43 Comments

Should We Tell People Jesus Loves Them?

I’ve heard bold, outspoken Christians tell strangers that Jesus loves them. I’ve heard of people passing out candy and balloon animals along with a heartfelt, “Jesus loves you.”

I hate to tell these individuals they should stop. Their proclamation of Jesus’ love is more witnessing than what 90 percent of Christians will ever do.

However, there is no shortage of people who want to tell me that I’m witnessing all wrong when I give people the law before the gospel; I should just tell people that Jesus loves them. Over the years, I’ve tried a few different approaches to try to explain to them that that’s not what the Bible teaches.

  • There are zero examples of that being anyone’s gospel message in the Bible.
  • There are examples of gospel presentations to the contrary.
  • Even John 3:16 says that those who don’t believe in Jesus will perish.
  • Biblically, does Jesus really love everyone? Does He have the same type of love for everyone?

I’ve recently thought of a new approach—one that is actually ancient, because it is in 1 Peter 5:5: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” That verse is repeated in James 4:6 and Proverbs 3:34.

So, I’ve asked those who question me: If God opposes a proud person, do you think I shouldn’t tell them that He opposes them, but that He loves them?

No one has really had a response to that yet. It’s so quick and easy that it even works on the street.

43 comments on “Should We Tell People Jesus Loves Them?

  1. Bill,
    When people are confronted with the truth they always get their ears pinned back…Time and time again this is what I experience they do not want to hear truth. Truth convicts and is a sharp sword confronting those that hear truth….As I believe John MacArthur states “you have to give’m the bad news before they get the good news” Be of good cheer and keep on perservering my friend.

  2. Mal. 1.3 And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.

    Rom 9.13 As it is written , Jacob have I loved , but Esau have I hated .

    I guess God just hated Esau and everyone else He loves? I have been bothered by this one as well, because in my way of thinking and what I have read in the Bible especially with the above verses, would it makes sense to say to someone that God loves them but will send you to hell at the end of the day? Sounds like a contradiction to me. If I love someone, I want to make sure they are taken care of, and that no harm or danger comes to them. Thanks for this post…you have helped answer a big question I have been praying about.

  3. Bill,

    Most people have an unbiblical view of love and have not stopped to consider what the Bible says about God and His love for the world – and His special redeeming love for His elect. I have decals on my motorcycle that state, “Fear God!”; a lady in a parking lot shook her head at me and clucked, “no no no – God is love!”.

    I think the biblical method of witnessing is to properly use the Law, as Christ did in John 4 with the Samaritan woman. But we must make much of Christ when we witness, as the Law cannot save and most people do not have a biblical understanding of Jesus. Since He alone saves, we must declare Who He is, from Scripture.

    And we must not worry if people do not accept us. Are we being obedient and truthful? God will save His sheep – in spite of us. He condescends to allow us to sow the seeds. Let us be content with that.

  4. Manfred:
    “He condescends to allow us to sow the seeds. Let us be content with that.” Good words. I should fix them to my forehead as a reminder…. Thanks!
    There is a book called “The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God,” by D.A. Carson. I have found it to be very helpful.

  5. Think of all the little children who are taught to sing: “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”

  6. The book of Acts, the book describing the planting and growth of the church, never once uses the word love. Not a once. Closest thing is 15:25 where Paul and Barnabas are referred to as “beloved.”

    If Christ can grow His church there without telling pagans of God’s love, then perhaps he can still do so today.

  7. This is a very good book that will help the reader understand the biblical view of God’s love for mankind: http://www.amazon.com/Church-Surprising-Offense-Gods-Love/dp/1433509059

  8. So, is it everyone’s opinion that God doesn’t love everyone? In other posts when the idea of a harsh and difficult “love” is preached everyone comes out of nowhere to chastise and rebuke, touting the words, “Love, tolerate, be nice…it’s a matter of the heart”. Just as much as this post deals with the world outside there, it is also very important to realize that God is fed up with what happens inside churches as well. Those who the church allows in, even though they are not saved, bring worldly ideas, lifestyles and philosophies and we hush up the naysayers rebuking them quietly saying, “God is love…love them to Christ”. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. How many people would leave the church if our leaders preached this sermon? The church would be healthier for it.

