Enemies of person Vs Enemies of the Gospel Ministry

Was asked a question, and I decided to post it here. Even without context, the positive doctrine explains itself.

“Vincent Cheung explains that according to the Bible the greatest love and hate is an intellectual love and hate.

Most Christians do not understand in what sense we are to love non-Christians and in what sense we are to hate them. But now it is clear that we love the non-Christians in the restricted sense of natural benevolence, but we hate them in the broad sense, that we are hostile to everything about them. The “love” that God and Christians show toward nonChristians is limited to natural and temporal kindness, but on the spiritual and ideological level, God and Christians are completely opposed to the non-Christians. Of course, Christians can pray that the non-Christians be converted. But it remains that as long as they are non-Christians, it is impossible to show brotherly love toward them, since they are not brothers. Rather, the only “love” that God and Christians can show them is the kind that we show to animals – we feed them, house them, and clean up after them.

Complete hostility to another person’s thoughts and actions, including his beliefs, desires, ambitions, preferences, values, lifestyles, habits, and so on, which is the same as hating the person himself, is hatred at the deepest level. This hatred is much deeper than the kind that would strip him of his natural welfare. By this definition, God and Christians hate nonChristians at the deepest level possible, and likewise, non-Christians hate God and Christians at the deepest level possible.[1]

This has foundational importance. If someone disagrees with our Christian worldview, then there is no greater hate they can show us. Likewise, by affirming their worldview is false, we hate them in the greatest possible way.

Recall how people are often mistaken about attributing particular human moral attributes to God; for example, like not decreeing evil. However, if there is an attribute God is He is jealous about, and wants men constantly attributing to Him, apart from His sovereignty, it is His truth, or faithfulness. Hebrews says it is impossible for God to lie. There is not even the possibility for God to lie. None. Jesus’ sermon on the mountain, stresses that men are to emulate this by letting their, Yes be Yes, and No be No.

When men worship an idol or do not believe the Scripture, they are testifying in the public world that “God is a liar.” There is no greater way to hate God than this. To humble yourself, by rejecting what you see and observe, and accept what God has said is true, testifies that God is true. This is the greatest way to love Him. When asked what does God want from men, (John 6) Jesus says it is to believe in Him. Of course, the Spirit causes us to do this.

We must start with what is the greatest hate and love. The reprobate and unbeliever hate us in the greatest possible way, even if they do not see it that way; this is God’s world and how He has defined it. There is nothing they can do, (no physical harm) that is a greater hate than not believing the Bible with us. This where we start on this subject.

The bible does seem to show a distinction between “personal” persecution and persecution done directly to hinder the gospel ministry. If someone is personally annoying, then I would still seek their good, pray for their blessing, unless they got to a point of vexing my soul.

But gospel hindrance is a different thing. Remember how the church asked (Acts 5) God to apply Psalm 2 in the form of healings and miracles “TO” the government oppressing them. Some of these miracles open government owned prisons (with property damage), blinded reprobates and etc. Paul prayed for the harm which the coppersmith did to Paul, (and the context is the harm done in hindering the ministry of the Word of God), would be repaid back to the coppersmith. This is a vindictive Psalm prayer 101.

So at the very least, in cases of persecution and harm that directly effects gospel ministry, hate is prayed to be applied back to the reprobates, even in judgment miracles. The Church needs faith for both healings, and judgment miracles. Without this, the church is weak and vulnerable. In most cases in your lives, this not the case; rather, you do your best, in the pragmatic application, to live at peace and even help the unbelievers, who hate you with the greatest hate possible. This love will either save them or heap coals upon their heads. This love will either lead to an aroma of death or life for them.

[1] Vincent Cheung. Systematic Theology. 2010. Pg. 79