I Love you…to hell???
The concept of love is very confused in the world. The world tell us to love (or condone) every action, every behavior, every feeling–without eternal consideration. In effect, the world has set the conditions where we are loving people…to hell.
Biblical Call: Love people into eternal life.
World Call: Love people no matter what. “Love, love, love–unconditionally without any concern for anything beyond the moment…with no concern of eternity.
The question is, what is the better demonstration of love? To love someone so much that you hurt their feelings in the temporary so as to help them for eternity? Or, is it more loving to let somebody feel good about themselves in the moment and then let them pay the price for eternity?
There are a couple of foundational points to understand in order for any of the following to make sense. 1) God, the Biblical God, is real and involved in our lives. 2) The Bible is the inspired word of God and is useful in every aspect of our lives. 3) We will be held to account eternally in either heaven or hell. Little after this point will make sense if you reject any of these foundational Christian tenants.
LOOKING TO JESUS
As Jesus is our example to emulate hew we are to live our lives; let’s look at His life. Often people love to use Jesus as an excuse to love bad behavior. “Jesus loved everybody…”, “Jesus wouldn’t judge…”, etc. Are these statements true?
Matthew 4: 17 summarizes the central focus of Jesus’ ministry, stating “From then on Jesus began to preach, ‘Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.’” Based upon this central theme Jesus then demonstrated the love we love to love. When you read about Jesus’ actions during his life, it would be wise to think that Jesus preached and taught about repenting from sins, turning to God, and living with a Kingdom focus before he did his miracles and other acts of love.
Jesus’ actions fall into several categories that include healing, providing for needs, teaching about life on and after earth, and very often correcting. Jesus NEVER allowed people to continue to live a lifestyle that did not align with God’s standards. Jesus NEVER loved people INTO a continuation of their sinful condition. Jesus loved people OUT of their sinful condition. He loved so as to improve their eternal life, even if this made them temporarily uncomfortable. Jesus loved people AWAY from hell and loved INTO heaven.
LOVE PEOPLE AWAY FROM HELL AND INTO HEAVEN
This too is our responsibility. We should love people INTO heaven and away from any behavior that puts their eternal nature at risk. Consider this example:
In 1779, the chiefs of the Delaware Indian tribe came to George Washington asking to have some of their kids to be taught in American schools. His response was “You do well to wish to learn our arts and ways of life, and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ. These will make you a greater and happier people that you are. Congress will do everything they can to assist you in this wise intention.” 1
Then: George Washington’s concern was for the well-being and eternal impact of bringing God into their lives. His concern for the eternal well-being for these people superseded all other concerns, including the possibility of hurting the chief’s feelings by implying their lifestyles was missing a valuable component. This is love in action in the Christian sense. Note: The teaching about Jesus Christ was an integral part of the education system, but that is another story).
Today: George Washington would be have been lambasted in the liberal press. He would be utterly rejected and declared as completely politically incorrect and wrong. His words would instantly trend to the top of all social media and attacks from multiple directions wouldn’t stop until George had been driven out of public life. Today, the concern is about the person’s feelings…at the cost of eternal damnation. Seriously, immediate feelings are more important than eternal life!?!?! This is the pressure to love people…to hell.
How about this example of a loving parent (a wife of a President and the mother of another President).
Abigail Adams, the wife of President John Adams and the mother of President John Quincy Adams) was concerned for her son’s moral well-being when he accompanied his dad to France. France was at the time going through the depths of its revolution and the denying everything God. Based on her concern for her son’s moral well-being she told him in a letter:
“Adhere to those religious sentiments and principles which were early instilled into your mind and remember that you are accountable to your Maker for all words and actions…. Dear as you are to me, I would much rather you should have found your grave in the ocean you have crossed, or that any untimely death crop you in your infant years, than see you an immoral, profligate, or graceless child.” 2
Then: Abigail has an eternal heart and love for her child. She was more concerned about his eternal destination and well-being than his immediate feelings.
Now: Today parents are more concerned about the minute-by-minute happiness of their children and tolerate and condone much. They are busy loving their children…to hell. Even my wife and I cringed, trained by today’s love at all cost society, at Abigail’s. What mother would prefer an untimely death instead of seeing her child live a “happy” but sinful life. A good mother, that’s who! A truly loving parent is more concerned about the eternal condition of their children than their immediate feelings, especially when those feelings are leading them to a bad place.
During a very challenging period in my wife’s and my lives with our own children, as they appeared to be fast-tracking themselves into the World’s arms, we received profound wisdom and advise from a Pastor. He told us our motto needed to be “Love without Approving, Accept without Condoning”. These words were a source of comfort and a rallying cry for my wife and I. While the world was praising their actions, we never approved or condoned the actions of our children (and they knew this), but we did love and accept them. What a simple, but revolutionary idea. Love without Approving, Accept without Condoning. Love and accept the person; do not approve or condone the ungodly behavior. This mindset can change our world!
Love and accept the addict. Do NOT approve and condone them into hell by leaving them in an addiction that separates them from God.
Love and accept the women who chooses an abortion. Do NOT approve and condone the mindset that values choice over life.
Love and accept the person who is involved in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) lifestyle. Do NOT approve or condone them to hell by encouraging and supporting this sexually immoral lifestyle.
Love and accept those in the Hip Hop culture. Do NOT approve or condone them to hell by encouraging the supreme worship of self, the objectification of women, and the unrelenting drive for materialism.
Love and accept the wayward businessman. Do NOT approve or condone them to hell by condoning the unbiblical concept of profit at all costs (i.e., greed).
Love and accept the liberal socialist. Do NOT approve or condone them to hell by yielding to the concept that government and the forced shared distribution of wealth (i.e., stealing) will solve the worlds ills.
Love and accept the adulterous man or women. Do NOT approve or condone them to hell by saying that it is OK to cheat on a spouse without consequences.
Love and accept the passionate. Do NOT approve or condone them to hell when their cause becomes more important than God and His perfect standards.
Love and accept people; do not accept or condone unbiblical behavior. This is the love the world sorely needs. This is the love the church needs to demonstrate. This is the love we are called to.
1 Barton, D. The Founders’ Bible: The Key to All Knowledge; p.926. Shiloh Road Publishers.
2 Ibid, pg 930