Does God Love or Hate His Enemies?

How can it be that God tells us to love our enemies while the Bible indicates that He hates His own enemies? Is God a hypocrite who tells us to do things He Himself is not willing to do?

No, God is not hypocritical. God does love all people, even His enemies. Please allow me to give a biblical defense of God’s genuine love for all people:

No Bible believing Christian questions the truth that “God is love” (1 Jn. 4:8).  “The Lord is gracious and merciful; Slow to anger and great in lovingkindness. The Lord is good to all, And His mercies are over all His works.” (Ps. 145:9). This biblical truth is simply undeniable.

However, some believers do disagree as to the extent and nature of His love. For instance, some more moderate Calvinists argue that God has a “general” or “common” love for all humanity, but a “particular” or “self-sacrificial” love for those He has chosen in eternity past. Other Calvinists find this distinction unnecessary and would not qualify God’s common provisions for the non-elect reprobates as “love.” While I reject both forms of Calvinism, the latter does appear more consistent with itself than the former. <more on this HERE.>

What does love look like according to the scripture?

The issue comes down to how one defines the characteristic of love. According to Paul, “love does not seek its own,” and thus it is best described as “self-sacrificial” rather than “self-serving” (1 Cor. 13:5). As Jesus taught, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” It seems safe to say that love at its very root is self-sacrificial. Anything less than that should not be called “love.”  One may refer to “kindness” or “care” in reflection of some common provisions for humanity, but unless it reaches the level of self-sacrifice it does not seem to meet the biblical definition of true love.

Given that biblical definition of love as “self-sacrifice,” let us consider Christ’s command to love our enemies. Is this an expectation Christ himself is unwilling to fulfill? As we asked in the beginning, is He being hypocritical in this command? Of course not. The very reason He told His followers to love their enemies is “in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven…” (Matt. 5:45).

The meaning is undeniable. We are to love our enemies because God loves His enemies. He loves both “the righteous and the unrighteous” in exactly the same way we are told to love our enemies. The greatest commandment instructs us to “love our neighbor as ourselves” (Lev. 19:18; Matt. 22:37-38). “And who is our neighbor?” (Lk. 10:29). The pagan Samaritans, who were detested as enemies of God.

In short, Jesus is teaching us to self-sacrificially love everyone, even our worse enemies, because that reflects the very nature of God Himself.

Christ fulfilled the law by loving His enemies

Now, we know that Jesus perfectly fulfilled the law in every way (Matt. 5:17-18), which would have to include the greatest commandment. Christ’s self-sacrificial love for His enemies was certainly as encompassing as what He demanded from His followers in Luke 10. Without a doubt, Jesus loved everyone, even his greatest, most undeserving enemies; otherwise, He would have failed to fulfill the demands of the law.

Paul taught, “For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”  And again in Romans 13:8: “He who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.” Thus, to deny Jesus’ self-sacrificial love for everyone is to deny that He fulfilled the demands of the law. This would disqualify Him as the perfect atoning sacrifice.

If we accept that Jesus fulfilled the demands of the law by self-sacrificially loving all people, then how can we conclude that God’s love is any less far-reaching than that which is reflected in the Son? Would God expect our love to be more encompassing and self-sacrificial than His own?

Love invites enemies to be reconciled

When God invites His enemies to be reconciled (Isa. 1:18; 2 Cor. 5:20; Mt. 11:28-30), He is making an appeal from a sincere heart of self-sacrificial love. “‘As surely as I live,’ declares the Sovereign LORD, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?’” (Ezek. 33:11). “The Lord loves the sons of Israel, though they turn to other gods…” (Hosea 3:1). Obviously, God does sincerely love even those who turn from His provision and grace.

With that said, I understand that some have trouble reconciling the idea of God loving His enemies with the following texts:

  • Psalm 5:5: “You hate all workers of iniquity.”
  • Psalm 7:11: “God is angry with the wicked every day.”
  • Psalm 26:5: “I have hated the assembly of evil doers.”
  • Mal. 1 – Rom. 9: “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.”

One must understand that the term “hatred” is sometimes a reflection of “Divine wrath” expressed against those who continue in rebellion, which would not preclude God’s longing to see those under wrath come to faith and repentance. Scripture does describe all people being under wrath (and thus “hated” by God) prior to their coming to faith in Christ. This is a point even our Calvinistic brethren affirm. Both Calvinists and Traditionalists teach that all people are by nature under wrath and thus “hated enemies of God” (Eph. 2:3), but we also can affirm together that God does not desire everyone to remain in that condition.

Further, it should be noted, that the term “hate” is sometimes an expression of choosing one over another for a more honorable purpose, and does not literally mean “hatred” (despise, reject). For instance, Jesus told Peter, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26).

No commentator worth his salt would suggest the term “hate” in Luke 14 is literal, otherwise he would be hard pressed to explain scripture’s other teachings about loving and honor our parents. Instead, this passage is rightly understood to mean that man must choose following God’s will over the will of even the most beloved in one’s life. Could the same hermeneutical principle be applied toward understanding the biblical references to God’s “hatred?”  Of course it could. In Romans 9, for instance, Paul may simply be reflecting on God’s choice of Jacob (and his posterity) for the honorable purpose of carrying His blessing over his elder brother.

Was not Jacob “by nature [a child] of wrath [hated], just as the others?” (Eph. 2:3). We all should affirm that Jacob remained under wrath [hated] until he came to a point of faith and forgiveness. Even if he came to that point by some “effectual” means, as proposed by the Calvinist, it does not change the fact that he was born under Divine wrath and thus God’s “hatred.” Therefore, these passages which reflect on God’s hatred of some are no more or less troublesome for the non-Calvinistic interpretation.

———

Other passages for consideration:

Romans 5:8 : But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Psalms 117:1-2: Praise the Lord, all nations; Laud Him, all peoples! For His lovingkindness is great toward us, And the truth of the Lord is everlasting. Praise the Lord!

Matthew 18:14: So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones perish.

