In this article, we are going to examine love. We are not going to discuss any form of negativity regarding love such as “Luv ja” when people hardly know each other. The love of money condemns itself and does not need amplification. Likewise, we are not going to assess the supposed new forms of love from the LBGTQ foundations and the imagined genders. We are also not going to examine why the phrase “my spouse’ has largely become “my partner.”
As we begin, the initial inquiry is “where does love come from?” Paul replies that love comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith. Love then is about following the principles and directives of God: “Love God and love your neighbor” which is widely known, but not universally practiced.
Love is so widespread a concept that there are many types… However, for our purposes, we will discuss only two. The first comes from amore, which is a noun. An example is that God is love. Another is that we are called to love God and our neighbor, which comes from amare which is a verb.
All forms of love are based on the love among the Divine Trinity. While the three persons in the Trinity are complete in themselves, it is remarkable that they want to share their love which itself is an act of love. Some would stress the sacrifice that Jesus made for mankind is the first love. That would be wrong as the first aspect of God’s love is that He shared it with mankind by creating us. Furthermore, as you read through the scriptures, there are so many examples of love. No wonder we are called to love others as this represents one of God’s attributes. In addition, we are called to receive and grow in God’s love. The fullness of love will happen upon our eternal life with the loving God and all He has prepared for us.
There are many things that God has not only prepared for us, but has also told us. However, I believe most people just gloss over some of these verses and continue reading and completely disregarding that it says we can be in God! Consider these verses:
“When anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him and he in God. We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us. God is Love and he who abides in love abides in God and God in him” (1 John 4:15-16).
“At that day, you will know that I Am in my Father and you in me, and I in you” (John 14:20).
“Thus you will be able to grasp fully with all the holy ones, the breadth and length and height and depth of Christ’s love and experience this love which surpasses all knowledge so that you may attain to the fullness of God Himself” (Ephesians 3:18-19).
And a restatement of a believer, “Are you not aware that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16).
This last verse of scripture is the summation of the true believer who participates in the interaction of the Holy Trinity with the action of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. The result is that we are becoming Christ-like. “This is the Christ we proclaim while we admonish all men and teach them in the full measure of wisdom, hoping to make every man complete in Christ” (Colossians 1:28).
Are you a member of God’s kingdom? You became one after accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, but what kind are you? This is a necessary question today when we see religious practices diminishing. Furthermore, it is quite appropriate when you consider the daily broadcast vagaries of the 2020 America election process. What happened to the decorum, the regimen, and discipline of orderly discussions? Adding to this is the decline of our culture regarding morality and church attendance and the rise of the occult.
What type of a believer are you? Do you just know about Jesus or is your belief and acceptance of Him that He created us to imitate Him and to seek heavenly values rather than temporary, transient, earthly happiness?
At this point, the word righteousness has to be introduced. This is not a common word in the modern vocabulary; however, it is used in scripture over 300 times (Strong’s). It is really how we define Christian holiness, for it is basically adhering to moral principles. It is the quality of being righteous which is holiness, uprightness, and purity of heart. It is conforming to a standard which, for our purposes, is the Ten Commandments and love of God as well as our neighbor. Summarizing, it is being right with God.
Jesus was referenced as being like us, but lower than the angels as He put His divinity aside while on earth (Philippians 2:6 and Hebrews 2:7). The very creation of the angels is another proof of God’s love for this human creation: “For He shall give His angels charge over you to keep you in all your ways” (Psalm 91:11). If you thought guardian angels were a childhood myth, the Bible says quite the opposite, as there are about 20 verses about our keepers.
While Jesus is our model, there can be confusion, as Jesus always referred to obeying His Father. Wait a minute; wasn’t Jesus God, and didn’t He work miracles? As we saw above, Jesus put His Godhead aside, which is another testament to another aspect of God’s love. Yes, He was God, but He put aside the divinity to become man. Then how was He able to work healing miracles? The answer is that Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit in the Jordan under the auspices of John the Baptist. This again shows God’s love for us, as Jesus then declared that He would baptize us in the Holy Spirit.
