Unconditional love is NOT an excuse to shirk one’s responsibility, nor is it a license to sin. There is a place for unconditional love in the spiritual realm, but like any other asset, it can be twisted and used by the Eph. 6: 12 forces of evil.
Contrary to what we in our arrogance and ignorance would have us think of ourselves (Romans 12: 3), what we are apart from God is not a pretty picture (Isaiah 1: 5, 6/Romans 3: 23/James 2: 10). We have no problem seeing the faults and failures of other people, but a blind when it comes to seeing these same traits in ourselves.
From divine viewpoint, our, “…whole head is sick, and the whole heart is faint. From the sole of the foot even to the head there is nothing sound in it…(Isa. 1: 5, 6 NASB).”
“for all have sinned and for short of the glory of God (Romans 3: 23 NASB).”
“For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumble in one point, he has become guilty of (breaking them) all (James 2: 10 NASB italics mine).”
We ALL come into this world physically alive, but spiritually dead (separated from a relationship with God). This spiritually dead status is passed down to the humanity of the next generation at conception (1Cor. 15: 22/Psalms 51: 5).
Until and unless we are born again (spiritually), we “can not enter into the kingdom of God (John 3: 5 NASB).”
It is if and when we are born again, that our spiritually dead spirit is regenerated (Titus 3: 5), that we are “sealed (Eph. 4: 30 NABS)” (baptized/identified), having become a child of God. This regeneration and sealing is the Work of God the Holy Spirit, not of human means or religious ritual.
God (not Man) provided the one and only means of salvation in the Person and Work (on the cross) of the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14: 6). Man, beginning with the putting on of fig leaves, has tried (and failed) to produce his own means (through human/religious effort) to re-establish fellowship with God.
God is a God of unconditional love, but He is equally a God of justice. Accordingly, it was His love (John 3: 16) that motivated Him to provide His means of salvation, but His justice requires that the sin issue be addressed. Once saved ,always saved, but fellowship (2Cor. 13: 14) with God cannot be maintained as long as there are sins to be addressed in the post (after) salvation life of the believer.
Fellowship with God refers to an ongoing harmonious knowledge and experience of the presence of God in which there is an intimate, day by day, minute by minute, conscious relationship. Once this intimate walk with God has become one’s experience, there will always be the sense that something is just not right when we are out of fellowship with God.
Being out of fellowship is, in itself, is enough to motivate an advancing disciple to engage in a 2Cor. 13: 5 type of self-examination, with the objective of making the necessary (1John 1: 9/John 8: 11) adjustments to recover it.
“If we say we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us (1John 1: 8 NASB).”
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1John 1: 9 NASB).”
If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and (the knowledge of) His word is not in us (1John 1: 10 NASB italics mine.”
“…Neither do I condemn you; go your way. From now on sin no more (John 8: 11 NASB).”
Fellowship with God is not required to retain salvation (Romans 8: 1), but without fellowship one is NOT going to be motivated to execute the post salvation spiritual life of discipleship, which is the primary purpose one remains here on Earth after salvation.
Man, with the support of the devil, continues to try to make/keep himself right with God through the various “religious” acts that Man has engineered, along with relatively good behavior and deeds.
While there IS a place for good behavior and good deeds in the post (after) salvation spiritual life of a believer, such things are NOT means through which one’s salvation is obtained, improved, or retained.
“I am the way, the truth, and the life; NO ONE comes to (God the) Father, but through (faith in) Me (John 14: 6 NASB italics mine.” “He who believes in Me is not *judged (*concerning salvation); he who does not believe has been *judged (condemned) already, (Why?) because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God (John 3: 18 NASB italics mine).”
*There is a judgment (evaluation) that takes place in Heaven of the born-again believer’s post salvation deeds (1Cor. 3: 12-15), but this judgment/evaluation is for the purpose of receiving or forfeiting the rewards and privilege that will be received by those who identify and execute the type of post salvation spiritual life spoken of in Scripture.
Every born again believer has "a" post (after being saved) spiritual life, but not necessarily "the" one spoken of in Scripture.
Once saved, all the spiritual activity is accomplished through the enabling power of God, as, “…apart from Me (the Lord Jesus Christ is speaking), you (the born-again believer) can do n-o-t-h-i-n-g (in the spiritual realm).” John 15:5 italics mine.
