Does God's love have limits

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Judith, Mar 19, 2014.

  1. Judith

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    The bible says this;
    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.

    My question is does He love those who are not elect and if so does that love end when they die and enter hell or will He love them through eternity as they suffer?
     
  2. Tom Butler

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    Romans 9 speaks to Judith's question.

    Paul said God hated Esau.

    Paul quotes God as saying He'll have mercy and compassion on whomever he chooses, and He will harden others to make it impossible that they would want to worship Him.

    Paul says God raised up Pharaoh for the purpose of knocking him down.

    Paul says God prepares some vessels for destruction and dishonor. some vessels fitted for destruction.

    I don't understand the mind of God in this matter, but there it is.
     
  3. salzer mtn

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    Jer 31:3 The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. If he loves the world, then he loves those in hell. If he only loves the elect, he don't love those in hell.
     
  4. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    (Using Ronald Reagan voice) There you go again ...

    In this case, making the complex much too simple.

    When studying the Bible, context is everything. Relative to Esau, the prophet Malachi and the apostle Paul use the name “Esau” to refer to the Edomites, who were the descendants of Esau.
    Malachi 1, NASB
    2 "I have loved you," says the LORD. But you say, "How have You loved us?" "Was not Esau Jacob's brother?" declares the LORD. "Yet I have loved Jacob;
    3 but I have hated Esau, and I have made his mountains a desolation and appointed his inheritance for the jackals of the wilderness."

    Romans 9
    10 And not only this, but there was Rebekah also, when she had conceived twins by one man, our father Isaac;
    11 for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God's purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls,
    12 it was said to her, "THE OLDER WILL SERVE THE YOUNGER."
    13 Just as it is written, "JACOB I LOVED, BUT ESAU I HATED."
    14 What shall we say then ? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be!
    15 For He says to Moses, "I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION."
    16 So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. ​
    Notice that the "choice" referenced in this passage is not a choice of an individual, but the choice of a nation, as Jacob was not given headship or governance over anything. He was simply selected as a father to a nation, so the choice is of his offspring as a whole, and not of Jacob individually. He nonetheless, at the River Jabbok, became a man "chosen" due to the faith he expressed in God.

    God rejected Esau (who was also called "Edom") and did not choose him to be the father of His chosen people. Esau and his descendants, the Edomites, were nevertheless, in many ways, blessed by God. They were not "hated." They were simply not willing to submit to God, so therefore did not enjoy His special blessings.
     
