Good News for Enemies and Persecutors
The Voice of the Martyrs president, Cole Richards, reminds us that Jesus came to offer good news to everyone, even our enemies and persecutors. Read below what Cole said.
As we celebrate Christmas, let us remember that Jesus Christ, Immanuel (God with us), has come. And let us also remember that He has told us to do the unthinkable. He tells us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44) and to bless those who curse us (Luke 6:28). While these passages are familiar to Christians, many have told me that they struggle to understand and apply them.
When we are tempted to hate our enemies or persecutors, we must remind ourselves that God loves them and desires to see them repent and receive His forgiveness. We must be transformed by the renewing of our minds from worldly thoughts to the thoughts of heaven (Romans 12:2). Only then will we be compelled by Christ’s love to reach the lost (2 Corinthians 5:14).
Although it is natural in our fallen world to be compelled by hate or to give in to fear, Christ never hated or feared anyone. We are left with a choice: Will we follow in Christ’s footsteps along His difficult path, or walk the broad road of the fallen world (Matthew 7:13–14)?
The good news proclaimed to a group of frightened shepherds that first Christmas night is the same good news Christ offers Muslim extremists and each of us: God’s love and forgiveness are greater than our worst sins. As His followers, we lovingly call all people — even our enemies — to repentance, earnestly praying that they will come to Christ and become our brothers and sisters for eternity.
(Source: The December 2018 The Voice of the Martyrs magazine. Edited for length and clarity.)