Author Topic: Unconditional Love  (Read 13434 times)

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M.A. Crawford

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Unconditional Love
« on: September 25, 2000, 12:30:00 PM »
Here is the new topic for discussion as was suggested. A possible lead-in question could be: Is it possible for any human to love another unconditionally?

M.A.

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Joan Rügemer

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Unconditional Love
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2000, 05:44:00 AM »
 
  Instinctly I reply with an emphatic (but conditional) 'no' it is not possible for one human to love another without end unconditionally. Years of living together doesn't mean there exists unconditional love for the other, maybe more of a love of thankfulness that all is staying within the bounds of habit and familiarity which helps in the oneness of living together.

An unconditional love for strangers or aquaintances just goes beyond my scope of imagination.

  Our selfishness makes the partner choice mostly utiliteristic. Conditonal variant is mother-love. I haven't completely studied that subject in it's entirety. There is so much evidence I've seen love toward the most hideous, uglies from their mothers that it's there where I pause and stand in awe and amazement. Also seen by me is the devotion of men at the dying bedside of their wives in the hospital. The sickness has robbed all semblence of physical attractiveness from the women in question. These guys (not many, just a few cases in memory) have come and stayed the whole afternoon on my shift, reading to their comatose wives, petting their limbs, kissing their cheeks and telling the news of the day. Not knowing if anything is getting in.

Me not having any personal experience with what I was watching, I pondered and couldn't explain the why of such devotion. Could that have been unconditional love in action ?

The eros love is exceptionly capricious and the phileo love doesn't have the same strength as the agapè love. So I need to learn if agapè love is unconditional in all circumstances.

...Joan.....


charlene

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« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2000, 03:44:00 PM »
I will relate an experience I recently had, just for an illustration.  I use photographs sometime when I do my work. A garden,full of Bright Blooming Sunflowers were just down the road apiece. I wanted very much to photograph those wonderful flowers for some reference material.  I always feel I need permission to come on someones property, so I knocked at the door in hopes the owner will let me walk around the yard and use my camera.  I hear a "come in."  I Open the door....One very large man was sitting in his chair, holding his beer. He was hot and sweaty, a fan was blowing in his face...he had tobacco juice running down the corners of his mouth. I said a quick 'Hello",and ask my request, He gave me permission and i left to do some photographing.  When I was finished and came on home, I just sat in my car for a few minutes...being very disappointed in myself. I felt strong distaste for this person..I sat there asking myself many questions. Do I love this man? Could I throw my arms around him if He needed a friend and tell Him God Loves him. Could I touch him and tell him I was His friend. I began to cry, knowing that My God does this for me and I am unwilling to consider doing this for a neighbor. I kept saying to myself, "if he were the only man on this earth, Jesus would have died on the cross for him", I am ashamed, I felt I could not touch the lepper. Tears come to my eyes now as I relate this. How grateful I am that the Lord isn't finished with me yet...I have much to learn and pray I will learn to love those that are so unlovable,  teach me O Lord to forget self and esteem others more than myself, is my prayer.

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charlene

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charlene

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« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2000, 03:56:00 PM »
I see Agape Love in Jesus as He asked His Father to forgive those that were putting Him on the cross. "For they know not what they do."    I see Agape Love when Moses asked God to spare His apostate people or 'blot his name out of the book of life'. This is what I see that agape love is all about. When His chosen people today, love their fellow man and strangers and enimies like Moses loved His people...The law of love will be fulilled, as Jesus example shows us,  and God will have a people.  This will happen, I pray we will be submissive and allow our precious Creator to re-create this love in us all.   In His Love,

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charlene

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Richard Myers

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« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2000, 08:23:00 PM »
Amen, Sister Charlene, amen!  The fruit of the love of Christ in the heart is just this. It is to love not only God with all the heart, soul, mind, and strength, but our neighbor also.  And, not just those who love us, but those that are not lovely and in fact are mean.

"Unconditional" may be a worldly term. Not that we are not to love, no matter what, but our actions may be modified based on the behaviour of our neighbor. For example, we continue in our love for an unfaithful spouse, but "unconditional" marriage is not Biblical. Many times, we poor humans get things mixed up. We insist that outward behaviour be "loving", but in fact do not believe it is possible to really "love" the sinner while He is sinning. Yet, as Sister Charlene has pointed out, Jesus loves us no matter how great our sin. We are to do likewise and in Christ we can. If we are not "abiding" in Christ we cannot.

