God Loves Sinners
by David J. Stewart
"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." —Romans 5:8
I am saddened by the hatred that some professed “Christians” have for the unsaved. It is tragic. Yes, God hates sin and the wrath of God abides upon Christ-rejecters (John 3:36); but let us never stray from the great Biblical doctrine of God's wondrous love for mankind, which allowed Christ to be nailed to the cross for our sins. John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Notice the words, "God so loved THE WORLD."
Romans 5:8, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." God in His foreknowledge knew how sinful and rotten mankind would be, but He looked beyond our faults and saw our need for redemption. Jesus Christ died, was buried and rose again from the grave to TAKE AWAY our sins. Jesus did this by the shedding of His own physical blood. 1st Peter 1:18,19, "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold... But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." Christ died for all men, because God loves all mankind, even the vilest of sinful men.
I have received dozens of letters from professed “Christians” who are upset with me for my article God Loves People. One woman sent several internet links to me, linking to articles which teach that God doesn't love sinners. Oh, listen my friend, God loves mankind more than we could love Him in return. Luke 19:10 reads, "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." 1st John 3:16a, "Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down his life for us." Notice the words, “the love of God.” God loves humanity, which is why He sent His Son to pay the debt for our sins. How could anyone say that God hates sinners? God DOES hate sin, and God IS angry with the wicked every day; but God equally loves each and every person and desires for them to repent and get saved. 2nd peter 3:9, "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." God is “not willing that any should perish.”
When Moses went up to the top of Mount Sinai to beg God to forgive the sins of the Jews, God did. Exodus 32:14, "And the LORD repented of the evil which He thought to do unto His people." Unfortunately, the people were dancing naked around a calf committing idolatry before Moses even got back down to the camp. Then Moses got mad. Please notice that NO ONE died that day accept those who chose to. Exodus 32:26 reads, "Who is on the LORD's side? let him come unto me." The Jews who refused to come over to the Lord's side were killed that day (thousands of them). God didn't just kill them! It was their own sinful pride that got them killed. Pride is destructive! America's day of reckoning is coming, when her proud neck will be broken.
Yes, God does get angry about sin, very angry! In fact, Psalm 7:11 declares that "God is angry with the wicked every day." John 3:36 warns that the "wrath of God abideth" upon Christ-rejecters.
However, the entire Bible is based upon the FACT that God loves mankind, so much so that God the Father sent His only begotten Son into the world to suffer and die for our sins. Romans 5:8,9 reads, "But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him." God proved His love toward mankind by sending His Son into this hostile, sin-cursed world and giving His life for our sins.
“God loves you. It doesn't make any difference who you are. You can't keep Him from loving you. Now you can get into a place where you won't experience the love of God. When you put up an umbrella of sin, the sunshine of God's love sure won't fall on you. But it's still there for you.”
SOURCE: Pastor J. Vernon McGee (1904-1988), from the Book of Nahum; TTB.ORG
God First Loved Us
1st John 4:19 declares, "We love him, because He first loved us." The Bible teaches that God loved us before we loved Him. When we didn't love God, the Bible says that He still loved us. The truth is that God loved mankind before He ever spoke the universe into existence. Revelation 13:8 reads, "And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship Him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." Jesus is the “Lamb of God,” Who in God's time (eternity) was slain before the foundation of the world (our time). Remember, we live in time but God lives in eternity where there is NO TIME (Revelation 10:6). In God's mind, Jesus had already died upon the cross before man ever became a living soul.
Romans 5:8 tells us, "But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Jesus Christ laid down His life for us, knowing every sin which we would ever commit. The Bible declares that this is PROOF of God's love toward mankind. God commended (or revealed) His genuine love toward us by making a way of escape from the curse of the Law—a plan of redemption—a Savior to TAKE AWAY our sins. Jesus paid a debt that He did not owe, because we owed a debt that we could not pay.
Again, 1st John 4:19, "We love him, because He first loved us." Notice the words, "...because He first loved us." When people don't love God, they live in sin. Before we loved Him, we were still wicked sinners; yet the Bible says that God loved us and paid for our sins. The problem with the world isn't that God has stopped loving man; but that man has never started loving God. God loves sinners in spite of their lack of love for Him. God's love is unconditional.
If Jesus Loves Everyone, Then What's The Value Of Love?