  9. revival,

    Yes, the church would be healthier. That’s one of the main points of the book I linked to.

  10. I’ll Have to look into it, Manfred. Thanks.

  11. The only caveat I have that book is the author fails to take into account the larger biblical context in answering the question about Peter being the rock. He falls into the Roman camp, but this is not his intent and the book is otherwise most excellent.

  12. The quick answer is “No, you should not tell them ‘God loves you'”, for the simple fact that this may not be true. For the long answer, consider the following Scriptures:

    Psalm 5:4-6–“For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness, nor shall evil dwell with You. The boastful shall not stand in Your sight; You hate all workers of iniquity. You shall destroy those who speak falsehood; the LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.

    Psalm 7:11-13–“God is a just judge, and God is angry with the wicked every day. If he does not turn back, He will sharpen His sword; He bends His bow and makes it ready. He also prepares for Himself instruments of death; He makes His arrows into fiery shafts.”

    Read these verses to some people and they will say “Well, yeah, but ‘God so loved the world…'” So then, obviously, we have a conundrum. We have one Scripture that says one thing, and another Scripture that seems to say something completely different. When this happens, we have a decision to make. Is this–
    (A) a contradiction, or
    (B) an issue that most people are unwilling to take the time and study?

    Well, since there are no contradictions in the Bible, the answer is obviously (B).

    Consider the following statements–
    (A) “America is a country built on freedom”
    (B) “America is a country based on law and order”

    On the surface these seem to contradict each other, but when you get right down to it, without law and order, this country would tumble into chaos, anarchy would rule, and no one would be “free” because they would be subject to whatever tyranny rose to power. (Yes, I know that all authority is from God and that it is God that makes us truly free. Let’s leave that discussion for another day, though).

    Now, let’s apply this to the love of God and the hatred of God. If God did not hate wickedness, He would not punish wickedness. If He did not punish wickedness, He would not be a just Judge. But Psalm 7:11 is clear that God is a just Judge because He is angry with the wicked. Therefore, if people are not made aware that God is angry with them while they are in their state of wickedness and sin, they will not fear Him and will become the lukewarm, “carnal Christian” that we see filling so many church pews to day.

    Also, if they are not told as it says in Psalm 5:4-6 that God hates not only wickedness, but also the one who works wickedness as well, they will not see any need to repent from their sins. They will continue in their sinful lifestyle, thinking all the while that they’re saved because “Jesus loves me just the way I am.”

  13. revivalandreformation: The point to be made is that using “God loves you” as an evangelistic tool is not necessary. It certainly appears that the disciples, once filled with the Spirit, didn’t use such a technique in their evangelism.

  14. Just a few things to consider here. I think we might be in danger of throwing the baby out with the proverbial bath water . . . (and I apologize in advance for this long comment – thanks for your patience).

    First, it is true that glibly telling people Jesus loves them is not the same as preaching the Gospel. It is also true that the Law can be a great tool to lead people to Christ. And it is true that God does not love every person in a way that ultimately ends in his or her salvation. But the love of God for all of His creatures is evident in the fact that he bears patiently with the reprobate while meeting their needs Providentially, and in some sense desires their repentance. He certainly commands it (Acts 17:30) – even if He does not effect it.

    Is it possible that there is a logical fallacy behind the conclusion that Jesus does not love all people? Why can’t there be a sense in which God loves and hates all sinners? Do we have to make the categories mutually exclusive? Can’t there be a sense in which God loves all people as His creatures, and another sense in which He hates all sinners as rebels against Him and destroyers of His work? I find this is the only way to reconcile all of the Biblical statements about God’s disposition toward sinners.

