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By Edward O’Hara
GOD IS LOVE Pt2
As I showed in Pt.1 that can be seen at this website John began in 1 John 4 by showing us the difference between the Spirit of God and the spirit of Antichrist. Saying that the Spirit of God teaches that Jesus came in the same flesh all men have. While the spirit of Antichrist says that He did not. The reason this was so important to John was because it was addressing the Docetist teaching, a form of Gnosticism, that was causing great confusion among the people John was writing to.
And in this Docetist sect of Gnosticism we see that they had rejected any possibility that Jesus could have come in the same flesh all men have. Because they believed the flesh is evil. So to them because God is holy He could never inhabit the same flesh all men have. To refute this John showed them that it is because God IS love that Jesus had to come in the same flesh all men have. And it is because God IS love that He chose to become a man to join with mankind in our death so that He could conquer death by His resurrection. So that we could have eternal life.
So after learning in part1 that the Bible says plainly that God IS love. And that all that He does is because of love so that God’s dealings with man must be interpreted in the context of the love of God. A question that comes to mind is, what would cause a person who reads these things that show that God is love to want to want to believe instead that He IS vengeance, wrath, and condemnation? How is it that this could become to them the main thing they believe about God? And the motivating factor for how God deals with mankind?
When we hear what the world says about God it’s plain to see that the reason they say things like the wrath of God this and the vengeance of God that is because this is what they have heard from those who believe this about God who say they know Him. These have actually believed the Gnostic teachings that the flesh is evil that John tells us to reject. Isn’t it strange that they are always saying “God’s wrath this” and “God’s vengeance that”? When they should instead be speaking of the love described for us here in 1 John 4 and elsewhere that shows that God is clearly a being that is nothing of this sort?
But, can anyone really know God when they believe this about Him? Can we come to know God intimately through fear? Is this what the Bible says leads a man to repentance? Does the Bible say that perfect fear casts out love? No. It says perfect LOVE casts out fear. So we need God’s perfect love shed abroad in our hearts as Rom.5:1-5 says to cast out the fear that 1John4:18 says brings only torment. So fear does not bring us to God. Because there is no fear in love. And God IS love.
The Bible says plainly that God is love and we should add nothing to that. So please, please, please for those who would call themselves Christian, don’t be hypocritical by forcing some misguided sense of false righteous anger you may have developed against the lost, on God’s character to make Him the angry, vengeful being that you have chosen to become.
There are only a few reasons that this to happens to someone. It is either because they have gotten so worked up and angry with the way some people behave. Or because of how they themselves have been treated. That they want God to act out the feelings they are having by doing harm to those they are angry with because that is what they would do. But, to truly be like Jesus we will think and act in love. And we would have an attitude of forgiveness as Jesus did saying “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do”. This is what love does.
When God acts it’s always in love or because of love. In this life we are still learning what that means and how to do that. But, God IS love and has acted in love for an eternity. He is and always will be love. Love is the reason He created all that has been made. So doing what love does is who He is. And if we have truly received of His Spirit we are learning to love as He does. Not a doormat. One could hardly perceive God’s love that way. But, instead He is one who is compassionate with those who are still blinded to the truth and are under death’s power and in sin. So when we ask God to deal with people we will desire God’s deliverance for them. Not anger, wrath, and vengeance.
This is where free will comes in. Did you know that real love must be freely given and freely received? No one can make someone love them. Because love does not work that way. And even if they could it would not be real love. It would just be compliance. But, love is not forced compliance. Real love is a choice.
This is why so many who see only anger, wrath, and vengeance when they consider who God is have been deceived to believe man has no free will. And have formed a false doctrine around this that says that it is because man has a sin nature he inherited from Adam that he can only do evil. Making it God’s sole prerogative as to who goes to hell or to heaven. Falsely calling God’s sovereignty the belief that each man is chosen by God for heaven or hell before he was ever born. When in reality the Bible says God’s sovereign will is that none should perish. And that “whosoever will believe in Him” would be saved. This is why man’s free will is a very important component in salvation.
They also interpret predestination as God’s sovereignty by making the few for heaven and the many for the lake of fire. So that all men are devoid of free will. But, is this what Paul meant when he taught about predestination? We see in Rom.8 that this is not what Paul taught at all.
