Most people instinctively want to believe in a God of love but find it difficult when looking at the state of the world around us or even when hit with personal afflictions and tragedies. The world is in a terrible state and unfortunately some people suffer personal experiences and traumas that are horrific – if we don’t experience these ourselves, we all witness the suffering of others. For those who are not true Christians, this can reinforce their belief that there is no God of love.
This website name and theme is around judgment as it is important for us that people understand there is judgment coming for every human being. However, we resolutely stress that God’s attributes of being both loving and our judge work in perfect harmony. We can be certain that our Creator is a God of love and no matter what happens to us or the world we live in this truth should always be our foundation when making any judgment. This is not wishing thinking or blind logic – it rests on the truths in the Bible.
God is love
Love is one of our greatest desires, we all have an instinctive desire to love and be loved. Unfortunately, as humans, we struggle to truly fulfill this desire – although we can feel loved through friends, relationships and family, this love will always fall short and is never everlasting. We fail in so many ways which cause relationships to break down, even if we have a long lasting relationship we know that death is a reality. When our partners or family are no longer there the love they gave is gone and loneliness inevitably follows. This is not the case with God, nothing can separate us from Him, as Charles Spurgeon said:
As God created us with this desire to be loved, it follows that He is the only one who can fully meet this need. Love is not just something that He offers but is the way He is, God is love as the apostle John says:
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. (1 John 4:8, emphasis added)
And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. (1 John 4:16, emphasis added)
The Greek word used for love in these passages is “agapé”. We associate the word “love” with romantic or sexual feelings for a loved one or even a brotherly love for family and friends, for this love the Greek word “philia” is used. But agapé has a different meaning, it is a type of love that we cannot give to our loved ones. It is a love that only God can give because He is love, it is His nature which these verses are saying. God’s love is Him expressing His nature to us, we certainly do not deserve this love, we have not done anything to earn it, but God is only being true to His character.
This type of love is virtually impossible for us to understand with our human minds as it surpasses everything we can imagine. Trusting in God and in His unfathomable love should give us strength and encouragement – as God is eternal, His love is too!
Love is just one of God’s attributes but it is the one that can touch us the deepest as our in-built human nature craves to be loved. In recent years, especially in the “Emerging Church”, it has been said that “love wins” and everyone can make it into heaven. Many cannot accept that a loving God can condemn anyone to an eternal hell so they want to promote a false “feel good” teaching.
Firstly God does not condemn anyone to hell – it is our choice to accept Jesus or not! But we have to understand all of God attributes, love is obviously one of them, but to say love wins over His the others is allowing emotions to blind us from scriptural truth.
God is holy and just, everything He is and does is perfect, so if love wins for everyone that would mean He would have to brush aside all the sin in our lives. Let’s not forget, God does hate too, He hates sin! Sin is what separates us from Him, ever since the original sin our connection with Him has been lost. The only way to restore this connection is to be righteous is His eyes, this is only possible by accepting Jesus’ payment for our sins.
“Love wins” is a false teaching, appealing to our emotions and misrepresenting God as detailed to us through His Word. Believing this would mean Jesus Christ died on the cross for nothing which is clearly not true and only makes a mockery of what scripture tells us.
Why can’t we always feel God’s love?
We all have times when we struggle with life and feel alone, in this loneliness we should understand that God never leaves us and at times He could be the only one with us! We live in a sinful world and while we are still in the flesh we are sinful too. Satan will try to lure you into the trappings of this world and have us chase dreams of material value but we must remember we are not of this world. Paul sums this up well in Romans 12:
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:2)
If you feel a long way from God, it was not God that moved – it was you! The more we conform to this world the more distant we will be to God. This is a dangerous road to be on, the longer we stay away from God the harder it will be to believe that God loves us. Like any relationship if one part moves far away that relationship will break down, God will never move away from us but we can push Him out of our lives and lose that close connection we once had.
Once we understand that God has an immense love for us and cares for us deeply we need to put events in our lives in the context of that truth. It is scary to think that God knows every thought we have, but that is one of the attributes that makes God amazing! It should be reassuring to us that God does know us inside out and should cause us to lean on Him at all times.
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11: 28-30)
When we feel distant from God or struggling in any way, our first thought should be to turn to God not away from Him. The suffering we see and experience should be an alarm to our conscience that something is wrong with the world and draw us closer to His love.
I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. (Proverbs 8:17)
What greater love
Can there be a greater love than our Creator coming in the flesh to die so that we do not have to?! God’s love is shown to us at the cross!
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
This is the greatest love of all and it is a love for us as individuals! Even if you were the only sinner in the world God would have still sent His son to die for you. Everything we think about God should come back to this fact – He gave His own Son for us! Jesus Christ voluntarily went through all the pain, suffering and rejection because of His love for us.
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
Our temporary earthly lives should pale into insignificance because of this! To our Creator God though, we are so important, we need to take hold of this truth, use it everyday for strength. and walk with God believing His amazing love for us. A love so great that we can be called “sons of God”:
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. (1 John 3:1)
And “joint-heirs with Christ”:
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. (Romans 8:16-17)
This is an everlasting relationship with God Himself!
We are limited in many ways in our current flesh bodies, one thing we cannot grasp to its full extent is how much God does love us. Emotions play a big part in our lives, they can be positive but they can also confuse situations and our thinking. We must not let any emotion lessen what God has said to us through His Word which is crystal clear of His abundant love for us!
Jesus Christ is coming back!
Although God’s full plan is beyond our understanding we can have that guarantee that Jesus Christ is coming back! The motive for this plan is God’s love and mercy for us. God’s love does not end with Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection, He has promised to come back for those that know and love Him.
We can all see that the world and our society is fall apart, as scripture warns us it would in the last days. This does not mean God has changed in anyway, it is His desire for everyone to be saved, that is why He is delaying His return:
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)
God hates what is happening in the world but it certainly is not a surprise to Him as He has told us to expect this dramatic moral decline. Our loving God is waiting as long as possible for even the most unrepentant people to turn to Him, but He will not wait for ever. Many will choose not to accept God’s love and Jesus’ payment for their sins but God has allowed us to make that choice!
Respond To God’s Love
Our Creator God is a God of love in more ways than we can comprehend, we can only hope to fully understand this when we are with Him in our resurrected bodies. Until then we have to respond to the love He has shown us through His son Jesus Christ.
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
Coming to the knowledge that we are sinners and undeserving of anything, God’s love should shine through in our lives. We can experience His love and mercy through the forgiveness of our sins – not a day should go past where we are not thankful for this.
All our experiences should be rooted in the knowledge of the historical fact that Jesus Christ died for us. Before we blame God for situations in our lives we should re-think as blaming God will only have negative consequences on our relationship with Him – He is the one person who can strengthen us!
As we live in this troubled world it is essential we walk with Jesus Christ each day:
As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. (Colossians 2:6-7)
The closer we walk with Him the more we can experience and understand God’s true love for us. An agapé love that is stronger and more incredible than we can imagine!
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) (Ephesians 2:4-5)
This story from Sundar Singh helps put another perspective on God’s love for us:
When we are close to God, believe that nothing can separate us from His love:
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-39)