The Problem of Enemies

TEXTLuke 6:26

INTRODUCTION:

A.      ENEMIES NOT NECESSARILY A REFLECTION ON OUR CHARACTER.

B.      CHRISTIANS WILL HAVE ENEMIES( 2 Tim. 3:12;  Luke 6:26 ).

C.      WHY DO WE HAVE THEM AND WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT THEM?

I.      ENEMIES WITHOUT CAUSE( Psa. 35:19;  69:4 ).

A.      SOME PEOPLE DECLARE WAR WITHOUT PROVOCATION.  THE

          PROBLEM IS INSIDE THEM( Job. 19:28 ).  WHY?

          1.       The unfairness of unreasonable people( 2 Thess. 3:1-2 ).

                   a.       Doesn't always take two to tangle.

                   b.       Some people can't be reasoned with( 2 Tim. 3:3 ).

          2.       Your enemy may have slipped and gossiped about you( Prov. 26:28 ).

                   a.       Must justify gossip, so he makes you worse than you are.

                   b.       Instead of not gossiping, he changes his image of you.

          3.       There may have been some other mistreatment of you.

                   a.       To justify himself he crucifies you.  You Deserved It!

                   b.       Examples:

                              i.       Debtors learn to hate their creditors.

                             ii.       The cheater hates his victim because the victim knows him.

                   c.       An alternative to hatred --- Repentance!

          4.       Enmity may result from reproof( Gal. 4:16 ).

                   a.       We must be watchful( Gal. 6:1;  Acts 20:26-27 ).

                   b.       Reaction depends on attitude toward God( Heb. 3:12;  Prov. 9:8 ).

          5.       Refusal to flatter will make enemies.

                   a.       Ahab's attitude toward Micaiah( 1 Kings 22:8 ).

                   b.       Some cannot take the truth( Matt. 7:6 ).

          6.       Knowing something bad about someone will make him hate you.

                   a.       The woman who back her car into the neighbor and was told on.

                   b.       The manipulators and gossips I have dealt with.

                   c.       Try to avoid knowing evil about your brother.

          7.       Being successful may make enemies  --  Envy.

                   a.       Jealousy works on people( Prov. 14:30 ).

                   b.       Prov. 27:4.  Envy goes far( 1 John 3:11-12 ).

                   c.       The antidote( 1 John 3:10;  1 Cor. 13:4 ).

B.      ENEMIES WE HAVE MADE - COULD WE BE RESPONSIBLE?

          1.       Because we were right?

                   a.       No humility( Prov. 16:18;  18:12;  21:24;  Gal. 6:1 ).

                   b.       Combative attitude( Prov 17:19;  2 Tim. 2:24-26 ).  Attitude!

          2.       Because we were wrong?( Rom. 3:23 )

II.     WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT ENEMIES?

A.      DO GOOD UNTO THEM( Matt. 5:44;  Rom. 12:20 ).

          1.       Never retaliate( Rom. 12:19 ).

          2.       David's example( 1 Sam. 24:17 ).

B.      PRAY FOR THEM( Matt.5:44-45 ).  Jesus and Stephen( Luke 23:34; Acts 7:60 ).

C.      REFRAIN FROM GETTING ON HIS LEVEL( 1 Pet. 2:23 ).

          1.       You can't lift yourself up by pulling others down.

          2.       You won't make peace if you insist on getting the last word( Prov. 10:19; 

                   13:3;  17:27-28;  Eccl. 5:2-3 ).

D.      REJOICE NOT AT THE FAILINGS OF AN ENEMY( Prov. 24:17 ).

E.      REMEMBER THAT GOD'S LAW MAKES US WISER THAN OUR ENEMIES

          ( Psa. 119:98 ).

F.      PRAY FOR DELIVERANCE( Psa. 59:1;  55:22 ).

G.      SEEK PEACE( Matt. 18:15 ).

          1.       Give the benefit of the doubt as you desire it( James 1:19-20;  Matt. 7:14 ).

          2.       Give it top priority( Eph. 4:26-27;  Matt. 5:23-24 ).

CONCLUSIONNOTHING IS WORSE THAN HAVING GOD AS AN ENEMY.