Let us give the whole heart to Jesus that we might be filled with His love for the "unlovable".  :)

Richard

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Joan Rügemer

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« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2000, 11:16:00 AM »

  I figure there are different propositions here to take into notice. If we first just stay with agapè love in us for others where is it said that we have 'to like' the person we are agapè loving ? Is it not agreed upon already that being repulsed by evil oozing out from someone is our human right to respond in repulsion ? Does not agapè love go beyond positive or negative feelings of sympathy  or antipathy and act according to compassionate principle pertaining to the needs of the human we are dealing with ? Yes, indeed it does. Agapè love knows how to resist sentimental decisions and say 'no' at the right time in the right situations. The Christian acting in this Godly love will have times of causing confusion to the expectations of others because he/she is caring for the person or persons with the wisdom of God in action and not out of levels of human emotionalism.

.......Joan........


Richard Myers

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« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2000, 06:24:00 AM »
Amen, and who can judge the heart of another? None, so we leave the matter with God. We do what we believe God would have us do. It may be that even the one being loved does not "feel" loved, but no matter. We follow the principles we understand and love him in the way we believe to be right. This may mean withholding something he wants.   :) (another beer).

Richard

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

M.A. Crawford

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« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2000, 03:38:00 PM »
Sis. Charlene, in reference to your very touching story, the fact of the matter is God is not through with any of us yet. We are all human and are therefore subject to the human frailties that characterize us all. The very fact you were willing to relate this story for all to see is evident in my mind that it has special meaning to you.

As humans, our love for one another is, more often than not, conditional. It is generally predicated upon the nature and quality of  the relationships we have with one another. It is normal in all of us for unpleasant interactions (such as the one you experienced, for example) to be met with apprehension and distaste. But we must keep in mind that "God hates sin, but he loves the sinner." This is the Christlike attitude, I believe, we all must possess if we are to approach having the Agape love of Jesus Christ.

The mere fact you wanted to do something positive to help this individual come to know Christ leads me to believe that the Holy Spirit is at work in this matter and will lead and guide you into what you need to do for him as well as others.

M.A.        

M.A.

M.A. Crawford

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« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2000, 12:32:00 PM »
As humans, we generally "love" those who love us because, as social creatures, we want to experience positive and meaningful relationships with one another. This is natural. But in Matthew 5:44, Jesus introduces us to a NEW KIND of love that is not natural. He tells us to "...Love your enemies...." How are we going to do that? The natural inclination is to do what is written in v. 43: "...love thy neighbor and hate thine enemy." But in verse 44, Jesus implores us to COME UP HIGHER and love the unlovely, in order that we may be identified as the children of the Father (v. 45). He tells us why in verse 46: "For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicians do the same?" What does this say to us about some Seventh-day Adventists who can't stand one another on Sabbath (or any other day) for whatever the reason?

VERY SERIOUS food for thought that has eternal implications!

M.A.  

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charlene

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« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2000, 03:38:00 PM »
Thank you Brother for the encouraging words and wisdom.  My concern is this also, what was behind that door was a surprise, and I was repulsed. Had i had any inclination as to what I was about to meet..I would have had time to prepare my mind.  What other surprises are around the corner...what I do today reflects on my tomorrows and I want Jesus to have all my tomorrows but i though I had given Him the that day also.  My only answer is to think that God was showing me a weakness in my character that i was not so aware of, and a need for a closer walk with Him to be able to handle this type of situation should it come about again.  I go my happy way not expecting the unexpected so maybe I go unprepared. Yes, I will always remember this as God's lesson in Love.

God Bless,

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charlene

charlene

M.A. Crawford

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« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2000, 11:41:00 AM »
We are "all in the same boat," dear sister. As I stated earlier, God is not through with us yet; and I have enough sense to know that He is not through with me either. The Great God of Heaven knows what we need in order for us to grow in grace and develop characters after the likeness of Christ.

One thing God is trying to teach us is to be ready from day to day for come what may by keeping our "spiritual guard" up because we do not know when the enemy will send us a "suprise" to try to catch us off guard.  

If it is not of Christ, then it is of the enemy. The story you related is an excellent example of this.

May God continue to bless and keep you as He continues to mould and shape us all into what He wants us to be.

M.A.  

M.A.

gorazd

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« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2000, 12:22:00 PM »
sister Charlene,

thank you for relating the story. It gives a very important lesson.

