UNDERSTANDING GOD'S AMAZING UNCONDITIONAL LOVE
We absolutely need to know the difference between our conditional love and God's UNCONDITIONAL LOVE!
By: Norm Rasmussen
At the core of most every person is a longing to know that God loves them. They want the assurance God loves them. God put this desire in people, and God truly wants people to KNOW and BELIEVE He loves them.
Yet there is an enemy who does NOT want people understanding God's unconditional love for each of us - for YOU. That enemies' name is Satan. He's God's adversary - God's number one enemy - and your and my number one enemy. He operates behind the scenes, in the spirit realm, which makes His ability to affect our thought lives much easier than if we could observe him trying to relentlessly manipulate our thoughts.
This writing is a condensed
version of a very supernatural experience that I had with God a number of years
ago. It was a time when God executed some major spiritual surgery on me
and gave me some priceless understanding of His unconditional love for each of
us. To best learn about God's unconditional love for you, I would
encourage you to click on this video link. On it I share about
the full-length encounter. You can also read about it by clicking on the
The following highlights are taken from an encounter Norm Rasmussen, founder of PRECIOUS TESTIMONIES EVANGELISTIC MINISTRIES, had with God a few years after he had become spiritually born again, in 1983. That written account is titled: Love On A Dusty Road
Dialogue highlights of Norm's encounter with God the Father:
1) "Norm - - you are trying to earn my love. It cannot be earned. No one can earn My love. It's a free gift."
2) "How am I trying to earn your love, Lord?" Norm asked.
3) "You are trying to earn my love by doing ministry. Ministry is not something you "have to do" to receive my love. Ministry is something you "get" to do.
4) "You are also trying to earn my love by reading Holy Scriptures and trying to be obedient to them; by assembling with God's people (going to "church"); by praying; by financial giving. These are not things you have to do for Me to love you. They are something you get to do, simply because they are good for you. They are designed to bring spiritual growth in you, and you will be rewarded for them."
5) "You need to know something about Me. I love sinner to saint equally the same. From the worst of sinner to the "saintliest" of saints, I love them equally the same. I do not love the Pope or Billy Graham or any other person whom you think I love more than someone else.
"A case in point: When Hitler was alive and was responsible for killing the millions that he killed, I did not love him any less that I loved the most godly person of his day. I created Hitler with wonderful intentions in mind -- just like everyone else -- but he chose to follow evil rather than seeking to please Me in Truth during his life."
6) Norm's response: "But Lord, I thought you hated sinners."
7) "Not at all! I love sinners and non-sinners equally the same. I HATE the sin that people commit against me and others, but not the person doing the sinning. It is the sin itself I hate (and the harmful effects it brings to the one sinning and to others) - not the one sinning."
8) "Norm - you need to know why I can love sinner to saint unconditionally - equally the same - yet hate the sin sinners commit. It is because of the death, burial and resurrection of my Son, Jesus Christ. Before the beginning of creation -- before the creation of all things ... the death, burial and resurrection of My Son, Jesus, was planned in My mind. The moment I planned it my unconditional love was forever decreed.
As quickly as My people can learn the crucial important of Christ in them, the better off they will be. It is Myself, Christ, and The Holy Spirit living inside my people that changes not only their entire identity -- it is their power source to rise above the temptations to sin and thereby live in the fullness of the Spirit.
"Furthermore - every person I create, I have a truly wonderful purpose intended for them in eternity. I have a glorious eternal purpose in mind for them before they are given natural birth ... but I also give them a free will to decide whether they want to follow after Truth ... or follow after selfishness, lies and deception. If they chose to not follow after Truth, my glorious purpose for them throughout eternity will not be realized. It will not be manifest - not realized - to them, unfortunately and sadly.
"Now, it's crucially important in what I'm about to share: Don't confuse my unconditional love with my justice. My unconditional love for people does not override - does not supersede - my justice. Just because I love sinner to saint equally the same does not keep a person from going to hell for eternity if they refuse to accept my free gift of salvation (forgiveness of sins) for them -- my demonstration of love of providing Jesus Christ to be THE only acceptable sacrifice for the sins of every person. As is stated clearly in Holy Scriptures ... every person is born with a sin nature (See: Romans 3:23) and every person needs to be freed from my wrath - my judgment - against the sins they commit throughout their lifetime. I poured out My wrath on Jesus Christ on the cross because of the sins of every person, and whoever rejects Jesus Christ as their Savior from the penalty of their sins will experience my wrath against them for eternity. Wrong-doing against me must be punished. My holiness and justice demands it. So either one comes to me on the Judgment Day believing my wrath was removed for their sins by believing that Jesus Christ took my wrath for their sins by dying a painful death on the cross in their place and paid their penalty IN FULL ...or they pay the penalty THEMSELVES for their sins. I have clearly written in my Word: The wages of sin is death. That means eternal death. (See: Romans 6:23)
"Whoever welcomes and receives the sacrifice of Jesus Christ My Son I gave mankind ... immediately will have my wrath removed from them immediately and forever, as long as they don't permanently turn their back on Jesus Christ and willfully refuse to trust Him anymore as THE only acceptable sacrifice for their sins, for it is written in scripture:
"He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." (John 3:36)
9) "Lord - does this mean that if I don't read my Bible then from this moment forward until I die, you will love me just as much?"
