Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
“Charity does not rejoice in iniquity”
“Fools make a mock of sin”, wrote Solomon, but the love of God does not think that sin is ever funny. Sin is nothing to take lightly because the awful suffering of Jesus for sin is nothing to take lightly. There is nothing cute about comedians who make jokes about sinful, filthy conduct. Sin kills people, and the love of God cannot take pleasure in anything that is associated with that which destroys the hopes and lives of people.
The love of God in action is a demonstration of a pure, deep love for people. Anything that misguides them, anything that abuses them, anything that hurts them is a hated thing. This includes the many wrong religious ideas that people are taught. Jesus does not hate false doctrine because he is envious of the praise that false teachers receive; he hates false doctrine because it hurts people. The very reason that the Father sent Jesus to this world to suffer and die is that “God so loved the world”, and the very reason that Jesus was willing to do the Father’s will is that he loved us, too.
Jesus has taught the saints who meet in my home to despise Christianity because he has taught us to love people and to care about their souls and their present happiness. We cannot rejoice in the “holy days”, the solemn ceremonies, the doctrines, or the ecclesiastical forms of the Christian religion because the love of God in us cannot rejoice in iniquity. As in ancient times, God’s people have been misled concerning the ways of their Father, and we feel in harmony with our heavenly Father who mourned through Isaiah, “Bring no more vain oblations! Incense is an abomination unto me! The new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot do away with! It is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth; they are a trouble unto me. I am weary with bearing them. And when you spread forth your hands, I will hide my eyes from you. Yea, when you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood.” It would please the Father well if men would just call off the entire religion of Christianity and fall before His Son with all their hearts.
Who, with God’s love for people living in his heart, could rejoice at the wrong ideas about God that the ancient people of Israel were being taught? Who with the love of God in his heart could participate in these things God hated, or who could support the men who were misleading these precious saints of God? And if we could not have done those things then, why then should we do it now? The love of God, if we put it into action, will compel us to do only what is good for people and to despise everything that would hurt them.