In my last post I asked the question, “Is Everyone on Earth a Child of God?” I know that it can rub people the wrong way that everyone on earth isn’t a child of God. I believe that one of the reasons is that many people have a false idea of God’s love. Many people see God as a sort of Santa Claus. A jolly old soul. A grandfatherly type. Someone who loves us so much that he will overlook all of our faults regardless of what we do or how we live.
Make no mistake, God does love the whole world. John 3:16 makes that clear, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Notice what this verse also tells us though… Who is it who will receive eternal life? Is it the whole world? No. Only those who believe in him. Is it God’s desire for every human being to be saved. The Bible is clear that God doesn’t want to see even one person lost. 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”
What is REAL love?
The best description of love in the Bible is found in 1 Corinthians 13.
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Clearly God’s love is very different than our human love. God doesn’t love the same way we do. In the list above we read all kinds of wonderful attributes like patience, humility, gentleness. Consider though the phrase, “it does not insist on its own way.” True love never forces anyone to do something they don’t want to do. To force the will of another is not to love the other. True love is willing to allow the object of their love the freedom to leave. The freedom to reject the love even when doing so would result in the death of the other.
Consider the following Bible verses:
“For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened…”
“Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves…”
“For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions…”
“And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.” – Romans 1:21,24,26,28
I encourage you to read the whole passage in context. For now though I want to draw your attention to the words, “therefore God gave them up…” Because God loves us he allows us to make choices that lead to death. He allows us to choose to disconnect ourselves from him. He allows us to make foolish choices in opposition to our best interests. Ultimately, he allows each human being to make the choice to disconnect themselves from the source of all life, Himself.
We have the freedom to die!
God loves everyone, make no mistake about that. He loves everyone so much that he is willing to face the unimaginable pain of having to say goodbye to them forever. He is willing to allow them to disconnect themselves from him, the source of all life. He allows human beings to choose to die rather than to submit themselves to God and to believe in Him.
Human love wants to excuse faults without justice. Without responsibility or consequences. God uses consequences to bring us back to him. The negative results of our sins are meant to lead us back to God and to the end of our own self sufficiency.
What do you think? Does God ultimately save everyone in spite of what they believe?