10) "That's absolutely correct, Norm."
11) "Wow! You mean that if I don't go to church every Sunday, don't pray, don't witness to others about you -- you would love me just as much as before?"
12) "That's absolutely correct. In fact, if you never give to me one penny from this day forward, it will not affect my love toward you. Your giving of money, or not giving of money, does not affect my love toward you or anyone else. Like I said, my love cannot be earned by what a person does or doesn't do. It is impossible for someone to receive my love by their doing. My unconditional love is given to all with no strings attached, free of charge. It is neither earned nor even is it deserved, yet it is my nature to give it freely to all."
As I was taking all this "unbelievable" revelation of God's love in . . . kneeling there bawling like a little baby on that dusty road ... God then said THIS to me:
13) "You need to know something, however. Praying, reading The Word (holy bible scriptures), ministry, witnessing, assembling with God's people to help further My cause on Earth, giving money . . . although these are spiritual disciplines that you don't have to do . . . only an unwise person would quit doing them indefinitely. Though none of these disciplines will earn my love, they WILL earn eternal rewards of joy, and they can and usually will bring favor in various degrees on those who are fully engaged in these spiritual acts when it otherwise might not come, because they fall under My law of sowing and reaping.
"Not everyone will receive the same rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ, but all will be justly rewarded for what they did while on Earth.
"My people will be rewarded by what they sowed to help advance My Kingdom in the lives of others, as opportunity presented itself, according to My will for their lives.
"Conquering sin in one's life - walking in obedience to My New Covenant Word (New Testament) - is the other means by which My people will be generously rewarded.
"But again - Do not confuse my unconditional love with the laws of sowing and reaping.
"If people sow a little into what is pleasing to Me, they will reap a little. If they sow much into what pleases Me, they will reap much.
"Some of the greatest rewards of joy in heaven will be given to those who diligently sowed things like this to others while they were on earth: Unselfish prayer, kindness, faith, love, peace, joy, hope, encouragement, spiritual insight, wisdom, fighting for righteousness to defeat evil ... things of this nature."
IMPORTANT NOTE OF WISDOM
This needs to be stressed again so the reader clearly understands, which is WHY I'm going to repeat myself some. Understanding God's unconditional love toward humanity does NOT establish a higher importance than understanding His HOLINESS and JUSTICE.
As God is an all loving God . . . loving the worst of sinners to the most "saintliest of saints" equally the same . . . that unconditional love of God in and of itself will NOT keep a person from going to hell. It can probably be said that God will love a person in hell for eternity equally as much as He loved that person on earth . . . yet God's unconditional love will not free that person from hell once they are there.
Here is why: As God is an all-loving God, He is also an all-holy God, and an all-just God. God cannot stand sin in His presence. (That's because of His holiness). And there must be punishment for sin. (That's because of His justice).
When Adam and Eve sinned, God could no longer allow them to be in His presence like they were able to be before. This was because of His holiness. Furthermore, justice had to be served against their wrongdoing. This was because of His justice. (Remember, however, God did not love them any less for their wrongdoing. It was impossible for their sin to change THAT).
God decreed before they sinned that if they disobeyed Him (just once, mind you!), they must die -- both physically and spiritually (Genesis 2:17). As the all-holy (1 Peter 1:16) and all-just Judge, this was to be His sentence of punishment against their disobedience.
And because of their sin against Him, now His WRATH needed to be executed against them (Romans 1:18; 2:5,8; 4:15; 5:5). Thus much of God's favor was removed from them while they lived out their days, and upon dying physically, they were not allowed to be in the presence of God. They were spiritually separated from Him as well. (This, however, does not presume that they were sentenced to hell for eternity. I personally give them the benefit of the doubt, and when Jesus died and went and ministered truth to those in some sort of spiritual holding area, scripture tells us in Matthew 27:52-53 that they were freed from it and was now presumably allowed entry into the highest heaven where Jesus went.)
