TITLE: THE MISTAKE OF TRYING TO HIDE BEHIND GOD'S LOVE
Subtitle: Our Sovereign God Is Not A Doting Grandfather Who Chooses To Look The Other Way Instead Of Judging Sin
At Cutting Edge we grow weary of the constant email admonishing us to "love" everybody and to preach a "positive message" instead of being so negative. Which reminds me of the time a supervisior got on my case about negative comments I had made to inspectors about a piece of company equipment--accurately calling it a "pile of junk"! So when the boss finished his tongue lashing, he made the comment to me that I really ought to be more positive. I looked him right in the eye and said, "I am positive that the equipment in question is a pile of junk!"
I am also positive that many (if not most) people are completely off base in their understanding of God's love and how He deals with humanity. This is completely understandable for those who are not Christians, but for the elect children of God it is tragic. So in an attempt to educate those who do not understand what the Bible really has to say about the love of God, I am going to shock some people out of their socks!
Unfortunately it is a commonly held and widely taught belief today that God loves everybody and is just sitting in heaven wringing His hands because He has done all He can to save us--but so many just wont let Him. If that is what you believe (and the odds are pretty good that it probably is), let me be the first to explain to you that this just is not Scriptural! Multiplied millions are going through life with the totally erroneous concept that God loves man so much that He will put up with just about anything in order that the individual might choose to accept Christ and be saved. Countless preachers have bought into this to one degree or another and New Evangelicalism is basically that error gone to seed. But the Bible's description of God's love is properly balanced with His awful wrath and it does not teach in any shape, form, or fashion that He is patiently waiting on us to make up our minds about Jesus Christ. Quite the contrary! So from this point onward, I am going to make statements and quote Scripture in a very logical and theologically systematic manner which will probably challenge your beliefs.
All I ask is that you heed what the Word of God says and not necessarily what I say. Fair enough?
GOD DOES NOT LOVE EVERYBODY!!! Now before you start looking for large stones to cast at me, let's look and see "what sayeth the Scriptures"?
Exhibit #1 --Hebrews 12:6 makes this statement: "For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth" (KJV). Notice that the object of the love and chastening and scourging is the son whom He receives. The expression "For whom the Lord loveth...makes no sense at all if God loves everyone equally. Verse 8 is the clencher in that it proves that the statement of verse 6 does not apply universally: "But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards and not sons." In other words, all of God's sons are chastised and those that do not partake of this chastisement are illegitimate and not sons. Thus we see that both God's love and chastening are reserved for His own.
Exhibit #2 --Revelation 3:19 makes a similar statement: "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore and repent." Once again the phrase "as many" clearly limits the love of God to those who are His own. If He loved everyone, everywhere equally--this statement would be totally contradictory.
Exhibit #3 --"But what about the numerous statements of God's love we find in the New Testament epistles?" Well, the best way to answer that is to look at some of them.
Romans 5:8--"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Who are the "us", "we", and "us" of this sentence? Paul is obviously including himself and if you will go back to the introductory portion of Romans, you will find that the epistle is addressed to (verse 7 of chapter 1) "To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints...." So once again, God's love is commended toward His own.
Ephesians 2:4--"But God who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us." Same explanation, because the epistle to the Ephesians is addressed to Christians at Ephesus.
1 John 4:9--"In this was manifested the love of God toward us...." Same explanation.
1 John 4:10--"Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." This verse is a double whammy because it also shows exactly for whom Christ died! Another whammy is found in Ephesians 5:25 where we read: "Husbands love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it ."
Still another whammy is found in Matthew 1:21, where the angel told Joseph, "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." You see, not only does God not love everyone equally, Jesus Christ died for the sins of His elect people and not the whole world--contrary to the popular version!
