Just as oil and water don't mix, love and hate can never mix. No matter how much you stir them together, they are still separate. “If someone says,'I love God', and hates his brother, he is a liar, for he who does not love his brother who he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen” (I John 4:20-21)? What a powerful statement to Christians. If you hate your brother, then you also hate God. We are either a child of God or a child of the devil. If we practice the things which are right, as revealed in the Word of God, we are children of God. Contrarily, if we do not have love for the brethren, then it is impossible to be a child of God (I John 3:10).

We cannot be born of God, or love God if we do not love one another. “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments, and His commandments are not burdensome” ( I John 5:3). Part of those commandments is that anyone who loves God, must love his brother (I John 4:21). John, puts it even more bluntly, when he says we can know we have passed from death to life, because of our love for the brethren. Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and we all know that a murderer can not have eternal life abiding in hate for his brother. We are told to not only profess that we love our brethren, in word and tongue, but to show that love by deed and truth (I John 3:14-19). If we see a brother in need, we cannot shut him from our heart, and not help him. In the last hours before His crucifixion, Jesus said: “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, than to lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do whatever I command you” (John 15:12-14).

Just as Jesus laid down his life for us, we must be willing to lay down our life for Him. For some this will mean actual physical death, but for everyone this will mean death to the worldly sin that abounds all around us. We must die to this world to become a living sacrifice (Gal. 2:20, Col. 3:1-4, Rom. 12:1-2).

We should pay heed to the manner in which we treat everyone, especially our brethren in Christ. Jesus taught this concerning love: “You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy; But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that ye may be sons of your Father in heaven, for He makes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust” (Matt. 5:43-45). Remember: “Love suffers long and is kind, love does not envy, love does not parade itself, is not puffed up, does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil, does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails” (I Cor. 13:4-8). God is love, and he that dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him (I John 4:16). Since love is the only quality that is taken with us when we leave this world, may love reign in our lives here and in the life to come, for all eternity.