|Perfect Love Casts out Fear of being Gay|
(1 John 4:19 NKJV) We love Him because He first loved us.
The fear of death is one of our greatest fears. The Christian concept of judgment for our sins and for the works that we do, goes beyond just physical death, but eternal death in torment. Some believed that this is just metaphorical, but the early Christians did not think so. They were fearful of the Anti-Christ who they fear would deceived them into wrong theology. 1 John 4 addresses the concerns of the early Christians of how to identify the Spirit of Anti-Christ and also to assure them of the perfect love of God being revealed through the Holy Spirit in each of our hearts that as we are in Christ, we should have no fear of the judgment day to come. With the greatest cause for fear settled, 1 John 4 exalts us not to live in fear but in the abiding love of Christ though our walk with God in the Spirit of God with the assurance of salvation. The Holy Spirit that is in us is able to overcome, even the Anti-Christ. We need not fear of loosing our jobs if we were found out as Gays for as Christians, God will take care of us, His perfect love already proven at the Cross of Calvary.
In 1 John 4:1, we see that the early Christians were very much afraid of the Anti-Christ and there were many prophets and teachers who were coming up with their own versions of Christianity and claiming that it was the truth (eg the Gospel of Judas). The Spirit of the Anti-Christ was already present in those days and was a spirit of deception. They were not afraid of outright persecution, but of the scuttle errors that come in, the half-truths where it was difficult to distinguish between the right and wrong. The Christian Right would have us judge on the basis of Gay Marriage Issues. However, this was nowhere near the major issue. In 1 John 4:2,3, John reiterated that those who are false teachers could be judged by whom they consider Christ as! Do they consider Him metaphorical or came only in the Spirit but not in the flesh as the Gnostic believed? or do they consider Christ as the only true God, the Messiah and Savior.
The vast majority of the World would listen to the Anti-Christ and his theology concerning Christ (1 John 4:5). They would be deceived. It is likely that they would not be able to discern because the spirits of this world controls them. The Anti-Christ would likely appear to be a man of peace and talking about God. In 1 John 4:6, however, as Christians, we will be able to discern between fact and fiction because we have the Holy Spirit, and we know the His voice (1 John 4:6). Despite the deception, if we are truly abiding in the Spirit, we will be able to distinguished between the truth and the false teaching concerning Christ. If we have the Holy Spirit, we will ultimately display the fruits of it, to love one another (1 John 4:7), and to know God in a personal relationship. For Christ is the manifestation of perfect Love, demonstrated at the Cross-which He died for us though we deserved it not that we might be saved (1 John 4:9). It is not because we loved Him but that Christ loved us first. Because He died for us as payment for our sins for redemption, we likewise have the motivation and purpose to love others. (1 John 4:10).
As Jesus Christ has been resurrected, no one can see God nor the Holy Spirit that resides in us. Our love for one another just like Christ perfect love for us is a sign that the Spirit of God is with us (1 John 4:12). Moreover, we know whether we are with God because of His presence in our lives through the gift of the Holy Spirit (1 John 4:16). Ultimately, the assurance of God’s love in our hearts reaches a state of perfection when we have boldness looking forward to the Day of Judgment, assured that we are of Christ because the same Holy Spirit is in us just as the same spirit that was in Christ when He was in this earth. (1 John 4:17). The Love of God is shed forth in our hearts as we abide with God in a relationship. It is this love that sustains us. Because Christ’ love is perfect, we have the assurance that His love displayed at the Cross is sufficient and complete to justify us perfectly at Judgment Day.
(1 John 4:18 NKJV) There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
The same Holy Spirit that was in Christ, is the same Holy Spirit that is in us who assures us that Christ's love for us is complete and perfect to save us (1 John 4:18). It is this perfect love that casts out the fear of possible judgment with the assurance that we are already saved in Christ Jesus. We will spent eternity with God because we know and have experienced so deep in our heart His love for us hence assured of His saving grace even though we have not seen Him. Fear is a torment because we cannot live our lives in fear of the "what ifs" rather to live our lives by faith, in the assurance of God's everlasting love abiding by the peace of God in our lives.
(1 John 4:18 NKJV) “ …… But he who fears has not been made perfect in love”
The Judgment of God is something that even great preachers and Man of God fears. I recently heard a Godly Gay Man even though Holy Spirit filled and speaking in tongues said that He would never know whether God would accept Him because He was a Gay, hence, a sinner!. For that Christian, the love of God has not been revealed i.e. perfected to the measure that he was fully assured of his salvation in Christ. Being Gay has meant that He was not able to fully embraced God’s unconditional love into His heart believing incorrectly that God was rejecting Him. For most Gays, we truly need the continual assurance of God’s love to be perfected in us for we constantly face rejection by the Church claiming that God rejects us because of our sexual orientation. We live in fear that God will reject us at the judgment seat.
In 1 John 4:19, it is not our love that matters! It is God's love for us that matters. As we embrace Christ and abide/move in the Spirit of God, we too will start to love with the Love of Christ bearing the fruit of the Spirit. If we love God, we will love people and keep His commandments in following the leading of the Holy Spirit in our lives to do the work of God just as Jesus Christ followed the leading of the Holy Spirit to do the work of God at the right time and place, and displaying the power of God. In 1 John 3:23, His commandments are not onerous like the Jewish Laws, but only believe on who Christ said He was and is, and to Love each other in reflection of Christ love for us and in acceptance of His death for our sins.
Saints of God, God has not rejected you because you were gay, as so commonly preached in many Churches. There is no spirit of fear if the Holy Spirit truly dwells in your heart and as you abide in Him closely, you will hear in sweet voice constantly reminding you that He loves you and accepts you fully and not partially. He accepts you as who you are, no less, as a Gay person, because of Jesus Christ. He has created you wonderfully. His perfect love overcomes all fear, the fear of man, the fear of rejection because you were gay, and ultimately the fear of death because you have been truly accepted in Christ Jesus . May the Grace of God be with you in the complete/perfect assurance of His perfect love for you. Amen