Does God Love Everyone?

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by Kurt75, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. Does the Bible teach that God loves everyone from Adam all the way to the last man on Earth, OR does the Bible teach that God loves some people and hates other people?

  2. Yes He does! John 3:16 and logic.

    1. John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. As discussed elsewhere... the Greek translation of world is 'people of the world'. Nowhere in the bible is 'world' ever referred to as believers only. According to my research, if anyone can provide a scripture that clearly says / proves world = believers, they will be the first in Calvinist history to do so.

    2. Logic = All babies go to heaven, hence God made nobody for hell. Every scripture mentioning ''God hates X or Y'' involves an adult in rebellion.
    th1bill and Major say Amen and like this.
  3. KingJ, thanks for replying.

    If God loves everyone then, how do you reconcile this with verses that clearly state that God hates some people?
    Leviticus 20:23 “they committed those things, and therefore I abhorred them” (Spurned – reject with disdain or contempt; to push away with the foot)
    Deuteronomy 32:19 “he abhorred them”
    Psalm 5:4-6 “you hate all evildoers”
    Psalm 11:5 “his soul hates the wicked…”
    Proverbs 6:16, 19 “There are six things the Lord hates… a false witness who breathes lies, and the one who sows discord among brothers.”
    Hosea 9:15 “I began to hate them because of the wickedness of their deeds.”
    Malachi 1:3 “I hated Esau”
    Romans 9:12 “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated”

    So at a minimum, God hates evildoers, the wicked, false witnesses, liars, people who sow discord among brethren, people who do wicked deeds, AND Esau. God hated at least one person by name - Esau. How do you reconcile this?

    Acts 17:24 Yes, this verse clearly refers to everyone on the planet.
    Romans 11:12 This verse seems to refer to the world as the Gentile-only world, since the Jews excluded in this verse will also be saved.
    John 14:22 This world clearly refers to the wicked world of men to which Jesus refused to reveal himself.
    John 17:9 This world clearly refers to the rejected world for which Jesus would not pray.

    In each of these verses, the Greek word "kosmos" is used, yet they all mean a different 'people of the world.' I submit that we cannot assume that every time the word "world" is used in the Bible that it means everyone on the planet because I just showed you at least two instances where the word "world" is exclusive in nature.

    Is it your assertion that everywhere in the Bible (or at least the NT) that the word "world" is used, it refers to everyone on the planet? If so, how do you reconcile the above argument?

    What about 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." If the word "world" in this verse means everyone on the planet, then everyone is going to heaven because the verse says that "[Jesus] is the propitiation... for the sins of the whole world." But we know not everyone is going to heaven. We know only believers are going to heaven. We know that Jesus said that multitudes will perish. So if we believe that not everyone is going to heaven, the word "world" in this verse CANNOT mean everyone on the planet. In fact, since we know that only believers will go to heaven, it logically follows that the world in this verse refers to the world of believers.

    That is unless, of course, this is another verse that we're supposed to tack on "if you accept Him" at the end of it. How do you reconcile this?
  4. Sorry, I forgot to respond to this:

    So at what point, in your view, does God go from loving someone to hating them? Aren't we all in rebellion prior to our conversion to Christ?
  5. Kurt.........I has been my experience that posts with several Bible verses posted needing to be explained always goes better when it is done one at a time and not a whole bunch all together.

    If you would like to do that....ask one at a time I would love to respond to them for you.
  6. Sorry, I was just attempting to respond to the statements KingJ made.

    I asked him 3 questions that you may want to chime in on:

    (1) How does he reconcile the multiple verses of the Bible that talk about God hating some people with his assertion that God loves everyone?

    (2) Does he still hold to the assertion that the word "world" means "(all) people of the world" given the scriptures that I cited some of which clearly indicated that "world" does not include everyone on the planet?

    (3) Does he still hold to the premise that nowhere in the Bible does "world" mean the "world of believers" in light of the argument I made in reference to 1 John 2:2?
  7. I will try to do so.

    When the Bible does speak of God hating, it is that God’s hatred is usually sin and wickedness. God hates sin such as idolatry in Deut. 12:31, those who do evil in Psalms 5:4.

    Prov. 6:16-19 tells us that there are seven things the Lord hates: pride, lying, murder, evil plots, those who love evil, false witness, and troublemakers.

