Does God Love Everybody?
Printable Version - Color
Printable Version - B&W
Today we're going to look at a church doctrine that is quite common today: “God loves everyone". This sounds really good and is very comforting to receive, but is it the truth according to the Bible? That’s what we’ll look at today, and we’ll look at both sides very carefully to see if we can find the truth. Remember that to find the real truth we must fit all scriptures into place, kind of like a puzzle. You cannot have truth if you do not read the Bible as a complete book. If we find the truth to this question we should be able to fit the other person’s scripture that "God does love everbody" into ours. When we find truth to the question "Does God love everybody" it will fit neatly into one another like a puzzle.
The most recognized scripture that seems to say that God indeed loves everybody is this. (John 3:16) "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. Most people focus on “For God so loved the world” and don’t pay attention to “that whoever believes in him should not perish” So by this scripture we see that those who do not believe on the Son, perish and spend eternity in hell; is that true? If God loved everybody wouldn’t He save them all, instead of sending many of them to eternal punishment? You may say, “We have a free will to choose whether or not we follow Jesus”, but is that true? Are we the ones that choose Jesus and do we really have free will? Click here for a complete study on "Free Will". Let’s see what the Bible says.
(John 5:21) For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. If Jesus really loved the whole world, wouldn’t He give eternal live to everyone instead of “whom He will?" The Son gives life to whom He chooses and who He wants to. Why would a God who "loves the whole world" not give eternal life to everybody, if He loves us all?
(John 13:17,18) If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. Once again there seems to be those that Jesus has chosen to believe in Him and others He did not choose to believe. If the Lord is choosing us and not you or me, then how much “free will” do we really have?
(John 17:6) "I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word." Jesus acknowledges that the Father gave Him certain people out of the world and it’s them and not the whole world that Jesus manifested God’s name to. I would hope that if God truly loved everybody like we’re taught, then the Father would have given everybody in the whole world to Jesus, after all if He really loved everybody in the whole world, then the whole world would be saved, but they're not.
(John 6:44,65) No man can come to me, except the Father that sent me draw him: and I will raise him up in the last day… And he said, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father". I hope you can see crystal clear by this scripture that no one, I repeat NO ONE can come to Jesus on their own! We cannot come to Jesus unless the Father draws us to Him. We do not have free will; otherwise we could come to Jesus on our own and wouldn't need God to draw us. It would no longer be a free gift “for by grace have ye been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, that no man should glory (Ephesians 2:8,9). If you came to Jesus by your own wisdom, your own doing or your own works then God would owe you something, and that is not His plan. God does not want you to glory in what you did in order to be saved, and that’s why “free will” is just not scriptural. The Father must draw you or you will not come to Jesus! Now the reality of this is that if there are some that God loves and gives eternal life through Jesus, then there must be many that God doesn’t love because He did not draw them and because of this, they are destined for Hell. It seems harsh but it is the process of elimination. Some God chooses to come to Jesus, while others he doesn’t choose and they’re going to eternal punishment. If that's the case, does God really love everybody? Let’s now read about some that the Lord does not love.
(Malachi 1:2,3) "I have loved you," says the LORD. But you say, "How have you loved us?" "Is not Esau Jacob's brother?" declares the LORD. "Yet I have loved Jacob (3) but Esau I have hated. I have laid waste his hill country and left his heritage to jackals of the desert." Here we see a scripture that contradicts the idea that “God loves everyone”. God hated Esau which would include all his descendants up unto this day. How do we fit that into the belief that God loves everybody? You cannot.
