November 2, 2020

You Can Be Released From Hatred

Speaker: Dr. Harold J. Sala | Series: Guidelines For Living | Many a time I went from one synagogue to another to have them punished, and I tried to force them to blaspheme. In my obsession against them, I even went to foreign cities to persecute them.  Acts 26:11

Rosario Rivera was a revolutionary most of her life.  Born out of wedlock in Lima, Peru, she grew up filled with anger over her poverty and hunger.  Eventually anger turned to hatred towards her mother, her teachers, and the system which had spawned her.  At age thirteen she had given up school and was deeply involved reading Marx and Lenin. By eighteen she was a militant revolutionary and a Communist.

In Cuba she met the famed revolutionary, Che Guevara, and became his assistant.  Upon his death she became all the more bitter and returned to her native Peru.  She was there when another Latin revolutionary returned to Peru.  His name: Luis Palau.  But Palau was a revolutionary of a different kind.  His commitment is to his Master, Jesus Christ, not Marxism.

Palau was speaking in the bull arena in December of 1971 when Rosario decided that she had to kill him.  She was enraged while listening to Palau’s radio program in Spanish and decided that he had to die.  With a gun on her person, she went to the arena. Telling about the incident later, Palau said, “During my message I spoke about the ‘Five Hells of Human Existence’‑‑murder, robbery, deceit, hypocritical home and hatred.”

“Each sin I mentioned pricked Rosario’s conscience‑‑for she had committed them all‑‑and only made her all the more determined to kill.”  Trying to maneuver into position to fire the fatal bullet, she came forward with 300 people to receive Christ as personal Savior.  A little old lady who was a counselor walked up to her and said, “Madam, can I help you receive Christ?”

Rosario did not know how to respond so she hit the old lady in the face and ran away; but as she tried to sleep that night, God kept taking the words of Palau’s message and pushing her towards the cross with them.  “Cursed is the one who trusts in man…Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord…”

After a sleepless night, she fell to her knees and received Jesus Christ as her personal Savior.  Palau says, “The Lord absolutely revolutionized this Marxist guerilla.  She is an amazing testimony to the transforming power of the Word of God.”

When her Communist comrades came looking for her, she “machine‑gunned” with the Gospel, as she puts it.  Rosario was a revolutionary, but her weapons are totally different.  She said, “If my hurt burned for the revolution in the past, then it burns even more now, and if I did a lot for the poor before, then I do more now.”

She tackled poverty, corruption in government, injustice in the system and the conditions of poor factory workers; but she did so with the compassion of Jesus Christ.  There are scores of people who, like Rosario, have switched allegiance and have begun to march to the beat of a different drummer; who now serve Jesus Christ with far more fervency than they ever served as political revolutionaries.

How about you?  With whose cause have you identified?  Or are you simply living for self, one selfish day at a time?  To know more about the transforming power of Jesus Christ, read the Gospel of John and decide for yourself.  As C. T. Studd wrote a century ago, “If Jesus Christ be God, then no sacrifice is too great for Him.”  Whenever a person receives Jesus Christ, a revolutionary change results‑‑the kind that produces deep peace within instead of burning anger and hatred.  The cure goes to the root of the problem, which is the hearts of men and women.  It is the only lasting solution to the problems of the society.

Resource reading: Acts 9:1-25