of fire for all eternity, either, and still be Our PERFECT Father Who LOVES HIS ENEMIES, just as we are to LOVE OUR ENEMIES!
******** are born ******** and did not create themselves or choose to be ********Ö"!!!

By the way, just what does God do with those who are "enemies of the cross" (Phil. 3:18)?

"For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the ENEMIES of the cross of Christ: Whose end is DESTRUCTIONÖ"

Need I remind you of the Scriptures we covered in the last installment on who Christ came to SAVE: those who are "lost, perished, and destroyed?"

So by Godís Own Words He prevents Himself from hating or torturing enemies for all eternity in a literal lake of fire. You see, GOD REALLY DOES LOVE HIS ENEMIES! But many of us do not, and so we make God into a carnal-minded image of ourselves, which is IDOLATRY! God has never said in His Word that He will torture anyone in literal fire for all eternityócarnal-minded theologians have come up with such utter rank blasphemy! Let me get frank for a moment (as if I am not normally frank). Not many people "LOVE their enemies." No, they donít. Donít even try to tell me that they do. A few do. Not many. I myself struggle with the command at times.

DO YOU LOVE YOUR ENEMIES?

How many prayed for the seven POWís held captive in Iraq? I myself prayed earnestly for them. I hate the thought of being tortured, and I had no idea how badly our POWís were being treated. Millions upon millions prayed for them. But how many prayed for not only Jessica, but for her enemy captors who "cursed her, and hated her, and despitefully used her, and persecuted her?" How many? Thatís what I thought. How many would like to see her captors BURN IN HELL? (That is, were there such a place). I rest my case. We do NOT believe the Scriptures. We pretend! We boast! We LIE! By the way,

"Öand ALL LIARS [do you see any exceptions in that statement, ĎALL liars?"] shall have their part in the lake which BURNS WITH FIRE AND BRIMSTONE: which is the second death" (Rev. 21:8)!

How many still desire that this lake should be a LITERAL FIRE that tortures the flesh for all eternity? So maybe you think youíre not "a murderer, or whoremonger, or sorcerer;" maybe you are just an occasional "liar who hates his enemies?" Think about it.

So you are one of those who "Believes the Scriptures," are you? And you believe that billions upon billions of human beings "Öshall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death?" And do you believe that they will be tortured there for ALL ETERNITY? Do you? Do you really? Is this what you think the "lake of fire/second death" is? An eternal torture chamber? Well, then you must also concede that if you or anyone you know is "fearful" (same verse) ("fearful" in the Greek here is "timid"), or a "liar," then you and everyone you know who is either "timid" or a "liar" is going to burn and burn and burn in literal fire in this lake of fire for ALL ETERNITY. Are you ever "timid?" Do you ever tell a "lie?" Are you ready to go to Hell and be burned in real fire for all eternity? Why does God lump such relatively minor character flaws such as "timidity (fearful)" with "murderers" and "sorcerers?" Have you ever had the reason for that explained to you? Ask your pastor, I am sure he will be able to explain it to you. (On second thought scratch that last statement. I believe that statement is a "lie." I donít believe your pastor can explain it to you, and I donít want to burn in Hell for all eternity for being a "liar").

I can see it all now: Satan is standing at the Rusty Gates of Hell welcoming all newcomers:

SATAN: "And why are you here, young man?"

YOUNG MAN: "In my life I was ABOMINABLE, committed MURDERS, practiced SORCERY, and was an IDOLATER!"

SATAN: "Throw this young man into the burning lake of fire for all eternity!"

SATAN: "And why are you here, young lady?"

YOUNG LADY: "I have never done anything abominable or committed murder or practiced sorcery, nor was I an idolater. But when I heard all those Hell-fire and brimstone sermons on television by all those worldly millionaire preachers of doom, I became a little "fearful" as I am timid by nature."

SATAN: "Throw this evil sinner into the burning lake of fire for all eternity!"

SATAN: "Demon Scribe, how many fearful and timid young ladies have we thrown into the lake of fire thus far?

DEMON SCRIBE: "Your Unholy Corruptness: that last one makes four billion, six hundred and eighty-nine million, five hundred and seventy-eight thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine!"

SATAN: "Very good! NextÖ.."

http://bible-truths.com/lake5.html

Peace,

Joe

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Akira329

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Re: Love Your Enemies?
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2009, 03:22:08 PM »

Hey Joe!
I believe we don't contemplate on this subject enough!
excerpt from Love Biblestudy February 2007

LOVE is what God is.

