Are God’s Love and God’s Approval the Same Thing?

In my previous post, I talked about how God loves us and that His acceptance of us is not based on our performance. I feel the need to discuss these two words: love and acceptance, because I believe there is much confusion in our society today about this. We hear such things as, if you love me, you will accept my lifestyle, my choices.

So let’s talk about this.

God LOVES everyone. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world (that includes everyone) that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

John 3:17 “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

So because God LOVED everyone in the world, He sent His Son Jesus to live a holy sinless life, and then give HIs life on the cross as the sacrifice for all the sins ever committed and all the sins that will be committed by everyone, forever. According to John 3:17, God did not send HIs Son into the world to condemn us. God’s love encompasses all and is FOR all. He has left NO ONE out of this invitation. All are invited to come to Him and accept this sacrifice which He gave for all peoples.

As parents, do we not love ALL of our children, just based on the fact they are our children? Of course we do!

So, for those who choose to accept that sacrifice for the payment of their sins, the way is now open for those to come boldly before the “throne of grace.” Hebrews 4:16. They now have God’s favor and pleasure, before they ever did a thing for Him. The sin barrier has been removed. God is pleased with their actions.

For example, you have children. One of them does good things, lives a good life, raises his children, and works hard for his family. The family prospers, things are good. What more could a parent ask for but that their children have good, healthy, prosperous lives? Does the parent love this child who does good? Of course he does.

Another child lives a life of indolence, may do drugs, abandons his children and family, and breaks the law. This one may even go to prison for crimes, but this child is not living a life that will prosper. Does the parent love this child? Of course he does!

But the parent disagrees with, or hates, the choices this child has made. He grieves for this child, but his love is definitely still there. He hates the fact that this child is not prospering in his life, but he still loves him. His disapproval is only based on lifestyle choices, not on the child himself. A parent can see the outcome of this child’s choice will not be good and, if he is a normal parent, he wishes to save that child the pain that is surely coming.

LOVING A PERSON DOES NOT EQUAL ACCEPTANCE OF THEIR LIFE CHOICES. This is what society is so messed up about right now. People are equating non-acceptance of their lifestyle choices with hating. This is simply not true. It is a lie of satan and those people are deceived. The Christian is commanded in scripture to love, but we are not commanded to accept every screwball idea that comes down the track! We would be dishonest if we did that and doing no one any favors.

And so to continue, God loves everyone, but just like a parent, He does not accept or agree with all of people’s lifestyle choices. Want to know why?

Because there are extremely painful consequences to those choices that fall under the domain of evil. You may not believe in evil, or the devil, but your unbelief in it doesn’t make it not true. I suggest you read the book of truth, the bible, and you will find out. Of course, if you are reading this post, you most likely already read the bible.

God loves us enough that He wants us to avoid the extremely painful consequences of bad choices, just like any good parent does. The book of truth, the bible, is full of stories of the lives of those who chose good, and those chose evil. The outcomes of their lives is written there for all to learn from. And if you are really paying attention, look to the lives of those around you. Who is having good come in their life? Who is not? Which outcome do you want for your life?

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