Does God love everyone?
By Ivan Ho 1 Oct 2016
“God loves everybody the same” so says some pastors and leaders. I have heard that being preached somewhere from the pulpit. My initial response was: “Does He really?” Needless to say, I did not agree with his teaching. I wasn’t questioning whether or not He loves me, but I was questioning whether or not God loves everybody, and if He does, whether He loves everybody the same?
Frankly, I believe “God loves everybody” is a false teaching that comes from the spirit of error, a teaching which is made popular by some leaders, even though they may be speaking with sincerity of heart.
I hope those of you who disagree with me would still love me for saying this. After all, you also “love everybody” regardless, right?
If “God loves everybody”, then nobody goes to hell at all, for there is no love in hell, only torture and sufferings.
If “God loves everybody” is sound teaching, the following scriptures would be untrue:
I love those who love me, And those who seek me diligently will find me.
Proverbs 8:17 NKJV
As it is written, “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.”
Romans 9:13 NKJV
For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
John 3:17-18 NKJV
God loves us so much that He gave His Son Jesus who laid down His life and died for everyone, but not everybody He died for will end up spending eternity with God in heaven. God’s love is available to all: whosoever receives Jesus might not perish but have everlasting life!
God loves everyone the same, or does He?
Some misguided people seem to think that God loves everybody, either because they have been sitting under such false teaching, listening to the wrong preachers, or it must be their wishful thinking. For I’m not sure where they would otherwise get this idea from? It certainly does not come from the word of God!
Nowhere in the Bible does God say: “I love everyone” or “I love everybody the same”. People who subscribe to this line of thought need to read what God truely says in His word.
Jacob I loved Esau I hated
If God loves everyone the same, He would have loved both Esau and Jacob, who were twin brothers, the same. Afterall, didn’t they had the same natural father as well as heavenly father? If God loved the twin brothers the same like their natural father, a comparison which so many people like to make when they talk about the “father’s love”, why does God say He loved one and hated the other?
Both were imperfect, both had flaws in their characters, but God loved Jacob and hated Esau. Imagine in today’s version of teaching on God’s love, some would teach: “God loves Jacob and Esau the same” regardless of their behaviours, which contradicts God’s word.
If we study the lives of Jacob and Esau, we would realise why God loved Jacob but hated Esau. Despite his deceptive ways, Jacob longed for and actively seeked after God and His blessings. On the other hand, Esau sold his birthright, which gave him access to the father’s blessings, in exchange for his temporal physical needs. God did not hate Esau without any reasons. God’s love does not extend to people who despise God. (Genesis 25:21-34)
“I have loved you,” says the Lord . “Yet you say, ‘In what way have You loved us?’ Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” Says the Lord . “Yet Jacob I have loved; But Esau I have hated, And laid waste his mountains and his heritage For the jackals of the wilderness.”
Malachi 1:2-3 NKJV
David was loved Saul was rejected
Another example of God not treating everyone the same was demonstrated in the lives of Saul and David. God loved David but rejected Saul, and not without reason. Saul lost his favour with God because of his rebellion and disobedience. On the other hand, despite David committing the sins of adultery and manslaughter, he truely repented of his sins and found favour with God. If God loves everybody, he would not have rejected Saul.
At this point, I can imagine some of you question: “But that’s the Old Testament bible, doesn’t everything change when Jesus came?”
Jesus died on the cross for everyone and His love is offered to all, but the bible goes on to say that “whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16), which means also that “whosoever does not believe in Jesus will be condemned”.
The two criminals on the cross
There were two criminals on the cross next to Jesus, but only one of them got to meet with Jesus in paradise: the one who repented and asked Jesus to remember him just before he died. The other criminal who cursed Jesus is in hell right now. Jesus loved the repentant criminal but ignored the other who rejected and ridiculed Him. I’m sure most people would agree that the unrepentant criminal should end up in hell, but how come some of these same ones would teach that “God loves everybody”? Most people would be happy when they see the most evil villians in the movies being killed at the end. But strangely, the same people would want God to love everybody and send everyone to heaven?!
The truth is: the most evil criminal can be forgiven if he repents and accepts Jesus into his life. God’s love is conditional upon how each person respond to Jesus.
We can do something about God’s love
Have you heard people say: “God loves you and there is nothing you can do about it”?
Imagine someone say the same thing to you: “I love you and there is nothing you can do about it!” What would your response be? As if the other person is saying: “Even if you don’t love me, I love you anyway. It’s better you love me back, but even if you don’t, you can’t stop me from loving you!” It might sound wonderful but I’m sorry, one sided love affair is no love at all!
The truth is, God loves us and there is something we can do about it! We can either receive His love and love Him back, or we can reject Him! If someone rejects Jesus, Christ is not in him nor does God’s love abide in him.
Salvation not by works
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Eph 2:8-9 NKJV
Salvation is not based upon our good deeds and behaviours in the sense that no one can justify himself before God by his good deeds. Salvation is the gift of God, but the gift needs to be received by an individual. Salvation is a free gift of God that was offered by Jesus, but a person can either receive or reject it. The gift of eternal life is freely given but it must be freely received, a personal decision that God cannot force anyone to make.
God’s love for us is not based on our performance but it is conditional upon how we respond to the love of Jesus. We can choose to reject Him, dishonour Him, ridicule Him, or we can choose to repent of our sinful ways and receive Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. We can choose to disobey God or we can choose to love Him by obeying His commands.
Let’s not take God’s love for granted!
No partiality with God
I believe that the idea that “God loves everyone the same” regardless of how they respond to God’s love is a false teaching from the enemy. Jesus loves sinners and laid down his life for them. But if someone rejects Jesus and continues his sinful ways, that person remains a sinner until he turns to Jesus and repents. God’s love is available to everybody but not everybody accepts God’s love. God does not love someone who does not love Him, for love is mutual. Those who despise God, walk in disobedience, and reject Jesus, will be judged!
God’s goodness leads to repentance, but if one does not repent and turn to Jesus, he or she is storing up God’s wrath until the day of judgement.
Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who “will render to each one according to his deeds”: eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God.
Romans 2:4-11 NKJV
Those who teach that “God is impartial and treats all His children the same” needs to read the above scriptures and understand what God’s impartiality really means. It does not mean God loves everyone the same regardless of their deeds and attitudes. Rather, it means God is impartial when it comes to how He deals with each person. It is like in a football game, the rules apply to every player, and the ref makes his judgement with impartiality. It does not matter if we attend church or not, God’s commands still apply to everyone.
He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”
John 14:21 NKJV
Further reading on God’s love: