“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you.
“No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. This I command you, that you love one another. If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.
“Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me.
“If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates Me hates My Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well. But they have done this to fulfill the word that is written in their Law, ‘THEY HATED ME WITHOUT A CAUSE.’
“When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me, and you will testify also, because you have been with Me from the beginning.” [John 15:13-27]
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
At the root of today’s culture of hate and blasphemous reactionary rhetoric is a denunciation of America’s Christian heritage and an attack on the teachings of the Lord Jesus. It is a rejection of all things Christian.
When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this Man’s blood; see to that yourselves.” And all the people said, “His blood shall be on us and on our children!” [Matthew 27:24-25]
American Christian values have been under attack for a very long time now. Many believers continue to stand in the gap for the Lord Jesus, however, and will not be swayed from their loyalty toward Him. He is the foundation of their lives. He saved them from a life of sin and waywardness and gives them strength each day to stay on the straight and narrow path.
His enemies apparently suppose that such a path and belief system is highly restrictive. In the name of personal freedom they embrace sin, knowingly or not, and establish their moral code according to their own desires. Their open road and broad way must include the liberty to engage in practices condemned by the Lord’s moral code. His code, of course, is not designed to restrict freedom but to protect His followers from choices which incur bad results, often with long-term effects, and to release great blessing, joy, and fulfillment. But He never forces His teachings on anyone. Real followers of the Lord obey Him voluntarily as individuals without any coercion on His part because it is a relationship based on love and trust. This is contrary to the leadership method of faux religions and cults that must compel programmed group compliance for “the greater good,” which is merely a euphemism for the benefits they incur by being in charge and the only way their organizations can exist.
Ironically, despite their incessant virtue signaling and false moralizing, and instead of using their freedom for the good of others, which involves self-sacrifice and spiritual love, their freedom is often used for entirely selfish purposes and collective societal agendas and strike hard at the heart of individual liberty by denying the right to live according to conscience. It is thus not too difficult to surmise which agendas are based on love and which are not.
“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” [Matthew 7:12-14]
Crucifying an innocent man simply because you disagree with His teachings and because He exposed institutional societal and religious corruption is a clear sign of a hateful heart. All sane people agree with this. But continuing to harbor great ill will toward Him after two thousand years must be the same. When outright rejection of the Lord Jesus is a central component of one’s religion and secular belief system, it reveals an otherwise obvious problem. Some address it, overcome it, reject it, and gain spiritual health and healing. Others buckle down all the more and continue the fight. Whether this fight is a struggle for personal freedom against the centuries-long onslaught of false Christian denominations and evil anti-Jewish traditions or direct abhorrence of the Lord Jesus is a question left to the individual. In that regard it is certainly the case that unbelieving Jews have been persecuted by fake Christians in direct violation of the Lord’s teachings.
But these same fake Christians have also persecuted real Christians who refused to be forced into their cults.
I could name names but most people reading this know exactly which entities I am referring to. Concerning one of these major denominations, if you ask who the worldwide leader is most members will refer to a man known as the holy father who is not the Lord Jesus. In this there is the echo of the following:
They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham. But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do.” [John 8:39-40]
Suffice it to say that burning people at the stake or engaging in any of the other well-known torture tactics against those who stand up for personal freedom and liberty of conscience, and who pay with their lives rather than submit to a false cult opposed to the Lord Jesus, is strictly within the realm of the devil.
Yet, it was not the Romans who crucified the Lord but the leaders of an evil Jewish cult. Roman soldiers carried it out but only because Pontius Pilate was deathly frightened by the threats of this religious cult against him. They were going to appeal directly to Caesar and blame him for the social unrest incurred by them and use his record against him. Pilate knew he was on thin ice because of his former evil treatment of certain Jewish people whom he saw as worthless renegades deserving his wrath and cold Roman “justice.” He therefore completely surrendered to their blackmail. They played their card extremely well. To save himself Pilate allowed the Lord to be crucified. To save themselves, the leaders of the evil Jewish cult did the same. They wanted Him out of the way. He exposed them for what they were.
In the long run it didn’t matter. Forty years later what was left of the nation of Israel was destroyed forever. It was certainly the case that a great many Jews were on the side of right and did not harbor the ill will and destructive practices of the evil cult and its supporters. A great many Jews recognized the Lord Jesus as their Messiah and gave their lives to Him. The Lord Jesus is a descendant of Isaac and Abraham, as were all of His original followers. The 120 in the Upper Room at Pentecost also had this pure bloodline. The entire Community of the Lord for about the first seven years or so of its existence were comprised entirely of these same descendants. There were no Gentiles. Thus, that which we call Christianity today had what we would call today a Jewish or Hebrew heritage.
It is therefore absolutely wrong to state that Jews were not Christians or Christians were not Jews. By our current terminology, in the beginning ALL the Christians were Jews.
So where did Christian anti-Judaism come from? Where did Jewish anti-Christianity come from? Both of these obviously did not come from the Lord or from real Christians. Real Christians never persecuted anybody. How can people who are instructed to crucify their flesh and love everyone on the planet persecute people? No, the ones engaging in the hate are those who reject the Lord. Such people are on both sides. Anyone who studies Christian history gains an understanding of who the perpetrators were simply by looking at what they did to those who disagreed with them.
Which brings us to our current theme. Hatred in America is greatly increasing. Rather than simply disagree but stay friendly, we now have people who engage in outright hate to the point of threatening bodily harm and murder if you don’t believe as they do. These people are not interested in friendly dialogue and discussions. They want to get you. If they can’t do physical harm they will engage in every manner of character assassination. They will trash you all day long and lie incessantly. Many, many people have suffered in America and had their lives destroyed by these people. They are relentless. They have no moral code other than forcing everyone to believe as they do and their beliefs are often fluid. They do the very opposite of what the Lord Jesus taught. For students of the Great Reformation this should sound familiar.
