Is God's love greater than God's judgment?
No one I know, including this writer, isn’t aware of the magnanimity of the love of God. Against the stark backdrop of our depraved nature and inability to make ourselves better people, the love of God is like a bright star on a dark night. But is it biblically sound to extol the love of God to the exclusion of the judgment of God? Should we minimize what would most certainly turn off this postmodern generation because we believe a love message trumps all else?
If there is a scripture which is the centerpeice example of God’s love, it is John 3:16. After all, just about every facet of Christian expression from the very legalistic to the very liberal have used it without hesitation. Its core revelation is irrefutable: no one is excluded from the love of God. As much as we may not want to believe it, no one —including Hitler and all those of equal evil character— can be denied God’s love. God’s love is agape: an act of the giver’s will without regard to the status of the recipient. Then too it is a mystery to all who would pause to examine it. How could God so liberally love people who hate and rebel against him?
For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotton Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
God’s love is not an emotion, it extends far beyond a strong feeling. It is so strong it commands an action worthy of its expression. In this case and to our eternal benefit, the action of expression was the personage of Jesus Christ. Love was made flesh and lived among us. While God (as love incarnate) was on the earth 3.5 years, he touched and indentified with the vast scope of humanity represented by the peoples of his earthly era. Though he chastised them severely, he loved even the Pharisees whose hate screamed for his blood.
This inclusive love is like praise in that it has little to no prequalifying conditions. Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. All that’s required is breath to give God praise. But there is something else we must consider. What of those who reject this breathtaking love?
God’s love is the divine antidote for sin to all those who will accept the shot in their souls. But what if a person with a fatal disease rejects the only cure for his sickness? What would be the inevitable consequence?
Perhaps that’s why we have done the world a grave disservice by disconnecting John 3:16 from John 3:17-21. Is this intentional because we know people are more inclined to respond to love, thus we omit a critical element of the message of love? Have you ever wondered why the religious pundits of the gay christian movement never dare to go beyond John 3:16 even though they are the literal words of Jesus? The gcm takes John 3:16 literally, but completely ignore John 3:16′s powerful but offensive revelation. In fact, the literal read of John 3:16 has become the central focus of the gcm’s “inclusion” philosophy.
The most pro-homosexual text in scripture is: John 3:16 “For God so loved the World that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” In other words, all the pro-human texts in scripture are pro- homosexual too. (writer’s emphasis) [ source ]
I agree it is a pro-homosexual scripture if we are defining homosexuals as people. But it is not a pro-homosexuality scripture. It cannot be because it would endorse sin that God has clearly condemned in other places. A delimma? A contradiction? Not at all. The homosexual simply has to choose between loving his sin or accepting the sacrifice for his sin, thus forsaking it. John 3:17-21 is more than just theological window dressing. It is a sobering thing to read right after John 3:16:
For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
Jesus actually seems to be explaining John 3:16. He takes more time and words talking about the ramifications of rejecting his love than he does about accepting his love. Does that really matter? It seems to matter if you were look at popularity of subjects. Google “God ‘s love” and you get over 33 million results. But google “God’s judgement”, and you barely get 800k results. Just the opposite of what Jesus did.
Some in the church see love and judgment are as two irreconcilable parts of God. One represents a New Testament Christ(loving, forgiving, merciful) while the other represents an Old Testament God(angry, warlike, and condemning). Take a really good guess as to which one is more appealing to today’s mindset. It seems inconceivable that a gracious, loving God would condemn people and send them to hell. Technically, that’s true. But Jesus reveals that such condemnation is a self-inflicted consequence. Not only does God not want people to be condemned, he does not do anything to cause that to happen. What he does do is give every person a choice.
Acceptance of Christ (as Savior and Lord) means life eternal, rejection of Christ as the same means death and punishment. In so many words, Love becomes the stumbling block in the choice. As Jesus said if man loves his sin and the darkness more than the light of truth, he will become a victim of his own depraved choice.