Is God’s LOVE “unconditional” or “unfailing” or both?
Sitting in Church this morning the Pastor uttered words that, without fail, disturb me spiritually every time I hear them – “God’s love is unconditional.” Shaking my head in disagreement, I understand these words are a prevailing theme in Christianity but like far too many doctrines of men, these words are theological error. When one suggests God’s love is unconditional they are saying that God’s words are error, that God is not perfectly Holy, Just, Righteous, as unconditional love requires that God love irrespective of another’s behavior, attitude, disobedience, willful defilement; they are suggesting that God’s immutability incorporates compromise.
The Christian will say “Well, we’re all sinners but God loves us anyway irrespective of our sin, our conduct, our behavior, our compromise with evil.” – “God hates the sin but loves the sinner.” If God’s love is unconditional concerning those who are not in covenant with Him by faith in His Son (Hebrews 8:12), why the need for blood atonement (Leviticus 17:11; Matthew 26:28); why the need for repentance (Luke 13:3); why the need for the Gospel, grace, faith; why the unconscionable suffering of Jesus Christ? Does unconditional love mandate a Judgment resulting in the “second death” in Hell (Revelation 20:11-15)?
Does Jesus teach unconditional love?
5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ John 3:5-7 (ESV)
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. John 3:16-19 (ESV)
Does the Father or the Holy Spirit teach unconditional love?
We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. John 9:31 (ESV)
9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (ESV)
God’s LOVE is “unfailing” but NOT “unconditional,”
“Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever” (Psalm 136:26)
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
“For God so loved the world, that He gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Though God’s love, forgiveness of sin, eternal life, are predicated upon faith in the Son, Jesus Christ, as one’s Messiah, God’s love and offer of eternal life endures, is unfailing, and is available to humanity till our last exhalation within the Realm of Time; then, only Judgment remains for those who deny the Father’s will (Hebrews 9:27); the Father’s will is this, “to believe in the One He has sent into the World” to provide blood atonement for the forgiveness of sin and covenant relationship with the Father, forever; that is, Jesus our Messiah (John 6:29; John 3:16).