Agape’ love is selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love. It is the highest of the four types of love in the Bible. This Greek word, agápē, and variations of it are frequently found throughout the New Testament. Agape’ perfectly describes the kind of love Jesus Christ has for his Father and for His followers. It is sad that Adam blamed God for creating Eve and, still knowing it was wrong, went ahead and also ate the forbidden fruit.
Grace for Whom?
(John 3:16-17 WEB) 16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him may be saved.
I don’t understand the clear teaching of this well known scripture would ever be turned into Selective Atonement? Jesus went to all kinds of people. Jesus was humble and turned away people who were prideful. But His goal was always to save the world, not just those who were supposedly “elected”.
(Acts 17:29-31 WEB) 29Being then the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like to gold, or silver, or stone graven by art and man’s device. 30And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: 31Because he hath appointed a day, in which he will judge the world in righteousness, by [that] man whom he hath ordained: [of which] he hath given assurance to all [men], in that he hath raised him from the dead.
What else can “all men every where” mean then that God extends the offer of salvation to “all men every where”? And what is judgement for if God has already elected who’s to be saved or to be damned?
(Titus 2:11-14 WEB) 11For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 eaching us, that denying ungodliness, and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and piously, in this present world; 13Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God, and our Savior Jesus Christ; 14Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify to himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
Some might seek to negate the term “all men” because of the totally immoral life styles of some. But this scripture points out that anyone can be redeemed.
(2 Peter 3:9 WEB) The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
The depth of God’s love for us explains His patience to wait for every lost soul to repent. And even when the sins of mankind cry out for justice, God will not forsake any potential lost soul coming to salvation.
Jesus endured everything for our sake. As His followers, we should do the same. And just as Jesus ate with sinners, we also need to reach out to lost souls. And not as an obligation, but in a sincere way to try and understand another person and to eventually give time for the Holy Spirit to draw them the last past of their spiritual journey into God’s Kingdom.
And the best way to reach people is with the agape’ love that Jesus personifies. Our own outreach is a sure way to also deepen our faith and to witness the Gospel come to light in new ways. So let us them unqualified love. And that love also includes tough love, that doesn’t get trapped into enabling. For the greatest love encourages and supports people to take personal responsibility for their actions and the consequences that come with that.
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