God Loves Me
Many have entertained the idea that salvation is for everyone else but them. Part of this has to do with a misunderstanding of why God saves someone. When I first started my Christian journey, I thought God favored some people above others. Some He had a special regard for, and others He didn’t. I have come to learn otherwise. God would have everyone to be saved because He loves all of us unconditionally.
God loves everyone that has walked the face of this earth. 2 Peter 3:9 tells us that “the Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” There is not one that He has wished to perish. Some will perish unfortunately, but that is not because of a lack of willingness on the part of God. If you think that there is no evidence in your life that God cares for and takes care of you, I want you to consider Colossians 1:17: “by him all things consist.” When you wake up, take a breath, eat breakfast, heal from a wound or injury, or simply live, it is by the power of God sustaining your very life. God, consciously, is giving life to you this very moment. We take these things for granted as though they continued on their own, but God is the one keeping everyone and everything going. So if you are breathing and reading this article that should be at least the first glimmer that God cares for you, and not only you but the whole world.
This love is not based on our behavior, attributes, or anything pertaining to us. “God is love.” 1 John 4:8. Simply put this is who God is. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? . . . For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 5:8; 8:35,38,39. Your behavior does not affect this love, nor your situation or whatever someone else thinks of you. I have been asked if God loves Adolf Hitler by people that I have canvassed, and based on these Scriptures I have no reservation in saying yes. Will Hitler be saved? Based on the criteria for inheriting the kingdom of God that we have already looked at, no. No matter how vile a person has been, God loves them just the same as a being that has never sinned. This love is unchanging all the same.
Such love seems so foreign to us. Indeed it is foreign because we are used to looking out for me first. That is what sin is, putting myself first. This is not the spirit of heaven though. Christ was a perfect example of what this love looks like. “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Philippians 2:6-8. This is the spirit of heaven, selfless service. The angels know it, for they are sent forth as ministering spirits to minister to those who are to be heirs of salvation (Hebrews 1:14). We are foreigners to this spirit, and we often attribute to God our qualities of loving for a reason, of looking out for personal interest when in reality He looks out for the needs of all.
God’s love takes the first step in the reconciliation process. Before we were ever inclined to turn to Him, He was already drawing us. “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself” 2 Corinthians 5:19. When we sin, God desires us to come to Him more than we do. Sometimes we think that forgiveness is necessary to make peace with an angry God and that Jesus is the more merciful of the two. Christ said, “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” John 14:9. God is not our enemy, for He has been trying to make peace with every soul for as long as conflict has been. Some will not have it, but there are many who would be more than willing to make peace with their Father in heaven. There is no enmity in the heart of God for anyone; there is only love that wishes to set things right.
There is a strange aspect to love, and that is of letting go. Some who have had pets that were dying a slow death are familiar with this. My family has had a number of dogs over the years, three of which have died. A few years ago one of those three was dying a very slow death. She had bad arthritis, was overweight, her skin was flaking badly, and she began to have maggots eat away at her body. This dog was in a lot of pain while she was slowly dying away. My parents took her to the vet to see if anything could be done, and to be honest there was nothing that could be done. She was an old dog, and they put her to sleep. Most of us understand that this is a merciful thing to do. When God deals with those who have been the rejecters of His grace it is a similar situation. Nothing more can be done for them, for they have chosen to remain in their sinful condition. The spirit of heaven is not the spirit they possess. Heaven would be a miserable place as the pursuits of those who dwell there are not for their own pleasure, but that of others and ministering to their needs. We all know that is not the spirit of the sinful dwellers there. A sinner would be miserable inside the gates of the New Jerusalem. They will also be miserable with each other as they have given themselves wholly over to the service of Satan at this point. Some of the most horribly things would be committed among them if they were just left to themselves. For this reason God consumes all of the wicked at one time. There is no hell fire that burns forever, but there is a fire that puts them out of their misery. God in His punishment is being loving to even the rejecters of His mercy.
This love is for everyone, at all times, in all places, and under all circumstances. Misunderstood though it has been, it remains the same. Love is a principle that has been foreign to us. This love is what we are to be restored to, for this is part of the image of God as it used to be in man. Will you let God restore this love in you? Will you not refuse this gift that has cost Him so much? Run from it no longer, and do everything you can to cooperate with God in completing His purpose.