The Lord is not slack concerning his promise and coming, as some men count slackness; but long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (II Peter 3:9)
I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, who need no repentance. ... Likewise I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repenteth. (Luke 15:7,10)
Though it may be popular for a season on earth, unconditional love does not bring joy in heaven among the angels of God. Why? It does not lead sinners to repentance; and in the event that sinners happen to be brought unto repentance by other means, unconditional love is not equipped or so inclined to lead them to go on and repent of their sins.
Yes, God is love, but He is not unconditional love. Yes, God is good and His goodness leads us to repentance; yet, unlike unconditional love, God, as light and love, rebukes and chastens those He loves, saying, “…be zealous therefore, and repent.”
Our God is righteous and holy and He judges the unrighteous and ungodly according to His wisdom and knowledge of all things. He does not throw out justice nor does He hand out mercy carelessly and indiscriminately. No, His are the ways of discretion and honest assessment. Careful, contemplative thought goes into all that our Lord does and in all that He pronounces over and upon each and every element and body in His creation.
When our Lord returns in glory – and He will return – Jesus Christ promises to execute judgment upon all who have not repented of their sins. For, as we read in the book of Jude in the Bible, He will come with His saints, “To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”
Even now His Spirit of truth is among us to “reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” Unconditional love knows nothing of this convicting, convincing, and converting work of the Lord’s Spirit and, thus, it has no place or part in it. The angels of God are, however, intimately involved in this process. For, as it is written, “… of the angels he saith, Angels are ministering spirits,” and “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” Unconditional love is, therefore, of no use to God’s angels in the work to which He has called them – in ministering to the heirs of salvation.
What instrument of love can and do angels use, then, in their service to God as ministering spirits? The answer is charity, the pure and perfect love of Jesus Christ; it is His covenant love, even the love of the New Covenant which He mediates. This is the only love which can grant us repentance and the forgiveness of sins. This is the only love which can bring us to the conditions of repentance and, there, guide us in repenting of our sins. For it is also written of the angels of God, “the office of their ministry is to call men unto repentance, and to fulfill and to do the work of the covenants of the Father which He hath made unto the children of men...”
Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God; for, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him.
And he hath risen again from the dead, that he might bring all men unto him on conditions of repentance.
And how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth. Wherefore you are called to cry repentance unto this people.
And if it so be that you should labor all your days, in crying repentance unto this people, and bring save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy, if you should bring many souls unto me!
Behold, you have my gospel before you, and my Rock, and my salvation.
The opening paragraphs above serve as the introduction to the 5th volume of “The Covenant Breaker: Unconditional Love’s Sinister Plan.” The full content of the volume is linked here: Volume 5: Why Not Live For What Gets Heaven Excited? The four preceding volumes may be accessed on the website linked here.
This set of volumes on unconditional love has been written to reveal how Satan appears as an angel of light to promote “unconditional love.” His counterfeit love serves as the antithesis of the conditions of repentance which Jesus Christ and His faithful disciples taught and preached.
What are the conditions of repentance? They are the most exciting and amazing conditions ever revealed under heaven to mankind. Because of these conditions, Jesus has been given power to save us from our sins.
And he hath power given unto him from the Father, to redeem them from their sins, because of repentance; therefore he hath sent his angels to declare the tidings of the conditions of repentance, which bringeth unto the power of the Redeemer, unto the salvation of their souls. (Helaman 2:73)
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matthew 28:17-19)
This is why Jesus was preceded in His ministry by John the Baptist and by all the holy prophets before him in preaching repentance. This is why the Father sent His Only Begotten Son into the world so that all who would receive Him might not perish. This is why Peter wrote that our Lord is not willing that any should perish, but that all might come to repentance. In this most wondrous venue (setting) of the conditions of repentance, sinners are freed from sin and its consequences and reconciled unto their Maker in His marvelous light and love.
Repentance is the rendezvous point of the point of rescue. It is within this venue which God constructs that we are led, even guided, and called into so that we might meet with Him appropriately and honorably. Our Lord has so constructed this life we now live with these conditions for this life-giving purpose, to bring us to Himself and give all things to us according to His light and love. Herein – within the conditions of repentance – we find God abiding, and herein we are given the opportunity to meet with Him in His pure light of truth.
According to God’s foreknowledge, He labors to this end, to bring us to repentance, more particularly, to bring us into the conditions of repentance. There, in this blessed condition, He baptizes us with His Spirit. And there He brings forth from our lives fruit meet for repentance. As the One described by Jesus as the “husbandman” or gardener, our heavenly Father labors to this end, to bring forth these precious fruits or works by His Spirit at work in us according to His covenants.
