TLK 007

Love Thy Neighbor, and Hate Thine Enemy

• Mar, 12 2024

Hosted by
Rev. Jeremy Walker

Husband, Father, Pastor, Teacher, Podcaster, and Christian Education Advocate

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  • Series: The Last Kingdom
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Jeremy Walker (00:14):

And welcome back to another episode of The Last Kingdom. I am your host, Jeremy Walker. This is episode number seven. It is now March 8th, 2024, and this episode is entitled Love Thy Neighbor and Hate Thine Enemy. We're going to be discussing Matthew 5:43 through 48 and many other topics that are going to be from news and media. So I want to just jump right into this and our subject first by thanking you for being with me today where we will hopefully be discussing our faith, our families, and our future. As you know, I want our listeners to have an optimistic view of the future in Christ and our victory over the world. It's very easy for people to have a pessimistic view because everything is flooded with negativity and of course, our enemies want everyone to think they're winning. Well, they're not. Let's begin our episode entitled, Love Thy Neighbor and Hate Thine Enemy with Matthew 5:43 through 48.


"Ye have heard that it hath been said, thou shalt love thy neighbor and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you and pray for them, which despitefully use you and persecute you. That you may be the children of your Father, which is in Heaven, for he maketh the sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love them, which love you, what reward have you? Do not even the publicans the same. And if you salute your brother and only what do you more than others? Do not even the [inaudible 00:02:17] so. Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."


This is a calling card and a characteristic of the Christian life, something that separates us and should separate us from the rest of the world. There's a concept called manners, civility, politeness, and these concepts come from Christianity. They don't come from natural man because there is no concept of civility or the need or desire or obligation to be civil or polite to people. In fact, American culture was recently stated that one of the hallmarks that was kind of a supremist idea was the idea of being polite to people, that this is not something that we should be obligated to do, to have manners towards other people. In other words, yelling and screaming and calling people names. This is what is supposed to be normal in society.


Well, I don't disagree. That is normal. To be polite and to have manners, to withhold your tongue towards other people, that is a very supernatural thing. I know that people like to think that being religious and being spiritual is some kind of a religious right or action of some sorts, but really it's just about how you interact with people on a daily basis, how it molds you throughout your day and every interaction that you have is either godly or not godly. It's either going to be showing forth the light of Christianity or the darkness of evil sin and rebellion. See people, they, at least in my life, I work with a lot of people, the general public, and I handle people who frankly speaking, are just not polite at all and they only want to be polite if there's one of two folds.


One, you have some form of power over that person, so if they act negatively towards you, you can then retaliate in a manner that's negative enough to make them not want to bother you.


And two, if they want something from you, then they're going to be nice and polite, but if you don't fall into those two categories, then they don't feel that they have to be nice.


I handle phone calls all the time and talk to lots of people and it is one of the hallmarks of people that they are rude, just absolutely rude. People like to be nice to people when they want to be nice, but as Christians, part of the light that we shine is that even when people are rude and mean to us, we don't reciprocate. That's right. When people talk about changing the world, when they talk about influencing the world, a lot of it's just these simple things. I mean, have you thought about it? Really, have you really stopped and thought about it for a second that every time that you interact with somebody, if you're walking up to the door and there's somebody behind you and you hold the door for that person and they might say thank you, they may not say thank you. But it's not about those people. It's about you. You being polite and nice and serving someone else. When somebody needs something, say, "Well, how is it that I can help you? I really do want to help you."


Being patient with people even when they are not patient with you, holding your tongue, holding your anger, holding your temper. If you are a parent, if you are a spouse, if you are a child, if you work in the business world, if you have co-workers, especially if you're a boss, everything that you do has to be part of self-sacrifice. That's a good word for it. Because when we are not treating people the way that they treat us, instead when we treat them in the way we would like to be treated, we've passed from natural man to the supernatural because this is not normal. The normal thing is for people when they're in the highway.


