Should Christ followers love ISIS?

As a Christian minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ a frequent question I get asked is, “How should we feel about ISIS?”

The question more specifically asked is, “Should we love ISIS?” My answer is always the same, “Yes.”

God has made all men in the image of himself and we should love them. The question continues with, “How do you love someone who is persecuting Christians and killing innocent men, women and children?” We love them with the agape love of God, with the love of the will.

God has made all men in his image (Gen. 9:6). He is no respecter of persons. In fact the Bible says, “For there is no partiality with God” (Rom. 2:11). We are to love the person and dislike the sin. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).  We have all heard the saying, “Hurting people hurt people.” These men need to know the abundant love of God.

We are to extend love and be love, whether or not we are receiving it back. If more people would activate their faith and share the gospel of Jesus Christ, perhaps the ISIS situation would not have gotten out of control.

I love my friend Leif Hetland’s ministry. He has a mission to love Muslims on purpose. He is all about being a love ambassador for Christ to all people. If everyone made it their mission to love people who are different from them, the world would be a better place. 

Jesus says, “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven” (Luke 6:37). Even though ISIS is persecuting Christians, our responsibility is to be love and extend love, to not judge and to forgive.

How is ISIS different than any other sinner? We love homosexuals, but don’t agree with the sin they are participating in. We love people who have had abortions, but don’t agree with the murder of innocent babies. We love those who have committed adultery, but don’t agree with adulterous relationships. Sin is sin.

We need to extend the love of God and allow him to be the judge and vindicator. We should be repenting for our own sin and not consuming ourselves with another person’s sin. The Bible says, “And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?” (Matt. 7:3).

There are a lot of things in the world we do not agree with, support or believe in. If we are consumed with should we love them or how should we feel about them, we are going to spend a lot of time getting angry and bitter. Yes, what ISIS is doing is unfair and wrong, but God says, “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor. 13:13).

He gave us two commandments for us to live by in Matthew.  “Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind'” (Matt. 22:37) and “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:39). 

Love isn’t always easy, especially in the face of adversity, but Jesus commands it. It says, love is the greatest and to be love.  We are to be an extension of God’s love. God loved us when we didn’t always deserve it, but we are worthy and deserving through Him. All men, all women, all people are deserving of the same love we receive.

There is a saying, “Love always wins.” It really is true, if someone would have won these men with the love of Christ we wouldn’t have the problems we have today. Love can turn a situation around, love can make a difference. What difference are you going to extend by releasing the love and power of God into the lives around you?

~ by Kathy DeGraw on March 2, 2016.

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