    So then, the question at this point is why does God hate these things? God hates them because they are contrary to His nature—God’s nature being holy, pure and righteous. In fact, David writes, “For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with you” (Psalms 5:4). God is holy and hates sin. If He did not hate sin, He would not be holy. God is love, but He is also wrath, justice, and vengeance. But His wrath is a holy wrath and His justice and vengeance are holy as well. God’s love is holy.

    You do understand that you are reaching into the teaching the Reformed Theology? It is now common among Reformed people that, when one confesses God’s election of some persons to salvation, God’s particular love for the elect, and God’s exclusive desire to save the elect, his confession is immediately contested by an appeal to:

    John 3:16...............
    "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

    Is this the rule? The one who looks to John 3:16 intends to assert that God loves all men without exception and that God desires to save all men without exception. So simply said, God in Christ died only for the elect and not everyone in the
    world. The basic assumption underlying this appeal to John 3:16, as an argument against election, is that the word, world, in John 3:16 means ‘all men without exception.

    Isn't that where you are headed too..........Limited atonement?

    My friend, people who are a lot smarter than me have batted this back and forth for years. Personally I do not know and do not care. Now, I don't mean that in a nasty know it all way, it is that I know I am saved and on my way to heaven because I have believed upon the Lord Jesus Christ. I hope that you have as well and if so--- you also are born again and on your way to heaven. IF you believe Jesus died for the ELECT and I believe He died for all who choose Him as Lord and Savior..........guess what........WE BOTH WILL BE IN HEAVEN.

    It is not something I consider worth talking about. I do not say that to demean you or your thoughts, just me and mine.
    At my age, I have a lot more important things to discuss than this one.

    As for 1 John 2:2, "For the sins of the whole world".........It is my humble opinion, keeping in mind the comments of #2 above, that it does not mean that the application of the atonement is automatic for all the people in the world, but simply that if anyone in the world will believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and confess his sin, that person too will find that the atonement will be enough for him as well.

    Christianity is not exclusive like Gnosticism because anyone can know Christ if they want to.

    Good day my brother and I hope this answer your questions.
  8. I think some food for thought is that we have to remember that when it's said that God is love, this isn't meant to be some sort of empty rhetoric or figuratively. Rather, God is literally the purest form of Love itself. In James 1:17, it says that everything good comes from Him.

    God loves everyone because everyone was made in his image. In Romans 5:8, it says how God still shows his love for us, even as we are sinners.
  9. Major, thanks for your reply.

    I'm tracking why God hates these things, i.e. God's Holiness, etc. I agree 100%. But I'm not sure my question was answered. There are some verses in the Bible that clearly tell us that God hates different sorts of people. The Bible even identifies one of these people by name (Esau). How then can we conclude that God loves everyone given these scriptures that clearly tell us otherwise?

    I definitely fall in on the side of reformed theology, but the limited atonement argument (while closely linked to the question "Does God love everyone?") isn't really what I'm trying to discuss. There was another thread on that topic a few weeks back and I'm not trying to restart it under a new name.

    Yes, the other-than-reformed believers often resort to John 3:16 to justify their belief that God loves everyone. I presented an argument that I believe draws into question that that assertion may not be true. I was just casting a net to see how people dealt with my argument. Quite frankly, I wasn't always reformed. It took me 3 years after it was first presented to me in order for me to conclude that Reformed Theology is more Biblically sound. I personally don't like the idea that God hates some people and I'm trying to get my mind around it. What I'm concluding about my former belief that God loves everyone is that I had blindly accepted it because that's what was taught in the church in which I was raised and I really hadn't ever read what the Bible says about it and thoroughly thought it through.

    I'm not trying to be provocative here. I'm not trying to be nasty, insult people, or create division. I respect that you are not interested in this topic. To me, I just want to have a right understanding of God. There is another thread right now that is quite popular (about the bride of Christ, I believe) that is uninteresting to me. Perhaps it will be in the future when I sort out some of these other things that are more important to me right now.

    And speaking of limited atonement, I agree with you that is an issue that does not affect one's salvation and it definitely should not be something that the church divides over.

    Yes, this is how I see it as well.

    Again, thanks for participating in the discussion. Iron sharpens iron!
  10. Lysander, thanks for your reply.

    Don't you think that "we" in Romans 5:8 specifically refers to believers? Romans 5:1 pretty much identifies who "we" are (those who have been justified by faith).

