When Christians share the Gospel, I constantly hear them tell non-believers that "God loves them unconditionally (They usually define this as, "It doesn't matter what you do, God still loves you.") and has a wonderful plan for them!" If this statement is true, why share the Gospel? God already loves them! Plus, God already has a wonderful plan for them. Is this so? Is it possible that some of these people will not place their faith in Jesus (which is a gift of God. Phil 1.29), which is a condition for salvation (which Christ does it all completely for His people), and go to hell? Then why do Christians profess an inaccurate gospel and continue this deception? Do you hear any of the Apostles or saints preaching this?
If God loves everyone unconditionally, then everyone should go to heaven. In fact, one does NOT have to believe on The Lord Jesus to be saved because that's a condition and God loves everyone unconditionally, right!? How stupid!!!
If a wife commits adultery, should the husband just love her unconditionally by not requiring her to get rid of her lover? How stupid!? Some peeps would answer "yes" because they have been taken captive by a worldly philosophy. This concept of unconditional love is so idolatrous. UNCONDITIONAL LOVE IS NOT BIBLICAL. It makes God into man's warped image of love.
The Scripture will settle the matter. Notice the nature of these verses:
John 14:15" If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. John 14:21" He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him." John 14:23Jesus answered and said to him, " If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. John 14:24"He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father's who sent Me. 1 John 5:12He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. John 3:36"He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." John 5:21"For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes. John 6:40"For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day."
GOD'S ELECTION OF CERTAIN PEOPLE FOR HIMSELF IS UNCONDITIONAL!!! God's electing love is unconditional as in the "U" of TULIP which means Unconditional Election.
Is God's Love Unconditional? February 20, 2009 | By: John Piper Category: Commentary There is such a thing as unconditional love in God, but it’s not what most people mean by it.
It’s not a saving love that he has for everybody. Else everybody would be saved, since they would not have to meet any conditions, not even faith. But Jesus said everybody is not saved (Matthew 25:46). It’s not the love that justifies sinners since the Bible says we are justified by faith, and faith is a condition (Romans 5:1). It’s not the love of working all things together for our good because Paul says that happens “to those who love God” (Romans 8:28). It’s not the love of the most intimate fellowship with the Father because Jesus said, “He who loves me will be loved by my Father” (John 14:21). And James said, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you” (James 4:8). It’s not the love that will admit us into heaven when we die because John says, “Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10). And faithfulness is a condition. How then does God love unconditionally? Two ways (at least):
He loves us with electing love unconditionally. “He chose us in him before the foundation of the world . . . for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 1:4-5).
He does not base this election on foreseeing our faith. On the contrary, our faith is the result of being chosen and appointed to believe, as Acts 13:48 says, “As many as were appointed to eternal life believed.”
He loves us with regenerating love before we meet any condition. The new birth is not God’s response to our meeting the condition of faith. On the contrary, the new birth enables us to believe.
“Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been [already!] born of God,” (1John 5:1). “[We] were born, not . . . of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:13). Let us pray that thousands of people who speak of the unconditional love of God would discover the biblical meaning of what they say. If that happened many would find their feet on solid ground.
Is God's Love Unconditional? 8 COMMENTS | PERMALINK
John Piper answers that question today on the DG blog.
The best thing I've read on this is David Powlison's essay-turned-booklet, "God's Love: Better Than Unconditional." Powlison suggests that people who use the term often have good intentions, wanting to affirm four interrelated truths: “Conditional love” is bad—unconditional is shorthand for the opposite of manipulation, demand, judgmentalism. God’s love is patient—unconditional is shorthand for hanging on for the long haul, rather than bailing out when the going gets rough. True love is God’s gift—unconditional is shorthand for unearned blessings, rather than legalism God receives you just as you are: sinful, suffering, confused—unconditional is shorthand for God’s invitation to rough, dirty, broken people These are true—and precious. But Powlison offers several responses. (I can only summarize and paraphrase here—buy the booklet to see the arguments in full.) First, Powlison suggests that “there are more biblical and vivid ways to capture each of the four truths just stated.” “People currently employ a somewhat vague, abstract word — unconditional — when the Bible gives us more vivid and specific words, metaphors, and stories.” Second, it’s not true that unmerited grace is strictly unconditional. Jesus Christ opened a way for us to experience the biblical love of God by fulfilling two conditions: a life of perfect obedience to the moral will of God, and a perfect substitutionary death on our behalf. Powlison writes: “Unconditional love? No, something much better. People who now use the word unconditional often communicate an acceptance neutered of this detailed, Christ-specific truth.” Third, God’s love is more than conditional, for it is intended to change those who receive it. “Unconditional” often connotes “you’re okay.” But there is something wrong with you. The word “unconditional” may well express the welcome of God, but it does not well express the point of his welcome. Fourth, “unconditional love” carries a load of cultural baggage, wedded to words like “tolerance, acceptance, affirmation, benign, okay,” and a philosophy that says love should not impose values, expectations, or beliefs on another. In fact, humanist psychology even has a term for it: “unconditional positive regard” (Carl Rogers). Here is Powlison again: We can do better. Saying “God’s love is unconditional love” is a bit like saying “The sun’s light at high noon is a flashlight in a blackout.” Come again? A dim bulb sustains certain analogies to the sun. Unconditional love does sustain certain analogies to God’s love. But why not start with the blazing sun rather than the flashlight? When you look closely, God’s love is very different from “unconditional positive regard,” the seedbed of contemporary notions of unconditional love. God does not accept me just as I am; He loves me despite how I am; He loves me just as Jesus is; He loves me enough to devote my life to renewing me in the image of Jesus. This love is much, much, much better than unconditional! Perhaps we could call it “contraconditional” love. Contrary to the conditions for knowing God’s blessing, He has blessed me because His Son fulfilled the conditions. Contrary to my due, He loves me. And now I can begin to change, not to earn love but because of love. . . . You need something better than unconditional love. You need the crown of thorns. You need the touch of life to the dead son of the widow of Nain. You need the promise to the repentant thief. You need to know, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” You need forgiveness. You need a Vinedresser, a Shepherd, a Father, a Savior. You need to become like the one who loves you. You need the better love of Jesus. Read Piper's post and Powlison's booklet. Both are well worth your time!
POSTED BY JT AT FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2009
ShareThis 8 COMMENTS: Mike Riccardi said... JT,Thanks so much for sharing the Powlison quotes. I had just read Piper's post about an hour ago. What wonderful resources! And how deeply do they minister to my soul!I really love the God-centeredness of God.And this sentence in particular was just beautiful.God does not accept me just as I am; He loves me despite how I am; He loves me just as Jesus is.Extra nos.Praise God. 2/20/2009 06:30:00 PM
bp said... Oh the blessedness of knowing the unconditional love of God! How my LOVE and AWE towards Him has increased since coming to understand that He pursued me and saved me though I was running away from Him, instead of thinking that He saved me because I ran towards Him. And that He keeps me persevering, though my flesh is so weak! Oh what a God! Oh what a Savior! 2/20/2009 08:23:00 PM Morris Brooks said... I have always had an issue with the statement that, "God loves you as you are." If God loves you as you are He would have left you as you were...lost, dead in sin, hopeless, at enmity with Him, unreconciled, incapable of any good thing, a stranger, separated from Him, having a heart hardened by the deceitfulness of sin; but since He has loved us (those whom He would make His own) before the foundation of the world with the same love with which He loved His Son (John 17:23), He has not left us as we were but has sought us, bought us, made us alive, reconciled us, given us a new heart, freed us from sin, brought us near to Him, called us friends, made peace with us, made us righteous, placed His Spirit within us, and is conforming us to the image of His Beloved Son.This is the love of God that He did not leave us as we were, and as such we are not objects of His wrath, but are objects of His love. 2/20/2009 09:00:00 PM A. B. Caneday said... Precisely where the Scriptures reveal that God's love is unconditional (his electing love), popular folk theology renders God's love conditional upon human act (foreseen faith).Precisely where the Scriptures reveal that God's love is conditional (e.g., "keep yourselves in God's love" [Jude 21]), popular folk theology renders God's love unconditional (God loves you just as you are; no need to repent).A helpful and easily read resource is D. A. Carson's The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God. 2/21/2009 06:53:00 AM
A Critical Review of a Pop Religious Truism Scripture clearly teaches that God's love (phileo, agape, aheb, ahabah, etc.) is unfailing, undeserved, and unilateral (completely one-sided in initiation). But is God's love without condition--I.E.: UN-conditional? On this we should consider three things: 1) Where did this idea come from? 2) Is it consistent with Scripture? and 3) Could this be a modern packaging of the age old message of false prophecy?
On 1), the words unconditional and love are not used in Scripture in either the Old or New Testaments, nor do any of the church fathers use the phrase. Readers have pointed out that it was first used in 1751 in negative reference to the Moravian heresy (hat tip: Devin R.), and more recently by Erich Fromm in the 1930s to describe the matricentric complex (vs. patricentric; hat tip: Mark Long). But these are arcane references.
The phrase unconditional love entered mainstream, pop-culture English during the 1960s LSD drug culture. What the flower-children originally meant by unconditional love had to do with "love the one you are with" in the sexual revolution sense. But the phrase did not last long even among the hippies because it is inherently contradictory: to love is to care deeply about the condition of the one loved. But "under the influence" a lot of things made sense that didn't later. After the drugs wore off, psychology flirted with the pop-phrase in the 1970's in the "transactional analysis" fad, but this was ephemeral and quickly dropped from view. Just about then a few susceptible christian teachers stepped in and took the baton, and the rest is history.