Isaiah 63:7-10: I shall make mention of the lovingkindnesses of the Lord, the praises of the Lord, According to all that the Lord has granted us, And the great goodness toward the house of Israel, Which He has granted them according to His compassion And according to the abundance of His lovingkindnesses… In His love and in His mercy He redeemed them, And He lifted them and carried them all the days of old. But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit; Therefore He turned Himself to become their enemy, He fought against them.

Romans 10:1: Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved.

Romans 10:21: But concerning Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.”

Romans 11:32: For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.

Matthew 23:37: Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.

Luke 19:41-42: As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.

53 thoughts on “Does God Love or Hate His Enemies?

    1. Hi Ian. Do you think it’s possible that God can have everlasting grief for Satan and the fallen angels like He had for mankind expressed in Genesis 6:6 NKJV — And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.

      1. Brian, God was not grieved for man, He was grieved AT man. Using anthropomorphic language, He said He was grieved that He had ever made them. As for Satan and his rebels, even more so has God no grief for them, for He made no provision for any of them to be saved, unlike His love for His human creation. God loved man, and had His Son save many of them. Not one demon.

        So the idea that God must love His enemies because He requires that of us is mistaken. We are peers with our enemies; God is not a peer with man or demon, so is under no obligation to love any of us.

      2. Ian,
        Welcome.

        I assume you use the ESV, right? That is the reformed translation of choice. The verse in question says:

        Gen 6:6 And the LORD regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.

        What does that have to do with what you are saying? In what other way could God say He regrets doing something (and have it mean what He says)? Why do you feel led to explain that idea away?

      3. Thank you for your thoughful reply, Ian. So you don’t think grief is always a sign that love exists/or existed towards the person from whom the loss of some kind in relationship was suffered?

      4. Hi, FROMOVERHERE.

        My Bible of use is the NKJV.

        I said that God was grieved at man. He regretted He had made them. He was not grieved FOR man, but for Himself. How did He feel toward the vile rebels? Angry, and He determined to wipe them out. Only those who were righteous – or rather, had become righteous by faith – were loved.

      5. My mistake Ian. I took you for a Calvinist who was having issue with God regretting.

        But since you have agreed that He can regret, and that He not impassible (He shows anger), and that “He determined to wipe them out” (obviously a decision made then, not before time), and that people become righteous by faith (or move into, as you put it, being loved), then I can see that you are not a Calvinist.

      6. Romans 10:21 NKJV — But to Israel he says:
        “All day long I have stretched out My hands
        To a disobedient and contrary people.”

      7. FROMOVERHERE, you must have missed my comment: ‘Using anthropomorphic language, He said He was grieved that He had ever made them.’

        Humans use ‘regret’ to imply an unforeseen bad consequence of their action. God has no unforeseen consequences, so His regret is only analogous to ours, not identical to it. Maybe you are advocating Open Theism, or are just confused about what is meant by impassbility?

        God certainly loves those who have become righteous through faith in Him. But He also loves those who will do so, even though they still are children of wrath. He knew them before the foundation of the world, elected them for salvation, predestined them to be conformed to the image of His Son. In due time He will call them, justify them and eventually glorify them.

      8. Okay Ian,

        So my understanding was correct. You are a Calvinist and therefore take the many hundreds of places where God says He was: pleased, displeased, angry, satisfied, joyous, sad, regretful, etc etc and say they ALL “do not mean what they say.”

        I understand impassibility. I am a seminary trained former Calvinist. My testimony is all over these pages.

        It’s funny how Calvinists play the anthropomorphic card. They say “is His arm too short” (He doesnt have arms does he FOH?) is the same as he regretted something. Why? What gives that right? ((side note: more correctly you would say that He says this in an anthropopathic way, since it is not about his “morph” or body.))

        When a prophet says God “has long arms” or “wings” everyone knows he is speaking figuratively. But when God Himself says, “I regret that I have made Saul king,” why do Calvinists get to impose on the Bible that He is speaking figuratively?

        Besides “is His arm to short” actually means something, right? When God Himself says, “I regret that I have made Saul king,” what does that mean?

        What do the many, many “regret, repented, changed His mind,” type verses actually mean? Calvinists are quick to say that verses “do not mean what they say,” but then what do they mean? Is God just tricking us?

        You do by the way, sound like a Calvinist. A bit condescending that in fact it is I who is “confused about what is meant by impassibility?”

        “His regret is only analogous to ours, not identical to it.” In what way? Why do Greek-Philosophy-influenced Reformed theologians get to decide that God is impassible, and only speaks anthropopathically?

      9. FROMOVERHERE, thanks for your educated correction on ‘anthropomorphic’. My half-education lets me down in grammar and such at times. But I’m glad you understood my meaning.

        Yes, God really does feel anger at sin, really does love His people. But some of the emotions ascribed to Him are not possible for God, unlike for us. Regret is one such, for it requires a lack of knowledge or a mistaken conclusion to be regretted when the fruit of that decision emerges. So unless you are promoting Open Theism, you position is the same as mine, just your concept of impassibility is deficient. Or my understanding of it is. But as I found no Calvinist I have read deny God having the emotions of love and anger, I assume I’m correct.

        Perhaps you will confirm whether you believe God knew beforehand that mankind would end up immensely wicked by Noah’s time, or that you believe it took Him by surprise? Or maybe God made a mistake in His thinking?

      10. Ian,
        Thanks.

        The burden of proof is on you, not me.

        I am taking the hundreds of passages of Scripture at what they say, not applying a man-made filter. I have no problem (need no filter) when I read God say “I regret that I made Saul king,” or many of the other places He directly speak like that. You are the one that is bringing an idea to Scripture, not me.

        He “tests” Abraham. He says He is testing him. Why? Why so many passages that “make us think” He is a certain way when really we know better that He is not? Hundreds of them.

        God give us these detailed narratives of testing and even says, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” (Calvinist ESV version)

        You must constantly run we-know-better-than-what-it-says filters. Why?

