I have seen posts on social media that ask if life feels like an episode of Game of Thrones or The Waking Dead. Sometimes, it might. Even the Christian life may feel like a dangerous rollercoaster ride in a two-bit theme park, especially in today’s darkened world.
In 1 Thessalonians chapter 4, Paul speaks to Christians – those who have believed on and followed in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. He tells them they need to be sanctified. They need to live a holy life. He emphasizes that they should turn away from sexual immorality. Today, we see that he encourages them to love one another (and others) more and more.
You see, love is what sets Christians apart from the rest of the world. For mortal man, it may be difficult to love someone outside our immediate family (sometimes, it is not easy to love those within our immediate family). For Christians, love – even love for others and love for our enemies – should come as natural as love for our own children.
If loving others does not come natural, then you should prayerfully and persistently seek sanctification. Ask God to rid you of worldly love, lust, selfishness, pride, and hatred, and fill you with His Holy Spirit. He will. He will perfect His love within your life. When one is filled with the Holy Spirit, one is surprised by love… a deeper love than you thought possible.
We seem to be living near the end of days and Satan has begun one final offensive in the battle against the saints of God. As a result, many Christians have ducked for cover, and are not reaching out to others in love as they should; instead many are looking out only for themselves and their closest loved ones.
We must resist fear. We must stand up to evil and call it by name. We must look evil in the eye and expel it in the name of Jesus. And we must do it all in love.
Remember, Christ sacrificed His life for the sins of the world, not just for you and me (and not just those who agree with our viewpoint). That person that we think is so evil… that one who is causing so many problems in the world…he or she may be the next Saul who finds Christ on the road to Damascus and becomes the next Apostle Paul.
We must love our enemies. Pray for those who threaten us, abuse us, and persecute us. Remember, they, too, need to know God and His love.