Posted by: forfreedomalone | 15/08/2019

I had been asked so many questions regarding my last post, on Fro Freedom Alone on Facebook, that I have removed it and will start again, attempting to answer the questions as I go.

The question was, “Where in the Bible will you find a quote telling you about the “unconditional love of God”?” and the answer was, “You won’t”.
There is no verse which tells us that God’s love is unconditional. Love, by any definition, is not unconditional. Love, if it is love, always has conditions, otherwise, it is licence, in effect abuse, and no longer love.

It is not love to let a child do whatever comes into its head. It is not love to allow someone to behave in ways which are destructive to them and others. It is not love to always sanction whatever the object of your love wants. This concept of love has grown, over a number of decades, and it started in the USA. That is a fact, it is not a prejudice. It is as unemotional as saying, pasta comes from China and adding emotion to that statement will only lead to more deception.

It matters not to us whether this twisting of the meaning of love and the addition of the concept that this twisted love is unconditional, came from American or the moon, the fact is it came and, knowing from where it came, gives us an alert to watch for more of the same. It is simply a fact that the American Gospel teaches the unconditional love of God and the Bible does not.

God said he loved his people yet he brought trouble and destruction on them, in degrees which are very hard to imagine, when they turned from him, disobeying his commands and worshipping idols. Deuteronomy and Ezekiel among others clearly describe the horrors which God will visit on the Israelites if they turn from him. They did and they have reaped what they have sown; when they turn back they will reap a different harvest, but his love was never unconditional. We are in no different a boat. If you sow the wind you will reap the whirlwind, be you Jew or Gentile, synagogue or church. What arrogance to think that the Almighty God will love us, who call ourselves his church, when we recreate him in the image of our imaginations, disobey his clear commands and live unholy lives? The Israelites were given to us as an example…not just an example of how God loves, but also of how God judges and punishes; of the standard he expects from his people; of the consequences of obeying him and disobeying him; of the false teachings which lead his people astray and of how to return to him. We don’t have a clue about this example or how it helps us because few are reading the Bible from cover to cover and few are teaching the verses in context. This is another modern, American, approach. A complete lack of understanding of what Paul was doing when he quoted one verse has lead to the picking of a verse here and another there and, in time, the cohesive wholeness has been lost.

When you tell people that God’s love is unconditional you are totally twisting God’s character. He will receive back his repentant children, that is why he made a way for them to come back; he will heal and deliver those who turn and obey, but to say he loves unconditionally is to tell people that he will love you in your sin. He cannot do that. He HATES sin, he will ultimately destroy it, it will be wiped out of existence, his son died to remove it from us, how on earth can he love us when we live in it? It is utterly impossible. Unless you understand that God’s love involves discipline, punishment, correction and repentance.

God’s love is a combination of his blessings and his curses. When you redefine his love as being his blessings you twist it and set people up to believe that they will never come under his curses. In fact, the American Gospel teaches that Jesus took all the curses and, therefore, we who believe he is the son of God are freed from them. This is more twisting. Galatians says that it is those who are of faith who will be blessed, like Abraham. Those who are of faith like Abraham, who will be blessed; faith, which is belief backed up by action. Action without belief is “works of the law”, belief without actions is dead. People who have the kind of faith of Abraham, who live in obedience to God, trusting him no matter what he tells them to do and no matter how hopeless the situation seems, will be blessed, just like Abraham. Paul is using typical Hebraic teaching. He leads you in a certain path, but all the time painting a picture of the parallel path of which he never speaks. If you have faith like Abraham…belief backed up by action…you will be blessed; BUT, if you either have no faith but lots of action, or lots of faith without any action, you will not be blessed. Jesus took the curses of the faithful, but he did not take the curses of the unfaithful. Faith needs action. Faith and action need to be a way of life. The way of life leads to eternal blessing because you are walking in “The Way” of “The Life of God”.

The teaching that God’s love is unconditional has the knock-on effects of removing the vital emphasis on repentance, the understanding of God’s judgement on sin and the unrepentant sinner. Without repentance there is no possibility of a relationship with God and, therefore, no possibility of being a recipient of his blessings. His blessings are not for everyone, they are reserved for his faithful children; faithful means faithful to him, not to our ideas of him, it involves complete obedience and exclusive worship of him, of walking in the paths of righteousness, of walking in “The Way”.

Repentance does not mean, as so many say, “changing your mind”, it means “changing your ways”. Of course, changing your ways begins with changing your mind, but changing your mind is only the first step. I have taught it as changing your mind, but when I realised that so many didn’t understand that as a first step, but as a destination, I stopped. Changing our ways is the only way to be in right relationship with God. However, changing anything begins with a change of heart.

If you say you believe in Jesus but are living in the world you will see few of God’s blessings. Do you still watch television programmes and films portraying sex, violence and other ungodly practices? Do you talk like the people of the world you know? Is “Oh my God!” your favoured expression of shock or surprise?” Do you turn a blind eye to brothers and sisters going off course because it is none of your business? None of us are perfect, despite what the American Gospel proclaims and we need one another to help us all on our walk. We need to keep one another on tract, so that we are in line to receive God’s blessings, which are as conditional as his love. Telling you they are unconditional is not keeping you on track it is leading you off it.

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