I was on traveling on the interstate recently some time ago. Heavy, heavy traffic, and most people who are listening to this, if you've driven anywhere of any time you can probably understand or you've seen it, where people were trying to merge and it was a high-tense situation. Lots of people, three lanes of traffic and nobody has any patience. And you let people in as much as you can, but you can't let everybody in. You have to flow with traffic. And I remember I had this one guy who shot up to the front where we were at and he was not going to wait for an opening. He was just going to push his car in. Once again, natural man, acting like a natural person, and I had to slam on my brakes because he was literally going to hit my car full of my children and my wife as we were traveling down the road. Some young single punk all by himself in his little sports-type car.


Well, I slam on the brakes and I honked my horn to let him know that, "Hey, you almost just ran us off the road and smashed into our car." Well, what does he do? Well, then he decides to slam on his brakes, roll down his window, hold up his middle finger and make sure it's waving at me, of course. And then for the next 10 minutes, because we're stuck in traffic, he does the, "I'm going to brake, I'm going to make you stop, I'm going to brake, I'm going to make you stop." And he did that for the next 10 minutes. See, I injured his pride. Because I honked at him and I said, "Hey, you ran us off the road. I had to stop or you would hit us." I'm the bad guy, but what did I do? Did I continue honking at him? No, I didn't. I didn't do anything at all to the guy. In fact, we just went apart our way.


The saddest thing is that these kinds of people you might have to suffer with their ill tempers, their poor character and their insults, but they have to live with themselves their entire lives, and you only have to meet them for a moment. It's really important that that concept gets across to Christians in particular. See, the way you're going to live successfully in this world is by not inciting such people. I think I mentioned before in one of the other podcast episodes that Christianity and spirituality isn't ... God's providential care for us isn't something that sprinkles down like fairy dust from the clouds. But when you act in accordance to God's law, it keeps you safe.


One of those things is people that like to fight. You see it all the time on the internet and videos where two people have their pride up and they get in each other's face and start calling each other names. What do you expect to happen except an escalation? So if you don't want an escalation, you just don't participate. You're polite, you walk away, you don't say anything, you keep your tongue. People are going to show who they are based on their actions, and if you're a Christian, it should be built into your character, this passage here, Matthew 5:43 through 48, where people are going to hate you. They're going to deliberately go out of their way to harm you and yet you're still polite, you're still not going to reciprocate. You will not do anything deliberately to harm them. That is love. Love does not mean that you love what they're doing, does not mean that you agree with what they're doing, or how they live, or how they're hurting you.


But what it does mean is that you keep the commandments of God towards those people. That's supernatural. Whenever you will not steal from them, although they try to steal from you. When they are trying to lie to you to hurt you, that you will not try to lie to them, to hurt them. And all the other things that go into it. Your job as a Christian is to be a guiding beacon to the world and Proverbs says, "When you do good to evil men, those people who hate you, it's the absolute worst thing you can do." It's like taking hot coals and pouring it on their head. If you wanted to do the most vicious thing you could to those people who hate you, be polite, be nice, seek their benefit, not their ill.


It doesn't mean you go out of their way to help them in their evil. It just means that you don't do anything negatively to hurt that person. It's almost a negative position in most ways, and I would go a step further because it says also in the Bible that if you saw someone who hates your guts and they're in genuine need, genuine need, that you would help that person despite the fact that they hate you, despite that they have hurt you in some way, slandered you in some way. If they genuinely needed help, you would help them temporarily, like if their car broke down, give them a jump. That kind of an idea. Genuine need. Christians are there to help people, even those who hate them.


If you listen to politics too much, you'll not be a Christian. You will get idea that I will do to him what he has done to me. Early on in the Bible, in the Book of Genesis, there was Lamech and Lamech says, "Those who hurt me, I will not just do back to him what he's done to me, but I will do back to him sevenfold." In other words, you mess with me and you get the horns buddy. That's not the Christian way. That is the evil man's way. And how do you turn the world upside down as it was said of the disciples? Because they taught this type of doctrine. Christian character worked out in the real world.