After you make a few laps around the ceiling, come down and we will discuss this further! I know that your next question is bound to be, "But what about John 3:16?" My answer is another question: What does John 3:16 actually say? It says, "For God so loved the [cosmos] that He gave....." What does the Greek word "cosmos" mean? It might interest you to know that Strong's Concordance says it means "order", or "arrangement" and further study reveals that it was the Greek word to express their concept of beauty. Careful study will also reveal that it has no less than seven different meanings and each must be determined by context. Since one use of the word is found in 2 Peter 2:5, where it refers to "...the [cosmos] of the ungodly", it stands to reason that there must also be a cosmos of the godly and that is what systematic theology demands that it mean in John 3:16. The Bible does not contradict itself if properly interpreted and that is why systematic theology is necessary. We have numerous verses of Scripture that clearly and plainly show that God's love is directed toward His own chosen people and we must not allow ourselves to lift a verse out of context and make it a pretext. It might also interest you to know that the concept of God's universal love was not believed nor taught in churches until just before the turn of the twentieth century, when many believe the evangelist D.L. Moody started it. He supposedly was highly influenced by a little book entitled "The Greatest Thing In The World" (written by a man named Drummond) and began to teach God's love in an entirely different way than had been done previously, with John 3:16 being the "centerpiece" of that teaching.
Not only does God not love universally, He hates certain people. The clearest New Testament statement to this effect is found in Romans chapter nine and verse 13 where we read:
"As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated" (KJV)
This statement is actually a quote from the Old Testament Book of Malachi, chapter one and verses 2 and 3. I mention this because the New Testament Greek word (miseo) translated "hated" has been overly "weasel-worded" by those who insist that it merely means "to love less" in an attempt to justify their theological position. However, the Old Testament word "sane" [pronounced "saw-nay"] does not leave that option. It means hated, pure and simple! The entire ninth chapter of Romans is devoted to the proposition of God's sovereignty in salvation and the apostle Paul nails the barn door shut by telling us that God selected Jacob for salvation and rejected Esau--prior to their birth . Verse 11 could not possibly be plainer in explaining this premise.
"Oh, but that's not fair!" is the immediate response from depraved human minds. But the Holy Spirit, using the pen of the apostle Paul and knowing that this would be the response, heads them off at the pass in verses 19 and 20. Does not God as Creator have the absolute sovereign right to do as He chooses with His created beings? Certainly, and if you do not like it, that's tough! God chose each and every individual He intends to save prior to the "foundation of the world" (Eph.1:4)--Jacob included--and left the rest, like Esau, to their ultimate fate. Period! Romans 8:30 also makes it very clear that after God chose His elect ones according to His "purpose"(vs.28), or plan, He called them, justified them, and even glorified them prior to the creation of the first molecule. Justification is the operative doctrinal word for salvation and please note that it is referred to in the past tense.
One other reference relating to God's hatred is found in Proverbs 6:16-19, where we find the following:
"These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination to him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood. An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren" (KJV).
Six of these instances refer to types of sinful behavior and inferentially those that do them. The seventh is a type of person that God hates, and plainly says so. Plus common sense should dictate that it is entirely unreasonable that God would love every individual without exception, but that is the belief held by the majority in our day--and the interpretation of John 3:16 is largely behind it. God loves His elect people--His sheep--with "agape" love--the Greek word for an infinite godly love and Jesus Christ died for this select group of individuals and no more! Yes, I know that 1 John 2:2 says that He died for "....the sins of the whole world," but again systematic theology will not allow this apparently clear proof text to stand in view of the number of instances to the contrary. Once again the word "world" is the Greek word "cosmos" and has to refer to the "world of the godly"--God's elect. Additionally, the apostle John was one of those ministering to the Jew and the first three verses of this first epistle make it plain that his words were addressed to them. Only they (and not Gentiles) could say that they had viewed things "from the beginning" (vs.1). So in 2:2, John's remark must also be recognized as a "Hebraism" referring to the fact that not only Jews will be saved (as was the belief commonly shared by the Jews of Christ's day), but Gentiles as well. The apostle Peter voiced a similar sentiment in Acts 10:34-35, as he preached to the household of Cornelius (the day when God "officially" opened the door to Gentiles), when he said:
"Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons; but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him" (KJV)
When Peter reviewed what had happened in Caesarea with his Jewish brethren, we find in Acts 11:18 their response:
"When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life" (KJV).
