The Key To Joy Pt 8: Crowned To Love Our Enemies

The Key To Joy Pt 8: Crowned To Love Our Enemies

Crowned To Love Our Enemies

Matthew 5:43–48

43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

On the 16th of February 2023, the ABC published what could only been seen as a slanderous attack on Biblical Christians, aligning their belief system as the source of motivation for the deadly shooting of two police officers in Queensland on the 12th of December, 2022.

The headline said it all;

Queensland police say the Wieambilla shooting is a terrorist attack motivated by premillennialism.

The article went on to say,

Christian extremist ideology has been linked to other attacks around the world, but this is the first time we’ve seen it in Australia.”

When requesting the commonality of the belief system, it was the associate professor of Politics at Deakin University in Victoria, Dr Josh Roose, who is also said to be an “expert on far-right and religious extremism” according to the ABC, that stated this incredible claim;

“This [belief] by no means represents Christianity, however, any extreme idea taken to its conclusion … when you’re talking about biblical or religious texts, effectively has the strong potential for violence.”

I was personally so shaken by this complete distortion of evident reality that I could not but write, both in complaint to the ABC for willing vilifying the broad view of Biblical Christians around the world, and also willing to distort all evident history, even so far as to claim that Islam is a religion of Peace, while now stating that biblical Christianity has a penchant for violent extremism.

On the 17th of February, in a complaint to the ABC,  I wrote;

“The most extreme view of anyone who follows the Bible literally is to “love your enemy”. I was astounded to see  that such an article could be justified that says the opposite, regardless of the eschatological views of Christians. There are three ‘Last-days’ views of ALL Christians, and ALL would be considered ‘extreme’ in the eyes of an anti-biblical worldview, yet NONE of them, taken to the extreme, could justify what those people did in Queensland, yet your news item tried to affirm the opposite.

The Golden rule to “Love God and love your neighbour as yourself” came from the lips of Christ and is certainly “EXTREME” if taken literally. It is the complete opposite, both of the world we live in today and the article this journalist wrote.”

I had then written to Dr Josh Roose whose email was published on the Deakin University Website. He is based in Melbourne.

My first email on the 17th of Feb, the day after the article appeared, simply requested a response as to whether or not the ABC had properly represented him.

I did not receive a response. But about a week later I had seen a similar affirmation of the belief of this Professor was given in the Guardian via a direct article. I sent him another email requesting a meeting with him;

Dear Dr Roose,

I have not as yet received a response from you respecting your representation on the ABC, but after seeing the article from the Guardian I understand that you were properly represented.

I am reaching out one more time in the hope that I might have a coffee with you respecting the issue, as I truly believe a great error has been promoted that terribly misrepresents Christians, and especially those who have long held the views castigated in the media of late, given fuel by your statements.

Perhaps you might see an opportunity to meet with and speak to a Pastor who might be considered by you as being one of the most “extreme fundamentalist Christians”, holding Premillennialism as that which the Bible teaches.

My hope would be you might find that, though fundamentalism in some religions may naturally lead to violence, only the precise opposite could be said of those who are charged to love their enemies.

I live in Melbourne and am happy to meet for a cuppa for a time and at a place that suits you.

Sincerely yours, Pr Edi Giudetti

I have never received a response from Dr Roose.

It was Richard Wurmbrand, the founder of The Voice of the Martyrs, who recalled what it was to Love your Enemies” and how it was that it was through this very effort and suffering, that brought him the closest to the Lord Jesus Christ.

In suffering some of the most excruciating tortures at the hand of the communists, and in the witnessing of barbarity so extreme he says it was impossible to reduce to writing for the offence it would cause and the memories it would bring up, Pr Wurmbrand wrote;

“It was in prison that we found the hope of salvation for the Communists. It was there that we developed a sense of responsibility toward them. It was in being tortured by them that we learned to love them.”[1]

Perhaps this becomes true for many Christians. Only through the sufferings aligned to Jesus may we finally understand what it is to love our enemies. Perhaps it is only through these kind of trials that we seek his face to learn of what to do.

