Is God’s love unconditional?

Posted: April 4, 2005 in Thoughts on Getting Ready for Christ's Return

Does God love all people unconditionally, or does He place conditions on how He will love?

God demonstrated His love to us while we were yet sinners. Before we lifted our eyes to seek God, He loved and gave His Son to die for our sins. The giving of His Son came from a Father whose nature is to love. There is also common grace (benevolent, unmerited favor) He shows to regenerate and unregenerate alike, probably best taught in Matthew 5:45, “He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” In these ways He loves us without any conditions placed upon us.

In other expressions of love He does place conditions. For instance, if we wish to know Him in a more intimate way, we must follow certain conditions. God is holy, so we must be holy. If we wish to know the promise of the Holy Spirit working through us, we must live by faith (Gal. 3:1-9). If we wish to know the indwelling of the Father and the Son, we must obey His Word from love (John 14:20-24). If we wish to receive crowns, we must earn the to receive each crown.

Christ’s death and resurrection opened up the possibilities of knowing God in a fuller measure through faith. His greatest gifts of love are reserved for those who persist in patience and hope through good times and bad.

“For you have need of endurance, so thatafter you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul” (Heb. 10:36-39)

God loves us unconditionally because it is His nature to love. However, how He expresses His love is conditional. Those who respond to His love receive the deeper expressions of His love, of intimacy and abundant life. To one kind of servant He will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” To another kind He will say, “You wicked, lazy servant.” In which way do you want Him to love you?

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