I have been on this streak lately about how being a Believer in Jesus is not all about love. It’s not that love isn’t part of salvation, or one of the most (if not THE most ) important aspect of accepting Messiah, but I am concerned with the teaching that so many people receive which implies that love is all there is.
Yes, God loves you; yes, Jesus loves you; but people who don’t even know me say they love me? C’mon, really? Love is too important a word to use like “Hello” or “How ya doin?”
The reason for my concern is that being a Believer is not only about love. It is about dedication, it is about faith, it is about self-control, it is very much about suffering, and it is about time we started to tell people the truth and leave all this “fluff” out of it. Take off the rose-colored glasses, my friends, because following God and Yeshua is not easy.
Yeshua, Himself, told us that we would suffer for His name, and that if we wanted to follow Him we have to pick up our own execution stake. Look at what happened to all the Apostles, to Shaul (Paul), to Stephen, and everyone who has been martyred since Yeshua walked the earth. Even before Yeshua appeared to us, Elijah suffered, Jeremiah was the Crying Prophet (for good reason), Gideon was betrayed and his children were all killed; not one person in the bible who did God’s will had it easy.
In other words, this ain’t no hay ride!
Too many people accept Yeshua as their Messiah because they just want to be unconditionally loved, just as they are, and always no matter what they are. They are entranced and lured into accepting Yeshua because they are told that as a result of God loving them so much, once they ask His forgiveness His love will always save them. Now, don’t get me wrong- all of that is true, but the problem is that people think that is all there is. The fact that God will still punish sin, even after you have been “saved”, is omitted, as well as the fact that while we are alive the consequences of our sins will always come back on our heads. What is worse, our sins affect innocent people who are part of our life, too. Not to mention that accepting God and Yeshua means having to live by His laws and commandments. How many of you out there have either been told, or heard about, people being taught that the Torah is only for Jews so Christians don’t have to do anything because “we” are under the Blood of Christ, and are already forgiven everything? Really? That teaching, when you strip away the obvious allure of it, is really saying that Grace is not license from sin, but license to sin. I don’t think anyone who knows anything about God will agree that He is OK with us sinning.
God’s love is so great that is it unfathomable, but it will not keep us from apostatizing; God’s love will not stop our desire to sin, although His Ruach haKodesh, Holy Spirit, can help guide us away from sin when we listen to it; and most important to this message is that God’s love will not keep us from suffering for His name’s sake. In fact, being for God is being against the world, so His love is there always as our security blanket and as a balm for our shattered and damaged feelings, but it is not going to stop us from suffering, being attacked, and being rejected by people we love.
If we don’t let new Believers know what they are in for, we have failed them, and it is like sending them blindly into a pack of hungry wolves with lamb’s blood all over their bodies.
So, what is really important about God’s love? For me, it’s that by knowing His love for me I should show what His love is like in how I treat others, especially those who come against me.
Love is not all there is, and it does NOT conquer all, but it wins enough battles so that those who do love will end up on the winning side.