When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die”.

This is a quote from another martyr for Christ. Written several years before he himself fulfilled its calling.

In its context, Pr Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was executed by the Nazis on the 9th of April 1945 at the Flossenburg Concentration Camp, without any evidence against him, with no records of the proceedings, but by witness of those who had seen the event, and only a fortnight before the camp was liberated by the US Army, Dietrich Bonhoeffer understood that to follow Jesus Christ was to go against all the common tendencies of naturalistic man that denies the reality of God and the plight of the Gospel.

In his 1937 book, “The Cost of Discipleship”, four years after Adolf Hitler became Chancellor and two years before the onset of the 2nd world war, Bonhoeffer wrote;

As we embark upon discipleship we surrender ourselves to Christ in union with his death—we give over our  lives to death. Thus it begins; the cross is not the terrible end to an otherwise god-fearing and happy life, but it meets us at the beginning of our communion with Christ. When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die. It may be a death like that of the first disciples who had to leave home and work to follow him, or it may be a death like Luther’s, who had to leave the monastery and go out into the world. But it is the same death every time—death in Jesus Christ, the death of the old man at his call.” ( Dietrich BonhoefferThe Cost of Discipleship, 99)

Beloved, the call to Love our Enemies is the single greatest and most exreme act in relationships that we are called to undertake. It is the “Death” of our old and natural tendencies to “hate our enemy”, and to instead love him for the sake of the gospel.


The FIRST relationship we had to understand, was that respecting our direct relationship to God. This SECOND relationship is that relationship to our fellowman that KNOWS NOT GOD.


Extreme Relationships Among Fallen Man

Matthew 5:43–48

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

Chapter 5 of Matthew is the beginning of the famous “Sermon on the Mount” just above Galilee. It has the view of all the area including Lake Gennesaret, also known as the Sea of Galilee.

It is the sermon that perhaps stunned the world in both its simplicity and its wisdom. It is a sermon that addressed in mankind, not the actions of mankind as does nine of the ten commandments, but the heart of mankind.

It speaks to those precious and most comforting matters of life that are the exact OPPOSITE to all we have the natural tendencies to think;

Matthew 5:3–12

3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. 10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Never has mankind heard such things as these and never have such things been spoken of with such authority.

It tells of the future states of those who come to represent the character and nature of The LORD and the burdens and sufferings they endure through that likeness.

Poor in spirit, yet inheriting heaven.

Temporal mourning in life, yet comfort in the state of eternity;

meek and yet kings of the earth;

malnourished in Spirit, yet awaiting a future endowment that will see them filled….

Those who suffer for the sake of Christ and the fullest representation of The LORD, these are rewarded with the crowns of heaven, “for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you”.

Even the officers of the Temple recognises that “Never man spake like this man” (Jn 7:46).

So incredible were his teachings that he drew immediately the following of multitudes behind him. No matter how often he told people not to spread his name abroad, so much the more did those who heard him want to hear him again.

There was nowhere they would not go, even to the point of having no place to sustain themselves, they followed Jesus to hear his words.

He had no “education” from man.

He followed the teaching of no man.

He spoke with no other man as his authority.

They could not tell from whence he was.

Jesus came and caused in the hearts of many nothing but total confusion as to how he could speak with both authority and wisdom, having never learned!

And the common people heard him gladly (Mrk 12:37)

Now in our passage he speaks to the most extreme idea found anywhere in the world.

That man is to love his enemies.

In the first line in verse 43, we see the tendency of man that everyone can NATURALLY agree with.

We know it by nature and who is it that can deny it?;

Matthew 5:43–48

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

The natural tendency of fallen man in his most extreme end is hatred for his enemy. This is a representation of The Extreme Relationships Among Fallen Man.

It is a perspective of life that has THIS PRESENT WORLD, and happiness in THIS PRESENT WORLD, as its ultimate purpose.

