Should we tell unbelievers that God loves them?
Well, it’s true. God loves the world, and we have that message, but that’s not the whole message. If you say what the old Campus Crusade said, “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life,” that’s not accurate. Actually, there’s currently a terrible plan for your life and destiny.
Yes, we are to express that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son (John 3:16). God
does love. He actually is the Savior. Paul says, “He’s the savior of all men, especially those who believe” (1 Tim. 4:10).
There is a sense in which He puts His saving grace on display in common grace. Sinners don’t die when they deserve to die. “The soul that sins shall die” (Ezek. 18:20). We should all have been dead before we ever came to the cross. So, we see the love of God in the survival of sinners.
People say, “Look at the Old Testament and all those people that God killed.” That’s not the issue. Look at the Old Testament and look at all the people who lived when God put on the display of His grace and mercy. So yes, we preach that.
The other thing that has to be preached—and it has to be preached equally—is that sin will bring you to eternal damnation and eternal destruction. Only the love of God can rescue you, and that only comes through Christ.
This transcript is from a live Ask Ligonier event with John MacArthur and has been lightly edited for readability. To ask Ligonier a biblical or theological question, just visit Ask.Ligonier.org or message us on Facebook or Twitter.