And if you want to turn the world upside down, it's not the giant things that we do, it's the little things that we do, the very little things. How do you stomp out hate in the world? By stop hating people. Being against somebody, disagreeing with somebody, teaching against somebody and their evil actions is not the same as hating them. The definition of hating somebody is breaking the commandments of God towards a person, lying to them, stealing from them, so forth. And loving that person is keeping the commandments of God towards that person. And so for Christians, for you the listener, are you a person who will go tit-for-tat? You'll only love those who love you? You will deliberately try to hurt and harm those who have tried to hurt and harm you? Or do you have godly character? That's something to think on.


I want to jump to some of our world events and how Christians should react to these things and also how the world is not the same as us, how we can live successfully in this world. One of the most crazy things that I saw of recent in the news, was two men who were living together, they were homosexual men. One had gone through what they call a sex change operation. Basically genital mutilation and body modification. They used to call it vivisection if you are familiar with The Island of Doctor Moreau. But one of these men had his genitals removed and he was keeping his testicles in a jar, I'm guessing with some preservative of some sorts, in the refrigerator of their home where they live together. And then they lived together for some time and eventually they, I guess, split as is common with these types of people because they have no foundation that is godly or Christian, therefore they go from one to the next to the next. Anyways, why did this make the news?


Well, it wasn't because the two people were men who had sex with men, and it wasn't because one of them had genital mutilation, or it wasn't even that they kept their testicles in the fridge next to the mayo. It was that when they split, the one who had the genital mutilation done had apparently forgotten the testicles in the fridge and the other person didn't give them back. Now of course, it was on private property and this item was abandoned in the refrigerator I guess, and now they're going to court to try to get it back and they were having to go before a judge. It sounds psychotic.


I remember being a kid, you would never think that this kind of story would ever come up. But in the Bible you did have Solomon where he had the two prostitutes and one's child dies from suffocation, and the way he determined which one of these is the true parent of the child was, "Well, we'll chop it in half and we'll give you both half." And of course the parent, the real parent said, "Just give it to the other one." They preferred that their child lived and was with the other person than dead. And this is how Solomon determined that that was the real mom. What the judge did, I didn't read about it and it really wasn't really the point. This wasn't the first time I'd heard about these types of things.


Another one was a woman who had gotten her ... She was a young woman who had gotten a hysterectomy done and all of her female internal parts were also put in a jar of formaldehyde and was stuck on the family mantle. So when people came by, there it was in a jar sitting up there on the mantle. Now, why do I bring these things up? Not because they're salacious, but they are. But the reason is not to point out the evils of fallen men, but to point out the differences between them. Christians, we celebrate how God made us. We embrace our manhood or our womanhood as God created. We are not at war with ourselves, with our physical bodies. We are not at war. The natural man is, and it's not just people who mutilate their bodies, it's people that break the commandments in general. They are going to destroy themselves. They are suicidal, self-destructive people.


Now, why would they then take these objects, either testicles in the fridge next to the mayo or ovaries on a mantle? Why would they do these things? These are trophies. It is a celebration of their godhood, if you will, their independence, and this is the medal on the wall which shows my level of independence from God and my ability to govern myself, my body, my choices, all the rest. We should pity such people because these people are at war with God and themselves, so we are trying to help such people. That's kind of what the text at the beginning was. Not to look at these kinds of people that do these types of things who absolutely hate Christians, but to see these types of people as people we want to help. You don't want to see a person mutilate themselves. You don't want to see a woman destroy her body to where she cannot do one of the things that makes a woman a woman: having children.


There are so many stories of women who destroy their bodies in one way or another and then lament the fact because now their biological clocks are ticking and they can't have children and it destroys them emotionally, physically, and eventually most of them, quite a few of them commit suicide. We as Christians are standing in this world as light to point these people away from the darkness that has enveloped them to the God who is calling them back if they're Christians. Because it is a sad, dark place that these people live. We should not be angry at these kinds of people that hate us. We should feel pity for them.