    If God had only hatred for the reprobate, and no real love for them at all, would he not have great pleasure in their destruction? Yet He says He has NO PLEASURE in it, but rather would have pleasure in their repentance.

    Ezekiel 18:23 “Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord God, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?”
    Ezekiel 33:11 “Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?”

    This expression of hypothetical pleasure on the part of God surely indicates love for those He calls “wicked.” Unmingled hatred would never invite an enemy to repentance and reconciliation. But God loves His enemies, and even blesses them (Mt. 5:44-45).

    Consider this: we do not know whether Adam and Eve were ultimately saved. But God certainly loved them by pursuing them, calling to them, clothing them, giving them instructions and promises, granting them children, etc. They may both have been reprobate in the end (we don’t know), but that does not mean God couldn’t rightly claim to have loved them. Do we assume that because God showed love to them they must have been saved?

    If God says He “so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son,” we ought to have no qualms about telling the entire world (all the progeny of Adam and Eve) that God loves them. And to be accurate we must not forget to mention the thrust of the rest of the chapter: the fact that God’s love will not prevent Him from finally condemning all those who do not respond to His love with repentance and trust in Christ. But by all means teach children to sing, “Jesus loves the little children.” Let us not fall into the same trap the disciples did, when they tried to push the children away from the Lord. Jesus didn’t say, “Let the elect children come.” He simply said, “Let the children come to Me.”

    Sharing God’s love can be an important part of evangelism, as Paul noted it is God’s kindness that leads us to repentance. (Romans 2:4)

    Reformed theologians have historically maintained a distinction between the general love of God and His effectual working of salvation in an individual’s life. God loves all sinners; He loves and justly judges some, while He loves and graciously saves others. But all of them have been sustained and blessed by Him all along the way. He takes pleasure in their repentance. He doesn’t delight in their destruction, though He delights in His justice when they do not repent.

    So, I say we should tell the whole world about the love and judgment of God, and especially about the way both were demonstrated in the cross of Christ, to the glory of our great God and Savior. The Gospel isn’t “For God hated most of the people in the world . . .”

    I agree that the angle of God opposing the proud is of great use in evangelism. This is a useful observation. But even here we must be careful, for what does His opposition say? It says, “Repent, or perish. Humble yourself, and receive grace!” If there was no love, there would be no such warning. If there was no love, there would be no confrontation. If there was no love at all, there would be no breath, no heartbeat, no patience, no warning, no command to repent, no Providential care.

    Why do we share the Gospel in the first place? Because we love others, in obedience to God’s command. Is this love from ourselves only? That can hardly be. It is an expression of His love, even for those who turn away and go on hating Him.

  15. Yes, that point I know and understand Jeff, thank you, but the point that gets me is this: How many commenters have ripped into the writers here and myself, personally for our “unloving, intolerant and judgmental attitude”? The world and those who call themselves Christians need to be told the truth. They need to know that they are living in habitual sin, and God won’t stand for it. Instead of beating around the bush, be as Christ was, rip into the Pharisees and rebellious ones and embrace those who actually want to listen. Loving the world to Jesus is wrong and unbiblical and it just “gives them a shot so they can get to hell easier…”

  16. Humble your self before God. Not to popular today is it. Specially in many Churches around here and every where else I’ve been. Its all about the ego and the senses.
    But when you come before A righteous and holy God that will judge us according to our works, well there aren’t any that makes us able to stand before him. Not ours, we’re all destined to outer darkness.
    Not until his light shined in our hearts and drew us to him self, humbled and with a broken and contrite heart for all the sin that we have committed before him And now clinging to the Christ that died for us.
    Christ Him self showed us this with the story of the Publican that beat his chest and saw his undone sinful life and repented. Not even able to look towards heaven. And he went home justified. But then on the other hand the was the Pharisee that said I thank you because I am not like other men!
    I tell you every time I see a sign out side a church that says Try Jesus I just want to scream.