It is a love that has the welfare of all others at heart, regardless of how evil they are or how badly they may treat us.  It is the kind of love that the good Samaritan showed for the man who was wounded by the side of the road, when he was befalled by robbers.  They beat the living daylights out of him.  You know the Levite came by, the Priest came by and they said, 'thatís to bad, look at that, heís bleeding to death' and went on their way.

Then a Samaritan came by.  He used a Samaritan because they despised the Samaritans.  The Samaritans were of the northern tribe of Israelites.  So the good Samaritan came by and he tended to him.  He bound up his wounds; carried him to the village; put him under the hospices of somebody there.  He had someone take care of him, nurse him back to health and here is money and 'Iíll be back in a week or two and Iíll stop by to see if you need more money and Iíll give you more money.'

Now that is agapao love.  Thatís not phileo love, thatís not brotherly love, thatís agapao love.
 
Did he expect to get anything back from that person?  No.
Did he know him?  No.
Did he like him?  No.
Did the man even thank him?  It doesnít say.

Does anybody think, they became good friends later in life?  I donít think so, I really donít think so.  This man was just passing through.  Maybe he was on business, just passing through, I donít think they became friends.  He helped just for the shear reason, that this is a fellow human being and needed help.  He provided not only help, but a lot of help, good quality help, and thatís agapao, thatís not phileo.


A good paper on love!!
http://forums.bible-truths.com/index.php/topic,3719.0.html

Antaiwan
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"Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile"
-Albert Einstein
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
- Jesus

hillsbororiver

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Re: Love Your Enemies?
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2009, 04:02:43 PM »

Hi Antaiwan,

You are absolutely right! Oftentimes we contemplate His mercy and love for us and tend to look past what is required for us to do in regard to how we treat or even feel about others.

Thank you for the excellent addition as well as your comments!

In Genesis chapters 41 through 46 we get an example/type/shadow of how judgment and correction are accomplished when administered with mercy and love, the desired result was obtained without torture or even punishment, it was within the minds of Joseph's brothers (guilty consciences) where the torment existed.

Peace,

Joe

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Deborah-Leigh

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Re: Love Your Enemies?
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2009, 05:35:16 PM »

Many times Jesus called the fraudulent religious leaders of the Church, "hypocrites." Here is the definition of a hypocrite:

"One who puts on a false appearance, to hide his real motives, one who feigns, a play actor, a fake, a fraud, a phony."

Jesus loathed the hypocrisy of these religious leaders and saw right through these play-acting fakes and frauds, just like looking through a windowpane.


http://bible-truths.com/fools.htm

As Christ loathed the hypocrisy of religious leaders, we who share in the Mind of Christ should also feel uneasy in our midsections when we hear the deceptions of false teaching.

 Ray states from http://bible-truths.com/kiss.htm

Had the twelve other Apostles already received the Holy Spirit of God, they would not have had to ask Jesus "who" is was that was about to betray Himóthey would have known. Thank God that it is not possible to "deceive the very elect" (Matt. 24:24).

This discernment is not something any one of us can on our own, learn or achieve/ teach or pass on without the Spirit of Christ. Understanding comes from the Spirit of Christ and by no other way or means. 

Arc
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hillsbororiver

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Re: Love Your Enemies?
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2009, 06:13:42 PM »

Hi Deborah,

The points you raise are certainly valid but I am not clear as to how this fits within the topic of loving our enemies or the administration of judgment and correction with mercy.

Peace,

Joe
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cjwood

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Re: Love Your Enemies?
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2009, 06:26:59 PM »

joe and antaiwan,
thanks so much for bringing up the old papers by ray on God is Love. sometimes the simplest Scriptures say the most it seems. God IS love and for that simple reason alone it should be easy to understand that He cannot torture anyone in a literal hell just for the sake of "getting back at them". but He will show them His pure love after they have gone through the Spiritual fire in the lake of fire. your posts reminded me of the mother's day card i received from my daughter:

"we have been created for greater things. not just to be a number in the world, not just to go for diplomas and degrees, this work and that work. we have been created in order to LOVE and to be loved."  mother teresa

although i know that we who are called and chosen have been created to be becoming in His image, but the gist of mother teresa's quote is LOVE.

Love = God = Love

claudia
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Arion

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Re: Love Your Enemies?
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2009, 06:33:30 PM »

Quote
Heb. 12:6-8, "For whom the Lord LOVES He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives. If ye endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for which son is he whom the father chastens not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye ********, and not sons."

