“Have you noticed that people in the world are becoming more vicious toward one another? That is no accident. The veil of restraint is being lifted more swiftly during these end times to begin to reveal clearly the true hearts of those who are in rebellion against Me. I am turning them over to their depraved nature. Notice how they are beginning to truly enjoy hating one another. Even their games involve killing and destruction. Murder has become sport. The property and life of others has no meaning. They are progressively moving past even normal civil restraints and on to blatant disregard for all authority, vacant of love. It is society breaking down and moving toward its eventual destruction.
"You, My people, however, must put into effect what I have been teaching you. You must love one another deeply. You must pass normal caring and proceed to be advocates one for another. I am now asking you to throw off all the restraints of selfishness and independence toward your brothers and sisters in My covenant family. I am now requiring you to actually seek to provide for the needs of others. Set aside your own interests and pursue the best interests of others before your own just as Jesus did. That kind of love is what will bring those who have ears to hear to Him during the coming times. It will be what sets you apart from the world.
"As you move closer to Jesus and begin to act toward others as He would, while the world moves farther from His kind of love, your light will become increasingly brighter. The difference between the ways of the world and My ways will become very evident. You will proclaim My love of them by your love toward them and toward one another.”
Romans 15:1-7 NIV
1) We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.
2) Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.
3) For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.”
4) For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
5) May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus,
6) so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
7) Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
Titus 3:3 AMP
For we also were once thoughtless and senseless, obstinate and disobedient, deluded and misled; [we too were once] slaves to all sorts of cravings and pleasures, wasting our days in malice and jealousy and envy, hateful (hated, detestable) and hating one another.
The dictionary translation of “advocate” is: “one who defends or maintains a cause for another.” The place where we see advocacy as it applies to our mission is to be “advocates one for another, maintaining a cause for another and then to the world.” The Bible dictionary defines “Advocate” as counselor, comforter, supporter, backer, and helper.
When the true body of Christ begins to function in their everyday lives as they are intended to function, there will be little need for preaching to the world. Our lives and our actions will be the testimony of Jesus to them. They will see who He is by who we are. How will that ever happen if we don’t start by loving one another?
It has been interesting to observe the ability for the world to appear to be able to love one another better than the body of Christ does. 9/11 was a very visible example of that.
After September 11, 2001, many people gave far past the needs of their own lives and lived for the needs of others. Christ’s love was indistinguishable from the world’s love. In fact, the world often seemed to love more sacrificially. There were isolated examples of the Christian church stepping into its intended role; but for the most part, we failed miserably to show the nature of Jesus by our continuing sacrifice.
As things grow darker and hatred spreads deeper into all elements of society, our actions will be the only message that penetrates hardened hearts. Empty words will not suffice. Only as we love deeper than they ever could, will they see Jesus. That is the way it was in decadent Rome. The dying Christians - in the arena, on the roadside crosses, and in caves - gave testimony of Jesus by how they sacrificed themselves for Jesus. They loved those who killed them just as He did.
We who call ourselves Christians have difficulty loving each other. God requires us to love the world even unto death - a far cry from our abilities at present. As we take small steps toward each other, He will build in us the heart to love even those who hate us - something the world has no ability to do. That is where we are called to go so that we point to Jesus. Right now we point only to ourselves. The cartoon character, Pogo, once said something like this: “We have seen the enemy and he is us.”
Help us, Lord!