  17. Jonathan,

    You said, “I tell you every time I see a sign out side a church that says Try Jesus I just want to scream.” That made me smile – in sympathy and agreement. Sad, is it not? So many churches know not the God they claim to worship.

    Derek,

    You have done a fine job drawing legitimate distinctions in this dialogue. The issue as stated is the problematic practice of indiscriminately telling people “God loves you” without the framework such as you’ve laid out. The bare statement of God’s love is more apt to be incorrectly understood that God wants to save everyone, lending itself to the Finney model of telling people they can save themselves by accepting Jesus into their hearts, because of His great love for them.

    Yes, He loves all (even that with some exceptions) and has preserved many throughout history in the act of preserving the promised seed of Abraham. Now that the new covenant in Christ’s blood has been cut, there is no more reason to preserve humanity, save for the predestinated salvation of God’s elect. To taht end, we must be about proclaiming Christ – the biblical Christ – to dead people everywhere.

  18. Excellent and thoughtful comment, Derek. Thank you for sharing. I’d also like to point our readers to your friend’s well considered post which you linked in a prior comment that was held in moderation – sorry but all 1st time commenters go in there, it’s nothing personal!

    Here’s the link: http://barrywallace.wordpress.com/2010/03/19/calvin-carson-and-piper-on-john-316/

    And here’s the money shot from the article (IMHO):

    We may, therefore, say to every human being, “God loves you. And this is how he loves you: He gave his Son to die, so that if you would believe, your sins would be forgiven and you would have eternal life.”

    That is what the love of God means and promises and does in John 3:16. And that’s why this verse has been so amazingly blessed of God over the centuries in bringing people to Christ and to salvation. It expresses what we love to call the free offer of the gospel. There are no limits to this offer: It goes out to all people of every ethnic group and every age and every socio-economic category and, best of all, to every degree of sinner—from the bad to the worst. “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever”—indiscriminate and universal—“believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

    In Christ,
    CD

  19. Hi from across the Pacific, I’m a first-time-visitor on your blog.

    I’ve struggled with this issue for a long time because God’s love is often reduced to this mushy, sappy, sentimental concept. We’ve come out of an inner-city church that had an active outreach ministry to people in half-way houses. Those involved often told me that telling someone who has been abused, depressed and rejected that God loves them, is a great ‘door opener’ and ‘bridge builder’ to introduce Christ to them.

    My struggle with this approach was that it’s devoid of the offence of the cross, and does nothing to help people deal with their sin and move them to repentance and an acknowledgement of their desperate need for a savior. As I understand it, the biblical ‘worldview’ (not sure if this word even fits…) is that whether the person is a victim of abuse, a convicted criminal or a model law-abiding-citizen that never harmed a fly, they are all equally born sinful and sit under the wrath of God.

    However, where it gets a little murky for me is with ‘fourpointer’s’ views. Those citations from Psalms allude to God hating certain individuals because of their wickedness. The murky part for me is that this comes back to the elect/non-elect dichotomy. The Psalm passages cannot be generalized because a biblical case can be made that God did not ‘hate’ the elect the same way when they were acting in wickedness during their pre-conversion days.

    Romans 5:8 makes it clear that one of the ways that God shows his love toward the elect that Christ died for us while were still sinners. Also Eph 2:4-5 makes a similar point “God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ. That would mean that ‘while we were yet sinners’ and while we were ‘dead in our trespasses’ we committed wrath-worthy acts (Col 3:6-7, Col 1:21-22, Eph 2:3). So it can’t be said that God ‘hated’ his elect THEN and loves them NOW.

    So for a non-Calvinist like myself here’s where it gets muddy: How do you know it is NOT true that God loves the person you’re saying it to? If they are elect (which you wouldn’t know anyway) then the answer is ‘yes he loves them’!

    I hope I’m making sense.

