SermonPhobias Destroy Love
An all-creatures Bible Message

Phobias Destroy Love
 
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
 
26 May 2019
 
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

Ezra 10:18-19
Psalm 67:1-7
John 14:22-31

Phobias destroy love because the people who have these phobias put their phobia before unconditionally loving God and the whole of His creation, which includes every other human being, every animal, and the environment in which we all live.
 
Included with phobias destroy love, we should add our prejudices and hang-ups, for they all destroy Godís heavenly love here on earth.
 
In our opinion, the phobia that stands out the most is the abortion issue, and particularly those who are against abortion, and take the position that we have no right to kill a human baby, but at the same time they have no empathy for the billions of baby animals who human beings kill and eat every year.
 
If killing is wrong, which we believe it is, then we should be against capital punishment, fighting in wars, taking revenge, and killing and eating any animals.
 
And if this is the stance we take, then we should extend our unconditional love and empathy to the women and children who become pregnant and are considering abortion as a solution, then we should work just as hard to provide sex education and birth control to all who need it, and care and support for those who desire to give birth to their babies.
 
Unfortunately, this is not the general rule, and why we say that phobias destroy love.
 
But this is not the only phobia; people have phobias about sexual orientation, ethnicity, and even religious denominations and traditions.
 
And sometimes we have desires or attractions that draw us away from the heavenly will of God, and they can also destroy heavenly love, such as a desire to eat animal flesh and by-products.
 
Psalm 67:1-7, is a song of praise and hope, but as we look at it, letís also consider how we apply its words and message to our own sinful lives and the phobias in the world around us.

1. God be gracious to us and bless us,
And cause His face to shine upon us ó
Selah.

God is gracious to us, but at the same time, the Bible tells us that we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and the proof of Godís grace is that He doesnít blot us out every time we sin.
 
He is always there to forgive a truly repentant sinner, but at the same time, we are to be Godís representatives here on earth of His heavenly will for all to see.

2. That Thy way may be known on the earth,
Thy salvation among all nations.

If we consider ourselves to be Christians, then we should also be showing everyone around us the peacemaking children of God, we are called to be, which is another way of showing Christ within us.

3. Let the peoples praise Thee, O God;
Let all the peoples praise Thee.
 
4. Let the nations be glad and sing for joy;
For Thou wilt judge the peoples with uprightness,
And guide the nations on the earth.
Selah.

Our very lives before others must always show Godís heavenly will, which is a great responsibility for us, but this is what it means to be a child of God and a Christian.

5. Let the peoples praise Thee, O God;
Let all the peoples praise Thee.

They will, or at least a lot of them will, if we set the proper example of heavenly living.

6. The earth has yielded its produce;
God, our God, blesses us.
 
7. God blesses us,
That all the ends of the earth may fear Him.
NASB

Maybe we need to think about what the product of our lives really is; it should be people coming to the Lord and truly desiring to live in His heavenly will, and if this is the result, we can change the world.
 
Sometimes our phobias destroy love in another way, such as in Ezra 10:18-19, where we see religious tradition standing in the way of unconditional love in an attempt to correct an existing problem.

18. And among the sons of the priests who had married foreign wives were found of the sons of Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and his brothers: Maaseiah, Eliezer, Jarib, and Gedaliah.

Jewish law and tradition held that Jews were not to marry anyone who was not Jewish, and here we see that even the priests had violated their law and tradition, for their desire for foreign women overpowered their commitment to uphold their law and tradition; but itís what they do next that compounds the problem.

19. And they pledged to put away their wives, and being guilty, they offered a ram of the flock for their offense.
NASB

Not only are putting away their wives and perhaps even their children, they mention nothing about the love that bound them together in the first place or held them together to that very day, and most likely traveled with them all the way from Babylon to Jerusalem.
 
In this case, their phobias about having a pure religion by correcting past problems are in actuality destroying existing love.
 
They are not only destroying the love within these families, but they are destroying the lives of animals, whom we are to love as our companions, and whose deaths in no way eliminate their past sins or the sins they are committing to others, both humans and other animals, in their attempt to correct their past problems.
 
Phobias destroy love!
 
Letís conclude our discussion about how phobias destroy love by looking at John 14:22-31...

22. Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, "Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us, and not to the world?"
 
23. Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him.

Jesus is not answering the question directly, for Judas and the others should have already known the truth and be filled with the love that brought Jesus to them in the first place.
 
It is unconditional heavenly love that binds us together, but it also binds us together with God, which is what Jesus is telling Judas and the others.
 
And here we are also seeing how phobias destroy love when we seek all our answers in the physical realm, rather than allowing our hearts and minds to see them in the spiritual realm, which is what even the disciples were doing, and what seems to plague most Christians to this very day.

24. "He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father's who sent Me.
 
25. "These things I have spoken to you, while abiding with you.

Jesus was reminding them that they had been living with the answers they sought all along.
 
We all seem to have this kind of problem from time to time, for we often donít see the answers that are right before our eyes until they are pointed out to us, and this is some of what the Holy Spirit does for us, when we learn to listen to Him.

26. "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.

And this includes what we read in our Bibles.

27. "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.

Remember that perfect love casts out fear, so if we are ever fearful, it is because love is not perfected in us.
 
When we are perfected in heavenly love, we also bring peace with us wherever we go, and it is this peace and love that we are to share with the world around us.

28. "You heard that I said to you, 'I go away, and I will come to you.' If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced, because I go to the Father; for the Father is greater than I.
 
29. "And now I have told you before it comes to pass, that when it comes to pass, you may believe.

Jesus knows that the disciples still have some doubts, and his physical appearance after His resurrection will dispel those doubts, that is if they begin to think in the spiritual realm, which we all need to learn to do.

30. "I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me;
 
31. but that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go from here.
NASB

The gifts that the Father gave to Jesus were given to the disciples then, and through the Holy Spirit they are given to us.
 
Phobias destroy love, as do all the other things we talked about, but Godís perfect love and peace within us will push phobias away.
 
Listen to the Holy Spirit...

Amen?
 
Amen.

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