The Great Commandment
All who wish to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven must take these Words of God seriously …
The Great Commandment
“Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him (Jesus) a question to test Him.
‘Teacher, which is the GREAT COMMANDMENT in the Law?’
Jesus said to him,
"You shall LOVE the LORD your God with all your heart,
with all your soul, and with all your mind.
This is the FIRST and Great Commandment. (We are to love God and Jesus Christ above all things)
“And the SECOND is like it:
“You shall LOVE your neighbor as yourself.” (Treat all others the way you would want to be treated)
On these Two Commandments hang ALL the Law and the Prophets."
The Great Warning … Forgiveness
“For IF you forgive men their trespasses, (‘Men’ means Mankind … men and women)
your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
But if you do NOT forgive men their trespasses,
neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
Matthew 6:14 (This important passage immediately follows the “Lord’s Prayer”…)
BIBLICAL LOVE is NOT a Feeling ... It’s an ACTION.
Biblical love is based on how we ACT ... and on how we TREAT others.
"And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor,
and though I give my body to be burned,
but have not love,
it profits me nothing.
LOVE is PATIENT (slow to anger … endures the faults of others … will listen … “suffers long”)
and (love) is KIND; (shows compassion … willing to forgive … seeks to relieve burdens of others)
love DOES NOT ENVY;
love DOES NOT PARADE ITSELF,
(love) IS NOT PUFFED UP;
(love) DOES NOT BEHAVE RUDELY OR ARROGANTLY,
(love) DOES NOT DEMAND ITS OWN WAY,
(love) IS NOT PROVOKED,
(love) THINKS NO EVIL;
(love) DOES NOT REJOICE IN SINFUL ACTIVITIES (INIQUITY),
but (love) REJOICES IN THE TRUTH;
(love) BEARS ALL THINGS,
(love) BELIEVES ALL THINGS,
(love) HOPES ALL THINGS,
(love) ENDURES ALL THINGS.
LOVE NEVER FAILS." (This Biblical definition of love is also a perfect description of Jesus Christ)
(1 Corinthians 13:1-8)
The FRUIT of the Spirit IS Love …
Remember, WE don’t produce this fruit of love, but the HOLY SPIRIT within us produces this fruit.
God INSPECTS the "Fruit" we are bearing in our lives to see if we ARE His and HAVE His Spirit ...
"But the FRUIT of the Spirit is LOVE,
Against such there is no law.
And those who are Christ's (Messiah's)
have crucified the flesh with its lusts and desires
If we live in the Spirit,
let us also walk in the Spirit.
Let us NOT become conceited,
provoking one another,
envying one another."
Do ALL things WITHOUT Complaining or Arguing …
“Do all things WITHOUT complaining or arguing,
that you may be blameless and innocent,
children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation …”
(Philippians 2: 14-16) (Never easy … but God’s Holy Spirit within us will give us strength to obey)
"Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit,
but in lowliness of mind
let each esteem OTHERS better than himself (or herself)."
(Philippians 2:3) (The Bible warns "pride" reflects rebellion and disobedience against God's Word.)
Jesus now adds more detail to the Commandment ...
"You have heard that it was said,
'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'
But I say to you, LOVE your enemies,
bless those who curse you,
do good to those who hate you,
and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,
that YOU may be sons of your Father in Heaven; (This takes the power of the Holy Spirit within us)
for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good,
and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
For if you only love those who love you, what reward have you?
Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brethren only,
what do you do more than others?
Do not even the tax collectors do so?
Therefore you shall be perfect,
just as your Father in Heaven is perfect."
(Matthew 5:43-48) (We are to steadily grow more and more like Him throughout our lives …)
GOD WARNS those who are NOT bearing the fruit of God's Love …
ALL those whose lifestyles reflect the “works of the flesh” and bear the fruit of “Darkness”
Will NOT inherit the Kingdom of God (Heaven) …
"Now the works of the FLESH are evident,
Fornication, ("Porneia"... any sex outside of marriage ... from which we also get "pornography")
Idolatry, (Anything we love more than God in our life ... such as sports, music, work, money, tv, etc.)