(Romans 9:11-21) [T]hough they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad--in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of his call—(12) she was told, "The older will serve the younger." (13) As it is written, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated." (14) What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means! (15) For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." (16) So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. (17) For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." (18) So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills. (19) You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?" (20) But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?" (21) Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honored use and another for dishonorable use? Wow, before they did anything good or bad God loved Jacob and hated Esau! You may be tempted to question God or wonder why He would do this but as it is written, “but who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?" God has mercy on whom He chooses and by putting His will into you, God causes you to draw close to Jesus. Those whom God doesn't choose, Scripture says that He hardens and because of this hardening of their heart, they have no interest in holiness or drawing close to Jesus. We humans don't quite understand this so we should just be thankful that God has been merciful on us and not question why God is not merciful to everybody.
(Psalm 5:5) The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers. How many times have we heard that “God loves the sinner, but hates the sin”? Not only can we NOT find that in the Bible, but we see that God indeed hates ALL evildoers. How do we fit this scripture into the Idea that God loves everyone? Once again, you cannot fit this scripture and the fact that God "hates all evildoers" into the “feel good message” that God loves everybody.
(Hosea 9:15) All their wickedness is in Gilgal; for there I hated them: because of the wickedness of their doings I will drive them out of my house; I will love them no more…These were God's children whom He drove out of His house and hated them because of their wickedness and their evil doings. Today do you think God loves those who do wickedness and live in deliberate, intentional sin? It's very clear that there are some that God does hate and not love.
(Psalm 11:5) The LORD tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence. God does not love the sinner and hate the sin, God hates the sin and those who are wicked. How do we fit scripture like “for God so loved the world” into scripture like this, “His soul hates the wicked”? You can’t, it has to be one or the other.
Is it possible that God has His people whom He chose from the very beginning and whom He loves and always will love them because they're His children? Is it possible that the devil also has his people that are his children and those are the ones God hates because of their wickedness? Let’s explore the Scriptures to see what Jesus says. (John 8:42,44,47) Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me"… (44) You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies… (47) Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God". Jesus says the reason some don't hear the Word of God is that they are not "of God" and that the devil is their father. Could this be the reason that God does not work His will in them to draw them close to Jesus? Could this be the reason that God hates those who do wickedness? (Matthew 15:13) But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. (14) Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch”. In this parable, Jesus says that there are "plants" or people which the Father has not planted who will not only themselves fall in the ditch but lead others who are not God's into the ditch also. Again, the reason God does not love everybody is because there are many who are planted by the devil and are the devil's offspring. (Matthew 25:24) "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, (25) but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. (26) So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. (27) And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, 'Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?' (28) He said to them, 'An enemy has done this'... (36) And his disciples came to him, saying, "Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field." (37) He answered, "The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. (38) The field is the world, and the good seed is the children of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, (39) and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. Can you see the two seeds amongst mankind and why it would be that God loves some and hates others? It's only those who are His which He loves.
In the flesh both the children of God and the children of the devil all look the same. The only way one can tell is by their actions. If you're God's child then you're hearing God's Word and obeying it; that's how you can know that you are of God. Those who are God's not only hear but obey His Word and walk in His steps. (1 John 2:5) By this we know that we are in Him. (6) He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. If you are obeying His voice and walking the best you can in the steps of Christ, then be thankful because God is putting His will into you, to hear and obey the Lord and that’s why you came to Jesus in the first place while others did not. The devil's children cannot hear God’s Word and do not come to Jesus. (1 John 3:7) Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. (8) He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. (9) Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. (10) In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God… (12) not as Cain was of the evil one. There are clearly two fathers; God and Satan and they each seem to have children which are manifested by either their works of righteousness or their works of unrighteousness. God loves the righteous and hates the wicked who will be lost forever. (1 Cor 6:9) Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, (10) nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. I ask you again, does God really love everybody? Does He really love the sinner and hate only the sin? (Gal 5:19) Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, (20) idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, (21) envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Are you caught up in one or more of the sins listed in either of these two passages? Is the devil deceiving you by having you think that it's okay to practice these things because "God loves you". Wake up! Open your spiritual eyes! Repent and start following the Lord in righteousness or you will not inherit the kingdom of God! It is important to remember that God forgives us when we confess and repent, but God cannot and does not ignore willful sin that anyone continues to practice. (1 John 1:9) "If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness" is the first part of Jesus' and John the Baptist's messages of "Repent! For the kingdom of God is at hand!" Everyone of us has been sinners at one time in our lives but those whom God loves will draw them to repentance and faith in Jesus.
