For those who call themselves Christian

repent

For those who call themselves Christian, your God demands you love everyone radically.

It isn’t a suggestion, and it isn’t compartmental: it is a command, and it is all-encompassing.

It is how you are to order your life: your personal life, your work life, your political life.

“But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you,” said Jesus (Luke 6:27-28).

For those who call themselves Christian, this love commanded of you is self-sacrificial.  It demands self-denial and the laying down of what you perceive to be your rights.

“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends,” said Jesus (John 15:12-13).

“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me,” said Jesus.  “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.  What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?” (Matthew 16:24-26)

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves,” said St. Paul.  “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interest of others” (Philippians 2:3-4).

For those who call themselves Christian, you are commanded not only to love your enemies, but also to love and care for the marginalized of humanity: the orphans, the widows, the refugees, and the prisoners.  And if you do not, you risk being turned away by God Himself.

“Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer,” said Moses.  “For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes.  He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing.  And you are to love those who are aliens, for you yourselves were aliens in Egypt” (Deuteronomy 10:16-19).

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world,” said St. James (James 1:27).

“‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world,'” said Jesus.  “‘For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?  When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?  When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.  For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

“He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life” (Matthew 25:34-46).

For those who call themselves Christian, in Christ, there is no designation by ethnicity, by gender, or by volition.  You risk the wrath of God upon yourselves if you live a message that runs counter to that of God’s word while claiming to belong to Christ.

“You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ,” said St. Paul.  “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:26-28).

“When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem,” wrote St. John.  “In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money.  So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.  To those who sold doves he said, ‘Get these out of here!  How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market!'” (John 2: 13-16)

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven,” said Jesus.  “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’  Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you.  Away from me, you evildoers!'” (Matthew 7:21-23)

For those who call themselves Christian, repent!  Be of good cheer, because there is still time while you yet have breath!  Turn from your evil ways, the ways that run against the Word and Will of your God, and you will be saved!  The time to turn to God and away from the world is now!  Repent!

“You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call on you,” wrote David.  “Hear my prayer, O Lord; listen to my cry for mercy.  In the day of my trouble I will call to you, for you will answer me” (Psalm 86:5-7).

“The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed,” wrote David.  “He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel: The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.  He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.  For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.  As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him” (Psalm 103:6-13).

“Submit yourselves, then, to God,” said St. James.  “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Come near to God and he will come near to you.  Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Grieve, mourn and wail.  Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up” (James 4:7-10).

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s