THE LION FROM THE TRIBE OF JUDAH
I have been to Messianic synagogue services several times. I have known several Jewish people who converted to the Lord Jesus. I keep in touch with Messianic ministries in Israel. I have done much study on the Hebrew roots of the Christian faith. I was one of the earliest to do this when it first came forth over thirty-five years ago. I was fascinated by first century Hebrew history and culture and the times of the Lord. I still have all the books I acquired back then and continue my research. For many Christians it is difficult to go beyond the walls of their denomination or church, but there is a rich heritage to study for both Jew and Christian. The Lord’s primary message to all was to love God and love our neighbor. Would that we would all surrender to the Lord Jesus and obey His teachings on this love as illustrated perfectly by His example.
Spiritual love is the only antidote to cultural hate.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” [Matthew 5:9-20] 
© 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
Sometimes life is hard.
But we learn fairly young in life that we must press on and overcome whatever difficulty we are facing because the alternative is much worse.
In fact, there is really no comparison.
Even if we never achieve the goal or actually fully overcome and get past major obstacles and setbacks, there is at least a good feeling that we tried, that we made the attempt, and that we gave it everything we had.
In sports, losing is not as bad if we give everything we have and “leave it all on the field.” Of course, losing is bad. Losing is really bad. I hate losing. Being very competitive by nature and by choice, I know that making peace with the idea of losing is a terrible thing to do. But if one has done everything one can possibly do (and that always involves doing things we never thought we were capable of doing), we can eventually get past the loss and get on down the road.
But it depends on how we lost. If we know we gave it our all and that there was nothing more that could have been done, we have a victory of sorts in our hearts. And it is the kind of victory that allows us to feel okay about ourselves, and not get down on ourselves, and keep the fires stoked for the next opportunity to win.
I am not afraid of the devil. Yes, he is a very powerful spiritual entity that can wreak the very worst forms of destruction and wickedness. And yes, he sometimes gets us. He sometimes inflicts serious damage. I mean, as wicked as humanity can be, there is no way humanity can reach such incredible forms of wickedness and evil without some serious help. We know as Christians that there is a devil and that he can do some damage. The devil working in concert with unregenerate humanity has proven to be a lethal combo throughout history, and there is plenty of evidence to support this.
Yet, if one is not a real Christian one will not perceive any devil. The devil, through his great powers of deception, can easily keep sinful human beings in the dark and remain invisible. In fact, non-Christians often scoff at the idea of a devil and of wicked unseen entities existing upon this planet.
But the Lord Jesus knew such entities existed. In fact, He could see them. He addressed them. And they talked back. He was not afraid of the devil and He taught us the same. To respect one’s enemy is a good thing. To fear one’s enemy is to not have faith against one’s enemy. And if that happens, one will find oneself up a creek without a paddle. One will have no return volley or return fire or a bigger punch. Instead of fighting even harder to overcome the enemy and the obstacle, fear causes one to give in. One will surrender. That’s what fear without faith does. It causes eventual surrender.
Real fighters, however, never surrender. Real Christians have no fear of their enemies. If one respects his enemy and knows he is in for a tough fight, he will have a much better chance of victory. But to fear one’s enemy is to lose before the battle is ever engaged.
But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong. [1 Peter 3:14-17]
Though we face formidable foes, the Lord empowers us to kick their rear ends all over creation. That’s what He did. Dying on the cross was not what unbelievers would call much of a victory, but for real Christians, He is our great King because He defeated hell, He defeated death, and He defeated the grave. He fought with everything He had to resist all temptation and live a life completely devoid of any sin. Most of the rest of us already commit our first sins as little kids, right out of the chute. But not the Lord. And as a result, when He died, HE COULD NOT STAY DEAD. Sin had no hold on Him. He defeated sin. He defeated the world. And He mopped up the parking lot with the devil.
So even though the devil is still a bad dude, he’s got asphalt stuck in his face and elbows and knees, and regarding the Lord, is a thoroughly defeated foe.
But the Lord, from His good heart and wonderful grace, has blessed each of His sons and daughters with their own opportunity to whip the devil. He allows for spiritual fights to take place. He trains us for battle and sends us into war having full confidence that we can also get our licks in and overcome any obstacle any enemy might put before us.
So remember, living some sort of “perfect” Christian life in some sort of faux American dream or “hippiefied flowers in your hair peace love dove nothing bad ever happens to me” is a bean dream, even though many fake Christian ministers tell us we can, and that it should be one’s primary goal. However, if one does manage to live such a life on this planet, it exposes the fact he is not fighting the devil. It illustrates such a one has made peace with the devil. And it reveals a person in league with the devil.
“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.
“But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates Me hates My Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well. But they have done this to fulfill the word that is written in their Law, ‘THEY HATED ME WITHOUT A CAUSE.’” [John 15:18-25]
The bottom line, ladies and gentlemen, is that real Christians are in a real fight, and as in any war, there will be casualties. But the victor who suffers on the field of battle continually gets back up to fight another day, and this absolutely infuriates the devil and this fallen world. The evil one hates the fact that he can throw everything at us and still not defeat us. He considers himself and his hordes far superior and it causes him untold grief every time a son or daughter of the Lord Jesus gets back up and fights on though horrifically battered and bruised.
Through such valiant and stalwart action, warriors for the Lord look directly into the enemy’s eyes and fearlessly express something to the effect, “Is that all you got?”
…Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. [1 John 4:4] 
© 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.