“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2) The law of Christ is to love, love without expecting anything in return, to all no matter the circumstances. Welcome my friends to the most difficult thing in the world to do, to love without the need to be loved back. Love is an action, it requires an investment of movement on our part, whether it be one of physical characteristics or emotional context, love is impossible without action. It can be as simple as a well-intended smile or as difficult as the modifications of our feelings toward someone, but there is one item within it for the Christian that must be a constant, it must be done for the glory of God. It does little or no good to tell the one who has wronged you that you forgive him if you continue to carry a grudge in your heart, you may as well not have wasted your time.
There are those who are able to almost completely shut off their emotional state, at least for periods of time, leaving behind as it were any vestiges of what we call humanity, although to a degree we all experience this. Think on a loved one you have lost and the extreme pain and sorrow this brought into your life at that time, if it was recent the pain is still fresh, if the event occurred sometime ago, and you have grieved properly, those pains have diminished somewhat, leaving a scar that you will carry always. Now think on this fact, 150,000 people die every single day on this planet, can you grieve with that same sense of loss that you felt for those closest to you for all of these, of course not, but why not is the question. Bear with me for a few moments here please and think on how many of those 150,000 that died yesterday were saved by the grace of God and of those that were not. I don’t believe I need to ask you which of these you feel the most sorrow for, do I. Their one chance is over, they have stopped breathing and entered into a place where all hope is lost forever, eternal damnation is guaranteed. For “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement.” (Heb. 9:27)
We have been created by our Lord with emotions, and nearly every thought triggers an emotional response within us, alters our way of looking at the unfolding events within our own minds. When we think of bearing one another’s burdens we generally start with those that we love the most, those closest to us, from there it is our immediate family, then friends, those both inside and outside of the church walls, perhaps co-workers or occasional acquaintances would be next. Of course, we cannot forget our brothers and sisters in Christ in far flung places around the planet, and then last, but not least we would try to tell ourselves, would be the lost, those who have yet to accept Christ. But this verse along with Luke 6:27 doesn’t tell us to have a set order does it, it tells us to fulfill the law of Christ, to love.
Herein is where our emotions come into play, along with what we like to call common sense. Of course a mother is going to love her child more than the drunk driver who killed her husband, the wife whose new husband does not beat her every night like her first one did, how does someone love the one that took a gun into a school and killed children. This law of Christ does not say pick and choose, it presents no order of partiality for our love, it says love, He said love.
We don’t need the assistance of our adversary for this one, we know how to hate quite well on our own, even the smallest child knows how not to share. But it is this love we are to share, it is our emotions that we are to bring under subjection (1 Cor. 9:27), we have been given control over them, yet we fail miserably at doing so. Those who have committed great sins against us do not deserve our forgiveness, they do not deserve our love, they deserve judgement and we deserve justice. I’m not sure that’s what I heard while He hung on the cross, did you.
This series is on obeying, and I am not sure where the Lord will lead us in it, but this may be one of the most difficult subjects that we will cover, love, no matter the circumstances. Part of love is a feeling within us, whether we want to admit it or not, an emotion we must modify when it is not correct, for if we do not, we are not fulfilling the law of Christ. Don’t be confused here, we are not talking about being happy, happiness is the world’s cheap imitation of the joy of the Lord, we are speaking about a love that is not part of our sinful human nature.
The opposite of love is hate no matter what name you give to it, despise, reject, disgusted, it matters not the name, just that it is not love. Think on this love my friends, “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) We were blatant, uncaring, unfeeling, unforgiving sinners when Christ died for us, when He showed a love for His enemies, us, that we are to show to others. He obeyed the will of the Father, “I have made a lake of fire, but I desire none to enter into it, go and show them how much I love them.” “And with His stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)
He accepted the will of the Father knowing full well the price He would have to pay, those that we are sent to don’t even know there is a price, much less that they will have to pay it. Satan has blinded their minds (2 Cor. 4:4) and they have deceived themselves into believing that the invisible things of the world (Rom. 1:20) are just that, invisible and of no consequence to them. We are commanded to obey the law of Christ and love them, we are to tell them about the truth of His love for them no matter our emotional state towards them.
Here is the only way I know how to do that, see them on fire, eternally screaming in torment, fully aware that there is never going to be any more hope for them and knowing full well that this is how it is going to be forever. Rest assured that once you begin to see them as such, it will change not only your emotional state towards them, but the way that you will look at each one of them.
The lost do not know about the love that you have been given, and they never will unless we tell them. The Word of God says that few will find the narrow gate (Matt. 7:14) and enter into His kingdom. Do you hate them enough to want to see them in the lake of fire, or do you love them enough to show them where the gate is. Whether they listen or not is not your responsibility, your responsibility is to obey, speak to them about our Lord, and love them.