Love your neighbors as you love yourself. Do good to those who hate you. Love God with all your mind, heart and souls. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…Sound familiar? All of these verses in the Bible sound so wonderful and warming that they put a smile on your face. They help you cope with the stresses of the day, right? For others, these words seem like weak, pie in the sky statements that are not strong enough for this violent, wicked world. Although this love concept from Jesus Christ is indeed soothing, it is far stronger than the most violent spirit of hate in the world! Jesus said if you have anger in your heart for your brother, you have the spirit of murder in you. Why did He say this? Because Satan is the opposite of love. He is a murderer from the beginning, as Jesus said. Satan was angry that he could not be God, so he gradually and deceptively convinced millions of angels to follow Him as they tried to help him claim his “rightful” throne from God. He failed, of course. So Satan is full of anger, jealousy and hate.
That means his children on earth are also full of anger, jealousy and hate, enough so that they, too, murder and do acts of violence. If Satan cannot love, then his children cannot love, either. If Satan lies, then his children lie. The children do as their spiritual fathers do. We saints follow our Savior’s example of love. If we take on the weapons of hate, then that love will depart, and we are left to fight against Satan with his own weapons. As Jesus told us, no kingdom that stands against itself will survive. Jesus said Satan’s kingdom is united, and that strange unity is based on hate and lies and anger. When we are told to put on the armor of God, it is based on love, as Paul spoke at length about when he gave us the best definition of love: love is long-suffering, kind, patient, etc…the opposite of love is impatience, rudeness, hate. This concept is important because, soon, we are about the face an ugly tribulation that will tempt us to return hate for hate, but don’t fall for that trap! We must resist hate, because if we give in, the power of Jesus will no longer be with us, and we will die a useless death at the hands of the children of hate in Satan’s kingdom. Satan wins at hate in this world. We must conquer hate with love, for love literally conquers all. Amen.