With this dubious modern pedigree we must ask the obvious question: is this an idea that comes from above, or from below? (John 8:23)
On 2), is the implicit idea that the phrase asserts consistent with Scripture? If we take the phrase in its plain-sense meaning, certainly not. If unconditional can cohabit the same phrase as love without canceling it (when not on LSD, that is), then why did Jesus bother declaring the conditions? "You must be born again." etc.
Think about it. In a typical teaching of Jesus, much of what he said were the life-giving conditions of moving out-of a position of wrath and into a loving relationship with the Father. The catch-phrase unconditional love strips these words right out of our Savior's mouth. "Hey Jesus, you can't say that! Don't you know that God's agape love is unconditional!"
John 8:31-32 (NIV) ...Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." Get it? IF/THEN is a condition. So is UNLESS. And this is the kind of thing Jesus often said. Uh Oh! On 3), we should consider the possibility that this new phrase might be a wolf in sheep's clothing. Could unconditional love be Satan's latest repackaging of the "peace, peace" message that has always been the essence of false prophecy? Of course, Satan would never be that clever, to deny the very words of God with a subtle twist of phrase? Would he?
Because of a Bible Study on our site which calls for repentance from witchcraft, we get a lot of "flames" from Wiccans and Pagans. A typical complaint is to lecture us that "God's love is unconditional", thus justifying witchcraft--or whatever--since "God loves everyone eternally no matter what they believe." By this way of thinking, "It makes no difference which 'god' you worship since God's unconditional love would never allow Him to send anyone to hell. Condemning people to hell is not exactly a loving thing to do for those so sent, is it? So, it does not matter what people think or believe or do. God's unconditional love means that we will all go to heaven."
Hearing this doctrine put forth with such piercing clarity from Pagans should give Christians pause in their enthusiasm to embrace it.
Often, when Christians say unconditional love we know they do not mean it in the exact, literal sense. So, we do not want to go overboard and say that anyone who uses the phrase is a universalist or heretic. We must look to the context and meaning for those who have not thought it through, giving them the benefit of the doubt. But, at the very least, we should be more circumspect about adoption of extra-biblical spurious terminology within the Church, and of teachers that unreflectingly jump on every bandwagon of pop phraseology that blows through.
God's love is truly amazing... God's love is unilateral: He loves the unlovable and gives His glory to them. God's love is completely undeserved. God's love is unfailing for those in whom He delights: who respond to Him and receive His Son. But, God's love is clearly not "unconditional"; for wrath and eternal damnation will come to those who reject His Messiah and His Gospel. Let us be sure to be found in the position of receiving God's love, and not His judgment. Let us heed the conditions clearly set forth by our Lord so that we can be at peace with Him. And let us shout the message of these conditions from the rooftops so that others might be saved, rather than retreat into thinly veiled license, universalism, or anything else that "sets itself up against the knowledge of God" (2Cor 10:5).
Here are a few verses to salt your appetite for researching and considering this further.
Jer. 5:12-13 (NIV) "They have lied about the Lord; they said, 'He will do nothing! No harm will come to us; we will never see sword or famine.' The prophets are but wind and the word is not in them..." Jer. 8:6-9 (NIV) "I have listened attentively, but they do not say what is right. No one repents of his wickedness, saying, 'What have I done?' ...My people do not know the requirements of the Lord. How can you say, 'We are wise...' Since they have rejected the word of the Lord, what kind of wisdom do they have?"
Jer. 23:16-18 (NIV) This is what the Lord Almighty says: "Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord. They keep saying to those who despise me, 'The Lord says: You will have peace.' And to all who follow the stubbornness of their hearts they say, 'No harm will come to you.' But which of them has stood in the council of the Lord to see or to hear his word? Who has listened and heard his word?"
Jer. 23:21-22 (NIV) "I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied. But if they had stood in my council, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds."
Lam 2:14 (NIV) "The visions of your prophets were false and worthless; they did not expose your sin to ward off your captivity. The oracles they gave you were false and misleading."
Luke 3:7b (NIV) "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?"
John 3:36 (NIV) "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him."
Rom 2:5,8 (NIV) But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed... For those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.
Eph 2:3 (NIV) All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.
Eph 5:6 (NIV) Let no-one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient.
1Co 2:13 (NIV) This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.
2 Tim 4:2-4 (TCN) Proclaim the Message, be ready in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, encourage, never failing to instruct with forbearance. For a time will come when people will not tolerate sound teaching. They will follow their own wishes, and, in their itching for novelty, procure themselves a crowd of teachers. They will turn a deaf ear to the Truth, and give their attention to legends instead.
Heb 13:9 (NIV) Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings.
Luke 13:3 (DVP) [Jesus:] "...If you do not repent, then you will all perish..."