If, “The pursuit of happiness” is the ultimate purpose of mankind in this world, then anything that disrupts or interferes with this pursuit is to be addressed with all levels of address at our disposal.

If our happiness in this life is the ultimate goal and the highest moral good, then it is difficult to deny the Marxist axiom of “The ends justify the means”.

Those who stand against our “happiness” can be rightly seen as our enemy, and hatred toward our enemy is the natural result.

Jesus spoke of that which was said before and believed among those in the world.

Indeed it was the pagan world who believed this to be the case, and the Jews, who yet did not understand who their neighbour was, believed the same ideas.

When the lawyer stood to tempt Jesus in Luke 10:25 respecting eternal life, Jesus asked him of the primary commandment of the law. And so the man answered saying;

27 ….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. 28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. 29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?  Luke 10:27–29

It was from here that Jesus gave the parable of The Good Samaritan.

But this was not the view of the world Jesus entered, nor is it the view of the world around us, nor is it the natural tendency of us as Christians, though it ought to be.

Our natural tendency is summarised in the words of the ancient Roman Philosopher and Orator, Cicero AROUND 55BC, who rule was simply, “To injure no one, unless previously injured[2]

That is, to “Do unto others what they have done unto you”.

From this point on, all wars and all the history of war and hatred stem. How far back do we go for the perceived injuries we have sustained and the hands of our fellow man? How many generations? ISLAM TEACHES no harm against the “INNOCENT”, yet claim none of the descendants of Crusaders of ancient times are “innocent”.

Today we have the exact same teaching in schools respecting “White Guilt” which has led to affirmative action efforts around the western world in their “collective” attempts to atone for the sins of the father.

IS this NOT the cause of the hatred boiling over around the world today?

Logically, where can this end but in the self destruction of all of mankind?

Extreme Relationships Among Reconciled Man

Matthew 5:43–48

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

I have an excerpt from a book I would like to read you. It is the true account of that which Jesus spoke of here in Matthew 5:44.

It demonstrates to us all that the love of Christ, that forgave us all our sins, is expected to be given to all who have sinned against us.

Scripture teaches us that we were the enemies of God BEFORE he died for our sins;

Romans 5:10

For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

Colossians 1:21

And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.

This was you and I, enemies of God YET he gave his life for us;

Romans 12:20–21

Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

The testimony I am going to read to you is told by Richard Wurmbrand of the murderer of the entire family of his wife Sabina. It tells of her response upon being told that the man who killed her entire family, was in their living room.

When Romania entered the war on Germany’s side, a pogrom began in which many thousands of Jews were killed or deported. At Iasi alone 11,000 were massacred in a day. My wife, who shares my Protestant faith, is also of Jewish origin. We lived in Bucharest, from which the Jews were not deported, but her parents, one of her brothers, three sisters, and other relatives who lived in Bucovine were taken to Transmistria, a wild border province that the Romanians had captured from Russia. Jews who were not murdered at the end of this journey were left to starve, and there Sabina’s family died.

Sometime later our landlord, a good Christian, told me sadly of a man who was staying in the house while on leave from the front. “l knew him before the war,” he said, “but he’s changed completely. He has become a brute who likes to boast of how he volunteered to exterminate Jews in Transmistria and killed hundreds with his own hands.”

I went upstairs after supper to the landlord’s flat. Lounging in an armchair was a giant of a man whom the landlord introduced as Borila, the killer of Jews from Transmistria. When he rose he was even taller than l, and there seemed to be about him an aura of horror that was like a smell of blood. Soon he was telling us of his adventures in the war and of the Jews he had slaughtered.

The murderer proved to be not only a murderer. Nobody is only one thing. He was a pleasant talker, and eventually it came out that he had a great love of music. He mentioned that while serving in the Ukraine he had been captivated by the songs there. “I wish I could hear them again,” he said.

I knew some of these old songs. I thought to myself, looking at Borila, The fish has entered my net!

“lf you’d like to hear some of them,” I told him, “come to my flat—I’m no pianist, but I can play a few Ukrainian melodies.”

