37 Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
Last month I wrote about how Christians should live in a post-Christian culture. We live as Ambassadors representing the King of Kings.
How do we live as Ambassadors to a culture that rarely wants to discuss or hear about Jesus, redemption, and eternal life? Al Mohler, the President of Southern Seminary spoke at Moody’s Pastor Conference this year and put it like this. “The key to cultural engagement is to know that we are to love the Lord with all we are and to love our neighbor as ourselves.” I found that to be quite obvious. Of course we love God and our neighbors. What does this really mean then for us in 2016 and beyond?
First we love God our creator. How do we do that? We spend time with Him, develop a relationship with Him. We can get to know our spouses, siblings, friends, maybe even co-workers so well that we know what they will say or do in advance. Do we know God that well? We get to know Him through His Word and then we begin to see Him working in and around our lives and we join Him in what He is doing. What is He doing? God is calling the world to be reconciled to Himself through His Son, Jesus. God is calling people to Himself to be redeemed through the Gospel. Through that He is also showing His love for sinners, for creation, for peace, justice, and righteousness. As we love God we end up doing what He does, loving those who are made in His image.
That leads us to the second way we engage our post-Christian culture, we love those made in God’s Image. Many of them are sinners who are far away from God. Many of them are believers growing closer to God. Yet we “love them as He does, more than they love themselves.” God’s love is a self-sacrificing, self-denial kind of love. The kind of love Jesus lived out for us on the cross. We know the Bible says that “all have sinned” but yet we sometimes think that some people sin too much and therefore we can ignore them. That’s not how Jesus loved sinners. Jesus died for all who sinned and He told His followers to go to all who have sinned and tell them how much God loves them and longs to forgive them.
We are Ambassadors and we don’t get to choose which ones we love; we love them all. We must get rid of the lie that to love someone is to agree that the way they live is good and right. God doesn’t agree with how sinners live and yet He loved us anyway. Even many who profess Christ do not always live like it and they also need a love that is patient and leads towards repentance. (Romans 2:4) So we love those who are the hardest for us to love.
 Al Mohler, “Engaging a Post-Christian Culture”; Moody Bible Institute: Engage the Culture Conference, May 2016.