IS GOD REALLY
One of the most fundamental beliefs in the Christian
faith is that God is Love.
In fact the New Testament confirms this fundamental truth, more than once.
1 John 4:8
"He who does not
love does not know God, for
God is love."
1 John 4:16
we have known and believed the love that God has for us.
God is love,
and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him."
Atheists, Agnostics and Deists do not share this view at all. In fact they
insist that the God of the Bible is cruel, sadistic and heartless. They
point to the wiping out of the pre-flood world, the destruction of Sodom and
Gomorrah and the Canaanites and God's future dramatic interventions and say,
"How can your God be love, when He allows so much destruction and suffering?"
Of course, we Christians
strongly disagree. But what evidence is
there in the Bible that God is, indeed, love? Is there sufficient biblical
evidence to support the Apostle John’s statements? This article will offer
eleven Biblical proofs that God is "Love."
We know that God is Love, first of all, because He created
A selfish God would not share with others. God could sit back for eternity
in a state of eternal bliss, like people who are heavily addicted to drugs,
who spend weeks and months blissfully stoned, unconcerned about anyone or
anything. He could have done the same thing, but He didn't. He chose
to create other beings to share His creations with and give joy to.
Before going on, we need to address a
scripture that appears to indicate that God is, indeed, selfish.
The King James Version in
does God a disservice, by giving the impression that God created everything
for His own selfish enjoyment.
“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and
honor and power: for thou hast
created all things, and for thy pleasure they
are and were created.”
This translation is incorrect. Let’s note how more recent translations
render this verse.
NEW KING JAMES VERSION
“You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You
created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.”
THE NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION
"You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for
you created all things, and by your will they were created
and have their being."
THE NEW AMERICAN STANDARD
"Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and
power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed,
and were created."
Clearly the intended meaning is that all was created by His will not for His
Having cleared this misunderstanding, let’s see an example of the joy
God loves to share with His angels.
Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said:
“Who is this who darkens counsel
By words without knowledge
Now prepare yourself like a man;
I will question you, and you shall answer Me.
“ Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
Tell Me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements?
Surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
To what were its foundations fastened?
Or who laid its cornerstone,
When the morning stars sang together,
And all the sons of God shouted for joy?
are special moments for God. As a parent, He takes great satisfaction in
giving joy to his children, the angels. How many times did this happen
throughout eternity? How many worlds has He created throughout eternity? How much joy did
He share with His angels? He could have simply created and rejoiced on His
own, but that is not a God of Love. A God of love gives and shares.
from times immemorial, has been sharing His love and His great works with
His children, the angels. They have been blessed with being with Him and
seeing His creative works for billions or trillions of years. They have
no doubt that God is love.
We know that God is love, because God gave angels a great
gift: freedom of choice.
Choice equals mind. No choice equals machine. The Bible calls God’s angels,
"Sons of God" -- and they are. They are
God’s children, because He created them. They are not animals; they are not
machines. They are beings that have free will. And this is another example
of God’s love; the fact that he gave angels free will. They are beings that
can choose to obey -- or can rebel.
selfish God would have created unthinking, blindly obedient machines.
God instead gave them conscious minds that can reason, assess and choose.
And choose they did. One third chose to follow Lucifer and 2/3 chose to stay
on God’s side.
This is the risk, when beings are given freedom of choice. One can choose
evil or one can choose good. The beautiful thing is that
many did choose good, and obedience and the philosophy of love. They
are the Creator’s pride and joy -- because they have
chosen to honor their God; they have not been pre-programmed to do so,
and they have not been coerced into choosing good.
know that God is Love, because He was VERY longsuffering with Lucifer
and the angels that followed him.
We know that God was very proud of Lucifer from the start. Ezekiel 28 tells
us that He was a masterpiece in beauty and in intellect. He was such a
superior angel that God made Him a covering Archangel who stood before God
Himself. He did well, probably for a very long time -- and then the first
evil thought arose in his mind.
God was totally aware of that one thought. The thought led to other thoughts
which gradually translated into a bad attitude. God was perfectly aware of
that first bad attitude too. God was totally aware, as Lucifer
continued to deteriorate.
