For here is the way God loved the world—he gave his only, unique Son as a gift. So now everyone who believes in him will never perish but experience everlasting life. “God did not send his Son into the world to judge and condemn the world, but to be its Savior and rescue it (John 3:16-17, TPT)
“And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31, NLT)
There is an issue that has bugged me for a long time. I’ve met a number of Christians who actually seem to take delight in the idea of unbelievers going to Hell! Doesn’t that shock you?! Actually, we shouldn’t be that shocked because I think we are all guilty of it at one time or another. We see someone doing something we think is unconscionable, and we shake our heads and reason in our minds, “That person’s an idiot!” or we jokingly say, “That guy’s gonna bust Hell wide open.” Should that really be our response? I know it’s hard, in the heat of the moment to say, “Wow! That person must really be empty inside to do such a thing. I need to pray that they find Jesus.” But at some point, that’s where our thoughts should go.
If you have read any of the New Testament, nowhere do you see Jesus hating on sinners. The only people He was especially hard on were those who called themselves religious. These were the Sadducees and Pharisees who studied the Scriptures, but their lives were full of hypocrisies. Jesus called them on it many times. We should also remember that we, ourselves, can be caught in that same hypocrisy. For example, we may be watching T.V. and find ourselves rooting for the criminal, or wanting someone to dump their spouse because they’re in love with someone else. Yet, when see those things in reality, we wag our finger and begin to hate on the sinner. We need to remember, always, to hate the sin wherever it shows up. However, we must remember to still love the sinner.
Remember the woman caught in adultery? The religious leaders seemed to be gleeful about stoning her to death for her crime. Jesus reminded them, very cleverly, that they’ve committed sins as well. Then he gently loved on the woman by telling her not to sin again. Jesus acknowledged her sin, but love her, nevertheless. I would imagine that even when tempted to commit adultery again, she remembered her encounter with Jesus and thought better of it.
When I see things in the news that individuals or groups of people are doing that are so far off the mark of God’s Word, it may disturb me, but I try to remind myself that they are only doing what their father is telling them to do. Of course, I mean Satan. We can so easily forget that the sinner’s job description is to sin.
I want, so much, for the compassion of Jesus to rise up in me to remember to love on sinners by introducing them to a Savior who loves them so much that He was willing to die to give them eternal life so that they can live with Him forever. I admit that it takes great commitment and the power of Holy Spirit to stay in that frame of mind, but it truly is worth the effort.