devotional

01AUG
2014

God Does Not Love Everyone in the Same Way

John 3:36 reads: “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

     We live in a day that celebrates, “The fatherly love of God.” This, to me, is nothing more than a vantage we can see manifest in every generation. Namely one that's built upon a fallen culture's own invention of righteousness. It is Romans 10:3: “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.” Because many are still ignorant of God's righteousness they teach that God loves everyone the same. There are many wolves in our day, most of whom I can think of that occupy pulpits, who would have us believe that God loves everyone equally. This is not true. God does not love everyone equally. In the passage cited above we see that there is wrath literally residing on some people. Does God love them differently than those upon whom He has commanded His love? Yes. He loves His church in His Son. The church (which is made up only of individuals) is adopted into His family. All others are children of another family, the family of Satan.

     Israel as a nation received a special love from God. Whenever I consider the spiritually deadening maxim that says, “God loves everyone the same” I think of 2 Samuel 7:23: “And who is like Your people, like Israel, the one nation on the earth whom God went to redeem for Himself as a people, to make for Himself a name—and to do for Yourself great and awesome deeds for Your land—before Your people whom You redeemed for Yourself from Egypt, the nations, and their gods?” No nation was loved like the Nation of Israel! None. God set His love upon Israel in a very, very unique way. Christians today now in every nation, though we began in Israel, who are similarly called by His electing graces also have a special kind of love. A good husband loves his wife differently than he loves any other woman. It is a special love. God's love for His church is very special. It is an exclusive kind of love. Does God have a love for the world? Yes, there is ample biblical warrant to say that He has a kind of love for all mankind, but it is not the same love, however, as for His bride, and it is important to make the distinction. If God loves everyone in the same way then hell is nothing more than an idle threat by those of us who do not love as He does.

     Romans 8:29-30 says: “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.” Question: If He foreknew everybody is everybody predestined? According to the false witnesses in our day, yes, but the answer is no. Some fools would contend that everyone is predestined. This should make our stomachs turn frankly. It would surely make God's love meaningless. No, it is those foreknown in this special, electing, known-only-to-God-way that are predestined and have had God's love set upon them. Of course God “knows” everybody. He knows everybody and everything. It is those, however, that He is most assuredly going to glorify that are foreknown in the way Paul is referencing here. When any nation or individual throughout history that loved God was asked the question about God's love that had been demonstrated towards them they could respond with what Paul says in verse 31: “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?” Amen. God is not “for” everyone, but if He is, then we too should have this confidence.

     God hates the wicked, Psalm 11:5, but He loves the righteous. This is a special love. You could call it a redemptive love. God will not redeem everyone. God's love for His elect is a love identified on Calvary. Talk about specifics! This is a love marked by the death of the prince of life, Acts 3:15. Anyone who would hold this love out to everyone equally holds it with contempt. It may be good-intentioned contempt, but it's evil and maligning at its source just the same.

     I don't know if Jesus died for you so I will invite all to repentance. I don't know if He loves you in this way so I will tell everyone that God is loving. I don't know if you are in view in Romans 8:29-30 so I won't pretend that God is your servant. I don't know, I'm not God. No one does. Only God knows. How do I know that I was in view in God's eternal love? Only by the evidences of righteousness that were given to the church to prove it. I only know it because like Abram and Israel and anyone else who knew God, God came to me. I have the Holy Spirit. I see God at work in me, manifest in fruit, according to a sound profession of faith. When my doors are closed and you cannot see me I have an abiding joy in what He loves. I know this only by His word! That has changed me and is changing me still. This is not special to me, of course. Such evidences are the treasures of the elect throughout time. In heaven God will love everyone the same. In hell, God's love for the world will be of another sort. While we abide here in this intermediate state, we will see both. We dare not pretend that God operates in the same ignorance that we do regarding His love.

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