“GOD LOVES YOU Even in 2011,” read a church sign that I saw recently. I don’t know what the person who authorized the sign had in mind with those words. Obviously, Scripture makes the simple declarative statement that “God is love” (I John 4:8). And just as obviously, God’s character does not change with the turning pages of the calendar. Beyond that, however, without any further context, the statement could be seriously misleading. Did the maker of the sign intend to suggest, for example, that because God is love, it doesn’t matter what we believe or what we do, or that it is sufficient just to trust that everything will turn out all right in the end because God loves us? If that is what the sign’s author intended to suggest, then he has communicated a damnable error and is encouraging people along a path that will bring them straight down to hell. Only a little honest, unprejudiced consideration of the truths revealed in Scripture will result in a realization that whatever Scripture means when it declares that God is love, it never means that we are free to believe, think, or do as we like without consequence.
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