You have heard that it was said, “Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?
That last part of the verse really gets at me: “Do not even the pagans do that?”
This is a great question, and I have heard skeptics and lost friends ask the same question…”they say they are a Christian…but I have seen the way (so and so) live….do not even the pagans do that?”
[Okay, so they probably say some thing like, “doesn’t that evil, sinning, non-religious, liar -who lives down the street, the one that claims to be an angry militant atheist- (nothing against ‘angry militant atheists’, I was just making an illustration…) – live a better life than those ‘Christians?’ ]
My point is that fellowship alone is not enough to share the Gospel. It is not enough to hang out with and love your best Christian friends and to put little to no effort in loving your non-believing neighbors. The Scripture is pointing us towards loving our neighbors and enemies more than ourselves. It is pointing us towards sharing the Gospel and true love to everyone and not just our best friends.
This really stuck out to me and I really needed to share that. Because do not even the pagans have great fellowship within their own circle of friends?