Surprising Examples of Christ's Love

by M. H. Reynolds, Jr.

Beyond any question of a doubt, our Lord Jesus Christ was the perfect example of divine love. Everything He said and did during His earthly ministry demonstrated that love, and those who truly love Him will want to follow His example in every way possible. Surprisingly, however, most believers today, brainwashed as they have been by false concepts of love, fail to recognize that the ministry of Christ in reproof, rebuke and warning was just as important and necessary as His teachings concerning forgiveness and reconciliation.

Today, any pastor or teacher who emulates Christ's example in warning about false teachers who are leading people astray is wrongly accused of being unloving. But, consider the words of Jesus Christ in Matthew 23 and 24. Was He unloving in warning as strongly as He did concerning false prophets? Read carefully both chapters and note specifically the following portions: Matthew 23:1—Christ's warnings were to the multitudes as well as to the disciples. So often today the false claim is made that to give such warnings publicly is counterproductive and harmful to the cause of Christ. Note the warning in verses two and three about those whose deeds do not back up their words. Note the strong language Christ uses in verse 13 where He pronounces a woe upon two of the major branches of Judaism in that day—the Scribes and Pharisees—and calls them hypocrites. Note also the strong words of Christ in verse 33: "Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?" Eight different times Christ pronounced a "woe" upon the religious leaders of His day. Why? Did hate or jealousy motivate His words? Absolutely not. It was the love of Christ that necessitated such strong warnings. This is another reason why true believers today should be willing to warn about false teachers instead of being intimidated by undiscerning believers who answer, "You're jealous, lacking in love—you're dividing God's people instead of forgetting differences and seeking unity."

In Matthew 24 Christ also gives strong words of warning about the many false Christs and false prophets who would appear in the last days. In verse four Christ says, "Take heed that no man deceive you." In verse five, Jesus warns that many shall come in His name and deceive many. In this verse. He also warns that "Many false prophets shall rise and shall deceive many." And, in these days when so many Charismatic leaders and others are seeking followers on the basis of being able to perform miracles, note carefully the specific warning of Christ in verse 24 about such deceiving miracle workers: "For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders: insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." Benny Hinn and other charismatic leaders are gaining a huge following as people attend their crusades and see their programs on television. Hinn repeatedly claims the name of Christ as he demonstrates his power (anointing) by "commanding" Satan; healing the sick; delivering supposed messages from God regarding the past, present and future.

Believers today need to be warned. Read Matthew 7:21-23 and join us in warning those being deceived by the supposed miracle-workers who will be judged, in spite of their false claim that all is being done in Christ's name. — M. H. Reynolds, Jr.