The Bible is very clear that it says, "Do not feel that yourself above such people because many of you," and he's talking about the Corinthian church when Paul was talking about the subjects saying, "Many of you were just like these people in one way or another. If not fully, then at least in some fashion you were at war with God in however that manifested itself. And now God has in His grace brought you back to the light, given you a proper way to see the world. Giving you grace, new life and you should be grateful and you should feel pity for people that are still at war with God." And your job is to hopefully try to benefit them so it's not just listening to the salacious stories and laughing at people or pointing your finger, but these are the kinds of people that need the most help and that's what Christians jobs are to try to do, to try to help.


Another story that came up was about Japan and how its birth rate is at an all-time record low. There were in 2023, 758,000 babies born in that year, which was last year. But there are 1,574,000 plus deaths in Japan in the same year, so they're not even remotely replacing themselves at all. At all. These are also people who are at war with God and it's just manifesting in a different way. One of the first things that God gave us was to be fruitful and to multiply, to replenish the earth. You as a person, a man or a woman, do not find fulfillment in anything beyond fulfilling your role like a bird is happiest when it's flying and gliding in the sky. You can just watch a bird up there on the wind currents and it is enjoying life. A fish swimming in the ocean, it just is loving its life. And as a human, a creature of God placed on this earth as a man or a woman, you will not find happiness outside of what God has called us to be, and that's what we as Christians try to call people to do.


We are not people of death like what's happened in Japan. We are people of life. God has made everything to reproduce and to prosper. And it is abnormal, it is chaos for people to live in death, to not propagate and grow and have children, and to find happiness in the arms of their spouse, husband or wife, and with children and with grandchildren. I was at a hockey game just last night and I got to see my own children holding my grandchildren, taking them to a hockey game, and they were just so happy. They were there with their family, the kids were there enjoying it, and it was just a wonderful thing as a grandparent to sit there and just love to see this sight. I got so much enjoyment out of not only being a parent myself, but now being a grandparent. And Christians, that's what we need to bring to the world.


The happiness is living in sync with God. That's how we can win, by teaching the little things to those around us, those in pain, those at war with God, pointing them back to God, ushering them to go back and then being the example. Not like Japan who is dying, but like Christians who are prospering, you should be literally getting busy at having children. That should be a goal for you, to have children, to raise them in the nurture and the admonition of the Lord. That is light. I've traveled with my family and I have 11 children with my wife, and I've traveled quite a few places at this point in my life, and we had many young children. At one point we had six kids under six. And eventually we have now 11, ages 22 to 6, and now 3 grandchildren. But I remember going to many different places and people going, "Well, are you guys Mormon or Catholic?" No, because of course they asked that because traditionally Mormons and Catholics have lots of children.


I've never been asked if I was a Christian because I had lots of kids. That's something that the Christian Church is going to have to answer for eventually, but that is part of the light, that we are supposed to be the salt that we're supposed to be. We are supposed to be pointing people to God and with God prosperity, reproductivity is with God's commandments and God's laws, not death, not like Japan. We are supposed to be at war with sin, and at war with sin means bringing the light, and that's something that most people think it's political, as I mentioned, I think the previous podcast. But it's not politics at all. Not even remotely is it politics and getting votes and all these kinds of things that are out there. Not remotely is it that.


We are supposed to be people who try to live godly lives on a daily, daily basis. It's not the big stuff, just being a good Christian parent, being a good Christian spouse, good Christian friend. That is how we win. This is Jeremy Walker. This is The Last Kingdom. I want to give you hope because the little things is how we win. We don't need the big stuff, just the little stuff. I want you to remember your faith, your family, and what it means to the future. Live a godly life. "Love those who hate you, and despitefully use you." This is Jeremy Walker signing off. Thank you and God bless.

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