I’ve heard it said that when Jesus said in Matthew 5:44-45, “ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven”, He meant that unless you love your enemies etc. then you will essentially be proving that you are not Children of God. Or, to put it another way, loving your enemies like this is a condition of sonship.
I would point out to these people that this kind of love is a fruit, not a condition of entry, or a qualification. Salvation – and thereby membership of the Family of God – is a free gift to all – all! – who are willing to receive it.
People who write stuff like that use the Bible versions that phrase Jesus’s words like this: “so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven” or “Then you will be children of your father in heaven”. They use it to imply that that this is a condition of us being children of God. That, unless you do love your enemies, there’s no way you’re a child of God.
These people need to be careful that their words do not lead their weaker brethren into condemnation!
You see, I believe that this passage means that by loving your enemies, you will be aligning yourself with the way the Father thinks. You will be acting like a member of His family. In other words, it’s not a condition of sonship, rather a fruit of sonship. Something that happens because you are His son or daughter.
And, like all fruits of the Spirit, it will be manifested in increasing measure in those who believe – not necessarily an overnight transformation, then, but a gradual process. So, don’t feel condemned or unworthy because you don’t feel like that. In fact it’s not a feeling at all.
Certainly, no-one who finds it hard to love their enemies should feel that struggling with this issue disqualifies them from sonship. Someone who is not a child of God would not even be trying to love their enemies in response to Jesus…..
Glad that’s been cleared up, then.
Finally, you might like to look at this short essay on a similar subject. Here’s one lady’s experience of what happens when she chooses to follow Jesus’s way and pray for her enemy: Here’s the link