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(Love your neighbor as yourself)

Exodus 20:13 – 17;  “You shall not murder.  You shall not commit adultery.  You shall not steal.  You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.  You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

When the Lord was asked what the greatest commandment is in the law,  Jesus replied,  “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind.  This is the first greatest commandment.  And the second is like it:  Love your neighbor as yourself.(Matthew 22:37 – 38)

There are religious groups that tried to apply the  “Love thy neighbor”  theory by supplying poor people’s needs. And hoping that by doing so they will attract people to Christianity and eventually the recipients will become Christ’s believers.  But it is no guarantee or assurance that people whom you have given help by meeting their needs will become true followers of Jesus.

The Lord Jesus had rebuked the crowd who followed Him because they are only after material things. They were only after food but not after Christ.  They have experienced miracles after miracles from Christ.  They had been healed from their diseases.  They had eaten the bread and fish and had their fill.  Yes they followed Jesus eagerly but Jesus knew their hearts and rebuked them.  Let us read John 6:26; Jesus answered,  “I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.”

This  “Love thy neighbor”  theory has also been embraced by other religions. Whether the Mormons or the Muslims or other religion, which believes that they will all go to heaven because of their good deed of uniting themselves with a common noble cause to give help to the poor, this theory or principle, is contrary to God’s Word

 Jesus does not unite.   He is a divider.  (Matthew 10:34 – 39)  Jesus said;  “Do not think that I came to bring peace, but a sword, for I came to set a man against his father and a daughter against her mother and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.”

Jesus will cause division among our own family, then how can a Christian unite the whole world much less all religion?  No way that we can combine true Christianity with other religion.

If you have studied diligently the book of Daniel and the book of Revelation, you will find out that the Anti-Christ and the false prophet will unite all religions and there will be a one world government and thus Satan will deceive all the inhabitants of the earth.  There is only one way to do this and it is by a common noble cause to help the needy.  Giving help to the needy to attract people so they will join your religion but dragging them to hell by not telling them the truth is Satan’s tactic.

Is it wrong then to give help to the needy?  No, I did not say that.  But as James, the half brother of the Lord Jesus wrote in  James 2:14 – 17 says;  “What is it my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds?  Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food.  If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,”  but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?  In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”  This admonition is for the born again Christians. This instruction is for the true believers in Christ.  Notice that James addresses them as  “brothers”,  and giving help primarily to true Christians who are in need.  This letter is for the Church and not to the unbelievers or the outsiders.  Is it wrong to give help to people who are not Christians?   No, our act of compassion is not limited to the member of the church only but the right interpretation of loving our neighbor as ourselves as Jesus said is to apply what is written in Exodus 20:13 – 17.  If you love your neighbor as yourself:  Do not commit murder.  Do not commit adultery. Do not steal.  Do not tell lies to your neighbor.  Do not covet things that are of your neighbor’s.

There are those who may avoid committing these sins because they are afraid they might be caught.  Or they fear the wrath of God.  But it is totally different if you avoid committing these sins because you love your neighbor.  You don’t do anything that would cause harm to your neighbor because you love him.  You won’t commit adultery because you don’t want to ruin your neighbor’s reputation and to cause heartaches to them because you love your neighbor.  You don’t steal because you love your neighbor.  By the way, people think that shop lifting and taking money from other people are the only act that can be called stealing.  But if you borrow a tool or anything from someone and you don’t return it that is stealing.  If you swindle people using sweet talk to allure them with their money that is stealing.  If you owe money and you don’t pay it back that is stealing.  If you love your neighbor as yourself you will not do any of these things.  If you love your neighbor you will not tell them lies.  Never teach them false doctrine  (That’s the worst lie you will ever tell to your neighbor).  If you love your neighbor you will not covet things that belong to him. That is how to love our neighbor as ourselves.

 

Sermon by:
Bobby Cabonce


 

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