  5. salzer mtn

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    It is a terrible text, and I will be honest with it if I can. One man says the word "hate" does not mean hate; it means "love less:"—"Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I loved less." It may be so: but I don't believe it is. At any rate, it says "hate" here; and until you give me another version of the Bible, I shall keep to this one. I believe that the term is correctly and properly translated; that the word "hate" is not stronger than the original; but even if it be a little stronger, it is nearer the mark than the other translation which is offered to us in those meaningless words, "love less." I like to take it and let it stand just as it is. The fact is, God loved Jacob, and he did not love Esau; he did choose Jacob, but he did not choose Esau; he did bless Jacob, but he never blessed Esau; his mercy followed Jacob all the way of his life, even to the last, but his mercy never followed Esau; he permitted him still to go on in his sins, and to prove that dreadful truth, "Esau have I hated." Others, in order to get rid of this ugly text, say, it does not mean Esau and Jacob; it means the nation; it means Jacob's children and Esau's children; it means the children of Israel and Edom. I should like to know where the difference lies. Is the difficulty removed by extending it? Some of the Wesleyan brethren say, that there is a national election; God has chosen one nation and not another. They turn round and tell us it is unjust in God to choose one man and not another. Now, we ask them by everything reasonable, is it not equally unjust of God to choose one nation and leave another? The argument which they imagine overthrows us overthrows them also. There never was a more foolish subterfuge than that of trying to bring out national election. What is the election of a nation but the election of so many units, of so many people? and it is tantamount to the same thing as the particular election of individuals. In thinking, men cannot see clearly that if—which we do not for a moment believe—that if there be any injustice in God choosing one man and not another, how much more must there be injustice in his choosing one nation and not another. No! the difficulty cannot be got rid of thus, but is greatly increased by this foolish wresting of God's Word. Besides, here is the proof that that is not correct; read the verse preceding it. It does not say anything at all about nations, it says, "For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth; It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger,"—referring to the children, not to the nations. Of course the threatening was afterwards fulfilled in the position of the two nations; Edom was made to serve Israel. But this text means just what it says; it does not mean nations, but it means the persons mentioned. "Jacob,"—that is the man whose name was Jacob—" Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated." Take care my dear friends, how any of you meddle with God's Word. I have heard of folks altering passages they did not like. It will not do, you know, you cannot alter them; they are really just the same. Our only power with the Word of God is simply to let it stand as it is, and to endeavour by God's grace to accommodate ourselves to that. We must never try to make the Bible bow to us, in fact we cannot, for the truths of divine revelation are as sure and fast as the throne of God. If a man wants to enjoy a delightful prospect, and a mighty mountain lies in his path, does he commence cutting away at its base, in the vain hope that ultimately it will become a level plain before him? No, on the contrary, he diligently uses it for the accomplishment of his purpose by ascending it, well knowing this to be the only means of obtaining the end in view. So must we do; we cannot bring down the truths of God to our poor finite understandings; the mountain will never fall before us, but we can seek strength to rise higher and higher in our perception of divine things, and in this way only may we hope to obtain the blessing.
    Copied from The New Park Street Pulpit volume 5 number 239. page 113 Jacob and Esau.
     
  6. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    Spurgeon was a great man, a wonderful pastor, and a charismatic speaker. About the context of this passage, however, he was very, very wrong.

    No "choice" was made of Jacob for anything he did or would do. He was in the womb, but unlike Jeremiah who was set apart in the womb, Jacob was a scoundrel. Jeremiah's character was beyond reproach, except for the emotionalism of his public ministry that was often chastised as making his words ineffective. Nonetheless, God was able to use him from the start.

    Jacob was good for nothing, until after the River Jabbok, and even then, he did nothing remarkable. None of his sons, including Joseph, were raised effectively. They, too, were scoundrels and plodders and plotters. Joseph was an arrogant little twerp who lorded his future position, as revealed to him in his dreams, over not just his brothers, but over his own mother and father as well. It was this very haughtiness and pride that got him sold into Egyptian slavery.

    Nothing improved in Jacob's faith and attitude later in life. In fact, he doubted God, lamenting the famine and drought that struck the entire eastern half of the Mediterranean region and begging to just be left alone to die. This is not an effective servant of God. He did nothing of consequence. His "chosenness" lies only in his seed springing forth to become Israel, and within his seed was the Seed of Christ. It could be said that, despite his disobedience and rejection of the God of his father, Esau enjoyed a more blissful life, having carried only bitterness forward from the denial of his birthright.

    That event set the tone for Jacob's entire adult life, and he never knew God's peace or any tremendously great blessing even in his elder years.
     
    #6 thisnumbersdisconnected, Mar 20, 2014
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  7. salzer mtn

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    When the Lord bestows his love to a person, if that person is in his right mind he will not say, I deserved the Love of God, God loves because he chooses to love, not because he see's something in the individual that merits his love. Who was Abraham but a Idol worshipper when God called him. I could take you through the bible and name one after another of the men of God, Abraham included that lied, killed, committed adultery, denied Christ ect. All their sin's are mentioned to show no one is perfect and deserves the love of God. The Lord said this of Israel Deut 7:7-8 The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of people: But because the Lord loved you and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you out of the house of bondage. Notice also in the new testament when God spoke of his people there was no accusation or condemnation. Christ said of Abraham, he was the father of the faithful. Jacob have I loved, Sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, by faith Jacob, when he was dying blessed. Even though Peter denied him, after his resurrection, the angel said, go tell his disciples and Peter. What of David that killed and committed adultery ? Act's 13:22 I have found David the son of Jese, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will.
     
