“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” ~ John 3:16
For the sake of rightly dividing the word, another way to pose the question could be: Does God Love the reprobate?
In the scriptures, the triune God is often furious with the unrepentant and rebellious – those who act freely and sin willfully without the least bit of coercion. So the blame falls directly on the shoulders of the rebellious. We are the issue. We have the problem. We are the ones in a quandary.
(All quotes from The Confessions of Saint Augustine)
“Without you, what am I to myself but a guide to my own self-destruction?”
Obviously, the scriptures also mention many times how ‘they’ were never of ‘us.’ So we know there is an elect of God. I’ve ran in circles where we never got past election. We waited around for some type of evidence of being ‘chosen.’ There is much danger in that. The door is wide open for those willing to take the narrow way.
“I sighed and you heard me. I wavered and you steadied me. I travelled along the broad way of the world, but you did not desert me.”
For God so loved the world…that WHOSOEVER…
He loves the disciple for Jesus’ sake alone and will not ultimately love those who are not in Jesus because they refuse to be reconciled. It’s not that hard a concept to grasp; but ultimately, we are wholly responsible.
“What am I to you that you command me to love you, and that, if I fail to love you, you are angry with me and threaten me with vast miseries?”
On the last day, when we stand in judgement, we will be without excuse. The greater the grace, the greater the gratitude and accountability. God will hold all non-reconciled sinners accountable for their hardened rebellion and animosity toward the righteousness of Christ.
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
When we were yet sinners, we were loved and known by Him. But it’s curious to consider how no matter how potent the apologetic, or obvious the truth, some will remain perpetually hostile to the mere consideration of a sovereign deity.
“In their perverted way all humanity imitates you. Yet they put themselves at a distance from you and exalt themselves against you.”
If God didn’t love us, then what was Jesus for? Now, what will we do with this truth? He came down for us, and we have an obligation to respond. That’s the bottom line. I no longer argue strong meat with babes. I’ve broken out of that cage.
“Uneducated people are rising up and capturing heaven, and we with our high culture without any heart–see where we roll in the mud of flesh and blood. Is it because they are ahead of us that we are ashamed to follow?”
At the end of the day, we have a duty not only to decide what we are willing to believe, but more importantly, what is actually true. Our preference and desire to reject a vital truth does not release us from the consequence. Don’t turn from these loving truths.
“O God, our Father, listen to me groping amid these shadows, and stretch out to me Thy right hand.”
Don’t turn away the free offer of grace. Only through faith will we ultimately find rest. Redemption is at hand. Know where ye stand!
“You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless, until they can find rest in you.”
If we believe, we can know we are safe. Blessed are those whom are secure in Christ!
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