I John 3:11-18 by Eddie Foster

First John 3:11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous. 13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. 14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. 15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. 16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

Cain’s sacrifice was rejected because it was not a blood sacrifice. He then killed his brother because he did not love him. Just as Cain hated Abel, don’t be surprised when the world hates you.  Let’s look at the world’s attitude to the church. Verses 12-13 show us that evil hated righteousness. I’m somewhat amazed at modern Christianity. I have trouble with Hollywood Christianity. Then how can a singer sing about drinking and adultery and then about God? True Christianity is despised by the world. A lot of TV preachers would “never hurt anyone” by what they say. All I can say is he must not be doing much Bible preaching. We don’t have to be obnoxious about it or crude. But the truth sometimes steps on your toes. God chastens those who are his and I’m thankful he does.

Look at these examples. Abel was hated and killed by his brother. Noah was laughed at and hated by the people. There were only 7 converts in 120 years. Joseph was sold as a slave by his brothers. Daniel was put in a den of lions for praying. John the Baptist lost his head for speaking the truth. Peter was crucified upside down. James was martyred.  Early Christians were fed to lions for sport.  They died horrible deaths. History tells of many who were martyred for their faith.  In modern times people are ready to throw in the towel at the least little thing. Will we stand true when persecutions come?  We’ve been called to fight the fight of faith. Paul said I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. John said don’t be surprised if the world hates you.

The ultimate proof of love.  Look back at verse 16. Aren’t you glad Jesus counted us as friends and died for us. He proved his love at Calvary. The ultimate proof of your love is to lay down your life.  We are to show it, not just tell it. Verse 18 proves this. Love is to be shown. The Pharisees talked a good talk, yet they put grievous burdens on the people. Doing is shown in the teachings of Jesus. He demonstrated his love. James tells us to be doers of the word, not just hearers. Do what the Lord says to do. Even as a 12 year old Jesus was about his Father’s business.  In all honesty he could say he finished the work God called him to do.

God has given all of us abilities. Use them for God. The Lord uses skills of those who make themselves available. Some people never meet a stranger. Lead the conversation to God. Some have building skills or musical skills.  Everyone has something God can use.  Perhaps God has something for you to do. Ask him to open your eyes.  There is something you can do!

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