    I'm tracking that we are made in God's image, but I'm not tracking that we are entitled to God's love because of it. Is this an inference you've made or is this found in the Bible somewhere I'm not aware of?
  11. Well, we aren't entitled to the salvation for it--though it is His will that all will receive salvation...but that doesn't mean we all will if we choose to go against His will.
  12. By God's will that we all receive salvation, I suspect you're referring to 2 Peter 3:9. When we read that verse by itself, it's easy to come to that conclusion. But when we read it in the context of the entire chapter, we learn that the chapter is about the return of Christ. People are frustrated because Christ has not returned yet (2 Peter 3:4). Peter begins to describe how imminent the return of the Lord is, saying essentially that the heavens and earth are being "stored up for fire" and being "kept until the day of judgement and the destruction of the ungodly" (2 Peter 3:7). Peter then says that God is patient, that He will not return until all have reached repentance." (2 Peter 3:9)

    But we know that not ALL will reach repentance, correct? We know that multitudes will perish. So we have to ask ourselves then, what does Peter mean when he refers to "any" and "all?" God is not waiting to return until every person on Earth reaches repentance - we know that's not going to happen. So then we must conclude that "any" and "all" refers to "all believers" or "the elect" or whatever term you feel comfortable with.

    If you're saying that "any" means everyone on the planet, and God is not willing that "any" should perish, then it follows that in the end God ultimately doesn't get what he wants. Another way to say that is that God fails to accomplish his purpose. And that flies in the face of Isaiah 46:9-10.

    Do you believe that God won't get what he wants in the end?
  13. #14 KingJ, Aug 29, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2013
    I don't see why you are confused on this. Hosea 9:15 that you quote answers it just fine.

    Because you read God hated go straight from A to Z and conclude God is partial? That is madness. If you read that scripture without scripture like 2 Pet 3:9 are simply guilty of twisting scripture. Don't try define God. Take scriptures definitions of God and work backwards. If we believe that God is good, righteous and just...which EVERY Christian should believe / know / percieve...We see that He must have foreseen Esau's rebellion. That does NOT mean He made Esau to be rebellious and reject Him...that is an assumption made with our small human brains... not able to grasp that God can be omniscient / sovereign and impartial at the SAME time.
    I don't see what is so difficult here. As far as I can see there are not 'many', there are only two. Unbelievers and all. You assume because it has two meanings we can throw in a third? :eek:
    You are taking John 2:2 on its own. I beg you to just add one more scripture for some context 2 Pet 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

    Conclusion: Clearly God wants everyone in heaven (2 Pet 3:9)! Hence He died for everyone (John 2:2)! But since there is a hell, clearly not everyone will be in heaven. Knowing that God is good and just we CAN conclude that it is us who effect the outcome and not free will. The only time we would conclude otherwise is if we did not know that God is good and just. Hence, the most popular question to 5pt Calvinists is ....'HOW do you judge a partial God as good?' :confused::confused:

    That is terrible reasoning and a clear assumption. The best case Calvinists had was on John 3:16. Because that verse contained ''believe'' and ''world'' in one sentence...but any language teacher will easily show you proper comprehension means the scope of the second word should match the first and not the other way around. In John 3:16 ''whomsoever believes' comes after 'world /kosmos'.
  14. Precisely. It looks like you and I agree. Maybe I worded my statement poorly.
  15. I think God wants voluntary love and will not force love, or violate free-will to get it.
    LysanderShapiro likes this.
  16. Hey Kurt,

    It seems like you may be leaning toward the "God may very possibly not love everyone" camp.

    More than argue a side, I'm curious about something in particular. The type of ministry I choose to do, I can only do if have the attitude that God definitely loves the people I am ministering to. I am reading your posts considering how the work I do would be affected if I believed that God may possibly hate some of the people I am serving.

    So I guess I'm just curious, how do you do ministry believing that God may hate the people you are serving? Did adopting that particular belief affect your attitude toward non-Christians?
  17. respond to your 1st thought, may I say Many Christians are shocked when they read Romans 9:13.............. “Just as it is written: ‘Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.’”

    But this as is the case in most situations just needs a little more intense study than just what is stated.

    A more careful reading of this passage indicates that the subject is not individual salvation, but Israel’s national role in redemptive history. Paul is actually quoting from Mal. 1:2-3 and when we read those verses in the context of Malachi’s book clearly indicates that Malachi is using the word “Jacob” to refer to the nation of Israel and the word “Esau” to refer to the nation of Edom.

    It is also important to explain that the word used for “hate” in Malachi 1 is a Hebrew idiom which actually means to “love less.” Dr. Oliver B. Green explains..............................
    “This is evident from Gen. 29:30: The phrase ‘loved Rachel more than Leah’ is used as the equivalent of ‘Leah was hated’ (cf. also Matt. 10:37).
    God does not hate anyone, but he does bless some nations more than others.