  8. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    Very informative post, but useless in refuting what I said.
     
  9. Iconoclast

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    The love of God is only found In Christ.To be apart from Christ is to be apart from His love.rom5 ...rom 8

    Dconn is wrong on romans 9 once again.
     
  10. OldRegular

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    I really don't think this means that God's love has limits. I think the Scripture for the statements you make simply means that God sets His love on certain people. That love is without limit in my opinion. Consider the following Scripture:

    Deuteronomy 7:6-8
    6. For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.
    7. The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people:
    8. But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.


    We do not love our children because they are lovable, sometimes they are not. We set out love upon our children, we choose to love them! That is the way God loves us. He chooses to love us, He sets His love upon us!

    1 John 4:19. We love him, because he first loved us.
     
  11. Judith

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    Interesting replies. This certainly is a difficult issue and I certainly do not want to make the mistake of suggesting that I understand this area of God. That being said we do have some passages that seem to suggest that His love is focused and can even be removed.

    Psalm 5:4-6
    For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity. Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.


    Psalm 5:5,
    The boastful shall not stand before Thine eyes; Thou dost hate all who do iniquity.


    Psalm 11:5
    The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked, and the one who loves violence His soul hates.


    Lev. 20:23
    Moreover, you shall not follow the customs of the nation which I shall drive out before you, for they did all these things, and therefore I have abhorred them.


    Prov. 6:16-19
    There are six things which the Lord hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes,
    a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
    A heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil,
    A false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers."


    Hosea 9:15
    All their evil is at Gilgal; indeed, I came to hate them there! Because of the wickedness of their deeds I will drive them out of My house! I will love them no more; All their princes are rebels.


    I think it would be safe to say that He does not love those who end up in eternal torment/hell. God is love according to scripture but He also hates. I would say that His mercy provides a way to escape His hate/wrath and the elect will only really know His love. His love is shed on all although not all personally recognize or realize it and there is the reality of it being removed.

    I am reminded of the passage about the rich young ruler in Mark who was lost and evidently never came to the Lord and He was loved.
    17 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?

    18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.

    19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.

    20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.

    21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

    22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.

    So I think that when we tell the lost, even the non elect, that God loves them we are speaking the truth, but those who are never saved, the non elect, are also living under a cloud of hate waiting to burst forth.
     
    #11 Judith, Mar 20, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 20, 2014
  12. HAMel

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    I've been told that Charles Spurgeon stated once that God's love for us is so great that if a sinner in hell fell to his knees begging for salvation that God would reach into the depths thereof and bring him out.

    ...course, this will never happen because those in hell will be cursing God.
     
  13. Tom Butler

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    You make good points.
     
  14. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    It is only because of God's love we are able to love vertically and horizontally as Jesus' commands tell us. I'm not wrong. You fail to grasp the reality of the passage.
     
  15. righteousdude2

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    God is only limited....

    ....by the choices of our free will to choose! And of course, God gave us all free will, but only in that way d I see Him limited!

    Those who deny Him, and according to Matthew 7:13-14, that will be a larger number than those who accept Him, have limited God's ability to bless them and forgive them! Not until we freely choose to accept His love, forgiveness and Grace, can He move beyond the boundaries of the wrath and judgement that will befall the greater number of those who denied the truth of sin in their lives, and that it was that sin that kept them from having the blood applied to their sinful ways, heart and soul!

    So, YES, He has limits, but those limits are dependent upon our choices in this life!

    Once you come to the Father through His Son, our God knows NO limitations! There is nothing HE can't and won't do for His children. However, there are going to be unanswered prayers, which some may see as limitations on God, but I see as God saying I have something much bigger, and a whole lot better than what you asked of me, and sometimes we would have to wait until eternity to realize the fulness of His awesome love and abilities.