        You make bold sentences, “But some of the emotions ascribed to Him are not possible for God, unlike for us.”

        Says you.

        (and the Greek philosophers)

      11. Ian,

        ​You say that you have found no Calvinist that denies that God gets angry.

        First of all there are no doubt Reformed theologians that do deny that it means that, but secondly and more importantly, I think you’re probably referring to the Grudem position and his definition that God does ​”​get angry​”​ “in time” but only because he decided “before time began” that ​H​e was gonna get angry.

        Meaning you have an entire book written to teach us what God is like but we have to know the secret keys and filters. It doesnt speak plainly to the masses.

        So He says ​H​e​’​s angry at sin and He says He’s answering prayer but it’s something that He’s has planned to do (written the script for) all along. So he planned both the sin and the punishment/payment. He planned both the initial drama/ trauma, and the prayer request, and the “responding to the prayer”.

        He plans to respond to prayer before time began and plans (immutably) that people pray it​ (because He planned the trauma that causes them to reach out).​

        But, He can’t be angry at the sin “in time” unless “before time began” He makes sure that the sin happens ….. or as Calvin puts it “He renders it certain.”

        So the whole message of the Bible is that all that you’re going to do and have done was already planned by God ….including the sin.

        So that’s twice now you ask me if I am proposing Open Theism, and it sounds like, for you, that would be a worse thing then saying that God planned all the sin of mankind before time. Because basically if you’re following Calvin and if you’re following Grudem’s position you would be proposing that God actually planned all the sin and evil and rape and torture “ahead of time” ​(rendered it immutably certain) ​so that he could be “angry at it” in “real time.”

        But if Grudem is correct there is nothing anyone could do about it at all including not-do that very sin that God designed them to do (so He could be angry at it).

        So, for you, that solution is better then proposing Open Theism. Because that would, in your opinion leave “God limited to knowing things.” And that is certainly worse than making Him the author of sin ….as does Reformed-determinist theology.

        Calvinist and Piper and Grudem are very clear…. God is the author or all actions, including sin, that happen.

        ps. Please dont say I am misrepresenting it (straw man) or “ill-informed” as we have dozens of direct quotes to show them saying the above.

    2. I am no Leighton…but I would say God does NOT love Satan or the Fallen Angels…why? Because they already lived in heaven with God around His throne and they made their once for all decision to reject what they already saw and chose the offer of reigning with Satan. Their destiny is sealed…God does not love the angels who already lived in His presence and said they wanted the NOT God existence…Just like after this life once people have rejected the blood of Jesus and God’s love for them…it is doubtful that God’s love continues to pour out towards them…It is more likely that God’s Justice pours out towards them for all of eternity NOT His LOVE. I think this has biblical merit and I don’t find any scripture that says God loves the Devil.

    3. Brian, grief may be over a lost love. But it may be over how an evil person has despised one’s goodness, and an expression of holy wrath against the wicked.

  1. Another great topic Leighton!

    Isn’t it interesting that we “redefine” the word “hate” (showing that it does not always mean what people think).

    Calvinists “redefine” the word “love” (showing that it does not always mean what people think).

    I would prefer to be on the “lessen the word ‘hate'” more than the “lessen the word ‘love'” side!!

    God is Love…… not “God is loving.”

  2. I’m wandering if Leighton or anyone else on here sees a distinction between the way God’s love is manifested?
    It doesn’t seem to appear in the article.

    1. Shawn,
      MacArthur addresses this idea too. He is trying to calm down all the young buck YRR guys who are (being consistent with their theology) saying that God does NOT love everybody.

      John says, “Sure He does He give them sunshine doesnt He?”

      Small compensation, when (in Calvinism) before time He decreed that they would be non-elect and damned.

      Not to mention that some of those who get that sunshine dont even get it. They work in dark mines as children for 18 hours a day until they die at 16 from abuse….. but at least God “gave them sunshine.”

      C’mon MacArthur, better to just be consistent and say with the new wave of determinist YRRs that God does NOT love the non-elect.

      It makes no sense to say God “manifests His love differently” if you are talking about a person that He damned before time.

      Just own it Reformed guys!

  3. Fromoverhere ,aren’t husbands to love there wives as Christ loved His CHURCH and gave himself for her,Ephesians 5:25.
    Are you saying that as a husband that I should love other women the same way?
    Would that not be very inconsistent?

    1. Please dont!

      Shawn please dont love other women the way you love your wife.

      But please love them.

      If you (let’s say you had the power) condemned your neighbor’s wife to hell before time, there would be very little you could say to her during her lifetime to tell her that you loved her.

  4. Fromoverhere wrote :Please dont!

    Shawn please dont love other women the way you love your wife.

    But please love them.

    Ok now we are making a difference . Christ said to His own that He would never leave them or forsake them.

    I once heard a preacher I will never forget tell sinners that God loved them and that love would never change for them even if they rejected Him and He love them them in hell throughout eternity.
    Would you go as far as to say this?

    1. Interesting question. I will have to see if I can find Scripture on that topic.

      I think the conversation is more about about the Reformed idea that God…before time…. not for any reason other than His own good pleasure….not for any right or wrong that someone had done, chose most people to be non-elect.

      He had no intention of saving them whatsoever. The classical Reformed idea is that He did NOT love them. He chose (on His own) to hate them and use them exclusively as the vessels of His wrath.

      But most young Calvinists do not like to adhere to this position. Many Calvinists want to say that He “loves them differently” (comparing it to a wife and neighbor’s wife).

      If He unilaterally chose before time to condemn them to hell forever, in what way can He say that He loves them?

      Remember now, we cannot say “all men deserve Hell” or “all men deserved death” etc, since He made that choice on what they deserve before time began, and it does not figure into this discussion. Neither does it help the argument to say that “He loves His own….” since being “His own” was 100% His decision. Meaning: He loves the ones He saves and He doesnt (in any way) love the rest. If He loved them, they would be “His own”.

