What about love?

Some of the previous pages mention sin, judgment, and even hell.  You may be thinking something like “What about God’s love?”  or “Isn’t God a God of love?” or “How could a loving God send someone to hell?”

These are legitimate questions – and the Bible has answers.

First, God is indeed a God of love – that is clear from the Bible over and over again.  However, it is not His only attribute, and frankly, it isn’t even His chief attribute.  Just as God is love, the Bible tells us that He is merciful, a just judge, righteous, all-knowing, jealous, good, all-powerful, full of wrath, and (most of all) holy.  In other words, God’s love goes with all His other attributes, but doesn’t override those other attributes.  One of the Old Testament prophets put it this way: “The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and the Lord will by no means leave the guilty unpunished.” (Nahum 1:3)

So how does God’s love work itself out in our lives?  In many ways!  Think of some of these ways God has shown His love for you:

  • He gave you life
  • He gave you a mind and the ability to think
  • He gave you a body and the ability to work and play
  • He meets your needs: air to breathe, food, clothing, a place to live, and much much more
  • He gives you family and friends, and has blessed you with some of the joys and pleasures of life

Above all those things, God has made a provision to atone (pay for) your sins.  You see, your sin against God should be judged by God (a good and perfectly righteous judge), but He did something wonderful so that you don’t have to pay the penalty for your own sin.

The most famous of all Bible verses (John 3:16) confirms this for us: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

God’s incredible love was displayed in the sending of the Son to dies for our sins.   But the person who disregards or rejects Christ’s sacrifice will eventually find himself outside of God’s love, because the passage right after John 3:16 tell the rest of the story: “He who believes in Him [Christ] is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:18)

God doesn’t force His love on anyone.  His offer of salvation is made to all – some respond in saving faith (itself a gift of God), but many reject His wonderful message of salvation.  God isn’t obligated to let anyone into heaven, especially those who willfully continue in sin and reject the gospel message.  Consider this passage from the book of Hebrews, describing the person who has heard the gospel message but who chooses sin instead of Christ: “For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries.” (Heb. 10:26-27)

God’s love is wonderful, but He is also a God of wrath.  Ultimately, in eternity, God’s love will be poured out forever on the redeemed, and His wrath will be poured out forever on the lost.

We urge you: repent, turn away from sin, and believe in the gospel.  Treasure the love of God, trust in the work of Christ, and receive the forgiveness of sin from a loving God.  The alternative is too terrible to think of – to be separated from the love of God forever.