I repeat, Lucifer was a covering Archangel. He was in front of God and had
all the opportunities imaginable to dialogue with God, any time He wanted
to. How many discussions did they both have? How many times did God
warn him, admonish him -- correct him? How much time did God wait
patiently for him to change? Most probably, a very long time.
Did God not know about Lucifer’s criticisms of His fairness and of His
competence? Did He not know about Lucifer’s mutinous meetings with other
rebellious angels? Could He not have decimated them in one instant, as soon
as they started happening? He could have -- but He did not. He
waited patiently, hoping for repentance.
Some day, when we will know all the details of what transpired, we will be
awed by how lovingly God handled His rebellious angelic children. In spite
of His loving patience, they finally attacked Him, and it is then that God
ordered a counter-attack, with the ensuing crushing defeat of the mutinous
angels. Before this
happened, God gave them many chances and waited, as only a loving God would.
We know that God is love, because He gave humans freedom of
Having seen the results of giving angels freedom of choice, a selfish God
could have created humans without freedom of choice.
God could have made us genetically wired to always say, ”Yes, Lord!” He
could have; but He chose not to. A mind that is conscious and complete is
one that has total awareness and has the ability to choose. Such is the mind
that can choose to obey, and can choose to serve, and can choose to love.
That is the mind that God wants: a mind that chooses to obey Him and
to love Him.
God’s first and greatest commandment is, “Love God with all your heart mind
and soul.” It is a commandment -- but we have to choose to obey it. We can say no to that commandment. We can rebel. We can choose to go
the opposite direction and become God’s enemies.
submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you."
But this is a
choice, and it is a choice given to us by God. And that is dignity.
Forcing us to obey would steal from us our dignity. Giving us freedom
to choose adds to our dignity. That is true love.
5. In His great
God is even willing to see His human children suffer, so
as to learn vital, eternal lessons.
God told Adam and Eve what would have befallen them and their children, if
they had chosen the way of rebellion -- but He did not force them to choose
His ways. The consequences of their wrong choice have been catastrophic
at the personal, social and global level, ever since.
Some people see no wisdom or love in God’s decision to allow the first
humans to choose evil -- but they are blind. Paul enlightens us
reminds us of the consequences of humanity's choosing Satan's way of
Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are
clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His
eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,
because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were
thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were
Professing to be wise, they became fools,
23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God
into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals
and creeping things.
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God
gave them over to a debased mind (That is, He allowed them to follow their
perverted ways), to do those things which are not fitting;
29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality,
wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife,
deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30
backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil
things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning,
untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; 32
knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such
things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of
those who practice them.
refers to all of humanity.
Over thousands of years, the
consequences of their rebellious spirit have been disastrous. Catastrophic
wars have led to the death of hundreds of millions. Horrific
transmittable diseases are now reaping havoc among the nations. Crime and evils
of all sorts steal the peace of mind of the billions around the world. Few
can trust their neighbors and the worst enemies, at times, are friends and
But scoffers take the opportunity to point their finger at God, instead and
blame Him and His non-intervention. "Why
does God allow so much suffering?" they say. "Why is God allowing wars and
strife among the nations? Why is God allowing natural catastrophes? What
kind of a loving Father is He, when He
shows so much callousness toward His children?"
But these people are limited in their thinking and understanding. They don’t
comprehend that God is working out something eternal with human beings; a
grand plan with grand results and that
this grand plan demands that God step aside and let humans choose and then
suffer the consequence, if they choose the way of rebellion.
If humans are to inherit eternity, they need to have the freedom to even
choose evil. In fact
it is imperative that they see the horrific consequences of evil, not only
on both the perpetrators but on the innocent as well.
This will entail much suffering; much agony; much death. But death to God is
a temporary state, and He is willing to allow both suffering and death on
billions, because He knows that the eternal consequences will be stunning
That is Love --
Divine Love that looks unto eternity.
God is also righteousness, and righteousness is an expression of love.
Righteousness implies justice and fairness. One cannot be Love and be
unfair and unjust. God dispenses rewards and punishments according to just
weights and measures. He is not a respecter of persons.