Going to have to take the 'B' word out of the language filters here.  I remember one of Ray's teachings (I think it was does God save all?) where he said that a lot of scriptures prove that he will save all even if they don't directly say it.  This is one of those here.  The word for all is 'pas' which we've all seen before.  In part (Including all the forms of declension; apparently a primary word; all, any, every, the whole: -)  All are going to be son's (eventually) and all are going to receive chastisement.  Seems pretty inclusive to me.

As far as loving your enemies I'm seeing this more and more lately.  We were talking about this on a different forum that I'm on and the topic was about how many Christians are supporting the torturing of prisoners by the government under the guise of preventing future terror attacks.  It's amazing how many are totally willing to throw away the scriptures and see no problem with torturing our enemies.  Instead of What Would Jesus Do perhaps we should consider Who Would Jesus Torture.

There was a time also that I'm ashamed to say that I saw no problem in supporting whatever the government and the military would do because after all we're Americans here and God is on our side.  How rank and how deceived!!  If I really love somehow how can I then support torture?  This is sort of off topic perhaps but it all go's back the the orthodox teaching on hell.  One of the posters on the other forum mentioned that torture is supported because after all God is going to torture the infedels in hell for eternity.  I can't believe that I believed these lies at one time.

Torture and loving your enemies are as far apart as the east is from the west.  But it's amazing how blind you are until God opens your eyes to it.
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Robin

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Re: Love Your Enemies?
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2009, 07:27:31 PM »

Romans 12

14Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

 17Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay,"says the Lord. 20On the contrary:
   "If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
      if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
   In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head."21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.



I sat through a whole sermon once before leaving the church that used the scripture above to say the reason we pray for our enemies is to heap burning coals on their heads in hell. I'm sure there are many that believe that. We've all seen the emails that rejoice in the thought of Ray going to hell and end the email with "I'll pray for you".

Romans 3
9What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. 10As it is written:
   "There is no one righteous, not even one;
    11there is no one who understands,
      no one who seeks God.
 12All have turned away,
      they have together become worthless;
   there is no one who does good,
      not even one."
 13"Their throats are open graves;
      their tongues practice deceit."
   "The poison of vipers is on their lips."
    14"Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness."
 15"Their feet are swift to shed blood;
    16ruin and misery mark their ways,
 17and the way of peace they do not know."
    18"There is no fear of God before their eyes."
 19Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.

Romans 5:
10For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.


Jesus prayed for his enemies.

Luke 23:
34But Jesus was saying, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing " And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.


Romans 5:
 7For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.
 8But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.



The belief in Free Will is one of the greatest evils. They believe they choose God and save themselves by accepting the free gift of salvation. Others do not choose God and do not accept the gift of salvation and send themselves to hell. Poor God just helplessly sits around hoping to be chosen.

John 15:16
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruitófruit that will last.


Philippians 2:9-11

 9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
      and gave him the name that is above every name,
 10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
      in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
 11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
      to the glory of God the Father.



God really does love his enemies.

Isaiah 26:
 9 My soul yearns for you in the night;
       in the morning my spirit longs for you.
       When your judgments come upon the earth,
       the people of the world learn righteousness.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2009, 07:28:58 PM by M.G. »
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bunnylife

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Re: Love Your Enemies?
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2009, 07:41:45 PM »

If someone murdered your brother, they would not be considered your friend but your enemy.
Do you love them? Do you forgive them? Unforgiveness is a sin. If justice was not done as murderers get a life sentence. Do you get angry? or know the vengeance is the Lord's and God is in control.

So they get a 20 year sentence with a chance at parole. Kind of hard to think they could get out. Say your brother was 30 when he died. They are 42 and still living. How do you feel towards them? Still walking in forgiveness or getting bitter?

Less than two years from now, I will go before court system (if I am still alive) and asked for this person not to be released. However, if he is then I know this is what God wants and has a purpose. I have forgiven this man. I do pray for him. He is not my friend as I don't know him but do I love him? Yes. Matt. 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

I am not doing this in my own strength but only by God's grace and His life in me  ... the nature of Love. I say this because this is the topic of loving your enemies and for Daddy God to receive all the glory.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2009, 07:44:13 PM by bunnylife »
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mharrell08

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Re: Love Your Enemies?
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2009, 08:10:22 PM »

Great thread Joe :)


Matt 23:23  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, MERCY, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

Rom 11:30-31  For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.

Prov 14:21  He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.