Sorcery, ("Pharmakeus" ... drugs ... or any occultic things such as astrology, angel worship, etc.)
Outbursts of wrath,
Revelries, (Party-time!!…“drunkenness” with a little “lewdness” and jestful “heresies”)
and the like;
of which I tell you beforehand,
just as I also told you in time past,
that those who practice such things (Willfully… with no remorse or repentance)
will NOT INHERIT the Kingdom of God."
Yet remember, Jesus Came to SAVE Sinners . . .
"Do you not know that the unrighteous will NOT inherit the Kingdom of God?
Do not be deceived.
neither Fornicators ("porneia"... sex outside of marriage ... from which we also get "pornography")
nor Thieves, ...
will inherit the Kingdom of God.
And such WERE some of you. (‘Repent’ means to stop and turn back to God)
But you were washed (through the innocent blood of Jesus which He shed for all our sins)
But you were sanctified (means "set apart" ... all who place their trust and love in Jesus are "set apart"
But you were justified (‘justified’ means ‘just as if your sins had never happened’)
IN the Name of the Lord Jesus and BY the Spirit of our God."
(1 Corinthians 6:9-11) (“Covet” means discontent with what we have and wanting what others have.)
The Bible says when we turn away ("repent") from our sinful ways and place our trust and love in Jesus Christ to save us we are then "indwelt" by the Holy Spirit ... and the proof we are sincere in our faith is we should start seeing a change in our lives and attitudes and start acting differently AFTER we receive Jesus (Yeshua) as our Lord and Savior than we did BEFORE we received Jesus as our Lord and Savior (who bore all our sin and guilt upon Himself to SAVE us from Hell) ...
"For you WERE once darkness,
but NOW you are light in the Lord. (The Bible warns we are ALL sinners who need a Savior …)
Walk as children of light
(for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth),
finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness,
but rather expose them."
"But whoever has this world's goods,
and sees his brother (in Christ) in need,
and shuts up his heart from him,
how does the love of God abide in him?
My little children,
let us not love in word or in tongue,
but in deed and in truth."
(1 John 3:17-18) (God promises we will be rewarded many times over for "sacrifices" in this life ...)
"And this Commandment we have from Him:
that he who loves God must love his brother (in Christ) also."
(1 John 4:21)
Biblical Teaching and Warnings on Forgiving Others …
”Then Peter came to Him (Jesus) and said,
‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?
Up to seven times?’
“Jesus said to him,
I do not say to you, up to seven times,
but up to seventy times seven.”
Jesus then continued and issued a great warning through a parable …
“Therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a certain king
who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.
And when he had begun to settle accounts,
one was brought to him who owed him 10,000 talents. (One talent was worth about 20 years wages!)
But as he was not able to pay,
his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had,
and that payment be made.
The servant therefore fell down before him, saying,
‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’
Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.
But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants
who owed him 100 denarii; (One denarius was worth about 1 day’s wage …)
and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying,
‘Pay me what you owe!’
So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying,
‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’
And he would not,
but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt.
So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved,
and came and told their master all that had been done.
Then his master, after he had called him, said to him,
‘You wicked servant!
I forgave you all that debt because you begged me.
Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant,
just as I had pity on you?’
And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers
until he should pay all that was due to him.
“So My heavenly Father also will do to you
if each of you, from his heart,
does NOT forgive his brother his trespasses.”
Jesus paid ALL of OUR “debt” (of suffering for our sins and guilt) on the Cross …
His last words on the Cross were “Paid in full” (sometimes translated “It is finished”) …
“When Jesus had received the sour wine,
He said, ‘Paid in Full,’ (“Tetelestai” in the Greek)
and He bowed His head
and gave up His Spirit.”
Biblical Love is NOT a suggestion ...
We are COMMANDED to love others ...
This means "Love" WILL TAKE EFFORT!
"He who does not love
does not know God,
for God IS love."
(1 John 4:8)
"We love Him
because He first loved us."
(1 John 4:19) (He demonstrated His love for us by suffering on the Cross for our sins and guilt ...)
And Jesus simply tells us …
"IF you love Me,
KEEP My Commandments."
