Monday, February 24, 2014

For God so Loved the World, but He hates the Wicked???

I love having people over at the house and getting into theological discussions!  It gets me torqued up, and I have to have a release, haha, so here goes.

Really we touched on so many topics... but something that's been in the back of my mind for quiet a while spurs from conversations with my (earthly) father, who like most Christians in America, hold to Arminian theology.

One verse that is frequently cited by the Arminian is John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life."  At first look, it seems quite the clencher!  I think the problem largely results from the paucity of the English language as compared to the richness of Hebrew or Greek, and an equivocation of our term "love."  

When we say "For God so loved..." we instantly think warm mushy feelings, the kind we feel when we fall in love with someone.  This is actually not the type of love the apostle John is describing.  The Greek term for that form of love is eros, from which we get our term erotic, used of a romantic love between two people.

The type of love that John is referring to is Agape.  This is the unconditional, unfailing faithful love that only God Himself can hold in perfection.  This type of love is described in 1 Corinthians 13, which is known as the "Love Chapter."  

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; [b]bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never fails.  (

Being in college during the early 90s, I listened alot to DC Talk. One of their songs was "Love is a Verb," which totally sums up the chapter. Nowhere in 1 Cor. 13 does it say that love is a warm, mush feeling. It is described as a verb!

Now reading John 3:16 with a Biblical definition of "love," we can now reconcile this verse with the harder, more difficult verses like Proverbs 16:4, which says, "The LORD has made everything for its own purpose, Even the wicked for the day of evil" (NASB). Or when the Apostle Paul quotes from the Septuagint, "Just as it is written, 'JACOB I LOVED, BUT ESAU I HATED.'"

And I love how Paul anticipates the objectors: "What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! For He says to Moses "I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION." So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP, TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH. So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires" (Rom. 9:13-18).

In the Bible, the Sovereignty of God is never in question. Numerous other scriptures could be cited, but a timely topic is Yhwh's judgment on Babylon, the great city that reigns over the kings of the earth (Rev. 17:18), i.e. New York, ergo the U.S.!

16 And the ten horns which you saw, and the beast, these will hate the harlot and will make her desolate and naked, and will eat her flesh and will burn her up with fire. 17 For God has put it in their hearts to execute His [a]purpose [b]by having a common purpose, and by giving their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God will be fulfilled.  (, emphasis mine)

Why did the ten regions of the One-World government give their power to the Antichrist (Madhi/Messiah/Maitreya, etc.)? Because it was God's will for them to do so. And he will reign on earth for 7 years, or 3 1/2, depending on how you see it (Dan. 9:27; 2 Thess. 2:4).

So what is the end of the matter, when it comes to understanding God's sovereignty over creation? Romans 9-11 is a great place to start for study of such a weighty issue, but I think it is summed up in

Psalm 115:3 But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.

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