Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
There are some very bad people in the world, rulers who have done great evil to their people and have threatened the world. It is popular to hate them; and unless one does hate them it is possible that some will consider that he is not "patriotic."
But we have a problem with the words of Jesus, "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, ... do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you" (Matt. 5:43, 44).
Is that hopelessly wrong political and military wisdom?
Are we to say that there are some people so very bad that Christ did not die for them? That John 3:16 does not include them ("whosoever ...")? One of the world's most autocratic and cruel rulers was Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon; but because God had a few loyal and truly converted young people who had learned the gospel, God was able to convert that cruel, unfeeling ruler (Daniel 4). Something they did and said touched his hard-as-granite heart, and he was changed.
God told His people that "fear and dread" would "fall" on the unbelieving Egyptians (Ex. 15:16), and "I will send My fear before you ... among all the people" (23:27). God will send "four angels" to "hold" the terrible hatred of the enemies of God if His people will proclaim to the world His "sealing" message (cf. Rev. 7:1-4).
It was surely God's will that the new nation of America with their Constitution that guaranteed freedom and liberty of conscience should command something worldwide akin to that "fear and dread." That does not mean that very bad people would necessarily be converted, but the Bible picture is clear that the demonstration of the truth of God can have a sobering effect on evil people in the world.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: March 20, 2006.
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