Yesterday, my head exploded.
I’ve been been thinking on the concept of God loving everyone. “Love is love” is something we hear, but what is love in terms of how God bestows it? Does he truly love everyone?
In this Real Christianity podcast, we learn that God is benevolent to all people, believers and unbelievers alike. Which is underscored in this verse:
“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 causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”Matthew 5:45-46
The sun shines and the sky rains on all of us whether we know Christ or not. This is why a lot of the bad apples in this world are so shiny. They receive blessings, too, but like Pharoah, they’re eventually left to their own devices and the hardening of their hearts.
And like with Pharoah, God is displeased with the wicked:
“The LORD tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.”Psalm 11:5
We don’t want God to hate. We want God to love and accept us even when we’re building our own kingdom and shoving His firmly to the wayside. We want our lives given the seal of approval, and we look to the sweet, submissive Jesus who wouldn’t hurt a flea to wink at our indiscretions.
Apparently, nobody reads Revelation anymore:
“Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. ‘He will rule them with an iron scepter.’ He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.”Revelation 19:15
Though Jesus be the lamb of God, the ultimate sacrifice for our sins, don’t get it twisted y’all. Jesus is:
“A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.
They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.”1 Peter 2:8
So, love? It’s a little more complicated than we think.
We live in an age of overwhelming acceptance, which is quite frightening when you look at what we’re accepting: degradation and division and using the Gospel to do so.
I’m not sure what you know of Progressive Christianity but I’d say it’s anything but. Just take a look at this video.
I think one of the main problems we face is using Scripture to color our own agendas instead of using the truth of the Gospel (and all of Scripture) to pinpoint where we’re lacking in our own hearts. We don’t want to be culpable for sin. Instead, we accept it.
Along these same lines are the Christian self-help and feel good books that are devoid of Scripture but are overly heavy-handed when it comes to the idea of “Jesus loves you just as you are.” It’s true that Jesus meets us right where we are no matter our sin, but he doesn’t want us to stay in it.
I’m reading Everybody, Always by Bob Goff, and I’d definitely put this book in that category. However, I did recommend it to a friend because Bob is so much better at actively loving others than I am. I think his theology is a bit misguided, but his heart seems to be pure. Regardless, as with anything, I have to filter what I read and study through Scripture and the discerning work of the Holy Spirit.
Both of which aren’t typical practices in the world we currently live in.
And yet? That is what love is, friends. Not relying on our own devices or opinions but honoring and fearing the true Word of God.
So? Love is hard. Love is complicated. I think maybe that’s the point for us as human beings who are weakened by sin. But Christ certainly isn’t. His unfailing love is defined by a sacrifice on the cross to forgive all of the sins of those who believe in Him. True love is mercy and grace and getting what we don’t deserve and not getting what we do. He is the rock on which we stumble when we deny truth, but yet He is the arms that comfort us when we seek it.
RC Sproul once tweeted, “It has been said that God hates the sin and loves the sinner. But it’s the sinner God sends to hell not just the sin.”
So what do we do? READ OUR BIBLES. I know so many Christians who have never even opened the cover. But listen here folks: the whole world will lie to you, including those who are associated with the Church. Jesus spoke of the wolves who devour believers:
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.”Matthew 7:15
These are the leaders and lay people who claim to know Christ but truly only know Satan. They’re working from the inside out, and they’re the reason so many non-believers want nothing to do with the church. Who would want to be part of organizations that gossip and molest children and destroy families and use Bible verses as weapons?
But the REAL believers, the ones who die to self every day and imperfectly attempt to love a world that hates them? They’re the ones driving the bride of Christ forward with love, honor, and true devotion for one’s neighbor. And a feat this big can only be accomplished with submission to the Holy Spirit and a full knowledge of the story of humanity that God wrote.
Jesus knew the Scriptures so why wouldn’t you want to?
Don’t fall into the pit of mainstream society and get trampled on. This world is not your friend. It’s a patient that needs healing. And we can only get started on that journey through confession, repentance, and an understanding of the one true Christ.
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