    I often think that once I get to heaven, I will look around and say to myself, there is nothing I could have ever asked for, in this life, and been granted, that can come close to measuring up to what I am now a part of as the Bride of Christ!

    Eternity knows NO limitations, that I can think of! If you can, please let me know. I mean to tell you, we will even be given authority to judge the angels (1 Corinthians 6:3-4), which means that we will be placed in an organizational capacity over the angelic realm, which makes sense as we are destined to be the bride of Christ, and that legally, links us to the throne through the great marriage feast.

    This OP reminds me of that greaat newer praise song, "How Great is Our God!?"

    This is why we need to study to show ourselves approved. We have some great things waiting for us in eternity, and I look at my life on earth as a form of On-the-job-training!
     
  16. Iconoclast

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    thisnumbersdisconnected;

    Hello dconn
    :thumbsup:Correct and agreed...his love enables us to be law keepers as love fulfills the law:wavey:


    [/FONT][/SIZE][/QUOTE]

    Dconn...let me briefly explain why i said you were wrong;

    What you said about the passage Paul quotes was mostly understood by 1st century jews...that is why he quotes it

    Edomites were non covenant members.He is using the passage not to repeat a history lesson for no purpose but rather to explain his teaching on romans 9:1-8...

    9 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,

    2 That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.

    3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:

    4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;

    5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

    6 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:

    7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.

    8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

    So he is not talking about two nations...[they understood that already]..he is showing that just as God had singled out one nation over all others.....he is now showing that even then ..it was individual election to salvation to explain how the branches broken off in unbelief...are replaced by wild branches being grafted in...on believing gentile at a time, along with the elect remnant from among the Israelite nation;

    21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

    22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

    23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,

    24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

    25 As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.

    26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.

    27 Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:


    So once God singled out a nation...now he singles out individuals in the womb,[jacob and esau] and in the world.....elect gentiles who are being called.
     
  17. Yeshua1

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    God loves all people, but NOT equally, for God chose isreal and the Jewish peoples to be those he would Covenant with in a special way, likewise, he chose the Elect to be now His new Covenant peoples, and as chosen them to have a special relationship with him!
     
  18. rivers1222

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    Are you saying, as per the question in the OP, that Gods love does have limits?
     
  19. salzer mtn

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    It seems to rile people to think God doesn't love everyone equal or even stronger language, God loves some and don't love others. Some people want God to treat every one alike but in reality some people are born with intelligent minds while others have a mind of an idiot. Some people are born with a beautiful countenance while others are very homily. Some people are born with a silver spoon in their mouth while others in deep poverty. Who made thee to differ? God told Jeremiah before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee. Man wants the freedom to choose but they will turn right around and deny the maker of all men the same freedom.
     
  20. Van

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    As with all good questions, they should be answered with truth.

    Here the question is, does the "world" of John 3:16 refer to all of fallen mankind, or just to those chosen for salvation? It refers to fallen mankind, as it does in almost every case where John uses the term. In a few places, world refers to the fallen value system of fallen mankind.

    Love grows in the garden of commitment, love manifests itself with commitment. See 1 Corinthians 13 for a more robust treatment.

    When Jesus says, depart from me, I never knew you, is this tantamount to saying I never loved you? I think not. He died for us when we were yet sinners, therefore we were not elect when He died for us. Scripture says (Romans 8:33) no charge, such as sinner can be brought against God's elect. He died not only for the sinners who would become chosen, He also died for those who would not, such as the false prophet of 2 Peter 2:1.

    So when scripture says God demonstrated His love toward us, when He died for us, that death demonstrates God's love toward all of fallen mankind.

    Turning next to the question of if God's love stops when the lost perish and are consigned to Hades, my answer is not quite. God still treats the lost to justice, taking no pleasure in their punishment. But they are no longer considered potentials for redemption, so love diminished seems all that can be supported from scripture.
     

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