The Bible warns a generation would rise who will mock, reject, and refuse to listen to God’s Word. The Bible warns this generation will rise sometime soon after Israel would rise as a nation once again (this took place in 1948.) This generation will lead the world into the "Apocalypse" and Armageddon.
The Bible then DESCRIBES the characteristics which will mark the generation of Armageddon …
"But KNOW this,
that IN THE LAST DAYS
PERILOUS (savage, fierce) times will come,
for Men (Mankind ... men and women)
Lovers of themselves,
Lovers of money,
Proud, (Puffed up..."Nobody is going to tell me what to do!"..."I don't care what God says!")
Blasphemers (mocking God and Jesus),
Disobedient to parents, (and will not respect authority)
Despisers of good,
Lovers of Pleasure ("Feeding the lusts of their eyes and their flesh")
rather than lovers of God,
having a FORM of godliness (professing belief ... maybe even going to church or synagogue)
but denying its power ... " (God's power to help, guide, comfort, heal, and save (from Hell)
(2 Timothy 3:1-5)
Jesus warns MANY who will call themselves Christians,
“Depart from Me!”
everyone who says to Me (Jesus), 'Lord, Lord,' (calling
"I KNOW your works,
that you are neither cold nor hot. (In your “love” and obedience to God and God’s Word …)
I could wish you were cold or hot.
So then, because you are lukewarm, (In your faith and in your love for God and God's Word)
and neither cold nor hot,
I will VOMIT you out of My mouth." (OUT of the Kingdom of Heaven … and into Hell)
Please Remember . . .
NONE of us is perfect,
And NONE of us is without sin (and not struggling against sin) …
God KNOWS this and is filled with forgiveness and mercy …
BUT, He wants to see that WE know when we are sinning and will humbly seek HIS forgiveness …
say that we have no sin,
God’s Promise …
The Kingdom of Heaven is available to every man, woman, boy, and girl in this world, no matter who they are, where they live, or what they have done. It is freely offered to any and all who will receive it. Simply learn of Jesus, the promised Messiah, believe He died on the Cross for all of your sins and rose from the grave the third day and is now seated on His Throne in the Kingdom of Heaven at the right hand of God waiting patiently for the Gospel (“Good News”) of Jesus Christ (Yeshua Ha'Mashiach in Hebrew) to be spread around the world to every tongue, tribe, and nation. Learn of Him and believe in Him . . . for He was the only one who has ever loved you enough to substitute Himself for you on the Cross (which represents the suffering that will be found in Hell). He shed His blood, suffered, and died on the Cross to save you from your sins and from the utter darkness, aloneness, and torment of Hell, if you will accept it, believe it, and trust in it. This is why Jesus is called Savior … His Name in Hebrew means “Savior.” He now lovingly and graciously offers you life in Heaven (and we are warned it is a "take it or leave it" proposition.) We have to consciously receive it and accept it in faith. If you sincerely admit you have sinned (and need a Savior to get into Heaven) and ask Jesus (Yeshua) to come into your life while fully trusting in Him alone to save you from your sins ... and turn back to God while honestly trying to stop doing (and saying) those things God says are wrong, you will go to Heaven ... and with open arms and tears of joy He will receive all who will come to Him in faith and in love ... It's God's Promise!!!
The only unpardonable sin is to reject (or ignore as a common and unclean thing) God's love and His free offer of eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven by rejecting His Son ... Jesus Christ... who stepped forth from Eternity ("from of old, from everlasting"... see Micah 5:2) ... not to condemn the sinner, but to save the sinner (from the torment of Hell) and who willingly and lovingly shed His blood and bore all of our sins and guilt on the Cross so we can be "washed clean" and forgiven of all our sins. The Bible also warns there will be no peace in our hearts until we make peace with God through His Son, Jesus Christ.
God manifested His perfect love for us when He sent forth His Son to suffer and die for all of OUR sins and guilt so we can freely enter into His Kingdom of Heaven ...
"For God so loved the world
that He GAVE His only begotten Son, ("In this the love of God was manifested toward us...")
that whoever BELIEVES (trusts) in Him (that He “paid” for and “saves” us from ALL our sins)
should NOT perish (in Hell)
but have everlasting life (in Heaven).