      So please drop the wife comparison. If you are a Calvinist, just own it: God does not love the “non-elect.” Or, God hates the non-elect.

      It sure doesnt look that way in Christ……

      Come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden…..and I will give you rest.

      And with is open arms He says O Jerusalem, I wanted you to come, but you would not!

      When I am lifted up, I will draw all men unto me.

      I’m fine if a person wants to be reformed and a Calvinist (I was for years and I’m still a reformed church member and sent missionary)… but they need to be consistent: Christ does not love the non-elect.

      If you are a Calvinist and own that idea then we can agree to disagree. Until then you look like you just want it both ways.

  5. Fromoverhere wrote :If He unilaterally chose before time to condemn them to hell forever, in what way can He say that He loves them?

    His love kindness to His creation is manifested to ungodly men in a temporary way in long -suffering towards them which none deserve physical life.
    Matt 5:45 …..for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

    Now we step another world when spiritual life and salvation is spoken of in scripture.
    Fromoverhere How can it be said that Christ loved those in Matt 7:22-23,that He NEVER knew?

    1. Shawn:

      This isnt gonna work. We arent communicating.

      You are using Calvinist talking points not hearing a word I am saying.

      What lovingkindness? If He condemned them before time? You are just saying what sounds good. They are only “ungodly men” because He chose them to be that before time (you know that is the Calvinist position right?). That’s just feel-good talking points you are using. ((Who in their right mind would be saying a man is ungodly by his own doing when God is the one who designed it that way? Just own it.))

      In what way is He “long-suffering” to them if He planned all along for them to be the vessels of His wrath? You cant even hear yourself. Long-suffering to what? They have no chance of being any different than the way He decreed them to be.

      Do you even read what I write? I already dealt with the “He gives them sunshine” idea as an insufficient way to say He loves them (some people live torturous lives here and dont even “see the sunshine”). It’s like talking to a Calvinist recording machine.

      A sex-trafficked girl in Myanmar was sold at 3-years-old and died at 14 of disease and abuse. “Hey she may not have been loved as one of the elect but at least she was ‘loved in a different way’ with God giving sunshine and rain!” That is how stupid the Calvinist “loves in a certain way” sounds.

      What? He never knew them? That is His figure of speech to say they are not “known” to Him in a way that they are pretending to be. So you actually DO promote the idea that Christ does not love some people. Just say it and then you will be consistent (but stop the “loves in a different way” ruse).

      I need to be done now. You are breaking too many biblical hermeneutical rules….. and you dont really wanna discuss anway, just pick a fight.

      1. Fromoverhere,where are the text that states God loves the wicked in a sonship,personal,salvantic,redemptive eternal love?

        There are many text that would say different.

        John 13:1 1 ¶ Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His OWN who were in the world, He loved them unto the end.
        Heb 12:6 FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES,
        AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES.”
        Rev 3:19 ‘Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.

      2. Shawn, does God show His love for a person when He reveals His purpose for them to repent… like is inferred in Rev 3:19 that you listed?

        Then consider Rev 2:21- καὶ ἔδωκα αὐτῇ χρόνον ἵνα μετανοήσῃ, καὶ οὐ θέλει μετανοῆσαι ἐκ τῆς πορνείας αὐτῆς.
        Literally – And I gave her time in order that she should repent, and she is not willing to repent out of her fornication.

        Jesus must then have loved Jezebel of Thyatira! He certainly demonstrated love for the chief priests who had Him crucified when He prayed from the cross- Luke 23:34 NKJV — …“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”….

      3. FOH,

        Why do you continue to attribute the “see the sunshine” idea to MacArthur when he clearly is basing that idea on Jesus’ words in Mathew 5? If you want to disagree with MacArthur, would it not be more effective to provide your understanding of what Jesus was saying rather than give the impression JMac is pulling this idea out of thin air?

        If Jesus wanted to clearly state that God loves everyone, including His enemies, in a salvific way, Matthew 5 would have been the perfect place. He could have said, “love your enemies like your Father in heaven because He sent His Son to die for them.” Please explain Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:45 rather than creating a straw man out of JMac’s words.

      4. Woah Mark. No straw man here!

        Many young Calvinists say that God does not love everybody.

        Johnny Mac says “Oh yes He does….see here.”

        To which non-Calvinists say “Indeed! Preach it John! He does say He loves everybody!”

        That’s about the size of it. No hassle here. It’s in your own Calvinist camp that you have the new YRR guys taking Calvinism to its logical end saying God does not love everybody. You wont get any argument from us! He does!!

        My point was simply that it sounds a little hollow to say point number C below.

        A. God loves everyone (non-Calvinists view). (i.e. Jesus words were meaningful in Matt 5)
        B. God does not love everyone (YRR Calvinists taking their theology to its logical end…. they “own it,” embrace it, and say it).
        C. God loves the “non-elect” in “a certain way” since ….uh…..even if they are “non-elect” and also sold into slavery and sex-trafficked, they still see the sunshine, dont they?

        If you look at the verse in context it appears that Christ is trying to say how much the Father loves. Period. (Love your enemy and be like the Father). It certainly does not look like He is saying “The “non-elect” may have been elected for torture before time, but at least they have sunshine.”

        Does it?

      5. Mark,
        I am a seminary trained former Calvinist. I always find it curious how Calvinists insist on certain things and not others….

        You said:
        “If Jesus wanted to clearly state that God loves everyone, including His enemies, in a salvific way, Matthew 5 would have been the perfect place. He could have said, “love your enemies like your Father in heaven because He sent His Son to die for them.””

        What?

        Well now, He cant say every truth every time He speaks now can He? (((I mean someone could add on to what you said and say “Yeah….and also add ‘died on the cross’ too…and while saying that, also say ‘resurrected the third day’ and sure why not add ‘seen by over 500.'”)))

        That is an argument from silence. You are saying that because He did not say exactly that phrase, exactly then…. then it must not be true??

        I mean we do have many, many verses that state the salvation is available for all men …”clearly stated” as you say…. but Calvinists just explain them away.

