Sunday, December 8, 2013

How Deep and Wide is God's Love?

All for Love, God Loves All

In a blog, we read,
If this love in John 3:16 is “so” great as to be towards the whole world, this would cause the love of God to the whole world to be greater than the love He has for His elect. But the Savior states,“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (John 15:13) If this is true, then the love which is spoken of in John 3:16 is the greatest love. Thus, if this is true, and no greater love can be exemplified than this love which causes one to lay one’s life down for his friends, then the “world,” of necessity, is universally saved since God “so loves” it. This is certainly not true. It is true, though, that the love which is stated here is the greatest love God ever had, but it is for His elect.


How one necessarily follows the other, that is, how if God loves the world to such great depths then all men would necessarily be saved, is not explained by McMahon who wrote the blog. However, his assumption may be based not on Biblical revelation but on some erroneous theological presuppositions.
It does not necessarily follow that because God loves someone deeply they are automatically saved. If McMahon would not do what on his blog he accuses others of doing – taking a verse out of context – and lay aside any theological presuppositions, that is, let the Bible speak for itself, he may find enlightenment.

A person is saved not merely because God loves him but because he believes: For God so loved…that whosoever believes…has eternal life.” This is how God, not men, determined to grant salvation.  Salvation is not by faith; it is by grace, yet through faith.  Sinners experience God's love when they turn to God in faith in Jesus Christ.

Admittedly, there will come a day when God’s love will be exhausted, His mercy will cease for those who persist in rebellion to God’s rule and resist the grace to believe in Christ.  However, until then, the anointed proclaim the Gospel message of the “favorable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:19), the era when God’s love abounds to men as sinners with a “kindness that leads to repentance”  (Romans 2:4-5).

Therefore, at this present age, God’s love extends even to the point of and in spite of rejection. He loves because it is in his nature to love. Christ dies for all men in the hopes of winning all men.

John 3:16 tells us that God loves the world – men as sinners, enemies, even to those who refused to have recognized and received him as Messiah (John 1:10-11) – deeply, in a great, wonderful way. Romans 5:8-12 reveals to us in just what way was that love so deep and wonderful. It does not say God demonstrated his when we were the elect but when we were ungodly, while we were sinners; it is not when we were elect that God sought our reconciliation to him but when we were his enemies. God demonstrated the greatness of that love on the Cross, and through means of the Cross He sought reconciliation of the sinner to himself. The same Greek word for “love”, agape, dentifies the love spoken of in both John and Romans as being of the same kind (I John 2:2).

How much greater, deeper can one’s love be then to sacrifice his life for the object of his affection? Since this love was for all men as sinners, no one can rightly claim that God loves him more than another; to me, it is just plain silly to say that. True believers will experience a greater depth of how deep that love has gone, nevertheless, they will not get more love out of God than the love he has for all men as sinners demonstrated at the Cross.

The Gospel message is not God loves me enough to save me but He does not love you enough to save you. The message of the Cross is this: For God loved the world, all men while they were yet ungodly and sinners, while they were still his enemies, hostile to Him, and fighting Him off; God loved all men enough to sacrifice His Son in order that they may by faith be saved. As a husband's love for a wayward wife is no guarantee that she will ever return to him regardless of the sacrifices he makes to win her back, so God’s love – as great and deep as it is – in and of itself will not secure one’s salvation because men are called to respond to that love in faith.
And the wonder of it all is this, no amount of rejection will lessen that love, neither will any amount of acceptance make it greater. For God has sacrificed all that he possesses, all that He is, all that He lives for to gain men. He can do no more.
All for love of sinners, God loves all sinners.

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