(John 10:3) To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. (4) When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. (14) I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me. Again there seems to be a difference in God’s children versus the rest of the world. Those of God hear His voice and follow Him, God considers them “His own sheep” and “He knows his own”. That’s why God doesn’t choose or love everybody in this world, because not everyone in this world are His sheep.
(John 6:70) Jesus answered them, "Did I not choose you, the Twelve? And yet one of you is a devil." Jesus chose the twelve, eleven were God’s children, one was the devil's. Was Jesus surprised that Judas betrayed Him or did Jesus choose Judas for that very purpose? Yes, God chose one of the devil’s children to put Jesus to the cross. Jesus could not put Himself on the cross, nor could His disciples ever put Him on the cross so God used many of the devils children to accomplish His will and save you and I by the shedding of His Son's blood at the hand of the devils children.
(John 10:26) But you do not believe because you are not part of my flock. (27) My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me… (29) My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all. Again, we see that there are those who are part of Jesus' flock while there are others that are not and they are not given to Jesus. Two flocks, sheep (Jesus' flock) and the goats (Satan’s herd). (Matthew 25:31) "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. (32) Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. (33) And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Those who were part of Jesus' flock had works to prove they were His. (Matthew 25:40) "Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me." Those who were not the Lord's and were goats. They also had works to prove they were the devils. (Matthew 25:45, 46) "Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me." And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.
(2 Timothy 2:19) But God's firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: "The Lord knows those who are his," and, "Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity." I hope you're understanding from Scripture that there are some that are God’s children and He gives them ears to hear and they come to Jesus, they depart from iniquity and He loves them, while there are others that Jesus says are the devils children and not of His flock. These do not follow His Word, do not depart from iniquity and God does not love them.
(John 14:21) He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself unto him. This is how you know that you love the Father, if you keep His commandments. What if you don’t keep His commandments? By process of elimination, you don’t love the Father and then you shall NOT be loved by the Father.
(John14:23) Jesus answered and said unto him, if a man love me, he will keep my word: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. This does not sound like God loves everybody unconditionally. This scripture says IF you keep Jesus’ word then the Father will love him. If you don’t keep His word does the Father still love you anyway? I think not, or why would Jesus have even mentioned it as a condition to the Father loving you?
(John.15:6) If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned...(10) If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. (14) Ye are my friends, if ye do the things which I command you. Another conditional promise by Jesus; paraphrasing His words “IF you keep His commandments Jesus will continue to love you and you're His friend only IF you do what He commands you. There certainly are some strict conditions to staying in God’s love. You should also notice that there are consequences if you do not abide in Jesus, that person is cast forth and thrown into the fire and burned. The next scripture in Proverbs is no different, it’s a conditional truth.
(Proverbs.8:17) I love them that love me; And those that seek me diligently shall find me. So who does God love, everyone in the world or those in the world who keep His commandments and are His and not the devil’s? Look at the next verse and you’ll see that God loves “HIS OWN”. (John 13:1) Now before the feast of the passover, Jesus knowing that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto his Father, having loved his own that were in the world, he loved them unto the end. If Jesus loved everyone, wouldn’t He have said it here? Instead, Jesus specifically says that He “loved His own that were in the world” and they are the ones that He loves to the end! Just like in the Old Testament, God has a people that He chooses to set His love on. (Deuteronomy 7:6) "For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. (7) It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the LORD set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples. We serve a God that does not change. Why did God choose to show His love to tiny Israel and to none of the other peoples in the World? If the Lord loved everyone, then why didn’t He save everyone back then instead of just Israel? It’s no different today, God has a people that He has chosen to come to Jesus and it’s those that “God so loved [those who were His in] the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever [ God chooses to draw to Jesus then ] believes in him should not perish but have eternal life”, not the whole world, but those that were His and that the Father had appointed eternal life, those are the ones God loves.