        “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim 2:3-4)

        “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

        Come unto me ALL who labor and are heavy laden…

        O Jerusalem ….how I longed to bring you in….but you would not.

        He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

        When I am lifted up I will draw all men to myself.

        Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,

        etc etc. All of the “whoever” “whosoever” “all” “the world” “everyone” verses are all explained away by Calvinists, so even when it is said clearly—– it is shuffled away.

        …….So Mark, it is hardly fair to say “why didnt Jesus say He died for everyone” in every sentence He said, now is it?

        Especially when the Bible DOES say it clearly in so many place —-and Calvinists spend an enormous amount of time explaining away those passages.

  6. Thanks Leighton.
    At least the high Calvinist is consistent and just admits that he believes “God doesn’t love everyone”, (which of course is completely unbiblical), which is why, I assume, the moderate Calvinist has to create another explanation. This is the topic that the “moderate” Calvinist may possibly be the most duplicitous when trying to explain away.

    John MacArthur asks the question:
    “Can God sincerely love those whom He does not intervene to save?”

    Of course the Calvinist must then come up with novel, unbiblical ideas like “God has two types of Love,” which leaves God loving most of the world with a love that is completely foreign to what scripture teaches us of God and HIs Love. As you stated “It seems safe to say that love at its very root is self-sacrificial. Anything less than that should not be called “love. One may refer to “kindness” or “care” in reflection of some common provisions for humanity, but unless it reaches the level of self-sacrifice it does not seem to meet the biblical definition of true love.”

    I would even question the “kindness” or “care” part of this argument. I’ve always found the “common grace” “provisional love” argument that the moderate Calvinist tries to define God’s love to the the reprobate sort of a laughable North American-centric idea. It’s well, yes, God “passed over” them with His grace and salvation and they will spend eternity in Hell, but hey, He showed them common grace and provision while they were here on earth”. Get outside of our bubble in the U.S. and ask someone who is half starved living in a cardboard shack in a third world country or a young girl who is caught in the sex slave industry how the “common grace” merely physical “kindness” and “provision” thing on earth is working for them.

    This idea attributes something to God that we would abhor and cry out against if we saw this behaviour in a person. Imagine I have this conversation with my pastor after my paster discovers that I have not the two children he sees with me and knows, but that I have two other children that he’s never seen before and he says “why have I never seen these other two children of yours?” I say, “because, unlike out other two children, we don’t bring them to church with us and teach them about Christ and God, they don’t want to, so we just let them stay home.” He says “but aren’t you concerned about their spiritual well being? Don’t you love them and want them to come to know the Lord?” I protest “why would you think we don’t love them? Of course we love them, we show our love for them by providing a home for them, we feed them, we educate them. We just don’t provide for their spiritual well-being like our other two.” He says, “but you don’t really love them then, certainly not with a Biblical love or Christ-like love if you don’t concern yourself with their souls and bring them to hear the good news of the gospel You may love them like an unbeliever loves his child, but certainly not like scripture tells a Christian to love his children.” I continue to argue that I really do love all four of my children because I provide for their shelter, food, and education.

    Would we not be appalled at a Christian father that would treat his children like this and try to tell us he “loves” all his children? But this is exactly what the Calvinist tries to sell us that God is like, except God has complete control and could irresistibly change their wills so they would willingly come to Him, but He doesn’t. But of course God loves them, he gives them sun and rain doesn’t he?

    1. Thanks Andyb

      This is the exact conversation I am having with young, Calvinist, Shawn on this string.

      The only difference it that you would say to your pastor…… your other two children are working in a diamond mine and see the “God-given sun” 15 mins a day.

      Only people in the comfy west (with a pool in their yard and season tickets to the Dodgers) bother saying “He may not love them with the love of the elect but at least He makes the sun shine on them.”

      Dont forgot -EVEN IF they have a nice life here on earth (which the vast majority do NOT) they are still consigned to a hellish eternity by the design of His good pleasure —before time.

      Shawn dares to say “His lovingkindness is manifested to ungoldly men,” but only because (a) he thinks people are having a good life (not a tortured one (b) he thinks they are ungodly by their own doing (Calvinism teaches they are decreed to be ungodly to be used for His wrath), and he thinks it is “lovingkindness” to shed a few rays of sunshine while at the same time making-certain —before time — their demise in Hell.

    2. Andyb2015 wrote :Would we not be appalled at a Christian father that would treat his children like this and try to tell us he “loves” all his children?

      The contrast between God’s love for someone and hate for someone else has been said Him showing unmerited favour over the other but it isn’t respect of person as its unconditional not based on the person but God himself.

      Andyb2015 You are saying that this children belong unto you as their own father, but would you treat other someone else’s children as your own children?

  7. I personally think the whole arminian evangelical message comes crumbling down when they say to individual sinners that Christ loves them and died for them now come to the alter let God save you by accepting Christ into your heart.

    Guys this was not the invitations that Christ gave,the Apostles NEVER evangilzed such a gospel if there is one verse that states different would someone point me to it?

    1. Hi Shawn, 1 John 2:2 – For the sins of the whole world

      He IS the propitiation for the sins of the whole world, not WAS. This opens the door for all to receive the benefits of His sacrifice if they will only trust Him for it! See “whole world” used by John in 5:19 to get an idea of whose sins are being talked about in 2:2.

      If you heard me say that I paid for my family to travel to Jerusalem, would you think I was lying if you heard me say later that I paid for everyone in my church to travel to Jerusalem?

      What if you found out that some of my family and church members didn’t go, even though tickets were purchased for them? Would it still be true that I paid for them all?

      Of course this is just an illustration. I wish I had that kind of money! 😉

      Universal in value, offer, and intent, but limited in application to those who freely trust God’s mercy for it.

      1. Brainwagner do you believe this verse proclaims that Christ as the lamb of God had the potential to take away the sin of the world or was He actually going to carry it away?

