The first and foremost question I must ask you is this: “Have you accepted God’s gift of love in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ?” Jesus Christ is the “beloved Son” of God, in whom God is well pleased (ref,Matthew 3*17). Because of this, we should “listen to Him”. To accept the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary as God’s gift of salvation to you is to enter into His love.To reject Jesus Christ and attempt to stand before God in your own righteousness is to shun the love of God and to deservedly await eternal punishment. Only those who trust in Jesus Christ can experience and express the love of God. Those who reject the gift of His love in Christ have no claim on His love. The fact is that none of us have any claim on His love, but those who are saved gratefully receive it, and give glory and praise to Him for His grace.
In our witness to a sinful, lost, and dying world, we dare not distort the love of God. God is the One who defines love, not men. We must accept God’s love as God has defined and expressed it. We dare not rely on God conforming to the distorted perceptions of love to which fallen men ignorantly cling. We must be careful not to compartmentalize God’s love and separate it from His other attributes, or try to evangelize men by appealing only to the love of God. Our Lord did not indicate that we should depend upon the “attraction” of His love, as much as He has indicated that lost men should be compelled by a sense of His righteousness, our sin, and the judgment which awaits sinners (ref,John 16*7-11). The sinner ought not to be comforted by assurances of the love of God (apart from Christ), but should be reminded that God hates sinners:
The boastful shall not stand before Thine eyes; Thou dost hate all who do iniquity(ref,Psalm 5*5).
The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked, And the one who loves violence His soul hates (ref,Psalm 11*5).
I hate the assembly of evildoers, And I will not sit with the wicked (ref,Psalm 26*5).
If we are to enjoy the benefits of God’s love, we not only need to embrace it through faith in Jesus Christ, we need to actively enter into it in an ongoing way as a lifestyle:
“Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love” (ref,John 15*9-10).
May God grant that we may enter more and more into His love, and that we may therefore become instruments of His love to a lost and loveless world.