Certain men have crept in unnoticed … and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Many walk … and (I) now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ.
Jude 4; Philippians 3:18.
Some fifteen years ago Paul, a young Christian student, returned home to his parents by train every weekend. He enjoyed chatting to the passengers with him in the compartment. He used to take the opportunity to speak of Jesus, whom he knew as his Saviour and a true friend.
That day, after some inoffensive, unimportant exchanges, his neighbor suddenly said to him, “Do you remember the atrocities in ex-Yugoslavia? Don’t you think that was a proper religious war? One might have expected Westerners to be more tolerant. I couldn’t believe, even if I wanted to, because of the Christians!”
This last phrase was just the chance Paul was waiting for to speak of what was on his heart: “Yes, it really is regrettable to see people who call themselves Christians denying Christ’s teaching to love one’s enemies and bless those who curse them (cf. Luke 6:27.28). The Bible states: Repay no-one evil for evil (Romans 12:17). Those who behave accordingly are true Christians.
“To become one, baptism or an upright life is not sufficient. It is imperative to have done what my sinful state made necessary: to have acknowledged my guilt before God and to believe that Jesus submitted to the judgment that I deserved on the cross.”