He is longsuffering but, finally, He does demand a payment for arrogant and
This is what the world cannot understand, as they read in the Bible about the
destruction of the world before the flood, the incineration of Sodom and
Gomorrah, the destruction of the Canaanites and His many other seemingly
Unrighteousness steals peace from others and can creates havoc for the
Unrighteousness is lack of love. Righteousness acknowledges the rights of
others to live in peace and safety. Righteousness is an expression of love.
A God who is Love demands righteousness from everyone. He does not want the
few to steal peace of mind from the many. He is longsuffering and waits hoping for repentance, as He waited with Lucifer, but, finally, He will
intervene and will deal with the tumor effectively.
But God demonstrates His Love with longsuffering first. Was He longsuffering
with Noah’s world? Was He longsuffering with Sodom and Gomorrah? The
We don’t have all the details, but we do have strong evidence that before
God destroyed those societies He waited very long and made sure they
The first piece of evidence relates to the Great Flood. God
destroyed all of humanity because of their evils and spared only Noah and
his family. Did God warn the world of the coming punishment. Without doubt
2 Peter 2:5 And spared not the
old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a
preacher of righteousness,
bringing in the flood upon the world of the
Noah preached righteousness to his
world and they refused to heed. In doing so, they signed their own death
warrant. Noah didn’t just set the right example; he also preached
righteousness and repentance. He was God’s prophet, and his
children may have been prophets as well. The world, rest assured, was warned
effectively and for a very long time before the great flood came. That is
The second piece of evidence is found in
Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be
strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they
will afflict them four hundred years. 14 And also
the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with
great possessions. 15 Now as for you, you shall go
to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age.
16 But in the fourth generation they shall return
here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”
Until the unrighteousness of a society is complete, God will not destroy it.
Noah’s world, Sodom and Gomorrah, the Canaanites etc. were overflowing with
wickedness; they were putrid with unrighteousness. They had reached the
point of no return and, finally, the Life Giver decided it was time to take
their life away—but He waited very long before doing so.
piece of evidence is found in God's dealing with Nineveh.
Around Jonah’s time, Nineveh had reached the limit of God’s patience and He
was about to destroy it, but before doing so, he sent Jonah to warn
them of the impending destruction.
about Sodom and Gomorrah?
Melchizedeck lived in the area of Sodom and Gomorrah, at the time of their
destruction. Would God not use Him and/or others who were with Him to warn
Sodom and Gomorrah?
Lot who lived among them? Did God use Him to warn the Sodomites?
delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:
that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his
righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)
Lot say nothing? Did he not warn them? If not Him, Melchizedek or His
most probably did.
What about Israel?
Before Israel was punished, God warned them with His prophets over and over
In the end times, before the world will experience its final cataclysms God
will warn them with the two witnesses.
Again, we see the same pattern. God is love and he demonstrated, and will
continue demonstrating His love, with much longsuffering and much fairness
God created human suffering, but He also became a part of that suffering to
fully empathize with us.
God created the multitude of ways humans can suffer—and there are many,
physical and mental. Yet, though He could have stayed far and distant from
human suffering, He, instead, joined totally in the human suffering process.
Nobody can ever say to God, “You are a sadistic, distant God who could never
understand what we humans go through.”
Or, “It was easy for you God to create anguish and then just sit back on
your throne and watch our daily suffering.”
No one can ever say that to our God.
God came in human form and experienced human life and human suffering to
He felt the scrapes and the cuts and bruises experienced by children. He
felt the pain of losing his first teeth. He most probably had colds and flus
and perhaps other ailments like other children. He experienced the turmoil
of hormonal changes during the teen age years. He experienced the emotional
ups and downs of those years.
He may have been picked on by neighbourhood bullies.
Without doubt, He experienced the loss of several relatives and maybe even
cousins he loved.
He lost His loving father and felt the pain of loss, because he was
wired to feel such a loss, as we are. Even if you know that someone will be
resurrected, losing someone you love hurts nonetheless. They are no longer
there. Their companionship, their comfort, their support is no longer there.