For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world through Him might be saved (into Heaven).
He who believes in Him is not condemned (to Hell);
but he who does NOT believe (in Jesus Christ ... Yeshua Ha'Mashiach in Hebrew)
IS condemned (to Hell) ALREADY" (All who reject or ignore what God did for us on the Cross …)
Jesus greatly LOVED us to save us from Hell ... all God asks is we love Him for all He has done for us.
What DOES it mean to be “Born Again?”
This Generation has gone to great lengths to ridicule and malign the term “Born Again” Christian.
Yet, God’s Word tells us clearly that NO man or woman can enter into the Kingdom of Heaven UNLESS he or she has been “born again.” Nicodemus, one of the most powerful Jewish religious leaders of the day (who we find later did come to believe and accept Jesus as the promised Messiah) came secretly to speak with Jesus (Yeshua Ha'Mashiach in Hebrew) one night ...
"JESUS answered and said to him,
‘Most assuredly, I say to you,
UNLESS one is born again,
he CANNOT see the Kingdom of God.’
Nicodemus said to Him,
‘How can a man be born when he is old?
Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?’
Jesus answered, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you,
UNLESS one is born of water AND the Spirit,
he CANNOT enter the Kingdom of God (Heaven).
That which is born of the FLESH is flesh,
and that which is born of the SPIRIT is spirit.’"
We had no choice concerning our first birth (in the “flesh"), but to be born again of the Spirit and into the Kingdom of Heaven requires a conscious choice and decision on our part. The Bible says if we believe, sincerely and in faith, that Jesus ("the Son of God") lovingly and willingly shed His blood and died on the Cross for us (as God's "sacrificial Lamb" which takes away all our sins "once and for all"), was buried, then rose again the third day (through the awesome power of God), and sincerely (and lovingly) accept Him as our Lord, invite Him into our lives, and turn back to God (and turn away from our sinful ways), then we are "born again" (and are called "a new creation"). This time, we are born of the Spirit and are told we will be "indwelt" by the Holy Spirit (which we can't see but the evidence is reflected in how our lives begin to change). This is God’s Word and His Promise. Then, even while facing the difficult tests and trials we will find in our earthly lives, we can rest knowing our eternal destiny is assured ... and since we now have the hope and promise of eternal life through our "second birth" (in Heaven) we no longer have to fear the "second death" (in Hell).
Do our lifestyles reflect being born only in the flesh … or born again in the Spirit?
Works of the Flesh
We are “born again” through our faith, love, and trust in Jesus Christ (Yeshua Ha'Mashiach in Hebrew). With God’s help, and through the power of the Holy Spirit (which is given to all who are born again), our lifestyles should start to change after we are born again into the Kingdom of God as children of God.
This is why prayer is so important. This is where we humbly and lovingly come to God as our Father in Heaven (through Jesus Christ) and openly tell God of our struggles and troubles while seeking His strength, comfort, peace, forgiveness, and power to help us through them. For after we are truly born again, we may still stumble and slide back into the “pig pen” for a while (study the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32), but it will feel miserable and we won’t stay there for long.
Jesus Christ was sent forth from Heaven to "save sinners" …
Jesus Christ (Messiah) said He came to "save sinners" ... lots of them ... both Jew and Gentile ... any and all who would believe and trust in Him. God has gone to incredible lengths to make it simple for us to enter into His Kingdom of Heaven. His offer is free and it is not based on our righteousness or "goodness," but on His ...
"As many as I (Jesus) love, I rebuke and chasten.
Therefore be zealous and repent. (Which means turn away from our sins and turn back to God)
Behold, I stand at the door and knock.
If anyone hears My voice and opens the door,
I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
To him who overcomes (the world's desire to hate, reject, or be ashamed of Jesus Christ ...)
I will grant to sit with Me on My Throne (in Heaven),
as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His Throne. (What an awesome promise ...)
He who has an ear, let him hear
what the Spirit says to the churches." (This means His offer and promise is for everybody!!!)
“Grace and Shalom”