I have traveled all over the world preaching and teaching the gospel for many years. I am often asked this question after teaching seminars on God’s love,
“So you’re saying that God loves me, no matter what I do or did?”
My answer is always a resounding and very enthusiastic, “YES!” This always leads to more detailed, follow-up questions about someone who claims to be a Christian and is living in sin.
And then I am asked,
“Does God still love that person even though he is living this way?”
Again, with great passion I say, “YES!” Those asking the question usually have extremely puzzled looks on their faces. Sometimes, even slight flashes of anger can be seen in their eyes as they shake their heads in disagreement.
God’s love vs. human love
I understand; I used to think the same way. Many Christians still do. Some believe God could love them when they were sinners but not if they are saints who have sinned. If that were true we would be doing a disservice leading people to salvation in Christ.
If they remain unbelievers, at least, they are loved by God. But now, as believers, if they mess up, they won’t be. I know it sounds crazy but that is the theology many people believe today.
I know preachers who have an amazing amount of love for sinners but none for Christians who sin.
If God commanded His love toward me while I was a sinner as Romans 5:8 says, then why as His child would He stop loving me when I did sin?
Jesus explaining human love said,
“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Matthew 7:11, KJV)
Do parents only feed, clothe, and protect their children when they are perfect and haven’t been disobedient or rebellious? Of course not! If that were the case, the streets would be filled with malnourished and unclothed children. I doubt anyone would say they love their kids more than God loves His but isn’t that what many believe? Many people who describe God’s love are actually describing how sinners love each other, not how God loves. Jesus said,
“If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them” (Luke 6:32, KJV)
Worldly love is selfish
Sinners only love those who love them. How often have you heard someone say,
“If you will just love God, he will love you”?
But we know that is not what the Bible teaches. We already know that we love God because He loved us first according to 1 John 4:19. Now, Jesus says if you only love those who love you, nothing beneficial will come out of that.
God is not a hypocrite; He isn’t asking us to love in a way He doesn’t. So the truth Jesus is showing us is that God does love those who don’t love Him. This does not mean God agrees with the rebellion and sin people are living in. However, He knows His love is the environment they need to be restored.
The Prodigal’s father hugged and kissed his son; he didn’t punish or reject him. It was the fault-finding, judgmental elder son who wanted to see his brother punished.
A fellow believer could tell me he plans to rob a bank. There is no argument that God loved him before he robbed the bank, while he was robbing the bank, and even after he robbed the bank. YES!
God loved and still loves the Christian bank robber.
But the area we may disagree about is if this bank robber loves God.
I would have to say no, he doesn’t! Because people who truly love God, do what pleases God. It is the evidence you know and believe the love God has for you!
The issue isn’t whether God loves the person who sins; He does. The issue is if the person continuing in sin really loves God. The truth is God loves us no matter what, but is that truth in your heart?
“Whoever does not love does not know God because God is love” (1 John 4:8, KJV)
Have Spiritual Coffee with me
If you enjoy these biblical insights to God’s love for you, I send out a free daily email from Monday to Friday called “Spiritual Coffee”. It is a brief encouraging and uplifting word, to help you start your day off by connecting to Gods love for you. If you would like to receive this free email just click HERE and subscribe.