One can do (or have done) everything in the religious realm, but apart from God, it will profit one nothing.
Receiving and/or maintaining salvation through “religious” ritual/ceremonies and good human deeds/behavior is a counterfeit alternative that has been engineered by Man and promoted by the devil.
Such alternatives appeal to Man as they a-p-p-e-a-r to provide Man with the means to address his own spiritual needs. The devil promotes them because he knows they do NOT work.
After having provided the one and only means (1John 2: 2), God desires that all souls be saved (1Tim. 2: 4), but such passages as Rev. 20: 15 clearly reveal that there are going to souls cast into the lake of fire.
If God does not get everything that He desires, what makes us think that we should?
The minority vs. majority principle of Matt. 7: 14 indicates, and even secular statistics support, that unadulterated Christianity has never been accepted by the majority of the billions of souls that have been, are now, or will be born into the devil’s (Luke 4: 6) world.
Scripture (Matt. 24: 14) teach that the Gospel will be preached to the whole world, but not that it would be believed by the majority of world’s population during the course of the Church Age.
Furthermore, among those who are born again (and are headed for Heaven), only a small percentage of each generation of believers of the Church Age will engage in the LIFE of post (after) salvation discipleship. This is especially true during the end times of the Church Age (1Tim. 4: 1) when apostasy (false doctrine and practices) will reach its maximum influence WITHIN the Christian Community at large.
No type or amount of good behavior, good deeds, or “religious” rituals or procedures has ever, or will ever, save anyone. This is why the devil promotes such things.
Religious activities make sense in the light of human viewpoint, and offer a (false) sense of security to those who accept such alternative plans.
Saved from what?
Saved from the lake of fire where all unbelievers will spend all of eternity after Judgement Day (for the unbelievers – Rev. 20: 13, 15) takes place.
If not to retain one’s salvation, then for what purpose does God keep His “heaven bound” believers on Earth?
Born again believers (apart from God) can no more “retain” their salvation any more than they were able to “obtain” it in the first place. Salvation is an unmerited, irrevocable (Romans 11: 29) g-i-f-t from God. The gift has been prepared and is ready and waiting for every soul (1John 2: 2), but will only be received by those who choose to believe in a presentation of the Gospel Message.
The Work that provided us with this gift was performed by God on the cross. This Work what was “finished – John 19: 30 NABS) on the cross. The Work of regenerating (Titus 3: 5) what was our dead human spirit and the sealing our souls (Eph. 4: 30) is the Work of God that takes place at the moment of salvation.
Providing ALL that an advancing disciple needs (Phil. 4: 19) to identify and execute the post salvation spiritual life of discipleship is the post salvation Work of God.
Seeing to it that all born again believers make it through to Heaven (Romans 14: 4) is the post salvation Work of God.
Religion offers various alternative plans for its followers to execute a “religious” life here on Earth with the objective of earning Earthly blessings and a home in Heaven. Because NONE of them works, they have the full support and endorsement of the devil.
The religious life, in most cultures, begins shortly after one’s birth and long before one reaches the age/stage of personal moral accountability necessary to make a conscious decision when presented with the Gospel Message in the timing of God.
Once netted, shaking loose from religious bondage becomes much more difficult. Any experienced advancing disciple can tell you it is much easier to evangelize (present the Gospel Message) or edify (spiritually educate) a former atheist than it is to evangelize or edify someone who comes from a religious background of one type of another. This includes those who have been deceived by Christian religion that was designed to take the place of unadulterated Christianity.
Most religious plans continue on throughout one’s entire time on Earth, with more and more requirements being imposed as one “progresses” along the path that each religion requires in order to remain in good standing in any given religious environment.
Most religions have yet one final ritual to be conducted in order to prepare the “departing” soul for Heaven, and offer additional rituals to improve the eternal environment of those departed. The truth is that there is NOTHING that can be done to change the eternal locations and experiences once the soul departs at the moment of physical death.
The lake fire (Rev. 20: 15) is going to filled with “religious.” people who had engaged in relatively good behavior and deeds, but were never born again (John 3: 5, 7).
Heaven is also going to have many born again believers who will forfeit many of the 1Cor. 3: 12-15 rewards and privileges that they could have otherwise received if they had chosen to identify and to execute the post salvation spiritual life of discipleship.