Jesus became like man so that, after Pentecost, man could be like Him in His full humanness. In a post-resurrection meeting with the apostles, Jesus proclaimed, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:23). In the post-Pentecostal teaching, Peter explained, “He first received the promised Holy Spirit from His Father, then poured the Spirit on us” (Acts 2:33).
As Jesus was empowered by the Holy Spirit, He moved to Capernaum and began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). In like manner, He enabled us to preach about the kingdom with the gifts of the Spirit. In fact, Paul was quite persuasive about the spiritual gifts as he states: “Now brothers, I do not want to leave you in ignorance about spiritual gifts, as he lists them in 1 Corinthians 12:4-10. Once again, scripture does not leave us in the dark, but explains the reality. Paul also was the first to reveal a massive example of God’s love unknown for centuries, as we will shortly discuss.
Jesus also revealed something, later fully detailed, when He said, “I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, you may be also” (John14:2-3). The words “come again” obviously generated many discussions among His followers. However, they were fully revealed by Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians in Chapter 4, verses 13-18 and in 1 Corinthians 15:51-53, with a massive indication of God’s love for His church which would change history forever.
Paul revealed that a generation of believers will not die, and deceased believers will be resurrected to join them. With a forthcoming worldwide calamity, God is going to remove his believers en masse to avoid the worldwide catastrophe. This will happen as they come together before being heaven-bound. However, before the flight, two things must happen. The first is receiving new bodies for living eternally without the rigors of sickness and death. Secondly, they will join our Lord in the clouds where He awaits them before all being lifted to heaven.
The “come again” occasion is popularly called the Rapture, when the entire Body of Christ is physically transferred to heaven. Not many realize that when the Rapture happens, there is a worldwide dearth, because the Holy Spirit has departed as well. While His staying hand lessened the forces of evil, can you imagine the amount of mayhem without His presence? In addition, without the presence of the Holy Spirit, only lackluster churches will exist.
After an unknown period of time, after the Rapture, a new era called the Tribulation will begin. This will be governed by the Anti-Christ and his prophet leader. While the word Tribulation implies some negative features, this is understated. The reason is that this is the era that Jesus Christ predicted as the worse time in earth’s history (Matthew 24:21).
Some people, having refused the saving power of Christ before the Rapture, might think they can stick-out the forecasted Tribulation period of seven years. How foolish! Do they think they can out-fox the Anti-Christ and his minions? How can you minimize the Satanic leaders that conduct wars, martyrdom, pestilence, disasters, and nature gone astray? How can you also avoid the wrath of God against non-believers during the Tribulation?
I have often wondered if the cool guys who think they are hot stuff realize they are playing with fire. This is because their eternal life will be filled with smoke and fire. Like the reader, I have wondered how many would be involved. For questions like these, God has never remained uninvolved. In fact, once again, the scriptures give the answer. While exact numbers are not given, the reality is clear. Scripture presents two gates: one leading to heavenly glory and the other to damnation. Scripture encourages us to enter through the very narrow gate. It further says the road is quite rough and there aren’t many who find it or choose it. By contrast, the other road is very wide and quite apparent or unobstructed. Therefore, many chose this road instead (Matthew 7:13-14).
Another clue to the size of the remnant was by Christ Himself when He asked whether He would find any faith when He returned (Luke 18:8).
In these two cases, scripture becomes a clever road atlas and presents salvation as a geography lesson. The wide gate terminals are an opening to Satan, his demonic gang, and the earthly, evil wayfarers to a hellish eternity. The narrow gate opens to the Lord God, angels and saints and the eternal presence of the loving God. Choose wisely.
As you endure the daily machinations within the forthcoming election process, please consider the following scriptures:
“Save yourselves from this generation which has gone astray” (Acts 2:40).
“Dismiss all anxiety from your mind” (Philippians 4:6).
“Note this first of all: in the last days, mocking, sneering men who are ruled by their passions will arrive on the scene” (2 Peter 3:3).