        29 ¶ The next day he *saw Jesus coming to him and *said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

      2. Shawn… a typical deflection response to a question about verses is to give another question about another verse as if there is an obvious answer in it to cover those unanswered questions.

        But to have a more profitable conversation between us, how about answering my questions first about 1John 2:2 and Rev 2:21 and then I’ll answer your question about John 1:29. Deal?

      3. Thanks Brian.

        That kind of example is also in the Bible:

        Anyone that went to find the bronze serpent and looked up at it would live (later used as a comparison to the cross).

        But the best one is Passover. Anyone who APPLIED the blood of the lamb on the wooden crossbeam would be saved.

        Get it? Lamb, blood, cross, saved…… and applied.

    2. Shawn,
      The call to “accept” Jesus as your Lord and Savior is indeed in the Bible, particularly if you consider what the concordance says about “receive” and “believe.”

      “Receive” in these verses is not passive. It’s not “God gives it to you with no effort or acceptance on your part.” In the concordance, “receive” (and the word it is based on) is active. It’s about deliberately reaching out and grabbing ahold of what is offered to you. That’s how you acquire it.

      Romans 1:5: “Through him and for his name’s sake, we received grace and apostleship …”

      Romans 5:11: “through whom we have received reconciliation.”

      Romans 5:17: “… how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.”

      Romans 8:15: “… but you received the Spirit of sonship.”

      In the concordance, “receive” is active, done by us, grabbing ahold of the grace, reconciliation, gift of righteousness, and opportunity to become a child of God that God has offered to us through Jesus’s death. It’s not done to us by God, as though God forces it on some but withholds it from others. Those who reach out and accept God’s gifts – who “receive” them – will get them. The opposite would be refusing the gifts that are offered.

      And “believe” is not something that God causes us to do as we passively sit there and do nothing. In the concordance, “believe” is also active, something we do. It involves the idea of allowing ourselves to be persuaded by something and, consequently, putting our faith in it and choosing to commit to it.

      Ephesians 1:13: “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit.”

      Acts 14:39: “Through him everyone who believes is justified…”

      It is up to us whether we will accept Jesus and the offer of salvation or if we will reject Him. Whether we will believe or resist.

      Acts 16:31: “They replied, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved …”

      Calling someone to believe in Jesus is calling them to accept Him as Lord and Savior, to accept the truth of Jesus, that He died for their sins so that they could live. If someone can’t see this, it’s because they don’t want to.

      “… They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.” (2 Thess. 2:10)

      “But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself …” (Romans 2:5)

      I’m going to guess that back in Bible times, they didn’t have to clarify “Can you accept Jesus or does God have to force Him on prechosen people” because they knew that calling people to believe in Jesus and receive Jesus (and His gifts) meant that people could choose to believe in and receive Jesus. And this explains why God, in His Word, constantly calls us to receive and believe and obey, etc. Because God knows we have a choice about the matter. Because He gave it to us.

      1. Nicely said Heather,

        Many more verses like that too —-not to mention the overall “feel” and tenor of the Bible (God calling out to people: some accepting, some refusing).

        You said…. “I’m going to guess that back in Bible times…”

        Well, I’m going to guess that when Shawn (and most) believers come to Christ, they come with the understanding that they have made a choice. Perhaps they were “reasoned with” (as Paul says). Or perhaps someone was “all things to all men to win them” (as Paul says).

        But deep down —until a person is taught Calvinism—- we all feel that the person who told us of Christ and our our choice had something to do with it.

        “….Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

        A person chooses who he will serve.

  8. The “Two Loves”
    Stemming from the Calvinists “two wills” and “Two Truths” comes the “two loves”.
    Moderate Calvinists will say that God loves everybody. This is a point where they say they differ from the hyper Calvinist. But under the microscope we will see that it is exactly the same as the hyper, but cleverly disguised.
    John MacArthur on oneplace.com says “The fact that some sinners are not elected to salvation is no proof that God’s attitude toward them is utterly devoid of sincere love” At a first glance you would think he was being sincere with his statement. But let’s see what he means by “sincere love” to the non-elect.
    He goes on to say, “God loves believers with a particular love” which sounds good, but then “God’s love for the elect is an infinite, eternal, saving love. We know from Scripture that this great love was the very cause of our election (Ephesians 2:4). Such love clearly is not directed toward all of mankind indiscriminately, but is bestowed uniquely and individually on those whom God chose in eternity past” John MacArthur
    Here we see that MacArthur says God’s saving love is not directed to all sinners indiscriminately. That’s because he believes in a selection process whereby God decided to save a select few for unrevealed reasons by a “secret decree’ before the foundation of the world “in eternity past” leaving everybody else born into the world to receive the other “love” of God that wasn’t given to save.
    If we understand the love of God that saves, it is the love of Christ on the cross for all sinners, but MacArthur says, “Such love clearly is not directed toward all of mankind indiscriminately”
    What does the bible say? “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man”.
    I don’t see God being indiscriminate with his saving love in the bible “Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” Colossians 1:28.
    Notice MacArthur reads the “secret decree” election process to only save some into scripture. He referred to Ephesians 2:4 “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us”. Most would understand this as the love of Christ on the cross that tasted death for every man. But in MacArthur’s theology this is the discriminate love only for the elect few that were chosen for salvation by the “secret decree’ before the foundation of the world, being the discriminate love that ensured anyone else born into world the impossibility to receive.
    John MacArthur has changed the indiscriminate love of Christ for all sinners for an unexplained “secret decree” discriminate love only for the elect.
    In fact, if the love that doesn’t save, reserved only for the non-elect can be called love at all, then it would go like this – God loved you enough to give you enough life, to one day realize you were not one of the elect. He loved you enough to give you 70 -80 years of life so you can spend an eternity in death and agony. As the late Dave Hunt says in his book “What love is this?”