(Acts 13:48) And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed. Don’t try to understand God and how He works; just believe what the Word says and God will give you understanding as you believe His word. Our job is not to understand first, and then believe, our responsibility is to seek out all the scriptures and simply believe what it says. Only then will the Lord open up the Scriptures to understand why His Word is true. Were you appointed to eternal life? If so you will not question God, but simply thank Him for showing mercy on you and giving you the faith to believe in His son Jesus Christ and you will do your best to obey what the Word of God commands.
Now at this point in the study I would list other scriptures that make the case that God loves everybody but I cannot find them. So I will us some that people use to justify their belief that God loves everybody: (1 John 4:8) Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. Yes God is love, but He is also just and we have read earlier how God hates wickedness.
(1 John 2:2) He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. Like we mentioned earlier in the study, we must fit this scripture in with the other scriptures we just read. If Jesus was the propitiation (atonement) for the sins of the whole world then the whole world would be saved, yet they’re not. What we’ve learned is that Jesus is the atonement for those whom God chose out of the whole world. God draws His children to Jesus by putting His will in them to come to Jesus so that they may be saved through the forgiveness of their sins.
We see in scripture that it says in (Romans 5:8) “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” God does not dwell in time, we do. God sees the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10) “declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done…” and because He chose us from the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4) “even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world” He has loved us first by faith, and then manifestly when God drew us and turned us to Jesus by giving us the free gift of faith. That’s a stark contrast to others who were not chosen from the foundation of the world that God does not love, like Esau and all evildoers. Without God's love working in us we would all be evil, but by the grace of God He is working in His children to make us more and more like Christ.
Next we have what seems to be a very powerful argument that God must love everybody. (2 Peter 3:9) The Lord is not slow to fulfill his provise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. God uses the wicked to perfect His saints. We see it throughout the Bible and you may even see it in your own life. With an All Mighty God, if He didn't want any to perish then none would. Yet many do and I believe this saddens God, but it must be done in order to bring the chosen to where God wants them to be. Just like Jesus couldn't put Himself on the cross and needed the ungodly to do it, we too as Christians need the ungodly to perfect us and take us to our cross. The "ALL" that God wants to repent are ALL His chosen. He wants them to come to repentance. Just like you, before you came to the Lord and repented, you were lost and perishing, but God is patient towards us and when He calls us and puts it in our hearts to repent and come to Him, we will. Not by our will but God putting His will in us because He loves us.
(John 17:9) I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. (10) All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. Even Jesus said that He was not praying for the whole world but only the ones the Father has given Him out of the world, and as we learned earlier, it's only those who do righteousness who are proving they are God's children.
I hope this clears things up on understanding that God is love, but God does not love everybody. God loves those that He has chosen from the foundation of the world. God loves the ones that are His and they are holy and righteous because God has put it into our hearts to be this way. God does not love the devil's children who will show by there actions, that they do not love righteousness and are not of God. If you are not one of God’s children you are by default a child of the devil.
However, by understanding this, we must not judge others because like the thief on the cross, they may be part of Jesus’ flock but it’s only at the end. After a life of sin God can still draw them to Himself to come into His fold. On the other hand, I would imagine when Judas was preaching Jesus, casting out demons and healing the sick, that he felt pretty secure in the Lord. Yet, he was never part of Jesus’ flock, though I’m sure that at one time he thought he was. (1 Corinthians 10:12) “Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.” Respect these words of Paul because it’s God who gives you grace and shows His mercy on you. It’s that free gift of faith and not your works that saves you!
May the Lord bless you,
Mark, a servant of the Lord, www.heavenshelpers.org
Questions/Feedback - email me: firstname.lastname@example.org