Hating the Saints and Loving the Darkness

1 John 2:9-11 ESV

“Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”

Whoever is claiming Christ but hating a brother or sister

If someone is claiming to be a follower of Jesus Christ but he is actively hating his brother or sister in Christ, as a matter of practice, then according to the Scriptures he or she is still in the darkness, still living in sin without genuine God-ordained faith in Jesus Christ, and without the hope of salvation from sin and eternal life with God.

This word “hate” can have a wide range of meanings, so we have to look to the context to see how it is being used so that we understand correctly what is being taught. Clearly from this context it is presenting “hate” as the opposite of “love.” For, whoever loves others with this God-ordained love abides in the light. Yet, whoever is hating his brother walks in the darkness.

So, let’s look first to see what love is in this context. The Greek word is “agape” (or agapao) which means to prefer what God prefers, which is what is holy, righteous, honest, morally pure, selfless, obedient, and faithful. Love prefers to live through Christ and to choose his choices and to obey them in his power and strength – to actively be doing the will of God for our lives.

And love does no harm to its neighbor. So, if we are loving others with this kind of love, we are not going to willfully and habitually sin against other humans. We are not going to lie to them or about them to others. We are not going to cheat them or steal from them. And we will not commit adultery against our spouses, either, which can be just lusting after someone else.

So, if hate is the opposite of love, if we are hating our fellow Christians, we are not preferring what God prefers, but we are preferring what our flesh prefers. We are selfish, not unselfish. We are not choosing to not harm them, but we are actively sinning against them. We are lying to them or cheating them or we are betraying them or gossiping about them, etc.

We are not thinking about what is best for them or about what God prefers, but we are thinking about self and gratifying our lustful and sinful desires. In fact, we may be totally disregarding how our actions may be impacting them for we are serving ourselves and the lusts of our flesh and not God. And who gets hurt in the process may not be a consideration at all.

Whoever is hating those who are walking in the light

Also, there are many professing Christians who hate other Christians who are walking in faithful obedience to the Lord and so they will detest them, reject them, say all manner of evil against them, persecute them, attempt to trick them or to trip them up hoping to accuse them, too. And they will oppress them, harass them, or bully them because of their walks of faith.

Even pastors and elders of church congregations will come against those who are following Jesus wholeheartedly with their lives because these pastors are following the business models of man and not the Scriptures, and so they don’t want anyone in their “churches” who, by following the Scriptures, would be opposed to the marketing schemes of man.

And the reality is, in our day and age, at least here in America, that along with the Holy Spirit being pushed out of “churches” in favor of the marketing schemes of humans, true followers of Jesus are being rejected and ostracized by many church congregations and their leadership because our walks of faith in Christ are opposed to the diluted gospel most are preaching.

And then you add social media into the mix, and I see Christian against Christian being mean and hateful to one another over such things as which political candidate is better or whether or not we should get the vaccine or wear masks. Now I am not saying we can’t express our beliefs about such things, but we shouldn’t be getting hateful and engaging in name calling.

So, going back to this Scripture. If we are actively hating other Christians, which is obvious by how we talk about them or to them or by how we treat them or by how we ignore them and want nothing to do with them – especially if we are rejecting those who are preferring what God prefers – then this says we are not true Christians and we aren’t saved from our sins.

Now, I must put a word of caution here because this word “hate” has taken on so many new meanings in our culture today. For, they call it hate if we speak out against sin, and if we call people to repentance, and if we tell them that God requires obedience and submission to him as Lord. It is not hateful to speak to a brother or sister about their sinful practices.

It is loving to confront our fellow Christians if they are still living in sin and if they are ignoring God’s commandments, and especially if what they are doing in their sin is harming others. It is loving to call out false doctrine and false gospels and to show people the truth of what God’s word teaches. For we love them more than we love ourselves for we know we might be hated and mistreated in return because we had the courage to tell them the truth.

1 John 2:15-17 ESV

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”

Loving the world and hating our brothers and sisters

Truly, one of the biggest reasons why those professing to believe in Jesus are hating others who are professing to believe in Jesus is because the ones doing the hating don’t love (prefer) God, but they love (prefer) the world and the things of the world in place of God. They are following after the ways of the world, and they are not following the ways of the Lord.

There is no distinction between them and the people of the world other than what their lips profess, for they think like the ungodly, and they behave like the ungodly, and they lust after the same things as the ungodly do, and they make sin their practice, and righteousness is not what they practice. For they are lovers of self and not lovers of God.

So, if you love (prefer) the ways of the world to the ways of God, which is apparent by your words and by your lifestyles, then you don’t love God even if you say you do. For to love God is to obey him and his commands. And yes, we still have to obey the commands of God, but the ones under the New Covenant, not the old liturgical and ceremonial laws of the Old Covenant.

And we need to be made aware here that much of today’s church has adopted the ways of the world as their norm in order to attract the world to their gatherings. And so they have pushed the Holy Spirit right out of their gatherings and they are winning the world to their gatherings via worldly means and methods and via the lusts of the flesh.

For what most of them are teaching today is a diluted gospel which appeals to human flesh, for it makes no such requirements which Jesus made for dying with him to sin and living to him and to his righteousness. They do not require submission to Christ as Lord or obedience to his commands. But they coddle people in their sins, thus leaving them still in slavery to sin.

So, we need to understand here the truth that is in Christ Jesus, and it isn’t that we just pray a prayer or we just accept God’s grace and forgiveness, but it is that we forsake our former lives of living for sin and self, and we submit to Christ as Lord, and we follow Jesus in obedience to his commands, or we don’t have salvation from sin or eternal life with God.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Matt 7:21-23; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10]

Mary, Did You Know?

Songwriters: Greene Lee Rufus / Lowry Mark Alan

Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy
Has come to make you new?
This child that you delivered, will soon deliver you

Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy
Is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
That sleeping child you’re
Holding is the great, I Am

Mary, did you know?

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3 thoughts on “Hating the Saints and Loving the Darkness

  1. “I am not saying we can’t express our beliefs about such things, but we shouldn’t be getting hateful and engaging in name calling.” Amen, Sue!
    I’m seeing the enemy using politics to divide the Church, and “My brothers, this should not be!” It’s a matter of priorities. Following Jesus should be front and center of everything we do, and our political preferences are secondary.
    Another good point you made: f we believe someone is engaging in self-destructive behavior – willfully or accidentally by being deceived – as you say, we have an obligation to try to stop them and turn them around, but LOVINGLY. (It’s not “hateful” to grab someone who is about to jump off a cliff!)

    Liked by 1 person

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