I John 3:11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.
13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.
14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
The Bible gives one continuous message. Genesis 1&2 gives us the true beginning of heaven and earth. Everything was very good in God’s creation. Genesis 3 shows us the massive and disastrous change that took place due to Adam’s sin. From that point on, God showed us the importance of humbling ourselves and turning to Him in repentance and being saved.
In verse 11 of our text, we are reminded of the message that was from the beginning. The key to success is to love one another. God took us back to the of time Cain and Abel in verse 12. Cain did not love his brother, Abel. Cain is identified with “that wicked one”. Jesus tells us the nature of the devil:
John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Cain is known as the first human murderer. God tells us that Cain lacked love for his brother, Abel. Why did he hate his brother? “His own works were evil and his brother’s righteous.” It is “strange” to realize that people are so evil that they refuse to change even when they know what they have done is wrong. Cain shows us that this is not “strange” at all for the lost person. They are so stubborn and blinded by sin that they refuse to acknowledge and deal with their sin.
In verse 13 we are reminded that the saved should not be surprised if the world hates us. Those who are saved would think that others should be thankful if someone can show them the way of blessing and true joy. However, that is not the case. The sad reality is that even saved people can get upset with another saved person that seeks to help them acknowledge and overcome some sin. The saved person cannot remain in that state because the love of God dwells in them. God will chasten His own to bring about the peaceable fruit of righteousness. If the saved person refuses to repent and do right, God can remove them from this earth.
In verse 14 we are reminded of things that we know, if we are saved. This is again why faithful and careful teaching is so important. The saved need to be taught the truth. We need to be reminded that the saved person is passed from death unto life.
John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
That is a fact. As God has shown us throughout the Bible, the saved person is uniquely different because God has changed him. He now has life, eternal life. He can see things differently and he has been given a different motivation.
The reason the saved person can love his brother, is because he has passed from death unto life. There is so much hatred in our world. We have heard so much about the sodomite agenda of late. Our P.M. was in a town hall just recently, condemning those who would protest against the “drag queen” story hours that are being protected and promoted in too many places. That man again proved his hatred for all people, including his own children, whom he claims to love. If he gets his way, anyone who speaks out against this wicked agenda will be silenced. It seems that Calgary, Alberta has the strongest laws against protests of this wicked agenda. I used to think that Alberta was one of the freer places to live in Canada. They have proven me wrong many times.
John further tells us that the person that does not love his brother “abideth in death”. That person has not passed from death unto life.
Ephesians 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
The death spoken of in our text as well as in the verse above is spiritual death. It is not as the Calvinist would suggest, that the lost person is incapable of repenting because he is dead. The lost person has the absence of spiritual life. He still has an active conscience. God is still working in his heart and life to show him his sin. A person can sear their conscience so that they block out God’s work to a much greater extent. However, even Judas knew he had done wrong in betraying Jesus Christ. He refused to turn to God for forgiveness. He chose to listen to the devil and murder himself. In John 13:27 we read that Satan entered into Judas. He became possessed of the devil. He lost the ability to think rightly because of his choices.
We are reminded in our text again of how important it is to trust in God to work in the heart of the sinner. We do not need to learn how to be sneakier with our words. We need to be more loving and bolder with the truth. The power is in God’s Word. The Holy Spirit works with the Word of God to bring conviction to the lost sinner. God’s Word can penetrate that “dead” person’s heart and soul. It can awaken the conscience of the sinner. It will cause the person to either hate God and the messenger or receive the love of God and repent and be saved and thus love God and the messenger.
In verse 15 we are further reminded that the person who hates his brother is a murderer. You notice this hatred is in the present tense and it is an active word. It is speaking of someone who has a continuous hatred for his brother. His actions are determined by his hatred for his brother. He may not literally go and kill his brother, as Cain did, but he will nevertheless hate him. He will not speak the truth to him and he will not receive the truth from him.
John reminds us that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. Again this is in the present tense. The murderer is seeking to drive his brother out of his life. We mentioned our P.M. earlier. He has a hatred for his fellow man. He has a hatred for those who he gathers around him for support. He encourages them to follow his lead. They also have a hatred for him and for one another. Those who reject the truth have a hatred for God and they express that hatred in their attitudes toward others.
The increase in violence we are witnessing is the result of this hatred for God. Those who choose to use illicit drugs lose control of their mental capacities and the devil has greater control over them. They may regret their actions after they sober up, but they chose to take some type of drug to loosen their inhibitions.
There is a great need to teach the truth and help people to understand that hatred, in this context, is an evil thing. The psalmist wrote of hating sin. That is a good thing, but hating ones brother is an evil thing. If I love my brother, I want him to know the truth. I will be willing to obey God and seek to help my brother to know the truth.
In this epistle, John was directed several times to address the saints as “little children”. He also addresses us as “beloved”. Let us draw nigh to God with this call of endearment and heed His Word. Let us demonstrate true love for others, if God’s love is truly in us. Tolerance of sin demonstrates hatred for God. Let us love one another.