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"That Love Which Is Of God"

Chapter XVII


Love is something which, as it is a divine nature, can never die. "Charity (agape) never faileth" (I Corinthians 13:8). Since God is the everlasting God and since God is love, agape is everlasting also. This does not mean that humanity can not lose love or "fall out" of love. The truth is that no unregenerated soul has experience real agape-love anyway and until they experience real agape-love anyway and until they experience spiritual regeneration through faith in Jesus Christ, they cannot know the experience of love in this form. I John 4:7-8 tells us: "Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love."

Perhaps none is as completely ignored as the person in love whose love is spurned. Yet, it is hard to quit loving. With God, it is impossible because it is His very nature. For God to cease loving would be as easy as for God to cease being omnipotent; both are very divine nature.

Many reject or ignore God's overtures, but God can't be ignored or refused a hearing. Romans 2:14-16 says: "For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing one another, in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel." "The hope of the gospel...which was preached to every creature which is under heaven..." (Colossians 1:23). John 1:9 says, "That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." God has and does reveal His glory to every creature and has even declared that, "there is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard." God also declares that "...that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened" (Romans 1:19-21). God keeps on drawing on the heart and soul of men even though He might be refuse, because He knows of judgment. Could a man cease shouting when he knows a building filled with people is on fire? Can God cease His calling? He does know Hell is real!! God's protestations will be ignored by multitudes, but nevertheless, God will draw by love (agape) again and again and again.

His heart is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (II Peter 3:9). The Holy Spirit will continue to cry "come" in love until the door is closed in finale and the opportunity to come is gone forever. Revelation 22:17 says, "And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." You see, my friend, love (agape) can be rejected evn though it has been proved (Romans 5:8) and perhaps even perceived (I John 3:16). It is not obeyed by all.

II Thessalonians 1:8 reminds us: "In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.." II Thessalonians 2:12 says: "That they all might be damned who believed not the truth;, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." God's love (agape) can be rejected! What a woeful sound! What an end! God's wrath will be poured out upon those who, having had opportunity, who, having had light, yet rejected that love (agape) which is of God.

On occasion it may be true also that a spouse may love the other with real agape-love and that love be rejected. What a sad sad thing. I am reminded of Hosea's story of marrying a woman who spurns Hosea's love and turns to prostitution, even bearing children by her lovers and seemingly Hosea gets the children. Then after a long story, one day in the slave market, Hosea sees his wife being sold as a used-up old woman and he buys her because of his love for her. Such a sad story of love spurned.

"For God so loved..." That "so" is the heart of God in two English letters. "So" here is descriptive of the intensity of God's love. Real love cannot be but eternal. This is why the invitation is so longsuffering. Real love bears or roofs over any sin one might commit, except the unpardonable sin. Real love NEVER faileth. Is this the love held in your home for your spouse, your parents, your preacher, your people?

Does someone display this love toward you? Do you respond to it or are you rejecting it? Perhaps there's a spouse who truly loves you, but your eye is on their mistakes or their failings, or on another man or woman. Won't you repent and be reconciled; your heart is not right before God. Perhaps ther's a parent who truly loves you? Maybe here your eye is on their mistakes or failings; maybe you've since substituted another "parent" in their place. Can't you still "forgive one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you?" (Ephesians 4:2). Is it not true that as saints, God "hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation." (II Corinthians 5:18). Beloved, it is impossible to reconcile another when we are not reconciled ourselves. Matthew 6:14-15 says: "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."

Love rejected? Yes, love can be rejected, but this would never be so of any child of God.

Check your heart, beloved. Search "and see if there be any wicked way in..." you (Psalm 139:24). "For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world" (I Corinthians 11:31-32).

How shall we win another to that love (agape) which is of God if we ourselves are spurning that love without ourselves in some matter? We shall not; that is the answer.

Beloved, do you know Christ in the "free pardon" of sin? Have you ever acknowledged your sinfulness before God, confessing to God that you are a sinner and in deep shame from your heart, turned from your wickedness to ask Jesus Christ (who is indeed God) to forgive your sins through His shed blood sacrifice at Calvary? Have you ever, then, received the Lord Jesus Christ into your heart as Saviour and Master to serve and obey permanently? Are you 100% sure that you are, right at this moment, spiritually prepared to go to Heaven? You can be if you will just follow the pattern in the previous few sentences.