    1. Hi Damon — You are so correct I have noticed this exact strategy they simply redefine key words and now they don’t mean what they used to mean from scripture…instead they have a specific Calvinist meaning and that is the only way their system can hold together in the face of scripture. They have– Two Worlds, Two wills, Two Loves, Two ALLs, Two Calls, Two Graces, Two types of Works, Two Faiths, with that kind of gymnastics it’s no wonder they can take the God of Love and Turn Him into a God who principally hates and once in awhile he can love but He is not LOVE at His essential Nature. Keep thinking freely… By the way did you know John Calvin was trained as a Lawyer and he used his Lawyer ability with making his arguments…Not meaning to bash Lawyers but we do know that a good Lawyer can make that which is evil seem good and that which is good seem evil… Keep pressing on brother…

      1. Hi GRACEADICT,

        I think it would stem back to their Gnostic dualism roots. Here is an interesting quote from respected historian James E Keifer after studying Irenaeus’ “Refutation of Heresies” (a defense of orthodox Christianity against its Gnostic rivals) –

        “Gnostics claimed to be Christians, but Christians with a difference. They said that Jesus had had two doctrines: one a doctrine fit for the common man, and preached to everyone, and the other an advanced teaching, kept secret from the multitudes, fit only for the chosen few, the spiritually elite. They, the Gnostics, were the spiritually elite, and although the doctrines taught in the churches were not exactly wrong, and were in fact as close to the truth as the common man could hope to come, it was to the Gnostics that one must turn for the real truth. They remind me very much of the Rosicrucians. When I mention this, I often get blank stares, but not many years ago many popular science magazines carried their advertisements, with assertions that Shakespeare, Benjamin Franklin, Leonardo da Vinci, Plato, Archimedes, and so on had all been members of a secret society called the Rosicrucians, and owed their achievements largely to this fact. Was there any evidence of this aside from the traditions of the group itself? Of course not! They were a secret society. Why were they secret? “Because our wisdom would be misunderstood by the common man, and so must be reserved for the tiny handful of mankind in every generation who are spiritually advanced enough to appreciate it.” James E Keifer

        Although Keifer is explaining Gnosticism the similarity to Calvinism is striking in my opinion.

  9. Brianwagner, the reason I brought 1 John 1:29 is to if you would apply the same definition to world as you do 1 John 2:2 as meaning every person head for head,when you apply that definition to all these atonement verses you will not be able to escape Universalism that is if you believe what the text acutally is saying about atonement.

    Good Bible interpretation must view historically the mind set of the Jew,even Jesus said that salvation was of the Jew, but they thought they was the only ones that God favored and the whole world (Gentile nations were dogs without hope of ever being saved,even the sign gifts was a testimony to them that God was pouring His Spirit on Gentiles as well.
    1 John 2:2 John being uses the expression whole meaning Gentile nation’s.
    Note how Paul even uses WORLD and Gentile exchangeable as they are the very same word
    Rom11:12 Now if their transgression is riches for the WORLD and their failure is riches for the GENTILES , how much more will their fulfillment be!But I am speaking to you who are GENTILES . Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry,
    14 if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and save some of them.
    15 For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the WORLD , what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?
    1 John 2:2 2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.World here meaning all Gentile nation’s without distinction of race, gender,class.
    This text literal interpretation doesn’t say He is the potential propitiation but He is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world,propitiation is the wrath of God that has actually ceased to be.

    Brianwagner would like to go over all the text on here with me where world is used and apply the interpretation that it means every single person head for head?

    1. Thanks to all for the good conversation,we always seem to bring out the interesting points of conflicts between these two world views.

  10. Appreciate what you are doing on this site. I just found it, but I will be back to read more. I have recently begun writing against Calvinism after we got a new pastor who is very dogmatic about it. No other opinions on it seem to be allowed at my church. (I write at https://mycrazyfaith.blogspot.com and https://anticalvinistrant.blogspot.com). Anyway, I don’t know if you have done a post on this or not, but I wanted to suggest an idea for one: I would love to see a post on what Calvinists say vs. what they really mean. Such as “God loves everyone” really means “God loves everyone, but He shows His love in different ways to the elect and the unelect. He shows His love to the elect by saving them, and to the unelect by caring for them while they are on earth.” And “Jesus died for us” means “those of us who are elect.” And “God is sovereign” means “He controls and causes all things.” I am talking about a simple reference chart, like a Calvinist-to-English translation guide. I am starting to put one together myself, but I would love to see what you guys can come up with. Calvinism is just so full of hidden meanings to common, biblical words and ideas, saying things we all agree on but having totally different meanings. Which is why they can slip in so unnoticed for so long. Anyway, you don’t have to do this (or maybe you already have), but it would be helpful for those of us trying to decipher what Calvinists really mean when they say the things they do. Thank you for your efforts here. God bless!

    1. Hi Heather,

      Very good observation. I love the term – “Calvinists’ have the same vocabulary but a different dictionary”

      One example is the “Doctrines of Grace”. Calvinists’ like to refer to their theology as the doctrines of grace. This sounds good but what do they really mean? They mean the “grace” that picked out only some particular individuals and not the rest to be believers for unrevealed reasons by the “secret decree” before anyone was even born. That is what they mean by the “Doctrines of Grace”.

      Whereas the ‘doctrines of grace’ to me and anyone else in my circle means the grace of God in Jesus Christ on the cross to every undeserved sinner. The death, burial, and resurrection of our wonderful Savior.