Here in the Church Age, the s-p-i-r-i-t-u-a-l life begins AFTER one reaches the age/stage of personal moral accountability. Having reached the age/stage of moral accountability is what enables the soul to make a personal, conscious decision to either believe or reject the Gospel Message. It is this choice that determines (John 3: 18) where any given soul will spend eternity (John 3: 18).
IF one believes (places his full trust and confidence) in the Gospel Message, he is THEN born again and THEN begins his post salvation spiritual life. Until one is born again, he/she remains just as spiritually dead as the day he/she came into this world.
We cannot afford to pick anyd choose what attributes of God we want to accept, and what attributes of God we want to ignore. We all like to acknowledge the unconditional love of God, but would prefer not to be so focused on the justice of God.
The justice of God requires that each and every single sin of the entire human race be addressed, one way or the other.
In the plan of God, EVERY sin (with the exception of the sin of disbelief) of the entire human race was paid for, in full, by the atoning work of the Lord Jesus Christ ON THE CROSS (1John 2: 2). The benefits (forgiveness of sin; eternal life) of this atoning Work is received by every soul that believes in a presentation of the Gospel Message. For any soul that believes, the sin of disbelief is obviously not an issue.
On the cross, the atoning (sacrificial) Work of the Lord Jesus Christ paid the world’s (1John 2: 2) sin debt in full, with ONE exception. This one exception, being the sin of disbelief (John 3: 18), was by divine design, and not in any way a deficiency in the Work He provided.
Accordingly, although there are OTHER consequences (Heb. 12: 6/1Cor. 3: 12-15) for the post salvation sins we commit, there is only one sin (the sin of disbelief) that will cause one to spend eternity in the lake of fire.
Just because the lake of fire is no longer a possibility for a born-again believer (Romans 8: 1), this does not mean that one would want to suffer the Heb. 12: 6 the remaining consequences of sin while here on Earth, or suffer the 1Cor. 3: 12-15 consequences for sin in Heaven.
Divine discipline on Earth can range in anything from living with a guilty conscience up to an including physical death. The 1Cor. 3: 12-15 consequences involve the forfeiting the specific rewards and privileges that only those who were advancing disciples here on Earth will experience.
It is on the basis of the Work accomplished on the cross, satisfying the justice of God, that God in His unconditional love can accept us just as we are at the moment of salvation.
Those who REJECT the Gospel Message fail to satisfy the justice of God, and therefore will not receive the benefits (eternal life) that God desires ALL souls to receive.
The issue of one’s salvation, determining WHERE one will spend all of eternity is resolved BEFORE his/her post (after) salvation life even begins.
The primary purpose for the post salvation spiritual life is to advance in personal discipleship with the long-term goal of participating in the salvation process of unbelievers and the edification of fellow believers in his/her personal periphery. One's personal periphery involves those who we interact with on a daily or regular basis, no matter where we are or what we are otherwise doing.
It is the Great Commission that defines the primary purpose for which the Church (that God designed) is to function.
The Great Commission (Matt. 28: 19, 20) that our Lord gave the Church (that God designed) calls for the preservation and proclamation of the *unadulterated Gospel Message for salvation, and the promotion of accurate Bible Doctrine for the development of post (after) salvation discipleship.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. (HOW? By,) teaching them to obey all (The Gospel Message/Bible Doctrine) that I commanded you (Matt. 28: 19: 20).”
The “*unadulterated” Gospel Message teaches faith and faith alone in the Person (incarnated Second Member of the Trinity – The Lord Jesus Christ) and the atoning Work that He accomplished on the cross.
Any “religious” teaching, ritual, or practice that adds further requirements to the unadulterated Gospel Message in order to obtain or retain salvation is an adulterated, false Gospel Message. False Gospel Messages have existed, and continue to exist, inside and outside of what is generally considered to be a part of the Christian Community at large.
When Bible Doctrine is corrupted as a result of inaccurate interpretation or application of Scripture, it falls into the realm of apostasy. Apostasy has been an issue from the very beginning of the Church Age (Galatians 3) and will not reach its pinnacle of negative influence until the (1Tim. 4: 1) closing years of the Church Age.
OK, but what does this have to do with unconditional love in the post (after) salvation life of a born-again believer?
