Is it Love to Warn and Rebuke?
Jesus prayed to his Father, before he was betrayed. He had protected, guarded, and taught his disciples. He gave them warning and comfort so they would not be deceived or led astray. Through teaching them the truth, (alethea) the reality, Jesus prepared his leaders to fulfill their mission. They were to faithfully teach the commandments, that instruct all believers as to how we are to love God and neighbour. But loving our neighbour is more than not hating or slandering them. God also instructs us to care for them, and if need be, to rebuke them in love. What does this mean?
Imitators of Christ
Christ’s gospel was one that offered great hope. It envisioned a Kingdom and a personal relationship with God though faith. But it also included a warning. People needed to repent, and demonstrate a change of heart and action. Paul followed Christ’s example giving a loving warning that believers were to renounce their sinful ways and fully imitate God. Peter also warned against the false teachers who led New Testament writers taught that love required a loving rebuke. Why? To keep believers from straying from God’s teachings and earning the painful consequences.
A Time of Judgement
Jesus in speaking to the religious leaders of his day gave them repeated warnings. He let them know what the future held for those who rejected the scripture in favour of man-made traditions. Often his parables were a form of rebuke to those who had “ears to hear.” At other times Jesus was very direct in telling the people of his society that all the lawless and all those who cause others to stumble would be punished. Why did he do this? He was following in the footsteps of the prophets that he had sent to his people over the centuries. And his motives? “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.” Like a loving father, God corrects his wayward children. And as imitators of Christ, is it love to warn and rebuke those who will hear?
Learn more about loving God and Neighbour
Finding True Love