Hank Hanegraaff, the host of the Bible Answer Man Broadcast and the Hank Unplugged Podcast, reads Matthew 5: 43–48. “Love your enemies” is a very difficult command. And to pray for those who persecute you is equally or perhaps even more difficult. Yet this is precisely what our Lord modeled during His passion on the cross. There, after being mocked, beaten, and spat upon, in the midst of excruciating pain, God the Son asks God the Father to forgive His persecutors. And when we live in this kind of love, we are, in truth, “sons of our Father in heaven.” This kind of love, reals the reality of our faith and forgiveness. Hank then reads from 1 Corinthians 13. Paul writes, “If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor, and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (vv.2–8). And so the Lord Jesus says, “Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matt. 5: 48).
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