Do you know who asked that question? Heavy rocker Marilyn Manson (real name: Brian Warner). Mr. Warner doesn't love God and has rejected God's love for Him in Christ; hence, Marilyn Manson only understands one type of love and that is the world's affectionate type of love.
We learn from the Bible that there are two different types of love mentioned in the New Testament. There is God's love (Greek: agape, meaning, “to love in a social or moral sense”), which is unconditional love; and then there is, (Greek: phileo, meaning, “to be a friend to, have affection”) which is a fondness type of love. We see both types of love at work in John 21:16 in a conversation between the Apostle Peter and the Lord Jesus Christ...
John 21:16, “He [Jesus] saith to him [Peter] again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest [agapao] thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love [phileo] thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.”
God loves [agapao] all mankind, which is why He sent His only begotten Son to pay everyone's sin debt. However, God has a special love [phileo] for His own, affectionate toward those who love and obey Him. It's the same way that we love as Christians. I love [agapao] all people, whoever you may be; but I have an affectionate love [phileo] for those dear to me, such as my web visitors.
So we now understand the answer to Marilyn Manson's question. Mr. Warner only comprehends one type of love in the world, an affectionate type of love; but he is oblivious to God's unconditional love which can love a complete stranger, even someone who is being unkind to us, mistreating us, or who has hurt us. The unsaved world mocks, scoffs and despises true love, because they have rejected the gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus the Lord. Thus, they cannot express love for a stranger when they are strangers themselves to the kingdom of God. Please read, God's Unconditional Love and God's Love In You.
You don't go to Heaven because God loves you, nor because you love Him. You don't go to Heaven because you amend your sinful ways or clean up your act. Turning over a new leaf is rehabilitation, which is not salvation. Education is not the answer. Reformation is not the answer. Legislation is not the answer. My friend, the answer is REGENERATION. Ye must be born again! We are saved by receiving Christ's payment for our sins. Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose again 3-days later for our justification. Jesus applied His literal blood to the mercy seat in Heaven in the presence of the Father (Hebrews 9:12,24). Thank you Lord!
God's love [agapao] sent Christ to the cross to pay the sin debt of ALL MANKIND; but God is only a friend [phileo] to those who are His friends in Christ...
James 4:4, “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”
God Has No Pleasure in the Death of the Wicked
The Bible teaches that God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked. Ezekiel 33:11, "Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel." If we are to be Christlike, then we must not rejoice in the death of the unsaved. It is a sad thing when someone dies and goes into Hell.
No Christian who has God's love in their heart should be glad to see anyone go to Hell. Many people rejoice that sinners are burning in Hell, but God is not pleased about it. God does NOT want any soul to perish into Hell. 2nd Peter 3:9, "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."
Corrupt Bibles Remove the "Love of God"
Few believers have the great heart of God nowadays. They have God's Holy Spirit living in their soul, but they've never yielded their mind and will to God. Most believers today are immature. They fail to abide in Christ and to allow God's Word to abide in them. One of the big problems is that many believers are using a corrupted version of the Bible. I am so tired of hearing people say bad things about the King James Bible. Every modern Bible version is corrupt except the King James!
I guarantee you that most of the professed Christians who deny the pretribulation Rapture are using a New International Version [NIV] of the Bible. The NIV removes or changes 65,000 words as compared to the King James Bible. The only reliable English Bible today is the King James Bible. As churchgoers are being led astray from the true Word of God, they are descending into heresy, compromise and even apostasy. The King James Bible is powerful. Listen to the words of Hebrews 4:12 in the King James Bible, "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." All of the modern Bible versions have been watered down, diluted, reading like a newspaper. Today's Bible versions are powerless, wimpy, and impotent. The NIV horrifyingly reduces "God was manifest in the flesh" in 1st Timothy 3:16 to "he was revealed in a body." Is this easier to understand? Better comprehension? More modernized English?
It is NOT surprising that professed Christians who use such flawed Bible versions as the NIV would also believe that God hates sinners. Here's a classic example: 1st John 3:16 in the King James Bible reads,
“Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”
Now here's the perverted NIV...
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.”
Notice that the NIV completely removes "the love of God" from 1st John 3:16. The New King James Bible also butchers the same Scripture. It is wicked!!! Do you see why so many people are being deceived by Satan nowadays? It is obvious to faithful Christians who are awake to righteousness.
