GOD IS LOVE
When we speak of God’s love for His children, we have to understand what love is? According to the ancient Greeks there are seven types of love:
1. Eros: Love of the body. (Eros was the Greek god of love and sexual desire).
2. Philia: Love of the mind.
3. Ludus: Playful love.
4. Pragma: Longstanding love.
5. Agape: Love of the soul (or humanity).
6. Philautia: Love of self.
7. Storge: Love of the child.
Agape is the all-encompassing love that God has for mankind. It is the highest form of love and should never be confused with the other types of love listed above. Jesus showed us what this type of love is when He gave up His life on a cross for us. God loves all His children equally but not all His children love Him back. Many people consider that because God loves us He will excuse all sinful human behaviour? But this is not biblical?
How do we get to know God?
To know God we need to search for Him in His Word. How do we know that we know Him?
‘Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His Word, truly the love of God is ‘perfected’ in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him out himself also to walk just as He walked.’ 1 John 2:3-6
What was Jesus’ lifestyle upon this earth? There was no sin in Him! Can we genuinely say there is no sin in us whilst still practicing sinful lifestyles?
As a human, I can love someone and do many things for them but their freedom of choice allows the person I love to do things that I might not agree with. Do I therefore stop loving them, no of course not but their wrong actions can hurt me and most of all hurt themselves.
When God asks us not to do something and we disobey His will, is He going to stop loving us? No! He will love us whatever we do but He cannot overlook our wrong actions, which hurt Him too. What will be the consequence of our disobedience? If we continue doing what God has expressly forbidden us to do in His Word, just as Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden of Eden for disobedience, we will be kept out of heaven. Isn’t that fair?
When we think of God as love, we also have to think of Him as Just. Love and Justice go together. They cannot be separated. God is more Just than we are.
When we see someone doing what we consider unbiblical, we are not to consider ourselves ‘enforcers’ of God’s will. We may not like what that person or persons are doing but we do have the freedom to express our disagreement, but only in love. We must always be tolerant and compassionate and never make personal, degrading or derogatory remarks about character or lifestyle choices. Our duty is only to relay the message of hope given to us through the Holy Spirit, which will never contradict the written word.
God alone is the judge and His justice will be seen by all on ‘judgment day’. Many today do not believe there will be a judgment day – even some Christians. Those who believe God will overlook their alternative lifestyle, choosing to follow an unbiblical practice where men lie with men and women with women will sadly be disappointed at the outcome of their choice. God is consistent in His judgment. He does not overlook the sins of one person and ignore the sins of another. It may not be ‘politically correct’ in modern day society, where marriage of the same sex has been allowed by Governments, but what God did to those who practiced sexual immorality in the Bible, is an example of the outcome for those who practice the same today. Where once He allowed humans to carry out the sentence on sexually immoral people in the past, He Himself will carry out the punishment in the future. Of course for those who choose this alternative lifestyle, especially practicing Christians and decide to change, just as with all other repentant sinners, there is forgiveness and acceptance.
An Adulteress Forgiven
When Jesus forgave Mary for her adultery, His forgiveness was absolute, however she also had to act upon His words to her: “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more”. John 8:11. Had she returned to her former lifestyle, there would be no more forgiveness for ‘wilfully sinning’ and the consequence for her would have been exclusion from heaven after the resurrection. Likewise, those Christian’s who believe that following an alternative sexual lifestyle and are well aware of what the Bible says, if they do not ‘go and sin no more’, then they too will be excluded from heaven. Does that mean God does not love them? Once again No! But God is a just God and He will not allow a sinful heart to enter again into the bliss of heaven. I would also ask the question:
“Why would a sexually immoral person wish to go to heaven where they would never be able to practice the lifestyle they chose on earth?”
We have a responsibility to listen and act upon what God says. He does not give harsh instructions and wave a big stick over us. He tells us for our own good because He only wants His children to be safe and secure. The Hell Fire that is spoken of in the Bible is not for humans. It is being prepared for Satan and his angels. The Bible is our road map on how to avoid falling into the devils traps. We have the freedom of choice to follow Jesus or to ignore the warning signs and end up in the fire with the devil. Whilst there is breath in our bodies, let us follow God’s plan for our lives and turn away from those things, which will keep us out of heaven and therefore lose us the promised immortality.
Ralph E Jackson