#3 Hate, Then You Are Not A Christian - 1st John
The third characteristic of a non- Christian, as described in the book of 1st John is: (See previous post.)
#3 - "The one who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going because darkness has blinded his eyes." 1 John 2:11In this verse the word "brother" refers to someone who is a Christian. It refers to your Christian brothers and sisters. If you hate another Christian, you are walking in darkness.
Tony [not his real name], a member of our church had been divorced. He had met another woman and asked our pastor to marry him. The pastor declined on the basis that the Bible says you may not remarry while your original spouce is alive. Tony was upset and felt the pastor's manner had been rude when he told Tony he could not perform the marriage. Tony found another pastor who would perform the marriage, and has since refused to step inside the first pastor's church... not even to attend the funeral of a friend.
A characteristic of a Christian is that they are forgiving and do not hate any other Christian.
What is hate? The Bible is not talking about feelings. It is talking about actions. Biblically, hate is the absence of deeds of love. Love expesses itself in concrete actions of love.
"Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself." - Leviticus 19:18
Hate is considering your own needs first (1 Corinthians 13:5) and disregarding those who are truly in need (Luke 10:30-37).
Love is putting the needs of others before your needs. Whenever a Christian brother has a true need and you, as a Christian, do not help them, then you have hated your brother and you walk in darkness.
The Ten Commandments give us God's definition of love. For example:
If you love God, there is nothing more important to you than God; you do not have idols in your life; and you never use God's name in an inappropriate manner.
If you love your parents you honor and obey them.
If you love other people you do not lie to them; you do not steal from them; you do not murder--which Jesus defined as being angry at someone. God looks at your thoughts and sees your anger as being the same as murder.
This is why throughout the Bible love and obedience to God are equated as being one and the same thing.