If I had my way, I would burn every New International Version of the Bible in existence! I would burn every copy of Today's International Version as well. I would burn every copy of the corrupted New King James Version. I would burn every perverted Bible out there, including the Living Bible and Good News for Modern Man. I would burn the Revised Standard Version.
God only wrote one Book! Matthew 4:4 commands us to live by "every word" of the Bible. To do that we must have an "every word" Bible. We have it in the preserved 1611 King James Bible, which has been tested and proven to be trustworthy over the centuries. If the King James Bible was good enough for Dwight L. Moody, Billy Sunday and Harry Ironside, bless God, it's good enough for you and me!
I realize that a believer is under grace and no longer under the curse of the Law, but to say that God hates the wicked is foolish and unbiblical. The great heart of God is much bigger than that. God loves mankind with an unconditional love that supercedes our words or actions. How shallow and immature for anyone to claim that God hates sinners.
There's a group of self-righteous people in our churches today, going around lying, telling lost sinners that they cannot be saved unless they give up their sinful lifestyle and stop sinning. Nothing could be further from the truth of God's Word. Who can stop sinning? Who can cease from committing sin? All that God requires is that a man acknowledge his guilt of sin and deserved penalty in hellfire, and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to be forgiven. The change that genuine repentance brings is God's department. Our part is simply to BELIEVE.
God Loves Sinners!
God loves sinners! Now God certainly does NOT love sin, but He loves the individual. How could God not love His own creation? How could God not love the object of His plan of redemptive?
As I mentioned earlier, I've had many people write me letters, upset because I say that "God loves people." They send me verses in the Bible where God opened the ground to devour people, or killed thousands of people in His anger. Although God certainly did execute judgment in many places in the Old Testament, it does not in any way diminish the fact that God loved those people who were destroyed. Christ died for those people.
There are some false prophets who teach that Jesus only died for the elect and not the unsaved. This is certainly not Biblical. Jesus died for THE WHOLE WORLD, "And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world" (1st John 2:2). Notice the words, "the whole world." Jesus died for the sins of "the whole world." Amen.
In Luke 9:54-56, we find James and John eager to destroy the wicked with the wrath of God, but Jesus rebuked them instead, "And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But He turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village." And likewise I say to you professed Christians who insist that God hates sinners... "Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of." In case you don't know, it is the spirit of Satan. Jesus came into this world to save sinners; not to hate them and destroy men's lives.
There are only two Scriptures in the New Testament where Jesus said "I hate" (Revelation 2:6 and 2:15). Revelation 2:6 states, "But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate." And again in Revelation 2:15, "So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate." Jesus said that He hated the "deeds" of the Nicolaitans, and their "doctrine." Please notice that Jesus DIDN'T say He hated the Nicolaitans (a false cult). Jesus loves all sinners, not because they are sinners, but because they are people with souls whom He loves. John 3:16 tells us, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." The “world” includes EVERYBODY, even a dirty, rotten, vile sinner like me.
Yes, I do take an uncompromising stand on my website against all types of wickedness, heresies, and sins; but I will never stop proclaiming the Biblical truth that God loves ALL people (no matter what they have done). That's not to say that God approves of their wickedness, it just means that God unconditionally loves people.
Even after being nailed to a cross, Jesus expressed forgiveness to the Roman soldiers who had stripped him naked, beat Him beyond recognition, placed a sharp crown of thorns upon His head, mocked Him, spit on Him and then nailed Him to a cross to bleed and die (Luke 23:34). Don't you tell me that God doesn't love sinners! There is no depth of sin known to man which can prevent the arm of God from saving the sinner who seeks forgiveness, "Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God..."
If Jesus would save a murderer like Saul (later to become the Apostle Paul), then he will save anybody! If Jesus would save a drunkard like Noah, then He will save anybody. If Jesus would save an adulterer like David, then He will save anybody. God will receive any repent sinner that comes to Jesus Christ for salvation (John 6:37). If you go to Hellfire (and you will if you don't get saved), it will be your own stubborn fault (Romans 1:20; Revelation 20:15).
What a tragedy that 95% of all the people in the world will one day burn in the Lake of Fire, forfeiting the free gift of eternal life which is already paid in full by Jesus' precious blood (1st Peter 1:18,19). Would you like to know for sure that if you died right now, that you would go to Heaven? You certainly can KNOW.
God's Simple Plan of Salvation
The Imputed Righteousness of Jesus Christ
Psalms 145:9, “The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.”