Prov 3:3  Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:

Ps 136:1-26  ...for His mercy endureth for ever...for His mercy endureth for ever...for His mercy endureth for ever...
[end of every verse]



Marques

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Marlene

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Re: Love Your Enemies?
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2009, 09:46:58 PM »

My Home is not new to pain. My Mother, had a brother who was murdered. They never found the person or persons. My sister was raped. She had a child by this man, she raised this child. There are many other trials in life we go through. Being, hurt by your own family member is what God speaks of.
as very hard to forgive.

Two days, before going down to my Brothers ,God had me reading Ray's papers on Love. Well, I never even tried to show my Brother he was wrong. I took it all. Now, had I been like I was before God touched my heart. I would not have acted that way. But, I have to say how it helps us when our conscience is not tromented . I mean if I had fought with him I would  have been no better. But, now that I am no longer blind. I am able to obey God because he lives in me. So, I came back with a good conscience. This enables me to forgive and move on. I just will pray for all my enemies. This is what we are here for to learn to be like Christ. I am humble because , this was all God doing this in me. Its really hard to forgive those who are from your own house hold.
Bunny Life isnt it wonderful when we see the Spirit living inside us. This has truely been a week that I have been tested.

Happy for those who brought those papers up. What, a blessing to see when we are hurt, God is right with us.

In His Love,
Marlene
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Akira329

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Re: Love Your Enemies?
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2009, 11:12:24 PM »

Hey Joe this is a great topic indeed!
Thanks for reminding me of Joseph!

Gen 45:1  Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me. And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren.
Gen 45:2  And he wept aloud: and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard.
Gen 45:3  And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph; doth my father yet live? And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence.
Gen 45:4  And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt.
Gen 45:5  Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.


Because of the mercy Joseph showed unto his brothers a great nation was born out of Egypt

Gen 46:3  And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation:

Pro 16:6  By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.
Pro 16:7  When a man's ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.


Antaiwan
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"Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile"
-Albert Einstein
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
- Jesus

bunnylife

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Re: Love Your Enemies?
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2009, 03:28:37 AM »

My Home is not new to pain. My Mother, had a brother who was murdered. They never found the person or persons. My sister was raped. She had a child by this man, she raised this child. There are many other trials in life we go through. Being, hurt by your own family member is what God speaks of.
as very hard to forgive.

Two days, before going down to my Brothers ,God had me reading Ray's papers on Love. Well, I never even tried to show my Brother he was wrong. I took it all. Now, had I been like I was before God touched my heart. I would not have acted that way. But, I have to say how it helps us when our conscience is not tromented . I mean if I had fought with him I would  have been no better. But, now that I am no longer blind. I am able to obey God because he lives in me. So, I came back with a good conscience. This enables me to forgive and move on. I just will pray for all my enemies. This is what we are here for to learn to be like Christ. I am humble because , this was all God doing this in me. Its really hard to forgive those who are from your own house hold.
Bunny Life isnt it wonderful when we see the Spirit living inside us. This has truely been a week that I have been tested.

Happy for those who brought those papers up. What, a blessing to see when we are hurt, God is right with us.

In His Love,
Marlene

Marlene, I can't imagine how your Mom felt. I know that I prayed they would find who kill my brother. I could except it if they didn't but I know my Mom couldn't. He was they youngest of five. Five people were indicted a week later.  You have been through so much and have grown. Yes it is even harder when it is family.

Yes it is so wonderful to know and see the Spirit living inside us and to know that God's grace is sufficient for whatever the trial or testing. We know that we have gone through hard trial by His grace and grown. We know there be many more trials but God is right there with us the whole way.

We have examples in the OT of being treated unjustly and those in the NT. And we have examples of each other ongoing the fire. By His grace with us in Christ and Christ in us.. we can forgive and love as Christ did. Praise be to God!

In His Joy,
Bunni
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Marlene

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Re: Love Your Enemies?
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2009, 08:44:53 AM »

Marques, I am going to mark those verses in my Bible. It never ceases to amaze me how I never got the message of those verses until God led me to Ray's website. It certainly is an act of God. Now, I see it is only God who can do it. All Glory be to God! While, lost in Babylon we think it is us doing it. Just, like most of the world think. When, Christ returns all will see and hear and all greed, and war and other things will disappear. I am looking forward to this day.

Just, want to let each and everyone of you, how much you mean to me.

