– Francis Chan
A Radical Faith
The Christian faith is about as radical as it gets in this world, and it should be radically different because just look at Jesus Christ, Who showed “his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8), and even “while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life” (Romans 5:10). What other faith has its God send His only Son to die for the wicked enemies of God (John 3:16)?
Loving Our Enemies
This is about as radical as it gets when Jesus says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:43-45), for “if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same” (Matthew 5:46)? When a person hates us, is it really us they hate, or is it Jesus? Don’t take hatred personally because they don’t really hate the messenger but the message (Romans 10:9-13). Rejoice when you are hated for His name’s sake (Matthew 5:11-12).
Praying for Our Persecutors
Jesus commands us to “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:44-45). But what does it mean that we’ll be sons and daughters of God if we do this? Because God is good, as He sends the rain and the sun on both the evil and the good and on the just and the unjust, just like He did for us before we were saved (Romans 5:8-10).
Doing Good to Those Who Hate Us
Jesus gives us some very hard teachings in the Word of God, and one such saying makes others scratch their heads, where He said, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you” (Luke 6:27-28). Wait a minute! Do good to those who hate us? Really!? Yes, because that’s the God-standard for us who follow Him: We love our enemies, we do good to those who do bad things to us, and we even pray for those who abuse us and bless those who curse us. That’s about as radical or extreme as it can get for the Christian.
I love Francis Chan, and he made a lot of sense when he wrote, “I believe He wants us to love others so much that we go to extremes to help them.” That extreme love includes loving our enemies, praying for our persecutors, and doing good to those who hate us. One step further–we pray for those who abuse us and ask God’s blessing on those who curse us. How more extreme can you get?