"A Time To Love"

In Ecclesiastes 3, verse 1, Solomon records that “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven.”

This section ends in verse 8 adding that there is “A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace.”

How does this apply to Christians–especially as this world is engaged in a “time of war”?

First, let’s consider a warning from Jesus Christ that He left for those of us who live at the end of this age: “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12). Yet, for those who follow Christ, this must be “a time to love”. If we are to be a light to those around us, then above all things we must show this fruit of God’s Holy Spirit in our lives. In the closing hours of His life, Jesus spoke to His disciples (and us): ” ‘By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another’ ” (John 13:35). Continuing in John 15, verse 12, Jesus says: “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”

Later on in the events leading to His sacrifice for the reconciling of the world to the Father, Jesus spoke to Pilate showing that this was not a time for Him–or His disciples–to fight and make war: “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here” (John 18:36).

Our “time to hate” is not directed at this world–a world that God so loved that He gave His Son (Cp. John 3:16). However, we also are to understand that there are things which God hates. He hates sin. He hates those activities which might destroy one of His future sons. In Revelation 2:6, Jesus addressed the church of Ephesus and complimented their valiant zeal to withstand wrong doctrines: “But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.”Christians are to hate what God hates

Paul, in 1 Corinthians 13, extols the role of love in a Christian’s life. Alongside the various fruits of God’s Spirit, love is foremost: “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love (verse 13). This kind of love which is imparted through God’s Holy Spirit is the embodiment of righteousness. James, the brother of Jesus Christ, shows that the kind of righteousness that is based on love will bring Christians peace: “Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace” (James 3:18).

Christians are taught to love by God Himself. “We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Continuing in verse 16, “And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God and God in him.”

As we both see and experience the dramatic events of prophecy now being fulfilled, there is something we can and must do. In the quotation from Matthew 24, verse 12, it says that the love of “many” will grow cold, but NOT ALL. As Solomon said, “to everything there is a season,” and the season for Christians is as it has always been, “a time to love!”

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