1 John 3:11 For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. 12 Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. 13 Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. 15 Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.
16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
19 This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: 20 If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24 The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.
The following is from the commentary.
That we should love one another: The basic Christian message has not changed. Perhaps some have thought that because Christians talk about a “personal relationship with Jesus Christ” that it is only us and Jesus who matter. But how we treat others — how we love one another — really matters before God.
Whoever hates his brother is a murderer: To hate our brother is to murder him in our hearts. Though we may not carry out the action (through cowardice or fear of punishment), we wish that person dead. Or, by ignoring another person, we may treat them as if they were dead. Hatred can be shown passively or actively.
You know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him: To live in the practice of murder — or to have a life style of the habitual hatred of our brethren — is a demonstration that we do not have eternal life abiding in us, that we are not born again.
Because we keep His commandments: Keeping God’s commandments is important to answered prayer. But we should make a distinction between the prayer of the man who is saved, and the cry of the heart seeking mercy from God in Jesus. For the sinner who comes to Jesus in prayer, seeking mercy, the only requirement is sincerity of heart. God does not demand our obedience before He saves us.
I've always had a problem with people who claim I have to act a certain way or I'm not a Christian.
In my humble opinion, that's as stupid as telling a kid they don't love Jesus if they haven't memorized the Bible.
The First Commandment, from Jesus, is that we love God with all our hearts, minds, and souls. That's a pretty tall order.
The Second Commandment, from Jesus, is that we love one another. Humans seem to have a real problem with this one.
When some people read these verses, they seem to come to the opinion that we have to do works of generosity or courage before we become a Christian. Some people, in my humble opinion, would send new Christians out on a quest to slay a dragon before they can put on the armor of Christ. Some people would require a test... human no doubt... to prove Christianity.
Verse 15 seems to say we are required to love everyone or we are murderers and we'll never get to Heaven.
If you hate someone, it's not likely you will show them the difference between the heathen you and the Christian you. If they don't see that difference in you, they won't see the magnificence of Christianity.
As a matter of fact, verse 15 has been used to keep a lot of Christian women in heathen violent marriages because the Christian woman may have the tiniest chance to change the heathen violent man's nature by example. Oh brother... some preachers just don't get it. Some women should not be left in danger. Some women give up... and walk away from Jesus because they don't see any light at all within the "loving" marriage they are forced to live in, to make the church happy.
BUT... God's Kids are called to love everyone. God won't hold you past against you once you have accepted Jesus as your Savior. You get a clean slate.
BUT... God's Kids are called to love everyone. If you are one of God's Kids you have a responsibility to be on "your" best behavior.
AND... God's Kids are called to love everyone. If your neighbor smacks you... turn the other cheek. No matter how much you would love to smack the fire out of your neighbor, God's Kids are called to love everyone. Smacking the fire out of your neighbor only opens the door for the gun dealer down the street to sell your neighbor a gun.
God's Kids are called to love everyone.