Love vs. hate — you can surely tell the difference. It’s plain as day and night, light and darkness, life and death. Love is the opposite of hate. Love attracts while hate repels. Love encourages while hate threatens. Love admonishes while hate demolishes. I could come up with many more contrasts and I’m sure you can as well.
When you look at different religions, what do you see? Do you see love or hate, or a combination of both? Do their teachings give life or take life away? Do their precepts free people or enslave them in bondage? These are the things to look when you consider the source and foundation of different belief systems.
Jesus said we’d be able to identify where people were coming from, so to speak, by the fruit they produced in their own lives and in the world.
Matthew 7: 15-20 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit.
A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Every tree that brings not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Therefore by their fruits you shall know them.
True Christianity is based on love, not hate. True Christianity liberates people, it does not enslave them. True Christianity empowers people, it doesn’t weaken them. True Christianity elevates mankind to the position God intended man to be and glorifies God by doing so. True Christianity is not based on what man does but on what God did in Christ to save mankind. You cannot approach God on your own, you have to go through Jesus who died and was raised again.
There are Only Two Ways: Love and Hate
God’s love for all mankind is demonstrated in the selfless giving of his only begotten son so that mankind could be redeemed.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
I John 4:10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
This is the love that saves the world. This is the love that liberates those who are separated from God and are in bondage to this world. This is the love that produces as fruit the salvation of all mankind.
The story of Cain and Abel is very revealing. It depicts the two ways mankind would follow, indeed, it presents the only two ways man can follow. One is love, the other is hate. One gives life, the other kills. I wrote about the story of Cain and Abel in another blog post here, but I want to enlarge upon that here.
After the fall of man in the garden of Eden, God made coats of skins for Adam and Even. They had already made coats of leaves for themselves, but God said that wouldn’t do. God wanted to reinforce the prophecy he already gave in Genesis 3:15 by providing a sacrifice right then and there to temporarily cover for their sin in disobeying God and giving their seat of authority on the earth to God’s arch-enemy, the devil.
So God made Adam and Eve coats of skins. This required the sacrifice of at least one animal by which the skins could be obtained. God provided that sacrifice himself. The lesson was clear; God would provide the sacrifice of ‘the seed of the woman’ whose death would permanently cover mankind’s sin. But until then, a symbolic sacrifice of an animal was substituted. God temporarily covered mankind’s sin by providing a sacrifice and giving them coats of skins.
Adam and Even began to have children after the fall. Cain and Abel were their first two male children. Both Cain and Abel offered a sacrifice to the Lord. Cain offered the fruit of his garden, while Abel offered a sacrifice of the best of his flock. God accepted Abel’s sacrifice but did not accept Cain’s. Why do you think that was?
Why did God accept Abel’s sacrifice, but not Cain’s? Because mankind in his fallen state is separated from God. The lesson had already been taught that man would need a savior. The seed of the woman would be sacrificed for man’s sin and the symbolic representation of that was an animal sacrifice.
God’s Provision vs. Man’s Works
Abel offered a blood-offering to the Lord indicating he had learned the lesson God had given and that he accepted it. Cain, on the other hand, offered the works of his own hands which was promptly rejected by God. Man cannot please God by the things he himself does. Only by believing what God says can man please God. Cain rejected God’s provision and attempted to please God by his own works.
Abel believed God and he proved it by providing a sacrificial offering. The fruit of Cain’s love for God was obedience to God. Cain thought he could please God on his own, thereby disobeying God and proving he did not learn God’s lesson. The fruit of obedience is evidence of the love of God in one’s life.
The Fruit of Cain’s Response to God’s Rejection of His Offering
What was Cain’s response to God’s rejection? It was hate. He sought out Abel and killed him outright. He was filled with jealousy because God had accepted Abel’s offering and rejected his own. Jealousy manifested in rage and murder was the fruit thereof. Cain murdered his brother. Cain became the first murderer and the reason for the murder was to take vengeance on God through Abel.
Jealousy and rage are symptoms of hate. Murder is the ultimate product of hate unchecked. Vengeance seeks to right a wrong, but sometimes what is perceived as ‘wrong’ is not in fact wrong at all. In this case the person taking vengeance sought to right what he felt was wrong, that is God’s rejection of his offering. Cain’s jealous mind blamed Abel on God’s rejection of his sacrifice, but it wasn’t Abel’s fault. It was really God that Cain was angry at, but misdirected at Abel. Cain ended up killing someone that God had fully accepted.
Christians don’t take vengeance, for God says…
Romans 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, says the Lord.
Hate however takes vengeance into its own hands, and the reasoning behind that vengeance is often faulty. Hate steals, kills and destroys what God says he loves. This is evidence that ‘the thief” is behind hate.
Jesus Came That We Might Have Life and Have it More Abundantly
John 10:10 The thief comes not, but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Love gives, hate destroys. Love gives, hate steals. Love enlivens, hate kills. Which do you prefer? The attitude of your heart is revealed in your answer.
The fruit you produce in your own life and in the world is directly related to what’s in your heart.
Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
There you have it. What fruit are you producing in your life? What fruit do you see being produced in the lives of others? When you read the news about Christians and Jews being slaughtered by those who think they are doing God service, what fruit do you see? Is it love or hate? I think the answer is obvious.
Be wise about what’s happening right now in this world. See it from the God of the Bible’s spiritual perspective. Don’t be fooled, be wise. Believe what God says and obey it. Reap the rewards thereof.
If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Come join us in the family of God. You won’t be disappointed.