In His Love,
Marlene
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hillsbororiver

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Re: Love Your Enemies?
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2009, 09:08:18 AM »

Hello and thank you Antaiwan, Deborah, Claudia, MG, Bunnylife, Marques & Marlene for all of your edifying responses!

Last night I attempted to respond with comments and additional scriptural witnesses but I was having problems loading the BT site, I am not sure what the issue was but I had to save it for later use. I wanted to say now that most of the time when I start a topic it is usually inspired by something I am directly dealing with in this journey or it is a subject that is constantly on my mind.

This particular topic was actually a few months in the making, since last December I have had many old friends from way, way back as well as some family members (from New York & Michigan) seek me out, some of them I had not had any real contact with for decades others maybe 10 years or so. It was an amazing thing as it came steadily, a new reintroduction every week or two right up until March! The one thing in common they shared was some personal tragedy, some things were self inflicted (or so one might think) and others were just those bad things we see happen to "good" people.

For whatever reason, perhaps because I am far removed from their day to day lives living here in Florida or that in my younger days I appeared to be someone who would die at an early age or do a long stint in prison they felt comfortable sharing their troubles. Now I know there are no coincidences, that somehow everything that happens in some way fits into God's ultimate plan and purpose but I was really clueless for quite some time. I did not get deep into "witnessing for the Lord" but I did share the really "Good News" as I could without being overbearing, there was a strong feeling within me that I was drawn into this not so much to speak, but to listen.

This was not all about me showing anyone the Light but more so for me to observe and grow in empathy, sympathy, compassion, etc. It actually took me quite some time for the scales to fall off in regard to this point, I really kept wondering, "what is this all about?" It was freaky in a sense because it seemed to be coordinated but none of the people had any contact with each other prior to getting in touch with or visiting me, but the flow of folks was consistant and steady without overlapping.

Eventually it has become clear that the Lord was working on me (as He used me for a sounding board) to develop and evaluate my real brotherly love for others, it was relatively easy to have compassion for old friends and family members but I started thinking what if these weren't "loved ones?" What if they were only folks I knew superficially or in passing, would I have had the time to sit and listen? Show any interest? Attempt to empathize? Give some positive feedback? I saw how deficient I was and it was not pleasant, my selfishness and impatience became front and center of what I really needed to pray about and for His Spirit to strengthen me.

There is more for me to add here in regard to what I am experiencing and how it has affected other aspects of my walk with Him, but time doesn't allow for it right now.

Anyway, thank you all for your contributions here.

Peace,

Joe   
« Last Edit: May 19, 2009, 06:33:43 PM by hillsbororiver »
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Astrapho

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Re: Love Your Enemies?
« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2009, 12:23:32 PM »

Wow... All you seniors are posting all these awesome life stories, and what do I have? Online game experience, which sounds like a really silly way to learn to "love your enemies" compared to the ones you guys got from real life.

I play a game called GunZ. Down here, players are extremely arrogant and after they lose, they hurl a lot of abuse and it gets quite upsetting sometimes. There is a very real hate between rival players, even through the internet. I've been there. I felt the anger before, and I even loved it. I used it to power my gameplay, and I hammered down all my enemies and taunted them heavily after I did, "You @$&#*(&, don't talk if you can't play" or "You mother %^$&@*$& nooblet go home ##&%@$(&# $&#*&!)@($## etc. etc.". They threw the same stuff right back at me, and when one of us had to leave, it is with very bitter feelings that stays with you long throughout the week if you didn't manage to "settle the score".

It's pride.

You can't love your enemies with pride in the way, you can't even begin to forgive them if you can't lower your pride and stay humble. Even now, in my Halo 3 stints, I can feel all the anger when I lose to a player who was more of a green hat than I was, and it's still a real struggle not to turn the mic on and start yelling at them. And in school, I thought I was so great in Math and I got a little arrogant during the paper. I made lots of careless mistakes and heck near failed, and there was this guy who used to do terribly at Math, and he got tops. When I heard the news I was like... "Oh gosh no way, that stupid fella?" and I could feel the jealousy. I managed to recover from that thankfully through some prayer later on, but I can still remember the hate. It was all my pride. My pride made me make enemies out of innocent people, people who did better than me, who went against me, who made me lose my pride. (I just noticed that it's all, me, me, me! :D Joining dots with "the Beast", anyone?)

I guess that's one of the reasons why we absolutely need to have a humble heart. ;D
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Dave in Tenn

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Re: Love Your Enemies?
« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2009, 01:02:57 PM »

Joe, you're living the Scripture in your response to this.  Specks and beams, brother...specks and beams.  Even when you CAN help, empathize, listen with love, it's 'discipleship' to remember that we are not Him and that His work in us continues.

