Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Who Loves Jesus?

I talked to someone I know really well and knows me really well, who also knows other professing Christians very well.  This person I know really well is not very discerning, but he thinks he's very discerning, which is a bad combination.  I've met other people like that.  If they don't change, it doesn't turn out very well for them.  This person to whom I talked thinks I love Jesus, but he doesn't treat me as though I love Jesus like another professing Christian, who is emergent, does.  He seems convinced that this emergent guy might love Jesus more or better or more sincerely at least.  This person has said two positive things about me, to me:  that I know the Bible very, very well, and that I am a hard worker.  When I criticized this emergent, he said, "But he loves Jesus."

When I said that this person doesn't have discernment, the above is a part of what I'm talking about, a very important part.  You'll hear someone talking, like the above person, and he says, "They're Charismatic, but they really, really love Jesus."  "They're Roman Catholic, but they really, really love Jesus."  When someone says he loves Jesus, conversation over, because he must really love Jesus.  He said it.

Whether Jesus loves me or I love Jesus is very basic to Christianity, to a proper theological understanding.  May I say something about Cain, of Cain and Abel?  Cain loved God.  How do I know?  He knew where God could be met.  He met God.  He brought God an offering.  He grew up in a godly home.  He brought God his best.  He brought God of his own labor.  All of that says to me that he loved God.  And yet he didn't love God.  We've got to have some discernment about what we say is loving Jesus and about who we say loves Jesus.  I use Cain, because even the "love Jesus" guys would say Cain didn't love God, and yet Cain had it more together than those people who say they "love Jesus."

I hear people singing songs "to Jesus" that sound like pop singers sing to their girlfriends.  They're "loving Jesus."  They might even be considered to have some kind of authentic love for Jesus, since they use that type of sound and song.  It's to the point that many young people especially think that the 'girlfriend song' does a better job at saying "I love Jesus" than an old hymn.

A very basic consideration must be, "How do we love Jesus?"  Sentimentalism.  Sappiness.  Eyes clinched.  Hands raised.  Those are not evidences of loving Jesus.   Most likely, almost certainly, those people do not love Jesus.

A very basic answer to this very basic consideration is that Jesus wants His commandments, words, and sayings obeyed.  That is loving Jesus.  So if someone knows the Bible very, very well, and then works really hard at doing what it says, that very likely is loving Jesus.  Real love beats sentimentalism.  Somebody who studies what Jesus said for a really long time (because he loves Him) and then puts what he studies into practice, works hard at it (because he loves Him), is loving Jesus.

Much more could be said here, but I want you to take it into consideration.  My biblical knowledge of Jesus clashes with sappiness, sensuality, rock rhythms, and worldliness, in relationship to Jesus. Jesus may be a friend to us, but I don't relate to Him like a buddy or a pal and especially like a girlfriend.  That's not how I express love to him.  That level of disrespect for him is not love.  It's essentially self-serving.  It's so incompatible with Jesus that I hate that perceived love.  That love should be hated.  If someone loves that love, it says to me that he doesn't know Jesus.  You won't love Jesus if you don't know Him.

All of the above could bring me to another question, which I'll perhaps explore with you another time, and that's the statement, "Jesus loves me."  I read someone retweeting Mark Driscoll saying something about "Jesus loves me."  "Jesus loves me" has become a go-to statement too for professing Christians.  They feel "Jesus accepts me" from that statement.  It's true that Jesus loves them, but that doesn't mean they are in fellowship with Him or reconciled to Him or at peace with Him.  In most cases today, it's most likely that even though He loves them, He's also going to cast them into Hell.  But that's another topic.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Luke 6:45-46: A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

Anonymous said...

Great article Kent! John 14:15 “If ye love me, Keep my commandments.” Christ told his disciples not to show their love by grief of His departure; or by profession, but by obedience. This is the only proper evidence of love to Jesus, for mere profession is no proof of love. The evidence which we have that a child loves its parents is when that child is willing, without hesitation, gainsaying, or complaining, to do all that the parent requires him to do. So the Disciples of Christ are required to show that they are attached to him supremely by yielding to all his requirements, and by patiently doing his will in the face of ridicule and opposition, not in mere profession.

Love for Christ is not being taught in modern churches today. Their music, dress, and worldly lifestyle indicate that they are not following Christ’s commandments but a self serving love based on emotions. Mormons, JW’s and Catholics profess their love for Jesus, yet they are unregenerate and disobedient to the gospel.

bhardecker said...

God gave us "a more sure word." When people move away from it they move into idolatry (self-worship or not the worshiping God). This sentimental junk appears good, but isn't good. Driscoll has a wide audience but he is no friend to God. God is holy. In fact, God is thrice holy. Driscoll is leading many people away from holiness. Paul said "And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;" (Phil. 1:9) this means that abounding love isn't out of control. Rather, it is framed by knowledge and judgment. For sure love is supposed to abound, but not outside the Biblical boundaries prescribed by the Bible.

George Calvas said...

Brother Ken,

Great article, but a point of clarification. The Lord Jesus only loves them that are his. He has no love for the sinner apart from what he did "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures."

That is the gospel (For God so loved [past tense]...), and you must come in repentance and believe that which WAS accomplished for the sinner. Apart from that, "he that believeth not is condemned already (John 3:18)".

There is no love to a sinner when he is already a condemned man if he continues to stay condemned, even unto death. He is to burn in the Lake of Fire forever. That is what needs to be told truthfully to every condemned sinner, for the Lord Jesus did not come into the world to condemn it, because it is already condemned.

