Tuesday, July 2, 2013

For God so loved those who believe in Him that He gave His only begotten Son that they should not perish but have everlasting life.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Every Christian on the face of the planet can quote that scripture and cite chapter and verse where it can be found in the Bible. And every translation bolds the word loved. But notice, the Word says, "for God so loved the world" before it talks about believing in Jesus and having everlasting life. The scripture doesn't read: "For God so loved those who believed in Him that He gave His only begotten Son, that they should not perish but have everlasting life." And yet, that's how most Christians today want to interpret it, or how they believe that scripture is meant.

But God's love is unconditional. Just as He commanded our love to be. Jesus said all the law and all the prophets hang on two commandments; that we love God with all our hearts, minds and souls and that we love our neighbors as ourselves. Of course, every one loves themselves above all others. Except God. He loves us above all else. And that's supposed to be the way we love. Not according to whether someone believes the same way we believe or behaves the way we believe they should behave. Or even whether we believe them to be saved. Even if they are a professed atheist or satanist, we are supposed to love them as we love God and ourselves.

Now, if we loved them the way we love God and ourselves, we wouldn't talk bad about them. Or treat them badly. We wouldn't refuse them when they asked for help or kick them out of our homes. We wouldn't shout at them or hurl stones at them or condemn them. We don't do those things to our family members who aren't believers because we love them. We act nice to those we love who aren't believers and we pray for them and we try to show them, in the best ways possible what being a Christian is all about. We don't constantly throw it up to them that they're not saved and they're going to hell and they can't live with us or we can't help them or they can't eat at our table! Why that would be un-Christian of us!

And yet we think nothing of spewing hatred at those whom we don't know by name or face because they fall into a category or class of people that we deem to be unworthy of our love and we somehow have convinced ourselves that God doesn't love them the way they are. I'm so grateful that God loved me the way I was before I accepted Him as my Savior or else I would still be lost and without hope.