As far as I can see, it was God who arranged that encounter you had, not the enemy. It is exactly through such unexpected situations that God can teach us most valuable and deep things I believe.

Gorazd.


M.A. Crawford

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« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2000, 04:41:00 PM »
In reference again to conditional and unconditional love, what about the individual who gives his/her life in order to save another? In this case, the person has made the supreme sacrifice. Is this not akin to what Christ did? Would this not be an example of unconditional love? ("Greater love hath no man than this....").

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charlene

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« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2000, 07:48:00 PM »
The difference between someone willing to die for another is....It will only be the first death.  Not the death of the sinner's wages.
Yes, this would be a great example of love for others but it would not compare to what Christ did on the cross for mankind. When we are willing to die the second death for others like Moses was willing, then we are talking true Agape Love, But still not the same as the Death of our Saviour.

Just my thoughts,

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charlene

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Richard Myers

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« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2007, 05:45:00 PM »
Amen! Christ died for us while we were yet sinners!! We are called to love those who despitefully use us. Grace is the unmerited love that God has for us while we are yet sinners. God asks nothing of us that He might love us, He just does. He sees what we may become.

Does God love Satan today? I don't know. It is not for me to know. I see no indications that He does. I would hope that my love for the sinner is manifested in ways that others can see more than what I can see if God still loves Satan.

This I do know, that God loves those who have not rejected Him fully without requiring anything from them. It is this unmerited love that changes the heart of the sinner. There is nothing that the sinner can do to merit God's love. There is nothing that God asks of the sinner that He might love him. He calls to the sinner, to come to Him, but He does not say "come and then I will love you." He does not say "Be good then I will love you." No these are lies that many have believed. God loves the greatest of sinners without being loved in return.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

asygo

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« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2007, 10:25:00 AM »
I believe God is love, always. Even to the worst of sinners. Even to Satan.

But, His love is manifested in different ways, depending on the condition of the recipient. The same sun that melts the butter hardens the brick. At the same time, he was a light to the Israelites and darkness to the Egyptians. In the end, He will be life to believers, and death to unbelievers.

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By God's grace,
Arnold M. Sy Go
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By God's grace,
Arnold M. Sy Go
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Liane H

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« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2007, 10:47:00 AM »
It has been a very long time since I have been on other forums to know how this view about love is coming along. It is a difficult understanding that leads down several paths for different people.

My view has been for years even before this became a topic here and elsewhere that in all the writings of the books of the Bible and in the Spirit of Prophecy never is the combination of the words "unconditional love" mentioned, not even once.

In my mind I believe that there is a very good reason it is not. If such words combined together were to reflect the true meaning of God's love then I believe God would have used it at least once if not abundantly. I do see different words connected to love from the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy that gives a much better and bigger picture of God's "infinite love" for us and that is just one example. In Laodicea is listed several words that are connected to God's love that I was able to glean from the Word.

On the other hand the misunderstanding when I speak so strongly against the words "unconditional love" comes back that I must be saying God has "conditional love."

Far from it, that is just as wrong as "unconditional love." God does not have conditional love, he loves us all equally and without reservation. But as so clearly presented in the Spirit of Prophecy it has been repeated that the "Law of Love" is the foundation of God's love.  

It is written out of the law of love His will and purpose for our lives. His loves says because he loves us that we must repent. If we do not repent he cannot do anything for us. We must be sorry for our sins, if we are not He cannot help us, etc.

So His love has conditions in which He can retrieve us from sin, otherwise His love can do nothing for us.

Also I have learned that love is an action word. It is not passive. God can no more stand back and just say I love you than we can. The greatest action of love was the coming of Jesus to die for us on the cross.

The requirement of His death for us did not put aside love any more than it can put aside His law. Both have requirements that must be met in order to be a true source and meaning of God's character.

God's love as is His grace is unmerited in of itself as God is Love. Love cannot put aside justice though. Love cannot save a sinner from death if that person does not want to be saved. Love can be rejected and many have rejected God's love.

The word love has been so distorted that many have little understanding of what it means. It is even more distorted when one adds unconditional to it.

This combination of words has come from the world and the world has brought it into mainstream Christianity and now it has come into the church with great danger to all.

It would be wise in my mind to use words that have been given to us from God's Word to describe His love so as not to confuse the people with the meaning of God's love that is circling the world and distorting His true character and meaning of His love for us.