The landlord, his wife, and his daughter accompanied us. My wife was in bed. She was used to my playing softly at night and did not wake up. I played the folk songs, which are alive with feeling, and I could see that Borila was deeply moved. I remembered how, when King Saul was afflicted by an evil spirit, the boy David had played the harp before him.

I stopped and turned to Borila. “l’ve something very important to say to you,” I told him.

“Please speak,” he said.

“If you look through that curtain you can see someone is asleep in the next room. It’s my wife, Sabina. Her parents, her sisters, and her twelve-year-old brother have been killed with the rest of the family. You told me that you had killed hundreds of Jews near Golta, and that is where they were taken.” Looking into his eyes, I added, “You yourself don’t know who you have shot, so we can assume that you are the murderer of her family.”

He jumped up, his eyes blazing, looking as if he were about to strangle me.

I held up my hand and said, “Now—let’s try an experiment. I shall wake my wife and tell her who you are, and what you have done. I can tell you what will happen. My wife will not speak one word of reproach! She’ll embrace you as if you were her brother. She’ll bring you supper, the best things she has in the house.

“Now, if Sabina, who is a sinner like us all, can forgive and love like this, imagine how Jesus, who is perfect Love, can forgive and love you! Only turn to Him—and everything you have done will be forgiven!”

Borila was not heartless: within, he was consumed by guilt and misery at what he had done, and he had shaken his brutal talk at us as a crab shakes its claws. One tap at his weak spot and his defenses crumbled. The music had already moved his heart, and now came—instead of the attack he expected—words of forgiveness.

His reaction was amazing. He jumped up and tore at his collar with both hands, so that his shirt was rent apart. “Oh God, what shall I do, what shall I do?” he cried. He put his head in his hands and sobbed noisily as he rocked himself back and forth. “I’m a murderer, I’m soaked in blood, what shall I do?” Tears ran down his cheeks.

Borila fell on his knees trembling, and we began to pray aloud. He knew no prayers; he simply asked again and again for forgiveness and said that he hoped and knew it would be granted. We were on our knees together for some time; then we stood up and embraced each other, and I said, “l promised to make an experiment. I shall keep my word.”

I went into the other room and found my wife still sleeping calmly. She was very weak and exhausted at that time. I woke her gently and said, “There is a man here whom you must meet. We believe he has murdered your family, but he has repented, and now he is our brother.”

She came out in her dressing gown and put out her arms to embrace him; then both began to weep and to kiss each other again and again. I have never seen bride and bridegroom kiss with such love and purity as this murderer and the survivor among his victims. Then, as I foretold, Sabina went to the kitchen to bring him food.

Excerpted from In God’s Underground, pages 222-224.

Evidenced Relationship To God.

Matthew 5:44–48

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

In the third message on this series on FAITHFULNESS: THE KEY TO JOY, I spoke of how we now ought to be THINKING DIFFERENTLY.

No longer should our thoughts and tendencies be aligned with the faithless world that thinks in purely naturalistic terms, but our minds ought to be geared toward knowing that there is a father in heaven who cares and loves us, who provided forgiveness and eternal life by sending his only begotten Son into the world, to die for our sins.

I spoke of the only purpose left us in life is to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

No longer should we be thinking in the same terms we had thought before.

Our lives are not our own, we are bought with a price, all that we have is of the Lord and all that we should give should be for the salvation of even a single soul.

That was the mind and heart of the first century churches. It was the mind and heart of the 16 to 19th century churches, it is the mind and heart of the middle eastern Churches in this very day.

BUT we have not been living this way. Most Christians in the western world DO NOT LIVE THIS way, it is as if we have forgotten quickly all that the Lord has given us and done for us.

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

That is the nature of our father that is in heaven.

The pharisees were charged by Jesus to EVIDENCE THEIR FATHER;

John 8:44–45

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. 45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.

Beloved, it is certain that in the manner in which we live our lives, we give testimony as to WHOM it is that we testify to.

The manner in which we behave respecting RELATIONSHIPS, testify to us who it is that we RELATE TO BEST.

