[This is part of a series of sermons on the topic of “One Another”. To access previous messages, please click here.]
Last week, we opened the word to Romans 15:7 and Colossians 3:13. We talked about accepting one another and forbearing one another. We understood that acceptance is not just putting up with someone, but to actually gather them in with excitement.
All of us have had that one instance, that one person who, when we saw them our immediate response was, “Oh no, here comes such and such.” This is the response we are encouraged to suppress. Believers are supposed to rejoice at the presence of other believers.
One of the first times I recognized the impact this can have is one day when I was in the hardware store. Two men walked in from my church. They were great guys and I was excited to see them. A “Sales Associate” was standing right next to me and I turned to the person and said, “These are my brothers and I am very happy to see them.” The employee did not know how to take that because, of course, these two men looked nothing like me. When they approached me, I hugged them both. After that, I told the individual that these were my brothers in Christ and that our bond was greater than any ever constructed on earth. That, too, threw her for a loop.
Ladies and gentlemen, probably the most glaring example of submission and obedience to these scriptures lies in the current day. Islamic nations (and Muslims in general) regularly torture, persecute, harass and murder Christians all across the globe. They do this because the satanic god they worship demands that they kill all those who do not believe in him and will not convert to Islam. That is how Islam started (convert or die) and that is how it operates still today. Christianity is the opposite of Islam, just as the true God is opposite Satan. We put these scriptures into operation when the Christian sees a Muslim coming. The Christian does not lose their countenance and utter, “Oh, no, here comes a Muslim.” Instead, their response is to pray silently that they have the opportunity to show them the truth of the God of love and His Son Jesus Christ. Further, there is no more sweet fellowship and rejoicing than meeting another believer in Christ under such stress laden circumstances as those that exist in countries such as Iraq, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan and even godless China. Folks, this is the truth of life in Christ. We can love as He loved. We can even love those who hate us, persecute us, torture us and kill us. Truthfully, our blood is as seed for the kingdom of Christ.[i] Continue reading