John 3:16 - For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
The keyword in that scripture is "whoever." Jesus didn't say "a few of you" or "only this group of people or that group of people." He said whoever! He doesn't care the color of skin or the sin we are living. He still offers everlasting life to anyone who calls upon His name.
In Matthew chapter 5 verses 3-11 we see Jesus talking about what we call the Be-Attitudes. I don't list each one here, but I will focus on verse 9, 10, and 11.
9 - Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God
10 - Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 - Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and ay all kins of evil against you falsely for My sake.
Peacemakers will be called the sons of God. Remember, one of our weapons of spiritual warfare in Ephesians chapter 6 is the Shoes of the gospel of peace. We are to put on peace and walk in peace daily. It is a weapon for us during battle. What about Proverbs 15:1 -
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
There is power in the peace of the gospel that we are to wear daily. Our responses as seen in Proverbs should be soft answers wtih love, not anger or malice or strife...or anything else that could stir anger. If we do not seek peace with our fellow man, then can we call ourselves Sons of God?
Jesus said in Matthew 5:43 - 45 this:
43 - You have heard that it was said, "You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
44 - But I say to you, love your enemis, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,
45 - that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
Jesus implied in this scripture that if we did not do good to those who hate us, love our enemies, bless them and pray for them, then we may not be sons of our Father. That is not a thought I personally want to consider. So, how do we do good to those who hate us? How do we bless those that curse us? How do we turn the other cheek to one who has smite us on the face? One. Simple. Word:
We often look to the 1 Corinthians chapter 13 as the "Love Chapter." But it holds a very real truth that we cannot forget. 1 Corinthians 13:13 -
And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
The GREATEST of these is love. Jesus told His disciples in John 13:34 and 35:
34 - A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you that you also love one another.
35 - By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.
Brothers and Sisters, how can we expect a lost and dying world to believe in the One True and Living God, if we cannot even love each other, other believers? How is our behavior any different from the world's behavior? On Facebook I am reading posts from my fellow professing Christians that are so filled with hate at the white community, at our law enforcement officers, at the black community, or at the muslim community that are hurting my heart. One of the ten commandments is thou shalt not kill; however, Jesus said that He came to fulfill the law. He moved a physical act of murder into a heart condition in Matthew 5:21. He said that anyone that is angry with his brother without a cause is in danger of judgement. In 1 John 3:15, John said -
Whoever hates his brother is a murderer,
and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
So, now, brothers and sisters, we have another layer to our witness. If we, as professing believers, participate in the hatred that is so rampant in America and around the world, then we are guilty of murder. Based on what John said in 1 John, then we don't have eternal life in us if we bear hatred toward our brothers. It is so easy for our human, fleshly side of us to bow up at perceived wrongs done to us. I say perceived because the Christian brothers and sisters that are actively posting hatred as part of the #blacklivesmatter movement have forgotten one thing: We first identify as a Citizen in the Kingdom of God. We are adopted Sons and Daughters of God Almighty, the Creator of the Universe. We are joint heirs with Jesus Christ to the thone of God. We are not black, white, red, green, yellow, or purple. We do not first identify with any ethnic group. We are Citizens in the Kingdom first with Kingdom laws and principles to rule our hearts and our behavior.
HOWEVER, if we hold hatred in our hearts, if we do not love one another so the world can see the love of Christ, then we do not have eternal life living in us and we are not disciples of Christ. So, how can we not share the gospel of peace? The gospel of love? The witness of our lives? How can we not be a city set on a hill and a beacon of light and refuge? God did not send His son to die for only a certain group of people. He sent His Son so that anyone and everyone that called on His name would be saved. Everyone. John 14:6 -
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."
So, I ask again: #whichlivesmatter? Every. Single. Life. Matters. Jesus Christ came to save every life. Jesus Christ came to show the love of the Father. We, as His disciples, are to show that same love to a lost and dying world.
So, People of God, I ask you: Where are you? Why are you silent? Why are you not standing up? Why are you not standing out? Why are you not noticeably different from the world? Rise up! Rise up! We are the light in this world. We are the love this world needs. Rise up, dry bones! Rise up and come alive you Army of the King! Rise up and take back what the enemy has stolen! Rise up!