‘Our society strives to avoid any possibility of offending anyone except God.’ -Billy Graham
‘Until sin be bitter, Christ will not be sweet.’ -Thomas Watson
From the two quotes mentioned above, you can tell why the people’s perspective on love differs from God’s definition of God. If we go back a little into history to the fall of man mentioned in Genesis 3, you would know that the fall saw Adam and Eve receive to themselves their own standard of righteousness (Gen 3:1-6), forsaking the righteousness of God in the process. This self-righteousness continues to be passed down to all of Adam’s posterity through procreation. So, now the world’s definition of love stands outside God’s definition of love because they serve different interest. From the fall, man is a god to himself because what he primarily serves is his own interest, meaning… his self-righteousness is fashioned to serve his own interest but the truth is man is not God and so whatever man does from his selfishness is naturally evil. God on the other hand, in serving His own interest accomplishes good because the truth is He is indeed God. So, from Billy Graham’s quote above, we see that unbelief is not just about people naturally having a lack of consideration for God’s sentiments but about how this nature arises from the tendency to suppress the righteousness interest of God, lest their own interest be revealed as counterfeit and they be proved liars, which their damn self-righteousness will just not allow. To capture what I am saying through scripture, I would like to quote an excerpt from Proverbs 8 for you.
35 “For he who finds me (God) finds life
And obtains favor from the Lord.
36 “But he who sins against me injures himself;
All those who hate me love death.”
So, if you asked: is the love the world seeking different from the love that God is (1John 4:8), I’d say yes… all the way. The devil is in the detail literally because the love the world is seeking is an acceptance of its sin as its identity in society. Yes, Christ did die while we were still sinners (Rom 5:8) but in Christ we are called to the righteousness of God (Mat 5:20). Salvation is freely available to all who receive Jesus as their Lord and Saviour but this is only made possible with the elect (Jn 1:12-13) in whom God overcomes their nature and desire for sin (Rom 3:22-25) and replaces it with a love and zeal for him (Heb 10:16). For the rest of the world, this Salvation is freely available to them in Christ but that righteousness of God, with which the believer must persevere for the cause of Christ serves as a deterrent to those self-serving fools. Take a look at the world today and see how the liberals are fighting for homosexuals and paedophiles to not just be integrated in society but also in the Church. The problem with the world is that people are looking for a love that excepts them as they are without correction (Heb 12:8) because they want to continue serving their own wicked interest and be loved all the way through to the grave and to hell. The best part is, their heads are so swollen that they expect God to be such a subject of their wishful thinking. I’d must leave you with an excerpt from 1Corinthians 6 that you may see God’s perspective on love towards the repentant sinners.
9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
I’d like you to think for a moment of a wife who is filled with zealous love for her husband and vehemently acts out against all that which undermines the interest of her spouse. So, though she may exhibit hatred towards those who undermine the interest of her husband, she is not acting out of hatred but out of a selfless and zealous love for her husband. By this I am in no way justifying the Islamic execution of unbelievers, I am simply saying the feeling of indifference between the Church and world is mutual and this enmity God has decreed (Gen 3:15) keeps the world out the Church and the Church out of the world. Please note that unlike Islamic society a Biblically nurtured society is not fascist because we recognize that it is God who makes believers and not men. However, in following after God, His Church has to swim against the flow of the world. So, the Billy Graham’s Quote is also conversely true… i.e. in following after God’s interests, believers many a times cannot avoid offending the people of world. Why? Because we admit God is for real and He and his righteousness is greater than the world and its love for sin (1Jn 4:4).
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
So, what the world knows as true love is only true in the sense that it genuinely serves their own fallen interest and appetite for sin. The love of God on the other hand as described in scripture is longsuffering (Numbers 14:18) and it is from His nature of great forbearance that true love is defined in the Bible as patient and kind (1Cor 13:4-6). Love is indeed a perfect attribute of God but so is His justice and when you look at Num 14:18 in which God speaks of His love, He also says He shall by no means clear the guilty. This is where the substitutionary atonement of Christ comes in because His Justice demanded the wages of sin (death) be paid but in His love, He gave us His own Son in human flesh (Jn 6:23) that we may have true life (Jn 14:6) and be adopted into the family of God as sons (1Jn 3:1). I would like to leave you with a last piece of scripture, it’s not every day that you read John 3:16 in its rightful context.
16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His [e]only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”
Before you go, I need to also say this… sex may be the pinnacle expression of the world’s love but sex was only given to us that we may bear the responsibility of raising Godly stewards upon the earth with joy but the world sees sex not from God’s purpose but from its own wicked purpose and in doing so… Kills More People Every 4 Months (by way of abortion) Than The Holocaust Did In Twelve Years. It’s no wonder people who are polyamorous and philanderers just keep piling years on themselves. Take look at Bill Clinton and Donald Trump who are both 71, Clinton looks like walking cadaver while repentant Trump looks like he is still sailing through his fifties or sixties. Here’s a head’s up people there is neither male nor female after death (Mat 22:30) because there is no need for procreation, whether you be in heaven or hell. It’s as I said, everything including you was made to glorify God’s purpose, not your purpose. So, you shall either glorify God’s mercy in Jesus Christ or glorify His justice in following after your own wicked appetite. Remember, if the saving love of God does not interest you don’t blame him for the misery in the world because all that misery is the result of the extent people go to meet their own selfish interests (Prov 8:36).
I would like to close this post with this righteous, apt and well intended salutation: May God bless you in the saving love of Jesus Christ – Amen!