 

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Liane, the Zoo Mama
Romans 8:19   For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

Liane, the Zoo Mama
Romans 8:19   For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

Richard Myers

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« Reply #17 on: September 15, 2007, 06:29:00 PM »
In September of the year 2000, I stated in this topic that the word "unconditional" may be worldly, but that we are called to love in that manner. The term is very appropriate to describe the love that we are to have for the sinner as well as the saint.

There seems to be some confusion as to how God loves the sinner. Some would say that God hates the sinner. It was so stated in another forum. But, when I study the Bible, I find that God so loved the world (full of sinners) that He gave His only begotten Son that we might know of His love for us while we were yet sinners.

There is indeed a question as to how God loves Satan today, or Hitler, or any other who has rejected His love. I find the concern to be not important. We are to look upon all as having the opportunity for salvation. We cannot judge the heart, so we cannot know who is eternally lost. We can leave the matter of God's love for those who will be lost to God. It really has little to do with our work today.

Some wish to bring this forward, the hate of God for the unrepentant, that they may show a condition for salvation, but again, this is not necessary. The plan of salvation is so simple that a child might understand that the new birth brings forth obedience. If the obedience is not there, then the new birth has not happened. No need to discuss any conditions that God may have in regards to His love for Satan. It only confuses the matter of God's infinite and unconditional love for those whose probations remain open.

The fact that God loves the sinner in no way suggests that He will allow an unrepentant sinner into heaven, no matter how many teach such things. I love my children, but there are certain things I will not allow them to do. Because some teach that God loves the sinner and will allow him into heaven does not mean that I have to prove He does not love the sinner to keep him out of heaven. This is not the approach the Bible has taken to bar access to heaven.

We have many many verses of Scripture that spell it out as to who will enter heaven. Are there any requirements for entrance? Absolutely!  The requirements are spelled out nicely. We must be born of the Spirit. We must love God will all the heart. We must love our neighbor as ourselves. No liar will enter heaven.  These are easy to understand statements. Those who say God loves the sinner so much that He will take him to heaven in his sin, are liars.

Does God love the sinner after his probation is closed? What has this to do with salvation? Nothing. It makes no difference. Man is lost unless he is born of the Spirit and walks in the Spirit. When man is born again, he has "unconditional love" for the sinner. This is not hard to understand, but spiritual things are spiritually discerned.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

asygo

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« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2007, 10:45:00 PM »
 
quote:
Originally posted by Richard Myers:
the new birth brings forth obedience. If the obedience is not there, then the new birth has not happened.

Amen! Simple, yet impossible for the flesh to accept.

 

quote:
Originally posted by Richard Myers:
The fact that God loves the sinner in no way suggests that He will allow an unrepentant sinner into heaven, no matter how many teach such things. ... Those who say God loves the sinner so much that He will take him to heaven in his sin, are liars.

Those who say God's love will cause Him to allow sinners in Heaven don't understand love or sin or Heaven or all of these.

 

quote:
The sinner could not be happy in God's presence; he would shrink from the companionship of holy beings. Could he be permitted to enter heaven, it would have no joy for him. The spirit of unselfish love that reigns there --every heart responding to the heart of Infinite Love --would touch no answering chord in his soul. His thoughts, his interests, his motives, would be alien to those that actuate the sinless dwellers there. He would be a discordant note in the melody of heaven. Heaven would be to him a place of torture; he would long to be hidden from Him who is its light, and the center of its joy. It is no arbitrary decree on the part of God that excludes the wicked from heaven; they are shut out by their own unfitness for its companionship. The glory of God would be to them a consuming fire. They would welcome destruction, that they might be hidden from the face of Him who died to redeem them. {SC 17.2} (emphasis mine)

God's love requires that the sinner be excluded from Heaven. If God did not love sinners, He would allow them into Heaven, and torture them for eternity.

A proper understanding of God's love clearly shows that none that defiles will enter Heaven.

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By God's grace,
Arnold M. Sy Go
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[This message has been edited by asygo (edited 09-15-2007).]

By God's grace,
Arnold M. Sy Go
-end-

Richard Myers

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« Reply #19 on: September 16, 2007, 10:24:00 AM »
Amen dear brother, it is indeed love that bars the unrepentant sinner from heaven. It is sad that sinners are allowed to hurt the innocent today, but it will not always be this way. God's purpose of love is being demonstrated both today and tomorrow when sin and sinner will be no more.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.