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God’s Unconditional Love

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Why are Christians always saying that God's love is "unconditional"? I've become increasingly alarmed and distressed over the liberal use of this term. If God's love is unconditional, why did Uzzah get zapped for touching the Ark of the Covenant (2 Samuel 6)? What about Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5)? If God's love is unconditional, there is nothing lost souls need to do in order to be saved, no changes they need to make. There isn't even any reason to talk about hell and judgment. After all, everybody will go to heaven simply because God loves all of us "unconditionally." Right?

As we see it, there’s a sense in which you are seriously misconstruing the import of the term “unconditional love.” When we say that God’s love is “unconditional,” we are asserting that there is nothing we can do to make Him love us either more or less. We don’t earn His love by fulfilling a pre-determined set of conditions. He loves us not because of what we are, but because of who He is – for God is love (1 John 4:8). But this is not to suggest that God doesn’t judge sin or that people won’t have to suffer the consequences of their ill-advised decisions and actions.

Yes, there is such a thing as hell, but nobody will go there because God doesn’t love them. On the contrary, they will go there precisely because they have willfully chosen to reject His love, freely offered to them in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Once they cross that line, there’s nothing more that God can do for them (Hebrews 10:26). But this does not imply that He ceases to love them. He never stops loving even when He is pouring out His wrath, nor does He abandon the soul that turns away from Him. In some way we can’t fully comprehend, He is with us even when we make our bed in hell (Psalm 139:8).

If you have further questions about this, call our staff of pastoral counselors for a free consultation.

 

Resources
If a title is currently unavailable through Focus on the Family, we encourage you to use another retailer.

What Every Christian Ought to Know Day by Day: Essential Truths for Growing Your Faith

The Faith: What Christians Believe, Why They Believe It, and Why It Matters

Christian Beliefs: Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know

The Grace of God

What The Bible Teaches: The Truths of the Bible Made Plain, Simple, and Understandable

Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God

The Grace Awakening

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