  20. John From Down Under,

    Thans for stopping by DefCon. Here are a few resources that I think will speak to your inquiry:

    Does God love the elect and hate the non-elect?

    Does God Love the World? – Part 1

    Does God Love the World? – Part 2

    Enjoy!

    In Him,
    CD

  21. Manfred,

    I get what you’re saying about the mere declaration of God’s love as an inadequate Gospel presentation, and the bigger point that most contemporary evangelism is weak on Gospel content. It’s rampant and unfortunate, though at least we can “rejoice that Christ is preached” – even if it is only His name and almost nothing else of any value that is being proclaimed.

    Your point about the preservation of the seed is interesting. Are you saying God only showed Providential/preserving love (or grace) to the non-elect before the time of Christ as a necessary means to an end (that of bringing Christ into the world)? If so, I would wonder why He lovingly preserved so many who were outside of the Abrahamic covenant and were genealogically far removed from the lineage of Christ. I would suggest there is more to it, something intrinsic to God – who IS love – that moves Him to love all of His creatures (including the ones He doesn’t save, without exception) regardless of the times and places. Either way, I “amen” your application: proclaim the Biblical Christ to (spiritually) dead people everywhere. God will effectually call His elect as we do this.

    Coram Deo,

    Thank you for publishing my comment, and thanks also for adding that link (I had removed it because I thought it might be tripping the spam filter). I agree, what you quoted is the money shot from that article. And the John MacArthur links are excellent, he has a gift for studying complex subjects and then presenting the most important points without dilution.

    Blessings,
    Derek

  22. Derek,

    The only other reason for God to allow man to live is to bring Him glory. He understands we need contrast – can’t see good without seeing bad. The non-elect are used by God to chastise His chosen ones and His elect and as an example for His elect as how not to live.

  23. I guess what I am trying to say Manfred, is that in this modernistic world religion is that they have in my mind dethroned Christ. By giving glory to their inner selves that say we have self worth that brings us to Christ. Something that is worthy in side of us, hence the act of coming. It strokes their ego. When the bible that I read tells me in same chapter as John 3:16 that the Whosoevers are recipients of a Spirit that is like the wind. And in that I give glory to God for his salvation/rebirth/calling. And that coincides with what is said in John chp.6.

    You try different brands of peanut butter. You try different brands of religion. But if we proclaim the majesty of Christ the creator of the universe who calls us according as he as given his Spirit to transform us into his nature. That’s not trying but something that he has done. They don’t proclaim the glory of his person.
    And how can that happen not with out a preacher that preaches from the word/testament/ the doctrine of Christ and his Apostles. And what do they tell us if any come with another doctrine?
    I have been ostracized by family and friends for that and at the same time told we’ll have to agree to disagree. and then never to hear from them again. And that was what I got for wanting to glorify God in what he has done for us in Jeshua the Christ. Just for showing them scripture that points the the truth of Gods choice that is all through the word of God…Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
    Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
    Eph 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
    Eph 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
    Eph 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
    In your view am I being… I had to think of what you call it…oh yes critical or hyper Calvinistic? But has I see others who were a part of the church where I first learned the meaning of the grace of God, others that were apart of it have fallen to enjoying themselves with the likes of Rick Warren, Joel Osteen and even the Shack as an out flow of the spirit??? But then if they bring any other Gospel than what we preach let them be a curse.
    But that’s not my curse or any other curse or are we are commanded to do. But in meekness instructing those that oppose them selves if God peradventure will give them repentance! Yes even the devil and his demons believe and they tremble. They know their end and these so called churches of God wont even begin to proclaim his righteous laws and the fact that we all have failed the test. And such will be in the end when so many who come to him will have found out they were nothing but the tares that was thrown among the wheat by the devil and his demons.

    It’s not up to us to save but to proclaim his righteousness in the Gospel of his coming and it is a testimony against them than so be it. And if we suffer for than so be it. Mar 13:9 But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them.