These special conditions – the conditions of repentance – are the fruitful soil into which He plants us so we might grow in His knowledge and grace by faith in Jesus Christ. As it is written, through sufferings, God has prepared better things for us. Unconditional love is an anti-covenant love (having and knowing no conditions) which knows nothing of this process or His purposes in bringing forth fruits meet for repentance out of the conditions of repentance.
Contrasting between unconditional love and the conditions of repentance is the focus of the previous volume of this series, called Volume 4: Unconditional Love Versus The Conditions of Repentance. Here is the introduction and a selected quote from within to summarize the topic and set the stage for the discussion.
For many people, loving unconditionally simply means loving others regardless of who they may or may not be and loving them regardless of what they may or may not have done. If advocates of unconditional love are to be consistent in their approach to loving others unconditionally, this will also be their approach to loving Jesus Christ.
Taking such an approach to loving our Lord fails, however, to love Him for who He is as our Savior and to love Him for what He has done on the cross to save us from our sins. Thus, their choosing to love others unconditionally, including Jesus Christ, diminishes both their witness of Him as Savior and their confession of His right to rule as Creator Lord over them and those they love.
Since unconditional love does not depend upon who Jesus Christ is or what He has done, those who would choose to love others unconditionally will find no specific need to share the good news about His work of redemption attested to by His death and resurrection, and soon don’t. Neither will they see a specific need to speak to others about Jesus’ teachings and His commandments, and soon won’t (contrary to the Great Commission).
Being unconditional by definition, unconditional love separates itself and sets itself apart from the conditions of the New Covenant mediated by Jesus Christ. Invoking unconditional love serves, in essence, to reject His witness that He rules in the heavens above and in the earth beneath based upon these conditions. It disregards Jesus’ claim that our lives depend upon the salvation He alone can offer and is offering to everyone who will and does receive Him. It does not recognize nor support Jesus’ claim that we must repent of our sins to receive salvation and rest in His everlasting kingdom. Therefore, it dismisses His call to repent and come to Him in order to be saved from the wrath to come.
These are irreconcilable departures from the gospel of the kingdom as it was taught by Jesus Christ. In its sphere of influence, unconditional love renders as irrelevant and meaningless His atonement and resurrection. These simply are not needed nor respected by unconditional love. Some advocates of unconditional love may choose simply to ignore Jesus and His message while others may choose to dismiss, and even revile against Him and the reports of His miraculous ministry, passing them off as mere folklore. A practical effect of such irreconcilable departures from the gospel Jesus Christ preached is that unconditional love must operate independent of and outside of our Lord’s presence, and thus independent of and outside of His light and love, that is, in outer darkness.
Because God is infinite and eternal, His love is the same, infinite and eternal. In the words of the prophets, His love is everlasting love. It would, therefore, be wrong to hold a simplistic view of God and His love, one that concludes God’s love is either conditional or unconditional. God is love, and in His presence of light and truth – not outside of His light in darkness – we may experience the fullness of His love. God does not cease to be love if we fail to obey Him. His love endures all things. However, according to Jesus Christ and His disciples, only those who love God unto obeying His voice and walking in the light as He is in the light will come to abide fully in His love.
Summed up, unconditional love excludes from its considerations and practices all conditions, including those outlined in both the Old Testament and the New Testament of the Bible. This includes the conditions of repentance as described in II Chronicles 7:12-14 and in I John 1:5-2:2 at the beginning of this volume. Herein lies the impasse. Unconditional love is in conflict with the New Covenant, in particular, the conditions of repentance. If one is valid, the other is invalid.
Tracing each to its source, advocates of unconditional love pit themselves against Jesus Christ and His gospel, which He first introduced in His ministry with the command to repent and believe His gospel. According to His testimony, whoever falls upon Jesus will be broken and whomever He falls upon will be ground to dust. But whoever builds upon Him as the chief cornerstone, as a precious rock of offense will have Him for a sure foundation. I have chosen Jesus – to build upon Him as my Rock, my Foundation. I have chosen His covenant love.
Referring to God’s word that He chastens those He loves:
In the next several sections the importance of the Lord’s chastening will be discussed in fuller detail in terms of ordinances and sacraments. Briefly understood, an ordinance is an appropriate arrangement prepared and governed by God to provide us with a setting in which to offer up our sacraments unto Him. Said another way, God establishes ordinances as lawful venues in which we are to offer Him our sacraments as the sacrifices He requires of us.
In the terms of this section, any chastisement the Lord brings upon us represents the ordinance or venue. The principal sacrament we are to offer Him in response to His chastening is the sacrifice of a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Put in terms of repentance, the conditions of repentance define the ordinance (setting, timing, events, etc.) and the act of repenting of our sins on our part is our sacrament. Together, ordinances and sacraments hold the promise of reconciliation and restoration between God and mankind.