Most Christians miss this important truth and will ignorantly lie to a sinner by telling them that "God loves him". The biblical truth is that a sinner NEEDS the love of God and it is available to ANYONE that repents and calls upon his name, for that IS the love of God in Christ Jesus. The "love of God" can ONLY be found at the cross and his shed blood, leading to his death, burial and resurrection.

Anonymous said...

In response to George Calvas:
"Great article, but a point of clarification. The Lord Jesus only loves them that are his."

I really don't understand this in light of 1 John 4:19:
"We love him, because he first loved us."

Can you clarify?

George Calvas said...

Anonymous wrote:

"I really don't understand this in light of 1 John 4:19:
"We love him, because he first loved us."

Again, he loved us (past tense) is pointing back to the perfect act that is found in his life, shed blood, death, burial and resurrection. Therefore, as repentant sinners how can we not love the Lord Jesus Christ.

Hardecker said...

George Calvas,
Mark 10:21 "Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him..." We have reason to believe that God does love the lost.

George Calvas said...

Hardecker,

You cannot just throw out a text without a context! That is "proof texting" to prove something that is not so. Therefore, let me expound in context:

19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.
20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.
21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.
23 And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
24 And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!
25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
26 And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved?

He "loved him" by telling him the truth (v21)! This man came seeking him, even calling him Master, believing he was covered by his righteousness (v19-20). The Master who is Lord revealed his iniquity (v21) and he left sadden by the fact that the Lord God would not accept him and his self-imposed righteousness, revealing the real truth about that man after he left being in grieved and rejected(v23-26) that his "riches" would send him to hell (cf. Mark 8:37)!

Therefore, this points to the fact that there is found no love for that man, for he rejected the truth given to him, by the way, the truth and the life (the Lord Jesus Christ). You are not loved by Jesus Christ unless you are IN HIM, receiving the truth of the Word, by the word of God through repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

It really is not that difficult, but the problem is IF you told the world that you would be HATED for it! You cannot tell a sinner that "God loves them" and in the same breath tell them that if you reject the gospel, Jesus Christ himself will have you thrown into the lake of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth! God loves you??? That makes NO SENSE at all because it is not scriptural. That is why many Christians reject that clear scriptural teaching (God loved them based on what he accomplished for the sinner according to the gospel), rather telling sinners a lie that "God loves them", leaving them with an impression that even if they reject the truth of the gospel, it still not that bad, for "God loves me"!





Hardecker said...

George Calvas,
Jesus loved him. If that contradicts what you say, then the problem isn't the text (context notwithstanding).

George Calvas said...

Hardecker,

Does he love the Sodomite like he "loved" that rich man?

Please explain.

bhardecker said...

John 3:16 - God so loved the world - this tells me that God's love, among other things, is universal. He loves all (both saved and lost). Certainly, and obviously, He does love the saved in a special way, but there's no denying that He loved the very ones who reject Him because He died for them (which is the expression of love divine).

Is that a fair explanation?

George Calvas said...

Hardecker wrote:

"He loves all (both saved and lost)."

That is not true at all! He does not love people he says he hates (Proverbs 5). Love and hate are antithesis of one another, exactly as the Lord Jesus Christ is the anti-thesis of anti_christ, therefore you pre-suppositions are wrong. I have tried to biblically exegete this by telling you that the love of Christ is available to all that will come. Otherwise, the hatred of God is upon the very soul of all those that do not believe (John 3:17-18- condemned ALREADY; John 3:36- WRATH of God abideth on him).

I cannot understand why this seems so difficult, except for the fact that many Christians are affraid to tell sinners the biblical facts and truth about hate, hell, condemnation, wrath, fear of the Lord upon the soul of EVERY MAN that rejects the gospel. They want to be positive and liked and are not even willing to bear the cross to any extent.

Hardecker said...

George Calvas,
I don't pretend to understand the relationship between God's love & hate. I know He hates the sinner, the Bible plainly says that. I know that He loves the sinner bec. He sent His Son to die for sinners and in doing that He furnishes a way for all sinners to get saved, which is nothing short of love (sacrificial love). It is on that account, that I can with integrity of heart say to a lost sinner, that God loves him. Now in talking to the unsaved, I don't start with that and I don't end with that neither. But for you to limit His love only to those who are in Christ would contradict at least the two verses that I brought up for consideration. For all eternity, souls in lake of fire will never be able to deny that God loved them.

George Calvas said...

Hardecker wrote:

" For all eternity, souls in lake of fire will never be able to deny that God loved them."

Yes he did. He loved them ALL at ONE place, and that is when the Lord Jesus Christ shed his blood and DIED for their SINS (forgiveness) and then resurrected for our justification (reconcilation- Romans 5:10). That is why you had Abrahams bosom for OT saints (forgiven, but not reconciled), in that he set the captives FREE when he was resurrected from the dead! Otherwise, you would have sinners in the lake of fire being told by saints that "God loves them", therefore why are we here?? You are here because the Lord God NEVER loves the unrepentant sinner, for you chose not the "love of God which is IN Christ Jesus", deserving the hatred of God forever for rejecting his beloved Son and all that he accomplished.

There is no contradiction when understood that the love of God is based on what he did for the sinner and you believing and putting your faith in what was accomplished. The rich man rejected his words, therefore he was not of God anymore than those today who have rejected "God so loved the world..."