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Brent Parrish

7:52 AM (10 minutes ago)

 

 

 

 

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We believe that God alone has the right to take human life. He gives life; He takes it when people die. If a court sentences a person to death, it does so as God’s representative. As God’s representative a government may also send its citizens to war. Government gives its citizens the right of self-defense. We do not have the right to take our own lives (suicide). God’s order is clear: “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for God made man in His own image.” (Genesis 9:6)

 

We believe that deliberately or carelessly hurting one’s own or another person’s body is forbidden. Joseph’s brothers broke this commandment by selling him as a slave. They also hurt their father by telling him that Joseph was dead. Our fear and love of God move us not to hurt others or cause them sorrow in any way.

 

Furthermore, we believe that God does not want us to hate others. Ungodly people may scoff and say, “We may hate others so long as we do not actually hurt them.” The Scripture says: “Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” (1 John 3:15)

 

Unbelievers are puzzled when we tell them that we believe that we do not have the right to “get back” at people who hurt us. The love of God moves us to forgive, as we are forgiven. We let God deal with evildoers. “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’” (Romans 12:19)

 

We believe that each Christian is appointed by God as a caretaker of other people. Our Savior has given us a wonderful example. We remember His kind deeds reported in the gospels: “He went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed by the devil.” Acts 10:38)

 

The fear and love of God in our hearts will show itself in our loving concern for others. As if we were agents of God, He instructs us: “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” (Hebrews 13:16)

 

Doing good, even to our enemies and without hope of being repaid, is a mark of the Christian, as Jesus said: “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.  Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:35-36)

 

The greatest reward of all for helping others is to know that we are doing God’s work. Through His people He sends His loving care to those who need it. Jesus’ words have always excited God’s people: “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” (Matthew 25:40)

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Helping people live life with Jesus everyday,