The love of God - Decent and with Character, not Hypocritical or Brutal
The love of God is so amazing to me. Ever since I heard of his great love for sinful mankind when I was presented the gospel 20 years ago, I have been amazed by it. This is why I have a difficulty with the idea that God only loves a certain, preselected group. This is why I have difficulty with the idea of a limited atonement, a limited internal gospel call, unconditional election etc… It just flies in the face of so many Scriptures that teach of the all encompassing quality of God’s great doing in love for mankind.
I love the love of God! Here is perhaps my favorite hymn on the subject.
Forgive me if it seems I am picking on Calvinists, but I find it odd that they hold to these limited ideas of God’s love. I have read and heard where they say that God does not love the non-elect. They say that God chooses many for wrath and His love is withheld from them; He did not die for them; He did not come to save them. The gospel is useless to them because they have not been chosen to be the sheep of God. I have been told that when God says “Jacob have I loved and Essau have I hated,” that this somehow indicates that before these INDIVIDAULS broke out of the womb, one was condemned … and the other blessed ... for no other reason than the preference of God.
Like I said, I don’t mean to pick on anyone, but I read this last night:
“John was always committed to truth, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that, but it is not enough. Zeal for the truth must be balanced by love for people. Truth without love has no decency; it’s just brutality. On the other hand, love without truth has no character; it’s just hypocrisy.”
(John MacArthur, Twelve Ordinary Men, page 106)
I started to think. God has told the truth to the world by giving His Son, His Spirit, His Word, His church. We look at people and tell them the gospel message. We are His ambassadors to tell them the truth. Going back to the Calvinist ideas ... if all are not loved by God, then His truth is without decency, as John McArthur states: “Truth without love has no decency…”
However, if you take these passages literally, the love of God for all men, His enemies, is apparent:
…God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:19)
He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. (1 John 2:2)
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)God’s love is in truth and His truth is in love, for He has shown no partiality in His offer of salvation. His loving truth is neither brutal nor hypocritical. It has both decency and character. Just as Peter said in Acts 10:
34 Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. 35 But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him. (Acts 10)