While it may be that you stir within your seats at such a notion, but ask first if it be true in application to you. Please do not be asleep to sin, messages such as this are to awaken you to turn back to Jesus and see how you are to live.

To live with JOY, no matter the trials and afflictions you face.

Loving your enemies is the single most extreme behaviour a Christian can perform.

It is as contrary to our natural state as is possible to be. It is one that sees life completely differently, that thinks completely differently, that lives completely differently and that loves completely differently.

We are called to LOVE our enemies, and in doing so we show the world that we “be the children of your Father which is in heaven:”

1 John 2:15–17

15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.


Crowned To Love Your Enemies

Matthew 5:46–48

For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

No person on this earth had demonstrated a greater love for his enemies than Jesus. In the world of men he was given a crown of thorns.

In heaven he is given the heathen for his inheritance and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession. (Ps 2:8)

The most perfect representation of God was naturally the Lord Jesus Christ. No man has ever loved as he loved, no man has ever endured the trials for that love as he endured, no person alive was more innocently convicted of breaking the law he came to fulfil.

Jesus set himself as our example, and he bids men to come and die, die to themselves and live unto Christ. To carry his cross and follow him, to love even his enemies.

And, having endured suffering for the sake of the lost, receive his prize.

Clearly there can be no prize warranted, no reward expected to love those which love you, who doesn’t do this?

Saluting your brethren is the same, everyone salutes those they know, but salute them you don’t know. Show love to them who seem unloving to you, love your enemies, then, then you do show that you are “the children of your father which is in heaven”.

Several weeks ago, and for the first time ever, I had a complaint from a family who came to this church for the first time and not a single person came to greet them. Beloved, where are we at?

The extremist fundamentalist Christian….is one who loves his enemies.

In the 1950’s, in an underground Church under Communist rule, a young girl was discovered by the secret police secretly sharing Gospel tracts and teaching young children. The police knew all about her but would not arrest her, at least not yet.

They planned for the day to arrest her, for the purpose of making it as agonisingly painful as they could. Her wedding day was three weeks away.

This is the account as written;

On her wedding day, the girl was dressed as a bride—the most wonderful, joyous day in a girl’s life! Suddenly, the door burst open and the secret police rushed in. When the bride saw the secret police, she held out her arms toward them to be handcuffed. They roughly put the manacles on her wrists. She looked toward her beloved, then kissed the chains and said, “I thank my heavenly Bridegroom for this jewel He has presented to me on my marriage day. I thank Him that I am worthy to suffer for Him.” She was dragged off, with weeping Christians and a weeping bridegroom left behind. They knew what happens to young Christian girls in the hands of Communist guards. Her bridegroom faithfully waited for her. After five years she was released—a destroyed, broken woman, looking thirty years older. She said it was the least she could do for her Christ. Such beautiful Christians are in the Underground Church.”[3]

Richard Wurmbrand, in his famous book, “Tortured for Christ”,  tells of the account of a Christian man who was sentenced to death;

“…, he was allowed to see his wife before being executed. His last words to his wife were, “You must know that I die loving those who kill me. They don’t know what they do and my last request of you is to love them, too. Don’t have bitterness in your heart because they killed your beloved one. We will meet in heaven.” These words impressed the officer of the secret police who attended the discussion between the two. He later told me the story in prison where he had been sent for becoming a Christian.[4]

John 19:1–5

1 Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him. 2 And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, 3 And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands. 4 Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him. 5 Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man!

[1]. Wurmbrand, Richard. Tortured for Christ (pp. 82-83). Living Sacrifice Book Company. Kindle Edition.

[2]. Henry, M. (1994) Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume. Peabody: Hendrickson, p. 1635.

[3]. Wurmbrand, Richard. Tortured for Christ (pp. 50-51). Living Sacrifice Book Company. Kindle Edition.

[4]. Wurmbrand, Richard. Tortured for Christ (p. 59). Living Sacrifice Book Company. Kindle Edition.


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