He lost all that -- and felt the pain.
He then inherited the huge responsibility of looking after and providing for
several brothers and sisters. Yes, He was the man of the house and in that
sense he did experience parenthood. He had to teach and correct and
perhaps even discipline His, at times, carnal, stubborn and rebellious
brothers and sisters, who, unlike Him, were totally human and subject to a
selfish and rebellious spirit. They probably even resented Him at times for
telling them what to do.
He was there for His mother when she felt alone and depressed. And suffered
knowing of her loneliness.
He suffered the frustrations of longing for the love of a woman; of being
alone. Maybe he may have had to bear the pressure of relatives and friends
who may have tortured him with “When are you getting married?”
All through His life He may have had powerful moments of anxiety, knowing
the gruesome death that was ahead of Him, especially when He went to
Jerusalem for the three Seasons when all Jewish males had to go to Jerusalem
and, especially, when He passed by the location where He knew He would have
The Romans used crucifixion regularly to deal with rebels. Did he see some
criminals hanging from crosses? How did that affect Him?
He experienced the sufferings of humanity
so that he could go through the crucible of life and empathize with His
human creation, and therefore, better share in their pain.
4: 14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the
heavens, Jesus the Son of
God, let us hold fast our profession.15 For we have not an high priest which
touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted
like as we are, yet without
sin.16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may
and find grace to help in time of need.
God did experience suffering to the highest
degree and, therefore, can empathize with our suffering.
God gave himself as payment for our sins, and he did so while experiencing
the most horrific amount of anguish that could ever be experienced.
He could have paid for our sins by drinking poison and dying. There could
have been other faster and easier ways to die. He chose, instead, the worst possible
end. Flagellation was gruesome; six hours on a cross pierced by nails was
indescribably excruciating. Both the Father and the Son were there together.
Don’t think for one minute the Father was not with Jesus, experiencing every
moment of anguish with Him. The Father left at the last moment but until the
last moment He was there with Jesus paying with Jesus the payment
demanded by the sins of mankind.
We all know the famous scripture,
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.”
To this I would like to add,
“For God the Father so loved the world that he went through the flagellation
and the crucifixion with His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.” This too was
necessary in His plan of salvation. This too was necessary to prove to the
world how much He loved them -- that He is Love.
God is love because He is willing to forgive even the most heinous of sins, if repented of.
It is greatly reassuring to read
the magnificent words found in Isaiah 1:18:
"Come now, let us reason
together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be
as white as snow; though they are red a crimson, they shall be like
God only wants
repentance and a sincere willingness to start anew. And no matter how evil our actions may
have been, or for how long we may have lived in unrighteousness, He is ready
to make us "as white as snow." That is amazing
God shows His love by seeing all the
evils of humanity every minute of the day and by not intervening He shows
God sees the people dying of AIDS—every one of them. God sees the
people torn apart by terrorist bombings—every one of them. God sees
all the people who are kidnapped and raped and killed by psychopaths; God
see all the multitudes that are dying of cancer; God sees all the millions
of families that fall apart daily. God sees the millions that daily have to
bear dark and gloomy depression and all kinds of mental illnesses. He sees
the evil rule and the innocent suffer, all over this world -- every one
He see it all, one by one.
Not one escapes Him.
We hear on TV about a few such events and can choose to watch or turn the
channel. We read about some such events in the paper and can choose to turn
the page. God sees it all and does not intervene,
since intervening would mess up His eternal plan for humanity – and He will
allow it all to happen, even though He has to bear continual and
Imagine the amount of grief God suffers every moment of His daily existence;
to see it all and to choose not to intervene, because His plan demands it
for our long-term sake.
Yes God suffers, much more than we do, but He chooses to suffer and
He chooses to wait until the appointed time when His love can be manifested
to the fullest. And this is one more clear demonstration that God is Love.
God’s love is finally manifested in the
You know what I am referring to. Becoming His children forever; eternal
life; joys forevermore, for almost all of humanity.
This is our God.
This is the God we are privileged to know.
This is the God we will be like in the future.
This is the God we need to emulate today. This is the God filled with Love.
The God who is Love.
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