JESUS CHRIST DID NOT DIE FOR THE SINS OF THE ENTIRE WORLD
We have already touched on this subject, but it needs to be dealt with in depth. Utilizing 1 John 2:2 and some other proof texts, this position has been held since the days of Charles Finney (just prior to the Civil War), when he formulated his "new measures for a new theology." Up until that time the overwhelming theological consensus was that Christ died for the elect only, but Finney almost single-handedly changed that view into what is commonly believed today: Christ's death provided a universal atonement for sin and all sinful man has to do is repent of his sins and accept Christ as his Lord and Savior. While we would not for a moment deny that the Lord's sacrifice was sufficient for the entire world, we do deny that it was efficient. Notice what the Lord Himself said in John 10:14-16:
"I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also must I bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold and one shepherd" (KJV, emphasis mine).
Please note that the Lord said He was going to lay down His life for HIS sheep (and not the goats). Also note that He says (even before His death, burial, and resurrection) that He has other sheep "not of this fold" (Gentiles and not Israel). In John 15:13 He says,
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" (KJV, emphasis mine).
Then of course there are those verses I mentioned previously about Christ giving Himself as the propitiation for our sins, for the Church, and for His people. The notion that He shed His precious blood for each and every human who ever lived is just not Scriptural, let alone logical.
In my opinion, the greatest tragedy of this whole heretical framework is the attitude it has fostered in many people. They attempt to hide behind God's love and get all offended when a preacher dares to name names and rebukes evil doers. "Oh, but God is love and we must not offend those for whom He died!" Their thinking, whether they will even admit it to themselves or not, is that we may "turn them off to the gospel message" and cause them to be eternally lost. This totally erroneous attitude has led to the New Evangelical mentality of "don't do anything to offend and put up with everything" in order that we might win them to Christ.
Allow me to shock you once again--no mere human has ever, or will ever, "win" someone to Christ, in the sense that you persuade them to "accept" Him as Savior. "Accept" or "make a decision for" are two terms not found in the Word of God. BELIEVE is! Once again, how in the name of reason can a spiritually dead man (Eph.2:1), a slave of Satan (Eph.2:2 et al), and one totally incapable of understanding that which is spiritually discerned (1 Cor.2:14), "accept" or "decide for" Christ? The absolute truth of the matter is that he cannot! God must impart spiritual life through the new birth before belief is even possible. God actually saved His sheep prior to creation, because Romans 8:30 and Ephesians 1:4 say so. Being born again is not synonymous with salvation, but rather it is that point in time when God restores spiritual life to His sheep--thereby enabling them to believe and begin to live the Christian life. They are saved because they are sheep and not sheep because they are saved. Big difference!
Wrong doctrine has led to a very enemic understanding of God and how He deals with mankind. His love has been wrongly accentuated to the near total exclusion of His wrath upon sin and, as a consequence, those who practice it. I also believe it is obvious that most Christians today have lost their fear of God and view Him as One Who loves too much to discipline. It hasn't been too many years ago since people referred to Christians as being "God fearing" people, but I am afraid that this is not the case today. Preachers have harped on the love theme to such an extent that God's wrath is virtually non-existent in the minds of their congregations. However, I would hope that Christians understand God has not changed and His love is perfectly balanced with His wrath.
So for this article I will leave you to ponder the following Scripture verses without further comment: (Read and heed!)
"For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?" (1 Peter 4:17-18, KJV, emphasis mine).
If you have received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and been born again, but have been very lukewarm in your spiritual walk with Him, you need to immediately ask Him for forgiveness and for renewal. He will instantly forgive you, and fill your heart with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Then, you need to begin a daily walk of prayer and personal Bible Study.
If you have never placed your trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior, but have come to sense His reality and the approaching End of the Age, and want to receive His FREE Gift of Eternal Life, you can do so now, in the privacy of your home. Once you truly believe in Him as Lord and Savior, you are spiritually Born Again, and are as assured of Heaven as if you were already there. Then, you can rest assured that the Kingdom of Antichrist will not touch you spiritually. If you would like to become Born Again, turn to our Salvation Page now.
We hope you have been blessed by this ministry, which seeks to educate and warn people, so that they can see the coming New World Order—Kingdom of Antichrist—in their daily news.
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