Where does this idea of "unconditional love" come from? Is it rooted in Scripture? No, it is not. Where in the Bible do you read anything regarding God's "unconditional love" toward us? This phrase has become so entrenched in religious vocabulary that Christian and non-Christian alike assume that it is biblical. Even more so, both Christian and non-Christian alike presume on God's love and assume He loves everybody. This has arisen from a false preaching and teaching regarding "love." The majority of people today have no true concept of what love is or what love means. They make asinine statements such as, "God is love, therefore He wouldn't send anyone to hell." God is love, yes, but love is not God. And God's love does not trump His other attributes. His love does not make Him unjust. He will met out justice as it is deserved.
Jesus taught that God's love is conditional. He Himself exemplified conditional love in his dealings with men:
- "For the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from the Father" (John 16:27). If the Father's love were unconditional, this verse would have to read, "For the Father Himself loves you, whether or not you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from the Father."
- "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love" (John 15:10). The word "if" introduces a condition. If Jesus' love were unconditional, this verse would have to read, "Whether or not you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love." Sadly, this is how some professing "Christians" treat the Christian faith.
- "He who loves Me shall be loved by My Father" (John 14:21). If this were unconditional, the verse would read, "He who loves/hates/is indifferent to Me shall be loved by My Father."
- "Whoever shall deny Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 10:33). How is being disowned by Jesus consistent with unconditional love?
- When Jesus calls Herod a fox (Luke 13:32), when He calls hypocrites children of the devil (John 8:44), when He denounces the Pharisees with scathing woes (Matthew 23:13-33), when He blows off His own family (Luke 8:19-21), He is not loving them. Not in the way that the majority of people ignorantly understand "love" today. Love is when He washes His disciples' undeserving feet (John 13:5). Love is when he goes to the cross on our behalf to take our punishment upon Himself. When is the last time you put yourself in harms way for the unsaved in order to demonstrate the "love" you profess to have for them? When was the last time you "took a bullet" (so to speak) for the unsaved to demonstrate to them the love of Christ?
Most people have no concept of what the word "unconditional" actually means. Dispensationalists teach an "unconditional" love of God, and probably because they do not teach repentance, obedience, and holiness. This is evidenced from their false teaching of the "carnal (worldly) Christian." What does the Bible teach us about being worldly? "Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him" (1 John 2:15). "If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you" (John 15:19). "Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?" (James 2:5). "So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh—for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God" (Romans 8:12-14).
Words condition thoughts. Careless words distort truth. Words that are used imprecisely by one generation are taken literally and at face value by the next—with devastating consequences. The false teaching of God's "unconditional love" results in licentiousness, where people believe that because they are under grace and because God loves them "unconditionally," they can sin as much as they want to and God will be perfectly fine with it. It is tiring enough as it is that sinners who defy God's commands still believe He loves them anyway. Why should they adjust their behaviour if God loves them unconditionally exactly the way they currently are?
It is better to preach the biblical admonition, "DO NOT SIN ANYMORE, so that nothing worse may befall you" (John 5:14). The something worse? Being cast into hell and separated from Jesus for all eternity.