Recent Posts
Lowell Brueckner

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Unconditional Love?


I wish that I could ask each one who pronounces the words, “unconditional love”, what that expression means to him. Sometimes you hear it mentioned, “God’s love is unconditional; He loves and doesn’t ask anything in return.” When it is interpreted this way, I have a problem with the term. It’s possible that the person who makes that statement has not thought this matter through and ignores the importance of its significance.  

Now, it is very true that the story of our spiritual life begins with the love of God: “God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ”  (Eph.2:5). He loved when we were incapable of loving Him. It was His goodness that led us to repentance, and it was His Spirit, who gave us ears to hear His Word. Only for that reason we were able to believe. We are saying the same thing, when we claim that we are saved by grace alone.  However, it is not the same to say that we are saved by grace, as it is to say, “His love is unconditional and He expects nothing in exchange.” He loved us, when there was nothing to love, but His love demands a response; that is, His love demands conditions!

The development of an expression like this one has a history… a history filled with repetitions. Soon, the whole world is speaking of “unconditional love… unconditional love… unconditional love”. The expression becomes popular and totally accepted among Christians. Truthfully, it is a very attractive term, especially to the sentimental person… and many judge things according to their feelings and not according to their biblical value. Many live their entire “Christian” life that way, satisfying their emotions, without wanting to think clearly about biblical truth. For that reason, many terms arise which lack Bible support or, at least, many people interpret them in an unbiblical manner.

It is very dangerous to treat spiritual things this way. The expression easily could have been invented by universalists or, at least, it tends to direct our mind towards universalism. Even among evangelicals these days, universalism is growing in a surprising way. It was a doctrinal plague in Charles Finney’s day (the 18th century), and he had to battle constantly with the religious minds, which had accepted that doctrine or were in the process of accepting it. It is a very pleasing doctrine and it gives one a warm feeling upon accepting it, because the essence of universalism consists in that everyone will be saved in the end. It offers an unconditional salvation. The concept of God is one of pure love… God loves so unconditionally that His love could never support the eternal punishment of His creatures. Some are so deeply immersed and captivated by these ideas that they even find hope for the devil and his demons. They don’t want to hate anything or anyone. (I have some relatives submerged in this error and I have observed its development in their lives from the onset.)

This doctrine is entirely false and whoever takes the teachings of the Bible seriously will understand that it is so. There are conditions to meet, before anyone can be saved! He has to meet God’s demands. We know that works do not save, but there are certain attitudes that one comes to possess, before it is possible for him to freely receive salvation. One of the conditions is that this person must have come to an end of confidence in his own works. He cannot justify himself in any way before God. Another condition is repentance. The Son of God has spoken so clearly that it is impossible for any honest and sincere person to misinterpret His teaching. He who insists on misinterpreting does not love truth, and we can conclude that he does not truly love Christ, who is Truth: " Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel" (Mark 1:14,15).  These are demands, which are  present throughout the whole of the New Testament.

Christ’ is demanding repentance and faith in the gospel and no one will participate in the love of God or in His salvation, until he repents and believes, depositing his life into the Lord’s hands and trusting in the provisions that He has made towards his salvation.

Besides, the wrath of God must be appeased and his justice satisfied, before His love can freely flow to save. God neither could nor willed to offer His love unconditionally, until upon the cross, Christ satisfied all justice, bearing the wrath of God upon Himself. God could not say, “I love you unconditionally and I forgive you”, until His conditions were met on the cross.  


Post a Comment