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Jesus is love! February 25, 2015

Posted by stewsutton in Humanity, Jesus, Love, Theology, Wisdom.
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When a merely moral man or woman comes in contact with baseness and immorality and treachery, the recoil is so desperately offensive to human goodness that the heart shuts up in despair.

God’s redemption is glorious in that the most horrible, offensive, and atrocious things can never get to the bottom of His love.

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The God who loves you February 25, 2015

Posted by stewsutton in Humanity, Theology, Wisdom.
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Have you heard of the God who loves you?

With so much evidence of hatred on display around the world, many might conclude that religion is at the center of the worlds problems. And this conclusion is accurate if we properly define religion.

Religion is a man-made concept, yet the motivations extend beyond this physical world and into the dark recesses of the spiritual world.

In Genesis 3:1-5 we see Satan cleverly introduce deception into the world with a lie. A lie based on hatred toward God.
“Did God really say, ‘You must not…You will not surely die,… For God knows that… your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God…”

Lies born of hatred, and hatred born of pride. This is an all-consuming hatred that seeks death of all that is good and loving, and kind. It is a hatred that deeply infuses the religion of Islam and this is why we see increasing terror around the world.
The Muslim and Christian views of God have some similarities. Christians believe in one eternal God Who created the universe, and Muslims apply these attributes to Allah. Both view God as all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-present.

A vital difference between the Islamic and Christian views of God is the biblical concept of the Trinity. In the Bible, God has revealed Himself as one God in three Persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. While each Person of the Trinity is fully God, God is not three gods but three in one.

God’s Son came in the form of man, a truth called the incarnation (Luke 1:30-35; John 1:14; Colossians 2:9; 1 John 4:1-3). The Lord Jesus Christ conquered the penalty and power of sin by dying on the cross (Romans 6:23). After rising from the dead, Jesus went back to heaven to be with His Father and sent the Holy Spirit to believers (Acts 1:8-11).

One day, Christ will return to judge and rule (Acts 10:42, 43). Those who have trusted in the Lord Jesus will live with Him, but those who refuse to follow Him must be separated in hell from the holy God. “The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him” (John 3:35-36).

Either Jesus bears the wrath of God for your sin on the cross or you bear the wrath of God for your sin in hell (1 Peter 2:24).The Trinity is essential to the Christian faith. Without the Trinity, there would be no incarnation of God’s Son in the Person of Jesus Christ.

Without Jesus Christ, there would be no salvation from sin. Without salvation, sin would condemn all to an eternal hell.
So, do Christians and Muslims worship the same God?

A better question is, “Do Christians and Muslims both have a correct understanding of who God is?” To this question, the answer is definitely no. Because of crucial differences between the Christian and Muslim concepts of God, the two faiths cannot both be true.

The biblical God alone addresses and solves the problem of sin by giving His Son. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son” (John 3:16-18).

In this broken world that incubates hatred, we are fortunate to have a God that loves.

The most loving act of eternity is described in Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Anyone who ignores God’s love, who rejects Christ as Savior, who denies the Savior who bought him (2 Peter 2:1) will be subject to God’s wrath for eternity (Romans 1:18), not His love (Romans 6:23).

God loves everyone unconditionally in that He shows mercy to everyone by not destroying them immediately because of sin. At the same time, God only has “covenant love” for those who place their faith in Jesus Christ for salvation (John 3:36). Only those who believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior will experience God’s love for eternity.

Does God love everyone? Yes.
Does God love Christians more than He loves non-Christians? No.
Does God love Christians to a different extent than He loves non-Christians? Yes.
God loves everyone equally in that He is merciful to all.
God only loves Christians in that only Christians have His eternal grace and mercy and the promise of His forever love in heaven.
The unconditional love God has for everyone should bring us to faith in Him, receiving in thankfulness the great conditional love He grants all those who receive Jesus Christ as Savior.