12/04/19: 1 John 4:1-21; Psalm 123:1-4; Proverbs 29:2-4

1 John 4:  Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

A question — if “God is love” how can he condemn unbelievers to an eternity of damnation?  That thought has entered my mind, and I have heard it used to rationalize that hell does not exist & that all of mankind will spend eternity in heaven, regardless of their religious believes.

In answering this question for myself I did a bit of reading and I think the following explanation answers the question.

The phrase “God is love” only occurs here and verse 16 in the Bible.  This phrase affirms a condition about the nature of God, all that God does is love.  If He provides, He provides in love; if He judges, He judges in love.  Love is inherent in the nature of God; it is at the heart of all God is.  Additional to love and among other things, God is also truth, justice, righteousness and long-suffering.
    — Dr. Grant Richison

 

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