MYTHS ABOUT GOD’S LOVE, 16.01.19
Tree of Life (TLV) Translation of the Bible. Copyright © 2015 by The Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society.
“IT’S ALL ABOUT LOVE,” 22.06.17, https://www.vernasstudycorner.ca/2017/06/love-22-06-17/
“Was Jesus/Yeshua Politically Correct? Pt.1”, 19.12.17 https://www.vernasstudycorner.ca/2017/12/jesus-yeshua-politically-correct-part-1-19-12-17 /
“Was Jesus/Yeshua Politically Correct? Pt.2”, 20.12.17 https://www.vernasstudycorner.ca/2017/12/jesus-yeshua-politically-correct-part-2-20-12-17/
Because of the acceptance and focus on the world’s definition of love, and due to the weakness of human nature always wanting the easy way out of everything there has evolved, a distorted perception of God, His love, and that He is only and always, all about love. Christian leaders/the Church, for the most part, have misrepresented God’s love, presenting a false image, promoting misperceptions, assumptions, and misplaced expectations – myths, if you would, about what God’s love consists of.
Myth #1 – God is ALL LOVE; He can’t do anything but LOVE. God loves us all. In the end everyone will go to heaven. God is just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. . .
Myth #2 – God loves us so much, He is never angry or displeased with us, no matter what we do. His GRACE & MERCY make everything okay.
Myth #3 – Because of God’s love, and Christ dying on the Cross, we don’t have to do anything but believe.
Myth #4 – A loving God does not want us to go through any pain or discomfort.
Myth #1 debunked: Let’s get real! Give me a break! That is so childish, so immature! There is more to it than that. God does much more than just “love, love, love, love, love. . . “ Grow up, Church!
God is not only a God of love. He is also a God of purity, holiness, righteousness, justice, and judgment. God is a Holy, Righteous, perfect Being Who cannot abide evil.
In addition to being a Loving God, He also loves Justice/Judgment: “Thus says Adonai . . . . . . I am Adonai who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth. For in these things I delight. . . . .Days are soon coming,” declares Adonai, “when I will punish all who are circumcised and yet uncircumcised” (Jer.9:23,24). Because He is a holy, righteous God, He must judge behaviour and bring justice to all people, and all wrongdoings in the end. “Circumcised yet uncircumcised” – what does that mean? It means, they are supposedly committed to Him, but not acting like it – i.e., not walking in His Ways. They are supposed to be His people; they are supposed to be following His Ways, Laws, and statutes, but they are not: “Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie . . .” (Rev.3:9).
In Old Testament times, Adonai constantly threatened, warned, pleaded, and disciplined His people, usually through His prophets. In New Testament times, Yeshua/Jesus said: “Now when the Son of Man comes in His glory, . . . . . . He will separate the sheep from the goats. And He will put the sheep on His right, but the goats on His left. . . . will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. . . . . . . . . . will also say to those on the left, ‘Go away from Me, you cursed ones, into the everlasting fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels . . . . . . to everlasting punishment, but the righteous into everlasting life” (Matt.25:31-46). From Genesis to Revelation, Adonai’s PRINCIPLES REMAIN INTACT.
Myth #2 Debunked: “But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You offspring of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?” (Matt.3:7). This was Yeshua in the New Testament time. “After looking around at them in anger, grieved by the hardness of their hearts” (Mk.3:5). “The one who believes in the Son has eternal life. The one who rejects the Son will not see life, but God’s wrath remains on him” (John 3:36). What about when He admonished His disciples (refer to “Was Jesus/Yeshua Politically Correct? Pt.1 & Pt.2”); what about when He threw the merchants out of the temple?
Paul elaborates, “But by your hard and unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgment is revealed. He will pay back each person according to his deeds. To those who by perseverance in doing good are seeking glory, honor, and immortality—eternal life. But to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—wrath and fury” (Rom.2:5-8). There is not a different God for the New Covenant; it is the same God, Yahweh, Adonai, the Great-I-Am, represented by His Son, Yeshua/Jesus Christ on earth, who did and spoke only as the Father directed.
Myth #3 Debunked: Just as any loving parent, God as Father, must discipline. The other side of the coin of love, is discipline. God chastens those He loves. So it doesn’t take away from HIS LOVE; it is part of that love: “My son, never despise Adonai’s discipline or dread His correction. For Adonai loves those He reproves, even as a father, the son in whom he delights” (Prov.3:11,12). ““My son, do not take lightly the discipline of Adonai or lose heart when you are corrected by Him, because Adonai disciplines the one He loves and punishes every son He accepts.”. . . . God is treating you as sons—for what son does a father not discipline? But if you are without discipline . . . . then you are illegitimate and not sons. Besides, we are used to having human fathers as instructors—and we respected them. Indeed, for a short time they disciplined us as seemed best to them; but He does so for our benefit, so that we may share in His holiness. Now all discipline seems painful at the moment—not joyful. But later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (Heb.12:5-11). There are expectations of obedience, holiness, righteousness, purity; and when God’s children disobey, we will be disciplined.
Myth #4 Debunked: A loving God, holy, pure, and perfect, Who created us to be like Him, must refine, purge, and purify us, if we are to be transformed to become like Him, which we must become if we are to spend eternity with Him. “Circumcise the foreskin of your heart therefore, and do not be stiff-necked anymore” (Deut.10:16). We must be sifted and pruned, perfected: “every branch that bears fruit, He trims so that it may bear more fruit” (John 15:2). “Therefore be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matt.5:48). Peter went on to prepare us: “do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal taking place among you to test you—as though something strange were happening to you. Instead, rejoice insofar as you share in the sufferings of Messiah” (1 Pet.4:12,13). Testing can mean storms, deserts (isolation), turbulence, pain. God’s instructions are to “endure to the end” and persevere, not avoid, or run away from the storms.
From whence has come all this false teaching, false expectations, erroneous interpretations of God, and God’s Love? Humans’ desire to cast God into their own image instead of humans submitting to being cast into HIS image; the desire to be our own God and have things our own way, thinking we know better is an area for surrender.
It is all for our benefit to follow HIS WAY. Everything He says and does will lead us to eternity with Him. If He didn’t love us, He wouldn’t bother going to all the trouble. So, you see, it is cyclical. Yes, there is God’s love, without which we wouldn’t even be here; then there is His testing, pruning, and discipline which endeavors to bring us into agreement with His image, and His will, the outcome of our compliance and obedience of which culminates in the final eternal experience of the fullness of His love when we enter into our eternal home with Him. So there we are, back around, full circle to His love. No one said He wasn’t loving; but we need to realize that His love must necessarily include things which are experienced at the time as something other than love. God’s love is a love that is designed to transform us into HIS IMAGE, not allow us to be/do whatever we want.
God’s love has conditions, once we come to Him: we are to LOVE HIM in return, which includes submitting to HIS RULES FOR LIVING. God’s love requires our obedience in loving HIM (Ref, “IT’S ALL ABOUT LOVE,” 22.06.17, https://www.vernasstudycorner.ca/2017/06/love-22-06-17/ ). SO YES, IT MAY BE ALL ABOUT LOVE; AND THAT INCLUDES OUR LOVE FOR HIM, which means OBEDIENCE to HIM. That’s part of the love story, folks. There are two sides to the coin.
© 2016, 2017, revised 2019 by Verna Crowther. All rights reserved.
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