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1 John 4:20: If Anyone Says, "I Love God," and Hates His Brother

1 John 4:20
[20] If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. (ESV)

Let's be honest for a moment. We have a hard time with certain portions of Scripture. If we could use a sharpie marker and delete certain words I think some of us would do it. At the very least, by our actions, we effectively re-write the portions of the Word of God that we do not like. Let me give you an example using today's verse:

  • If anyone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is the Church Treasurer.
  • If anyone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a Deacon.
  • If anyone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a respected Church Member.
  • If anyone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a Christian.
You see, we may say that we believe that God's Word is the truth. We may claim that we believe that truth. We may even belong to a church that has by-laws which declare that the Bible is the rule of faith practice in all things. God says, "If you say you love me, and hate your brother, you are a liar." He is declaring that you do not love God at all if you do not love your brother.

So, why are there so many fights in churches today? I believe it is because the church is infiltrated with those who claim to love, but they are liars. We do not like to hear that do we? You might even be upset in reading this right now. It's ok to be upset, but I pray that you will allow your anger to lead you to self-inspection. If you find that there is a brother that you cannot love you need to repent of your sin before you allow yourself to be considered a member of the body of Christ who loves God.

Sobering words? I think so. Take a few moments today evaluating your love life. How well do you love those around you? If there are some you do not love bring those names to the Lord and ask for forgiveness and for the ability to love.


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