John 3:16 is not enough?
We are told that God loved the world, but in the next breath we are told that God has no problem condemning the world to eternal torment and suffering for the "crime" of unbelief. (John 3:18: "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.")
In what way is God's love functionally different from God's lack of love?
Romans 5:8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Unless, that is, you
- blaspheme against the holy spirit (Mark 3:29: "But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation"),
- cannot find it in yourself to forgive someone who did something heinous and traumatic (Matthew 6:15: "But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses"),
- fail to keep on his good side (Romans 11:22: "... but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off"),
- fail to follow every commandment (John 14:23: "Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him").
Other restrictions do apply. Those damned include, but are not limited to Hypocrites (Matthew 24:51), The Unforgiving (Mark 11:26), Homosexuals (Romans 1:26, 27), Fornicators (Romans 1:29), The Wicked (Romans 1:29), The Covetous (Romans 1:29), The Malicious (Romans 1:29), The Envious (Romans 1:29), Murderers (Romans 1:29), The Deceitful (Romans 1:29), Backbiters (Romans 1:30), Haters of God (Romans 1:30), The Despiteful (Romans 1:30), The Proud (Romans 1:30), Boasters (Romans 1:30), Inventors of evil (Romans 1:30), Disobedient to parents (Romans 1:30), Covenant breakers (Romans 1:31), The Unmerciful (Romans 1:31), The Implacable (Romans 1:31), The Unrighteous (1Corinthians 6:9), Idolaters (1Corinthians 6:9), Adulterers (1Corinthians 6:9), The Effeminate (1Corinthians 6:9), Thieves (1Corinthians 6:10), Drunkards (1Corinthians 6:10), Reviler (1Corinthians 6:10), Extortioners (1Corinthians 6:10), The Fearful (Revelation 21:8 ), The Unbelieving (Revelation 21:8 ), The Abominable (Revelation 21:8 ), Whoremongers (Revelation 21:8 ), Sorcerers (Revelation 21:8 ), All Liars (Revelation 21:8 ).
Again, I would ask, in what way is God's love functionally different from God's lack of love? If he can love one he condemns to torment for all eternity, what does that say about what love even is?
Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God. who loved me and gave himself for me.
Clearly God doesn't love us
, he loves Christ who just so happens to be possessing the body of the Christian.
Ephesians 2:4-5 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, evenwhen we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved—
Until you consider that only those who were predestined to be saved were the only ones God loves (Romans 8:29-30 " For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.")
1 John 4:9-11 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
"One another" doesn't mean every person on earth. God calls the believer to separate himself from, not love, the nonbeliever. This is for the sake of their own salvation. ( 1 Corinthians 5:9-13: "I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.")
"One another" means "one of us" (Matthew 12:46-50: "While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.").
Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
That is, of course, if you have not done anything to piss off God, like fail to follow a commandment or have the audacity to think for yourself (Micah 3:4: "Then shall they cry unto the LORD, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings," 1 Samuel 8:18: "And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day," Proverbs 1:28-30: Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.")
1 John 4:7-8 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
Recall the verse just before the one you quote, and remember to read the bible in context. (1 John 4:3: "And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.") If you pledge your love to he who works against God, you are aligning yourself against God. (Matthew 12:30: "He that is not with me is against me") This cannot do, for a person has One Job - to fear God and obey God. (Ecclesiastes 12:13: "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.")
1 Peter 5:6-7 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
Interestingly, he doesn't care for you if you don't "humble yourselves" under his authority. This is to say, God loves those who choose to ignore the instinct to think for themselves and refuses to learn how to rationally and critically analyze information. (1 Corinthians 2:4-7 "And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory.") We know this because people who don't "humble themselves" don't believe the fantastic and absurd claims made, namely that Jesus, like Osiris, Romulus, and Zalmoxis, died as a sacrifice for the redemption of mankind, was resurrected, and offers their followers eternal life, but unlike them, this particular dying-rising god is real.
Psalm 86:15 But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
This verse refers to the speed with which God's love is manifest, not whether or not it applies to all humanity. Besides, his mercy and grace are extended to a select number of true believers (Romans 8:14: "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God," Romans 8:17: "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.") But this comes at a price, namely that you trust God first and show that trust by [conveniently] being so humble that you accept nothing of yours, but give it all "back" to God, whatever that looks like. Then, and only then, will is mercy and grace be upon you. (II Corinthians 9:6: "But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully." Luke 6:38: "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.") If his mercy and grace isn't available, it's because you've been harboring some unknown sin, pissing him off enough to withhold this mercy and grace until you get your shit together, grovel appropriately, and abdicate that pesky instinctual autonomy. (2 Corinthians 13:5: "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?")
1 John 3:1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
The only "children of God" are the ones who believe in the story, abdicate intellect and autonomy, and put all their faith in Jesus. The rest of us are not "children of God," and are therefore unsafe, spiritually speaking (Leviticus 10:10: "And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean.")
Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,
Read the rest of that chapter. God is faithful and keeps his covenant (which one, and why does he need so many?) "with those who love him and keep his commandments." God's chosen people are compelled to respond to those who do not "love him and keep his commandments" by smiting them, and utterly destroy them, making no covenant with them, and certainly not show any mercy unto them (Deuteronomy 7:2-3). Of course, a couple chapters earlier, we read how God holds a grudge. Luckily, it's not for a thousand generations, but only three or four ( Deuteronomy 5:9-10: "Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.") Again, we see how God loves those who obey, not all humanity. Clearly, not
Proverbs 8:17 I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.
Exactly. Those who love him and seek him find this "love" of God. Those who don't, won't. Again, God does not love humanity, he loves those who fear and obey him.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
This is useless in the context of free will, in the context of those who do not follow these special plans God has.
John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Jesus was talking to his disciples here, arguably the command is given to them. In any case, we know those who are not true believers are to be left behind without pity (Matthew 8:22: "But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.")
Psalm 136:26 Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.
This simply refers to God's love, not to whom this love endures.
Romans 5:2-5 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Again, this is presuming the scriptures that refer to God's ordination of certain people to respond in faith are all taken out of context (Ephesians 1:5: "Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will") You Christians have argued about predestination v free will for centuries and centuries and still haven't figured out what's going on there. Needless to say, your bible talks about both of them as if they were legitimate concepts. Almost as if various letters, epistles, and stories were haphazardly gathered during one big convention in the 3rd century without thought to the diametrically opposing theologies each one advocates. Now you Christians are stuck with a tiny library (biblio) of texts, all supposedly "inspired," and yet they don't agree on some of the most basic, rudimentary aspects of this faith, including whom God loves.
Mostly, I'd be interested in hearing your opinion as to what is the functional difference between God's love, and the lack of God's love.