God's News Ticker

Bible Answers: Who are our neighbors? Who are our brothers and sisters? Who are we to love?

These are questions we are often asked here and I wanted to write this sermon to clear up many misconceptions that people seem to have about certain passages.

Love your neighbor, meanie!

Matthew 22:39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

They take this to mean that we are supposed to have a big hippie love-in with everyone we meet. The question I ask them is, who are our neighbors? Fortunately for us, Jesus was asked that exact same question.

You may know it as the parable of the Good Samaritan. You may have known this story as a morality tale as that the least of us can be good and do good things for one another, but the story is actually a foundation upon which salvation lies.

Please turn with me to Luke 10:25-37

25And849463109_orig.jpg (1500×1190), behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
26He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
27And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
28And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.
29But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?

Most of us know the story of the Jewish man who was left for dead on the side of the road. Two Jews passed him by one was even a Levite priest, but a Samaritan (an unclean low person {John 4:9} who didn’t believe in Judaism the same way the regular Jews did.) stopped to save him. Jesus ends the parable by asking this question in Luke 10:36-37

36Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
37And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise

Hallelujah! Our answer is clear. Only one of the three people was Jesus’ neighbor.

We are to love our neighbors as ourselves, but our neighbors are only those who display Christian love and kindness by doing God’s will. The people who won’t help the ministry of Christ are beyond our help and they will be cast into the fire.

Like, aren’t we supposed to love one another, man?

stupid-ugly-hippy1.jpg (400×427)
John 13:34
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

Again, this scripture taken out of context would make it sound like we are supposed to go around drawing hearts and writing love poetry to everyone we see on the streets when nothing could be further from the truth.

To properly discern this saying of Jesus we have to take it into context. Who was Jesus speaking to when He gave us that commandment?

The setting is during the last supper. Jesus is sitting there with His disciples. It was a closed event.

You only need to look at the next verse to realize that Jesus didn’t include everyone in this.

By this shall all men (the rest of them or everyone else)know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

We are to love our fellow Christians.

But wait! I’m a Christian!

Maybe you are maybe you aren’t. We’ll know soon enough. As Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:16-21

16Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Only those who live Christianity in other words.

tumblr_lvgoi7mkmp1qdlkgg.gif (300×170)

But isn’t everyone a “brother” or a “sister” by virtue that we are all related somehow?

That would be an emphatic no. Jesus tells us that our own flesh and blood family cannot stand in the way of following Him.

Luke 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

Not only did Jesus tell us to do this, but He followed it by denying his own mother and siblings. Please turn to Matthew 12:46-50 with me

46While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him.
47Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.
48But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?
49And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
50For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

Jesus tells us that only those who follow Him are your brother and sisters.

No, I’m sure I think I’m a Christian even though you’re telling me I’m not.

Thankfully, we have the Epistles to deal with this situation. If someone calls his/her self a brother or sister and they continue in sin, the Bible is specific how we are to treat them. Please see 1 Corinthians 5:9-13

9I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
10Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.
11But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
12For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?
13But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.


join-our-religion-of-love-and-peace-or-go-to-hell.png (402×283)

We are to shun you and ignore you. If you are preaching a Gospel other than what is in the Bible like coddling queers and other assorted sinners, we are to not listen to you. We are not allowed to greet you warmly much less let you into our home or we are culpable in your sins. Please see 2 John 1:9-11.

9Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.

10If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
11For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

In summation, there are many verses about love in the Bible that are incorrectly attributed to mean that we are to love everyone no matter what. The Truth, as always, lies in God’s Word.

Thank you and God bless.