What is this thing called “love?”
One of the signs of the last days is “misplaced love.”
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves…” 2 Timothy 3:1-2.
Everywhere we turn we find the proliferating of self-love. It is as prominent in Christian bookstores as it is in New Age circles. The “love” word is used in various ways, from God’s love to promiscuous sex. Even the Greek scholars (?) attempting to teach that “agape love” is superior have failed to check out the Greek in Matthew 5:46, 24:12; Luke 6:32, 11:43. It would also be profitable for them who make “phileo,” a so called “lesser love” to read John 5:20, 11:3 and 16:27.
Love is presented as the greatest of all virtues and it surely may be. Nothing can exceed God’s love for mankind:
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
The best known verse of all time is 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.”
In fact, the Bible tells us that God IS love. “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for GOD IS LOVE.” 1 John 4:8 (caps mine)
If one wants to know about love, he would have to know about God. Since Jesus Christ IS God (John 1:1, 14; 10:30) then Christ IS love. The Bible teaches us some things about love that the modern church either ignores or is willfully ignorant of. God’s love is not the gushy romantic novel kind, neither is it the doting grandfather leniency.
It was the God of love Who banished Adam and Eve from paradise for disobeying Him and brought death upon the whole world (Genesis 3:23-24; Romans 5:12.)
It was the love of God that destroyed all mankind except Noah and his family (Genesis 7:21.)
It was the same God Who killed the firstborn in Egypt (Exodus 12:29) and destroyed Pharaoh’s army in the Red Sea (Exodus 14:28.)
Christianity’s God allowed Satan to take Job’s wealth, friends and kill his children. He also let Satan punish Job’s body to near death (Job 1-2). This same God said there is a time to love and a time to hate (Ecclesiastes 2:8.) Amos said “Hate the evil, and love the good…” Amos 5:15
The prophet Micah spoke of those “Who hate the good, and love the evil” (Micah 3:2.)
Solomon spoke of those whom God hated in Proverbs 6:19. I think we can see that love is balanced by hate. Those who love the flowers will hate the weeds. Those who love righteousness will hate evil. Men cannot love both:
“Ye that love the Lord, hate evil…” Psalms 97:10
Too much of our modern day preaching takes the position that the world is crying out for salvation and it is the Christian’s fault, especially the separated Christian’s fault (who is falsely called a legalist) that they are not saved. I have never met a loose living Christian who was a soul winner. Not one lost person is seeking Christ today if Paul told the truth (Romans 3:11.) A real soul winner (Proverbs 11:30) offers the lost man something different…a different hope, a different life, a different faith and a different Saviour. As long as he is lost, we are not on the same team, we are not going the same way and we do not think the same.
Maybe a good question would be:
“Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord?” 2 Chronicles 19:2a
This question was asked to King Jehoshaphat who had sided with Ahab and the results are not left up in the air:
“therefore is wrath upon thee from before the Lord.” 2 Chronicles 19:2b
God’s love is honest and never compromises truth. Man’s love for God always takes precedence over man’s love for man. God’s love is established by truth, not emotion or feeling.
Listen to Christ’s “love” words in addressing the Pharisees and scribes in Matthew 23:15-33 as “hypocrites,” “blind guides,” “ye serpents” and “generation of vipers.”
Most of our actions in regard to love is wanting people to love us, not us loving people.
Keep Looking Up!