    Those days are not over and are going on even now and are soon to be here because our rulers have signed on to a world body that has teeth and is totally against the Gospel of truth that proclaims one way.

    Rev 6:11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled. (try that on for size)

    Thats not something they would preach, it might run some away from their coffers and then they would have to make due.

    That’s what I was trying to say Manfred…just saying!

  24. Good point, one I’ll remember!

  25. It all depends… I believe both love and law are co-dependent. The one without the other is not “the whole truth”. I was told that Jesus love me (John 3:16) but in the same breath I was also “told” to repent from my sins. I experienced both his love & deep conviction at the same time.

  26. I’m not an expert on the bible. I can’t tell you where tons of verses are or anything like that. My walk with God has just started. I don’t know what He has planned for me, but I know I trust Him. I don’t pretend to know how God works. I’m only human, but I can tell you this: He DOES love EVERYONE. We are all a part of God’s creation, and He loves us all. What he despises is our sin. Sin brings death and we are all sinners, but God LOVES US ALL so much that he sent his only Son to save us. God despises sin (as he should) but he loves everyone in his creation.

  27. Just Me,

    God loves everyone in the sense that He also shows grace and provides revelation to everyone – enough so that no man can claim there is no God, but not sufficient for salvation. Special revelation, particular redemption, saving grace, and eternal love – for the elect of God whom Christ Jesus came to save and will save and not lose a one. The wrath of God is being stored up for all who are not in Christ – He hates sin and the sinner.

  28. Malachi 1.3 and Romans 9.13…there is at least one person God hated.

  29. The fact of the matter is that Jesus said that anyone who “believes” upon Him – the one who welcomes Him and accepts Him and trusts in the promises of God in Jesus shall be saved. Therefore, by telling them that Jesus loves them, they would be more willing to receive and believe upon Jesus than if you told them that Jesus wants to send them to hell – use some of the reasoning that God gave you! The door to salvation is wide open. The parable of the banquet feast Luke 14:23 “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full.” Receive Jesus and believe upon Him and the promises of God in Jesus and you will be saved – THE TRUTH! Yes Jesus loves you and everyone may freely come to Jesus and be saved.

  30. that right phil anyone who should believe God does love but The thing is there is the saved and the unsaved and anyone who believes is in God elect and someone does not chooses to believe but they believe from the calling the father gives and he loves and People Must understand The serious degree of sin and what it will lead a person to and The fact that God wraith is upond all sinners.

    When I preach The Gospel to someone, I tell them God wraith is upon you because you had sin against Him and anyone not in Christ will not make it to heaven but sense God does have Love, he came in the flesh and taken sin upond him for those that will believe and it only by his calling that anyone will.

    if people are cut to the heart by this, then I know the father is drawing them.

  31. there is also a very interesting book by evangelist Ray Comfort dealing with similar matters. The book is called “God has a wonderful plan for your life. The myth of the modern gospel”. You can download it free from freewonderfulbook.com in both PDF and audio format.

  32. I seem to have read in the old testament that “God devises ways for te wicked to repent” If God hated sinners He would surely not show His love for them. In the new testament it states “He is not willing that any should perish but all come to repentance” this is God’s desire (not His divine will) The gospel is this – Jesus Christ was crucified according to the scriptures, died, and was buried according to the scriptures. And He rose on the third day according to the scripures.

  33. John 3:16 “For God So LOVED the world…” but he desires us to run from our wicked was and submit to him. Thats not saying he wont discipline or destroy the wicked at the end of time. People that are parents, or Father’s they love their children…despite their decisions to not love back. A Father’s love is a Father’s love…but God’s spirit will not contend with man forever. For this reason I do think He love’s us all…and we should tell all people, “JESUS LOVES YOU…so much that while you are still a sinner, and may have no regard for Him or knowledge of Him…He made the ultimate sacrifice for YOU….to save you if you accept his sacrifce and all that comes with it of course….and then I would ask, “Do you want to know what you need to be saved from, that God loved you so much to save you from?”

