If you are saved, there is nothing you can do to convince God to love you more and there’s nothing you can do to convince God to love you less. This week, come with us as we study the love of God from Isaiah 54:10.
“‘For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,’ says the LORD, who has compassion on you.”
- Isaiah 54:10
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Transcript: Welcome to Five Minutes With Pastor Lutzer. Well, we are dealing with a difficult topic, of the love of God. Because all of us I’m sure, at times, have felt that we are more loving than God. And you know, God does not love everyone in the same way. Next time we’re going to be discussing John 3:16, and we will say that God loves the world; but there is a special category of people whom He loves unconditionally.
Now, my text is taken, actually, from Isaiah chapter 54, and we are introduced to that. And then in a moment, we’re going to be going to John 17. But you’ll notice that the text says, “‘For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,’ says the LORD, who has compassion on you.” I’m using that text because it introduces us to God’s covenant love, which is experienced by the nation Israel. That doesn’t mean that every single Israelite was saved or converted; but it does mean that to a nation, God says, “My love is unconditional. It’s dependent upon Me, and not even your obedience.”
Now, as we’re going to learn next time, God does not love everyone, generally, in the sense that He loves them unconditionally. But there is such a thing as unconditional love. And I take you now to the book of John, chapter 17, where Jesus is praying; and He is talking about that covenant of love, because He is going to give Himself for His redeemed. He’s talking about it, and this is what He says: “Father, Thou hast loved them even as Thou hast loved Me, and Thou lovest Me from before the foundation of the world.” We have to take that slowly.
The simple fact is this: that there is a special category of people who are in Christ, whom God loves as if they were Jesus. That is unconditional love. And that is the love that God has for the redeemed.
Now, I need to say that if you are saved, there’s nothing that you can do to get God to love you more; and there’s nothing that you can do to get God to love you less. Because He loves you as if you are Jesus. That is unconditional love. Well, you say, “Pastor Lutzer, that’s not fair! That’s not fair that He doesn’t love everyone that way.” Well, before you charge God with unfairness, let me say this: that the way to God is narrow, but the invitation is to everyone. So that means if you want to be loved like Jesus is loved, it means that you must receive Jesus as your Savior, and then God will see you in Christ and He will love you as if you are Jesus. And let’s understand this: how long has God been loving His people? Jesus said, “You love them as You love Me, and You’ve been loving Me since before the foundation of the world.” I want you to understand this today, I want you to rejoice in the fact that you are known by God and loved by God from the foundation of the world.
I have a quote here from J. I. Packer. He says this: “To know that from all eternity, my Maker, foreseeing my sin, fore-loved me and resolved to save me, though it would be at the cost of calvary. To know that the divine Son was appointed from all eternity to be my Savior; and that, in love, He became man for me; and died for me; and now lives to intercede for me; and one day will come in person to take me home. To know that the Lord who loved me, and gave Himself for me, and Who came and preached peace through His messengers has, by His Spirit, raised me from spiritual death to life, giving union and communion with Himself; and the promise to hold me fast and never let me go: this is knowledge that brings overwhelming gratitude and joy.” And why wouldn’t it?
You know, Spurgeon says that if you know for sure that you are loved eternally by God, all the hatred of mankind against you can be turned into honey. My friend, today, go with God; rejoice in God’s love. And I’ll see you right here next time.