Does God Love You?
Dr. Jay Worth Allen
There’s a popular notion among many today, that “God loves everybody.” The marketability of that notion aroused my suspicion. God’s love for all His creatures is the odds-on favorite tenet of Universalists, Unitarians, Christian Scientists, many Evangelicals, et cetera, and is held in highest regard on numerous Gospel Tracks methodically placed in Roadhouse Restrooms and neighborhood Laundromats.
According to this warm-hearted Credence, no matter how much of a black-hearted, amoral reprobate you are, in open defiance of Heaven, with no concern whatsoever for your soul’s Eternal interests, still less for God’s glory, His Death, Resurrection and Glorification, it doesn’t matter . . . “God loves you.” So widely is this maxim proclaimed, and so comforting is it to the heart at Enmity with God that Truth has little hope of countermanding it’s delusion. Furthermore, the paternalism Mantra of, “God loves you” is a modern-day construct. If you search the writings of the early church Fathers, the Reformers, the Puritans, you’ll search in vain for any such concept. It was D. L. Moody - a cherished 19th Century saint - who did more than anyone else to popularize this concept - not the Bible.
Another of today’s recycled tag-lines is, “God loves the sinner though He hates his sin” - as evidenced by most Mass-Media Evangelists. But that’s a meaningless distinction. It’s a figure of speech, an oxymoron as in: faith unfaithful kept him falsely true. What is within a sinner, but sin? Their “whole head is sick” and their “whole heart faint,” and that “from the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness” in them (Isaiah 1:5,6). Does God really love someone who is despising and rejecting His beloved Son? “God is Holy” as well as “Love,” and therefore His love is a Holy love. To tell the Christ-Rejector that “God loves him” does nothing more than Cauterize his conscience and give him a false sense of security in his sins. “God is love.” True. But love to whom? To proclaim, “God is love!” to the enemies of God is to take the “children’s bread and cast it to the dogs.” With the exception of John 3:16, not once in the four Gospels do we read of the Lord Jesus telling sinners that God loves them. In the book of Acts, which records the Missionary work and the “Good News” preaching of the apostles, God’s love is never referred to. But when we come to the Epistles, which are addressed to His saints, we have a full presentation of this glorious truth: “God is love” - love for His own (1 John).
If, as fastidious evangelists, we would simply “rightly divide the word of truth,” we would not be found guilty of taking the Truths of God, which are addressed to the sons of God, and misapply them to the children of the Devil. “God is love,” but that’s not what the sinner needs to hear. The sinner needs to hear of the ineffable Holiness of God, His exacting righteousness, His inflexible justice and His terrible wrath. There is far too much presenting of the “Five Spiritual Tracks” to sinners today and far too little showing them their need of Christ, i.e., their Absolutely Ruined and Lost condition, their imminent and awful danger of suffering the Wrath to come, the fearful Guilt resting upon them in the sight of God: to present Christ to those who have never been shown their need of Him, seems to me to be “casting pearls before swine.”
So what about John 3:16? “God so loved the world. . .” Most good-hearted Crusading Evangelicals take that verse to mean “the entire human race.” But that would include all mankind from Adam ‘till the close of earth’s history: it reaches backward, as well as, forward. Consider, then, the history of mankind before Christ was born. Unnumbered millions lived and died before the Savior came to the earth, “having no hope and without God in the world,” and therefore passed into an eternity of Misery. If God “loved” them, where is the slightest proof? Scripture tells us, God, “who in times past (from the tower of Babel ‘till after Pentecost) allowed all nations to walk in their own ways” (Acts 14:16). “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not seemly” (Rom. 1:28). But to Israel God said, “You only have I known of all the families of the earth” (Amos 3:2). In view of these passages, who in their right mind could be so foolish as to insist that God in the past loved all mankind? And this same Truth applies to the future as well. Read chapters 8 through 19 in the book of Revelation, there you’ll catch sight of the dreadful Judgments, Woes, Plagues, the vials of God’s Wrath, all of which will be poured on the Wicked. Read of the great White Throne Judgment in chapter 20, and see if you can discover there the slightest trace of, “God loves the sinner though He hates his sin.”
But, “the world” in John 3:16 must mean “the world.” True, but “the world” does not mean the whole of humanity, which is evident from John 3:17. “God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” All “the world” will not be saved! Once you admit there's a Hell, John 3:16 won't add up to every person in “the world.” In John 3:16 the Lord was speaking to Nicodemus, who believed that God’s mercies were confined to Israel. Christ said He had a larger object in view - of grace toward Gentiles, as well as Jews. The Lord declared His commission in John 10, “I am the good Shepherd . . . I lay down My life for the sheep.” Not for all of humanity, not for the world, but only for His sheep. God’s love is limited. Limited in it’s scope, but not in it’s power.
Does God love you? Only God knows.
(See chapter 7, “The Counsel Of His Own Will” in: A Brief History of Redemption by Dr. Jay Worth Allen.)
Does God Love You?
Published: 13 December 2010 on Freed In Christ! blogsite.
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