    That’s just my opinion…and that doesn’t mean I won’t accept if I’m wrong because I know that it doesn’t matter what I think…and if I am wrong, then I surely want to align my thinking with what God says in His Word.

  34. Hi Robert,

    Thanks for your comment. I guess I don’t really have anything new to say to you other than what I wrote in the post. 1 Peter 5:5 says, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” I don’t want to tell someone who is proud, (or someone that I haven’t talked to and don’t know whether they’re proud) that Jesus loves them. If they’re proud, God opposes them.

    Equally, I wouldn’t want to tell someone who’s humble that God opposes them. If I talk to them, and they’re humbled by the law, I give them God’s love–the gospel. If they remain proud, I reinforce the truth that God opposes them.

    I realize I’m fallible in judging who is proud and who isn’t, but I do my best.

    Thanks,
    Bill

  35. Robert – this video has been posted here before, it is a very good biblical look at John 3:16, I pray you watch and listen carefully: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDxRss_v78A

  36. Bill wrote:
    “I realize I’m fallible in judging who is proud and who isn’t, but I do my best”

    Would you please explain what you mean by this??

  37. Hi,

    Why would anyone want to worship a God who doesn’t love them? why would anyone want to follow a Jesus that does not love them? Doesn’t atheism seem to be more attractive than following a god who hates “the wicked all day long”? Why does the one of the letters of John say that GOD IS LOVE, if he hates the wicked? What kind of a god is it that only loves the non elect?

    Shalom

  38. John,
    Do you believe that the Bible teaches, that God “hates “the wicked all day long””?

  39. Hi Slim Jim,

    ‘Do you believe that the Bible teaches, that God “hates the wicked all day long”?”

    What do you believe? I simply believe that if God exists, then God is love. Any other kind of God is not worth believing in, is it? One may as well be an atheist than believe in a god who hates people..

    Shalom,
    John Arthur

  40. John – It is age-old heresy to reduce the Creator God to a single dimension or character trait. God is love but love is not God. God is holy, sovereign, ageless, unlike His creatures; He hates sin and those who sin and is storing up wrath to be poured out on sinners for eternity. Only those whose names were written in the Lamb’s Book of Life before the foundation of the world will be saved and are loved with an everlasting love that is unwarranted and beyond our weak human ability to rightly and fully comprehend. God is much, much more than our romantic, warped view of love.

  41. Yes John the bible does say that God hates the wicked–Psa 5:5 “The arrogant cannot stand in your presence; you hate all who do wrong.”

    Rom 9:13 “Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

  42. The Gospel is not a call to proclaim ‘God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life’, it is a command to sinners to repent and believe on the Lord Jesus. We have painted a picture of this God who is so loving and kind that He would never send sinners to hell; this is not true. The attributes of God are not preached and studied; first and foremost He is holy, holy, holy. When sinners see the holiness of God what happens? “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory. And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke. Then I said, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.” Isaiah 6:3-5
    Instead of portraying the Almighty for who He is {holy, pure, undefiled, exalted high above His creation}, we present the sinner with a wimpy God who loves them so much and just wants to save them if they’ll let Him into their hearts. This is NOT the sovereign, mighty, righteous, merciful and holy God we find in the Scriptures. Until we get back to speaking absolute truth; that we are all vile before a Holy God, that we repeatedly break His word and sin against Him, that we have no hope apart from the atoning work of Christ, that grace is what saves…we will continue to see superficial Christianity devour America. There is no in-depth studying of the word of the Lord, and it shows.

  43. John Arthur,

    I do hope you may consider reading this wonderful work by A.W. Pink on the attributes of God, here is the link – http://www.pbministries.org/books/pink/Attributes/index.htm

    This will be a blessing to read and ponder on this Eternal Majesty that sits enthroned high above His creation.

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