by Rayola Kelley
Q: Clearly, this world is going to hell in a hand basket, along with all the people that do unspeakable, terrible, terrible things. We get angry and want to shoot them all. Then I read in Matthew 5:44, “love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.” Perhaps you want to elaborate on that one.
A: There appears to be confusion over this matter and I do appreciate your question. There are different factors that determine how we are to react to issues challenging our Christian life. In Matthew 5, Jesus had two reasons for giving this instruction. The first was personally to avoid becoming so angry against personal injustice that it would turn into hate or bitterness. We must always guard our attitude towards those who personally oppose or offend us, and for the sake of our testimony, we are supposed to turn the other cheek, and for His sake, we must graciously endure persecution.
However, withstanding hatred directed towards us, and standing for what is right in order to stand against any advancement being made by the kingdom of darkness into our homes, churches and government is a different matter altogether. The Bible tells us to live as peaceably with others as we can, but nowhere in Scripture does it say we are to give up and let evil reign. We are called to be soldiers, and have been given an armor to fight the battle raging in the unseen world (Ephesians 6:10-17). Our battle is not with flesh and blood, but we must remember Satan uses wicked people to advance His darkness in this age. We are not to hate men, but we are to have a perfect hatred towards evil and to stand against Satan’s evil advancement for the sake of our families, the Church and our nation.
King Solomon put it best when he stated that there is a season and time for war, as well as a time for peace. It is obvious that the powers taking center stage in this nation, as well as in the world, are not interested in peace. As for the powers in America, they have subtly declared war on the Constitution, the American people and our way of life that has promoted religious freedom and common decency for all.
As Christians, we must discern the times we live in and be prepared to face the season that is upon us. In these last days, we need to be watchmen, ready to stand for righteousness, praying to withstand with truth, and to remain standing according to the faithfulness of God to save and preserve us. The reason we are to stand, withstand and to remain standing is because God is the only one that can fight and win this battle on our behalf. However, we must provide Him the avenues of faith, right standing, obedience, and boldness to allow Him to show Himself mighty on our behalf.
I do hope this brings the necessary distinction and answers your question.