The devil promotes the misapplication of unconditional love to obstruct the development of personal discipleship and the impact that one (should have) have on the spiritual lives of the ones with whom the born-again believer interacts with on a regular basis. These misapplications include, but are not limited to, the concepts that unconditional love is a valid excuse to shirk our responsibilities and that unconditional love is a license to sin.
As we noted in the very beginning of this presentation, God accepts us just as we are at the moment of salvation. The status, integrity, and the benefits of the salvation that a born-again believer has already received is NEVER in jeopardy.
But does this mean that He desires that we remain the same?
“For those whom the Lord (unconditionally) loves He disciplines (Heb. 12: 6 NASB italics mine.”
Divine discipline can result in anything from having to live with a guilty conscience (Ezra 9: 6), and up to and including physical death (Acts 5).
Divine discipline that God directly or indirectly imposes on a born-again believer is for the purpose of correcting and re-directing the one involved, and/or for the correction and/or re-direction of others who observe the consequences of sin (Acts 5) coming forth.
Divine disciple takes place here on Earth, but to the extent that our sin takes us away from executing the post salvation spiritual life that God has in mind, there are eternal losses of reward (not salvation) in store, as well.
While our salvation and our eternal security remains intact (1Cor. 3: 15), there is the loss of specific rewards and accompanying privileges that a back-sliding, born again believer, could have received in addition to his/her home in Heaven.
One of the consequences of post (after) salvation sin, is the loss of and even the desire for fellowship with God. There will be little (if any) desire in the heart of a soul to attend worship services, pray, or to studying the Bible when one is out of fellowship with God.
When Adam and the woman (Eve) sinned, they tried to hide themselves from God (Gen. 3: 8).
When a born-again believer sins, he will not feel comfortable approaching God or participate in the things that focus on God. For many, it is easier and more comfortable to deny and avoid rather that to acknowledge and address the things in our lives that the Bible calls sin.
But there will come a day when we will come face to face with the end results of the seeds that we have sown. It may be here be here on Earth (Heb. 12: 6). It may be at the evaluation in Heaven (1Cor. 3: 12-15). If not born again, it will be in Hades and/or in the lake of fire (Rev. 20: 13, 15).
* * *
If we saw even a total stranger about to sit down on a defective chair we would not hesitate to speak up, but yet when we see ones we claim to love engaging in sin, we have reservations about speaking up for fear of compromising an Earthly relationship with them.
The advancing disciple would rather compromise an earthly relationship rather than have it said in Heaven that he/she knew that someone was on the road to destruction, had the opportunity to say/do something, but chose to remain silent.
Genuine love puts the interests of others above one’s own.
An edified believer knows that in order to “make things right” (restore fellowship) with God, one must confess (1John 1: 9) (acknowledge and admit) the sin(s) that took him/her out of fellowship with God. After fellowship is restored, in order to maintain fellowship and avoid further and more severe discipline, the sin(s) must also be forsaken (John 8: 11). Otherwise the born again believer will spend much of his post salvation spiritual life in a revolving doorway, going in and out of fellowship, and never moving forward in the plan of God.
For a variety of reasons, there are times when we do not want to address areas or activities of sin.
Some sins DO offer a “season of pleasure” and DO temporally satisfy the desires of the fallen nature within us. Even if the season lasts for much of one's time here on Earth, it is still temporary in comparison to never-ending eternity.
When out of fellowship with God, we ARE under the strong influence of the fallen nature that is inherently hostile towards God and the things of God. The independent, fallen, sin nature is in no rush to see us return to fellowship with God.
The “new creature (2Cor. 5: 17)” that a born-again believer becomes in Christ is at war with the fallen nature that remains with us (Romans 7: 23) after salvation. The soul of a born-again believer remains forever “saved,” but the immediate control of our thoughts and actions is dependent on which one we choose to submit to at any given time.
In our arrogance, ignorance, and quest for independence, we tell ourselves that we are not controlled by anyone or anything, but Scripture (Romans 6: 16, 17) tells us that we are servants to whomever or whatever we submit ourselves. The human soul is under the control or influence of God and things of God, or is under the influence of the self-centered, fallen nature at any given time. There is NO neutrality in the spiritual realm.
To drown out the voice of God calling to repentance, we turn up the volume of fallen nature, and visa versa.
