Love your Enemies
By: Apostle Skhumbuzo Sangweni
Study Scripture: (Romans 16:25-27) Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith; to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen.
In this age the Lord is calling us to His kingdom under His domain—we are not being forced. When He bodily returns to the earth to establish His kingdom, He will rule with a rod of iron. But in this age, He is calling those who prove their worthiness to rule with Him by their willingness to serve Him and walk in His truth, even when both the rewards for obedience, and consequences for disobedience are not immediate. This requires a walk of faith, but true faith is always obedient as we read above.
Of course, the greatest test of our obedience will be in regard to the difficult things He has commanded. One test is, we are to love our enemies. This is easy for those who do not have enemies, but let enemies arise and many of us will start praying for the Lord to send fire from heaven to consume them. Possibly everyone who is reading this is right now is thinking of a person/people who have caused them great harm and/or people who are responsible for great atrocities in the world, like those who rape children, commit violent crimes of murder and so forth as we see in our televisions daily. How can anyone love such people? God does. He loves every one of them and desires for each of them to be saved.
I believe it is important to biblically establish the difference in the mandates given to the civil government and the church. The civil government is an authority established by God, and as Paul wrote in Romans 13:4, “for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath upon the one who practices evil.” The civil government is not told to love its enemies, and would actually be in disobedience by not bringing wrath upon those who do evil because it has been given the sword for that purpose. However, the church has a different mandate. We are told to love our enemies. We are in disobedience if we do not love them.