God Loves You?
This is a very common Christian phrase, when witnessing unbelievers to say, God loves you. Although there is nowhere in the Bible God specifically telling unbelievers, he loves you. There is nowhere in the New Testament where we find Jesus or the Apostles telling the unbelievers that God loves you. However many evangelical Christians use this phrase to the unbelievers in witnessing. Biblically this is incorrect. Please have patience, as I will show you in the following.
When ever in the Bible when it talks on the love of God, it is always to the believer and not to the unbeliever. When we were unbelievers, we were enemies of God. Before I give you the scriptures, let me explain to you the result of sin.
First thing we need to understand is the original sin. When Adam disobeyed God in the garden of Eden, it was not only Adam who was responsible but all humanity. Read very carefully Romans 5:12.
Ro 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.
It was by one man Adam that sinned entered the world, but notice who else sinned? For all have sinned. Adam stood as our fountainhead, represented mankind, we were all created in him. We all came from the loins of Adam and we were in Adam. No one is born innocent.
Ps 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
God is infinitely Holy, he will not tolerate sin. When we sinned against the infinitely holy God, we deeply hurt God. The hurting party is the Father, as we violated his law by sinning. What is sin?
1 John 3:4. "Sin is the transgression of the law."
1 John 5:17. "All unrighteousness is sin."
Although God provides rain and sunshine upon the just and the unjust where sin is concerned God is not happy but angry. God is angry with the sinners everyday. (Psalm ) Also the scripture is clear the unbelievers are hostile to God, not friendly. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God (Ro 8:7) now we have two parties angry at each other. If there are two parties angry at each other, there is no peace between them. There have to be a mediator between the two angry parties. God the Father did not allow man to perish, but sent his Son to be the mediator.
1Ti 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
What is the purpose of the mediator? To bring reconciliation. He reconciles the two parties that are angry at each other.
Ro For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son.
Once the mediator brings reconciliation, then we have peace with God.
Col 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.
Then how can someone tell an unbeliever that God loves you?
If God loves the unbeliever, then there is need of a mediator, as there is no enmity, there should be peace between the unbeliever and God, there should not be any reconciliation. But in the gospel, we see enmity, mediator, reconciliation and peace. This is the true gospel. Telling the unbeliever God loves you is a false gospel. The false gospel will bring false conversions.
Telling an unbeliever God loves you. Will not bring true conviction to his heart on sin. Only a person who is truly convicted of sin will realize his need for Christ. Nowhere in the New Testament, we see the apostles telling the unbelievers God loves you. Instead, we see just the opposite.
Ac 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
Why were these men convicted of their sins? Because Peter did not say, Jesus loves you. Instead he said, Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain. (Ac 2:23)
First the unbeliever need to be convinced of his need of Christ, and need to be convinced of his horrible sin against God, his guilt, the power of sin and the wrath of God that is going to come upon all who are disobedient. Remember when the Israelites were in the wilderness the fiery serpents bit them and many died. Then the Lord told Moses to make a brazen serpent and set it on a pole, anyone who was bitten by a serpent will live when he looks at the brazen serpent on the pole. (Numbers 21:6-9) Jesus said, And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up. (Joh 3:14) My friend, no one will look to Christ unless first the serpent bites them, they will realize the danger of death as the serpent has bitten them. Telling the unbeliever God loves you will not make the unbeliever see the danger. But telling the unbeliever, that the wrath of God is going to come upon all who are disobedient to God. (Col 3:6) In this, he will see the danger, the danger that he is in, as he is heading towards the wrath of God. Then he will realize he needs to be saved, (salvation) from the wrath of God. When you say, God loves you. The unbeliever will not see the danger or the wrath of God that is going to come upon him, instead the unbeliever will be comforted. This is not from God as it is not biblical it is from Satan. Today
The English great theologian John Owen (1616-1683) said, Before people will come to Christ, they need to know that they are lost, condemned sinners, standing accursed in Gods sight. The Americas greatest theologian Jonathan Edwards said, In his word we have his threatening against sin denounced by himself. He tells us, that if we go on in sin, he will destroy us, and cast us out of his sight, and pour out his wrath upon us, and hold us eternally under misery.
What about John 3:16?
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Whosoever believes in God is a believer, not an unbeliever. The believer has eternal life. Same apostle John said, 1Jo 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us. Believer loves God because God first loved the true believer, not the unbeliever.
Let us be more specific
Jesus said, I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. (Joh 17:9) Here we see as black and white, Jesus is praying for the believers and not for the unbelievers.
How did the early commentators interpret this scripture?
John Gill D.D. (1697-1771) was a
renowned theologian, the person who wrote the hymn Rock of Ages was Augustus
Toplady. He said, of John Gill, The works and name of Gill be precious and
revered. John Gill said on John 3:16
Yet not for the sake of all men, but the spiritual seed of Abraham; and besides, it will not be easily proved, that human nature is ever called the world: nor is the whole body of the chosen ones, as consisting of Jews and Gentiles, here designed; for though these are called the world, (John 6:33,51) and are the objects of God's special love, and to them Christ is given, and they are brought to believe in him, and shall never perish, but shall be saved with an everlasting salvation; yet rather the Gentiles particularly, and God's elect among them, are meant; who are often called "the world", and "the whole world", and "the nations of the world", as distinct from the Jews; see (Romans 11:12,15) (1 John 2:2) (Luke 12:30) , compared with (Matthew 6:32) . The Jews had the same distinction we have now, the church and the world; the former they took to themselves, and the latter they gave to all the nations around: hence we often meet with this distinction, Israel, and the nations of the world.
The gospel has two parts; on one side is the law that will strip the sinners righteousness and show that he is nakedness before the righteous holy God. Sinner need to realize that he is a fallen creature, totally depraved and deserve the wrath of God. On the other side of the gospel, we see the grace and the mercy of God. God being merciful have provided a Savior, who is able and offers to save from hell. Christ Jesus came into the world and fulfilled the law where we have broken. We were indebted to God in our sins; Christ paid the full price to God by offering himself as a sacrifice for our sins. The justice of God was poured upon Jesus. If you truly believe in him, commit your souls to him to be saved by him, in him you shall be saved from the eternal torments of hell. He satisfied the anger of God toward the sinners and found peace between God and men. Oh! The grand discovery of the gospel, the good news is that you can be saved from hell.
Ro 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.