“The best defense is a good offense” strategy comes into view when God, making use of His ambassadors, brings to our consciousness the error(s) of our ways. We (should) know in our hearts that what is being said to us is right, but again, we do not want to take the necessary steps (confession/forsaking) to address the sin(s).
Once again, we see where a misapplication of the principle of unconditional love can be used by the Eph.6:12 forces of evil to persuade us to remain out of fellowship with God. God still accepts the back-sliding born again believer, “just as we are,” but that does not mean that He does not desire us to return to fellowship with Him.
When one cannot do anything about the truthfulness of a message, the only other alternative is to turn on the messenger (Matt. 7: 6).
Sin not only drives a wedge between God and the sinner, but between the sinner and God’s messengers who try to reach out to them for their spiritual well-being.
Among these messengers are pastors, parents, spouses, godly friends, or fellow believers.
“Ambassadors” have the responsibility of communicating the policies (doctrines) of the kingdoms they represent. Advancing disciples are “ambassadors” of Christ (2Cor. 5: 20)” speaking in behalf of the Kingdom of God, here in the devil’s (Luke 4: 6) world. If one is not an ambassador for Christ, then he/she is an ambassador for the devil, promoting the concepts and agenda of his world (Luke 4: 6).
Here in the Church Age, God's messengers are primarily either evangelists or pastor teachers.
Evangelists have the primary function of preaching the Gospel Message, affording lost the souls the opportunity to hear it and be saved.
Pastor teachers have the primary function of studying, teaching, and conveying the accurate information that a born-again believer needs to have in order to identify and to execute the post salvation spiritual life. Some of this information is going to be comforting and inspiring, and some of it is going to be challenging and painful.
Sometimes the function of the evangelist and the pastor teacher overlap.
All pastor teachers that are worth their salt will find themselves in the pent house (when their message is uplifting and comforting), and in the dog house (when their message is challenging or painful). It goes with the job.
Sometimes the functions of the evangelist and the pastor teacher overlap.
I say “primary” because it is the long-term goal of discipleship for each and every born again believer to be involved in the spreading of the Gospel Message to unbelievers, and to edify fellow believers with whom he/she interacts with in a one on one scenario.
Ungodly or spiritually weak parents will shirk their spiritual responsibilities, citing their “unconditional love” for their children. Having your children “hate” you (as a parent) from time to time is a good indication that you are doing a good job! Godly parents walk a tight-rope balancing act, being approachable on one hand, but uncompromising on the other.
The Lord Jesus Christ was approachable, and yet uncompromising.
When it comes to discipleship, keep in the commitment principle of Luke 14: 26 in mind.
“If anyone comes to Me, and does not *hate (love or prefer less) his own father and mother and wife (or husband) and children and brothers and sisters, yes. Even his own life, he cannot be My disciple (Luke 14: 26 NASB italics mine).”
Putting the desires of other people (no matter who they are) above the desires of God is a betrayal of one’s discipleship.
Ambassadors and messengers have the responsibility to speak up and to convey the message.
Parents have the responsibility of setting godly standards (and examples) for the home and reinforcing the principles with discipline. Once this has been done, however, it is then the responsibility of each child to submit to parental authority as long as they live under the parent’s roof.
Once “out from under” parental authority, each adult believer is responsible to establish godly principles in the homes they establish.
After fending off godly messages and/or godly messengers, back-sliding believers will then try to keep the message and the messenger “at bay” by citing the principle of unconditional love, calling for the messenger to accept them, “just as they are.”
As in the case of many satanic deceptions, there always is an element of truth. That’s the “bait.”
The truth is that we ARE to accept other p-e-o-p-l-e just as they are, but we are NOT to accept, approve, condone, facilitate, or encourage their sin! If we do, we become “partners in crime,” and open ourselves up to receive divine discipline.
There are many different kinds and definitions of “love,” but the ONE way in which love can be measured is by noting to what extent the giver of the love is willing to make self-sacrifice for the benefit of the one(s) receiving the love.
If you truly love someone or something, you want what is best for them, even if what is best is NOT what they want to hear.
If God did not desire change, as He does (Romans 3: 29), then there would be no need for making any corrections or re-directions.
“For whom He foreknew (those would be born again) He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son…(Romans 8: 29 NASB).”
One is not "being conformed" if he/she chooses to engage in activities that the Bible labels as sin.