It's been a meaningful exchange in this thread to me at this time.  Thanks all.
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Heb 10:32  But you must continue to remember those earlier days, how after you were enlightened you endured a hard and painful struggle.

hillsbororiver

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Re: Love Your Enemies?
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2009, 07:01:18 PM »


Wow... All you seniors are posting all these awesome life stories, and what do I have? Online game experience, which sounds like a really silly way to learn to "love your enemies" compared to the ones you guys got from real life.


Hi Astropho,

I can say with confidence that at your age, even though I do not know your age I really never lost much sleep over devising ways to make someone "pay" for crossing me.... It is relatively recent (the past few years) that I even thought about loving or even forgiving my enemies, real or imagined. I sense that you might see age 55 as ancient (I did even in my 40's) but it sneaks up on you very quickly.  ;)

You are so far ahead of where I was since you are even thinking about these things!


Joe, you're living the Scripture in your response to this.  Specks and beams, brother...specks and beams.  Even when you CAN help, empathize, listen with love, it's 'discipleship' to remember that we are not Him and that His work in us continues.

It's been a meaningful exchange in this thread to me at this time.  Thanks all.


Hi Dave,

I see what you are saying, no matter what our (my) own weaknesses are we (I) can justify them as we (I) condemn others for their particular weaknesses.

We had no say in how we were created and can take no pride or glory in abstaining from things (temptations) we are not drawn to (but succumb to our own particular lusts/weaknesses) as we rail against others (inwardly or outwardly) who are only falling prey to the temptations they were created prone to desire.

In as far as the very worst (as we perceive) sinners, murderers, rapists, child molesters, etc. I can only thank God for delivering me from and not creating me prone to these types of temptations.

Like the old saying says;

"But by the grace of God, there go I."

A few more scriptures, there sure are many!


Mat 5:3  Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
 
Mat 5:5  Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
 
Mat 5:7  Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
 
Mat 5:9  Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
 
Luk 6:27  But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
 
Luk 6:28  Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
 
Mat 7:1  Judge not, that ye be not judged.
 
Mat 7:2  For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
 
Jas 2:13  For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath showed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.
 
I believe the NASV translation of James 2:13 is a more precise and clearer rendering;
 
"For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment."
 
Mercy triumphs over judgment! Boy does that shoot a huge hole in old eternal torment teaching!

Peace,

Joe

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Marlene

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Re: Love Your Enemies?
« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2009, 09:30:57 PM »

Having Gods truths makes all the difference. Without, those truths we would not be able to forgive our enemies. This is why once God returns to judge all the earth will be at peace. We have been very blessed to know the truth. Its not because of anything we do, but what God does . If, any of us are the chosen it  is all God's choice. Nothing is our own.

These are verses that, when I use to read them, I was not able to see them for what they meant because of my blind eyes.

Isaiah Chapter 26
verse 9 With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea with my spirit within me will I seek thee early; for when they judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the word will learn rightousness.
verse 10 Let favour be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the Lord.

These verses help me to remember he died for all of us. He will judge fairly and show mercy. How, can we not forgive those who do not know what they do?
We have been given truth and now this enables us to do right. Only, because God is doing it in us.

Great Post

In His Love,
Marlene
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Astrapho

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Re: Love Your Enemies?
« Reply #19 on: May 20, 2009, 06:06:42 AM »


Wow... All you seniors are posting all these awesome life stories, and what do I have? Online game experience, which sounds like a really silly way to learn to "love your enemies" compared to the ones you guys got from real life.


Hi Astropho,

I can say with confidence that at your age, even though I do not know your age I really never lost much sleep over devising ways to make someone "pay" for crossing me.... It is relatively recent (the past few years) that I even thought about loving or even forgiving my enemies, real or imagined. I sense that you might see age 55 as ancient (I did even in my 40's) but it sneaks up on you very quickly.  ;)



I happen to be at that teenage rebellion angst revenge violence bla bla age range, and before God dragged me to his truths, I really was an angsty rebellious average teen, treading on the road to destruction, though thank God, before I had a chance to go into any of that...

Yep, great saying: But by the grace of God, there go I.

Quote
55

AHH!! D: D:

Lemme put it this way...You're 40 years more ancient than me.  :o

@Marlene: Completely agreed.

Great posts guys! ;D
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