Paul writes in vs.29,30 “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” Does this show predestination to mean that God chose only a few for heaven and most for hell? Of course not. Because predestination is according to God’s will. And Peter says plainly that it is God’s will that none should perish.
These verses are predicated upon what Paul wrote before saying, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus“. And “if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ“. When writing Rom.8 Paul knew that God sent Jesus to make all men His children because Jesus came so that the world might be saved as John 3:16 plainly says. Not just a few.
The doctrine of original sin and sin nature is based upon this false belief. That because man can only choose to do evil because of a sin nature he inherited from Adam that it must be that God has chosen only a few for heaven and the rest for hell. But, no one has inherited a sin nature from Adam. And no one could ever mistake this for love. Because real love is a choice. It can not be forced. Which is why these do not think of God as love as John taught. When these think of God it is only His anger, wrath, and vengeance that they see. And because of this they believe God must force men to be saved. But, forces most to the lake of fire.
But, since God IS love this can not be. Which shows that these have not known Him. Because real love must be freely given and must be freely received. And for that to happen one must have free will to choose to love or not to love. Anyone who has experienced deep feelings for someone knows that you can’t force someone to love you. It must be by free will. So God who IS love does not force anyone to heaven or to hell by His choosing. He gave men free will to make this choice for themselves. Because God IS love.
Without free will love is not possible. And without love salvation is not possible. Because as Gal.5:6 says, the gift of faith that Eph.2:8,9 says is necessary for salvation, that is given to those who say yes by their own free will to the gospel message when they hear it, only works by love.
So those who believe that man has no free will as Augustine, John Calvin and Martin Luther taught, and that he can only be saved if God chose this for him in eternity past, while choosing for most to burn in the lake of fire for eternity because He made them for this purpose, have fallen for the deception of satan. This is why Luther could have the hateful view of the Jews that he had. To these men “God so loved the world” only meant a small part of the world God loved. While the larger part He hated.
To these this is why we see the words in Rom.9:13 that says “Jacob have I loved. But Esau I have hated”. Adding that “The elder shall serve the younger”. Because these do not know the God who IS love, these take this verse out of context to force into it the meaning that God loves only a few and hates the many.
But, in reality what God is dealing with here is the faith that saves vs the works that can not save. And with the spirit that is eternal vs the flesh that is temporal. Jacob representing faith and spirit. While Esau represents works and flesh. And that this is why He said to Moses “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy(the faithful), and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”
So what Paul shows us here is that when God said Jacob have I loved but Esau I hated, is that those who receive His mercy are those who receive it by faith that works by love. And never by works. By the Spirit that IS love, and never by the flesh.
So by perceiving God as anger, wrath, and vengeance they betray the very foundation that tells us why Jesus came given in John3:16,17. That it is because God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that WHOSOEVER will believe would have eternal life. Theirs is a false perception of God that creates a false reality that relegates mankind to a form of robotic servitude to whatever this arbitrary false god has chosen for them.
But, because God IS love it is never to be man’s fate that he will go to hell or to heaven against his God given free will. And it is never God’s will that a man would go to hell. And that since it is God’s will that none should perish, the only reason that many do has to be because by their free will they have chosen it. And not because God has chosen it for them.
All that God does He does because of love. And it is only when we know this that we truly know Him. We are not deceived by the false religion of Augustine, Calvin, and Luther, religions known today as Roman Catholicism and Evangelical Protestantism, that we are assured that when we hear the gospel it will be by our own free will, and not by some arbitrary decision that was made for us in eternity past, that will determine whether we receive God’s gift of love for eternal life or not. Which if we will shows that we have realized that God IS love. And we know God’s love for us. And that it is this love that brings the gift of faith that receives the gift of immortality that Jesus came to provide us with.
Has God’s love in this message created a hunger in you to want the gift of immortality that Jesus came to give you? If you will pray with me now you too can know God’s love and have eternal life.
Dear Jesus, thank you for joining with me in death. So that I can join with you in eternal life. I believe you are Lord. And I believe you raised from the dead. Make me a child of the living God and heir to His kingdom. Thank you for saving me from the power of death. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
If you prayed with me then you are in for the time of your life. God is with you and in you so that you can grow in relationship with Him. The fellowship we have with God is beyond anything the world can give. Read the Bible and believe what it plainly says. And the Holy Spirit will lead you into all truth.
See you there or in the air!This message can also be heard at: Rumble
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