This conformation is a never-ending, life-long process, during the course of one’s post salvation spiritual life.
This conformation does NOT improve the integrity of the salvation that one has already received, but is what makes us more and useful (to God) for the purposes and objectives that God has in mind for the Church Age.
God cannot look (in an approving manner) on sin (Habakkuk 1: 13), and Church Age believers are commanded (1Cor. 5: 9- 11) not to associate with “Christians” who make a lifestyle of sin. 1 Cor. 10, 11 list some examples of immorality, but James 2: 10 would extend the list to include ANY form of sin. When ANY sin becomes a regular and on-going practice, one has chosen to an ungodly lifestyle, *violating the 3rd Commandment of the Ten Old Testament Commandments. It is at this point that Church Age believers are commanded not to associate with such "Christians" until and unless the issue is addressed.
Under these circumstances, this is not judging. This is obedience and an opportunity to pass one of the greatest tests (Luke 14: 26) of discipleship. putting the future of one's personal relationships on the line.
"I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people. I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters; for then you would have to go out of the world. But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother (Christian) if he should be an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler--not even to eat with such a one (1Cor. 5: 9-11 NASB)."
Taking on (identifying with) the name (Christian) and then choosing to make ANY form of sin a lifestyle is (in the Church Age) what it means to take (on) the name of the Lord in vain (Exodus 20: 7).
Note that this disassociation is making reference to someone presently involved and not one who has confessed and forsaken a lifestyle of sin. Otherwise, Christianity would require that we all become hermits, making the Great Commission impossible, not to mention that there would be no one left at the dinner table!
The sin issue is between the sinner and God. Making things right with God is what re-opens the door to fellowship His people. Like the father of the prodigal son (Luke 15: 20), one may have to spend time looking down the road for the return of the one whose chosen path or lifestyle separated them. For others, the permanent loss of some relationships and associations may be a part of the cross that one's discipleship requires him to bear (Luke 14: 26).
Discipleship can result in the loss of many things that we naturally hold near and dear to our hearts. Discipleship can result in being excluded from many “opportunities” that the devil’s world has to offer those willing to dance to the devil's tune.
Discipleship is not for the spiritually weak, worldly-oriented, or self-centered (2Tim. 1: 7/Psalms 73: 25/ souls.
Maximum spiritual maturity has been reached IF and when we, like the Psalmist, can say from the bottom of our hearts that, “…beside Thee, I desire n-o-t-h-i-n-g on earth (Psalms 73: 25 NASB).”
The Luke 14: 26 test of discipleship can be a painful experience and a costly personal sacrifice. It is where many born again believers “draw the line” in the realm of discipleship, choosing their relationships with worldly-minded people over an intimate walk with God.
Tests in the spiritual realm are NOT for God to see if are advancing in the life of discipleship. God already knows that. Tests that God sends or allows to take place are for US to see how well we are (or are not) doing.
Again, we see where a misapplication of the principle of unconditional love can be used by the Eph.6: 12 forces of evil to persuade us to put limits on our commitment to post salvation discipleship.
In summary, the immediate and continued acceptance of us by God is based on our faith (trust and confidence) in the atoning Word of the Lord Jesus Christ that He performed on the cross.
It has got NOTHING to do with the products and practices of Man-made “religion.”
God DOES accept and save us, “just the way we are,” based on our choice to believe in a presentation of the Gospel Message. Nothing we do or fail to do in the course of our post (after) salvation spiritual life can either improve or diminish the integrity of the salvation that we have already received.
Salvation is a “gift” from God. A gift it cannot be earned or deserved. Something earned or deserved is received to compensate the recipient for work that he has done.
If salvation could have earned or deserved, then God the Father imposed an act of great and unnecessary cruelty on His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
But does this mean that God desires for us to remain the same?
God desires that we c-o-n-t-i-n-u-e to grow in the knowledge and application of His Word, which is what discipleship is all about. Discipleship begins with oneself, with the long-term objective of taking part in the Great Commission that was given to the Church, calling for the salvation of unbelievers and the edification of fellow believers.
We can and should be grateful for the “unconditional love” that God has for us, but we should not pervert the principle and use it as an excuse to shirk our responsibilities or to condone, encourage, or support, or facilitate ANY activity that the Word of God has declared to be sin.