    2. Heather you are right about your observations…and as Damon has also pointed out on this blog…there is a close link to Gnosticism Damon cited the historian James E Keifer who was studying Gnosticism
      “Gnostics claimed to be Christians, but Christians with a difference. They said that Jesus had had two doctrines: one a doctrine fit for the common man, and preached to everyone, and the other an advanced teaching, kept secret from the multitudes, fit only for the chosen few, the spiritually elite. They, the Gnostics, were the spiritually elite, and although the doctrines taught in the churches were not exactly wrong, and were in fact as close to the truth as the common man could hope to come, it was to the Gnostics that one must turn for the real truth.”
      I have been told by Calvinists that no I can’t understand it UNLESS it has been given to me by God to understand it…The idea was very much like the Gnostics…who had a spiritual pride about them…always looking down on the “common man”.
      Here is a partial dictionary:
      ALL – means only the elect (if it is talking about God’s Love and Genuine offer of Salvation
      World – means just the elect if it is talking about God’s Genuine Love and offer of Salvation.
      Call to the non-elect.= is just there to say God called them — but Jesus didn’t really die for them so it is a fake call didn’t REALLY call
      Call to the elect = Effectual Call = God genuinely loves them and provided for these few so He REALLY Calls them – not the fake call.
      God’s Will – Revealed will “He is not willing that any should perish” yes that is true on one level but NOT REALLY no LOVE for MOST.
      God’s Secret will – One that it seems only the Calvinist know what it is (Secret will is that God REALLY DOES NOT LOVE ALL.
      God’s Common Grace -if talking about ALL people — He gives sunshine and rain but HE really created them for HELL Never for LOVE
      Gods Distinguishing GRACE – He only REALLY LOVES a few, Jesus did not die for MOST only for a FEW =Distinguishing Grace
      Sovereign = Determinism – God is the Author of ALL that happens even evil… God created it all. Who are you to argue with God it is His secret will and it brings Him more Glory. (Even though it profanes the Holy name of God)
      Works – two types, Non-meritorious works and Meritorious works… Faith + Non-meritorious works = Salvation That is why many Calvinist when they are preaching it sounds like we are saved by Faith + Works…they argue these works must accompany Faith but they are Non-meritorious…

      You will notice within the Calvinist TULIP Worldview they have tons of Extra Biblical Terms and their own definitions that come BEFORE the Word of God.. They use lots of compound terms (extra-biblical- with extra-biblical definitions) They set the parameters into which all of Scripture must be made to fit, that is why they need this huge tool box to twist scripture so that it conforms to TULIP
      Total-Depravity
      Unconditional-Election
      Limited-Atonement
      Irresistible Grace
      Perseverance of the Saints (Instead of the Savior)
      Sovereign Grace
      Common Grace
      Secret Will etc….
      When they are called out on this, out comes — we are superior in our understanding – then to cover up ALL that does not align with Scripture they use MYSTERY — Paradox – Tension (ANY TIME you hear these things let your ears perk up — you were probably fed something that is not accurate… MYSTERY is used to cover up ERROR. There are few times it makes sense to use MYSTERY but mostly it is being used to HIDE a false statement or false conclusion.
      Then to help their case they will simply Affirm “Well this Glorifies God More” Just to appeal to mystery and then simply affirm that what you just said Glorifies God More simply does not cut it Biblically.
      So Heather Good for you that you are aware of the distortions coming your way…God is Good ALL the Time.
      Keep looking to Him Blessings

      1. Graceadict, wow, lot’s of good things here. Thank you for replying. I will write these down for when I make the list. Thank you 🙂

        And I would have been confused about the “tension” one, if my pastor hadn’t used that exact word in one of his pro-Calvinism sermons. He said “The Bible presents the truth of God’s sovereignty (he means “micromanaging”) and man’s responsibility. It doesn’t hold these two things in tension, even if it seems contradictory to us. It’s only we who have problems with it. But God presents them both, with no tension, so we have to accept them both as true, even if we don’t understand.”

        Yeah, but it’s not the Bible I have trouble with or refuse to accept. It’s the pastor’s misunderstanding of “sovereignty” that I’m fighting against. And if someone misunderstands a biblical concept then there will be tension. Not with the Bible, but with their teaching of the Bible. Thank you again for this list.

  11. “God is love” nothing less, He loves the world, he loves his enemies, loves sinners, loves babies born and unborn, loves children, He loves simply because He is love!! He loves us all through the “Gospel call” and those who willingly respond , He will enter into a relational love with that person. The scripture speaks of both. Why make it hard? He loves us all the same, not willing that any perish but that all come to repentance and faith in Christ and thereby enter into that special relational love with God as a child of the most high crying Abba Father! And all can have it , if they only will!! NO FAULT of GOD’S.

    God bless you Bro Flowers

  12. Thank you another great article Leighton and the example that God’s Word doesn’t contradict itself His love is self sacrificing!!! I agree Brent why complicate, but as you see apologetics is a tool that can be very useful…

    This statement in the article is great;
    Thus, to deny Jesus’ self-sacrificial love for everyone is to deny that He fulfilled the demands of the law. This would disqualify Him as the perfect atoning sacrifice.

    So Wow I wouldn’t want to try to rationalize that with human wisdom! I’m sure we all realize to deny Jesus isn’t something that is welcome by the Father… I’m sure many of you have heard the phrase Jesus + anything= (I’ll simply say) Not good & Jesus – anything= the Same

    Matthew 10:33 NASB — “But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.
    Yes I know Peter did before Jesus was crucified, but he wept bitterly seems that’s godly sorrow not worldly sorrow 2 Corinthians 7:10

    Jude 1:4 NASB — For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

    Revelation 2:14 NASB — ‘But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality.
    Matthew 21:42 NIV — Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “ ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?
    1 Peter 2:7 NASB — This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, “THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE VERY CORNER stone,”

    Jesus is the image of the invisible God His self sacrificial love is clear and No systematic should try to deny it was limited and if you start off with even T ultimately the conclusion is also L along with I …. the doctrines of grace are what is limited not God’s love for every man, woman, boy and girl. His provision isn’t irresistible nor limited, but to hold fast to that is a stumbling block rather than liberating….

    Colossians 1:15 NASB — He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.

  13. I should add I absolutley believe we were born with a sin nature, but our ability thi respond to His clear revelation isn’t forcefully repressed by God rather we have a choice to deny or except not because we merit Anything

  14. I believe one could interpret wrath of God as God being goodness itself would not like evil and will have indignation towards acts of evil just like good people don’t like to see evil actions and experience righteous indignation towards it. That doesn’t mean God hate them as God loves all of creation, but may have more love towards those who obey His commandments. That is how I see it.

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