    Now having understood that we can see that makes perfect sense because Romans 9, 10, and 11 are all about national Israel and her role in redemptive history. Romans 9 refers to Israel’s past, Romans 10 refers to her present, and Romans 11 refers to her future. It is a serious exegetical mistake to interpret Romans 9 to be referring to individuals’ salvation.

    I know you are not trying to be provocative and are looking for truth as are we all. I have no problems speaking with anyone when we all act like Christians and you are very respectfull and I appreciate that greatly. I hope that you did not think I said you were being nasty because I certainly did not indend to do that.
  18. I understand "ALL & ANY" to mean the salvation of ALL and ANY who will trust in Christ.

    Kurt, please note that the word ....."any" = Greek word tis = someone, certain one & in the plural here = "certain ones" which is the so-called "individualizing plural" which speaks of God's desire for men individually to not perish, and is not a generalization about certain groups or classes of people which would include the "Elect".

    All (3956) (pas, plural = pantas) means all with no exceptions.

    So then my brother, the plain thrust of Peter's teaching in this section that you have posted is that after the second coming, ushering in the judgment of fire/war, there will be no further opportunity for repentance. You must also note what is clearly NOT being taught in passages like this -- There is absolutely no indication of a "secret decree" by God
    which predestinates certain souls to eternal damnation
    That thought, I must agree, having deceptive attraction, and having a false look of truth, argument is not substantiated in the current text nor anywhere else in the Scriptures. We must look deeper at the Word and ask the Holy Spirit for guidence so as to grasp these things of higher thought.
  19. Roads, thanks so much for participating in this thread and for your question.

    Yes, I am definitely leaning toward the "God may very possibly not love everyone" camp. Since my "arrival" at this position, it has affected my ministry only very subtly. Quite simply, I do not know who is elect or who is not. I can make an assumption for those who profess to love Christ that they are elect because of the fruit I see in their life. The fact that people engage me about spiritual (Biblical) things is, I believe, evidence of faith because the unregenerate sinner hates God and wouldn't care one way or the other.

    The real question you're getting at, I think, is how do I interact with non-believers given my belief that God may hate them. For this, I assume that everyone to whom I witness is elect. There's no way I can possibly know if a person is elect, hence I can only assume that he is and witness to him accordingly.
    The subtle nuance that I previously referenced is that I no longer get emotionally fired up when people reject the Gospel or fail to understand my arguments (Christian apologetics is also a hobby of mine). I want people to come to the knowledge of Christ. It upset me when they didn't. I felt like if my argument was effective or thorough that people should logically understand that their world-view was false, clearly see the reality of God's existence, and that there was abundant evidence to believe that Christianity is the one true religion. I witnessed to people using various approaches ranging from the message of the Gospel to the Moral Argument for the existence of God. The most frustrating points were where someone would tell me something like, "I agree with everything you've said. It makes perfect sense, but I just don't believe it." This would really frustrate me because it wasn't an outright rejection of God for some of these people, it was an inability to believe it. This reminds me of John 10:26 where Jesus says "you do not believe because you are not my sheep." How much different would the meaning be had Jesus said "you are not my sheep because you do not believe?"

    Prior to coming to an understanding of Calvinism, I would get upset or have high levels of frustration with people who simply "didn't get it" when I was clearly destroying their arguments against the existence of God, or whatever. Now, however, I understand it's not up to me. Because I now know that God has loved his elect prior to the beginning of time, He draws them to Him, regenerates them, and gives them faith which produces repentance. Before I thought I was the one "convincing" them to believe, i.e. "winning souls" for Christ. What a prideful absurdity. I felt like if my argument was just a little more effective or clever, that person would be saved. Now I know that I am merely just one of God's instruments to deliver the message, but the work of building faith is 100% the Holy Spirit. I no longer feel the guilt or regret that "if I had just witnessed to him one more time, he might have been saved before he died." If someone dies an unbeliever (assuming it's possible to know that for certain), I just resign myself to the fact that he wasn't elect. It still saddens me, but God is sovereign.

    This has not produced laziness or carelessness or led me to witness with less fever. Witnessing to people has actually become more exciting because I'm looking to see what God will do in this person's life.

    This post went a little longer than I intended, but I felt your thoughtful question deserved a thoughtful answer. If you have further questions about why I believe the way I do, please ask.

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