Drinking Deeply

Tuesday, August 08, 2006 at 8:38 AM

Questions from Summer Camp(1)

Summer camp rocked. Email me if you'd like a story. Some highlights:

Got the chance to hold an impromptu seminar on Calvinism and TULIP. Just described what it was and how each point tied together with the rest.

Got the chance to talk with an old friend I hadn't spoken with in ages.

Got the chance to walk through the Gospel, point by point (look for a future series) with a large group of guys on the last night.

Got the chance to share the Gospel with two seven year old girls at lunch. I hope they understood!

From the last one, she asked me an excellent question which I'd like to answer. My answer was a bit simplified, minus the Scripture quotes, but here's what I would say as a fuller answer:

Q: (After talking about how God hates sin) If God tells us to love our enemies, why doesn't God love sin and Satan?

A: The reason why God tells us to love our enemies but God does not seem to do the same Himself is twofold:

1) When God tells us to love our enemies, he's telling us to not harm them or hurt them, but rather to love them. We do this because ultimately it is God who's going to take care of them. Romans 12 says:
19Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord." 20To the contrary, "if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head."
By loving them (feeding and giving him something to drink, not some fuzzy emotional feeling), we heap burning coals - we increase their condemnation . Thus we don't smack someone because 1) it's sinful, and 2) God will take care of it.

2) Along similar lines, when God tells us to love our neighbors, it is a "feed when hungry and clothe when naked" type of love, rather than some general emotional attachment. This is how we can love our neighbors when David sings in Psalm 11:5
The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates.
and Psalm 139:21
Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD, and abhor those who rise up against you?
We love in a physical manner, feeding, clothing, showing no partiality between our enemies and our friends. If we would clothe our friends, we should clothe our enemies. A more appropriate word might be "show kindness" as that seems to imply a physical act rather than an emotional feeling. God acts in the same way here. He shows kindness to all, sending rain, the sun, and allow people to live and work the land. Everyone gets the same physical benefits.

But we hate in a spiritual manner, by waging war spiritually against them. We set off to crush their opinions and arguments which are raised up against God and we grind their arguments to powder underneath the hammer of God's Word. Our intellects are hostile to those who are hostile to God. That doesn't mean we are mean or cruel to them (how would we treat our friends?), but that our words and ideas and thoughts are bent and focusing on breaking theirs down and bringing them to their knees before the Cross.

In this manner, God hates Satan and sin. They are a slight against His character, and eventually God will crush Satan and all his children. The only way out is via Jesus Christ and His death on the cross. He died the death so that all those who have faith in his death and resurrection as a sacrifice and promise for them will be saved.

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