Because of the devastating nature of sin, sin passed onto the offspring of Adam and Eve (Romans 5:12). Probably genetically -- certainly spiritually. That made the offspring of Adam and Eve sinners as well. Through no choice of their own, they were born into this world sinners, initially because of the sin of their parents. What this meant is that God's WRATH was also upon them! He could NOT allow them to be in His presence either upon their dying, (although it did NOT affect His unconditional love for them).
Hence we see why God's WRATH is upon every person to be born on this planet. But that's not the end of the matter. God is also all-merciful. In His perfect mercifulness, He devised a plan to have His wrath removed from sinners before they died (Isaiah 53:3-6; 11 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 3:25). He would send the second person of the eternal Godhead, The Word, (Read: John, Chapter one) to earth to become the once and for all acceptable sacrifice to pay for the sins of humanity. If people accepted this sacrifice that God the Father provided for them (free of charge!), His wrath would instantly be removed from them. If they did not accept this sacrifice for their sins and sin nature, sentence of His wrath would remain on them.
"He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the WRATH of God abides on him." (John 3:36).
To make the point: God's unconditional love toward the "worst sinner in hell" will never change. He loves that sinner in hell equally the same as He does every saint in heaven. Yet that unconditional love will not free that sinner from hell; meaning God's unconditional love toward that person will not lessen their eternal suffering and torment.
God's unconditional love does not free a person from hell and it's torment once they are sentenced there.
Why? Again, because God's unconditional love does not supersede, or override, His justice. Justice must be executed and served for those who refused on earth His FREE pardon to have His wrath and sentence of eternal death removed from them. I keep repeating this so readers will understand the crucial importance of getting it.
There is only ONE WAY to have God the Father's wrath removed off a person. That is to accept the sacrifice He provided, which was the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ His only begotten Son -- fully God; fully man.
Scripture states: But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from WRATH through Him. (Romans 5:8-9)
As one cannot earn God's unconditional love, but only receive it as the free gift that it is, neither can one be "good enough" nor "earn" God's free gift of eternal pardon of our sin and sin nature (having His wrath removed from us). It too can only be RECEIVED with appreciation. True appreciation for getting it removed will prove itself by living a life of obedience to the One who pardoned us (Romans 8:13-14) . . . knowing that if we sin after we have had His wrath removed from us, forgiveness is always granted when confessed to Him (1 John 1:9). [Though his discipline and chastisement (which can include loss of possible favor to different degrees) will most likely be executed toward us if we continue to remain in that sin. Not to mention the potential for a loss of eternal reward, (though we still have certainty of removal of His eternal Wrath, which means we will not lose our Salvation).] (See: 1 Thessalonians 5:9).
In conclusion . . . we constantly need to remind ourselves of this Bible truth:
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies.
Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter."
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:31-39)
It is so crucial to mention WHY I highlighted "in" Christ Jesus our Lord above. To receive the full benefit of God's unconditional love for each of us, there is a qualifier. We MUST be in Christ Jesus.
We are fooling ourselves to believe we are in Christ Jesus until we have first identified with Him. There is only one way to identify with Him. We must accept the sacrifice He has given us. What sacrifice was that? He died taking full punishment for our sins, so that our sins would not be held against us and we be judged for them on the Judgment Day.
Saying it another way, if we have not embraced the free give of salvation that Jesus Christ provided for us by taking our punishment on the cross, we are NOT in Christ Jesus. If we are not in Christ Jesus at our death, our eternity will be spent in hell rather than in heaven with God's full love being showered upon us for all eternity.
So in conclusion, God's love is fully unconditional ... yet there is a condition to be qualified to experience the fruit of it for eternity. We must be in Christ Jesus our Lord. We must make the choice to be in Christ Jesus before we die.
If you haven't already made that choice, why not make it now? You have no assurance you'll be alive tomorrow to make it.
Note: For more insight on this topic, you can click here: Why Would A Loving God Send Someone To Hell?
For more insight into the love of God, you can click here: http://www.precious-testimonies.com/Exhortations/p-t/PiperJohn1.htm
People interested in delving more deeply into issues talked about in this writing can do so by obtaining a copy of: THE FOUNDATIONS OF CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE, written by Kevin J. Connor. You can contact the following ministry for a free catalog of additional resources by calling, email, or online at:
If you would like to read Norm's born again testimony, you can click on this link: http://precious-testimonies.com/BornAgain/L-N/Norm.htm
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