God’s love is unconditional isn’t it? Unconditional love — I will begin with the Definition of unconditional
: not conditional or limited : absolute, unqualified <unconditional surrender>
* not limited in any way
* complete or total
Can we define unconditional from scripture? What Jesus did for us certainly was done as an unconditional act, but there is at least one condition placed upon the receipt of the benefits gifted from those actions. It must be accepted.
The word unconditional does not appear in scripture. So, does what Jesus says in conjunction with love make it unconditional. Remember He spoke in the Old Testament as the very Word of God. The one by whom all things are created.
In Malachi 1:2-3 He says to Israel: “I have loved you,” says the Lord. But you say, “How have You loved us?” “Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” declares the Lord. “Yet I have loved Jacob; but I have hated Esau, and I have made his mountains a desolation and appointed his inheritance for the jackals of the wilderness.”
So we say this seems like, at least for some of His creation that there may be an unconditional rendering. A love that touches one group, but if it does not touch another does that not imply a condition of some sort. If not a condition does it not then imply an injustice? Absent a condition would it turn God into at minimum a respecter of persons, and the Bible says that that is one thing that He is not. He is no respecter of persons. But that does not mean that His love us without condition.
And with that Most of us believers I think would agree. If we had no more to go on — what would no conditions make God become to the man who is not blessed, who is down and out? Can he not call on God to change his circumstance? In fact to pull verses like these out of context would bring an uneducated conclusion. Jacob became Israel, and God’s blessing followed him, but why? We must ask why? — because Jacob really was No better than Esau — was he?
In context this is God’s point. His blessing did not follow Esau, and Esau’s heritage is now strung out in ruin. There is a why to this. Remember this is looking back on Esau’s history. Looking back on Jacob’s history he was blessed — but why. You say Because God chose him — but why?
I want you to think about this — if we follow an unconditional thinking Israel would have never followed the path they wound up following, and their blessing would have continually followed them — did it?
Israel has been scattered now for 2000 years. Pogroms have been in their history. The nation went the way of other nations and followed other god’s. Today God’s unconditional love is drawing them back, so that one day they will accept His CONDITIONAL Love. That’s right I said conditional.
So let’s examine love as Jesus taught it. In John 16:27 He says: “for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from the Father.”
This love of the Father is conditioned upon according to Jesus our love for and belief in the Lord, Jesus the Christ.
In John 15:10 He says: If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. The “if” in this verse is problematic for unconditional love. We oft times confuse the term unconditional with God’s willingness to forgive almost anything. Notice I said almost, because there is an unforgivable sin listed in scripture. We’ll speak of that later but the condition placed upon us is usually introduced with the word “if”.
Let’s look a bit further at this passage — John 15:10, 13-15 “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.”
Jesus says that abiding in His love is an important thing.
Revelation 2:4-5 But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent.
From John we also here that there is a sin unto death. 1 John 5:16-17 If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask and God will for him give life to those who commit sin not leading to death. There is a sin leading to death; I do not say that he should make request for this. All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not leading to death.
Jesus unconditional love for the world was not without condition. How can I say that? He died for the sins of the entire world, and in doing so He excluded no man except the man who would not love Him. That was conditional. All sin has been bought and paid for, but at the same time you and I must recognize this fact and make it our own. And in so doing we will fall in love with the only one who loved us enough to offer us eternal life for doing nothing but loving Him back. His love is conditioned upon our love for Him. Our love is revealed in our following Him.
“You are my friends if you do what I command you”.
Why did God choose Jacob over Esau? I could say because God is God. Some people do. But because God is God, He has foreknowledge of everything that you have done or will ever do in this life. This is why Jesus says he who endures until the end shall be saved.
You can read more about this and more about prophecy in the book —
AND THEN THE END SHALL COME.
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