Is God’s love unconditional?



Question: “Is God’s love unconditional?  Does God love everyone or only some people?”



Bible Answers

…for God is Love (1 John 4:8).  Not only does God love, but God is Love.  God’s love is unconditional for everyone, those going to heaven and those going to hell.


God’s Agape Love

Agape love is an unconditional giving of oneself for another with no strings attached.  Agape love is one-sided because it does not have to be returned to be kept alive. In other words, it's not, "I will love you, if you love me." Its, "I will love you, no matter what."


What is God’s Agape love like?  Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong.  It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out. If you love someone you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him, and always stand your ground in defending him (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).


God loves you so much that He sent His Son to die on the cross for you so you might have everlasting life with Him. His love is not based on performance.  Christ loves you so much that while you were yet a sinner, He died for you.


God's love for you is unconditional and undeserved.  He loves you in spite of your disobedience, your weakness, your sin and your selfishness.  He loves you enough to provide a way to abundant, eternal life through Jesus Christ.


God Loves us Beyond our Comprehension

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ (Ephesians 3:17-18).  Many Christians see God’s love as being two-dimensional.  But God’s love has height, depth, length, and breadth. Most have never perceived the full multi-dimensional reality of God's love.


…and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:19).  Notice that God’s love surpasses our knowledge, and our ability to comprehend the magnitude of God’s love for us.  Paul said as we experience God's love, then we would be filled with all the fullness of God.  What a statement!  Are you lacking God’s fullness in any area of your life?  If so, you may be lacking a revelation of God's love.  


It is hard to love God, until we can perceive in our heart just how much God loves us.


Satan uses many ways to try to block the revelation of God's love. One of Satan’s most subtle and deadly deception is deceiving us into believing God’s love is based on our performance. We think we have to do something to earn God's love. That is not what the Bible teaches.  God's love for us is unconditional.  God loves us because God is love (1 John 4:8), not because we are lovely.  


We Are To Love Unconditionally

Unconditional love means loving others if they are black or white, democratic or republican, straight or homosexual, Christian or Moslem.  Rather than looking for how others are different from us and being judgmental, look at others through God’s loving eyes.


God Disciplines the Ones He Loves

The love that God has for you is far beyond our human comprehension. Jesus prayed, My prayer for all of them is that they will be of one heart and mind, just as you and I are, Father...I in them and you in me, all being perfected into one …so that the world will know you sent me and will understand that you love them as much as you love me (John 17:20-23).


Think of it! God loves you as much as He loves His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus.  What a staggering, overwhelming truth to comprehend!  You need never be reluctant to trust God with your entire life for He truly loves you.


My son, don't be angry when the Lord punishes you. Don't be discouraged when he has to show you where you are wrong. For when he punishes you, it proves that he loves you...Let God train you, for he is doing what any loving father does for his children. Whoever heard of a son who was never corrected? (Hebrews 12:5,7)


Since we respect our fathers here on earth, though they punish us, should we not all the more cheerfully submit to God's training so we can begin to live?  Being punished isn't enjoyable while it is happening - it hurts! But afterwards we can see the result, a quiet growth in grace and character.


Why Does God Judge Us

But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world (1 Corinthians 11:32).  


Fear of the Lord

Here are but a few definitions of fearing the Lord.  The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogance (Proverbs 8:13).  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (Proverbs 1:7). keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it (Psalm 34:11-14). Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king (1 Peter 2:17).  

 

Both the Hebrew and the Greek texts have over a half dozen different words to cover different levels of emotions related to God.  They range from extreme terror and fear to love and reverence. Unfortunately, they are usually translated in English Bibles into the single word “fear.” The word fear may be appropriate when the verse is referring to disobedience of God.  In other verses, such as 1 Peter 2:17, above, reverence or revere of God may be a better translation than fear.


God's Love Reaches Beyond Circumstances

…neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:39). Neither death nor life can keep God’s love from us. The angels won't, and all the powers of hell itself cannot keep God’s love away. Such love is beyond our ability to grasp with our minds, but it is not beyond our ability to experience with our heart.  God continues to love both those going to heaven and those who reject Jesus and are go to hell.


Why Is God's Love so Important

We were created not only to receive God's Love for ourselves, but also to pass it on to others.  Without learning "how" to do this, our lives will always be empty and meaningless, no matter what we do or how we try.  …if I do not have love, then I am nothing (1 Corinthians 13:2).


Agape love is the only love that can make us whole, satisfy our needs and give our lives the meaning and purpose that we are all seeking. In other words, it's the "glue" that ties everything together and makes everything possible. Without it, truly we are nothing!


God’s Presence in Love

He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him (John 14:21).  And what are His commandments?  You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself (Luke 10:27).  


And how do we love our neighbor?  We show the love of God in us by sharing His unconditional love with others, telling them of God’s love and salvation.


Summary   

God’s unconditional love for us is without bounds and continues even if we refuse to return God’s love. Receiving God’s love and sharing it with others helps complete God’s intent for us.  Our loving creator created us to love and we are only complete when we fully share God’s love with others. For more on sharing God’s love, click.



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