God's Love is Not Unconditional
But, wait... what about the fact that God is love?
Yes, He is. He is also Holy, Just, Jealous, Righteous, True, and a Consuming Fire. He has shown us His character in His Word. The God of the Old Testament is the same God of the New Testament. He hasn't changed."I the LORD do not change." Mal 3:6
He is Holy. "...it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” -1 Peter 1:16 “If you love me, obey my commandments." John 14:15
The Good News of the Gospel is that God takes us as we are! He came to save sinners preaching repentance for the remission of sins.
Although He takes us as we are (a filthy rag), He does not intend for us to stay that way!
True repentance means to turn away from our sinful ways and to renounce our life of sin altogether. This is what Jesus meant by dying to ourselves. When we submit to Him as Lord of our lives, our part, is to engage with Him (read the Bible). The Holy Spirit will then transform the way we think through the power of the living Word of God. We must yield to the Holy Spirit working in us and simply cooperate with Him.
"God has called us to live holy lives, not impure lives. Therefore, anyone who refuses to live by these rules is not disobeying human teaching but is rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you." - 1 Thes 4: 7-8
Most of us are familiar with John 3:16
"for God so loved the world..."
John 3: 36 says, "...Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment.”
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The Greek word used for the world in John 3:16 is Kosmos, a word that means the universe (i.e. His creation). In the redemptive plan of God He was also redeeming the earth. This verse is not referring solely to people.
"For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now." Rom 8:19-22
"For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome." 1 John 5:3
"In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother." 1 John 3:10
Saying all this, I do not want you to misunderstand.
God loves you and He chose you (while you were a sinner), He is waiting for you to choose Him. But, if you continually reject Him you become an enemy of the cross.
The point of this message is intended for those who willfully continue to reject God by actions (willful disobedience). Essentially, having no reverent fear of the Lord they continue to live how they see fit in willful lifestyles of sin. That is a dangerous place to be...spiritually speaking.
"Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for; through the fear of the LORD evil is avoided." - Prov 16:6
Do you realize that to say that God hates the sin but loves the sinner is actually NOT Biblical?
"The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked, those who love violence, he hates with a passion." Psalm 11:5
Pastor John MacArthur & R.C. Sproul
"Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal:
“The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”
2 Tim 2:19